Since Independence in 1957 and through the NewNational Economic Policies, OPP 1,2,3 and right up to the 8th Malaysian Plan the Indian poor have been marginalized and sidelined. In all the aforesaid national development programmes no affirmative action
programmes have either been designed or implemented with the view to uplift the living standards of the Indian poor and taking them out of povertyremaining in the lower income group. This has resulted in about 80% of the Malaysian Indians remaining in poverty andor in the lower income group.
The recent statement by Cabinet Minister Dato' SeriS.Samy Vellu that Dr.Mahathir did not do as promised to help the Malaysian Indian Community is true. Samy
Vellu and the MIC have allowed themselves to be "used" by Dr.Mahathir and the ruling elite to shortchange the Indians in every Malaysian Development Plan. This is to justify their continued existence in the government and private sectors and being at the expanse of the poor Indians. Samy Vellu and the MIC repeatedly claim to be able to solve Indian problems but achieved almost nothing through government development plans.
Even the very basic human necessities have not been addressed even after 50 years of Independence. The truth is the MIC is powerless and the said ruling
elite have no regards for them even though the MIC is a very senior partner in the ruling coalition.
This is so much so that over the last 25 years the Indian poor in Malaysia have degenerated into the "negros" of Malaysia. Dr.Mahathir is primarily responsible for the current pathetic state of affairs befalling the Malaysian
Indian poor as follows: -
1. KG.MEDAN GENOCIDE
The genocide against the innocent and unarmed people of Kg Medan in 2001 left 100 over killed and or seriously injured still remains a mystery. The Malaysian Human Rights Commission refused to hold an inquiry while the State refused to hold a royal
commission of inquiry. The courts Attorney General refused to hold Inquests into the deaths contrary to Article 5 of the Federal Constitution and section 339
of the Criminal Procedure Code. Worst still only USD526.00 to a maximum of USD6, 578 for some victims being permanently maimed and or loss of life cases
was awarded for the said victims though RM136.8 billion was approved for the 2006 budget (The Star Online, Friday, September 30th, 2005)
2. VICTIMISATION BY POLICE STATE
Studies have revealed that the Indian poor form about 60% of suspects shot dead by the police including an 8-month pregnant Indian lady, 60 % of innocent people
dying in police custody, 60% of suspects detainees in police lockups and other detention centres. Latest update, Malay Mail, October 3rd 2005 at page 4, 4
ethnic Malaysian Indian men (mere suspects) were shot dead by the police in one day and in one incident. There was zero outcry from the "Malaysian civil
society" as opposed to the London underground suspected bomber who was shot dead and getting worldwide attention and the Prime Minister of the UK apologizing despite being a country at war (Malay Mail, October 3rd, 2005 at page 3) and "Senior cop to
be charged" New Straits Times, October 9th 2005 at page 29. Gory pictures for Items 1 and 2, click here .
3. NO EFFECTIVE LEGAL AID
Out of the aforesaid 60% suspected ethnic Indian criminals, almost 95% of them plead guilty when they may not necessarily be guilty. Most of the crimes they
commit (if any) are poverty related. They c annot afford legal fees and neither is there an effective
legal aid system. They spend long prison sentences and come out of prisons to be more hardened criminals and potential terrorists.
4. UNIVERSITY INTAKE
University intake for Indians reduced by about 50% from the over 10% quota in 1970 to 5.2% in 2003. In 2004 the supposed meritocracy system was introduced
but it turned out to be "meritocracy without merits" Hundreds of especially poor ethnic minority Malaysian Indian students were deprieved of their basic right to education. Matriculation courses for entry into public universities are almost exclusively for the majority Malay Muslim community.
5. MEDICAL SEATS
Medical seats in the University of Malaya was reduced by 98% from 16 seats in 2001 to only 1 seat in 2003. This in effect means that the almost 1.8 million
Indians have to compete for just one (1) medical seat at this university. When they opted to study at affordable Universities overseas, the government in June 2005, in an effort to reduce the number of ethnic Malaysian Indian medical students studying overseas
acted in the most hostile m anner. The Crimea State medical university's medical degrees were derecognised for dubious and questionable reasons. In an effort to reduce the number of Indian medical doctors most other foreign medical universities with high ethnic Malaysian Indian student enrolment is currently having its status reviewed and is also expected to be derecognised.
6. TAMIL SCHOOLS
80% of the 523 Tamil schools (ethnic minority Malaysian Indian schools) are in dilapidated conditions with almost no sports, recreational,
computer, library and other basic facilities accorded to National Schools and is still not made fully aided government schools when primary school education has
been made compulsory by law. To the contrary, the prime minister announced a sum of RM1.8 billion for primary and secondary schools in the 2004 budget (NST
13/9/2003 at page 12 (Note: all the above are in breach of Article 8 (equality before the law and Article 12 (rights to education) of the Federal Constitution and the Education Act 1968. About 95% of these Tamil schools do not have kindergartens unlike 99% in national schools which has the same.
7. HINDU TEMPLE DEMOLISHMENT
Malaysia is about the one and only country in the world where one Hindu temple shrine is unlawfully broken down by the state authorities in every three
weeks contravening article 11 (freedom of religion) of the Federal Constitution and the Penal Code. The emergency ordinance (outdated by about 40 years) is often used to legalise their actions. There have been reported cases of policemen torching temples, motolov *****tails thrown into temples by policemen and state authorities or they are simply burnt down or bulldozed down.
8. MAJORITARIAN RULE THROUGH THE CIVIL SERVICE, POLICE
AND ARMED FORCES
About 97% of the Civil Servants, police and armed forces personnel are form the majority Malay Muslims. This "force" is used to rule by "majoritarian might"
at the expense and violations of fundamental Human Rights and victimization of this ethnic minority Malaysian Indians.
9. TOKEN PARTICIPATION IN THE CIVIL SERVICE
Discrimination in employment in the Civil Service sectors (Indian participation in the civil service reduced from about 40% in 1957 to about 2% in 2003.
This remaining 2% of these Indians largely work in the clerical and industrial manual group (IMG) levels. Senior, Middle level and executive level civil service
jobs are almost exclusively for the majority Malay Muslims. For promotions etc there is no equal opportunity. This is contrary to article 8 (equality before the law) of the Federal Constitution.
10. DISCRIMINATION IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR
The economy is controlled by the ethnic Chinese minority. The Government has "forced" the Chinese to "accept" average Malay Muslims into the top levels of
the business and corporate sectors. Only the cream of the ethnic minority Indians (about 1%) make it in the private sector
11. NO BUSINESS LICENCES / OPPORTUNITIES
Mearge or no business licences opportunities small businesses commercial licenses for Malaysian Indians to run businesses resulting in less than 1% Indian
participation in the country's economic wealth. (and that too believed to be largely held by one state sponsored Indian millionaire).
12. LOWEST PER CAPITA
Studies have revealed that Indians have the lowest per capita income of only about RM 1000.00 per month when the national per capita income is projected at
RM17,741 in the 2006 budget (The Star Online September 30th 2005) This is about 98.3% below the national average. At the ground we are aware of many ethnic
Indian families earning a mearge RM450.00 (USD 118.00) per month.
13. ABUSE OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN
Everyday even ethnic minority Indian women and children are not spared. As part of interrogation by the police, an Indian lady was told to perform oral sex on another male detainee at the Rawang police station. Her husband was then brought in naked before
her and her daughter. She was then told that her 18 year old daughter would be raped later that night. Another 14 year old ethnic minority Indian boy was arrested from his house and was told to do 150 push ups in police custody. When he stopped at 20 he was
kicked with police boots which broke his leg.
14. LABOUR CLASS
Hopelessness, poverty and lack of opportunities leads to high Indian involvement in crime arising out of poverty. 80% of ethnic Malaysian Indians have
degenerated into becoming laborers, Industrial Manual Group (IMG) workers, office boys, security guards, public toilet cleaners, general workers, road sweepers, beggars, squatters, criminals, gangsters etc, as a result of the nearly 50 years of direct
discrimination by the state government.
15. ETHNIC MALAYSIAN INDIAN POOR
Indians form sixty percent (60)% of urban squatters and forty-one (41)% of beggars (the economist 22/2/2003). About 80% of this community is in the poor and or hardcore poor bracket but receives the least attention as they don't have any political clout
locally and or their plight not properly ventilated by the NGOs, Opposition parties and the Malaysian civil society locally and or internationally.
16. POVERTY AMONG ESTATE WORKERS / URBAN LABOURERS
Fifty-four (54%) of Malaysian Indians work as plantation or urban underpaid laborers. (Asiaweek 26/1/2002)
17. PATHETIC MONTHLY WAGES
After 46 years of independence the state has capped the monthly salary of plantation workers at RM325.00 (USD85.00) per month and RM 350.00 (USD92.00) per
month for rubber tappers.
18. POOR STUDENTS
RM200 million was allocated to assist poor students to continue with their education (NST 13/9/2003 at page 12) but it is doubtful if even 1% of the ethnic
minority Indians benefit from this allocation.
19. EMERGENCE OF A NEW ETHNIC MALAYSIAN INDIAN
Over the last 25 years a new ethnic Malaysian Indian criminal class has emerged as a result of the aforesaid years of direct discrimination, oppression
and suppression. High incidences of crime, violence, slashings and killings largely among themselves take place even over the most mundane issues and or is poverty related.
Due to rapid development large plantations have been developed resulting in the plantation workers being displaced and forced to become squatters. Their
squatter colonies are in turn demolished to make way for development with no or little alternative housing. Classical case of poverty leading to further poverty.
21. ORPHANS OLD FOLKS
The majority of orphanages and old folks homes are filled up with members of this ethnic minority Indian community. This is yet another clear indicator of poverty.
22. SKILLS TRAINING
Access to even the lowest level skills training Institutions are deprived for this community resulting in most of them remaining unemployed or unskilled
workers. Even at the NTS Arumugam Pillai skills training Institute which was build on funds derived from the dissolution of the South Indian Labour Fund, not even a single ethnic Malaysian Indian student was admitted in the first intake.
23. UNDO*****ENTED ETHINC MINORITY MALAYSIAN INDIANS
Despite 48 years of Independence, there are thousands of ethnic minority Malaysian Indians left being undo*****ented, without birth certificates, identity
cards, marriage certificates etc. This in effect precludes and excludes them from even the formal primary schooling structure what more obtaining licences to run a business or from securing employment. (c/f almost all aboriginal people in the remotest areas Malaysia are do*****ented)
24. HIGHEST SUICIDE RATE
Indians have the highest suicide rate in the country because of primarily poverty or poverty related matters, loss of loved ones for example, divorce, etc.
Health Minister Datuk Chua Soi Lek stated ,"For Indians, 21.1 persons for every 100,000 suicides, Chinese 8.6 persons for every 100,000 suicides and for Malays 2.6 persons for every 100,000 suicides (Sadatul Nahir and Rosli, Utusan Malaysia 12/9/2005)
25. NO INDEPENDENT MEDIA
The local print and electronic media gives this community the lowest priority though they suffer the most serious discrimination, victimisation and violations of human rights. The local media too plays to the gallery and almost often highlighting
"majoritarian issues" issues which carries mileage. The International media prefers Iran, Africa, Katrina terrorist etc.
26. UNCARING INDIAN PROFESSIONALS BUSINESSMEN.
Indian professionals and businessmen do not care and or shy away and or out of fear of the government keep away from the real problems befalling on this
community. They want to be seen to be "multi-racial" "non racist" and or championing "majoritarian" issues arising out of minority complex inferiority complex syndrome.
27. LEAST ATTENTION BY THE OPPOSITION PARTIES NGOS'
AND CIVIL SOCIETY.
Because this community is politically, economically and internationally insignificant and where there is not much "mileage" to be made, and or no local and
or international funding, even the opposition parties, NGOS' and the Malaysian civil society generally give this community the least attention and or prefer to
play to the gallery and or the "majoritarian issues" and or rather focus on where there is local or international "mileage" to be made. In short they too are generally "selective" in championing even the worst violated cases issues and or Human Rights
issues. (Refer Latest Open Letter dated 5/9/2005 by 30 Malaysian NGOs campaigning for all issues concerning merely the majority community internationally
acclaiming issues except the most serious affecting the Malaysian Indians) Click here for the open letter
28. THE MALAYSIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION AND THE ROYAL COMMISSION ON THE POLICE REFUSE TO REPORT THE TRUTH
The Malaysian Human Rights Commission and the Royal Commission on the Police have continuously refused to report even the most serious violations of human
rights by the state against this community. For example the Kg.Medan genocide, shootings to death of suspects, some deaths in police custody and the gunpoint attack on a human rights lawyer.
29. INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY?
The independence of the judiciary has been put to question in the aforesaid -Kampung Medan genocide for example when the High Court struck out with costs a
civil suit by a victim bring a class action against the Malaysian Human Rights Commission for failing to hold an Inquiry without even hearing the merits of the
case which the victims believe is because all the victims were ethnic minority Malaysian Indians and the attacks are believed to be state sponsored. Most other
such cases against the state authorities are dismissed in a similar fashion or at the end of the trial.
30. INDEPENDENT ATTORNEY GENERAL?
The Attorney General has not been independent in many instances where he has acted partially in prosecuting lawyers activists for defending the rights of this
community and or for failing to initiate Inquests into custodial deaths deaths by police shootings of suspects and or for failing to prosecute police
criminals authorities and or for failing to act without fear or favour.
31. GOVERNMENT BODIES INSTITUTIONS NOT INDEPENDENT
Almost all government institutions including hospitals, police, chemistry registration department etc are biased and in favour of the government and have been known or engaged in "covers up" in favour of the authorities and against the people and in
particular the ethnic minority Malaysian Indians.
32. NO FUNDING FOR NON PRO-GOVERNMENT NGOS
No funding is granted by the Government for almost all non pro-government NGO's with which they would be a million times more effective.
33. FEAR FACTOR
This community as a result of the years of oppression and suppression and the factors hereinabove mentioned has turned out to be a fear riddled community. They
are fearful to stand up for even the worst form of violations, victimisation, discrimination and human rights abuses against them. The fatal factor is that
they even get the least support from even NGOs, Opposition parties and the "Malaysian Civil Society".
We hereby call upon the Prime Minister and the Government of Malaysia to stop the sidelining and marginalising especially the Malaysian Indian poor.
We call upon for the creation of equal opportunities for all Malaysians including and not excluding the Malaysian Indian poor. As an immediate and urgent step
forward we call for the extension of all affirmative action plans and programmes for the majority MalayMuslim community also to be extended to all the
Malaysian Indian poor.
We finally hope that Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi does not also "do a Dr.Mahathir" at the end of his tenure as Prime Minister