Hindraf Blueprint for the Marginalized Indians in Malaysia

February 18, 2013

Hindraf Blueprint for the Marginalized Indians in Malaysia


In keeping with the blog’s intention of providing different perspectives on issues of importance to our country, I have chosen to post this video which clearly explains Hindraf’s agenda.

Hear it and then decide whether Hindraf is justified in seeking a solution(s) to the plight of marginalized Indians in our country. My own view is quite simple and that is no one, Indian, Chinese or Malay, should be left out from the mainstream of national economic, political and social life. There must be justice and equity for all.

I sincerely believe (and my wife Dr Kamsiah too) that we have enough resources to meet everyone’s need. As Gandhi said, “The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.”Let us, therefore, focus our minds on solving problems and creating opportunities for all Malaysians to be what they wish to be. –Din Merican

30 thoughts on “Hindraf Blueprint for the Marginalized Indians in Malaysia

  1. Excellent! Hinderaf is talking rubbish. It’s not only Indians who are marginalized. I totally agree with you Din. GREAT saying by Mahatma!

  2. Dato, very well said and put. Perhaps leaning towards socialist democracy ideology would be a better use use of our rich resources. That way a thick middle-class seems more possible when the masses are developed.

  3. Hindraf is no different from UMNO, MCA and MIC. Championing their own race.
    The issue is the marginalization of the Indians. –Din Merican

  4. What has happened to the demands made on the British Crown? The Brits should accept their responsibility. They brought forced labor from India to man the rubber estates so Brits at home could go cycling on a bicycle made for two. Remember that one? Daisy, Daisry … show me your grassy land? That one?

  5. Having an English QC come over to flex his muscle does nothing for Hindraf.

    The Indian community of all political affiliations should come together and send Justice VK Lingam to lead a mission and seek an appropriate audience there for a ‘fiscal solution to this never ending political problem’.

  6. Hindraf could have framed its fight for the marginalised Indians better.

    Hindraf failed to put effective emphasis on the marginalised, the downtrodden and the hard core poor section of the Indian community in its rhetoric for mainstream political support. That is the problem. It’s current approach sounds no better than MIC,

    Himdraf’s mission would have got more support and a sympathetic ear if it can compose its manifesto and rhetoric within the framework of a class struggle in which the plight of the marginalised Indians is championed in the same breath with that of the Orang Asli and the rural poor of East Malaysia.

    To only focus on the economic issues of the whole Indian community is parroting the racist ideologies of UMNO-BN. So why should Pakatan pay need at all to the call and threat of Hindraf leaders.

    There is an informal caste system at play ecen within our Malaysian Indian community.The affluent , rich and influential Indians (best represented by MIC over the last 50 years) within the community are doing very little to help their own poor. They spent their time enriching themselves and to the temples with little flowing into the livelihoods of the marginalised Indians especially in the estates.

    Hindraf is a self serving entity and a vehicle for its leaders to make themselves relevant because of the coming GE.

    I question the sincerity of the Hindraf leaders’ motivations when you analyse their tactics and their rhetoric in the media.

    I challenge the Hindraf leaders to refute my allegations above.

    Pakatan should not bend itself over to Hindraf for the Indian votes, if PR stays on course it’s principle of justice for all irrespective of race and religion.

  7. Most people will agree that marginalized Indians, Chinese and Malays should be helped and be given equal opportunities. This is where MIC and BN failed miserably. The question now is we have DAP and PKR working to help these communities, but unless they won the federal government, a total package of help will not be possible. Hindraf has come too suddenly and a bit too late to demand for 25 seats from PR knowing that seats distribution is very complex. BN has failed the aspirations of the Indians the last 56 years and thus should not be trusted anymore. Hindraf should take the assurance of PR in good faith and throw their support fully behind PR. This is not the time to bargain and demand ransom from PR when the situation is such that PR has to put 100% focus to win the election first.

  8. http://www.freemalaysiakini2.com/?p=66973

    The major problem areas are:
    1. Estate workers who have been displaced around the country, numbering about 800,000;
    2. Stateless Indian Malaysians, numbering about 350,000;
    3. The denial of adequate and equal educational opportunities;
    4. Unequal employment and business opportunities;
    5. The impunity of the police; and
    6. The standards of human rights practices.

    These 6 points are good! Why not apply them to all communities that are within the 1957 constitutional domain i.e. those under 1963 deserve their privileges and haven’t Pakatan included them in its manifesto? Moreover there are even more deserving minorities within 1963 constitution that deserves more affirmative actions such Peninsula natives.

    MOREOVER we should never EVER forget, this is Malaysia which has our council of rulers; our Agong and sultans so don’t talk as if Malaysia is a republic. It isn’t so dragging Gandhi republic ideology into the picture is ALWAYS inappropriate. Why not drag along Martin Luther King? If we have said YES to our Rukunegara, then wouldn’t dragging in Gandhi ideology to fight for marginalized oppression, a contempt to derail Rukunegara?

    Our Agong and Sultans has been fairness to the masses and if by any measures of fairness than population ratio would be the benchmark yet TOLERANCE is advocated by our Council of Rulers and agreed by our forefathers Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Tun Sambanthan so that all can equate one day although the journey to that equation need better management.

    Within our pluralistic spirit of TOLERANCE, some communities never resort to hand-outs but by enterprising their contribution to GDP have extended earning their keeps with the world as their foot stools. They made sacrifices and their noises are heard and reciprocated within limits.

    Morale of the story:
    Communities confined to 1957 constitution need to stay relevant in their contribution towards prosperity within the pluralistic spirit of TOLERANCE in the Rukunegara that we have agreed.

  9. Addendum:

    Malaysia is indebted to all communities but indebtedness can diminish when contribution deficienize. For a case to justify its cause, relevance must be sustained over time. It is not enough for a community to say our forefathers did this and that, but have have their descendents built further upon what their forefathers worked for?

    Some communities settled in Malacca some 600+ years long ago and became less relevant over history yet they are remembered within limits.

  10. Hindraf is a self serving entity and a vehicle for its leaders to make themselves relevant because of the coming GE. – Frank

    and they are riding on the fact that a big section of the indian community is marginalised which is unfortunately true. in a democracy the top tier politicians should take responsibility and find ways to overcome this. in Malaysia UMNO, MCA and MIC are supposed to care for their respective races which is the root of all evil in our country. these parties care for themselves first.

    the marginalised indians should not be further neglected just because their leaders have self serving interests. the majority of these people belief that only their mandores can help them and that the other races are insensitive to their needs.
    how are we going to change this?
    PR should solve this problem amicably to keep the indian votes. HOW??

  11. It’s not meant to be an insult to Indians……Just watch this youtube…..It’s amazed that Hindraf can accept BN after watching this

  12. How? Education? More assertive and affirmative policies? Wrong.
    It requires a Change in Cultural Hubris and Societal Mores. Poverty is a State of Mind-Being, Not just a State of Physicality. Ask the Sadhus.

    First of all, all marginalized and disenfranchised folk need to realize – not only poor Indians – that they have to lift themselves up. No one can do it for them. They must pressure the powers that be for better access to the basic needs of shelter, food, family and education. They have to pester, plead and yes, even beg – themselves.

    They must not depend on their Bollywood Stars! There is no reality there. Get real and don’t live as pessimists or with a negative world-view.

    They must not turn to crime or activities that all societies are agaist, otherwise whatever goodwill or charity evaporates.

    What i see most ethnocentric parties – whether political or not, do – is to blame others for misfortunes first, then try to weasel a ‘deal’ mainly for their own selfish sake. There is no such thing as ‘goodness of the heart’ or true charity without profit – whether temporal or spiritual.

    Hindraf matters only to the point of exposing the deficiencies of the poor Malaysian Indians – but to the point that they deify themselves. I could only bear watching the first 5 minutes of the video above. Why?

    I have a 2 very close Indian friends who are professionals. One came from a wealthy, Brahmin, northern Indian (Bengali) tribe; the other from a very poor, low caste Sudra, southern (Tamil) tribe. They don’t get along well with each other, and can hardly sit civilly next to each other – even though we all shared the same experiences in our youth and careers. I always end up running ‘interference’ and getting them to cool down.

    The Battle cry for all these flurs? Charity begins at home and stays at home. How then do we get rid of such mentality? Apartheid is often times Cultural.

  13. MatthewGoldenman,

    what weird idea is your above addendum!

    societies don’t just become irrelevant; where did you get that idea from? the US natives and Australian natives haven’t become irrelevant, they have been neglected, they have become addicts, beggars and criminals because nobody took the bother to help them along to modernisation.
    the same thing will happen to our marginalised groups, actually it is already happening.
    those hundreds of thousand indian labourers driven away from the estates have become irrelevant because nobody needs their labour?
    were there any affirmative programmes by the government to help them? No, but the government imported a million foreign labourers to help them to become higher wage earners? jokers
    we need a government that cares for all malaysians irrespective of race and religion.

  14. “Stateless Indian Malaysians numbering some 350,000”??

    If they are Malaysians how come they are stateless. If they are stateless they cannot be Malaysians? This has to be looked into. Apparently born here but to parents who are non-citizens. So how do they find employment and work to sustain themselves? They live in the shadows and it is time to bring them out of the shadows. This problem is not going to go away.

  15. How? Education? More assertive and affirmative policies? Wrong.
    It requires a Change in Cultural Hubris and Societal Mores. Poverty is a State of Mind-Being, Not just a State of Physicality. Ask the Sadhus. – CLF

    cultural hubris and societal mores are the result of age old practises and cannot be unfolded in a couple of generations. worn-out polemics like the sadhus slippers don’t help. you expect a cowherd and a labourer who have no proper home and job after being chased out from the plantation to feel rich because poverty is a state of mind being and not just a state of physicality?
    you expect a drowning man to ….’that they have to lift themselves up. No one can do it for them.’ (CLF) my friend, I’m not making fun of you but you have to realise that not everyone is as smart as you. the indian society unlike the chinese is not cohesive due to the cultural differences. how to change this? tell me.

    why don’t you suggest some concrete and practical solutions for this problem instead of only philosophising on this.
    the point I’m making is that they are not capable of change without outside help, they are an integral part of the malaysian society and should be given a chance.
    by no means I support the demands or blackmail or pestering for seats by Hindraf.

    a sadhus doesn’t necessarily suffer poverty, he is someone who has taken leave of his worldly possessions to experience poverty. he has the chance to go back to his normal life again and appreciate what god has given him.

    the brahmin friend would have gone home after the encounter with the low caste indian and performed a special prayer to absolve himself of the sin he has committed by talking to a parayan. that much is the difference between them.

  16. Reeper,

    Not weird la… I said community, not society.
    Lion of Gelugor and his two cubs. Their smaller community isn’t marginalized and they don’t need a blue print.

    We have risen above parties that bear racial name like UMNO, MCA MIC. Those era are gone.

    Like Bean said, there must be reason for the 350k stateless. If parents are Malaysian then they should not be stateless. If their parents are non-Malaysian parents and they are born in Malaysia after Merdeka they should not be stateless. If parents are Malaysian and children born in outside Malaysia, then the child birth is registered with our consulate and follow the father’s citizenship. The same applies to Chinese.

    It is most likely they and their parent were born outside Malaysia. How they got into Malaysia? Many people got into Malaysia and hide in the estates or their own enclaves. Happened alot in EW as we now known in MyKad issues.

    Citizenship rulings are made similar for all. Qualifying citizenship for Indians who don’t qualify might as well open to all who don’t quality.

  17. Frank’s ding dong is on the stand watching Daisy and her grassy land riding a bicycle made for two -Mr Bean

    Mr Bean,

    Listen to my ding dong. with the best of compliments from yours sincerely..

    You will love THIS ding dong. Three cheers to the ding-dongs of the world.

  18. Thanks, Reeperbahn. How could we forget Daisy? Frank couldn’t sleep thinking about her when he was in his 20s. Now he’s too old to do anything about it but only to sing

    Daisy, Daisy ..
    Show me your grassy land
    I’m half crazy …
    My cock is on the stand

    You’re of the feminine gender
    Your lips are soft and tender
    So lift up your frock
    And I’ll shaft in my cock
    On a bicycle made for two
    Toot, toot

  19. Mr Bean

    After all these years, you still remember all the words!! Most amazing. I am in awe. Now, look who is the one who cannot even sleep without thinking of good old Daisy.

  20. True, reeper.
    I had expected that from you. Read between the lines, especially the last two paragraphs..

    What i basically meant was that there is no One Malaysian of Indian ethnicity with the wherewithal to do the right thing. The Pre-Independent India had Mahatma, the African Americans had Dr Martin L. King and Apartheid S. Africa had Nelson Mandela. As Martin L. King said: ‘I might not be with you to see the day, but we, as a people will.’ He was willing to sacrifice his life towards that goal.

    All of them were prophets of their own time, veritable Moses-like, who could galvanize their cohorts to start the journey towards independence and self determination. All these years of bondage, depravity, poverty and disfranchisement, yet the majority keep on putting hope on Grass-root movements which grow into weed, choking them even more. We have to start somewhere and the present scenario revolves around issues like Temples, Bollywood style politicking, handouts and gross treachery. There is not a single Malaysian Indian of substance, charisma, integrity and will that will lead. My question is this, why?

    The Chinapek are independent and adaptable, not because of genetic superiority or intelligence – but because of pragmatic survival skills and a more or less egalitarian culture. Unless there is a Malaysian Indian who is totally unbiased to caste and class, there can be no solution to this conundrum. How can this be accomplished, when the culture and societal mores are inculcated as soon as a child is born.

    Dato’ Ambiga, being the most prominent is unable to do much unless she is willing to take up the yoke of despair. The people will rally with her. But she is unwilling.. There are many others in the Opposition, but they seem ham-strung by their own hubris and agendas. All movements representing the Indians come to naught, as soon as they become self-serving, like Makkal Sakthi and Hindraf.

  21. So my friend, the journey begins with the poor and powerless – not the rich, powerful and famous. The leader comes from within, not from without!

    Many years ago, my spouse was a temporary teacher who asked a question to her class of Std 3 pupils: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’
    The Malay boy stood up and said that he wanted to be a mata-mata, like his father.
    A Chinese boy said that he wanted to be a grocery shop owner, to expend his parents small stall.
    The Indian boy said all he wanted was to be like mandor who was his father’s boss.

    All 3 achieved their goals. Who lost?

  22. Unless there is a Malaysian Indian who is totally unbiased to caste and class, there can be no solution to this conundrum. – CLF

    yes CLF, thats what I’m implying all the while with my: ‘they need outside help’! you’ll find no one within their community who would be neutral to caste and other social stigmata, to help them.
    thats why I’m saying it’s a matter for the government to appoint someone or some commission to attend to this problem. MIC has lost its credibility becoming a self-service shop for its top tier party members.
    I hope your better half persuaded that indian boy to have higher aspirations?
    thats what we should do to help them see things differently. my late father was able to cajole many of his pupils (std.1 to 6) to aim high and get out of the confines of the estate. yes, he was successful seeing the impressive number of his old pupils who turned up to pay their last tribute.

    So my friend, the journey begins with the poor and powerless – not the rich, powerful and famous. The leader comes from within, not from without! – CLF

    Malaysia is not RSA or India. we have a democratically elected government. we should treat the indians as malaysian subjects and not relegate the solution of this problem to a race based party. there is no necessity for anyone to champion the Indian cause but for the government to execute its responsibility sincerely. the demands of any group should be used to highlight the plight of the disadvantaged group but not as trading points.

    aren’t we talking about marginalised malaysian indians, No?
    does Karpal Singh and his brood look marginalised?

    the problem lies deeper than you think. there are indians living among us for the last 60yrs or so who don’t know that that you have to apply for a citizenship or an IC. the indians won’t help their own kind easily! I hope somebody disagrees with me on this.

    Mr. Bean,
    thank you for reminding me of the once favourite song.
    if one can’t, one can at least reminisce on those wonderful carefree years.

  23. You are conflicting yourself, reeper.

    You cannot ask for a special commission yet demand a fair, just, liberal democracy. Fair and equitable governance is impossible in any nation that parades exclusitivity in any instance.

    No one should be tasked to run ‘affirmative’ programs for any particular group based on race-religion-any other otherness. except perhaps physical or mental disability. It must be Needs based and not parochially tempered. That is the closest ideal for a ‘socialist’ democracy, without becoming a Nanny-State.

    If there are extenuating circumstances, like cultural taboos or stigmas, it should be handled by those who are capable enough to abolish it or bring about a modicum of reform. But it still needs Individual responsibility and communal integration. I can’t see that happening even in Secular India. The whole social fabric of the caste system, divisive policies and quotas have to go, if we truly want to progress. True Meritocracy is race and color blind, so what we can have is Tolerable False Meritocracy.

    There are at present more Indians in senior ranks within the civil service, than Chinapeks – but their influence is pitiable at best. And i’m not talking about the Minister of Modernization and Management (Palanivel) nor Minister of Human resources (Subramaniam), who are totally irrelevant, and indeed useless in our conversation.

  24. I doubt I’m conflicting myself, I was thinking of the German ‘Integrations/Ausländerbeauftragter – Amt’ in every state to take care of these problems. I never said it should be race or religion based. any malaysian needing help should be given asisstance.
    I hope the malaysian indian community supports PR and bring about a change in government with which the race based affirmative action policies could be discontinued and replaced by help for all needy malaysians.

    ‘No one should be tasked to run ‘affirmative’ programs for any particular group based on race-religion-any other otherness’ – CLF

    yes, wunderbar at last you are getting the idea, JUST treat them as fellow malaysians and give them the help they need.

    the indians in civil administration are there because they are yes-men and have the standard of PEONs.

    CLF please don’t scare away the voters of this particular group, PR needs every vote. this is no time to be splitting hairs.

    what, Rosmah accompanied by her pet poodle is in Europe to ask for european intervention to solve the deadlock in Sabah?

  25. ‘Treat them as fellow malaysians and give them the help they need.’
    The problem is their psyche requires them to wear a non-silicon chip on their shoulder the size of a garbage bin which says “Me First!”. Their leaders, prostitute themselves to the highest bidder – exactly what Hindraf is doing. Nothing wrong with that, except the bidding is as transparent as their thick skin. Poor business skills, we say.
    ‘Scare voters?’
    Nah.., BN doesn’t need any help with Goons (Losers) like these:

    MIC itself is rubbed raw by low-lifes and criminally insane. I know for a fact that the Opposition MPs of Indian ethnicity are generally pretty decent, with a few exceptions of Bollywood demeanor. But they are hamstrung by the need to accommodate ‘others’, that their focus is sometimes skewed. Yes, they still need a Chief Mandor of impeccable reputation.

  26. absolutely CLF, I agree to all the points you are making. the mandores are abusing the vulnerability of the indian general public for their profit. its clear as day.
    thats why I’m pleading for the others (in the GOM) to help them so that situations won’t arise where they seek the help of their mandores.
    we have to get rid of UMNO-BN in order to get rid of race based politics.

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