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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

MIC still dreams of glory days of slavish Indian support

MIC still dreams of glory days of slavish Indian support

The cheek of it all! MIC deputy president S Subramanian has the temerity these days to suggest that Indian voter support for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) has increased from the dismal 40 per cent in 2008 to somewhere between 60 per cent and 70 per cent.

He must be plucking these figures from thin air in a further reflection of the denial syndrome. He has been doing the same with the figures he has trotted out to prove that the BN is at last doing something for the Indian community. Hence, the message is that quid pro quo; the community must at least do something in return for the BN.

An insult to the intelligence of the Indians

Prime Minister Najib Razak put it best in Sibu last year when he told the voters there during a do-or-die by-election: “I want to make a deal with you. You do something for me. I will do something for you.” Then he promptly went on to dangle a RM 5 million bribe before the Sibu community in the form of aid to Chinese schools.

The Sibu Chinese were outraged that Najib was trying to bribe them with their own money. The rest is history.

Subramanian obviously thinks that where the Chinese in Sibu and elsewhere were not dumb enough to swallow the BN propaganda line, the Indians in Peninsular Malaysia will happily more than make up the difference, so that MIC leaders can continue to collect the scraps and crumbs from the Umno table for themselves.

It’s pointless re-visiting the figures that Subramanian has been doling out to the media in recent days. Most of the so-called allocations on paper remain just that, allocations on paper. There’s very little evidence that funds have been released to redress the myriad grievances of the community.

In any case, these so-called allocations smack of self-serving piece-meal approaches, fire-fighting here and there with an eye on the votes.

Tamil schools still continue to leak buckets and remain no better than cowsheds; Hindu temples continue to be demolished; the community is at the mercy of the Syariah Court; 450,000 Indians are still stateless to force them do the dirty, difficult and dangerous jobs; while the police continue to beat the daylights out of Indian youth.

In the absence of a holistic approach, it is best the Indian community avoid the MIC like the plague it is.

Just be fair and don't sapu bersih

A holistic approach would include taking heed of the community's grouses as put forward in the 18-Points and the 101 Indian Issues highlighted by Indian-based organisations, Hindraf Makkal Sakthi and the HRP.

Makkal Sakthi is an NGO and HRP, led by P Uthayakumar, is a political party. Both were mysteriously denied registration by the authorities while KITA and Amanah - both run by leaders with strong Umno links - got the green light in a trice .

If the authorities cannot allow the Indian community the basic minimal right to form alternative organisations to the MIC, Umno’s lapdog and poodle rolled into one, there’s little that they can hope for from the ruling coalition.

For starters, the Umno Government doesn’t even have to go through the 18 Points and the 101 Indian Issues.

All it has to do is to weed out the deviations and distortions in the implementation of Article 153 of the Federal Constitution and the New Economic Policy, for a start. The Indian community can do the rest on their own.

Article 153

The two-pronged Article 153, whose 15-year shelf life is over, reserves a special position for the Natives of Sabah and Sarawak and the Orang Asli and Malays of Peninsular Malaysia, by way of a reasonable proportion, in four specific areas viz. intake into the civil service; intake into institutions of government-owned institutions of higher learning and training privileges; government scholarships; and opportunities from the government to do business.

Under its second prong, Article 153 recognizes the legitimate aspirations of the non-Malay communities.

Many of the woes besetting the capital-short Indian community would melt away if the Umno Government stops observing Article 153 more often in the breach and by not treating it as a “sapu bersih” (clean sweep) clause.

Likewise, the NEP which is an extension of the 4th special position under Article 153 and had a 20-year shelf life, should focus on its three tenets viz. the elimination of the identification of race with economic functions and place of residence; the eradication of poverty irrespective of race and creed; and ensure that the Natives of Sabah and Sarawak and the Orang Asli and Malays of Peninsular Malaysia own, control and manage 30 per cent of the nation’s corporate wealth.

Corporate wealth – the publicly listed companies -- should mean corporate wealth. The NEP should not be extended to cover every facet of the economy in Malaysia.

Education

The clearest indications that the Umno Government is on the mend would come when the medical degrees from Russian, Ukrainian, Crimean and Polish universities are recognised once more. This would elicit a collective sigh of relief from the many thousand Malaysian students of Indian origin who have now been left stranded ever since the Mahathir Regime, in a clear racist edict, de-recognised the said universities.

The racially-motivated Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) must be scrapped for graduates of foreign universities since graduates from local universities, who don’t have any standing at all internationally, are exempt.

Medicine and Law are two very important professions for the Indian community.

If the community dominates these two professions, it simply demonstrates the extent to which they are shut out from so many other areas of life in the country.

It’s no idle boast that some of the best lawyers and doctors in Malaysia are Indians.

Given this fact alone, it makes little sense for the Umno Government to continue to squat on the Indian community and deny them the opportunity to graduate as lawyers and doctors, among others.

Time to bury MIC and Umno

Malaysia is not built on Indian inclusiveness but Indian exceptionalism. Talented individuals from the Indian community, no matter what the odds, will always emerge and can outshine many other Malaysians who are either pampered from womb to tomb or can fall back on their capital reserves and networking.

The bottomline is that the Indian community called MIC’s bluff in 2008. There’s no reason whatsoever for the community to think that the leopard – Umno – will change its spots.

The die has been cast.

The Indian community has reached the point of no return, cut the Gordian knot and crossed the Rubicon.

For better or worse, there’s no turning back, in the quest for change and reform.

Come the next General Election, the 13th, it’s time for the Indian community to finish the job once and for all and bury MIC and Umno.

Malaysia Chronicle

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