Why Do We Still Have Stateless Indians?

Source: Free Malaysia Today
By Chua Jui Meng
The plight of some 300,000 stateless Indians is more than enough a reason for you to change the federal government.

This problem should have been resolved long ago and therefore the Indian community in Malaysia cannot continue to trust the Umno-led Barisan Nasional federal government.

These stateless Indians have either lived here for decades or were born in this country. They can also communicate fluently in Bahasa Malaysia.

Why must their application for citizenship be rejected or their files left in the cupboard to collect dust?

In contrast, why were 600,000 Muslims from Indonesia and the Philippines in Sabah given citizenship and bumiputera status to vote in Malaysia? The majority of the Filipinos cannot even speak Bahasa Malaysia.

Clearly, the BN’s ulterior motive and bad intentions for the people and country were to topple the then PBS state government and then use the foreigners as its fixed deposit voters.

There is absolutely no reason for Indians born in Malaysia and those who have stayed here for decades to remain stateless.

I also urge the Indian community to consider our (Pakatan Rakyat) proposed long-term people-centric fiscal policies in the Buku Jingga (Orange Book) and alternative Budget 2013 when going to the next national polls.

Take whatever sweeteners that the BN is giving you now even though it is a measly RM500, but when it comes to casting your ballots, think of the long-term benefits Pakatan is offering.

Pakatan’s slew of such benefits include monthly welfare aid for the poor raised from RM300 to RM550, free education for all Malaysian children all the way to university and RM2,000 annual aid for elderly couples.

In addition, RM1,000 annual allowance will be given to low-income families for every child aged 12 and below to enable mothers to send their children to day care centres. This will help free mothers who need to go to work for additional income.

Pakatan also wants to make cars more affordable to the people by reducing excise duty by 20% every year, the setting up of a national trust fund for the welfare of women in the country akin to the Employees Provident Fund and the scrapping of road tolls.

Chua Jui Meng is PKR vice-president and Johor state chief. He is also a former MCA vice-president and an ex-Cabinet member.