Part 3 – BN and Hindraf MOU

This is the third article in a series which aims to set a standard of reference for what needs to be done to uplift the Indian poor in Malaysia. 

Hindraf Economic Unit

There are not many occasions where the average Malaysian voter will take the time to consider his fellow citizen who comes from a Low Income Indian Household, aka the people whose interests Hindraf represents. This is simply because the Indian poor does not work where the average Malaysian works, or eats where the average voter eats, or shops with him or lives in the same neighbourhood.

Even though the Indian poor who has been displaced to the urban areas goes about his life amongst the more affluent Malaysians, he is usually invisible, except when the two worlds collide. The collisions are sometimes violent when crime is involved, and at other times are of the benign sort, like when the Alam Flora trucks come trundling along. For example, how many middle class voters would have noticed that 90% of Alam Flora workers are from the ranks of the Indian poor, in stark contrast to the usual 0% that the Indian poor occupy in most other industries and businesses?

On the same note, the problems that afflict the Indian poor are also vastly different to those that concern the average Malaysian voter. That is why, come election, one of the few times where the Indian poor cannot be ignored because they will actually be there queuing up at the voting centres amongst the rest of the voters, no one seemed to know how to get them to vote one way or another beyond the usual rice packet and instant noodles, tray of eggs and RM 50 in an ang pao packet.

It will not be wrong to say that for the current elections, both coalitions would have not enjoyed having to talk to Hindraf in order to ensure that they will get the lion’s share of the support from the Indian poor. The only difference among the two coalitions is that BN was willing to commit itself in writing and actually have the decency to offer an apology to the Indian poor along the way, while Pakatan at times seemed unable to tell its arse from its elbow.

But signing an MOU with anyone does not mean that the problems of the Indian poor will disappear. The only way the problems of the Indian poor will ever go away is if the rest of society does what is needed to ensure that marginalisation becomes a thing of the past for all Malaysians.

Foremost amongst those who can make a difference in the lives of the Indian poor are the other Indian voters, who are actually the main targets of these articles. But what has become evident over the days and weeks since the signing of the MOU is that a significant portion of the Indian middle and upper classes have as poor an understanding of the problems of the Indian poor as the rest of Malaysia does.

Perhaps it is time to spell things out so that the Indian voters out there, regardless of who they vote for, will have an idea on how to help their less fortunate brethren improve their lot.

First of all, there is no Malaysian Malaysia (PR) or Satu Malaysia that makes an iota of difference in the lives of the Indian poor. Slogans do not create jobs or opportunities, only targeted policies do. As long as jobs are advertised as Chinese only or Malay only, that is the real Malaysia for the rest of the country.

Secondly, while the chances are that BN will hold on to Putrajaya, there is always an outside possibility that Pakatan will do the impossible and march into Putrajaya. If this does happen, it is up to the pro Pakatan Indian voter, to ensure that Pakatan implements the policies that will uplift the Indian poor. Do not worry about figuring out what to do and how, just take the 5 year Hindraf blueprint as well as the steps outlined in the BN-Hindraf MOU and run with it.

Third, and this is the most probable outcome, Pakatan will continue to form the State governments in a few states. If the pro Pakatan Indian voter does not want a repeat of what has transpired in GE 13, then get your respective state governments to implement policies that will actually target and reach the Indian poor in your respective states.

A word to the wise, it may seem like Hindraf has become the favourite target of the pro Pakatan cyber supporters of late, but that is not the case. Hindraf has always been one of the favourite targets of the pro Pakatan cyber troopers, the only difference being that most of the attacks of yesterday came from the Chinese Pakatan supporter. Now, it is the Indian Pakatan supporter who carries the ball.

The attacks against Hindraf are at best a nuisance to us, and all we can say is that you will be better off spending your time actually doing something useful. Anyone that thinks that ad hominem attacks or allegations of being bought will do anything but get Hindraf and subsequently BN even more support from the Indian poor, has got another think coming.


Hindraf Economic Unit