The police have run out of ideas to assuage the anger of Indian Malaysians after the Nov 25 incident at Batu Caves. The force is playing tit-for-tat with Hindraf in response to P Uthayakumar calling the police “terrorists” for pushing the crowd back into the Batu Caves compound, sealing the temple gates and firing tear gas and chemical water.
It is pathetic for the police to say that they would have allowed the petition to be delivered to the British embassy when they have obtained a restraining court order against Hindraf’s key organisers. In fact, the police had tried to lock them up over the weekend but the astute and far-sighted Klang court judge saved the day.
By linking Hindraf to terrorists, the police are further testing the waters and pushing Indian Malaysians to the brink. The authorities and the government is not showing much interest in identifying and solving the issues affecting the community. The ruling politicians must understand that the government of the day is the Barisan Nasional coalition, not Umno alone. People voted for the politicians under the BN banner, not for individual parties.
The government has ignored all letters, memorandums and petitions appealing for action to be taken on the following: the sale of the estates and plantations for development thus neglecting the welfare of estate workers and their families, change in ownership rendering temples illegal, demolition of the temples without consideration, rise in crime and gangsterism amongst youth, limited university places, difficulty in getting business loans and high-level corruption. More issues can be added to this list.
Before the situation worsens, the government must "turun padang” and understand the issues affecting Indian Malaysians who has been unwaveringly supporting the government from 1956 to today. It was a stupid mistake on the part of the Shah Alam city council for not considering the impending Deepavali celebrations before demolishing the temple. The officers by ignoring S Samy Vellu's pleas reflects the local authority’s arrogance towards the minister.
Last but not least, the government must show that it has the people's welfare at heart. Both short term- and long-term plans must be put in place to overcome issues affecting the Indian community and all Malaysians, particularly communities that are economically-disadvantaged.