Indian poor are poorer than Orang Asli, Kadazan Iban countrary to popular believe, but gets the least attention by UMNO, PKR, DAP, PAS, NGOs and the Malaysian civic society. While we have maintained that the Indian poor in effect are poorer than the Orang Asli, Kadazan or Iban poor, this latest case of a 74 year old lady Ammakannu Munusamy is the clearest example yet ever. In her sunset years Ammakannu, 74, a former plantation worker is being denied even the very basic welfare help or low cost flat (public housing) help. All because she is a poor Malaysian Indian.
Ammakannu’s home is a mere temporary attap roof, three attap walls, four small three trunks holding the roof and even no cement floor with the ground being the top soil in Kampong Tan Sri Manickavasagam, Pulau Carey, Selangor. Her home has no electricity or water supply and she probably relies on rain water as drinking water. She has no if not meagre personal possessions and that too her one or two pairs of change of clothes.
A picture speaks a thousand words. This picture below speaks of the thousands of mysteries Ammakannu is going through on a day to day basis.
R. Kaniappan (60) and his wife P. Nagambal (59) living in an almost similar hut and surviving by eating the left over food thrown away by the local restaurant. Two weeks ago another Indian family of S. Saraswathy because of hardcore poverty is forced to eat rice and porridge with salt being the side dish.
Some months ago three siblings of a single mother parent in Sungai Petani ate sand because of hunger. Indian poor city folks cannot even afford to pay their water bills and low cost flats of even RM 124 per month.
This case of Ammakannu and the others is just the tip of the iceberg of the Indian poor preserved as the poor and the creating of the future Indian poor by the UMNO controlled Malaysian regime @ junta.
An Indian poor is even poorer that those in Tamil Nadu, India or Bangladesh foreign workers in Malaysia because at the end of their working stint in Malaysia, they all have a village to go back to in Tamilnadu India or Bangladesh. The Orang Asli, Kadazan, Iban and poor Malays all have their traditional villages and ancestral land as their social safety net which the Malaysian Indian poor do not have. The Orang Asli, Kadazan, Iban and Malay poor can open up as much land as they want next to their villages for agriculture or lifestock breeding which option is never available to an Indian poor
The Orang Asli and the rest have their community and/or family support which the childless destitute Indian poor in Malaysia do not have. The Indian poor in Malaysia most often end up in the likes of Ammakannu, Kaniappan, Nagambal etc. The reality is for most of them only death can relieve them of their day to day misery. The 600% higher suicide rate among the Indians when compared to the Malays may explain this.
Providing welfare to the hardcore poor, the destitute and the handicapped is the basic duty of any government, but Umno has deliberately failed the Indians.
UMNO has somehow succeeded in hiding this fact from all and sundry so much so that very few Malaysians including the Indian elite want to lend voice to these Indian poor.
And by the Malaysian civil society standards unlike the western civil society, none or very little see these Indian poor or want to see these Indian poor.
And when HRP and Hindraf points out this level of Indian poverty we turn in get accused of being racist including by Anwar Ibrahim and the Indian elite to avoid, divert and dilute a very serious problem but with the least political mileage or to be wanting to be seen as politically correct.
(see Malaysian Nanban 11/4/2011 at page 6)
The rally's estimated to be 100 000 people gathered outside the Petronas Twin Towers at midnight, early Sunday morning.At least 240 people were detained, but half of them were later released. One day before the rally, police arrested three HINDRAF lawyers, P. Uthayakumar, P. Waytha Moorthy and V. Ganabatirau for sedition charges. Uthayakumar and Ganabatirau posted bail of 800 Malaysian ringgits each, but Waytha Moorthy refused bail as a sign of protest.