Friday, 12 September 2014

The Malaysian Indian “Negros” and the mindset of pseudo human rightists

The Malaysian Indian “Negros”
and the mindset of pseudo human rightists.


Source : Hindraf Website


"Why would any sane investor ‘invest’ in a company that has lost a total of RM4.3 billion for the past three years?" This was the question raised by DAP Perak economic development bureau chief Chong Zhemin in a reported statement on the subject of Government bailout of MAS. 

Well this makes sense. But the trend amongst politicians from both divide is the same. 

Take for example the GST. 

While we hear pockets of criticism on GST, none of the parties in Pakatan have come to a concrete conclusion that they would abolish the GST should they come into power. 

But the insensitive middle class elites who are indoctrinated with the “ubah” (change) slogan would conveniently forego any thoughts on serious matters pertaining to socio-economic imbalance as it really does not matter to them as long as political enhancement and rhetoric is achieved. 

Let’s take another example. 

The Selangor saga. The elites seemed to have forgotten the root cause of the current saga. The Kajang move was a breach of trust placed by the people on the representative ADUN who were “forced” to resign to pave the way for a certain politician to become the MB. 

Now let us come back to the statement of Chong Zhemin. He further criticized the mooted MAS Act to facilitate staff transfer and review of employment contracts, bypassing the bankruptcy procedure. 

He raised an interesting point and let me reproduce what is quoted. Chongmas.jpg said the enactment of a MAS Act would change the legal status of employment for MAS staff, which could be unfair to them. 

"The MAS Act is against natural right and unjust as it could nullify all current employment contracts with MAS," he said. 

Interestingly Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim too came up with a statement. He had this to say – “Did you think what's the future of the 6,000 affected families? Can you reflect on that for one second. Is it their fault? Were they lazy? Were they not competent? Whose fault is this? Now the issues raised are valid. 

Both Chong and Dato Anwar speak on the natural rights of MAS workers and the unjust associated with the new deal. I agree. 

But have you ever wondered where was natural rights and social justice when 800,000 estate workers were displaced from the plantations and the Indian community were left stranded , their suffering unimaginable and worst still this fact is not known to the Malaysian public during their displacement process since the 70’s. Dato Anwar was the agriculture minister in 1984 when the Estate displacement was taking place. 

Let us for a moment ponder on the plight of these 800,000 mostly Indian displaced estate workers from 1970’s. They were employed in the plantation for 4-5 generations. They made the estates their permanent home. They were made to believe so by their bosses beginning from the white man right till the last employers. 

Towards the “tail end of their services” (I mean before they are evicted), their bosses who are the mighty and rich would play a game just like how it is now proposed on our national carrier MAS. 

Their bosses would sell the plantation to a new owner ie one of their sister company. Upon the sale of plantation, new contracts of employment would be drawn out with the estate workers who had loyally served their employers and country for almost 200 years. 

Their 4-5 generation service to the companies and nation are lost permanently. These illiterate estate workers depend on the mandors in the estates who act as their chief or spokesman. 

Many of these mandors are also the estate MIC chiefs and the workers union heads. The illiterate workers do not realize that they have lost their rights on the land they and their forefathers toiled and made the British and subsequent UMNO masters (Guthrie, , IOI, Kulim(M) Bhd and SIME eg) and towkays ( Berjaya Grp, IJM, Hap Seng ect) immeasurably rich. 

Finally the sister company sells the Plantations to another (most likely) of their sister companies or crony entities which would be a property development company ( eg SIME Properties Sdn Bhd) . 

Then the sister property company would send their henchmen to evict the workers out of the estates with meager compensation. 

In recent times the workers have obtained “very good compensation” for the sacrifices they as well as their forefathers have made. 

During one of my negotiations on Bukit Jalil estate the Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan openly told me not long ago that the practice was to pay not more than RM1500.00 compensation for each family. 

So with RM1500 the estate workers are supposed to be thankful for the compensation successfully negotiated by the mandors and union leaders, whereby thereafter they are supposed to utilize these “huge sums” for relocation into new housing Tamans, pay their own deposit for a new house they could “comfortably” purchase, “retrain themselves” in new skills so that they can seek new employment opportunities in the urban areas they would be moving into, pay for a psychiatric should they need to recover from their trauma. 

800,000 thousand plantation workers have been ejected this way forcibly either through government acquisition or private yet the selfish elite middle class community as well as politicians from both political divide of Malaysia do not see that as human rights violations. 

The community becomes fragmented, lose their jobs, falls further below poverty line, they are the new urban underclass, they build new squatters to survive the effect of displacement, they build new temples and shrines on trees as a mode to keep their hope in this nasty world alive and yet bear the brunt of accusations by the middle class elites as “oh Indians ah- they are always like that. Just give them a tree and they start a temple”. 

The middle class and politicians like Chong Zhemin will speak up for MAS workers’ rights because it is a populist cause. It catches the attention of the middle class media. 

It catches the attention of the pseudo human rightists’. That class of the community understands human rights as they prefer to perceive it. The plight of the poor and defenseless estate workers were never an issue. 

They are the lowest strata of the community anyway. Who cares about them? They are sub humans aren’t they? They are not politically worth a mention, until the election bell rings. Oh its easy maa. Just get our henchmen in our own parties to throw crumbs and they would take it. 

If the crumbs are thrown by the Pakatan guys its ok because its termed as assistance. But if comes from BN then the demonizing and stereotyping begins. “ Indians deserve it. They are stupid. They never learn”, and the list goes on. Human beings are strange creatures. 

They choose not to see what they do not wish to see. They choose to understand truth according to what suits them. They do not see the plight of the sinking estate workers who are struggling to survive in the deep ocean. 

To the poor, any help would do, doesn’t matter if it comes from the percept devil of the elite middle class. Many of these ex estate workers succumb to the influence of urbanization and out of no choice join the underworld for survival. 

They would eventually be shot dead by the police in the name of wiping out crime and the middle class and elites would hail the police for doing a good job. 

For those of us in HINDRAF who speak up for these community are termed racist, extremist, selfish, not seeing the larger agenda ect. 

When we signed an MOU with the Government to seek permanent and comprehensive solutions for the benefit of this forgotten community, we were accused of treachery. I for one would say the MOU was the underclass Indian community’s BILL OF RIGHTS. And I make no apology for saying this or for entering into the MOU with Government. 

We in HINDRAF need not be politically correct. We just need to do what is right. We are not concerned with whom we work with as long as we can ensure a permanent solution to the community. 

We the Malaysian Indian estate workers and all those descendants of indenture and contract laborers are no different than the black Americans who were once degraded as Negros. 

I see us as no more than the once black American Negros who were exploited and their rights denied. 

The Hindraf neo democratic revolution would continue to evolve to bring meaningful changes to the socio-economic position of Malaysian Indians. 

Selamat Hari Merdeka yang ke 57. (Happy 57th year independence anniversary).


P.Waytha Moorthy
31st August 2014

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