Confession # 8

Damned if you do, damned if you don't!

How often have we heard that statement? But that is what I usually face in my career, especially when all I am doing is giving the people who hired me the very things that they hired me for.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't!

I truly wish that it's possible to just meet expectations, y'know? Not go beyond them but just meet them on the dot. Obviously, when you don't meet expectations, you're as good as done. My problem has never been about not meeting expectations; my problem has always been exceeding that expectations and mind-boggling as it is, being 'too good' at what I do is what always gets me into troubles.

Damned if you, damned if you don't!

Not wanting to sound too conceited, once you get to know the real me, I'm generally a likable dude. Sure I have a lot of haters but I don't pay no heed as most of them do not even know me; they just hate me for what I have and/or what I stand for.

Oh, before that, let me qualify here that I am only facing this issue in Malaysia. I don't know what it is but I know it's hard to be good at what you do, especially when you tend to outshine them and hence, them being threatened, coupled with their own insecurity, they do things that would make your life difficult.

Either way, you're damned!

This is specially true with local bosses. Believe it or nor, I have never been hired by a local. Even if they don't or won't find anyone more qualified than I am for the specific portfolio that they are looking for, locals just won't hire me. Unless, of course, it's GLC's and people like me, who have the right qualification, experience and citizenship status, are coveted the most. Unfortunately, working with such organizations would bring me a few steps back as I need to deal with a bunch of people who think they're the 'chosen ones' because of their race.

You know, I used to wonder why but after observing first-hand the workings of most organizations in Malaysia, I have come to a conclusion that the corporate world in the country is racial in nature.

The industry that I have always been - Communications and FMCG Marketing - are dominated by the Chinese. I have no problem with that. They work harder and are smarter generally than the other races. My issue though is, as soon as they climb the corporate ladder and become hiring managers, they somewhat develop a tunnel vision as to who they would employ. It doesn't matter whether you are more qualified, the truth is, they would always, always hire another Chinese.

Can I blame them? Am I blaming them? The answer is no.

There should not be any racism at the workplace. Unfortunately, it's prevalent in Malaysia...

After being subjected to years of unfair treatment by the government, I can't blame them for blocking the good Bumiputras out of the game, the same way they have been blocked by the government all their lives. Turnaround is just fair play, no?

Yes, I do have an issue with this but I do understand where they are coming from. The only drawback is that the Bumiputras like myself - and there's very little of us - who are good at our chosen profession are subjected to the kind of racial profiling that is the modus operandi of the government; the very government that these people so despise.

It ain't fair but hey, that's the name of the game. For people like me, it's actually a disadvantage to be a Bumiputra because as soon as they see the 'Bin' in our names, we are automatically placed at the end of the pecking order, even if we are far more qualified and better than the Chinese peeps who eventually gets the job.

So yeah, contrary to what the government wants you to believe, being a Bumiputra is actually a disadvantage in the corporate world.

Malaysians, whether we admit it or not, always wear masks that hide our true intentions and identity

But you know what makes me the Bumis like myself thrive? It's the challenges that we face and when we get to prove that we are as good, if not better, than the others, we always go home with a smile knowing that we have proven that the belief that Bumis are all lazy and unintelligent is nothing but a fallacy.

Is my occupational future still in this country?

I don't know. I really don't know.

So long as the incumbent government stays in power, nothing's ever gonna change in the country. And that includes racial profiling in the corporate world.

Sad, I know.


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