Sunday, October 3, 2010

Gandhi's birthday rings hollow for M'sian Indians

(Malaysiakini) The Human Rights Party Malaysia (HRP) called for the honouring of Mahatma Gandhi's birthday today with a permanent solution and land titles to poor Indian villagers, such as that availed to other communities.

NONEHRP pro-tem secretary-general P Uthayakumar said, “As a permanent solution, we hereby call for all Indian villages and settlements nationwide to be forthwith granted land titles.”

He took to task both Pakatan Rakyat and BN for systematically “ethnically cleansing” the Indians one by one, by either offering them a token sum of cash or nothing at all without looking into solving the problem.

Uthayakumar also criticised the flats offered the Indians saying they were beyond the means of many in the community.

He pointed out that many were trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty that prevented them from obtaining loans, and found their flats auctioned off and themselves back on the streets when they could not make the monthly instalments.

He further demanded that federal and state governments put a halt to further demolition of Indian villages and settlements that are part of the history of this country.

On an averagem almost every day some Indian poor is served an eviction notice or is evicted from their only homes, said Uthayakumar in an open letter to the government yesterday.
The letter was addressed to Premier Najib Abdul Razak, Federal Territory Minister Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Kedah Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak.

'Whither allocations for Indians?'

“Unlike for the Indian poor, there are even 507 permanent Chinese new villages with land titles nationwide receiving RM55 million allocation at RM500,000.00 per Chinese village,“ he claimed.

NONEHe alleged that there are similarly thousands of permanent villages with land titles for the Malay, Orang Asli, Kadazan and Iban poor.

He lamented that to this day the Indian poor do not have such equivalent benefits, saying they had been denied land titles from the start.

He was equally critical of the Pakatan Perak government that he said granted land for up to 110,000 Malays, Chinese and Orang Asli “but had conveniently forgotten the Indian community”.

He added that this was only the “tip of the iceberg” for titles given to the other communities.

“But a similar permanent solution ...has never been granted to the poor Indians. Why? Why are they are systematically “ethnically cleansed?” he asked.

“Why one rule for the poor Indians and another for the poor Malays, Orang Asli, Iban, Kadazan and Chinese? Why take advantage and bully these poor Indians who are powerless and helpless (economically and politically)?”

Uthayakumar claimed that small Indian farms and settlements were demolished by the Kedah state government, and reprised the saga of the demolition of Kg Buah Pala in Penang.

He also quoted several incidents of Indians being victimised of their homes although they had the rights to the land that they were occupying.