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.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sri Lankan Conflict, BN's Protest & Tamil League

Protest In KL

Hundreds of members, party supporters and NGO representatives were bussed in from all over the country for the .

This time they were joined by about 200 Putera Umno members led by Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim. There were also small representations from the youth wings of Gerakan, PPP and MCA.

Last Friday had similar but smaller demonstration at the same site.
At about 3pm, the crowd armed with placards and banners marched some 100 metres towards the Sri Lankan embassy and gathered there for about 30 minutes.

At that point the crowd had swollen to about 1,000 people, including children.
They chanted slogans such as “Don't kill the innocent”, “No war” and “Stop the killings” in Tamil. The protestors also donned black arm bands to show they were mourning for the dead civilians in the conflict.

Memorandum handed

By about 4pm, representatives handed a memorandum to Sri Lankan embassy officials - as representatives of BN Youth demanding the Sri Lankan government to cease their military aggression.

The Sri Lankan government was also urged to allow international aid organisations into the affected areas and resume negotiations with combatants.
Speaking to reporters later, chief organiser of the and deputy chief S Murugesan told reporters that the protestors represented a cross-section of Malaysians who are opposed to the violence in Sri Lanka

Abdul Azeez said that Umno Youth and youth wings of other Barisan component parties had joined the initiated demonstration on the basis of friendship.
“We give full support to this action initiated by especially in opposing the use of violence against civilians and the bombings of hospitals and schools,” he said.

He said that the was not meant to be a political action, but it should be seen as a humanitarian appeal for the Sri Lankan government to end military violence.
The event was closely watched by 50 police personnel who did not intervene except to halt the protestors 50 metres from the embassy.

Asked if a police permit had been obtained for the , Murugesan did not give a direct answer.
“We have applied for it! We were told in that in principle, they (the police) have agreed,” he said.
Tamil League

November 19th, 2008 - 3:01 pm ICT by ANI - Kuala Lumpur, Nov 19 (ANI): The Malaysian Indian Congress Youth has proposed the setting up of a Tamil League in a move to attract international attention to the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Adviser S. Vell Paari said the league should be a United Nations-recognised body, similar to the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
I believe a new league of Tamils representing their resident country should be established in Tamil Nadu to diligently and vigilantly guard over the political, economic and social agenda of Tamils living all over the world, he said in a statement.

The Star quoted Vell Paari as saying that the Tamil League should have a similar framework and diplomatic status like that of the UN and each Tamil representative from member countries should be given an ambassadorship entitling them to diplomatic immunity.

I say this to sanction a valid representation from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who can also sit within this Tamil League to voice its concerns and grievances without the fear of being detained, he said.

Vell Paari said the Tamil League could set up a committee to discuss and negotiate with the Sri Lankan Government for a peaceful solution. (ANI)
Protest In Malaysia

The MIC jokers has done it again. The civil war in Sri Lanka has been there for decades. I believe, the protest follows through various other low key protest in Tamil Nadu. What may have caught their attention and prompted them to do the same was the recent one day fast and protest held by the top Tamil Movie stars. As we all know, Indian Malaysians are strongly influenced by movies and movie stars.

This is the second protest by MIC, this time joined by youth wings of BN component parties and some small time NGOs. Solidarity it seems.

Not sure what they aim to achieve by this protest. Even the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh's request for protection of Lankan ethnic Tamils and an immediate ceasefire was bluntly rejected by Sri Lankan Premier last week.

As mentioned earlier, the civil war has been there for decades and this is a mere publicity stunt by MIC, joined by aspirants for next UMNO elections youth posts.

Tamil League

Only now I realise that Vell Paari is MIC Youth's advisor, in another word, de facto leader.

Vell Paari says Tamil League should be set up in Tamil Nadu to "diligently and vigilantly guard over the political, economic and social agenda of Tamils living all over the world"

He further adds "Tamil League should have a similar framework and diplomatic status like that of the UN and each Tamil representative from member countries should be given an ambassadorship entitling them to diplomatic immunity"

What on earth is he trying to do? Is he saying that Tamil League can interfere if Ethnic Tamils in other countries are discriminated in some way?

Imagine what will happen if the proposed Tamil League ambassadors are entitled to diplomatic immunity?

What a ludicrous proposal. Where on earth, would this come from except for in Malaysia.
While we sympathise over the issues facing Sri Lankan Tamils, we cannot but think that there are more pressing matters in Malaysia. MIC and BN Youth would get more publicity and trust if they concentrate on their motherland. Let the government handle international issues.

I also think that there's this stupid ill-concieved notion that youth wings of any political parties (mainly BN) must be aggresive and hold some form of protest, on the streets or otherwise to prove their existence. How immature!

MIC should start realising that Malaysia is their motherland, not tamil Nadu. They did not protest over attacks on various other ethnics groups in India over the last few years including those on the muslims,sikhs etc.

Why only focus on Ethnics Tamils. This indirectly insinuates that MIC represents ethnic Tamils and not all ethnic Indian groups in Malaysia.

Now the Tamil League proposal, what's next? 'Ketuanan Tamil' in Malaysia.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Anwar: Pakatan committed to ensuring Malay rights


SHAH ALAM: Malays in the five Pakatan Rakyat-held states need not fear that their rights would be eroded as the three parties in the coalition have signed an agreement to uphold the rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and he, had signed the agreement on Sept 8 as proof that all three parties would uphold Malay rights.

The agreement, he said, clearly stated that the coalition would uphold the principles in the constitution and protect the rights of bumiputras and uphold the status of Islam as the official religion.

It also states that Bahasa Malaysia is the national language and upholds the status and rights of the Sultans.He said even the social contract between the races was already agreed upon by all members of the coalition.

“We signed an agreement that cannot be changed by any party so there is no truth to claims that Pakatan Rakyat will take away the rights due to pressure from members within the coalition,” he said during a briefing for religious school teachers in the state that was organised by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department yesterday.

The four-paragraph agreement signed by the three parties also said opposition leaders rejected race-based politics as it would disrupt the unity and harmony of the community.

Anwar said the people, especially teachers in religious schools, should not fear that the Pakatan state governments would no longer look at developing Islamic studies in the five states.

He said the people should not be taken in by false accusations hurled at the Pakatan states as the governments were working to improve religious education and needed the cooperation of the teachers to implement new programmes.
This appears to be a strategic move by Pakatan Rakyat to allay fears of the Malays owing to few incidents and misteps in states governed by them. As reported in some dailies and news portals recently, Pakatan Rakyat is fast losing the support of Malays.

Why issue such a vague statement? Why can't they spell out clearly their interpretation on Malay Rights and Social contract. Is NEP equvailent to Malay rights? What about all the quotas, contracts, shareholdings etc.

Aren't DAP want equality for everyone with Lim Guan Eng pledging to do away all elements of NEP at State Level.

We also read about Kelantan MB, Nik Aziz rejecting Ketuanan Melayu as Islam does not discriminate according to race.

From what I have observed, Pakatan Rakyat has the habbit of issuing joint statements, while individual parties and their members within Pakatan Rakyat continue to speak in the contrary, according to their own Party stand.

I have nothing against NEP but it would be better that for everyone to have a clear cut, black and white interpretation on what is actually Malay Rights.

Pakatan would definitely win more support from Bumiputra and assure non-Bumiputras if they spell out clearly what they mean by this statement.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

For those who have not read this before. Enjoy..

Why did the chicken cross the road?

The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a CHANGE! The
chicken wanted CHANGE!

My friends, that chicken crossed the road because it recognized the need
to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other
side of the road.

When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken cross the
road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure -- right from
Day One! -- that every chicken in this country gets the chance it
deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.......

We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to
know if the chicken is on our side of the road or not. The chicken is
either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

We have installed crossing lights at all traffic junctions. All chickens
should follow instructions while crossing the road.

Gantry points have been set up. All chickens wanting to cross the road
are advised to top up their cash cards first.

What chickens? I don't know any chickens... especially those from
Mongolia .

We have to be fair to all chickens. Some want to cross over the road,
some do not. ........ Zzzzzz .......zzzzzz ........ Now what were we
talking about? Ah yes, chickens. We will form a Royal Commission to
decide whether it is right for them to cross the road.

Now even non-bumi chickens want to cross the road! How can they
disrespect and disregard apa nama bumi chickens? We must be allowed to
cross over first. It is our special privilege and no one can challenge

We have enough chickens waiting to cross over in September.

All foreign chickens are welcome in Malaysia but they must not cross over
the road within 50km of the border. (on foreigners buying Petrol)

Note, this was updated at the end of September 2008 by http://grouchydays.blogspot.com/

Why cross there. They should come over, because we are rebranding MIC. MIC needs lot more young chicks, I mean, chickens to help the Indian society.

Whatever decision the chickens make is for the good of the country. I leave it to the PM to decide when the chicken should cross the road. I hope all the BN members will support the decision made my the chickes on the crossing.

I will decide when the times comes about these chickents. You can keep on guessing. I know when is the right time for the chickens to cross.

It is up to, apanama, chickens to cross. Why the must the leadership decide whether the chicken should cross or not? Only time the chicken can cross the road peacefully is when the current PM resigns.

We have enough chickens waiting to cross over in September. Shit, its end of September already. We need to have a special sessions in parliment to allow the chickens to cross over.

And last but not least:

I pray and wish that all you chickens will cross the road successfully. I will try and lobby support from as many leaders as possible from this nice safe abode where I am now.
Waythamoorthy, London, UK.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Malaysia's Obama?

All the euphoria over election of Barack Obama hasn't settled yet, so allow me to join in the fray. Various politicians, analysts and leader hailed his election and hoped that Malaysia one day has it's own Obama.

M Bakri Musa article (http://rockybru2.blogspot.com/2008/11/m-bakri-musas-malaysian-obama.html) implies that Mahathir was Malaysia's Obama way back then. The only link that I see is the mixed parentage of both Mahathir and Obama. Nothing else, full stop.

US elections has some similarity with the current situation in Malaysia, Malaysians rejected Pak Lah while Obama was elected over unpopular Republicans, especially George Bush. At the same time, we had record numbers of young voters this year, similarly happened in the United States.
Obama does not even have a track record to speak of. Speak, he can but he has nothing else to show. He has gathered a group of advisors, mainly from the Clinton's administration, who are mainly past their prime.

He is unlikely to change his policies over Palestine and will continue to support the Israelis. So Malaysians, who felt equally excited over his elections must remember that there are strong Jewish, white and all kinds of lobbyist who will harras him throughout his presidency. His aging group of advisors will keep reminding him indirectly that he is inexperienced.
So we may see the same old America, maybe in the 'Clinton' mould, where they were quite reasonable then.

Obama just brought about something direct from Hollywood, the 'feel good' factor. His speeches, debates and talks has been nothing but reminded me of Anwar Ibrahim, all talk, grand sweeping statements and no action or substance.

He harped on the need to change, something that Anwar and his Pakatan partner did in the recent elections. It's just that Obama is not in office yet, so we do not know if he would deliver his promises.

I am not sure why Malaysians are excited with his appointment.If anything that exciting, it's probably because there appear to be more political awareness among the young eligible voters both in US and Malaysia. Recent report suggest that malaysia will have another 4 million new and young voters before the next general elections.

And the young Malaysians would probably get excited with some young leaders with fresh ideas. I don't see anyone in that mould. We still have veterans Anwar,Lim Kit Siang, Karpal, Najib, Muyiddin , Nik Aziz, Abdul Hadi, Samy Velu controlling their respective parties.

Mukhriz, KJ and Lim Guan Eng may represent the new generation but we dont see them as national leaders yet. Like Obama, none have proven track record and generally not seen as a true Malaysian leader. We need not even think about Khir Toyo bringing a Tempe induced 'change', should we?

Come on people, let's not get excited unnecessarily.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bahasa Malaysia

This article is actually a response to invitation to give my comments by another blogger on this article http://deminegara.blogspot.com/2008/11/racial-polarisation-and-forging-of.html
Thanks for inviting me to comment. I think I missed all the fun. It took me quite sometime to read through this extra long article. Perhaps DemiNegara should come up with a book ala TDM on his blog.

The issue and comments thereafter have digressed quite a bit from the original article, I think.
Anyway. I quite agree with the article and assertions that Bahasa Malaysia should be given it's adequate respect and used as a unifying tool of all races in the country, hence was my suggestion that we should only have one school and close down all vernacular schools.

This has been done in Singapore although their medium of instruction is in English. I don't see any Indians or Chinese in Singapore losing their culture of identity by just going to same school. This is a proven fact and education extremist in Malaysia conveniently omit this fact when arguing their case.

I am a Indian with Malayalam as my mother tongue, a national school product and have had unique experience of studying in a various different schools due to the nature of my father's job.

The most unique experience was when me and my brothers were the only non-malay in 2,000 student in a Felda school in Kota Tinggi in the late 80s. I think non-malays today would shudder to think of sending their children to such a school. This remains the point of contention by Education groups, extremist and parents for not sending their children to national schools.

Did I experience discrimination, yes I did but that's in the begining where students and teacher looked at me differently. We did get all the nasty stares, racist comments and even 'Keling' was used regularly. As the months went by, we made friends with Malays there, played with them and even hanging out with them off school hours. We were also there in the Agama classes, joined in some religious related functions (can't remember what but i do remember having a meal with my malays friends in a Dulang).

We did end up being influenced by them, Our bahasa was better and even superior than the malays themselves, that includes the dialect. As teenager, it was not a surprise that we also started to follow the dressing and hair ala rock stars. Point to note that these were the Search And Wings era. I was hooked by the rock music and we even went to the extend of analysing their lyrics. On the other hand, we still spoke our mother tongue at home, watch tamils movies without fail and not fogetting the Tamil Radio Six.

At no point I felt threatened or being forced to accept anything, including the religion. In fact we learned to understand Islam better. My understanding and the message I get from the teachers at that infacy stage is that there's nothing wrong with Islam, it's just the people who proclaim themselves Islamic and promote their own agenda the wrong way. I think the problem remains the same today. I also think that the over-islamisation of some schools and massive negative publicity they recieve when something goes wrong in national schools, prompts parents to run for cover and their cover is Tamil and Chinese Schools.

Coming back to the language, I am, at times (now becoming more regular) ashamed at the way the language is spoken by non-malays, even by non-malay graduates. I understand that at least a credit in Bahasa malaysia is required to enter unversities but then if you look at the quality of spoken Bahasa from the graduates, some are downright atrocious. This I believe, is a result of Bahasa Malaysia being taught only to pass exams begining from primary school, hence the verbal/spoken Bahasa were not given equal emphasis.

I agree that ASTRO and various radio channels available made things worse. Those days, before ASTRO came into the picture, I remember the during prime time,we are made to watch news in Bahasa Malaysia/Melayu or at one point Baku. Now we have a choice and naturally, non-malays switch to news in Tamil or Mandarin. The government, in their effort to please non-malays, allowed this freedom to continue until now where non malays do not watch Bahasa Malaysia news unless there's some controversial news in the town.

I have written on teaching maths and science in English,I do support the policy as it would definitely benefit everyone and would prove to uplift the socio-economic condition of the majority poor, regardless of race, in the long run, provided adequate support and structures are in place to undertake the effort without compromising the status of Bahasa Malaysia. The compulsory pass in Bahasa Malaysia and a Credit requirement to enter universities are a good measure to ensure students are forced to learn and master the language. In Malaysia, we may have to use this form of force to make things happen.

I would have probably repeated some of the point made by others and readers would have been bored by now. I will end my comments with this; (please apologise if there are any mistakes)

Bahasa Malaysia perlu dihormati dan diberi pengiktirafan sepenuh hati oleh semua kaum jika kaum kaum yang ada dinegara ini menganggap dirinya sebagai warganegara Malaysia yang taat dan setia. Taat and setia juga bermaksud menghormati asal usul dan suasana negara masyarakat majmuk. Inilah kesilapan TDM. TDM kata 'Melayu Mudah Lupa', saya ingin perbetulkannya, 'Rakyat Melaysia mudah lupa'.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Close Down All Tamil Schools

This article was first published by malaysiakini.com on 21st Sept 2000 and not surprisingly, never came in any mainstream newspapers.

Recent figures released by police on the increasing number of Indians involved in gangsterism is a cause for concern.

While many has commented on the issue and some even blaming government for not helping and taking action, I hold MIC solely responsible for all the ills in the community. After all, it is MIC who claims that they are the only party representing the Indian community.

MIC leaders have been issuing one statement after another, outlining their strategies and proposed activities only after the issue of gangsterism among Indian youth was highlighted and widely debated in the media. What were they doing all the while?!

One of the contributing factors leading Indian youth to gangsterism and other criminal activities is their inability to excel in education, particularly when they enter secondary school.
The new environment and being not conversant in Bahasa Malaysia which is the medium of teaching in secondary school have resulted in students dropping out after their PMR and SPM.
The reason this happens is the poor quality of Tamil schools in the country. Most of the Tamil schools in the country are poorly managed, lack facilities and are helmed by substandard headmasters and teachers.

Is there really a need for Tamil schools in the country? What are the pros and cons of being Tamil-educated in this country?
Indians may benefit if they are in Tamil Nadu but here in our country, the most one can achieve from being conversant in Tamil is to become a Tamil school teacher. Do Indian parents want this future for their children?

I studied in a national school and learnt to read, write and communicate in Tamil without much problem although my mother tongue is Malayaalam. Isn't that enough?

I believe most of the problems would be solved if we were to close all Tamil schools and have children enrolled in the national schools. This will put them on par with students of other races and not disadvantaged due to poor command of Bahasa Malaysia.

Tamil language can still be taught as an alternative but a compulsory subject and classes can be held while agama classes are being conducted for the Muslims. This measure will also help in our aspirations of seeing a united "Bangsa Malaysia" in the future.

MIC should stop pointing fingers and seriously think for the future generations of Indians in this country. It is not enough just to claim to be the only party representing the Indians.
I ask Indians, especially those who are Tamil-educated, to come forward and support this view.

Recap: This article met with fierce criticism from various quarters including this (http://www.indianmalaysian.com/violence_tamil_school.htm). I would still stick to my assertion that Malaysia should have only one school and that should be the school for everyone regardless of race or religion.

A compromise would be that languages such as Mandarin and Tamil must be taught or even made compulsory.

Educationist (I would rather label them education extremist) may not agree and staunchly defend the need to have mother-tongue education.

That's fine, can the same educationist defend the rights of mother tongue education for minor ethnic groups such as portuguese, Punjabis, Malayalees, telugu and many other ethnics in Sabah and Sarawak. Everyone know that this not possible as it would really bring about various issues and stretch government resources. But these education groups or political parties are not bothered as these minorities mean nothing in terms of votes or influence.

Various groups also opposed to the idea of having Vision Schools mooted by Dr Mahathir, giving lame excuses that they fear losing their identity. What a lame excuse.

The simple idea of having different schools in the same compound has met with fierce rejection. Are their vernacular education quality is so poor that they fear that their children would be easily influenced by kids of other races within the school compound and lose their identity.

As far as physical identity is concerned, I never seen any non-national schools with any different stuctures as compared to a national school. So it's quite baffling to hear their reasons for rejection of Vision Schools even though Dr M promised that government would assist financially.

The recent debate on teaching of Science and Maths in English has also brought about the worst in all of us. Every other group released and published research papers favouring their point of view.

Most of these research papers highlighted the failure of the policy citing recent UPSR, PMR and SPM results and concludes with how well the students education & upbringing and career would be if they are educated in the mother tongue, i.e Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin and Tamil.

In a malaysian give and take style, a compromise is apparently being worked on where teaching science and maths would only be in secondary schools. I cannot see what is the benefit of this.

Fed up with the nonsense by education and political groups, a group of Parents (The Parent Action Group for Education-PAGE) has sprung to the defence of the policy and now we have a good fight.

When cornered, everyone runs to hide behind their favourite curtain or kain ; their rights within the constitution.

In the end, race still matters to most in this country. How many actually have Mandarin and proper Tamil as their mother tongue? It's all about the quality and the systems in place and not really language.

Children can be multi-lingual if they are taught various languages at young age. How do we explain the enrollment of thousands of non-chinese in chinese schools? Have they (mainly Malays) lost their identity, faith or even forgot their mother tongue or dialects?

I regret that few non-chinese in Chinese schools and non-malays in national has come forward to defend the policy and strongly espouse the notion that young malaysians can be taught various languages at the same time in any type of school without losing their identity, culture, faith or their mother tongue.

We can do away with insignificant subjects such as history, moral studies or geography in primary schools and replace it with language classes.

Issues relating to racial unity and national intergration will continue to haunt this country generations to come until and unless young malaysian go to the same school, Full Stop...