ALSO BY

Indians redundant in their own country

I am an intelligent, resourceful and hardworking Indian Malaysian woman. Unfortunately I have had very little opportunity in life due to several factors beyond my control.

These factors include the sad fact that my family did not have the money or the connections to obtain a scholarship or a study loan for me to read medicine, law or dentistry.

If that wasn't bad enough, I belong to a country which has policies that discriminate me simply because my forefathers did not come from the Malay archipelago.

To add insult to injury, the private sector, in which I am employed, mostly favours races other than mine. Therefore, I can stand on my head and even roll over while somersaulting at work, but my employer may not even blink an eye.

What I am trying to say is that people like me have been rendered insignificant in our own motherland. Our country does not need us and we are told this over and over again in many subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle ways.

All the Indians in Malaysia can pack up and go live in Timbuktu tomorrow, and we probably wouldn't be missed at all. We are also not well-represented in the armed forces – in spite of having been the backbone of the air force and navy for many, many years after independence.

Believe me when I tell you that almost 85 percent of the pioneers in the Royal Malaysian Air Force were Indian Malaysians. The then Telecoms Department as well as National Electricity Board were also filled with Indian Malaysians, not forgetting KTM which was also maintained by Indians.

Indian Malaysians have also played a pivotal role in the country's development by building roads, railway tracks and bridges as well as carrying out janitorial duties through their jobs in the JKR and the various City Halls and municipalities.

We have also contributed tirelessly towards the nation's economy by breaking our backs in the many rubber estates for decades. We realise that times have changed and we can no longer expect things to be like what they were before.

We are not asking much other than some opportunities to help ourselves so that our community will not completely become insignificant in our motherland.

Indian Malaysians have now become the nation's weakest link and a majority of us, especially those whose forefathers had broken their backs for the nation, have become redundant in our own country. Please understand and acknowledge what's happening to us.