COMMENT | Congratulations to our Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamed and Pakatan Harapan. Thank you for the Malaysian Dream, the change and non-racial politics and policies.
In the era of Malaysia Baru, and witnessing the first steps towards a multi-racial Malaysia, many of us lived to see the blacklisting of the three most powerful (ethnic) supremacist government leaders who were prevented from leaving the country (the former prime minister, AG and IGP), Umno accounts being frozen as well as the unprecedented appointment of Richard Malanjum as chief justice, Tommy Thomas as attorney-general as well as four Indians and one Chinese as cabinet ministers.
While political analysts reported only 25 to 30 percent of Malays voted for Harapan, we estimate 95 percent of Malaysian Indians voted in the now ruling government.
With this comes very high expectations from the bottom 75 percent of the Indian community (B75) for the delivery of Harapan's 25 election promises to the Indian community.
The preamble to the Harapan election manifesto spells out “Sebagai rakyat yang mempunyai hak yang sama dengan semua warganegara lain, sudah tiba masanya untuk semua bentuk diskriminasi yang menzalimi warga India dihapuskan … Pengagihan kekayaan negara mestilah dilakukan secara adil dan penindasan ekonomi terhadap warga India dihentikan serta-merta …” Wow!
However, during Harapan's 100 days in power, it has failed to deliver the following for the B75:
1. Promise No.1 for Indians to deliver their rule-of-law constitutional citizenship and birth certificates. This could have been resolved merely by the stroke of a pen and at almost zero cost. After all, passports are delivered within half-an-hour.
The only successful case so far has been Kamachi Kanasegaram, who after a 28-year wait, was granted her birth certificate and identity card by the Segamat NRD (National Registration Department) office within two hours, as reported by Makkal Osai on Aug 8. So, it can be done!
2. The promised RM1,500 minimum wage has yet to be fulfilled (No.5 in the manifesto). The 4.6 million illegal foreign workers can wait.
3. We recorded 27,803 cases of homeless and landless issues arising from especially the unfulfilled Tun Razak Estate Workers Housing Scheme 1973 Policy. (Promise No.2 and 3).
4. "Full financial aid for 525 Tamil schools with infrastructure quality as good as that of national schools" is a non-starter. We have recorded 21 Tamil schools not even having basic desks and chairs, pupils playing on tarred roads, no annex buildings and kindergartens. Some had ammonia fumes and ash from next-door factories or crematoriums, among others.
5. About 100,000 self-employment and business opportunities leading to half the prisons closing down - our 25-point proposal to Mahathir, Daim Zainuddin and Council on Institutional Reforms dated May 28 in undoing the 61 years of Umno's injustice.
6. Although qualified, only an estimated two percent of public universities intakes are for Malaysian Indians. Most from the B75 group cannot afford private universities especially for Medicine, Dentistry, Engineering and other Professional courses.
7. RM4.5 billion spent on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) but B75 largely excluded
8. Widespread B75 elderly, sickly and orphaned denied monthly welfare assistance which in any event at RM300 per month is way below the hardcore poverty level, made worst by being denied additional help from the scores of foundations, GLCs as well as the corporate and private sectors.
9. Widespread B75 workforce victims denied Socso pensions and compensations.
10. Widespread B75 poverty who cannot even afford a funeral, leaving ‘orphaned bodies’ at mortuaries, forcing children to stop schooling, begging for even wheelchairs, school uniforms, spectacles and hampers.
We regret the almost Zero Delivery for B75 in Harapan's 100 days. On the 200th auspicious day ie Nov 25 we hope Mahathir can invite us and the B75 for tea at Putrajaya.
We humbly appeal that the prime minister grants us 20 minutes to present our said 125 slide presentation on B75.
P. UTHAYAKUMAR is the de factor leader of Hindraf 2.0.
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