In my opinion, none of us (Indians) should be happy with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s speech at the recent annual general meeting of the MIC last Sunday.
His words were a downright reflection of MIC’s failure in upholding our dignity and, most importantly, the future of our younger generations. Here’s why, as seen in this excerpt from the news report in Malaysiakini:
“Let’s not call Indians ‘pendatang’ don’t call Indians ‘keling’, I don’t like this, please don’t ?”
Why the need to address this issue in the MIC assembly? No, we do not call our brothers and sisters ‘keling’ or ‘pendatang’. We are this called by the other races. If PM is genuine in his request, state this in the national media, and call for legal charges on people who insult other races.
State this as a reminder at the Umno and MCA annual meetings, not ours. And if you can, educate them on the true meaning of ‘pendatang’ and ‘keling’. We, the ‘pendatang’, stepped on this Suwarna Bumi as rulers, conquerors, from the Kalinga dynasty, thus the word ‘keling’. We brought in culture, civilization, and contributed tremendously in development and economic growth.
Excerpt from a news report in The Star Online:
“The long anticipated national blueprint for the Indian community will be unveiled in January, it will be a living document and will encompass everything.”
You mean there was no blueprint for the Indians before this? We never had a fiscal roadmap? How were the wish lists for budgets/allocations drawn and justified then? Has MIC has been propelling the Indian community without any direction all this while? I am baffled.
The report adds: “Najib said many programmes that were planned for the Indian community did not fall through due to a ‘push back’ from the system.
“I keep pushing for these programmes and there is a push back. I push and there is a push back. It’s an implementation problem downline, a lot of my decisions are not executed fully.”
We all know that during his period in office, Najib has undoubtedly given away much for the Indians, from SEED (Secretariat for Empowerment of Indian Entrepreneurs) to Sedic (Socio-Economic Development of the Indian Community), to Tamil schools and temples – in the effort to empower entrepreneurs and assisting NGOs in looking into some of the long standing problems faced by us.
Shortcomings due to political interference
Sadly, we too are very well aware of their shortcomings due to political interference.
If a man who has done “at least” this much for the Indians is saying that “a lot of my decisions are not executed fully due to push backs”, what does that mean? What else are we missing on, due to the ineffectiveness of the MIC?
This is a major problem. This is the first time in Malaysian political history, that the most powerful man of the country has said something like this. That his policies and plans are not able to penetrate into a community; that plans for development and betterment have faced rejection.
How is that even possible? We, the commoners, are waiting to be uplifted via policy amendments, allocations and priorities – how can there be push backs?
This needs to be analysed. Or wait, the answers are indeed apparent.
MIC, if this doesn’t wake you up to an overall overhaul, I don’t know what else will. The PM himself has declared that there is a push back and implementation problem down the line in your AGM. So, what is your next step? Your every tier is in desperate need for re-engineering.
And knowing such push backs exist in the system, will Najib allow “only” MIC and its cronies to sit in the blueprint implementation secretariat? We might as well don’t have one.
Let the NGOs be in charge
Instead, approve more allocations for Sedic and let us, the NGOs be in charge of our people’s welfare and get down straight to the grassroots level, without the interference from political parties. Let us not repeat mistakes and waste our time.
In fact, in a video recording at the assembly posted on The Star Online, Najib can be seen and heard saying “ ...sekali lagi saya takut, bila buat keputusan ni, saya takut bila sampai ke bawah lain ceritanya”. Many delegates can be seen clapping and cheering for that statement.
MIC surely does not understand this sarcasm. It’s embarrassing to have leaders like this representing us.
The Star also reported that Najib said he has been receiving letters from many other NGO’s claiming to represent the Indians in this country despite being non-MIC bodies.
This statement was again welcomed with claps and cheers from the crowd in the hall. What they fail to see is how eager people are to claim ownership of the community that MIC has failed to guide and support.
MIC has obviously lost trust at all levels.
I must say that the only part of the speech from Najib that has held my heart captivated is ‘muneruvom’, or ‘let us progress’.
Yes, progress is what we need now, except that if you are saying it in an AGM of the MIC, you should say ‘serinthu muneruvom’, or ‘let’s progress together’.
This is something that MIC lacks in its mission. Togetherness. The leaders forget that they were chosen to lead the community to progress together, and not just for their own betterment.
S GOPINATH is president of the Malaysian Indian Network of Entrepreneurs Association (1MINE).