Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nazri Aziz should apologise for uttering racial slurs. Calling ordinary Indians who took part in the Hindraf rally to express their grievances "crooks" or "thugs" (penyangak) is yet another example of racial typecasting. Nazri's name-calling reflects the prevailing stereotype that Indians who demonstrate or protest must be crooks or thugs.
Does Nazri know this for a fact? Did he speak to a single one of them to know if this profiling is correct? And, if Nazri has typecasted the Hindraf demonstrators as "penyangak", where is the proof that he will not typecast the rest of the Indians, the silent majority as he calls it?
Secondly, he does not seem to be aware that by stooping to name-calling, he may, in actual fact, be uttering seditious words - words that could incite and inflame. What is worse is that he is getting away it while marginalised people seeking legitimate redress have gotten arrested.
Nazri must realise that he cannot pit one Indian against another. The so-called "silent majority" can see what is going on. They may not speak up now but at the next general elections they might. It might be too late then, thanks to people like Nazri. It would be best for such people to seal their lips now.
National leaders must realise that the crux of the problems is respect. If Indians were treated with respect, none of this would have happened. Instead, Indians are treated condescendingly and patronisingly. Slap their backs and put your arms around them to show how nice you are to call an Indian a friend. If that doesn't work, the Indian gets bullied and alienated. It is apparent from the comments being said and the actions playing out before our eyes.
If we are heading for developed nation status, national leaders should move away from this "Third World mentality" of viewing Malaysians according to NEP profiles. Indians have changed. They have come a long way like the other races even if Indian equity is still small.
We all have to get past the notion that when a group of people gather, a riot will follow. It may not. Let us learn and acquire First World respect for civil liberties and differences instead of treating people as if they don't count. And train the police in better and more progressive crowd control methods.