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Sunday, February 27, 2011

BN’s failure to help the Indian community


Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said that the Indian community did not need Hindraf, the banned Hindu Rights Action Force because the government was capable of looking after the interests of the Indians.

Najib believed that the Indian community should be with BN as only BN was serious about the future well-being of every race in the country.

He said, “We have taken action on the question of Indian community interests, meaning that they don’t need Hindraf, they only need BN.”

We have heard that one before, Najib.

If BN was really serious about the well-being of the Indian community, it has a strange way of showing its concern.

The truth is BN, principally MIC, have never been bothered about the plight of the Indians. After 53 years of BN, what improvements have the Indian to show for BN’s supposed concern?

A high percentage of Indians make up our hard-core poor. The only time they get a look in is prior to the elections when the Indians are treated like a political football and used as bargaining chip for both sides of the political divide.

The allegations of large-scale fraud by Samy Vellu, to create a family fortune with alleged properties in Australia, and factories and business concerns in India only intensified the sense of outrage felt by some MIC supporters.

But what has BN done about the common problems that plague the Indians who live and work in the estates?

In the political tsunami of 2008, the Opposition took over some states in Malaysia. In the course of the administration of these states, the Opposition discovered that BN had either let slide, or covered-up, many issues that the electorate had wanted to be resolved. Some were to do with amenities or infrastructure. Others were facilities like clinics, schools, or housing.

But the most pressing problems within the Indian community were to do with birth certificates and identity cards.

Many on the estates do not own identity cards. No one has told them how to get one and as they have no idea they needed one, they simply existed without one.

The real problem occurs when they try to register their children for school. They can’t, without an identity card.

The spiral of violence continues. Without an education, how will they get knowledge and skills so that they can get good jobs to improve their own lives and that of their families?

Many scratch a living in the rural area. If they have jobs in the estates or similar, they are taken advantage of, for lack of the relevant ‘papers’.

They are also denied many of the welfare aid as they have no papers to support their identities or proof that they are Malaysians. They are denied medical care, voting rights, being able to open a bank account, to start a business or learn how to drive.

Without a birth certificate and identity card, their lives are in limbo.

They are so destitute that with our without schooling, many children simply drop out of school. Without a role model, many children either get involved in illegal activities or end up starting a family.

Many of the girls who get pregnant are underaged. They may go through the religious rites for the wedding at the temple but without an identity card, cannot register their marriage and so the spiral of poverty continues. When their child ren are born, they cannot register the children’s birth because as parents, they do not have identity cards.

If people blame the Pakatan government for neglecting the Indian communities, they might want to reflect how two, possibly three, generations of Indians have been failed by BN who have ruled for 53 years. BN’s 53 year rule was one of empty promises.

And if there wasn’t enough confusion already, national registration is run by the Federal government. Allocation of funds for certain projects is controlled by Putrajaya.

The sad thing is that many of the children gravitate to a life of crime, depression, alcohol abuse or drug dependence. The rate of maternal mortality is high, many children are sickly. Without a mentor, how can the children hope to have any aspiration?

The greater tragedy is that when one of their own breaks loose from this pitiful existence, very few venture back to help their poor downtrodden family or friends. Sounds familiar?

Why should the Indians or other communities require BN’s services anymore? BN was a major disappointment for the last 53 years. - Malaysia Chronicle

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