Put this up in Malaysiakini in December 07 after the Hindraf Rally in KL, pretty sure the PM and the rest of BN ignored it. Up to the call for elections I mentioned how the BN machine does not understand how massive number of Indians think and feel in the country.
One week is a long time in politics, however the storm brewing in the castles of Putrajaya as the forests seemingly close down on Abdullah Badawi is unlikely to peter out in a week, or in the weeks to come.
The burning question, and one of amazing simplicity which will have a complex effect on the votes;
“Has UMNO failed minorities in Malaysia?”
The cheeky answer would be, since so many of UMNO leaders are related to minorities, you could say the party has done its part for minorities, in a roundabout way. Even if it never finds its way to their poorer cousins.
Still I write here now, to help the Prime Minister. I feel he has been taking a lot of flak on behalf of 50 years of UMNO administration under 5 Prime ministers. Perhaps a time for him to grab all kinds of biographies on Mikhail Gorbachev.
I say nyet to all of this. Let us all stand back, be unemotional and look at the facts alone, and nothing more (17 years of state run education can do that to a bloke).
I don’t have the official stats, so perhaps the Prime Minister and his troops in the various floors of his administrative mansion plough through all the Official Secrets Acts marked documents and come up with complete analysis of why minorities, and more so ethnic Indians have been treated gloriously well in Malaysia.
Tell the Malaysian people the number of state funded temples which have been built in the last 25 years, more so in the 5 more compassionate years of your administration. This will ease the feelings of people, especially my mom and friends since their temple was demolished a decade ago.
The vast number of Indians who have built temples are menial workers, with no understanding of laws, leases and registrations. They never thought they needed to. So perhaps you can outline when and how for them, by bringing your team down (turun padang) and help these people in registering their temple. I mean temples help these people keep up to the first pillar of Rukun Negara. It would be good to have a timeline, since people appreciate structured leadership.
I confess, while making this action plan, I am drawn to bring out issues of other peoples too, maybe trying to be a writer for all Malaysians, eh? KL could really use a nice new church. I mean a church to match the commitment of its congregants. Perhaps we can work that out too. I mean, no one can actually argue that there are too many Churches in the Klang Valley, and they’d pay for it themselves.
It must be a gut-wrenching and sad experience to explain to your growing children, why church is a shop-lot.
Sedition is a horrible thing, quite horrible. So while your able minded prosecutors seek ways to amend the charges to stick against the Hindraf lawyers, use your most urbane of staff to locate similar seditious content from all the UMNO General Assemblies. Pay close attentions to pearls from your Deputy Prime Ministers in the 1980s and even the succinct ideas of present UMNO VP Ali Rustam who is asking for the revoking of citizenships for these Malaysian lawyers of Hindraf. I wonder if the Attorney General’s office would increase the sedition charges if these lawyers asked for Ali Rustam’s citizenship to be revoked?
Scrutinise and come clear with these, and allow state lawyers to focus on all statements with seditious content, and then these people who tell that you are not PM for all Malaysians, will have to hasten their cowardly retreat.
So you have religious places of worship and then sedition. What next?
We have heard your very sexy solution for the Northern Corridor after the Southern Corridor, maybe we can hear a solidified plan for the displaced estate workers. A comprehensive evaluation of what their needs are. Provide re-training, job opportunities and small business incentives. It is desperation that leads to many of its youth to succumb to a life of crime.
So as PM, you end up winning votes from the community and reducing some crime from society. Cool option, in my limited view.
Then perhaps in years to come, they will sleep in motels when they arrive for Thaipusam in Batu Caves rather than camp out in the open with limited hygiene options. Then you can march with them in great unity and a sense of community. A PM with his people, marching, and no tear gas awaiting for them at the end of the road.
I think your ‘Jobs for Hope’ project can eclipse all efforts before.
This leads us to education. The panacea for all, near and far.
A bold initiative to give educational opportunities to impoverished Indians to create poster boys and girls, just like what was done for rural Malays can be just cut and pasted here. Even migrant Indonesians can get their children into dentistry, surely we can manage a few more professionals from the downtrodden.
Package it into a cute brand, and you are going to get votes. The first wave are always very loyal, so this is a complete win-win solution.
This is just the tip of the iceberg the PM can latch on to as part of his, winning back the Indians from Hindraf.
I have sneaky feeling, the thinkers in Putrajaya felt if they struck with one swift swing, the disgruntled Indians will run back to their places. This must be based on their handling of their coalition partner alleging to lead Indians, who fall over each other to toe the UMNO line.
It did not work out quite that way, I think. Somehow 50 years of displacement can do things to a people. As voluntary spin-doctor for the PM, I really beseech you sir, you better go for plan B. Plan A is collapsing quicker than you can say Dravidian.