Call on the government to address the long standing issues faced by the Indian community.
Yesterday in Parliament, I posed an oral question on the measures taken for the upliftment of Indians since 2008.
My question reads as follows “Asking the Prime Minister to state the measures taken by the Government to improve the economics status of the Indian community since the last General Elections.
The Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Dato Devamany replied to my question.
Right from the start, I specifically told the Speaker that I preferred the Prime Minister to answer my question.
To this the deputy Speaker chairing the Dewan sitting replied that the Deputy Minister and I are of the same race and it better for him to answer.
I took objections and said the UMNO system of "divide and rule" was at work, with an Indian deputy minister assigned to reply my question.
As the Prime Minister was absent, the Deputy Minister proceeded to reply on behalf of the Government.
Dato Devamany mentioned that the various initiatives of economic action since the New Economic Policy, like the formation of Ministerial task force headed by Minister DS Subramaniam , the increased of disposable income of RM 3446 in 2004 to 3999 in 2009, allocation to Tamil schools and the like had brought much real benefits to the Indians.
However, the above polices are piecemeal and done on ad hoc basis. They are done ad hoc merely to win the Indian votes for the time being.
A good and caring government would do is to have policies which are long term in nature and implemented fairly.
I retorted that the Indians are not in a rosy situation as painted by the Deputy Minister. In fact the bulk of the Indians, nearly 70% of them, earn less than RM 700 a month. Many live in dire situations and the ground situation shows that the Indian are in an underclass situation, marganilized and are 3rd class citizens in Malaysia.
In comparison to other races , the Indians have the highest rate of unemployment, largest number of single mothers, highest rate of suicide, highest rate of crime, alcoholism , highest rate of drop out from schools and stateless people.
All these draw backs are due to the indifference and discriminatory policies of the BN Government.
In 2000 the Government announced that the equity participation would be increased from 1.2% to 3% by the year 2010. When 2010 came, the Government postponed the target date to 2020. This itself shows the lack of seriousness of the Government of the day.
To address the dire needs of the Indians, it would be best to form a Parliamentary Select committee or a high level Commission to look into and suggest ways to address the long standing issues faced by the Indian community.