ALSO BY

PM, surely you understand why were angry

The recent Hindraf demonstration has highlighted the dire plight of Indians. Although the MIC seems to be putting on a brave front, it has lost much ground. Many Indians are not having sleepless nights over the diminished value of MIC or even its eventual demise.

Now, it appears to most Indians that MIC and its leader have been the ones standing in the way of Indians attaining their rights. If you are not convinced, read this quote from the MIC president: "Is the Indian community deprived of clothing, jobs and meals?" What an insult!

The leaders are angry that Hindraf has taken this issue to the global forum. How long do you expect the Indians to lie down and accept their fate? The past generation may have failed to see this but we need to do this for the future of our children. Many Indians are more angry with the MIC than the government because of the duplicity game it has played on the lives and well-being of Indians. I salute the Hindraf leaders request to talk to the prime minister directly.

Samy Vellu contended that we recognise and support the government for what it has done for the Indian community. But even a lay Indian will dispute this. As pointed out by the Merdeka Survey some time ago, Indians are more patriotic than Malaysia and have "listened" patiently to the government. No wonder the prime minister said that there is no problem with the Indians. But has the government reciprocated? It claims to have done a lot for the Indians but most Indians don't buy that.

For the last few years, moderate voices were pleading incessantly for intervention and resolution of the racial and religious turbulence, particularly between the Hindus and Muslims. When the M Moorthy case surfaced, the civil courts refused to hear his poor wife's pleas.

The Umno prime minister demanded that MIC/MCA withdraw their petition on the issue, among others. Meanwhile, moderate voices were begging for your intervention but your stoic silence did not help the continued dilemma and similar incidences. Dubious decisions by the civil courts on such matters only extended the dilemma.

The issue of indiscriminate temple demolition has been simmering for a long time. I am bewildered that you and the government has turned a blind eye to this burning issue. The fact that private owners blatantly supported by council demolition men who are mostly Malays is a sure recipe for disaster. It seems to pit Muslims against Hindus. Even the MIC chief's intervention on the temple demolition was ignored.

You and your deputy are now infamous for claiming that in give assistance and handouts to the Malays, you do not deprive the minorities of anything. How long will this aghast phrase be used to dupe the minorities? The Hindraf demonstration was an avenue for many frustrated Indians who are unable to compete because of Umno's very unjust policies.

For example, separate matriculation and STPM exams, overseas scholarships, housing discounts even for the rich Malays, millions of ringgit in grants to Umno divisions and so on. The list can go on but it is useless. The preference for government contracts and permits have certainly deprived the non-Malays and created deep-seated anger and frustration. Most Indians know that there is no way the MIC can help us. Indeed, we have become second or third class citizens.

Most of us understand and accept the fact that poor Malays and indeed all poor Malaysians need some form of help. But the truth is that the NEP has been hijacked by certain groups and the biggest casualty are the Indians. If you and your administration are honest and sincere enough, abolish the matriculation and allow everyone to sit for STPM or vice versa.

If you are a fair PM, as you claim, be fair in your deeds, not just your words. We are not small kids, we know the difference. Today, you and your deputy are saying that the Hindraf has unnecessarily brought the world's attention to our pleas but if your government has been fair, none of this would have happened.

You must realise why the Indians are very angry. We have consistently voted for BN, even when we are chiding by opposition parties for not learning that the BN shortchanges us. Now, you are asking MIC to look into our woes. Why can't you, as our PM, personally listen to what the Indians have to say? We, Indians, are at the crossroads. Most of us feel that we have nothing to lose.

The truth remains that the MIC and BN has played politics with our lives. This is why the MIC leader had the gall to ask "Is the Indian community deprived of clothing, jobs and meals?" To him and perhaps the government, we are just chattels.