Blog Archives

Cultural differences in multiracial country

Malaysia is multiracial country that has different races live in same country harmony.  However, there always have some issue happen when there is a different race in a same country. In August 2011, there is a Ramadhan advertisement by 8tv aired in television to celebrate the festival of Ramadhan. However, the advertisement had raised the anger of Chinese people. According to Chieh (2011), he said that the advertisement had received complaint that it is purportedly racist for stereotyping Chinese as insensitive, loud and obnoxious. According to Kamal (2011), it said that Chief Executive of Media Prima claims that the advertisement is just a public service announcement that give advice about how should non-Muslims people behave during the festival month.

Media Prima should think of the culture background of different race before they produce an advertisement like this. When design or produce an advertisement, it is important to understand the differences of cultural background of the audience in order to make the advertisement reach the audience. According to Kress & van Leeuwan (1998), it point out that the hard part of analysing the reading path of people is not because of the lack of analytical ability of the research, it is the differences of cultural background of the audience. Media Prima did not follow the theory of Kress & van Leeuwan when they design or produce the advertisement. They had been complaint by the public for stereotype and racist because they did not consider the factor of cultural differences.

It is important to think both the differences of individual among audience and the different ways that people perceive the document (Schriver, 1997). According to Walsh (2006), he also mentioned that the factor that we always have to consider is the reader’s schema in both the document of multimodal texts or print-based.


Chieh Y. H, 2011, 8TV panned for ‘insincere’ apology over Ramadan ads, viewed on 15 November 2011,

Kamal  S. M, 2011, TV Boss urges public to ‘chill’ as 8TV Ramadan ad draws flak, viewed on 15 November 2011,

Kress  G, van Leeuwan T, 1998, ‘Front pages: The critical analysis of newspaper layout’, Approaches  to media discourse, Ch 7, pg.186-219

Schriver K. A, 1997, The interplay of words and pictures, Dynamics in document design: creating texts for readers, Ch 6, pg. 361-441

Walsh M, 2006, The ‘textual shift’: Examining the reading process with print, visual and multimodal texts, Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, Vol .29, pg. 24-37