The Ninth Malaysia Plan has provided no allocation for the building of any more vernacular Chinese and Tamil schools. When MCA Youth officials questioned the absence of the allocation, Umno Youth's Hashim Suboh from Perlis (at the last Umno general assembly) asked Umno Youth head Hishammuddin Hussien Onn what he was going to do next with his 'keris' now that he had unsheathed it and waved it about. He was suggesting that the MCA's demands for the construction of Chinese schools be handled by more than just verbal debate.
The real losers in this scenario are members of the Indian community. Particularly, the uneducated who are deprived of educational opportunity. The children of Indonesian immigrants here, in fact, have better access to educational opportunities. With the population of Indonesians possibly exceeding the number of Indians in the country, one wonders if there is a hidden agenda to dilute the population mix any further.
How many 'Indonesian Malaysians' are currently enjoying bumiputera benefits? How many of them are already enjoying government sponsorship and aid for various reasons? The answers are a well-kept secret.
The MIC Youth leaders were lamenting the fate of Indians in the country recently. Because of public prejudice against Indians, employers are reluctant to employ them. The police have a habit of indiscriminately arresting every Indian youth in sight every time a crime occurs and keeping them in the lock-up for days. As a result, the youths are reluctant to return to work, unable to explain their absence. Those who do are pressured out of employment when the reason for their absence is revealed. The number of deaths of Indian youths in police lock-ups around the country is rising. And the MIC is looking more dis-empowered by the day.
The racial polarisation caused by Umno's superiority complex is creating a stronger spirit of protectionism among the Chinese which in turn doesn't help the fate of the Indians in Malaysia. Malaysia has forgotten the contribution of its Indian citizenry. Recently, the Selangor state government evicted 43 Indian families who had occupied a plot of government land in Kuala Selangor for over 80 years. Their appeal for a stay of the eviction order was denied by the Selangor menteri besar who, incidentally, is the son of an Indonesian immigrant.
I write to appeal to all to stop thinking of the Indian underclass as somebody else's problem. Indians are intelligent, hardworking and loyal. But the level of frustration, lack of confidence and lack of entrepreneurship among them is the result of the selfishness of the government. But with the collective contribution of society, this can all change.