‘Indians want equal rights, opportunities, not new blueprint’

April 24, 2017 

Lawyer P Uthayakumar says blueprint looks good on print but is more Umno's 'game plan rhetoric' to segregate Indian poor from mainstream development.PETALING JAYA: Lawyer P Uthayakumar has criticised the government’s new blueprint for Indians, saying it continues the Umno “game plan rhetoric” to further segregate the Indian poor from Malaysia’s mainstream development.
He said the Indian rights movement’s 18-point demands dated July 28, 2007 had essentially demanded equal rights and equal upward mobility opportunities for Indians.
“The Indian poor are doomed to continue to be begging for basics as Umno continues to accelerate its ‘hampers and pampers’ political games and now clothed in the recycled Indian blueprint name,” he said in a statement today.
“The alternative political force is also of very little help as they seem to condone the aforesaid Umno racist agenda.”
Uthayakumar was commenting on the 10-year “Malaysian Action Plan for the Indian Community” unveiled by Prime Minister Najib Razak yesterday.
It features, among other things, a RM500 million shares scheme for those with low household incomes, special assistance to increase admission of Indians in higher education institutions, raising Indian participation in the public service to at least 7%, and a special approval system under the home ministry to help Indians born before 1957 gain citizenship.
Uthayakumar said the blueprint looked good “on print”, but added that the only way forward for the Indian community was for there to be equal opportunities.
He said Najib had earlier promised that, as the cabinet committee chairman on Indian issues, he would solve the grievances highlighted in Hindraf’s 18-point demands.
He said this was after Najib released him from his detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA) on May 9, 2009.
“In the interim, within days after the 2013 general election, Najib sent me back to jail for another two years at the Kajang Prison, for which I have no regrets, and appointed a certain deputy minister to implement his pseudo Indian blueprint @ 2013 elections gimmick.
“I believe I was punished primarily as I had turned down his public invitation for me to meet him in person weeks before the elections,” Uthayakumar said.
He said he had laid down a precondition that the prime minister implement at least five of Hindraf’s demands.

“Najib, for obvious reasons, chose not to respond,” he said, adding that he believed this was because the demands did not conform with Umno’s rule over Malaysia as a “Malay country and Islamic state”.
He said the first demand was for all 450,000 Malaysian-born but stateless Indians to be granted citizenship.
“Why not when even India-born alleged terrorist Zakir Naik can be hosted at Umno Home Minister Zahid Hamidi’s house in Country Heights and granted permanent residence (PR) status within months?”
The second demand was for all 523 Tamil schools to be granted land titles and be fully government funded.
The third was for all 18,000 Hindu temples and cemeteries to be granted land titles, and the fourth for 100,000 Felda-like land scheme titles to be granted to poor Indians.
He had also wanted 100,000 business licences with Mara-like business loans to be made available across the board.
He said the measures were to undo “60 years of injustices for starters”.
“Fast forward eight years on and on the ‘eve’ of the 14th general election, Najib now unveils yet another ‘kosong’ (blank) Indian blueprint which looks good but only on print.”
He said when the plan’s 10-year period was over and there was little or no delivery, Umno could claim that “the blueprint policy was good but it was the implementation that was bad”.
Uthayakumar also criticised MIC leaders as being powerless against top civil servants.
He questioned how effective MIC president Dr S Subramaniam would be as chairman of the blueprint’s executive committee when there was no history of top government officials being sacked for refusing to implement Najib’s earlier policies on Indians.
“What chance does the MIC president have?”

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