NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
The MIC annual general assembly has just ended and ‘all the president’s men’ got in. Going by the speeches over the last two days it appears like MIC is becoming more ‘militant’ compared to before. That is good. After all, what use are political parties if they do not do anything for their supporters?
This is not the first time that the MIC president, Samy Vellu, accused the government of not doing enough for the Indian community. He said this back in November 2007 when HINDRAF first took to the streets in protest. Samy Vellu explained that this is because the Indians are angry with the government for ‘marginalising’ them.
Malaysians of other non-Malay ethnicities like the Chinese and the natives of East Malaysia say the same thing. The fact that some Malays in the remote areas of the country still use wells and rivers for their water supply and do not have electricity even after 52 years of independence seems to have escaped them.
The critics of the New Economic Policy point out that many Malays have become millionaires and billionaires because of the NEP. There are 16 million are so Malays in Malaysia. But there are no 16 million Malay millionaires and billionaires. There may be some Malays who have become millionaires and billionaires. But they are millionaires and billionaires not because of the NEP. It is because they are cronies of those who walk in the corridors of power.
And there are also Chinese millionaires and billionaires. There are also Indian millionaires and billionaires -- as there are millionaires and billionaires from Sabah and Sarawak as well. And these ‘non-Malay’ citizens of Malaysia are millionaires and billionaires in spite of the pro-Malay NEP and because they are cronies of those who walk in the corridors of power.
Let us not just look at how poor the Indians are. There are also very poor Malays -- as there are poor Chinese and poor natives of Sabah and Sarawak. Many, I agree, have been ‘left behind’. But many have also made it into the big-time because of their links to those who walk in the corridors of power.
Samy Vellu should stop screaming about the sorry state of affairs of the Indian community. Granted, many Indians are still very poor. But many Indians have also become super-rich at the hands of Samy Vellu. This, Samy Vellu does not tell the Indian community.
There may be many poor Indians in Malaysia, I agree. But there are also many extremely rich Indians who benefited from their relationship with Samy Vellu. And the same goes for those Malays, Chinese, and citizens of Sabah and Sarawak who are cronies of Barisan Nasional.