After the recent meeting with the de facto leader of Pakatan, it appears that the government is now interested in meeting Hindraf. Although an interesting development, in most minds, it is nothing but a political gimmick in view of the general elections.
Hindraf had made its stand to be a non-partisan movement, interested only in protecting and enhancing human rights and basic needs of the poorer socio economic segment of Malaysian Indians.
The rapid increase in proportion to their population in deaths in custody, statelessness, level of suicide, single parents, homelessness, forced conversions, temple demolitions, etc. and negative vices perpetrated by downtrodden Indians since the premiership of Dr Mahathir, is a clear depiction of how lopsided policies have contributed in neglecting this community, mainly through their displacement from the plantations without any solutions or remedies.
Hindraf probably realises that unlike their Malay and Chinese comrades, the poorer segment of the Malaysian Indians don’t have any safety nets such as the political muscle for the Malays nor the economical strength of the Chinese.
The discrimination and oppression faced by the poorer segment of the Malaysian Indians have never had a room to voice in seeking relief for their grievances, although lawmakers from both the ruling government and opposition will say they have been there, though only in namesake.
The regular run of the mill consisting mainly of middle class and upper class Malaysians, including the Indians, fail to recognise the dire straits of the poorer segment of the community in a pragmatic sense but rather through a coloured lens.
Similarly, many echo that there are also others who face similar position. Fair and well, nobody is stopping them to seek redress but not for this typical middle class and upper class Malaysian who can only blow their trumpets like the politicians without addressing the core issues.
The issues and obstacles facing the poorer segment of Indians in Malaysia is a reality that needs the support of the whole community irrespective of their origins, rather than the bickering and bad mouthing that we often see amongst the politicians.
I’m sure Hindraf with its motto ‘Rights not Mercy’ in its negotiation, is well equipped in seeking a concrete blueprint to ensure that the poor segment of the Malaysian Indian community is lifted without strings attached to ensure fairness and equality is in tandem with the rest of the community without exclusion or what is politically expedient.
I feel that Hindraf, being a non-partisan movement, should put forward their proposals to both BN and Pakatan and we the community need to support their drive to ensure that our fellow poorer segment of Malaysian Indians can participate in a positive way in our growth as a nation.