It is difficult to overcome ancient prejudices in matters of race and culture but if one makes a conscious effort to disassociate one's mind from overly simplistic generalizations and avoid giving in to that temptation (because thinking is hard), it is rather doable. As philosophers ponder on whether laziness or fear is the biggest obstacle to human progress, in this alley at least, i believe intellectual laziness is the cause and effect of our innate prejudices. But wait, how about one's past bad experiences that reinforce one's prejudices against a certain race/culture? If say, a Chinese Landlord had a tough time with his defaulting Malay tenant or a Malay customer gets cheated by a Chinese towkay selling counterfeit goods/gets overcharged or an Indian man drunk on alcohol physically abuses his spouse/partner, do any of these experiences justify and should they reinforce our ever lurking prejudices and preconceptions? The answer is NO.
One must always remain vigilant and alert but especially with focus on the INDIVIDUAL and not to give in to easily stereotype an individual belonging to a certain race to a group of misbehaving miscreants based on the color of their skin or their cultural association.
In Malaysia we still have some ways to go before we graduate from merely tolerating each other into open arm acceptance and embrace of our racial and cultural differences. Some of us are already there but the rest of us still have some catching up to do. But if the truth matters to you, that little effort in objective thinking is well worth the sacrifice.