The plight of ignorant and uneducated Indians is legendary and deserves sympathy and compassion. From a humanitarian point of view, a caring and compassionate government would have rendered services to relieve them of their misery. But that doesn’t seem to be the case in Malaysia.
For almost 30 years, Maika shareholders, many of them poor, waited in vain to enjoy the fruit of their investment. Now the shareholders are being offered a miserable RM0.80 for every ringgit invested, observes P Ramakrishnan.
Training the spotlight on the Barisan, Martin Jalleh feels the MIC does not have much of a future, thanks to its long-serving president, Samy Vellu, who could sink the party along with himself.
Bhanoji Rao reviews a new book looking at the emergence of India and the Indian communities in East Asia.
Malaysia does not need another communitarian party that caters to the primary concerns of a particular ethnic or religious community, says Farish A Noor. We already forced have too many parties based on ethnic and religious loyalties, and yet another sectarian party like Mindraf will hardly bring us any closer to a Malaysia where identity is based on universal citizenship and equal rights.
Malaysians have indeed awakened. Indian Malaysians, for instance, voted in droves for the opposition in the last general election. It is time to tackle the root causes of their discontentment, says P Sivakumar.
The death in police custody of Kugan Ananthan, a 22-year old who was arrested on suspicion of being part of a luxury car-theft racket has eroded the credibility of the police force among a significant section of the Malaysian people. Unless there emerges the political will to deal with the record of abuses in the police seriously and openly, this credibility is not about to be recovered soon, observes Farish Noor.
The Hindraf protests are, in effect, a cry of the dispossessed, says Subramaniam Pillay, and this could radically alter the future political landscape. If there is a much larger opposition in the next Parliament, the whole dynamics of human and economic rights will undergo a dramatic change.
Many of the economic problems facing Indian Malaysians are also experienced by workers of all races in Malaysia – even the Malays. So the struggle for socio-economic justice must be reoriented to make it more multi-racial, says Aliran member Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj, who is tipped to contest against Samy Vellu in the coming general election.
Aliran is concerned about the arrests of leaders of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) – P Uthayakumar, P Waythamoorthy and V Ganapathy Rao – ahead of a planned gathering on Sunday, 25 November at the British embassy. Many Malaysians are likely to view the police action as being politically motivated.