Thursday, 22 May 2008

MIC: Death and Resurrection?

Though there might be hundreds of nails, the last three nails laid on the coffin of Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) that broke the proverbial camel's back were the Ninth Malaysia Plan's (9MP) inattention to Indian plight, MAIKA Holdings ruckus and the infamous temple destruction efforts by the officialdom.

Two were contributions from Barisan Nasional of which MIC is a member and one was a direct contribution by MIC itself. Therefore one can conclude that Barisan Nasional component parties were rather effective in collectively denying and bullying Indians.

The Five Year Malaysia Plans were ensured that they have always been glaringly irrelevant for the Indians. Even when MIC asked for plans to boost Indian equity from 1.5% to 3% by the year 2010, the latest of them, the Ninth Malaysia Plan saw it fit to say that it targets 3% by the year 2020 instead, clearly outside the plan period ending in 2010. The writers of the 9MP must have planted a joke to tickle themselves. Worse still, other than that one line statement, the 9MP had no details whatsover on how the target was to be achieved. That must have been a second joke planted in the plan so that Barisan MPs can laugh all the way to their graves.

The Shareholders Meeting of MAIKA Holdings meeting turned out to be a place where the shareholders can get whacked in full police presence and then sent back home bleeding instead of being given dividends for the hard-earned money they had trusted and invested. That is fantastic corporate governance unmatched in world history. Does the MIC leadership know the meaning of professional management?

Temple breaking must have been the latest sport with high thrill and was done with such relish by the officialdom that it looks like some of them actually believed that it was the best way to go to heaven. Nevermind if they had committed common crimes like corruption or lying about the indelible ink. Indeed, they were sent to the heaven of their choice, out of office. Videos of temple breaking must have served as entertainment among the officialdom just like in Australia where videos of white Australians shooting the aborigines for sport were circulated widely a few decades ago.

So, how would MIC regain the confidence of Indians? It is easy enough.

First, just ensure that the 9MP is amended to include all those that were supposed to have been genuinely done by an honest government for the Indians offsetting the acute neglect and omission of the last 50 years. Also amend the Vision 2020 too and implement actions to ensure that all communities in the country are genuinely taken care of in equitable manner. In other words, walk your talk.

Second, hand over the management of MAIKA Holdings to a genuine professional and capable group to manage without political interference. All politicians and their proxies should, in a display of self-respect, leave the company for good and never ever think of having anything to do with it. If this is done, I am sure MAIKA can be rescued and returned to produce a decent profit within a year or two.

Third, the MIC and the Government should take efforts to get land titles issued to all remaining Hindu temples in the country within the next 3 months so that the temple sitings are legalised. Issuance of land titles is the responsibility of the State Authority. This message therefore goes to opposition held state governments too. Also require that Hindu temples to submit proper building plans and approve them within the next 6 months. Never ever deny or delay unreasonably any request for approval of building plans for Hindu temples just because they are Hindu temples.

Now that is not so hard for a country that can send an Angkasawan for a jolly ride up in space burning millions of hard earned ringgit during these days of high food and fuel prices, is it? That is not so hard for a country that sent guided tour up the Himalayas to demonstrate to the world that Malaysians too can climb the Everest? If MIC and Barisan can just be sincere towards the Indians treating them the same as any other Malaysian citizen and genuinely do the best, which Indian would wish not to vote for MIC?

However, there is one catch though. The Indians, for that matter all Malaysians, are not waiting for MIC to repent, undo the damage and to behave properly hereonwards. The nails have been driven by Barisan Nasional as a whole into the coffin where MIC has voluntarily laid itself to rest and has chosen to rot beneath. Times have changed, as they say and life goes on.

What are the lessons from the above for the government of the day?

First, all Five Year Plans should cater for all Malaysians equitably and justifiably. Racial differences are superficial issues. Value all the humans who comprise the nation.

Second, the government should not be made an accomplice to rogue individuals using public companies to amass illegally personal weaalth. Corpoate governance and professionalism should be upheld at all times.

Third, all State Government should take the lead role of protecting all religious buildings especially in matters related to issuance of land titles and that approvals are graned for buidling plans submitted. All temples must have approved building plans in the interest of public safety and accepted standards.

Is there anything new in the above lessons? No. These are all omissions a responsible government would never have made.

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