An Indian Malaysian opposition MP went head to head with a BN deputy minister in the Dewan Rakyat today, debating alleged government failures to uplift the fate of Malaysians of Indian descent.

NONE“Indians have been marginalised, they have become third class citizens,” decried M Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat) in his supplementary query during Question Time today.

He said that the failures of the Barisan Nasional-led government in this regard are clearly self-evident, claiming that 70 percent of Indians still earn less than RM700 a month, with the minority community being plagued with social ills.

“Indians have the highest numbers of gangsters, the highest number of unemployed, the highest number of alcoholics and the highest number of single mothers".

He also acidly referred to Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department SK Devamany, who fielded his main question on government Indian uplifting efforts, as 'Mr Sasterawan' (Mr Poet), taking a dig at the former BM teacher well known for reciting pantuns during his Dewan Rakyat appearances.

"This is a bit under the belt. He is a cheapskate guy," retorted Devamany when he stood up to answer the supplementary question.

"I am a resident of Ipoh Barat. My house is there. The Ipoh Barat MP, what are his contributions to halls and schools in the constituency? None".

To this jibe, Kulasegaran stood up and asked what is the government for if an MP like him is asked to do everything.

"Otherwise we can just shut down the government".

NONEWhile admitting that the BN government's efforts are "not perfect" and that "there are problems", the deputy minister said that things are well on the way for uplifting the life of Malaysians of Indian descent.

Devamany (left) also took another jibe at Kulasegaran for standing up to interject without leave from him or the speaker.

"If my pupils are like these, not listening to me, I would eject them from the classroom ".

The remark further ruffled the Ipoh Barat MP's feathers, who retorted, "that is the speaker's prerogative. Don't (presume) to teach me".

The economic fate and social issues of Malaysians of Indian descent has been a sore point for the BN-led government as it has to admit that the situation is indeed in need of improvement while trying to deny that its Indian policies have not met with much success.

Meanwhile, the Pakatan opposition has been using the matter like daggers to stab and turn in BN's underbelly.