Tamil, Malayalee, Ceylonese, Punjabi, Gujurati – so what?


If PKR were to be swayed by such goups, it will lose its moral right to lay claim to champion all Malaysians. Such groups should sit down with Ibrahim Ali and form various chapters of the same circus.

By Ice Cream Seller

Sivarasa may be constrained to tell the so-called Tamil speaking ‘leaders’ of PKR to go to hell.

Siva, on your behalf and without your indulgence, I will say so.

First and foremost, we are MALAYSIANS. Full stop.

Speaking Tamil or the inability to do so is a red herring. The late Dato Pathmanathan was fluent in Tamil but that didn’t help him in MIC – because he was Malayalee (for the uninitiated, people from Kerala in India are known as Malayalees – just like Dr Mahathir’s paternal origins, we are sometimes told).Though Dato Pathma was Harvard educated, it was not enough for these Tamil champs (or chumps).

Sivarasa is a Tamil – whose roots are from Sri Lanka (Ceylon, as it was known). In Sri Lanka, the races are broadly divided into Sinhala (the majority – who are mostly Buddhist, Tamils, Burghers (Eurasians like our brothers in Malacca), Muslims (all Muslims are lumped into one group regardless of whether one is of Indian or Arab origin) and others (including Malays).

Pre-independence, 2 groups of Tamils found their way to Malaya – the ones from Tamil Nadu in India and those from Ceylon (Sri Lanka – hence the term Ceylonese – to denote their Ceylon nationality).

The Tamils from Tamil Nadu were (as I was taught and indeed observed) largely brought to work the estates and the railroads. The Tamils from Sri Lanka were brought to help administer the civil service and being largely English educated were also delployed in the railways, telecoms, schools, hospitals etc.

The Tamil spoken by the South Indian folks differ somewhat to that spoken by the Sri Lankan Tamils though the written script is the same (but who cares).

Ananda Krishnan, Gnanalingam, the late Tan Sri Selvarajah, Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam are of Sri Lankan Tamil descent (but who cares – they are Malaysians). Sivarasa is not fluent in Tamil as spoken by the main Tamil population in Malaysia but am quite sure he can rattle off a few profanities in Tamil as we did even if we didn’t quite know the full meanings of them.

What is it with these folks? If Tamil is so important to them, then they should go to India (even if they are Malaysian born) and apply for the status of PIO – Person of Indian Origin. Better still, go to Tamil Nadu specifically and they can literally talk to their MPs till the cows come home (hey, the cows there understand Tamil too).

To a large extent, MIC, by persevering with Tamil schools, ensured their own survival with a ready pool of Tamil educated Malaysians – ready to serve MIC, as opposed to providing them a good education to get out of their vicious cycle of abject poverty. I must stress that there are many professional Malaysians who have indeed come through the Tamil medium schools.

If Tamil was the lingua franca of commerce in Malaysia or for that matter in South East Asia, by all means pursue its learning. But really, outside of South India, it is difficult for a Tamil scholar to reach his full potential. Tamil culture and language has a long and treasured history – no issue with that but we are not in India.

For the record, my late father spoke impeccable Tamil but he was an English graduate and he believed that in multi racial Malaysia, education (at that time in English) was the way forward for his Malay, Chinese and Indian students. We were united by English but today these groups want to use Tamil to divide (actually to achieve their own ends).

Instead of trying to replace Sivarasa, they should spend their energy in trying to get the senior police officers to be Tamil speaking so that they can attend to the disproportionately large Tamil speaking people regularly rounded up by the cops as suspects and I do not mean this in a disparaging way to the Tamil brothers and sisters.

If PKR were to be swayed by such goups, it will lose its moral right to lay claim to champion all Malaysians. Such groups should sit down with Ibrahim Ali and form various chapters of the same circus – chimps, chumps, apes, beruks and an orangutan as the chief entertainer.