MYDAFTAR is the new political tool to hoodwink the Indian community
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