Monday, November 26

Malaysian Indians (3)

...Malaysian Indians under mental siege.

The fallout of the peaceful protest that turned violent yesterday continued to reverberate around the country, the mainstream media and the blogs. The mainstream media provided a version of the report that to an extent showed how the authorities controlled the crowd, which it deemed is illegal and provoked the authorities. In a legal perspective, even if there are provisions in the constitution where peaceful gatherings can be done in this country, this 25-11 gathering is Illegal. The organizers have not been given a police permit, even the appeal has been rejected, and a court order has been obtained against the organizers and participants. Basically, for the record and for the readers knowledge, this is an Illegal march. There is no other way about it. But there remains an important question, how and why did this many Malaysian Indians gathered from all walks of life from around the country?

There have been many claims of Malaysian Indians being treated as second class citizens, and coupled with other factors such as poverty, gangsterism and jobless rates among the community, this kind of gathering is indeed a burst valve of raw emotions. I still strongly believe that the organizers made a mistake by making these problems worst. What could have done by community building has now turned into a violent show of defiance. Along with this, while I don't know who provoked who first, the authorities could have handled the protest in a peaceful manner. Certainly the protesters wont be sitting there all day long, it's a day before Monday. But again, the point of the matter is this gathering is illegal. Many Indians would not agree what I write here, but we should not have marched. I'm not voicing any mainstream media logic of why a protest march should not happen, but the fact that these participants have been misled into being there.

Until today it's mind boggling to understand why the organizers want to sue the British government. For one, this is the very government that went into Iraq along with America and created anarchy and destabilized the whole region because of oil. They are back into their colonizing tactics, modern day economic colonization. How on earth will they even answer to the charges let alone provide a solution for Malaysian Indians? Probably the protesters should have realized we are Malaysian citizens in the first place.

All said, there are some grave problems plaguing the community. Many Indians does not see the MIC and it's leader as the savior of the community anymore. There could be many factors for this, but the government insists it is helping the community. If this is so, then where is the help? Where is the money? Large parts of the community are feeling marginalized, they are pushed into debt and poverty. Many claim that they don't have business assistance, which is true to an extent. It is extremely difficult to get a bank loan to start a business if you are an Indian. Basically, there is no collateral for them to get a loan in the first place or a secure job to apply for monetary assistance. Many don't have their own homes, being abruptly introduced into urbanization from generations being estate workers, many Malaysian Indians don't have any future security. This pushes them into gangsterism, violence and alcohol problems. Many students drop out of schools, many more could not finish their tertiary studies let alone break out into the job world. All this happened because the MIC and it's leader being the only Indian voice in the government have failed time and again to address the WHOLE community. Favouritism in the community itself is killing us. Probably the 25-11 rally is targeted towards MIC more than anyone else.

Having talked regarding this issue with friends, there is a believe that Malaysian Indians are the root of their own problems. The rally organizers have used factors such as temple demolitions, body snatching religious officers and the lack of respect for the Hindu faith as a reason on why people should take part. Looking back into the issue, the problem lies in the fact that we Malaysian Hindu's have failed our religion, our temples and God. We only gather to voice out our displeasure when our temples are marked for demolition for development, while the majority of time we pay no attention into community building programs at the temple's itself. Many of us only go to our local community temples once or twice a year for Thaipusam and other festivals. If we have taken an united stand into promoting our temples as cultural centers and educated the children with religious studies, then we would have pooled our resources in buying the land situating the temple (many temples in this country 'squatter' on government or private land).

The community have failed our children in not giving them proper education. For decades the Tamil school sentiment have permeated the society and turned it into a political issue. Malaysia is one of only a few countries around the world to have full Tamil schools outside India. But Tamil education is not solely an issue here. The real challenge is outside there; the fast forwarding world. We are focusing on a small issue of safeguarding our mother tongue, when education at home would have been enough to educate our children of the Tamil language. Maybe in some issue's we can tolerate and send the children to national schools rather than bickering about un-resolving issues. The point is loose today and win tomorrow. And this would certainly improve racial integration. There are many racial, religious issues plaguing our community, but sacrifice today just like what our fore fathers have done for generations in Malaysia can see the future generation live in a peaceful land. This is more than any protest rally can do for our community.

If we have live 20 or 30 years ago, it would have been sufficient in looking inside, but today the world is our challenge. By continuing to look inside and fighting among ourselves, we will eventually left behind. Maybe it's time to refocus our attention. The many successful Indians can take a guiding role in promoting what opportunities is available in this country. Many are unaware of what education, job and business opportunities available. If we move as groups we can achieve the business freedom that we want. This is more rewarding that a single person trying to seek business loans or business niche for himself. But being united will forever be a problem for the Malaysian Indian community. In this sense, what happen on 25-11 can be seen as an isolated event where the protesters have been lied to, had their minds under siege. I don't want to write more about this issue, many would not agree with me, let me a 'lost' Indian here. But the problem is not outside, the problem in inside our community. Think about it.

[+] This two days have been a marathon, been watching too many news updates. But one thing is clear to me now, this is not the way, it wont help the community at all. Our collective voice must be heard by the government in a peaceful manner, through a peaceful dialogue. I hope the persons involved would think about this as well. I needed to write this to give a better perspective to my readers on what happened, it's not fair in creating a deviant image of the country, we are still a peaceful country. It's the opportunist racist politicians who fail this country. All this will end in the near future I hope. Just do it during the elections, choose your voice. Other than that, for me, I prefer blogging about other things.

[+] An interesting Article from Malaysia Today;[Are we not Indian enough?]

[Disclaimer: The 3 posts of 'Malaysian Indians' is ONLY to highlight the well being, safety of the person(s) involved in the rally and the events that occurred on 25-11. All posts are based on my personal opinion, all links coming in are intellectual properties of the originating blogs, news sites, videos and other online materials. At NO time and for NO cause, do I, Ghost Particle, the caretaker and founder of this blog (H+U) support or condone the organizers of the rally. No racist opinions and/or comments are welcome here. Thank you.]

11 comments:

Alok said...

I am not hands on on the ground reality in Malaysia so really cant understand ur sentiments fully but I can empathize with ur concern of not been "Malaysian" in Malaysia (even if u were born there) ... and it is not only in Malaysia ... I can feel tht here in Singapore and also had the sense in HK ... they treat(ed) me differently becoz of my skin and origin ... it is/was frustrating and I can understand ur sentiments fully ...

Alok

Nahuatl said...

There is a time for everything. Do what you want still it won't be effective until right moment.

So wait... wait for the right moment and then play your turn. This issue is pretty big. So, a powerful support may be required to end it quickly.

I agree with one thing here - the problem is inside the community.. actually it happens everywhere.

Miladysa said...

An excellent post written from both the heart and mind.

Archikins said...

It pains me to see the wretchedness of racism across the globe. I remember when I was in KL in transit and took the train to the city, a brawl broke out between a Chinese-Malaysian and an Indian-Malaysian. THe C-M was condescending while the I-M was trying to end the fight peacefully. One of the things the C-M uttered was "This is our country, we rule this place, you get out of here". I thought that was a one off statement and had no idea it is a widespread unrest in Malaysia.

They say pen is mightier than sword. ONE person CAN make a difference, or can atleast rest knowing he/she tried. So if you are so inclined to do something in this situation in a peaceful manner, you should - may be an online petition to call for support? - Writing to the U.N. describing the real situation? -Can you think of something?

Cinderella. said...

I totally agree with archikins...we must do somethings...on online petition sounds like just thing.
We're moving ahead so fast yet, looks like we're racing back into time...pre-historic, nomadic time.
Where people lived in tribes and killed any stranger they came across within their territory.
Sux big time.
And like you fren says, "change must come from within ourselves"....we must try and do something about it.
Whaddya think about the online petition ?

Keshi said...

Im all for wutever u choose to do. I'll support ya.


Keshi.

tulipspeaks said...

gp, i must first congrats u .. this is one of the best article (or maybe THE best) i have read on the rally & the issue.

like the way u looked into it objectively. not many could do that without getting emotional.

while i am not sure if suing the British could do us any favour, but it has woken up A LOT of people out there. perhaps that is exactly what we need - a community that is awake & sensitive about our rights.

i don't know if all these will translate into a different results in our coming GE, but i hope we have made our stand - though not through a right way.


ammu.

Ghost Particle said...

[Arch, Cinderella, Keshi] Thank you so much for the suggestion. The thing is, the organizers have started and received the 100000 signatures from the Indians to be presented to the Queen of England. Furthermore, the organizers have taken all the steps to highlight this issue, and I read from somewhere that they are continously sending updated to the US Congress, UN and other parties.

I just dont want to highlight the groups name or their motives because I dont agree with them on how this is going forward. My only concern in the safety of the people and how they are being misled. But at the same time I am proud that this many Indians have united.

Thanks again, will get more updates!

Cheers,
Gp

Mandeep Gill said...

i was doing some work for writing in Cinefashion magazine back during the year one break. It was about indians since independence.

MALAYSIAN INDIANS: THE THIRD CLASS RACE

“A race of people is like an individual man: until it uses its own talent, takes pride in its history, expresses its own culture and affirm its own selfhood, it cannot fulfill itself” --- Malcom X

The third largest ethnic group in Malaysia after the Chinese and the Malays are the Malaysian Indians. Despite the fact that the Indians constitute about 8% of the country’s population of 22 million they own less than 2% of its national wealth. According to The Economist (22nd Feb 2003), “they make up 14% of its juvenile delinquents, 20% of its wife and child beaters and 41% of its beggars. They make up less than 5% of the successful university applicants.” The story of the Indians has been a case of progressive deterioration from the time Malaysia became independent in 1957.

The mass Indian (South Indian) immigration can be traced back to the early 20th century when the Britishers brought them to meet the labour force requirements in the colonial public services and in private plantations. While the bulk of the Tamils were employed in the plantations, the Sri Lankan Tamils and Malayalees were in supervisory or clerical positions. Of the North Indians, the Punjabis were in the police force, while the Gujaratis and Sindhis were in the business (mostly textiles). Despite the mass exodus of South Indians back to India after independence and after the racial riots of May 1969, the Tamils (South Indians) constitute about 80% of the total Indian community.

The Indians themselves are to some extent responsible for their present unenviable and ignominious status, and the policies of the Malaysian Government since independence had not been helpful either. Ignorance born out of poverty in the plantations resulted in many of them not getting citizenship which was offered in 1957 when Malaysia became independent. This prevented them from getting jobs.

A major setback for the Indian labour force was the steady closure of the rubber plantations giving way to tea and oil palm plantations. Their numbers started dwindling and they had competition from the illegal Indonesian immigrants. Unlike the Chinese who lay great emphasis on education, it was not given due importance by the Indian working class. The Tamil schools in the estates were often mere apologies and offered no opportunity for progress in higher education. The undue importance on Tamil education has also weakened the Indian community in competing with the indigenous Malays and the Chinese. One of the major reasons for the low percentage of Indian origin students in the tertiary institutions in the country is the lack of merit and as a result, even the quotas set for the Indians remain unutilised.

....read the rest here

http://www.saag.org/%5Cpapers7%5Cpaper618.html

almost the same as your opinion though

Miladysa said...

As a Brit I feel compelled to comment that asking for compensation from the British Goverment for events of the past is like howling at the moon.

I love my country dearly, I have free speech and many many other rights and advantages that so many others are denied.

These rights were obtained by the struggle of people here in the UK and many of the rights I am empowered with -such as the right to vote - were only obtained in the last century.

Too often people have very outdated or romantic views about this country. There is poverty here too and life is a struggle for an awful lot of people.

Yes, there is far worse poverty elsewhere but surely it is ill conceived to think that the British Government is going to address the plight of the Malaysian Hindus when there is so much that is not right here at home?

Concentrate on changing today by peaceful methods- trying to change the past is without doubt howling at the moon.

Ghost Particle said...

[alok] if for so long we fought to be recognized as members of our country, why cant we be respected as one. We shall always face this stigma...and the world shall always prove our attackers they are wrong. God Bless everyone.

[Nayan] true brother, the moment shall come and everything will be accounted for. we must weed out the problems and stand united for the sake of our children's.

[miladysa] thank you...hope everyone will be ok.

[ammu] thx ammu...yes we have made our stand, just hope the evils with the powers dont spin it wrongly. Just hope.

[mandeep] it is true that the we indians are victims of the past, a strange history, but if the world matured because of this moments of madness, then it shall also bring forth moments of hope. Lets all hope.

[Miladysa] //Concentrate on changing today by peaceful methods- trying to change the past is without doubt howling at the moon.// I agree...we shall look forward, only then we can solve the problem without being left behind.

[arch] racism is rampant, you saw it yourself...it is small but it happens daily. worst when lives are at risk...

The news is spreading like wildfire, lets hope our fights will be answered...but I worry more of the protesters...wonder what will happen to them.

[cindy] when actions are met with silencing weapons then it is not worth to talk or write. jst gather strength for another day. Hope all will go well...thx...

[Keshi] thx dear...we shall only hope for peace right now.