Malaysian Indians and TN50

Jan 27, 2017
President of Malaysian Indian Network of Entrepreneurs Association S. Gopinath is concern about inclusive of Malaysian Indians in TN50.

Prime Minister Najib Razak has announced the 30 years transformation plan – TN50; which will propel the nation’s direction towards globalisation via a new canvas.

Najib hopes to make this a success by empowering youths through the Youths and Sports Ministry. Voicing as a socialist from the minority, there is nothing that I could worry more.

Indians who make up the most out of the B40 group are struggling even harder to make ends meet these days due to price hike and stagnant salaries.

Our younger generations who have fared well in their studies are still denied the courses and public universities of their choices due to invisible quota placing.

My upcoming young adults still do not see a hope of employment in the public sector although being highly qualified compared to their Malay and Chinese counterparts.

Our well-established contractors still do not get first-hand contracts from GLCs.

The Tamil schools that have been built to preserve and nurture our language and culture is still to see full funding from the government; our dropouts are not addressed by Ministry of Education (MOE), our students are bullied and faces physical and verbal abuses from teachers.

Our temples are destroyed for petty reasons without considering sentiments and disrespect. We see no fair jurisdiction when it involves us and other races.

After 60 years of independence and we still do not even have a separate TV channel in the national media.

And recently our DPM has announced that there would be no concessions for Indians without identity card – why?

We are who we are today because of the contribution from all the races in this country, why discriminate and complicate when it comes to granting the rights they deserve, some are struggling to get a blue card since 1957, what is stopping you from granting them one?

Bangladeshis and Indonesians are having MyCard, Myanmar’s will even be granted with benefit-plus cards to allow their children in local schools, and here, we still have stateless Hindu children coming from families who have been here for the past four generations; denied into schools due to lack of documents.

Why is there even a single stateless Malaysian Indian in this country at this era?

There is no incentive that can be granted to solve this at once? Really?

All the above are to be fixed before we complete 2020 and now there is already TN50. Come what may but our problems remain the same.

How are we to progress as a nation when one of the races is still so much backwards and is facing endless inequality and discrimination?

Then I read that MIC president S. Subramaniam urged youths to participate in cultural activities, sports and to participate in e-commerce (sell murukku online) in his speech at the 60th-anniversary celebration of the Malaysian Tamil Youth Bell Club (KKBT) recently.

He said this in the presence of Prime Minister Najib and so many other policy makers, this is all that has been said?

Can’t demands be placed to solve all these issues before the first draft for TN50 is completed by the beginning of 2019?

Why not address these issues in front of our upcoming leaders to make them aware of what awaits them when they take over MIC?

Why not tell them:

1 – You cannot go far with a 9 to 5 job with the current economy, no matter how difficult it is, save and invest in properties or businesses. Create passive income via reliable resources. Embark on an entrepreneurial journey, sell and offer something unique, be pioneers, collaborate and partner up with giant brands.

2 – If you are keen to save SJKT, come up with your own fund; create the RM 10 per Indian per month system for SJKTs and use the fund to run SJKTs in this country, education system cannot wait for federal funding which is taking too long to even approve an allocation for assembly hall constructions. SJKTs alumni and SJKT Headmasters Association, what are you waiting for? Urge full parents’ participation in PIBG, be vocal about discrimination and dissatisfaction with school management and teachers; this is an internal audit.

3 – Preach and practice proper/respectable religious activities. Spread spiritual knowledge and enact policies to safeguard our temples.

None of the above was addressed as the national MIC leader but the pledge to support TN50 has been made. The pledge must be made with these conditions.

Although you are a component party, remember, your existence is to protect and nurture the Indian community growth, not just to assist them in implementing their policies regardless of the plight we are facing.

It’s a two-way mechanism. And as a leader, when facing and addressing the youth, speak from your heart, tell them the truth although it might hurt your political positioning. Tell them to be independent.

Teach them the difference between supporting and relying on political parties. You may support your choice between leadership but it will not guarantee their support for your survival, to survive you cannot be reliable on a system that is not consistent with its promises and outreach.

To survive, be independent. Great genuine visionary leaders find it hard to gather and address mass youth and young adults; those leaders who can gather them through their network and political power, play small with the opportunity given.

Since our Indian blueprint is still in the making, will it be aligned with TN50? Please propose upgraded solutions that can fix our problems for once and for all.

This is the only way you can stay relevant to our community. There are so many Indian political parties in this country and yet, we are not able to lead and are always led by the directions that are set by others.

If all of you have stayed united for our people, matters like the above could have been solved in mere 24 months but now, some of the battles that we are fighting will be celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

TN50 is a great journey to embark on if inclusive is established, otherwise, we cannot garner full support and contribution from all races in this country.

PM must solve fundamental issues before moving on a “new canvas” as he mentioned. No new beginnings can be achieved without fixing the basics right.

By S. Gopinath
President of Malaysian Indian Network of Entrepreneurs Association