Government is borked, human trafficking is a serious problem, racism is amok and crime is, well, large. Though that's a tangent that we probably should leave to another thread ;/Have you been here, or?
Racism isn't really bad, or at least I've not encountered much racism.
I was going to write a 2 hour long post with citations about how the country's been fucked up in the last few years, but that would be a derail
Yeah, racism has gone really bad in the country. I was applying for a job a while back, and I'm surprised how many high-tech industries have "Chinese-speaking" as an absolute requirement. Some were even more straightforward and listed "Chinese" as a requirement. There's probably more foreign students in public universities than local minorities.
The Islamic regulations really aren't as bad as they used to be, though. About a decade ago, a boy and girl could get fined just for sitting at a lake together, even without romantic actions. And they haven't enforced the drinking thing in a while. Unless you're a gay politician. Gay politicians always get maximum sentences.
Anyway, back to Bersih, it was a mess. I don't buy this whole "fair elections" crap, it's just people opposing the incumbent government.
It was a bad sign when people deny a peaceful protest and surround the place with barbed wire. Sure, send police there just like you send police to watch stadiums. But don't deny people the right to protest - it's deeply ingrained in the culture. One of Malaysia's biggest historical events were the anti-Malayan Union protests.
My best friends were at Bersih. They said they were waiting for the train and were hit by water cannons. Ok, fine, their words are biased. And so are the words of Malaysiakini and other similar opposition newspapers.
There were pictures of the protestors smashing police cars. Hmm.. wait, thousands of protestors and cameras, and all the newspapers are only showing the same few pictures. And according to witnesses, they've been tear gassing and hitting protestors with water cannons for hours by the time they smashed cars.
If the police really did nothing wrong, why the hell would they confiscate cameras from the protests? Massive red flag there.