National Hockey Player Hanis Onn Says She's Sorry For Her Racism Against Malaysian Indians

"As an Indian, I'm tired man. So damn tired."

Cover image via Aizuddin Saad/New Straits Times & @hokitamy (Instagram)

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On Saturday, 28 January, the Bukit Jalil National Stadium was filled with 60,000 music lovers that included Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail

They were there to watch live legendary Indian music composer and singer Allah Rakha Rahman, better known as A R Rahman, celebrate his 30-year musical journey through his Secret of Success concert.

The packed stadium also rocked to Malaysian songstress Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza, saying it was one of her biggest nights seeing her dream become a reality — sharing the stage with Rahman himself.

Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza with A R Rahman performing live on stage at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium.

Image via Aizuddin Saad/New Straits Times

While the concert was a rousing success, news of it also brought out racism from a number of Malaysians, including Hanis Nadiah Onn

26-year-old Hanis is a star player in Malaysian women's field hockey, was named Asia's most promising woman player, and as such, is one of the most influential young personalities on the Internet.

In a comment posted under an Instagram post about the legendary Indian artiste's concert, the Johor-born implied that the stadium would have been really "smelly" due to so many Malaysian Indians there.

According to a screenshot posted to the Malaysian subreddit group, r/Malaysia, Hanis commented under Kosmo's post, saying, "Bau best lah kat dalam tuh (using face with tears of joy emoji)".

Translated in English, her comment reads, "The smell there must have been best lah".

For context, one of the racial stereotypes for Indians in Malaysia is that they are "smelly".

Another Malaysian then joined in on Hanis' racism, replying "naughty" under her comment.

Others, meanwhile, appeared seemingly indifferent towards the Oscar-winning Indian's concert.

Screenshot of the Kosmo post, under which the national hockey player posted her racist comment against Indians.

Image via r/malaysia

After the screenshot was posted to the Malaysian subreddit group, the Redditors called her out while many expressed their disappointment

One Redditor, who claimed to be a hockey player, commented, "As a hockey player myself I don't know what to say...", while another remarked, "It's not only her. No one corrected her."

"Does she realise that Anwar was also at his concert?" commented one of the Redditors.

"As an Indian, I'm tired man. So damn tired," read one of the most liked comments.

After being called out, Hanis issued a public statement of apology

In her statement, she addressed the comment while stating that she was aware of how her remark has affected many people and she has since taken steps to delete the offending comment.

According to Hanis, in her 10 years of experience in the hockey world, she has defended Malaysia in a multiracial team and she was sorry about her negligence on the negative connotation of her comment.

Screenshot of Hanis' statement of apology.

Image via Hanis Nadiah Onn


The Sports and Youth Minister has addressed the issue:

Read more on racism in Malaysia: