(Malaysiakini) The Human Rights Party Malaysia (HRP) has responded to Premier Najib Abdul Razak's request for feedback from the public for the 2011 Budget.
It yesterday submitted a 20-point proposal for the betterment of the Indian community in the country to Najib, who is also the finance minister.
HRP pro-tem secretary-general P Uthayakumar made available a copy to Malaysiakini today.
It proposes a budget of RM53 billion - based on an allocation of RM1 billion to "undo each year of injustice suffered by the Indian community for the past 53 years".
Uthayakumar's argument is that the Malaysian Indian poor are the poorest community in Malaysia - even poorer than the Orang Asli, Malay, Kadazan and Iban, who all have their traditional villages and ancestral land as their social safety net, unlike the Indian poor.
HRP's proposal is as follows:
1) Grant the estimated 450,000 hardcore poor Indians 10 acres of land each in a scheme similar to the Felda, Felcra and Risda land ownership schemes that 442,000 poor Malays have benefited from.
2) Grant land titles to all Hindu temples, Hindu cemeteries, Tamil schools and Indian settlements as a permanent solution.
3) All Tamil schools must be converted to fully financially aided government schools by December 2011 to be on par with other Malay, Islamic or Chinese schools.
4) The 12,650 places in the 39 MRSM and fully residential schools and in the 20 elite public schools like MRSM, MCKK, Tunku Kurshiah College, Cyberjaya College (NST July 9, 2010) to be open to all, especially deserving poor Indian students.
5) Grant scholarships from JPA, Mara, Petronas, Yayasan Negeris, GLC Yayasan, TNB, TM, etc to all, especially the poor Indian students who had scored 5A1s and above.
6) For all others, especially poor Indian students, PTPTN loans are to be granted to pursue their ambitions, to do medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, bio-medicine etc at local private and overseas universities and institutions of higher learning.
7) In short no poor Indian student should be denied higher education.
8) A minimum monthly wage for all Malaysians at RM1,300 per month.
9) That Socso be made the poor man's insurance scheme and 24-hour insurance coverage be granted, unlike the present accidental death and disability coverage only at work or going to and from work.
10) The minimum Socso pension should be RM750 which is the marker for poverty in Malaysia.
11) Licences and bank loans be granted to all, especially deserving poor Indians for businesses like scrap-metal, car washing, petty trading, and the operation of stalls and food stalls, lorries, taxis, buses, tourist vans etc.
12) Licences, permits, direct projects and contracts and bank loans and business opportunities be granted to all deserving Indians.
13) There should be no impediments for Indians to serve in the Malay-controlled civil service and GLCs, banks and corporations. And there shall be no race-based discrimination in promotions, salary increments, or top civil service jobs like secretaries-general, directors-general, directors, managers, officers etc.
14) Similarly the Indians should not be discriminated against in the Malaysian Chinese-controlled private sector.
15) A 'Protection of poor Malaysian Indians' Act to be passed to secure the interests of the ethnic Indian minority community.
16) The 209 Giat Mara colleges, vocational and technical schools and all government funded and aided skills training institutions should be fully open and made available to every poor Indian.
17) Full legal aid for all criminal cases beginning from remand proceedings onwards for all Malaysians earning RM5,000 and below.
18) Affordable three-bedroom state-funded homes with a minimum of 1,000 sq feet at nominal rentals of RM50.00 per month, or available to be purchased at RM25,000. Government loans to be provided for those blacklisted, or above 55 years old or who cannot get bank loans, for every poor Indian.
19) The estimated 150,000 Indian children being denied birth certificates and their parents denied identity cards and rendered stateless; to get their documents on or before December 2011.
20) All Indian-based welfare homes, orphanages and old folks' homes to be granted full financial assistance and facilities.
"To this effect Hindraf and HRP would like to participate in the Economic Planning Unit's (EPU) Implementation and Co-ordination Unit (ICU) and the Central Coordinating Unit (CCU) to help the government implement the above," suggested Uthayakumar.