Thursday, December 24, 2009

S. Ponny 33, 3 children, RM 300.00 p.m. welfare help, poor single parent.

This single parent in addition to her three step children also has to bring up a two year old handicapped child (since birth) (Utusan Malaysia 7/12/09 at page 16).

Earnings below RM 478.00 per month has been capped as the cut off point for the hardcore poor in the Ninth Malaysia Plan. But Ponny’s welfare aid is about 40% below the hardcore poverty rate.

To make matters worse there is no way this single parent could go to work with these four very young children.

Her husband left her. We assess it was because of poverty related problems. Unlike a Malay muslim, an Iban, Kadazan, orang asli or even a Chinese who would have village or Chinese New Village to go to or to fall back on, this poor Indian lady would have to end up paying at least about RM 200.00 per month in rentals alone. Now what does Ponny do with the balance of the RM 100.00 per month and with five mouths to feed. What’s the future of her four children? Especially the handicapped child whose pampers alone would cost about RM 300.00 per mouth that the Welfare Department is giving her.

Malaysia which can afford to build the tallest twin towers in the world and Petronas’ profit for the first six months of 2009 alone being RM 22 Billion (NST 9/12/09 front page) and the RM 191.5 Billion 2010 budget (NST, Star 24/10/2009 headlines) can certainly give Ponny a government flat/house and RM 900.00 per month as state welfare financial assistance and thereby keeping her above the hardcore poverty level and alleviating her day to day mysery.

Ponny would get no extra help from Baitumal, JAIS, JAKIM, Tabung Haji, Perkim etc. Had Ponny been a Malay muslim, she would have received this help if not the ten acre land ownership scheme in Felda, Felcra, Risda, FAMA, Agropolition etc or the scores of land schemes for livestock and the government’s One District One Industry plan. At the very least S.Ponny and her four children could keep afloat above the hardcore poverty level in these land ownerships schemes with the assistance of her three children. But there is no history in the last forty years or so of UMNO giving the poor Indians land in these aforesaid land ownership schemes.

Ponny is a classical example of a potential committing suicide case which is 600% higher than for the Malays. (Refer Malaysian Indian Minority & Human Rights Violations Annual Report 2008 to Pravasi Bharathiya Divas International Conference at Chennai, India 7th – 9th January 2009)

UMNO must give Ponny and thousands of other Indians the right to a decent livelihood and not these peanuts welfare help of RM 100.00 to RM 300.00 per month. We want a permanent solutions and not piecemeal UMNO politics. UMNO has to leach Ponny how to catch fish and not by giving her one fish every month.

P. Uthayakumar.