Friday, July 22, 2011

Malaysian Indian poor has zero village safety net. 607 New Villages for Chinese poor, thousands for Malay, Asli, Iban & Kadazan villages for poor.

Picture3 In any part of the world the social safety net for any community is their ancestral and traditional villages. In these villages they get to engage in at least agriculture  and lifestock farming for their livelihood. Thus their social safety net beyond which they would not fall. And in these villages they live as a community.

Unlike the example of the lone Indian poor ageing lady in her hut and living in worst off conditions than the Orang Asli (see photo).The most misfortunate, disabled, old and orphans are taken care of by the village community.

Even the dishwasher from Tamil Nadu a working in Brickfields may be better of than the 5th and 6th generation Malaysian born. Indian poor in the event of any misfortunate, disability or old age, always has a village social safety net to go back to in India. But this is not so for the Malaysian Indian poor. There are almost zero Indian poor villages in One Malay-sia as their social safety net.

rightly43_thumbThe few and far in between Kg Muniandi, Kg Ghandi, Kg Kanchang Puteh, kg Chikadee, Kg DBI, Kg Buah Pala, Kg Bengali, etc have denied permanent land titles and have been “ethnically cleansed” or waiting  for their day to be ethnically  cleansed. Even if there are the few Indian villages, their existence is temporary. As is the temporary solution for the Indian poor across  the board in One Malay-sia.

Land settled by the Indian poor are deemed squatters and bulldozed or waiting to be bulldozed but land settled by the Malays, Chinese and the Orang Asli Kadazan, Iban are recognized by the  State and granted permanent land titles.

Even the pre existing poor and landless Indian plantation workers were denied the 442,000 (112,635 Felda) (UM 21/4/10 at page 28), 28,235 Risda and 95,000 Felcra – BH  25/2/2010 at page 4).

We are only aware of some of Indians in the Felda schemes in Bahau, LBJ and Trolak and that too granted in the very early years in the 1960s. And never thereafter the ten acre land ownership schemes in Felda, Felcra and Risda schemes, 99% of which have been granted to the Malay muslims. We estimate over one million such ten acre land ownership schemes nationwide including those granted by Mardi, Fama, Agropolition and by the similar 13 State government ten acre land ownership schemes like Kejora, Kemubu, Kedara, Ketengah, etc where zero Indian poor have been granted land.

Even the Pakatan Rakyat State governments of Perak and Selangor within one month of they coming to power in Perak and Selangor granted:-
1) 110,000 land titles in 349 land titles in 349 Rancangan Kampung Tersusun for Malay muslims in Perak (UM 1/1/2009)
2)   102,000 land titles in 134 Chinese New  Villages in Perak. (NST 10/10/3 at page 23)
3)    2,500 acres to 9 Chinese Independent schools in Perak . (NST 31/8/8 at page 38).
4)    10 acres to each and every Orang asli in Perak (NST 9/3/9 at page 8).
5)    1,000 acres of land and RM100 Million for pig farming in Sepang Selangor. (NST 11/4/08 and
26/8/8).And today’s New Straits Times 22/7/11 at page 2, reported that there are 607 (Chinese) New Villages nationwide with 1.2 million villagers. To top it up no less than the Deputy Prime Minister grants RM 100 million to uplift the lives in these New Villages.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE                                              The UMNO government’s billions to uplift the lives of the Malay muslims, Orang Asli, Kadazan and Iban poor through various government programs goes without saying.

But to start off with there is almost zero permanent Indian villages, let alone the millions or billions of ringgit Malaysia to be given to them.

The tip of the iceberg case of the Indian poor without the social safety net is that of M. Krishnan (37) who was killed at the Bukit Jallil police lock up. Krishnan’s widow P. Revathi (37) had called over to our office in March 2011 told us that her husband was the sole bread winner who fed his family of six young aged between 8 to 17 years.  His pregnant wife can’t even go to work as she has to care for her three toddlers and cannot afford a baby sitter.

Even the UMNO Welfare Department refused to grant any emergency or other financial help. At best we know of some similar Indian poor families who were granted a maximum of RM 300 per month and that too for a mere three months and thereafter they have to go begging on their knees for the further RM 300. This RM 300.00 would not even be enough to pay her rentals in Sentul. This RM 300 Welfare help would go a long way if P. Revathi had the village safety net to fall back on. There was zero Indian village she could go back to or go to. The Felda, Felcra, Risda etc ten acre landownership schemes  would never take her in. What do we do; we have no answer for P. Revathi.

P. Revathi had asked us “What do I do now”? We had no answer we could just watch her cry silently. We do not know what ever happened to Revathi thereafter and we were helpless in the face of the bi-racial One Malay-sian political and economic reality.

P. Revathi told us that she is left with no other choice but to contemplate suicide. Tears swelled in the corner of our eyes and we took our sight out of the harsh reality she was undergoing to divert our mind. But we had and till today have no answers.

Had she been a Malay muslim the, Lembaga Urus, Zakat, Baitumal, Tabung Haji, Perkim, Yayasan, etc would have bailed her out.

Had she been a Chinese some Towkay would have bailed her out as they have been recipients of government largess for decades. Or she could have gone to one of the aforesaid 617 Chinese Villages. Some 50% of the Malay-sian economy controlling Chinese community will somehow care of their poor.

And we have the Jabatan Orang Asli, Yayasan Sabah and Sarawak, 25 and 31 Sabah and Sarawak native MPs and hundreds of ADUNs (minus the few Chinese MPs’ & ADUNS) and the whole of the Sabah and Sarawak State governments vis a vis the political power balance they wield, especially now in the post 2008 general elections scenario to care for the Kadazan, Iban, Orang Ulu, Murut poor.

But who cared for the Indian poor in bi racial One Malay-sia? There is no Yayasan or Jabatan. UMNO? BN? MIC? Pseudo multi-racial PKR, DAP, PAS, NGO?

And when we point out this level of unacceptable and shameful racism and religious supremacy, never seen in any other part of the world, we are in turn are very shrewdly branded as racist by our detractors as a very “clever” means to divert away from this the pressing Indian problems and which this mere 8% Indian community has almost zero political or economic power.

This is just the tip of the iceberg one off story of the Indian poor and landless. Many such instances are reported in

Tens of thousands of even the 5th and 6th generation Indian poor and landless nationwide cry in silence every day. Because bi-racial One Malay-sia does not care for them because they are the Indian poor. In bi-racial One Malaysia any issue that concerns the Malays or the Chinese is a ‘national’ issue andaddressed. Policies and programs are only designed to feed these two communities.

Only in bi racial One Malay-sian poor and landless their ethnicity matters.
Rights not Mercy.
P. Uthayakumar