Taiwanese YouTuber apologises for saying Malaysians make him 'uncomfortable'

PHOTO: Instagram/big_star_ken

Singaporeans and Malaysians may have our differences, but we also share a lot in common and are virtually indistinguishable based on appearances alone.

Naturally, there was some confusion when a Taiwanese YouTuber decided to talk smack about Malaysians while he was travelling in Singapore.

Zhong Ming-xuan, a 19-year-old YouTuber with over 600,000 subscribers, shared his solo travel experience in a YouTube video published on Sept 3.

The video, chronicling his spontaneous two-day-one-night trip to Singapore, was generally uneventful until he decided to vent his frustrations about Malaysians after a walk around Marina Bay Sands.

"Because Singapore is right next to Malaysia, there are a lot of those Malaysians who keep staring at me. I feel so uncomfortable," he said in Mandarin.

"I've only been in Singapore for a few hours but I already miss Taiwan," he added.

Zhong's remarks upset many viewers, some of whom were Malaysians.

Some viewers took umbrage over the fact that he was making a generalisation about Malaysians despite the fact that the people he had encountered could have been Singaporean.

"I'm from Malaysia. What do mean when you say 'Malaysians keep staring'. Why can't they be Singaporean? I just hope you think carefully before you speak."
Photo: Screengrab/YouTube
"When Malaysians go to Singapore do they stick their IC or passport on their chest or forehead? How does he know that they are Malaysians?"
Photo: Screengrab/YouTube
"As a Malaysian, I always enjoyed your channel and liked that you are bold and outspoken. I also respect that you have the courage to be yourself. But watching this video I am completely disappointed. You are not being straightforward. You are just speaking without thinking. Since Malaysians make you so uncomfortable, definitely don't come to Malaysia. I'm unsubscribing."
Photo: Screengrab/YouTube

Others took offence with how Zhong said "those Malaysians", viewing it as rude and disparaging.

"It doesn't matter if it's Malays or Malaysians, referring to them as "those" feels very disrespectful."
Photo: Screengrab/YouTube

In response to the backlash, Zhong released a video today (Sept 6) apologising for his comments.

"I really, totally did not mean to discriminate against anyone," he clarified.

"I might have used the wrong words when I was expressing myself… I did something wrong so I will apologise. I'm so sorry," he said.

Zhong, who wears a full face of makeup (which could explain why people were staring, to be honest), is known for his candour and videos that often border on offensive.

He ended his apology on a defiant note: "Many people have been telling me not to visit Malaysia and Singapore again. I want to tell them to be quiet. I'm still going to go. Because Malaysia has pretty good food."

Let's just hope he doesn't get too "uncomfortable" while he is there.

kimberlylim@asiaone.com

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