My heartiest congratulations to the MIC Youth chief, C Sivaarrajh, for coming up with I-Padu. The fact that the willingness to be audited is coming from a MIC leader itself is very impressive and was surely one that was not expected by many of us. Bravo, our society needs more youngsters like Sivaarrajh to be on the front lines.
On a separate note, dear Sivaarrajh, while an external independent audit team is important, and surely crucial to regain trust from Indians in this country, there are another two elements that you should be focusing on as well - efficiency and relevance.
Corruption and misuse of funds is not new in this country; in fact, it’s an unending global issue. Every leader squanders as much as he can but there are some who are highly respected and adored. What differs them from the ones we spur with hatred is delivery and competence.
People question about fund management because we don’t see relevant, priority based action taken by MIC.
Census and number of Indian voters
The general election is around the corner, what are the efforts taken by MIC to ensure that all, or close to all, eligible young Indians have registered as voters?
There are only 975,193 registered voters out of the 2 million Indian population in Malaysia up to July 2016. Does that mean that we have 1,024,807 Indians in this country that are below 21 years old?
On the other hand, are we only 2 million in this country, or 2,219,000 to be precise, according to Jabatan Perangkaan Malaysia. A look at the Thaipusam crowd in Batu Caves alone make me doubtful on this figure. I hope MIC sees as well the urgent need for an independent and thorough census on our population.
The numbers will determine many other outcomes. Without a solid number of population or registered voters, our voices and demands will not be paid much attention. In government, it’s always a number game and what are the measures taken by MIC to confirm the statistics and increased number of Indian voters?
Let us not forget that priorities for housing, employability, scholarships are allocated based on the number of people each political party represents. MIC has requested for direct employability in government for the past few years and yet, we neither see it materialising nor MIC coming up with a concrete action plan to make it happen.
Conclusion is, the bigger we are, the better we are treated. So get the figures correct.
Identity card and birth certificate issue
It’s embarrassing to still discuss on this matter. By now we should have close to zero issues in this field. The mechanism for both voters recruitment and IC issues is the same;
HQ to set target numbers.
Every chief to report to the higher officers within a given deadline.
Number of recruitments/cases solved = KPI
These should be implemented first before it’s too late. Deliver these documents within a short period of time upon submission of complete details from the applicants.
Medical benefit for senior citizens and disabled people
I have read articles on MIC Youth teams visiting and donating to them but my concern is, for how long will you keep surveying and donating to them on case-to-case basis? It’s time MIC set up a separate ‘Health Benefits Fund’ for senior citizens (60 years and above) and the needy.
This body should tie up with government hospitals (pharmacies) to allow respective members to go ‘cashless’ on drugs purchases, dialysis and cancer treatments. It will lessen their burden and indirectly contribute to MIC’s members recruitment. Caring for the disabled, the needy and senior citizens is one way to show that MIC is truly concerned about our society’s welfare.
Scholarship - fund ready system
A well-educated generation is what we need to ensure continuous progress and transition into independent society. At such, education fees should never be a worry for our children or their parents. MIC should look into setting up allocation for this purpose. Every child born to needy parents or a child growing up desiring to further his/her studies in a field that is unaffordable to his family - should be made ‘fund-ready’ by the time he/she completes SPM.
Brainstorm on how this fund can be set-up and all Indians are ready to contribute if it is screened and monitored by independent officers.
1Family - 1Home
Educate our people on the importance of acquiring properties - a home, at least. This is a basic investment and if we are talking about houses, it’s a basic need. Encourage them to buy the property rather than renting it. Every family must have their own comfortable home, a property on their own. MIC must make it possible (come up with a housing scheme, grant with developers) for each family to be able to own at least one house by the year 2020.
These are among the type of task executions that will create brand loyalty to MIC.
I-Padu will reduce the rumors and change the perception for a short period of time (if the committee consists of independent officials and leaders from oppositions) but the actual dissatisfaction can only be tackled by executing priority based activities. People feel MIC is not addressing the real issues.
I see improvement in MIC’s wish list for budget 2017 - among them are a couple of which I constantly advocate; full residential schools and employability. However, I did not see anything regarding extra tv channel in national broadcasting media; as a platform to channel information on government aids, MIC leader’s grass root engagement, financial assistance by banks, etc. Probably that could be included too.
However, still a great job and bravo once again for being able to conclude a productive list but remember, it doesn’t end there. Fund allocation is one thing, being able to trace out relevant, realistic, visionary plans is another.
Remember, politics is not about power, but it’s about serving. Serving the people who have turned you into a politician.
I see light but I hope it doesn’t die out too soon.
S GOPINATH is president of the Malaysian Indian Network of Entrepreneurs Association (1MINE). -Mkini