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Ijok results: Indians may yet pay a heavy price

The Barisan Nasional that recently won the Ijok by-election cannot really claim victory in an election so sullied with shocking voting irregularities, biases and violence. A victory won in such circumstances cannot really hold for very long.

Racially, the Malays appeared to be quite divided if not downright violent if all those pictures wired down to every Internet user were anything to go by. It appears that based on this by-election alone, Malaysia may be heading for some very drastic changes in the near future. But the Chinese appear to have made it clear that they wouldn't like their blood to be bathed on the proverbial kris of Hishammuddin Hussein and had no qualms letting the ruling party know that they are switching to the opposition.

No one can really blame them. It appears that their very future and survival in this country has been questioned and both MCA and Gerakan's muddled explanations only exacerbated the situation further causing many Chinese feel that these parties did not stand up for their basic rights.

But the Indians had to be the revelation. This is the group that had been hogging the headlines prior to the elections regarding the religious unfairness pertaining to the burials of Murthi, Rayappan, the case of Subashini losing her children to her newly-converted husband and, of course, the case of Marimuthu Periasamy being forcibly separated from his wife and six children.

In addition, the Hindu community applied for various injunctions to prevent demolitions of their Hindu temples. Anyone would have thought that the Ijok by-election would have been a God- given opportunity to the Indian community to make their displeasures known.

But what the world saw was solid support from the Indians for the very party responsible for all these injustices done to them. Reasons for their voting trend was that these Indians were poor and 'marginalised'. The rationale was apparently food on the table in exchange for complete support of the MIC and BN and this was more important than constitutional rights and religious differences. Sad indeed.

For everyone knows, like Gandhi, that there is no struggle without pain. The Indians were not willing to sacrifice for their rights and religion. Let us all hope that the 'benefits' that the Indian community profited from in this election will not in any way compromise their basic human and religious rights in this country in the near future.

If it does, unlike the Malays and Chinese, the Indian community may have to pay a heavy price for the future rights of the average Indian in Malaysia.