MALAYSIAN INDIANS, BEWARE OF TROJAN HORSES preaching greater racism than Umno!
As the festive cheers end the year and a new one begins, the Indian
community in Malaysia needs to think really long and hard about what the
forthcoming 13th General Election means for them.
Their past has caught up with them and may haunt their future if they are not careful. The 13th GE, more than the 12th GE,
will be a watershed year for them in dealing with the politics of the
nation. 2013 is indeed a critical year and a time for making New Year
Blowing with the BN wind has not helped
If there’s going to be a complete break with the past, Indians need to
consider that politics for them cannot be what it used to be. They must
resist swinging from one extreme to another - from bending over
backwards to please the Umno political masters to demanding an Indian
'Nation' in Malayisa whatever that means.
Malaysian Indians must learn that trying to blow with the wind, as they
have done under 55 years of Umno-BN rule, will not solve their problems.
They must stand up and fend for themselves with pride and dignity and
fight as a community within and inside the Malaysian nation. And not
some grotesque colony that some extremist leaders appear to be promoting
for their own vested interests.
It is silly to sulk that Indians are the only community in Malaysia
which doesn’t have even one ethnic seat in Parliament or the state
assemblies despite having a million voters on the electoral rolls and
forming 8% of the 28 million population. It is true their
marginalisation and disenfranchisement under the Umno regime over half a
century has been complete. But to demand for 'Indian' seats to be
created doesn't make sense.
Requiring Indians to live geographically close to each other in order to
achieve an Indian-majority constituency would raise another storm of
human rights issues all of its own. As the minority races now accuse
Umno of apartheid, why are some communal leaders pursuing this very same
path? Are they just power-crazed, misguided or worse, the Trojan horse
put in place by Prime Minister Najib Razak to create even more disunity
and confusion so as to prevent further flight of Indian votes to the
Opposition now dominated by the Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
It would indeed be more worthwhile to spend time ensuring the Malaysian
Indian community is looked after equally and fairly by whoever forms the
government of the day, which currently it is not due to the racist
platform undertaken by Umno and supported without question by the MIC
which cedes supremacy to the Malays.
To some in the Indian community, the absence of 'ethnic seats' means
that engaging in party politics and coalition politics will not help
resolve their myriad socio-economic problems. Such a theory has been
spread to get Indians who are now with political parties on both sides
of the divide to leave and become 'truly independent'.
How being 'truly independent' can save the Indian community from being further victimized in the aftermath of the 13th GE remains to be seen. What's for sure is that these are trying times for all Malaysians, not just the Indians.
For example in Sabah, Jeffrey Kitingan is insistent on keeping out the
'orang Malaya' or Malaysians from the peninsula. Is he not every bit as
racist and extremist as Mahathir Mohamad? What is Jeffrey - who has been
accused of being fabulously rich though now in the same class as
Mahathir - really after?
So Indians, just like the Sabahans and all other Malaysians, must avoid
being duped by the myriad false 'prophets' from within their own
community. One thing the Indian community can be sure of is that if the
Barisan Nasional (BN) still manages to form the Federal Government,
Malaysian Indians will continue to be scapegoats victimized by the
powers that be and brutalized by a racist police force.
Between the known devil and the unknown angel
There is worry over whether Malaysian Indians can really be better off
under Anwar Ibrahim's Pakatan Rakyat. One has to only look at the fate
of the minorities in the MiddleEast and West Asia in the wake of the
long civil war in Lebanon, US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and the
eruption of the Arab Spring in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria. The
Christian minorities here remain on the run everywhere, victimized and
persecuted for having supported the past “divide-and-rule” dictatorships
rather than taking a strictly neutral or apolitical stand.
The right way forward would be for Indian voters to come out and vote in
full force on a non-political, non-party basis. But sad to say, no
truly independent candidate of high and sincere calibre exist at this
point in time. Those that claim to be truly working for Indian interests
and Indian interests alone have shown strong signs of being even more
hypocritical than than the MIC.
Another way is to vote based on the strength and calibre of individual
candidates regardless of party affiliation. Incumbents who have been in a
seat for three terms or more should be voted out. Other incumbents who
have not performed and/or otherwise done nothing for the Indian
community should also be voted out.
This message needs to get out again and again until the Indian community sees the wisdom of it.
Reject extremist views that only make ethnic Indians more isolated and less Malaysian
There are also some who think it might be better if Indians did not vote
for Indians to be in the legislature at all and neither should any
self-respecting Indian offer himself in the GE as that would be
tantamount to further misleading the community and postponing
badly-needed solutions. The basis for such a radical call is that Indian
MPs may not be able to do anything for the community and having them
merely glosses over the problems as well as paint the impressions that
the government is being shared fairly among all Malaysians.
Also, such Indian legislators become convenient scapegoats i.e. to be
blamed by the non-Indian legislators when the Indian community complains
about anything. So instead, the proponents of such rhetoric insist the
Government of the Day, whether from BN or PR, should consider that it
would be more in their interest to appoint Indians to the Senate and in
the Government sector, especially statutory bodies, government companies
Needless to say, this is the proverbial fig leaf and the same childish
call that was made by the disgraced and sinking MCA president, Chua Soi
The danger of such deafeatist thinking and 'siege-mentality' is that
Indians will forever be bound by the parameters of their own ethnicity
and never truly become Malaysian. Is this not Umno-style? This too feeds
into the hands of certain ultra racist groups led by the likes of P
Uthayakumar and his brother Waythamoorthy who like Jeffery Kitingan
won't be happy until they get to form separate 'nations' in which they
would no doubt be the new kings and lords over!
In 2013, Malaysian Indians must recognize and break such vicious
political, economic and social cycles and soundly reject the ruthless
politicians who try once again to use the community's naivete and lack
of self-confidence to advance vested interests.
Stateless Indians an urgent issue that must be resolved
It must be noted that the 8% Indian population in Malaysia excludes at
least 300,000 'stateless' and undocumented ethnic Indians, who were born
here and entitled to full citizenship rights but which have been
Former Selangor Menteri Besar Khir Toyo unwittingly confirmed the
existence of such a problem when he conceded that there were 50,000
stateless Indian children in his state alone. Accused of corruption and
neglect of the Indian community in Selangor, Khir had tried to deflect
attention by pinning a 'hot potato' on BN compatriot - the Malaysian
Indian Congress or MIC - with the stateless issue. Talk about dog eat
At the macro level, the stateless and undocumented phenomenon needs to
be brought to an end. At present, the Umno regime deliberately keeps the
stateless and undocumented people as virtually slave labour in the
twilight zone. Slavery is illegal under the Malaysian Constitution,
international law and the UN Charter. The stateless don’t figure in
official statistics and the phenomenon further deprives Indians of
The Director-General of the National Registration Department (NRD) has
prerogative and discretionary powers – can be determined by the Court –
to resolve the stateless problem at the stroke of a pen but he refuses
to do so because he’s being forced by Umno to act as if he was a
hardcore card-carrying racist member of the party.
The Federal Government should appoint an apolitical ethnic Indian, a
non-Muslim, as the Director-General of NRD and a non-Muslim Orang Asal –
Murut, Dusun including Kadazan or urban Dusun, Dayak, and Orang Asli –
as the Deputy Director-General of the NRD at least until the stateless
problem in Malaysia is resolved. This is a human rights issue. Everyone
has the right to an identity.
To add insult to injury, illegal immigrants and foreign labour are being
allowed in to compete with Indians in jobs which they had traditionally
held. The Minimum Wage Act ensures that Malaysians will be discouraged
from entering the job market at the lower levels which are being kept
open for illegal immigrants and foreign labour who go on to pad the
Right now, marginalized Indians can’t get even cendol licences
Again, at the macro level, the spectrum of administrative laws –
government policies in action – burdening the Indian community in
particular, should be done away. These policies are unconstitutional and
An example is the fact that Indians can’t get even cendol licences from
local authorities, such licences being reserved solely for members of
the Malay-speaking communities - Bugis, Javanese, Minang, Acehnese, and
Indian Muslims – who are Muslim.
Another government policy which targets Indians is that which
derecognizes foreign universities with a sizeable number of Malaysian
Indian students. This is a policy put in place by former prime minister
Mahathir Mohamad whose people came from Kerala state in southwest India.
Administrative laws also facilitate the ruling elite to plunder the
Public Treasury from behind the racism (feelings of inferiority in this
case), prejudice (being against something for no rhyme or reason) and
opportunism (sapu bersih or
swipe up all opportunities) of the Umno regime. Just consider the US$
44 billion wealth allegedly amassed by Mahathir during his 22 years in
the Prime Minister’s post. This is just the tip of the proverbial
The Syariah Court cannot be used against non-Muslims and conversions of
non-Muslims should be ended. The 'stateless' minorities in the country
should not be forced to convert to Islam to get personal Malaysian
documents as some have alleged.