Boy! You should see the face of the Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi when he was giving his opinion about Sunday’s rally by thousands of minority Indians. After Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Force) filed a $4 trillion lawsuit against the British Government in London, August 2007, it raised eyebrows because of the huge amount of money involved. Let’s face it, $4 trillion is a lot of money – not even the world’s richest man has that amount of money, yet. The amount was arrived when Hindraf was demanding $2 million in compensation for each Indian in Malaysia.
Besides the money Hindraf was also demanding a grant of British citizenship as an “opportunity to escape any future discrimination, marginalization, oppression and suppression by the Government of Malaysia” – reported KyodoNews. Hindraf claimed that the British government had abandoned the Indians when independence was granted to Malaysia in 1957 and forced them to be subjected to Malay-Muslim rule. Of course you can bet your last shirt you’re wearing the Hindraf will never be able to get anything out of what it demanded. The actual objective was to attract world’s attention to the lawsuit.
The Indian, like the Chinese, have begun challenging the continued implementation of an affirmative action policy that grants special privileges to Malays, including a greater admission quota to public universities and special access to government contracts. Over the 50 years since independence the three major races have been living in harmony – until now. There’re many reasons speculated as to why the Indian suddenly got “excited” and joined the rally.
Some said it was the underlying issues represent longstanding grievances among Malaysian Indians who possess neither the political clout of the majority Malays nor the economic strength of the Chinese who are the second largest ethnic group in Malaysia. There has also been deep anger generated among the Indians by the recent demolitions of dozens of Hindu temples. The Indians, who were mostly Tamils, are also unhappy over the dilapidated state of Tamil vernacular schools in the country.
Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi could proudly announce to the world that he’s the only PM so far to score the greatest victory in the general election, but it was achieved mainly due to the promise to curb corruption, of which he has disappointed many voters. On the other hand Badawi could also claims success to be the only PM who experienced two major rallies – the 10th Nov 2007 Bersih rally and the 25th Nov 2007 Hindraf rally.
Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak on Saturday accused Hindraf of trying to incite racial hatred although the real intention was to press for a better treatment by the government. Badawi could easily be the weakest PM in the history as far as economy administration is concerned. People who are oppressed, suppressed and depressed are the people who will take to the street as can be seen in other parts of the world – regardless of how developed the nation is. MalaysiaKini reported about 30,000 protesters demonstrated under the shadows of Kuala Lumpur’s iconic Twin Towers after their efforts to petition the British High Commission was thwarted by the police with tear gas and chemical-laced water cannon.
MIC president Samy Vellu said people should use existing forums to voice their problems and not resort to street protests. The MIC party which is supposed to create values and help the poor Indian has fail miserably. Samy Vellu who has been the MIC president since 1979 is clearly the loser who has done nothing much and should stop beating around the bush by saying that issues such as education, the economy and social issues had been resolved through direct consultation with the Federal, state and local governments behind closed doors as they involved sensitive matters.
If Samy Vellu couldn’t deliver given the 30-years in power, one cannot expect any more miracles from him, not that he has done any before. Of course if one intends to trace the root of the problem, one cannot run too far away from the former premier Mahathir’s policy of “Divide and Rule”. The NEP (New Economic Policy) has proven to be successful only in enriching cronies in power instead of broad-base wealth distribution amongst the Malay-ethnic. It’ll be interesting to see how Badawi will score for the coming general election.
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