An opportunity for Malaysian Indians to change their fate

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GEORGE TOWN – The theme of this year’s Merdeka celebrations is a grave insult to Malaysian Indians, at least from the viewpoint of Senator S Ramakrishnan of DAP.

In a hard hitting statement calling on Indians to punish Barisan Nasional at the next general election, Ramakrishnan said no ethnic community had suffered more than the Indians from unfulfilled promises that Umno and its political allies had been making for the last 55 years.

“It’s payback time,” he said, referring to the 13th general election. “Indians need a political change. They need to redeem their dignity and pride. It’s now or never.”

He accused Umno of having designed a political system that neglects Indians and isolates them from the mainstream political and socio-economic development of the country.

“The Umno government has deliberately made Indians politically irrelevant today,” he said.

He claimed that Umno had maintained its “racist attitude and arrogance” even after suffering unprecedented electoral losses in 2008.

He called on Indians to assert their pride by rejecting the deception of sweet words and other vote-baiting tactics.

“Umno thinks Indians are beggars who don’t deserve job or business opportunities but only hampers and rice bags.”

He said the intake of Indians into the civil service had been negligible, noting that the figures had been sliding through the decades.

According to his statistics, Indians currently account for only 4.1% of civil servants, dropping from 5.12% in 2005 and 17.4% in 1971. Most of them work in Tamil schools.

He rejected government claims that Indians eschew civil service jobs, claiming that their applications were often thrown into dustbins.

“So long as Umno is in power, there is no hope for an increased Indian intake into the civil service.”

He cited a World Bank report saying that Malaysia could have attracted five times its foreign direct investments if not for New Economic Policy (NEP).

He said Malaysia was the only country to use ethnicity as the main qualification for entry into the civil service and the only country to export home grown talent and import migrant workers.

“But the BN government dreams of forming a world class civil service.”