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Dec 25, 2007


via normanfernandez.blogspot

Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu’s success story of Indians (“Numbers tell success story of Indians”-NST, Dec 10) in Malaysia came as a surprise to most of us, particularly the figures he quoted.
It looks too good to be true.

He pointed out that the average monthly household income of Indian families was now RM3,456 compared with the national average of RM3,022.

I wonder where he came up with such generous figures.

He claimed that in the country’s history, 60 per cent of Indians lived and worked in the estates but now the figure is reversed to 80 per cent concentrated in urban areas.

A recent visit to Penang has convinced me that there are still a good number of Indians poor and homeless in George Town.

Come sunset, they suddenly appear from nowhere and take on the role of jaga kereta (touts) to earn extra income. Fearing that my car might be scratched, I was forced to part with a ringgit.

At night, you can see the homeless sleeping along the five-foot path in front of shophouses which have been closed for the night.

Now the question is whether Samy Vellu can include this poor souls who have take to eke a living in this manner with just the roof of the shophouse over their heads as being Indians who are nowadays concentrated in urban centres?

Let us no pretend life is not easy to them. With few skills and high rate of unemployment (after being dislodged from life in the rubber estates), being urbanised can be quite meaningless for them.

Sad to say the majority of Indians are among the poorest in the country with, of course, a few exceptions where a small fraction comes from the wealthy group.



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