Sunday's AFF Suzuki Cup Malaysia vs Singapore group game, was marred by thousands of Malaysian fans chanting "Singapore itu anjing" (Singaporeans are dogs). As the game was played on Malaysia’s home ground, the tiny group of Singapore fans were understandably cowed.
"Frankly, we are angry and hurt. But we were the minority... there were just about 1,000 of us there," one fan who was there at the game told Singapore's New Paper.
However, the intimidation has only added to Singaporean frustrations and an amateur video of the ugly chant on Youtube has led to an emotional online backlash from fans from the island republic.
The blurry 40-second video has riled Singaporean fans and non-fans alike, with comments from both sides of the Causeway coming fast and furious. Thousands have been venting their feelings across various internet sites such as Facebook, Youtube and news sites within days of the video’s debut.
(Watch the video HERE)
An indignant Vanya Young commented on the Youtube video: “WHERE ARE YOUR MANNERS?!!!! MALAYSIA IS THE HOST!!!!! NO WONDER YOUR TEAM WAS COOPED UP IN A MILITARY CAR WHEN THE WENT TO THE STADIUM IN INDONESIA TWO YEARS AGO! YOU DESERVE IT!”
Some Singapore fans mocked the chanting fans, like khyeloco: “Hahahahaha! Ok la, kita menang game, korang menang sorak? Dah puas?” (OK, we won the game, you won in cheering? Happy now?)
Some resorted to childish retaliation, like Zul Fandi who repeatedly typed “MALAYSIA ITU ANJING” in his comment.
Refusing to be out-chanted even online, one Malaysian fan, etyah myah, retaliated: “SINGAPORE ITU ANJING PORAH!! SINGPORAH ITU ANJING!! SINGAPORE ITU ANJING!!” (“Porah” is a Tamil word roughly equivalent to “get lost”.)
Long time prejudices also surfaced, as this comment from videoanimegal shows: “If Singaporeans are dogs, then Malaysians are BEASTS. I read so many news of your country's kidnapping or raping of girls. Compared to Singapore, yours is far worst, you beastly loser!!!”
However, there were also many voices of moderation from the Malaysian side. In fact, most Malaysian commentors expressed embarrassment and dismay at the boorish behavior of the Malaysian fans.
One Youtube user, Dotdoey1 informed netizens that the Malaysian chanters were in fact an organised fan group called "Malaya Ultras" and that Malaysians disagreed with this kind of thing. Dotdoey1 added that Malaysians felt embarrassed by this group's behaviour, and appealed to Singaporeans not to "misunderstand and judge our country because of their bad attitude.”
(Malaya Ultras is a groups of Malaysian football fans known for their intimidation of visiting teams playing the Malaysian side. They are also not above intimidating local sports officials and even the Malaysian national team coach.)
(Malayan Ultras demand answers from the coach for Malaysia's loss. The story HERE.)
In light of such acts, a Malaysian fan, PakJamalTongkol called for self-reflection: “Padan la kalah.. ptt kita b'doa agar player malaysia b'main bagus,ni hina org lain..saya pun kecewa juga malaysia kalah tp takde nk hina singapore mcm tu sekali.” (We deserved to lose. We should be praying for Malaysian players to play well, instead we humiliate others. I’m also disappointed Malaysia lost but I don’t want to humiliate Singapore like that.)
The keyboard sparring continues on Yahoo’s own news page featuring the video, where the Malayan Ultras continue to be vilified.
(What are the Malayan Ultras planning for the Malaysia-Laos match? Find out HERE.)
Derek returns the humiliation with this stinger: “At least Singapore lives up to it's name, 'The Lions'. Malaysia went to call itself 'Tigers' but were kicked around like donkeys by 'Anjings'.”
shoot, though, offers some cutesy positive-thinking advice: “Shouting "Lion" to Singaporeans sound better than "dog". Then they would shout back to you "Tiger" which will made you feel better.”
Despite all the outrage being poured into cyberspace over this sordid display, the general Malaysian sentiment is generally one of genuine shock and embarrassment, with Khalifah perhaps summing up the Malaysian majority opinion best: “Bodoh punya Malaya Ultras” (Stupid Malaya Ultras).
KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 — Putrajaya cannot turn a blind eye to the call by Malay groups to boycott Chinese businesses as the campaign risks derailing the government’s economic transformation plans that could further slow down Malaysia’s growth, corporate leaders and an economist have warned.