Thursday, May 22, 2008

With Bowl In Hand, He Goes Begging…

Apparently the esteemed leader of the MIC has reminded the prime minister that it’s time to deliver on the election pledges (see As part of his move to ‘collect’ on these commitments, Samy has appealed the cases of 187 Malaysian Indian high school achievers “who were denied Public Service Department (PSD) scholarships this year.” Yes, this is the indignity of it all for Indians that we are forced to have to “appeal” that our well-deserving children (Malaysians, they are mind you) should be given another chance at the PSD scholarships. And this too has to be done as part of an election year political bargain.

Oh, the indignity of it all…. How much more pathetic can it get for us Indians? [Well, don’t write to me to answer; it was a rhetorical question.] You see, I was thinking, here is Samy appealing the case of students, some of whom scored 12 A1s, who could not secure a PSD scholarship. And Samy tells us that the Chief Secretary to the Government, Mohd Sidek Hassan, "was very receptive and has promised to do his best to help these students who have excelled in their studies."

Well, given that Samy has been playing this race-based patronage politics for decades, I wonder if his ‘political bosses’ might just ignore him again this time, especially given his MIC failed miserably in the general elections. Perhaps they might ‘punish’ these students for the failure of Indians to support Samy’s party? Oh, and it also made me wonder, what if this had not been an election year? Then what would have been Samy’s excuse for appealing on behalf of these kids? If this was not an election year, there would not be any pre-election ‘pledges’ for Samy to invoke. What then? What other rationale would he then have to use to beg for a few more scholarships for these kids who, under any sensible and reasonable measure of evaluation, would be highly qualified candidates for a merit scholarship. The fact that they were denied in the first place is appalling. To be subjected to the indignity of having to invoke vote-trading (election pledges) as a basis for asking the government to honour these kids is, in my book, utterly disgusting.

But this is another example of the kind of ‘service’ the MIC has been to Malaysian Indians. It has not only mortgaged our rights, but also our children’s rights, and – as a matter of fact – our citizenship. Hence, our children’s lives have to be held hostage to political horse-trading. The sad part of it all is you see just how powerless the MIC has made us; to the point that Samy, even when he tries to call in the chips, can only ‘appeal’ the cases of these kids. To rub salt into the wound, the report cited above notes that: “Currently, only 72 Indian students had received PSD scholarship of the 2,000 scholarships offered.”

No doubt as long as we continue to depend on the MIC and Samy, we can continue to beg.

G. Krishnan