They'll have to decide if they want stick to the tsunami they helped create in 2008 or revert to BN which is still treating them unfairly after 55 years.
Ali Cordoba, Free Malaysia Today
The third largest community in Peninsular Malaysia is the Indian community, but it is one of the least protected and is the community that suffered the worst forms of ostracism and racism in the country. Will this change with Pakatan Rakyat in power?
Grouped under the MIC, the Indians have seen very little light at the end of the tunnel so much so that they were forced to pursue their own quest for recognition and assimilation as Malaysians. Many of the stories we hear about the Indians in Malaysia are as heart-breaking as the Tamil and Hindi movies on the silver screens in local cinemas.
While these Bollywood movies almost always end with a hero rising and establishing justice and equality, in Malaysia the stories end with jail terms, deaths in custody or in joblessness. Do Malaysian Indians need a national hero who would brave the vagaries of life and politics to represent and fight for them?
The Hindraf promoters would tell you they are, like other Indians, ostracised and bullied due to their brave attempts at representing Indians on the political scene.
A typical conversation between a new “Malaysian” from a western African nation and an Indian staff in a bank, ends with the Indian woman asserting that her rights and freedom are not guaranteed in Malaysia. She would politely inform the African man that her fate was even worse than the migrants who flood the country every year.
Migrants better off
Indonesian migrants will be granted ICs (red or blue) in the long run while Nigerians and Western Africans are now being granted long-term visas and/or Permanent Residence status – which is the red IC – while Indians are still struggling to get ICs.
While the West African man protested that he was jobless despite having a long-term “spouse” visa, the Indian woman retorted that she managed to get a job only after lobbying some politicians.
She added that she was not working in a sane or fair environment, where some of her colleagues would at times behave like bullies or show disdain for her colour and creed.
It was never safe for an Indian, man or woman, she added, to hold a job in Malaysia because of the ostracism against Indians and people of her pigmentation, which she would insist included the Africans and even other Muslims who are not Malays.
Despite the odds, the resilient Indian community has survived and remains ever hopeful. It wants a greater and fairer share of the economic pie. It wants equality, more freedom and recognition of its rights in the country.
Most young Indians do not understand that in a deal made in the 1950s and consolidated in the 1960s, the non-Malays were relegated to either “second or third class” citizens. The Indians fell into the latter category.
They had to struggle at all levels of society to get better jobs, better education and the freedom to be who they want without prejudice. From the days of VT Sambanthan, the fifth president of the MIC and one of the founding fathers of Malaysia, the lot of the Indians has not really improved
Gone are the days when the Alleycats dominated the Malaysian music charts, gone are the local Indian heroes in the local television programmes, and the innuendo continues. There’s no great Indian political leader left in the country, perhaps due to desertion of the Indian cause.
Or is it that, with the stringent Malay-Chinese dominance, the Indians are being sidelined for good in local politics, thus affecting the community’s quest for survival in modern Malaysia?
Just like the Malays and the Chinese, Indians in Malaysia are politically divided. Under Sambanthan, there was strong unity of the Indians under the MIC banner and this led them to support the BN for ages.
Until the formation of Hindraf, it was impossible to tell whether the Indians would support an opposition party or group, but in 2008 the Indians took a drastic step. The vast majority voted in favour of Pakatan.
That move appears to have backfired somewhat with BN acting adamantly against pro-opposition faces. Did this vote for the opposition cause a fall-off in favours for Indians within the BN?
Did the BN go on to sideline the Indians by cutting off job opportunities for them and giving them to migrants from India and Nepal, for example? Or is it that the Indians are fed up with low level jobs?
In a country where the Indians have to question whether they have the “right” to fight for their own welfare and whether they have enough freedom to speak and vote for whomever they want, the future for them does not seem bright.
Read more at: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2013/03/21/indians-a-lost-cause/