Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hindraf - Then And One Year Later



1. It has been exactly one year since approximately 30,000 Malaysians of Indian origin marched towards Jalan Ampang purportedly to hand over a ridiculous memorandum seeking compensation from the British Government, blamed for bringing over hundreds of thousands of people from few states in India and exploiting them as cheap labor. The wanted to sue the UK Government for US$4 trillion (US$1 million for every Malaysian Indian) for bringing Indians as indentured laborers into Malaya, "exploiting them for 150 years" and thereafter failing to protect the minority Indians' rights in the Federal Constitution when independence was granted.
2. It was found later that the memorandum was never handed over but faxed to the British High Commission. While thousand s of Indian Malaysian started gathering in pockets around KL before the sunrise, the key Hindraf leaders only arrived after lunch hours, so much for their commitment to their cause. It was also reported that the so-called marginalized Indian Malaysians was seen to be having a beer bottle in one hand while holding Mahatma Gandhi's potrait on the other hand.

3. Well, what HINDRAF refuse to understand is that their parents and leaders agreed to the 'social contract’ and related constitution wholeheartedly before the independence was granted. If they have anyone to blame, if should be the people and Indian leaders during the period.

4. HINDRAF also missed the point that, Indians from India came on their free will to seek for greener pastures in Malaya. I cannot imagine what would have been thei fate if they remained in India. They would have definitely fared much worse.

5. Judging from official statistics from the 9th Malaysian Plan, the status of Indians in this country are far better than the Malays. Note that the Indian composition in Malaysia is 7.4% while the Bumis are 66.6% but the average Indian household income is even higher than the Malays. The poverty rate of the Malays is at 8.3% as compared to the Indians at 2.9% while the percentage of Indians becoming doctors and lawyers are way higher than their population percentage! The only sort of employment that the Malays can be proud of which is nearer to their percentage of population is ‘kerani’ at 56.7%. At least the statistics above proved that the NEP had worked since its establishment in 1970. The states of the socio economy of Malays and Indians prior to 1970 were much, much worse.

6. Apart from statistics, the reality on the ground maybe a bit skewed. The massive movements of Indian Malaysians from estates and rural areas to town did cause pockets of urban poverty. It cannot be denied that Indian Malaysians found it difficult to survive and adjust to urban life especially when their means are limited. These Indian Malaysians, usually in their 40s-50s, are the ones who are still struggling as their may still have to support their families and education. They are the ones who end up being odd job workers, scrap metal traders, lorry driver and some employed by the local councils.

7. On the other hand, education opportunities and aids provided by the government, political parties (including MIC) and NGOs have somewhat helped to elevate their status from urban poor to middle class, no different from middle class Malays. There are at least one degree holders in a family as compared to say 10 - 15 years ago. Indian Malaysians also seen to be generally doing well in the new economy as evidenced in Cyberjaya where they overwhelm other races in terms of employment as evidenced by the fact that half of HSBC Cyberjaya (Cyberjaya's biggest employer) employees are Indian Malaysians.

8. With this shift and continued emphasis on education, Indian Malaysians are bound to be doing well in the coming years. As pointed out by many others, Indians and Chinese Malaysians always have their survival instincts to bank on when times are hard.

9. Some of HINDRAF's claims do have some merits though. They are opportunities in participating in government contracts, permits of all kinds, share allocations, credit facilities etc. These are bound by priorities given to Bumiputra and probably NEP. I know a few friends in the transportation bossiness who until today rents transportation permit from Malays although the own their business and lorry. This is perhaps where the government, more precisely the MIC, specifically Samy Vellu, failed. Even recommendation letter from a MIC Deputy Minister failed to get them individual permit from the local 'Little Napoleons'.

10. HINDRAF's concerns on the memorandum with regards to temples and Tamil schools contains blatant lies. Many schools were closed due to poor enrolment more than any other reasons while Indian Malaysians habit of building temples everywhere illegally are the root cause of some of the recent temple demolition. Their claims of 15,000 temples demolished over 50 years are gross exaggeration.

11. Indian Malaysians are generally emotional people still influenced tremendously by events in Tamil Nadu and not to mention, the movies. Generally they are doing fine as evidenced by official statistics. Like other Malaysians, they have this cow herd mentality where when someone shouts 'injustice', 'Oppression', 'Apartheid' etc, they just follow suit. They simply forgot how their poorly their parents and grandparents lived before in Malaya and Malaysia before them.

12. To exploit the Indian Malaysians further, you wont go wrong if you use Tamil Schools and Temples. There you go, emotions run high and suddenly they cry discrimination. This is what the learned lawyers of HINDRAF did, using temples and Tamils schools as examples of discrimination without basis. They also went on threatening the governement that they might use force/violence if their demands are not met.


12. A lot of HINDRAF supporters who went to the streets are the same ones who waste their money on booze, gambling, womanizing etc. Indian Malaysians also do not know to live within their means, they have the habit of borrowing money to hold various functions and events in their homes just in the name of religion, tradition and culture.

13. Many of HINDRAF supporters may be well read, but not well educated. They still have the inferiority complex that stops them from feeling proud to be Malaysians first. Their lack of confidence and ability to think on their own has led them to the path of HINDRAF and opposition political parties. Until today, I have yet to come across any of Hindraf supporters (many of whom are my friends and relatives) who can briefly summarise and tell me the contents of the 18 point memorandum.

14. Just before the March general elections, HINDRAF has already gained the support of 80% Indian Malaysians by the way of sympathy towards 5 leaders in ISA as well as continued nationwide gatherings where they continued to incite hatred towards MIC and UMNO. They urged their supporters to vote for opposition and the cows followed the cowboy's order without thinking. Thanks you very much says, Anwar Ibrahim and his partners in Pakatan Rakyat. This is when we saw Indian Malaysians voting for PAS. 'Makkal Sakhti' shouts Anwar in most of the rallies in urban areas and HINDRAF supported believed him outright.

15.Pakatan wins 5 states, Anwar, while claiming that he's still Sivaji, the Boss, went on pursuing his dreams of becoming the Prime Minister. Hindraf on the other hand has disintegrated into several factions while there were many accusations of misappropriation of funds donated by their supporters.

16. So what did HINDRAF do with the win of opposition in 5 states, so far absolutely nothing! Since most of their issue concerning land and local issues, they should have by now, pressured all the Pakatan Rakyat states to convert or allocate lands for Tamil Schools and temples, provide employment in local council and the state government, pressure state governments demanding equal opportunities in permits, contracts etc.

17. What have the Pakatan Rakyat government done in appreciation of HINDRAF's support, also absolutely nothing. So, what have they (HINDRAF) been doing then, nothing else but organising prayers all around Malaysia hoping for the release of 5 HINDRAF leaders detained under ISA, until the government outlawed HINDRAF.

18. So one year later, HINDRAF have lost their plot, so are the leaders from Pakatan Rakyat who amassed their support during the recent elections. Everything is back to square one. I have seen a decline in support of HINDRAF. Some Indian Malaysians realised that they have been hoodwinked by both HINDRAF and Pakatan Rakyat leaders. Sigh..., at least some of them have started to think, never mind it's about one year late, its still better than never.

19. HINDRAF supporters are in a serious denial mode. They have to realise their own weaknesses and work on improving them. Their future is well within their own hands, many know and realise that but they are told otherwise by some foolish lawyers. They are often reminded indirectly of their inferiority complex and constantly urged to fight for their rights when issues like temples and schools are brought up where the actual facts are misrepresented. They also have a serious problem of believing in half-truths and rumours without taking the effort to verify facts.

20. It has come to a stage where, there are no point of blaming one party and relying on another party to uplift their socio-economic status. What they need now is confidence, continuous education, resourcefulness and ability to chart their own future.

17 comments:

Rakesh Kumar said...

Great post. Another eye opener. We need reminder like this time to time…so that we remember why and what Hindraf was all about in the first place.

Today, I received an SMS from a Hindraf supporter asking to celebrate the day for the success of the rally and for slaying, “ravana known as MIC”, therefore it should be our Deepavali.

My question is, did we kill MIC? Its there. Its alive. Samy Velu is still the president and is going to be for another term. Who is dying here? What has Hindraf done to make MIC to realise that it has been MIC’s fault all along? How does supporting Pakatan Rakyat is going to make MIC confess its guilt? What is Anwar the Boss doing nowadays? September 16 is long gone, and so is all the promises they have given you, Hindraf supporters. Wake up. It is us for ourselves. Start hammering on MICs door. Why would you even want to celebrate Nov 25, when MIC is still alive and well and still talking nonsense. Go to them, bring them to their knees.

Anonymous said...

It seems than in Malaysia and in America, achievements of each race are categorized for others to judge. Hispanics and Blacks are deemed inferior to Asians and Whites eventhough there are many Hispanics and Blacks who are far more successful than Asians and Whites.

We are somehow trying to make a case for the role of genes on the success rate and the failure rate of each race in a multicultural nation.

PathmanCK said...

One thing Hindraf has not forgotten is the Brothers who started the struggle in the start.
Nothing can be accomplished in a year. UMNO has superior in this country. Even Gandhi took 30 years to get independence.
Hindraf started the struggle. People like you and me. The next generation that needs carry this responsibility to seek justice. Even one lost faith is a great lost to our struggle. Contribute ideas to struggle. MIC is lost cause, forget about them. Talk of the New Indians of Malaysia. What we can do?

Kay said...

Good post there, well said. Cant Agree more!

Dear Rakesh,

As the cow story goes, when one says MIC is at fault, everyone follows suit! As i see it, Indians will always blame other Indians for their downfall! Even if another political party comes along, Indians will always be segregated.

One should have self realization and determination to succeed, and not blame others for their downfall! One should remove the dependency on policies & ang pow's from governments. And thrive to achieve glory. Only then a community can walk with pride...

Should just stop demonizing & ridiculing government,UMNO, MIC, keadilan, DAP..... its just amateurish! Constructive criticism is A ok..but name calling, and throwing allegation without any basis, but only hearsay...its fucked up..

Anonymous said...

ur article is like more 2 suport NEP, MALAYS n UMNO. frm ur writing u didnt show any way or solution 4 indian comunity rather than condem INDIANS n HINDRAF while claming u r a INDIAN (mayb u going 2 convert ISLAM in future perhaps).

find out ones weakness or their bad ting is easier thn try 2 help thm to ovrcum it. in ur wring wat i c its like u don like b INDIAN but claim u r a INDIAN!

wring someting bad is easy but wat n wer ur role 2 help thm?? perhaps ppl like will hide bhind cyber n jus wrote bad tings i tink... i would appreciate if u giv any sugestion or solution 2 improve INDIAN comunity rather thn point out al d bad tings.

so u goin 2 accuse me "anthr emotional outburst"?? bcz i saw dat ur FAVOURITE coment twrds ppl who don agree wit ur idea n giv ny coment bout it. u so hapy if any1 suport u n condem d party who r u talking abt.....

balan said...

Dear Anonymous,

I am a Malaysian first.

If you are able to read properly, I did agree with HINDRAF on some points and suggested what they should have done.

Numerous papers, suggestions, proposals, allocations, have also been presented over the years by experts, politicians (eg Prof Ramasamy), YSS, etc.

Nothing can be accomplished if Indians continue to live in denial, don't like their weaknesses to be told or reminded.

We may support HINDRAF or any Indian leaders if it represents the truth, unfortunately HINDRAF is not. Their claims are full of lies and blatant exaggerations.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion, no matter that you are also hiding behind the cyberspace.

Where are your suggestions bro.you are also criticising me without giving out any suggestions

Anonymous said...

Dear Annynomous,
You have points, but why don't you use proper spelling for each words.

It make me headache to read it.

I would agree with Balan, HIDRAF lives in denial. This minority of minority blaming other people for their proverty or suffering so-called.

Let's face it, with the current situation, MIC might be the only party that you can depends on. Go and chase them to work.

Murthi said...

I have been to many Indian Bloggers site and many of them write articles or comments blaming Islam, Malays, Umno for the poor state of Indians in Malaysia.

I wonder do we need these kind of sentiments. Indians who complains about the living conditions here should take a look at India. Why comparisons are only made with advanced countries such as US, UK or Australia. Why not compare with India.

Also, those who are championing the cause of Tamil schools and temples but at the same time comparing to US, UK, do they get to learn Tamil over there or are there as many temples as we have it over here.

Cucu Tok Selampit said...

My dear friend Balan,

Nice article with valued points. It is good to here from your side of the community. As you said earlier, we are Malaysian first. As long as we remember that nothing will jeopardize our ethnics relationship. Hopefully Malaysian can get rid of these moron racists.

burujerdi said...

Dear Balan,

I like the way you opined and wrote. You have clearly underscore all those mind-boggling issues which I supposed had mesmerised the Indian community for all too long. I'm a bit racist, a Malay watchdog if you can call it, but when certain issues pertaining to humanity is under scrutinity, I'm all out for it. So count on me.

Again your writing is an elixer for those who seek to uproot all sorts of self-denial and inferiority complex within ones own domain.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I am glad people like you exist among us Malaysians.

Anonymous said...

4 those who coment abt my speling i would say ppl who givin cmnt wan 2 write it fast n short.. if u cnt read it thn u f serious reading prob!

balan i dnt tink so i need write up my sugestion 2 u...cz im doin my part in real wrld nt lk u hidin bhind cyber wrld n critic Indians. im not goin 2 waste my energy 2 write al dat cz ppl like u hapy 2 condem our comunity witout doin anyting..

im critic u cz im doin my part in real wrld n u jus mk warm ur bals n writin bad ting abt Indians. so wen u write sumtin abt comunity where u nvr do anyting 4 d comunity thn u shld prepare 2 hear sum coments frm d comunity!

but ur prob is wen ppl coment on u thn cant acept it n start talk al d rubbish.

Shubash Kumar JB said...

Mr Anonymous, I think you got serious inferiority "Indian" complex problem.Its very simple. Your spellings are out and yet you dont want to admit your mistake, blaming others have reading problem.I think you just go out and be at the real world as you claim to be. And its funny that you say others are hiding in cyberspace whereby you yourself didnt reveal your identity. Its really funny. I advice you that better go and do something for the Indian community that you want to upheld since you said the rest are not doing anything.

anaklangkawi said...

Balan,

Great thought & article. I must say most of the malays within UMNO, PAS & majority of malays is against this HINDRAF. Their alligation is baseless & in a way hurt us malays.

& i dont understand the hindraf supporters which clearly been used by certain parties to gain political milestone. Anyhow, in ISlam there's a verse says that "The god will not help u untill u help your self". So for me Hindraf should help themself 1st before start blaming others..

p/s: Just ignore the anonm.

ayiem said...

I cant agree more with u...its totally vivid that Indians in this country are far...I mean totalllly far better than Indians in the region of India itself...Imagine urself as one of your ancestors,having nothing to eat in India and all of sudden u're given a chance to change your life by working in Tanah Melayu....Of course u'll take it isn't it....my point here is that...actually, Indian had and has NEVER been looked down or used by the citizen of Malaysia...We, chinese Indian and Malay....grow up together in peace despite some of the so-called 'pejuang bangsa' trying to make chaos here....so,be proud of that....we dont need HINDRAF...coz we are MALAYSIAN!


check my blog at :
ayiem88@blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Hindraf is fighting for hindu power like BJP in India.Something like hindu supremist RSS in India, not fighting for estate indians as i can see the living standard of estate indians is quite high now,at least they own cars and motorcycles unlike indigenous people in Sarawak and Sabah.Hindraf protested at British embassy,KL last year,why? Because they wanted their "protest" to be broadcast around the world.What they demand is ridiculous, if they really want to migrate to Britain(one of their demands)they might as easily apply to return to India!MIC had created quite a lot of millionaires crony of indian ethnic,(they are staying in posh areas like bangsar Pantai hills,bukit bandaraya,damansara heights and the surrounding area)but like i say,indian hindus in malaysia are demanding more power.Some of MIC members also support Hindraf.The only way to make MIC"alive" again is to drop Samy velu.He had been ruling like Tamil king.Pakatan rakyat rule better now in five states because UmNo is watching evry single moves they make and PR will find that they had no chances of corruption!BPR will straight away knocking on PR's door if there is one!

putera said...

Like other Malaysians, they have this cow herd mentality where when someone shouts 'injustice', 'Oppression', 'Apartheid' etc, they just follow suit. They simply forgot how their poorly their parents and grandparents lived before in Malaya and Malaysia before them.

same goes to malays.

refer to your statement, they can read well, but not educated...

we facing the same problem.