DAP will ensure that the Indians’ social and economic setbacks will be effectively addressed.
|Lim Kit Siang announced the Gelang Patah Declaration|
Indian population is only about 7% of the total population in the country. Yet in terms of economic and social problems, the Indians are the most affected and many long standing Indian issues remain unaddressed and unresolved after 56 years under the BN rule.
The introduction of the New Economic Policy [NEP] in 1970 was aimed to eliminate poverty and improve the economic situation of all races. But the result was the reverse for the Indian community.
In the 70's, the majority of the Indian community was in the rural areas and engaged in the estates as labourers. But due to fragmentation of estates, there was migration of Indians from the rural areas to the urban areas.
Now over 70% live in the urban areas. The majority are in the "urban poor" situation and are saddled with high crime rate, unemployment and social issues.
Various BN Government programmes have not been effective in assisting or eliminating the setbacks to the Indian community.
In 1970, 17% of the Government work force were Indian. Now it's less than 5%.
Stateless people applicants were 9529 and 6590 applicants were approved, said the BN government. But these statistics can't be believed as thousands are said to be non citizens.
Last year, the BN government announced the building of 7 new Tamil schools and the allocation of additional 1000 matriculation paces from the present 509 to the Indian students.
Till today, new Tamil schools have not been built yet. In fact, even construction has not started.
Out of the additional 1000 matriculation seats, only 70% were offered.
I have raised these two issues in Parliament and reminded the Government of its unkept promises. If it can't ful fill clear cut promises when election is so near, how will these promises be ever carried out in full?
I n 1999, I resisted the abolishment of the South Indian Labour Fund (SILF). SILF was initially set up by the British to assist South Indians economically including financing their return to India if the need be.
I moved a parliamentary motion to press for its continued existence and I suggested an annual allocation of RM half billion yearly to propel the Indians economically. My suggestion was killed by MIC and BN.
It is sad to say this but the fact is that many Indians today feel they are the third class citizens of this country.
In fact, in 2000, TIME magazine has carried an article about the Malaysian Indians, describing them as a "disgruntled underclass" with many of them feeling like "third-class citizens" in the country and the "real losers" since the introduction of the New Economic Policy in 1970.
The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib has talked about Nambike and asked the Indian community to place their trust in him and BN government.
But has BN government really listened to the cry of despair of the Indian community?
BN has not listened for decades before the last general election, and Najib has not truly listened too since becoming the nation; sixth Prime Minister.
What Najib has done for the Indian community in the last 4 years are just too little and too late. Many measures implemented are merely for the purpose of wooing voter support and are not solutions to the long standing problems faced by the Indian community.
DAP and Pakatan Rakyat vow to bring about A Better Malaysia for All and to correct the injustices done to the Indian community.
We are committed to offer a permanent solution to the many issues faced by the Indian community.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Later, I spoke at a Ubah truck Ceramah held at Skudai. I had questioned why no action had been taken against Kulim Bandar Baru MP Zulkilfi Noordin for insulting Hinduim and hurting the feelings of Hindus.