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.
Certainly remove wasteful subsidies, Abang Benet tells Idris Jala. But please ensure that the poor and the marginalised continue receiving subsidies; after all, why penalise them for the excesses of Umno/BN?
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 Selangor government has come up with a series of measures to ease the plight of the lower income and marginalised groups in the state, says State Exco Member for Health, Poverty, Estate Workers and Caring Government Dr Xavier Jayakumar, who is also an Aliran member.
Many social issues related to the Hindraf demands are, in fact, shared by the disadvantaged of all communities, points out Tong Veng Wye.If we can, it is far better for us to stand on the platform of our common humanity.
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.
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.