I refer to Malaysiakini's many reports on the Hindraf gathering to submit a memorandum to British High Commission.
Many adverse statements were made to paint an unfavourable picture of the event. Let me express my views as I saw them. I do not belong to any political party nor I do belong to Hindraf. I am just an ordinary Malaysian citizen.
What did Hindraf want to do? They wanted to submit a memorandum to the British High Commission, simple as that. According to all reports, Hindraf applied and appealed for a police permit but it was rejected. Finally they appealed for 45 minutes to submit the memorandum. That too was rejected with flimsy reasons.
What did the police do? They set up roadblocks four days ahead, causing unimaginable inconvenience to thousands of motorists, passengers and workers. If the police had information that agents were being arranged to sabotage, create trouble, disrupt and confuse the event, why were they not arrested as a preventive measure? Is that not the way for law enforcement agencies to function? No. The steps police took was an act of intimidation, apart from the warnings from the prime minister, deputy prime minister, the MIC president and many others with the same purpose.
Finally, what happened? Against all odds, 30,000 people gathered peacefully to make their point and convey their message to the nation and to the world. In one word, they won. For a person who has nothing to lose, there is no fear. I hope our government and the police, whom I know are following orders, will realise this simple reasoning. Police were bent on making the peaceful gathering of citizens ugly by using tear gas and water canons.
BN leaders were trying to spin it as a racial gathering, which is understandable. But Anwar Ibrahim and a few famous bloggers have betrayed Hindraf and the people involved.
"An act of defiance," said some headlines. No, folks, it was a act of desperation, a cry for justice and fairness merely to subsist, exist and be alive!
What did Samy Vellu say? He said that it painted a bad picture of our country. Why would it not when people marginalised, neglected and driven to poverty. I wonder how many recall the Mahatma's saying that "Poverty is the worst form of violence." Samy Vellu also said that the MIC is constantly bringing up Indian issues with the prime minister.
Dear Samy, that is what you have been doing for 25 years as MIC president and senior cabinet minister. What did you get from all those conversations?
The Hindraf gathering is the Malaysian Indians' judgment on you, the MIC and the BN. Ask yourself, during the your 25-year tenure did you manage to extract one government-assisted plan to alleviate the economic status of the Indian community? Their condition has gone from bad to worse. It is now to unbearable! Did you, in all you capacities, insist and obtain the fair implementation of the NEP.
And for your information, it is the eradication of poverty without regards to race and religion. That alone was waylaid and sabotaged by Umno from under your nose. If it was implemented as intended, the forsaken Indians would not have been driven to the streets of Kuala Lumpur to suffer tear gas, water cannon s and beatings. How can you, as MIC president, loudly and shamelessly claim to represent the Indian community in the government? Can you feel proud of your achievements for them? You betrayed and sold them out!
A close friend of mine called me on Sunday Nov 25. He made a very pertinent point saying he is happy that Dr Mahathir has recovered and is alive to see what he has done to the Indians, poor Malays, poor Chinese, poor Ibans, poor Kadazans, the Orang Asli and so on during his unquestionable, 23-year premiership. Large groups of citizens from all communities are driven to desperation and poverty.
The shameful stories from the judiciary issue and the Hindraf event are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Malaysia and ordinary citizens will pay and are already paying a heavy price for all the damage that Dr Mahathir has inflicted to this country's fibre. He took the country in the wrong direction, towards destruction. Alas, he could have taken us on the right direction without depriving anyone and any community. He could have governed with integrity and social justice.
Some say, Dr Mahathir has done good in the development of infrastructure. It is there for all to see. They are right but ask yourself at what cost? Putrajaya, the twin towers and so many other projects are monuments of wasted public funds.
Folks, the government of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi sees no reason to change the approaches inherited from Dr Mahathir, as it works well for them too. Even Umno was destroyed when he changed the election rules for the Umno presidency whereby candidates challenging the president need to get the majority's nomination to contest against the incumbent! How bizarre?
You will understand that I have to agree with my friend and pray that Dr Mahathir enjoys long life with a healthy body and mind. I enjoy reading Marina Mahathir's musings and wish to invite her to reflect on her father's contribution and role in nation building.
I have digressed a little but it is relevant in the face of the Hindraf gathering and what drove them to it.