After 53 years of achieving independence Indians in Malaysia have remained permanently colonised by the UMNO Government. My forefathers were part of that great day on 31st August 1957.
My people equally celebrated the day Malaysia was born, 16 Sept 1963, and through Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak as well. We had hope. We hoped to build a new generation and society in the new nation.
Alas, we were played out right from the beginning by Tunku Abdul Rahman, followed by his successors.
One of the major concession for the non-Malays in Peninsular Malaysia agreeing to Article 153 was the granting of citizenship to all Malaysians born after Merdeka and the existing non-Malays who pledged their allegiance to Malaya be given citizenship.
Never did our forefathers dream that we would be re colonised by the UMNO led government. Today, an estimated of 450,000 Malaysian Indians are stateless. This includes an estimated 150,000 stateless children. Pardon me, these are estimates and the Government would most certainly refute these estimates. But they know the problem is real and exists.
Our forefathers bought the story of Tunku and Razak that by virtue of Article 8 and the second limb of Article 153 that the rights of the non-Malays would be protected as well. That Article 153 would be revisited after 15 years. Even the Conference of Malay Rulers provided guarantees to the British that after 15 years the non-Malays would be treated equally as citizens of this country. I sincerely belief the May 1969 riot was engineered by UMNO to divert from their promises to revisit Article 153.
Little did our forefathers realise that we were falling into the trap of a neo-colonialist UMNO.
UMNO took the role of the colonial masters and managed the country by a mandore system “employing” political parties, MCA and MIC as mandores to fulfil their racist, supremacist Malay agenda of Ketuanan Melayu.
Ketuanan Melayu is an insidious ideology, which was first planted by Malaysia’s founding father, Tunku Abdul Rahman, and further honed by his successors. The Hidden Agenda appears to be to enable the ruling elite to indulge in abuse of power and exercise absolute power to embark on runaway corruption at the expense of the nation.
The MCA and MIC leaders were dished out privileges, perks and positions in Government. They were used as a front – window-dressing and tokenism -- to portray to the world at large that Malaysia is a truly multi-racial country where power-sharing among the races has created the success story of a new nation.
In turn these mandore political parties divert and indoctrinate their people to believe that they have been given an opportunity in this country for which they are grateful to their tuans (masters) UMNO.
On the other hand, UMNO portrays their political rival PAS as an extremist Muslim party which would turn the country into an Islamic state and therefore it was in the best interest of the Chinese and Indians to swear allegiance to them rather than run the risk of being converted by the sword, so to speak.
And so the Indians and Chinese were enslaved by UMNO, their new masters.
The Chinese controlled the economy and were the tax payers in the majority while the Indians were the backbone to the main export industry to the new nation Malaysia in the plantation industry. The Indians were cheap labourers to man the plantations, build roads and railway tracks (as well as maintaining them). The revenue that was contributed by the Chinese and Indians were usurped by UMNO in the name of Ketuanan Melayu. We were the hambas (slaves) of UMNO, the new tuans.
So are we people of a nation that had achieved independence?
UMNO refused to provide citizenships to tens of thousands of Indians particularly those who lived deep in the plantation areas. In those days driving out 10 miles away from KL means you were going into deep jungle into the wild and here and in other states hundreds of thousands of Indians served their new nation as plantation workers.
The country underwent rapid development from about 1970 onwards and plantation estates were gradually acquired by the Government in the name of development.
In a study conducted by the Centre for Public Policy Studies, an estimated 300,000 plantation workers were uprooted from their established plantation background between 1975-1995 and were displaced. In my meetings with United Nations officials in 2008 they confirmed that I could use the term “internally displaced people” (IDP).
These Internally displaced plantation workers were not given compensation, training opportunities, housing ect and they became the new urban poor and underclass who were neglected by the UMNO tuans.
Compare these loyal workers who contributed to this nation for almost 200 years and the felda LBJ in Negeri sembilan who were equally displaced. The Felda settlers were compensated up to RM3.5 million per family for a contribution of almost 30 years. It is plainly obvious the Indian workers were simply driven out of the estates and were no longer needed as they have been “sucked” for more than 200 years. The Government knew they had a responsibility for these people but deliberately ignored them. When these ex-plantation workers were ejected from the estates most did not have their citizenships and till date have remained so. Many are 4th and 5th generation Malaysians but are not recognised, not only as Malaysians but as HUMAN BEINGS.
They do not have birth certificates so they can never enrol their children (who in turn are denied BC’s) in schools (now urban areas). The child is denied education. He or she can never avail himself to a decent job. Even if he finds a job, there are no Socso or EPF contributions and he is paid even worse that the Bangladeshi worker. He can never obtain treatment in a government hospital. He can never get married legally. He can never obtain a motorcycle licence or any driving licence that would yield an income. Bank accounts are out of the question. Bidding or even purchasing a rumah murah (low cost house) is out of the question.