Font Size


Menu Style


Waytha: Stop bragging about billions for Indian poor

Waytha: Stop bragging about billions for Indian poor

 | March 28, 2016

Treasury Secretary-General Irwan Serigar Abdullah claims that RM2.8 billion was spent by the Federal Government on the Indian poor from February 2014 to December 2014.

WaythaKUALA LUMPUR: Hindraf Makkal Sakthi, an ad hoc human rights organisation, has cautioned the Federal Government that simply making statements that billions had been channelled to the Indian poor, while throwing peanuts at proxy NGOs and making a big fuss of it, won’t help gain the people’s trust.

The 11th Malaysia Plan had failed to address the issue of displaced estate workers, nor did it provide any affirmative plans by the government, said Hindraf Chairman P. Waythamoorthy in a statement.

“In fact, the United Nations recognises these internally displaced people as the ‘world’s most vulnerable people’.

“They should be protected by the state, both under human rights as well as International law.”

The Hindraf chief was calling on the government to end its economic discrimination policies and absorb the displaced estate workers into the mainstream economy of the country.

“After all, they too are the children of this country.

“They deserve to be treated with dignity when the land they toiled on for almost two centuries was taken away from them for development purposes.”

Hindraf was not against development, Waytha hastened to add, but it does not condone attempts to whitewash this serious problem by using proxy NGOs and foundations to portray a distorted picture.

Hindraf also expressed surprise that the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had not conducted any investigations on police reports lodged by it in eight states on May 17, 2015 on the alleged RM2.8 billion spent by the Federal Government on the Indian poor from February 2014 to December 2014.

“This was stated by the Treasury Secretary-General Irwan Serigar Abdullah.

“Hindraf firmly believes that the money allocated for the poor has been siphoned out of the relevant departments and misappropriated.”

The Hindraf statement went on to question the government’s inaction for more than four decades in finding a permanent solution to the more than 800,000 displaced, mainly Indian, estate workers.

“They were denied compensation or given a meagre sum.

“There was a lack of government plans for relocating them, job training opportunities, land for settlement, and relocation of their ancestral temples and crematoriums. This caused the community to be fragmented.”

Waytha recalled that Prime Minister Najib Razak, during the signing ceremony with Hindraf of a historic RM4.5 billion memorandum of understanding (MOU) on April 18, 2013, apologised to Malaysians of Indian origin on behalf of the BN government for the lapses over four decades and promised to implement economic programmes specifically for these estate workers who have now become the urban underclass and sunk into a state of hopelessness.

“He acknowledged the plight of the Indian underclass that make about 50% of the total Indian population in Malaysia.

“He assured that his government would roll out economic plans as per the contents of the MOU.”

However, pointed out Waytha, it has been more than 30 months now but the government has done nothing except thrown peanuts in the form of allocations through the Special Unit Programme for Socioeconomic Development of the Indian Community (Sedic) in the Prime Minister’s Department, to dubious NGOs and foundations which seem to be enriching themselves at the expense of the poor.