Referring to The Star's article and headline Change must come from within by Joseph Raj, I would like to ask: Really? Would you have also said that to the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and the monks who recently marched in Burma?
In your opening statement, you mentioned, "I do not profess to know everything that is ailing the Indian community, but it has to be admitted that all is not well." It is somewhat funny that even though you profess not to know what the ailment is, you go on to offer prescriptions! Let me ask you an idiotproof question - would you see a doctor and take medication suggested by him even though he doesn't know how to diagnose your sickness?
I am quite sure that by now, you, as many other Malaysians would, have heard the various statements made by Hindraf leading up to Sunday's event. I am also certain that you would have seen videos of the event uploaded in various websites. All these can be a starting point for you to assess what is wrong, what is their gripe and what ails the Indian community at large, unless you have been living in a vacuum or in isolation. How can you write an article as a journalist and call it good journalism without having done your homework?
It is the abject failure of the present Malaysian socio-political mechanisms that have ultimately brought these people's frustrations to the streets on Sunday. They have been asking for many years until they got fed up for being knocked around, for being treated like unwanted orphans in their land of birth, for being ignored as the silent minority and for having political leaders that are content to feed them crumbs whilst they feast on the tainted fruits of corruption.
These are the various questions people have asked:
- Where was MIC when M Moorthy's body was unfairly buried as a Muslim?
- Where was MIC when temples were being destroyed without consideration?
- Where is MIC when many Indians youths occupy our jails today?
- Where was MIC when Telekom shares meant for the community were siphoned off to those related to the MIC president?
- Why is it that after 50 years of independence their share of the economic cake is no more than three percent?
The list goes on and on.
And if you say that MIC faces an uphill battle to change the Indian people, tell me why? After 50 years of independence, after sending an "angkasawan" to the moon, after constructing the tallest buildings and after countless other "achievements," why?
Year after year, AGM after AGM, MIC informs the public of their planned activities, of how they want to go door-to-door to explain their policies, of how they want to establish thinktanks to tackle the woes of the Indians and yet, without fail, I observe that it is the same crap spewed!
Commonsense would invoke us to ask why these participants - who have work to do, a family to look after, bills to pay - would risk jail and injury and travel for miles to take part in a seemingly futile attempt to be heard. Is it a cry for help and attention, much like that of an unloved child wanting to get his parents' attention?
Let us not limit ourselves to Hindraf's actions and refer to the Bersih campaign. Opposition-driven? Come on, please say something more believable. The Malaysian public has become more intelligent in the last few years. When the MCA Youth brandished the constitution in their last annual general meeting as a direct response to Umno Youth's keris waving, what is your intepretation of that? Surely this is another means for the Chinese youth to release pent-up frustration.
If well-to-do and politically-connected members of MCA have to resort to such acts to display their unhappiness towards the direction of our political leaders, what more could you expect from the social underclass whose voices have thus far been completely ignored?
Instead, you have isolated it as a "communal" problem. The failure of our entire socio-political system, from the serious racial polarisation in our public universities, to the large emigration of our well-trained professionals, rising crime rate, perpetual corruption problem, is due to the present administration of this country.
People can put up with hypocrisy up to a certain point. After that, it reaches breaking point. Just ask the French revolutionaries, it is already breaking point for many, many Malaysians. Continue to ignore it at your own peril. Dictators and iron-clad governments stronger than BN have been brought down. Remember Marcos and Suharto?