Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hindraf’s 18 demands and what Hindraf wants

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There are many out there who say that Hindraf/HRP is being unreasonable and destructive in their demands. Let us examine that for a bit, because it is a very serious matter, really.. Hindraf’s 18 points of demand cover the following:
1) An end to the ongoing violations of the Malaysian Federal Constitution
2) An end to the deeply rooted racism in Malaysian society
3) Affirmative action to rehabilitate the marginalized and abandoned Indian poor
4) All Tamil Primary Schools to be made fully government funded and with complete facilities – in short a consolidation of Primary education for the Indian poor.
5) Equal and fair opportunities for higher education for Indians to realize the true potential of the young of our country
6) Equal and fair opportunities for business to provide adequate opportunities for upward mobility
7) Eliminate the Mandore system of subjugating the Indian poor
8) 20% of top level positions in Government and GLCs to be set aside for Indians as a means of ensuring a fair and competent Civil service
9) Government to become transparent in all of the above as a check and balance
10) Government to stop demolition of Temples, Burial Grounds and grant state land for all such needs and allow complete freedom of religion
11) Stop the bullying of Indians by the Police because they form such a soft target
12) Establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Kg. Medan killings and pay due compensation of RM1,000,000 to each affected family, like what has just happened to the late Anuar bin Sarip.
13) The Indian poor be paid compensation for 50 years of neglect by the Malaysian government, the process to be adjudicated by the Un and the quantum of compensation to be determined by them
14) Provide affordable homes to all Malaysians and set a minimum wage of RM 1,000 for all.
15) Establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to study the violations of the constitution and to recommend due affirmative actions to correct the situation
16) Stop all forms of religious discrimination and a race Relations Act and a Equal Opportunities Commission and Freedom of Religion Commission be set up.
17) Set up specific laws to assure the independence of the various arms of the government like the Judiciary, the police, the Civil Service, the Attorney General’s Chambers, the Human Rights Commission and the Media
18) Set aside a minimum of 20 MPs seats for Indians to be elected by Indians.
If you think about the points raised it is very clear that it covers all aspects of life for the Indians. In summary what the document looks for is a totally new beginning for the Indians in the country after reworking some of the fallout from the last 53 years of neglect and abuse.
These points do not only touch on the lives of Indians though in many cases the points specifically point to Indians. In reality when these points are realized all of Malaysia will benefit. You cannot really think of the ruling elite acceding to these demands purely to the Indians. All these can only be realized when there is an overhaul of the entire system.
Basically what the 18 points calls for is a better life for the working poor and a for a complete democratization of the socio-political system of the country. Now isn’t that a large and bold objective that benefits all in the country.
The call for an 18 point demand is really a call for a major upliftment of Malaysian society as a whole. Racism is really an anachronistic concept whose time is well over. But the UMNOPutras in their shortsighted wisdom think that this is the way to go to build a nation in their own image of a purely Malay country. This is not tenable given the paradigm developing across the world of open borders and shrinking distances. The UMNOPutra’s paradigm is definitely one that is not achievable. What will result will be a destruction of Malaysia and a squandering of the potential greatness of the country. Malaysia was a model to the third world on the 60s and 70s in the last century. Now it has the twin towers to boast about. When the opportunity is squandered everyone will lose, the Malays, the Chinese, the Indians, the KadazanDusuns, the Dayaks, the Ibans everyone. Since the Malays are the predominant community, they will land up losing the most.
It is not the resources available in a country that makes for its greatness. Resources are transient and will get consumed in time and then afterwards what are you then left with. It is the people of a nation that make for the greatness of a nation and if this basic wisdom cannot be perceived by the UMNOPutras in time, they will drive Malaysia into the ground in time. They are already driving away significant human potential from this land, out of their illusory concepts of self preservation. They will not allow the nascent human potential in the country to develop, They keep promoting mediocracy with corruption, nepotism and cronyism and their racism.
The people who should develop will not be developed and people who are developed will not be able to rise to the tasks of a nation in competition with the rest of the world because of a culture of mediocrity. And time and resources would have been spent and as someone the other day was saying we will probably land up exporting maids to our neighbouring countries in the second half of this century.
The 18 point demand is no simple set of demands. They are a set of demands which if dealt with in an intelligent response can potentially bring us back from the brink of all of this. They require guts and they require Statemenship to be able to be dealt with squarely. No myopic leader will ever be able to understand just what it stands for. Rather such leaders in their myopia will only pass all of this off as nonsense spouting from extremists and racists and in their supreme wisdom will let a historic opportunity slip.
Indians in the country are the ones that seek change most. They are the ones who have been worst affected by the ways of this system. The ones who have most inertia against any change are the UMNOPutras, because they have benefitted the most from the current arrangement. So, Hindraf and HRP in championing the rights and interests of the Indians are pitting themselves against the most conservative segment of Malaysians. Hindraf and HRP have established courage and an ability to confront injustice fearlessly as their trademarks. In that tradition they will continue, inspite of the odds against them.Hindraf and HRP will continue to grow as the wisdom and their deep understanding of the needs of Malaysian society are appreciated by more and more as time passes. When you are right , it is only a matter of time. Truth always prevails.
Hindraf and HRP in pushing the agenda of the Indian poor are really pushing to build a great and new Malaysia.
Valga Hindraf. Valga HRP.