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MIC cronies benefitting at expense of Indians

Contributed by Anonymous on Tuesday, October 25 @ 09:09:04 CDT

CommunityK Narayanasamy
Oct 21, 05

The Indian Malaysians are a highly fragmented lot - no thanks to the colonial masters who had brought in the Tamils and Telegus as labourers while the English-educated Keralites and Sri Lankan Tamils were recruited to oversee them. Those who came on their own such as the Muslim traders, Chettiars, merchants, lawyers, doctors and other professionals never had any affiliation with the majority labour class.

The majority labour group was and still is the most disadvantaged group within the Indian Malaysian community, with a large slice of goodies handed out by the government almost always landing into the hands of the more affluent Indians.

The leaders of the community were never able to address the problems faced by the majority group, as this doesn't pay dividends to the leaders' own agenda. The political party that has been representing the community in the government has not been able to present the case of the disadvantaged group to the government through a thorough study, with proper statistics and sound grounds.

Most submissions have been based on discussions during annual conferences and show more emotion and rhetoric rather than reason and maturity. The majority of the Tamils are an emotional lot that can be easily influenced by sensational political speeches and empty promises disguised in sweet idiomatic expressions.

The party leadership has understood how to keep a hold on this community without having to actually serve it. Ultimately, the community is serving the leadership in its aspirations to hold on to office and monopolise whatever that is available for the community. The leaders and their cronies get the lion's share of low-cost houses, awards, financial help, licences, permits etc.

To enable the leadership to maintain its position, the constitution of the organisation has been amended to ensure that only cronies can hold office at various levels, and membership in a branch may be from anywhere as long as the cronies ensure payment of subscriptions. This in itself suggests that it has no intention to unite the locals and serve their needs.

Branches do not serve the community in its locality, as there may be a number of branches allowed to function in the area resulting in leaders in conflict. Most activities organised are to catch the attention of the higher-up leaders - not to serve the underprivileged families in the locality.

The plight of the Tamil schools has never been seriously studied. At present more than 60% of the 524 Tamil schools have an enrolment of less than 150 pupils. It is an open secret that such uneconomic schools do not get much assistance in its upkeep, and the government will phase them in a matter of time.

As a matter of policy, the government will not build new Tamil schools. It is up to the community to maintain the existing Tamil schools either in their present site or request for re-siting on its own initiative and expense.

Most of the Tamil schools were sited in labour intensive areas, and the Tamils there lived in quarters provided by the employers. When employment opportunities waned in these areas, the families left in search of employment elsewhere, and thus enrolment in the Tamil schools dropped.

Asking the government to repair and maintain these under-enrolled schools serving a community that is living in rented houses or in quarters on a long-term basis may not be a lasting solution, unless it is merely for lip service.

The community leaders should have made a demographic study and made recommendations to re-site these under-enrolled Tamil schools in such places. A mental revolution within the community could have been created to self-fund such schools using the Chinese community as a model.

If the Tamil community has the capacity to build expensive places of worship, and spend millions for entertainment, surely it has the means to stand on its own feet, provided there is an able leadership. For this to happen, the leaders need to educate and serve the community selflessly.

One must ask whether just by increasing the equity of the Indians to 3%, will the position of the Indians become better with the present model of leadership? I doubt very much. The cronies will be the ones to benefit in the name of the community.

It is a reality that the entrenched leadership of the community is too strong as it has maneouvered well over a period of time. The community itself is complacent as it historically has been feudalistic and vulnerable.

Disregarding the racial barriers, the national leadership should take time to look into the plight of this community by probably instituting an independent in-depth study to draw up plans to uplift it.

This underprivileged sector of the community is already viewed by many quarters as the most problematic and backward in our country. There is a danger of them making up the ghettos of Malaysia.



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