When I was living in KL nobody seemed to question the validity of the sort of problems Hindraf highlights today (I wouldn’t know about the severity or otherwise of the problems, of course). However, no matter the extent, they are obviously real problems at some level that negatively impact a large group of people who, because they aren’t free to go somewhere else any time soon, have the potential to cause a great deal of internal strife for Malaysia if those problems are not resolved satisfactorily. It would be true of any neglected minority group anywhere in the world. Such problems can therefore only be ignored at great peril to the longer term stability of the country involved.

I can see why it might be appealing for the wider community to turn its back on a minority that is becoming a pain in the butt, but is that truly the wisest course of action when the minority group has valid grouses that have been ignored for a long period?

Surely the best option is for an influential group of people in the wider community to take the lead and listen properly to the grievances of the minority communities and then, collectively, for everyone to work together in a new administrative spirit to take real and constructive steps to redress the problems of all minority groups deserving of a better deal. Of course, I can hear the hoots of derision even now before I post this, labelling me as an idealist and even of being a dreamer. But since the alternative is to bury your head in the sand and wait for the inevitable kick in the rear, I’ll happily stick to working towards the fulfilment of a dream any day, no matter how much hard work it promises to be!

It takes two to tango, of course, and if the leaders of a minority group truly feel that there is no point talking openly to their fellow countrymen outside of that group because "it would just be a waste of time", then I really don’t know what the chances are of the Brazilian concept of ‘one people no race’ taking root for a country faced with the same problems as those facing Malaysia. So, in Malaysia’s case at this stage of the game, is this perhaps a bridge too far? Ends

Everybody wants to complain about how HINDRAF/HRP is going it alone.

But seriously, where were all these Malaysian First-ers, the NGO’s, and opposition political parties before, during and after the HINDRAF Rally in 2007? The fact that Indians were left alone for more than 50 years, meant that they walked alone in November 2007. And it wasn’t just Tamil speaking Hindus who came together, but Indians of all ethnic groups, religions, and social standing. In the immediate aftermath of the HINDRAF Rally, Indians started smiling at each other, even if they didn’t know each other. It wasn’t said. It was understood. Even enemies became friends. It actually felt good to be an Indian. There was a sense of unity, a sense of belongingness, and a sense of pride that was unseen and unheard of amongst the Indians in this country. The Indians finally stood up for themselves.

But now, Malaysian First-ers make out that they are somehow more Malaysian than HINDRAF/HRP, and by token the Indian community. They ignore the fact that the Indians came together as Malaysians first during the March 2008 elections. Overwhelming numbers abandoned MIC. In terms of sheer scale, there has not been that kind of abandonment of any other ethnic based parties, like UMNO or MCA in the history of the nation. It was literally giving up whatever power they had as community within the MIC, and placing themselves in the hands of other Malaysians. In this regards, many Indians felt that they were finally going to be treated as Malaysians, which to them meant that their issues were going to be addressed at long last. This is after all, the only reason why people cast their vote…to get their issues addressed.

Well, it obviously didn’t turn out that way. Given this, many now feel that their votes were being taken for granted, as it became increasingly obvious that their vote only counted as a one-way ticket for groups, with entirely different agendas, to get to Putrajaya.

When Indians complained, they were told that they have to look at the “bigger picture”. Do others really see the bigger picture? All are nothing more than blind men and women trying to describe an elephant to Indians, while being deaf to the cries of Indians that the elephant is squashing them.

So now, Indians, after being ignored for more than 50 years, walk alone again. But now Malaysian First-ers tell them that they are being racist for doing so. When Indians choose to be neutral, they are again told they are being racist. Racist? Isn’t Dong Jiao Zong highlighting their issues along narrow, communal lines? Isn’t Sister-In-Islam doing the same thing? No one calls them racist.

Indians don’t need to be taught how to be Malaysians through some idealistic, feel-good, flag-waving, yipeekayay Malaysian First program. They already know how to be Malaysian.

The irony isn’t lost on Indians. Nobody cared about the Indian vote for decades, but all of the sudden, when Putrajaya is in sight, they crave for Indian votes. The sad fact is that this is not about serving the people who voted for them. This is not about bringing justice. This is about a power trip. It’s like you say, that they are currently burying their head in the sand and are waiting for the inevitable kick in the rear. It’s also like you say, that it is wise to “…stick to working towards the fulfillment of a dream any day, no matter how much hard work it promises to be!”.

Now, there is criticism that HINDRAF/HRP is going is alone. Yet, if you were there at BUM 2010, as I was, you would have seen Uthayakumar (HRP), Teresak Kok (DAP) and Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad (PAS) seated together…as Malaysians! It was an ideal opportunity to break the ice and get all groups working together again. Unfortunately, the session was hijacked by people who missed the woods for the trees. Whether another opportunity like this comes along again, remains to be seen

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Malaysian Indian Ethnic Cleansing by UMNO led government