Working class and marginalized Indians are going to be moving into the mainstream. The confrontational Chinese prefer to create their own parallel Sinoland in Malaysia.
What kind of people are they, those opposition supporters?
Hindraf, through taking advantage of a critical timing, has managed to obtain concessions to help uplift those affected among the Indian community and bring them in from the fringes.
So ultimately, is this development something that is good or bad?
If good, then how to explain the malicious mob viciousness directed at Hindraf by the Chinese opposition supporters and the anti-establishment Indians?
Below is an e-mail I received from Dr Paraman Subramaniam, who belongs to the Hindraf think-tank and has been involved in the blueprint negotiations.
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18 April 2013 will go down in the books of the marginalized Indians as a truly historic moment where the PM of Malaysia humbly apologized to the Indian poor for past lapses and the BN coalition signed on the dotted lines to correct the effects of those lapses. This has set the stage for a new era for the Indian poor. It was a culmination of their struggle that began with the 25 Nov 2007 uprising that brought almost 100,000 Indians to the street and made Hindraf a household name.
BN is waking up to the fact that there had occurred a transition of the vast majority of Malaysian Indians from plantation estates to towns and cities over a period lasting four decades as a result of the Government’s development policies and that this had not been directly and adequately addressed by other necessary Government policies to avoid the negative socio-economic effects on them.
BN now desires to correct the chronic socio-economic problems that have resulted, in a comprehensive and permanent manner, recognizing that the program of intervention should be based on a focused and targeted approach with commensurate commitment of Government resources. They have decided the best route to that was with a partnership with Hindraf.
The MOU signing by the BN Secretary General, on behalf of the BN coalition with Hindraf leadership was the result of this commitment. No Malaysian Government, caretaker or not, has ever signed anything like this in full public view.
The MOU document lays out the specific Government interventions necessary for the improvement of the socio-economic status of the Malaysian poor over the period of the next five years of the next Parliament from 2013 to 2018.
These four major areas are:
- Uplifting Displaced Estate Workers (DEW), synonymous with low income Indian households
- Addressing statelessness among the Malaysian Indian poor
- Increasing educational opportunities from pre-school to university
- Increasing employment and business opportunities
Programs to uplift DEW:
- Double the mean monthly family income of all Malaysian Indian families earning less than RM3,000 by 2020
- Providing 100,000 affordable houses for 100,000 households with taking into account the socio-cultural needs like places of worship, burial grounds, community halls and playgrounds shall also be provided as part of this infrastructure
- Programs to retrain and re-skill DEW youth like providing easy and attractive placements with pre-requisite preparations and appropriate financial support to draw these youth into 176 GiatMara Centres and 78 Community Colleges as well as other skill training institutes across the country. Thereafter Tekun program itself can be extended to provide to support newly retrained and re-skilled Malaysian entrepreneurs. A budget of RM 100 million shall be allocated over a five- year period in aiding these measures
- An official Government recognized Council of Hinduism and Hindu Temples comprising religious elders shall be set up to address challenges related to DEW places of worship and burial grounds and to permanently eliminate the problem of land for temples and burial grounds by 2018
Statelessness among the Malaysian Indian poor shall be addressed by the following programs:
- Identify all stateless ethnic Indians as ethnic Indians without Birth Certificates and blue identification cards and those with red identity cards
- Develop common sense and transparent proposals to address the problems of Malaysian Indians who claim to have been born and raised in Malaysia but who do not have any documentary evidence whatsoever of their birth and residency
- Develop policies including those that may allow defined local persons of repute who are given official standing to issue statutory declarations conveying their opinion that a said stateless person was indeed born and raised in their locality in Malaysia.
- Develop streamlined and transparent policies to resolve the large problem of all persons who only hold red identification cards
- Differentiate a system that can differentiate legitimate from non legitimate citizenship applications from ethnic Indians in Malaysia
- Ensure that the common sense and transparent proposals developed should strictly adhere to the provisions of the Federal Constitution
Programs to increase educational opportunities from pre-school to University:
- Allocate adequate funding to relocate, upgrade and build new facilities towards ensuring that all Tamil schools are brought up to the standard of national schools by 2020
- Convert all Tamil Schools, that are willing, to be fully-aided government schools
- Establish specific programs of improvement for the performance of SJK (T) s
- Reserve 7.5% of places in specific courses for IPTA and other Public Tertiary Institutions and to achieve 7.5% overall admissions in 5 years
- Reserve 10% places in government polytechnics for Malaysian Indian students.
- Reserve 7.5% places in existing residential schools as well as in government matriculation and skills training institutes
- Setup 9 new mixed residential schools with a minimum Malaysian Indian enrolment of 20%
- Reserve 7.5% of JPA as well as other federal & state scholarships for Malaysian Indian students
- Setup a new scholarship fund amounting to RM25 million annually to fund tertiary studies of Malaysian Indians based on academic excellence and socio-economic need
Programs to increase employment and business opportunities:
- Allocate RM500 million towards achieving a Malaysian Indian equity ownership target of 3%
- Develop quotas for government funded small business loans and micro-credit allocations of up to 7.5%
- Develop quotas for Malaysian Indians in terms of government licenses and permits of up to 7.5%
- Develop quotas for Malaysian Indians in terms of government controlled franchises of up to 7.5%
- Reserve 7.5% of all jobs created and or required by the civil Service and statutory bodies for qualified Indians
- Reserve 7.5% of all jobs created and or required by GLCs for qualified Indians
- Commit an additional RM 200 million in Tekun loan funding reserved for Malaysian Indians over the next 5 years
- Reserve Government micro credit allocations for Malaysian Indians
The methodology of how it would be planned and eventually implemented from Jan 2014 onwards is outlined in the MOU. Interesting to note that all these programs are pointed and targeted to cater to the Malaysian Indian poor and greatly contrasts trickledown economics methodology.