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In Malaysia, the railways, which in all modern societies, transformed a barter/trading economy into an industrial/global one, was built by the manual labour of ethnic South Indians. Likewise the old government buildings featuring the famous Indian Moorish architecture were also the work of these sturdy people. In the case of the railways, it is said that for every mile of track laid, 10 lives were lost to wild beasts, accidents or disease.

Today, however, immigrants from Indonesia are treated much better than these resourceful people are. The former seem to enjoy all the protection and indulgence of government agencies. Indeed, they quickly acquire the so-called bumiputera status, entitling them to many, many state benefits which other citizens - who can trace their domicile to several generations back and who pay much of the tax revenue - are denied.

Now, Chin Peng was an implacable anti-colonialist who led his cadres (mostly ethnic Chinese, although there were notable Malays among them) first against the Japanese Occupation forces then against the British when they returned after the war to reclaim their colony. Chin Peng is today a persona non grata while CD Abdullah, a Malay who was his henchman is welcomed back into society. The condition of ethnic Indians is only a sliver better than Chin Peng's.

The psychology behind this kind of policymaking is quite evident. Large scale immigration from Indonesia is employed as a tool to reduce the ethnic minorities, especially the Chinese to statistically insignificant groups, politically and culturally. And history must be rewritten to accommodate the chauvinistic practised.

That is why Yap Ah Loy, the founder of Kuala Lumpur had his role in Malaysian history severely diminished. In a stage play, it would be equivalent of a nondescript porter. Will you then blame us minorities for saying with Henry Ford: 'History is bunk!'