Mr S. Gopinath whilst this should not be a personal criticism of you, one cannot in all truth avoid responding to your recent criticisms of TN50 by making reference to your distorted views of government and the prime minister’s initiative in TN50.
You identify yourself as a socialist so proudly when in fact the two largest examples of socialism China and the former Soviet Union are but shadows of their former selves.
Socialism came down with the Berlin Wall.
Each has taken instead to the free market model and this is precisely what the prime minister is seeking to promote with all communities.
If the Tamils (Indians) amongst us seek to follow your lead and your path, then let them be doomed to your doom and gloom vision for them in Malaysia.
You begin on a false note and seek to embellish and adorn your scurrilous complaint with some outdated perceptions of the position of Indians in Malaysia.
You seem to continue along the path of the Waytha Moorthys of this world with negativity underlying your “vision” and interpretation of what’s a positive step in TN50.
In order to move forward and keep with the times Lee Kuan Yew once told the Chinese of Singapore: “We must jettison our cultural baggage so we may move forward lightly and swiftly into the future”.
He was roundly criticised by the older whingers in his midst for it and mockingly referred to by them as a banana (yellow on the outside white on the inside).
The entire Indian political landscape (and by that I mean Tamil) is pock marked with the failures of leaders who have never failed to miss an opportunity when presented to them.
Again Waytha Moorthy comes to mind immediately.
There has been no prime minister in Malaysia’s history who has offered so much and opened his doors to the Indian community as the Najib Razak Barisan Nasional government.
Yet what Waytha Moorthy and now you seek are handouts.
On the one hand, the Indian community joins the Chinese in demanding the end to the NEP and handouts to Malays.
On the other you disingenuously seek the benefits of the same handouts for yourselves.
It is time leaders such as yourself made efforts to engage professionals instead of dreamers to draw up practical workable plans in place of complaints alone, many of which cannot be substantiated.
There are undoubtedly many Indians who are unfairly discriminated against not only by the public sector.
Indians themselves have little faith in their own when it comes to employment opportunities.
The Chinese are notorious for the exploitation of Tamils especially the lesser educated ones, yet no mention is made of their contribution to the plight of Indians.
Perhaps those well-established contractors you speak of ought to learn to merge and take advantage of opportunities instead of waiting to be recognised and waiting for fortune to hand them opportunities on a silver platter.
They have to be pro-active.
How many more seek the back door entry which is a more disastrous approach to these matters?
The Indian community has a problem with its approach to government and to business.
They start off on a footing as you do here peppered with negatives.
Regardless of how often one gets knocked back and rejected, it is incumbent upon them to try again and to keep pushing till a breakthrough is achieved.
The Indians have to also reach out to the Malay community within and out to government with a more friendly, respectful and accommodating approach.
The Malays are acutely aware of the attitudes of the Indians towards them, blaming them for all their ills.
Whilst there may be some truth to this, the Indians must also accept responsibility for their plight and make greater efforts instead of complaining alone.
On the issue of separate language and cultural institutions being a minority community I pose this question.
Why do the Tamils want Tamil schools when Tamil can be taught at home?
What disadvantage is there to not having Tamil schools?
Is the argument that Tamils schools are necessary because the others have their own vernacular schools?
Do two wrongs make a right?
Why not ask government to fund scholarships and business grants with that money going to Tamil schools instead?
What about the Indian communities and wealthy temple foundations why do they not contribute to free cultural education?
The Tamils need to be more fluent in Malay and English and perhaps a Chinese dialect instead of Tamil which can be taught at home.
The Chinese are an economically and socially powerful community.
They can and will remain insular except where money is concerned.
Indians can’t do that.
Not yet anyway.
A reallocation of resources to where they are needed is required.
Destruction of temples is not government policy.
Just because a few within local governments engage in such practices it does not mean the government is behind it as a whole.
The Indians themselves are not doing enough to prevent such acts of vandalism where they occur.
And when they do their response are emotional.
The Tamils of Malaysia need a more strategic approach to their problems.
There are so many Tamil doctors and lawyers, engineers and other professionals.
None of them if any seek to become involved in the development of the community.
They are self-obsessed.
That’s where the problems of the Tamils (or Indians) of Malaysia lie.
A perfect example of squandering the opportunities presented to the Indians of Malaysia comes from Waytha Moorthy’s attempting to sue government of Britain for the plight of the Indians it abandoned in a post independent Malaysia.
He refused any assistance from others for fear of losing his monopoly on the litigation.
The result was an embarrassment and an irreversible insult to all Indians who suffered under the British.
The Chinese approach begins with a well presented claim of criminal conduct by the British forces, well presented and pleaded which elicited an admission by Britain over the Slim River massacre as a first stop.
It has opened the way to other actions but for the Chinese of Malaysia.
Don’t repeat the same mistakes of past leaders.
Take a bolder approach and admit we may not have all the answers to our problems and that some independent external expert assistance is sometimes needed.
As for your proposals it is not up to government to put it to the community.
You ought to do it by yourself and gauge the response from them.
But make it factual.
Malaysian Indians and TN50