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  • The Malaysian Indian Community

    Posted on January 2nd, 2011 nsrajendran 10 comments

    Don: Malaysian Indian community split into many factions

    THE Indian community in Malaysia is split into many factions and this can be seen even at religious functions, a  professor at the Sultan Idris University of Education (UPSI) claimed.

    There are only a small number of organisations that are registered with the Registrar of Societies, Tamil Nesan quoted  Prof N.S. Rajendran as saying.

    “The main problem is the lack of cooperation and the in-fighting among committee members in many organisations. This has led to the community suffering,” he said in a statement here, suggesting that all Indian-based organisations should unite under a common umbrella body. – The Star, December 13, 2010.

    The new year 2011 is already here. The whole nation is gearing up for the many new and exciting events, including the general elections which is being speculated to be called this year.  Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib’s initiatives to engage with the people, espcially his 1Malaysia campaign seem to have gone down quite well in the Indian Community. A number of initiatives and decisions he made have demonstrated that he is serious about addressing problems faced by Malaysians, and also by the particular communities.

    In this respect, his campaign to reach out to the Indian Community is starting to bear fruits. In particular, he was the one who allocated 15% of the Amanah Saham Malaysia shares for the community, has openly declared that the Indian community’s participation in the civil service will be increased from the current 2% to at least 4%, the increased allocation to Tamil schools and temples and more focus on the solving the community woes, such as the crime rates among youths and unemployment among Indian youth.

    The question, however, is this enough to be confident about obtaining the Indian votes in the coming general elections. No doubt the good gestures by the Prime Minister have been well received by the community. But, there are many more things which need to be done to ensure that the policies are turned into noticeable actions on the ground.

    Only these actions which bring remedies to a number of woes faced by the members of the community at the lower end will be regarded as real success. For instance, deserving children with the required grades are provided with opportunities such as scholarships and to further their education, they are accepted in larger numbers to work in the civil service including in the police and armed forces, and more opportunities are created for small and large-scall Indian businessmen.

    I am not suggesting that the government should be held fully responsible for the various woes faced by the community. What I am suggesting is that every deserving Malaysian, including the Indians, need to be given the rightful attention. This is the spirit and objective of NEP. The government of the day has to bear the legimate responsibility to make available the necessary support to deserving citizens, who without which support may not be able to escape from the vicious cycle of poverty which will again almost inenvitably deny them of all other good opportunities.

    The story does not end there. The community on its own has to come to terms with the reality and the numerous challenges it is facing today. I would address some of those issues here. First of all, it has to accept the fact that it cannot and should not go on blaming others for all the problems it is facing today. It has to take control of the situation and do the needful. Second, it has to address the issue of serious split in the community. The community is now so divided (The Star report above refers). It is divided along political, social, language and even religious lines. This is a very serious issue.

    The third issue is that the political party which has for the last 60 years represented the community in the government is itself in a critical state. It is very obvious that the party had a dismal performance in the last elections. It is almost three years since the last elections, and yet not much has been down, especially on the ground to gain the people’s support. For majority of those in the forties and above, the MIC enjoyed the sentimental attachment with the community for its historical, political and linguistic links. All this changed in March 2008. In my personal opinion, the party only enjoys about 20% support in the community. 

    There is a serious need for the party to reach out to the people, more so to those on the ground. There is no point talking about those wonderful things sitting in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru or in Georgetown. The elected representatives need to travel to those homes of the lower income families who are finding it hard to make ends meet. They when they visit those in need of help need to provide the listening ears to their complaints, expectations and suggestions. This party has in the years lost their support because the leaders did not go down to the ground and listen to their grouses and try and solve them. The leaders at the national and state levels depended on the local leaders who without support from the government and the party were left without much options.

    The fourth issue is that the community also needs to come up with long-term strategies to address its own many woes. For example, everyone jumps when it is reported in the media that the crime rate is sky-rocketing amongst the Indian youths. Many people get very excited and talk a lot about this issue. After a day or two, that is forgotten and it is business as usual. If we ask someone as a responsible individual, what have you done to make a difference, the answer is a no. It is sad to note that such an attitude is not going to help solve problems, but worsen it. Workable strategies such as providing religious education to youths, teaching them values, providing effective parenting experiences to parents and increasing the role of temples in providing services to the communty are some of the initiatives which need to be taken up and started right away. 

    It is important that every individual is made to realize that he or she has the responsibility towards himself or herself, family, community and the nation. This responbility also includes doing in own way our little part in addressing the woes faced by the community, and indirectly the nation. As the great teacher Thiruvalluvar said, only those with love in their hearts for fellow human beings and do their little part could be considered human beings, let us all do our part to change the situation for the better.

    The Bhagavad Gita says, “Him I call a Brahmin, Ever true, ever kind, He never asks what life can give, But ‘what can I give life”. Thank you.


    10 responses to “The Malaysian Indian Community” RSS icon

    • Very interesting topic , thankyou for putting up here .

    • Hopefully Indian leaders are reading this and taking note. Very nice.

    • Sir, Rajendran indian community did not gave anything for indian students who scored straight A in PMR 2010?

    • Excellent article, a great deal of valuable information.

    • Dear Sir,

      This is a very thought provoking article.
      I personally believe that there will be more Indians making headway in this country if they take cue from achievers like you.

      Enough has been said about what the government can do for the Indian community. I think that we should stop playing the blame game. Let the government intensify efforts and do what it has pledged to do under the One Malaysia concept.

      We (especially the Indians who are doing well in many areas of life) must play our part and improve the well being of the community without fear or favour. Remove the envy and jealousy and assist one not belittle your community. Adopt a deprived schoolgoing child if you can and provide for his/her education. Practise “Sanatana Dharma” the proper way.

      Thank you.

    • Values are missing la DR. Don’t you all see that? Indians fighting among indians? What do you strategise for that?

    • kharleez zubin

      dear prof,
      i am a journalist with the star newspaper but i have my own blog to project my thoughts on various issues freely. Can u list me on your blog roll?

    • Dear Mr.Kharleez,
      Thank you for your comments and will stay in touch.

    • Hi zdoc thanks or the thoughts. A few thoughts of my own.
      1. Indians need to learn to reinvent themselves and not stick in a deadened culture saying that’s what we’be always done
      2. Indians need to learn to think global, adopting other cultural lifestyles to keep up with the world. Honestly being just “Indian” is not good enough to compete in the world.
      3. Teach their children the arts as in the western arts, piano, violin, jazz dancing, grooming etc. our fashions are limited to kurtahs for guys and punjabi suits (badly made) for girls and our children though high academic achieves lack social skills thus putting them in a low bracket in the “want” list.

      From the outside, I must say that the media which is Chinese run has done a great job in portraying the Indian community as mamaks, drivers breadmen but never like them as successful businessmen or people. For me that is racial profiling.

      Here is where we might be able to be unified and boycott products that profile us or just ignore us.

      Just my thoughts

    • this is a good quick analysis on malaysian indian problems.I do feel some serious consideration both by community as well as government should be given to lift the inidan community both economically and socially

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