With the jarring inequalities and discrimination targeted at some Malaysian communities, can we really blame those who pursue greener pastures elsewhere, asks Syerleena Abdul Rashid.
Looking at the larger social setting in the wake of Hindraf 1 and 2 and the state’s neglect of many of those in abandoned or neglected plantations, we shouldn’t be surprised if the sense of desperation and exasperation felt by the Indian Malaysian under-class finds resonance among other marginalised groups in the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak. David Anthony describes the angst.
A moment comes in the history of a nation when its citizens are asked to bear testimony to their belief in justice and truth. That defining moment will soon be coming with the next election, said Aliran president P Ramakrishnan, at Aliran’s 30th anniversary celebratory dinner attended by some 700 concerned Malaysians. He recalled the ups and downs in the 30 years of Aliran and noted that those in Aliran were once labelled and abused – but at the same time, they also discovered the joy of standing up for justice and found what makes living worthwhile.
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.
After interviewing some Indian Malaysian families in an estate, in a low-cost housing area and in a longhouse within the outskirts of the Federal Territory, David Anthony was surprised – but not shocked – to find that their socio-financial situation has worsened over the years. Rights, he laments, remain written in the clouds never reaching the poor and helpless on the ground.