Ponggal rice is 'bountiful" and different from raw rice. PM Najib gave away handouts of raw rice as if "we are beggars" and Indian political parties to blame.
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak insulted the Indians in Klang.
G Kathirvelu, an Indian I encountered in the Jalan Mohet, in the vicinity of where Najib was attending a Ponggal event on Jan 12 said: “This is an insult to the Indian community, he (Najib) came to give us a handout of rice, that is what we in the community do to beggars.
“And if this was paid for by the shopkeepers and the MIC (then) there is a lot to answer for, we are no beggars.
“Ponggal rice and raw rice are two different things, the Indians gave him Ponggal rice not raw rice.”
Kathirvelu, who is from Sungei Pelek, told me this was the common way Barisan treated Indians.
Kathirvelu’s father, who used to work in Tumbok estate, was a member of the MIC and during those days they used to promise to pay the Indian estate workers RM5 each if the Alliance won.
And the poor workers, Kathirvelu said, would oblige. A few elections later he said, “the voters were split on this amount and as a result Cikgu Jaabar the independent won the seat.
“Later to unseat Cikgu Jaabar in Sungei Pelek they paid the Indians RM10 each on the insistence of the MIC. Umno won on Indian votes then.
“Even now they do the same and our people (the Indians) continue behaving like beggars, a culture brought about by the MIC.
“It is a shame how they treat us and we allow ourselves to be treated too,” said Kathirvelu.
Blame the Indian NGOs
He was so annoyed that he continued: “These people ( the Indians) who took the rice had no pride in themselves. They have the beggar mentality, they have not changed from my father’s time.
“Najib came to insult the Indians. The Indian political parties are responsible the ones who promote this beggar culture, undermining the integrity of the Indians.
“They are advising an “vengayam” (onion) like Najib to treat us as beggars and telling Umno that this is when we will respond, this has to stop.”
Kathirvelu’s rant in the vicinity of the Sri Kota Hospital on Jan 12 even as tens and thousands of Malaysians gathered at Stadium Merdeka for the Himpunana Kebangkitan Rakyat rally, had similarities with the Thaipusam being declared a national holiday, after years and years of begging.
It seems to have long been forgotten that it was the Indian labourers who built the roads and the railways of this country.
They were the ones who cleared the land and planted rubber and oil palm.
It was they, together with the Chinese in the mines, who worked in the estates and mines that brought development to Malaysia.
But their contribution has never been acknowledged.
I distinctly remember that somewhere between the late 70s and the mid 80s, Guinness Malaysia, which was at that time not part of the MBL group, had offered to make documentaries on the contribution of Indians to the Malaysian economy.
But the then Home Minister put a stop to it.
This is how the history of this country is written, it takes away the contribution of the people and paints a picture that it was Umno which developed this country.
This was the Dr Mahathir Mohamad agenda, a person who is ashamed to own up to his own roots. He is ashamed of his heritage and to hide that he created a new culture – of arrogance, lies, deceit, corruption, racism and lacking morals – and imposed it on Malaysians.