Archive for February 2011

MYDAFTAR is the new political tool to hoodwink the Indian community

February 21, 2011

The systematic neglect and marginalization of Malaysian plantation workers, who are predominantly Indians for the past 54 years, has made them the new underclass community along with Orang Ulu of Sabah and Sarawak and Orang Asal of peninsula Malaysia. But the difference, is Malaysian Indians are still treated as immigrants while the others are natives of this soil. That makes the Malaysian Indians the underclass in the underclass community which is a totally hopeless situation. This hopeless situation is further enforced by corruption in the powerful police and civil service and deliberate neglect and political hegemony of UMNO.  The awakening after the Hindraf led protest resulted in drying up of loyal Indian votes for UMNO government in the march, 2008 national elections.

To win back the lost Malaysian Indian voters, PM Datuk Seri Najib and the past Samy Velu MIC leadership has hit on the stateless and non-citizenship problem of thousands of Malaysian Indians. This is a marked improvement because MIC always prevailed upon UMNO government that Indian problems are only Tamil schools and temples. Even though the registration of birth certificate and identity card are huge problems for the poor and less educated plantation workers, the 54 years delay in solving, have exposed the community to many other social diseases such criminal activities among youths. Large numbers of single mothers whose husbands are in jail, on drugs or eloped with other women with no birth certificates for children, large numbers of non-skilled workers now competing with millions of legal and illegal foreign workers, no opportunities and financial support for further education both locally and overseas for school leavers and complete shutdown in government procurement to Indian businessmen. The unavailability of birth certificates and identity cards for plantation workers and dysfunctional families has caused tremendous hardship and lost opportunities for thousands of families. The government had not made any attempt to change policies and practices to make other Malaysians more inclusive and to play a meaningful role in nation building despite the 1Malaysia campaign.

BN government’s one off program like the MY DAFTER are all politically motivated to get votes, rather than to find a more permanent solution. Racial segregation and sentiments have gone down the bones and blood of the Malaysian bureaucracy’s psychic. Muslim Foreign workers have better opportunities and access to the powers to be than poor plantation workers. MY DAFTAR features predominantly and more frequently just before by-elections.

PM Datuk Seri Najib must recruit more non-malays in registration department and make the national registration policies and procedures for identity card and citizenship more transparent. Thousands of talented Malaysians are all over the country to make this country more competitive, and dynamic. The developments in Arab counties clearly show that incompetency, nepotism and corruption cannot save our country however religious the leaders and government institutions are. Government policies and programs must be realistic and not propaganda and merely a public relation exercise.

Senator Dr. S. Ramakrishnan

20/2/2011

 

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GIVE LAND TO MERLIMAU TAMIL SCHOOL AND GAZETTE THE LAND IMMEDIATELY

February 18, 2011

On the 14th February the deputy prime minister flew into Merlimau with a helicopter to perform the ground breaking ceremony for the SRJK (T) Merlimau which is located in a secondary school compound to a new location which is an estate field.  After 20 years of empty promises, the Minister of education wanted to be more convincing this time during the by election. After the ground breaking the field is vacant with no work in progress. Nobody knows when the actual work will start if ever it will. A few residents have expressed their skepticism about this high profile ground breaking ceremony. ‘If the BN government is genuinely concerned, then it should give the school its land title and gazette the land immediately under the school.” echoed some people.

Tamil schools become important to government only during by elections and that too after 2008 election. The relocation of an existing Tamil school only takes place if the BN government perceives some threat from opposition parties. Before 2008 Indian issues were procrastinated and excuses after excuses given for not handling it. Even for a school, Indian community has to keep begging for 20 years. Thank god there came a by-election. Now we are not sure whether the construction work will continue? The land belongs to the estate and it has to be acquired and gazetted for educational purpose before any work can commence. Hope no UMNO member objects, otherwise no school again! It’s still a long way to go. But MIC state and local leaders to please their political bosses will give excuses for UMNO saying that the relocation was planned long time ago and that the by-election is just a coincidence.

During Tenang by-election Johore asked the state MIC leaders to identify Indian community problems. The reply he got was there is no Indian community problem. Similarly the Malacca MB asked the local MIC leaders to identify Indian community problems. The reply he got was there is no Indian community problem. If at all they have any, it will be to light up the cemetery, Tamil schools or a temple problem. They cannot see the need for more scholarships for Indian students, more educational and business opportunities for Indian teenagers, business opportunities for smaller entrepreneurs and more rights for Malaysians of Indian origin. 54 years of being subservient to UMNO have made them beggars and yes men. They use gangsters and goodies to secure votes for UMNO. UMNO has no respect for Indians because of the way the state and district level MIC leaders placate and pliant to UMNO’s whims and fancies.

A large section of Indian voters in Merlimau are blissfully ignorant about their rights and their children’s future. Their only concern is getting some extra cash handout, goodies and at most welfare help. Intelok is non-issue to many in Merlimau. MIC can please their UMNO bosses by delivering Indian votes for a few hundred Ringgits. That’s the worth of Indian votes! But to get the same one Malay or Chinese vote, UMNO will pour thousands of Ringgits. Indian votes have become politically irrelevant to political analyst. Indian votes are not included in any political discussions. It seems to be a foregone conclusion. Middle class and educated Indians need to wake up and do something if they are concerned about remaining economically and politically relevant.

Senator Dr S.Ramakrishnan

17/2/2011

 

MERLIMAU APPEAL

February 14, 2011

Under the BN rule for 54 years Malaysian Indians have diminished to political and economic irrelevancy. Their contributions to Malaysian economy, culture and political are all forgotten and deliberately suppressed by UMNO led BN. In all areas be it government service, economy, education, health and sports, Malaysian Indians have fallen far behind. Today we are the down trodden and backward community of Malaysia. PERKASA which is an UMNO rightwing group will see that Malaysian Indians remain poor and weak. This is the price for being loyal to UMNO led BN. Malaysian Indians have been the loyal supporters of BN till 2008. In the 2008 national elections Malaysian Indians for the first time voted against the BN. Only then BN realized the value of minority Indian votes. In a keen contest minority vote will decide the winner.

After 2008 elections under Datuk Seri Najib’s administration, the BN government started introducing programs to re-register those without IC and BC. What should have been done 30 or 40 years ago, BN doing it now? Better late than never. Money was given to Indian NGOs through PM’s department. When Malaysian Indians voted BN loyally, no help was extended but when they voted against BN, UMNO started to dish out money to Indian NGOs. But the poor Indians in estate was not provided with minimum wages. Poor Indian students with good marks do not get scholarships. Smaller Indian businessmen do not qualify for small contracts from government departments. Poor Malaysian Indians still don’t get government support. Only MIC branch leaders get financial allocations to get votes for BN candidate. BN government will only dish out financial support if Indian community doesn’t vote them. Therefore Merlimau Indian voters should vote against BN. MIC will keep Indians poor so that they can mortgage Indian poverty to get more allocation.

Ali Rustam insulted HINDRAF with vulgar words. He was banned from contesting UMNO elections because of corruption. Malacca chief minister and UMNO are only concern about bumiputra. They only want Indian votes but keep Indians poor. UMNO led government policies and projects are for bumiputras nothing for Indians. The Merlimau UMNO ADUN will not do anything for non Malays in Malacca state government. He will work against our interest. Why should non bumiputras vote for him and UMNO?

All Indian youths must stand up and vote against UMNO. Despite MIC and opposition Indian leaders protest, UMNO led government refused to withdraw Interlok book as compulsory text. Interlok is an insult to our dignity and pride. How can we support UMNO led government that insults us. Let’s vote against UMNO to send a clear message that they must be fair to all Malaysians. Malaysian Indians must bring about political change together with other Malaysians. UMNO has only one agenda, and that is the “Malay Agenda,” and you will notice not even the “1Malaysia” concept can override this “Malay Agenda” whose slogan is, of course, “Ketuanan Melayu untuk Tanah Melayu!”.

Do not fear PAS. The results of this by election don’t change the state government. Therefore Malaysian Indians must use this by election to send a message that we don’t support UMNO’s Malay agenda. Say no to UMNO by voting PAS.



Tenang by election not an indicator for Indian vote for BN

February 2, 2011
Tenang by election is the most unsatisfactory selection of representative to state legislative assembly. The election was conducted under the worst wether condition where the voters could not leave their house due to heavy downpour and rising floods. The election commission should have started thinking and get prepared for the worst when the raining was continuously pouring before the election date. Unfortunately, the election commission was sleeping on their job. Tenang and Labis towns were drenched by floods and heavy rain. Voters were stranded in their flooded houses without any transport to polling stations. The bad governance of Johore BN government has escaped the voter’s reprisal these far, due to their proximity to Singapore. Youths and many other have jobs, businesses and educational opportunities in Singapore. Public security in Labis is much safer compared to many northern states. Labis voters were seeing opposition parties campaigning house to house for the first time. These efforts will bear results in the forth coming elections. PR parties do not have local presence compared to BN. This seems to be a severe handicap for PR.

On the voting day in Tenang the election commission was totally unprepared and ill equipped to run a fair and free election to choose a peoples’ representative. Voters’ turnout in Labis town, North Labis estate, voules estate and Tenang town were very pathetic and the affected voters were robbed of an opportunity to cast their votes. Army vehicles were only used to transport flood victims from kampongs to schools and Dewan Serbaguna and not to transport the stranded voters in estates, housing and town areas. The Malaysian government machinery is not competent at mobilizing support and resources in time of calamities and disasters. Therefore, the results of Tenang by election under such demanding conditions do not reflect the peoples’ choice and preferences. Under such demanding conditions adhering to strict neutrality and fairness is anybody’s guess. The campaign workers on the ground were clueless and did not know as to flood victims or voters that are being driven pass check points by army vehicles.

Voter turnout was higher in FELDA settlements compared to town, housing schemes and estates. Voters from FELDA who are all Malays and Bandar Labis Tengah who are predominantly Chinese voters have voted for BN and PR respectively.  But Indian voter turnout from North Labis estate, Voules estate, Labis town and Tenang station is poor due to the severe flood problem. To conclude that Indians have voted for BN is stereotyping and not supported with evidences. Campaigners in estates and housing areas for Indians voters can hardly believed that Indian voters have voted to BN in high percentages. Voters’ sentiments and feeling were different. House to house campaigns in housing estates did recognize the Indian voter’s desire for change and how the BN government was short changing them by giving entertainment and handouts.  Many voters felt disgusted at the continuous aid given to poor Indians by welfare department without any permanent and tangible settlement to their problem. They are the landless people of Malaysia today. Besides the handouts, the government machinery was all out to instill fear in them especially in estates. Many have outgrown these same old dirty tactics of BN and were prepared to vote for opposition to send a message to government. Indian votes are changing along with the others. It’s their smaller numbers and when mixed with other races when they come topolling station that makes Indian voter trend difficult to access. Those who claim 80-90% Indian vote for BN have ulterior motives in their claim. Such swiping remarks should not deter campaign workers for it is not the ground reality.  It’s unfortunate that the heavy rain and sudden flood have deprived these voters voting rights.

Senator S.Ramakrishnan

2/2/2011