The request by the National Indian Action Team ( Niat) for a deputy prime minister's post for an ethnic Indian may have been made with some sincerity but it may have not taken many matters into consideration first.
What we have to eradicate here is the culture of asking for positions.
The Malaysian Indian Congress has been champions in this arena and where have the Indians come thus far?
Besides asking for the two issues which have been perpetual issues which every budding Indian politician will have to know, which is land for temples, burial sites, crematoriums and Tamil schools, what else have the Indians achieved over these years despite having all the positions?
We have to note that it is equality that the Indians should be concerned about.
If the Indian is qualified, he should be able to get the job, the position, the license, the tender, the award or any endeavour which the Indian has met the due requirements which does not discriminate with regard to race and religion.
That is the problem and the mentality which has to be changed. If we go about asking for positions, it will be the repeat of the same old rigmarole that we are so used to.
We have seen that for the past 55 years. If a Malay qualifies for Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) land because he meets with the requisite criteria, then an Indian should have the same right.
If a Malay qualifies for entry into Mara junior colleges after Standard Six, Form Three or for matriculation after Form Five,the Indian should have the same right.
If we have the positions but we still practise institutionalised racial discrimination, then the change that we seek will still be an illusion.
If we were to ask the Indians that still lift the parang to put down their weapons, then we have to have in store equal opportunities for them to prosper.
If they are able to do business without having to face bureaucratic red tape and the insistence that they must conform to the "AliBaba" way of doing business or else they will not be able to get the license, tender, award or the opportunity then the Indian that lifts the parang will still lift the parang.
This is because they know that whatever effort that they may put in will be futile and of waste because the authorities will not approve of anything if their 'demands' are not met and the matter is not connected to certain persons whom the authorities know to be the political connections.
It will be better to have parliamentarians and members of state legislative assemblies who are able to speak their mind and help the Indians seek equality instead of having a deputy prime minister who may have his or her hands tied due to the fact that they must still conform to the racial compartmentalisation and stereotyping.
Indians protest and protest due to the fact that they just do not have the opportunities like the Malays.
The Malays get a discount when buying a house no matter what his position in life is, but the Indian is not granted that same right.
The Indian then has to beg relatives or his siblings to lend their names to become co-owners and co-borrowers of a house which he seeks to purchase.
In the long run, the others who have lent their names as co-owners and co-borrowers will not be able to purchase houses themselves as their buying and borrowing capacity diminishes unless they are flushed with cash somewhere along the way.
Therefore if everyone is treated equally when it comes to home purchase and the ability to borrow from banks, then the problem ceases there.
Indians have proven themselves in businesses like scrap metal, re-cycling, diary farming, horticulture, road works, earth works, money-lending, textiles, all form of agriculture, transportation and many other business sectors other than the known professions of medicine, law, dentistry and accountancy.
But they would need the licenses and the awarding of the jobs and works if they were to be successful.
They would also need adequate borrowing ability to ensure that there is enough cash injection into their businesses to keep their businesses viable and competitive and ultimately be able to service their loans so that their relationship with financial institutions are strengthened.
But are they getting it now?
If equality is sought in every sphere, all this will fall into place and the socio economic status of the Indians will automatically be lifted. It will make more sense and socially acceptable to become industrious then to become criminally inclined.
Therefore it would be best to ask for equality instead of positions. With equality there will be no limit to opportunities and when there is no limit to opportunities, any position will be attainable.