By Wong Mun Chee
Why Hindraf should meet the premier
After the recent meeting with the De Facto Leader of Pakatan, it appears that the government is now interested in meeting Hindraf.
Although an interesting development, in many minds it is nothing but a political gimmick since the GE13 is hovering.
Hindraf had made its stand to be a non-partisan movement, interested only in protecting and enhancing human rights and basic quality in the development of the poorer socio-economic segment of the Malaysian Indians, which has deteriorated since yesteryear.
The rapid increase in proportion to its population in deaths in custody, statelessness, level of suicide, single parents, homelessness, forced conversions, temple demolitions, etc endured and negative vices perpetrated by the poorer segment of the Malaysian Indians since the premiership of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, is a clear depiction of how lopsided policies have contributed in neglecting this community; mainly through their displacement from plantations, without any solutions or remedies.
Hindraf probably realises that unlike their Malay and Chinese comrades, the poorer segment of the Malaysian Indians doesn't have any safety nets such as political muscle for the Malays, or the economic strength of the Chinese.
Unequivocally, the discrimination and oppression faced by the poorer segment of the Malaysian Indians, have never had room to voice in seeking relief for their grievances, although lawmakers from both the ruling government and opposition will say they have been there - though only in name.
The middle class and upper class Malaysians, including Indians, in the main, fail to recognise the dire straits of the poorer segment of the community in a pragmatic sense but rather see the matter through coloured lens.
Similarly, many echo thoughts that there are also others in a similar position. Fair enough, nobody is stopping them to seek redress but not for this sector of typical middle class and upper class Malaysians, who can only blow their trumpets like the politicians, without addressing the core issues.
The issues and obstacles that face the poorer segment of Malaysian Indians in Malaysia is a reality that needs the support of the whole community irrespective of their origins, rather than the bickering and bad mouthing that we often see amongst the politicians.
I am sure Hindraf with its motto ‘rights not mercy‘ in its negotiations, is well equipped in seeking a concrete blueprint to ensure that the poor segment of the Malaysian Indian community is lifted without strings attached, to ensure fairness and equality is in tandem with the rest of the community without exclusion, or with what is politically expedient.
I feel that Hindraf being a non-partisan movement, should put forward their proposals to both BN and Pakatan and we the community, need to support their drive to ensure that our fellow poorer segment of the Malaysian Indians can participate in a positive way in our growth as a nation.