Astro’s racist ruling comes under fire as Indian profiling


Malaysia’s cable TV or direct broadcast satellite TV services provider Astro came under fire on social media for alleged racial profiling of customers.

In a social media posting, one Mahdavi Rai was told by an Astro customer service representative that she was classified as an Indian since her name sounded like that of an Indian individual.

In the posting on Facebook, Mahdavi insisted with the Astro rep that she was not Indian. She also had to insist she was not foreigner, because she was told her only payment method will be by auto-debit.

It is after saying that she was not Indian due to her Nepali and Chinese Malaysian heritage, the company’s rep said she will be classified as Chinese then.

When her application was rejected, she was told by another rep that was because she did not pick and chose ‘auto debit’, since Indians and foreigners had to pay by auto-debit.

She was subjected to more frustrating rubbish from the customer services of Astro when she was told if she was considered as ‘others’ then she was also seen as a foreigner, leaving her no choice but to accept payment by auto-debit if she wanted to get the services.

In her posting, she said Astro was biased, racist and this is happening while the entire world is rejected such baseness.

But pro-government portals and newspaper are quick to come to the defence of Astro, saying the company denied it was racist though it is clear it is profiling the Indian Malaysian  community.

On the Astro Facebook site, it said: With regards to Ms Madhavi’s feedback, we at Astro apologise unreservedly to her for the unpleasant experience. We deeply regret the incident, which should not have happened.

“Astro assures our customers that we would not sanction any customer promotions or policies that discriminate any ethnicity. This particular campaign offer applies to ALL new customers, and not as inferred in the miscommunication.”

A bit too late, though.