The direct causes of economic marginalization – unequal rights and unequal opportunities in the name of NEP.
Contd from Section 1……
iv) The UMNO Government indirectly blocks Indians from seeking upward mobility through denying asssitance for education . Overseas degree programs where the majority of students are Indian Malaysians are denied recognition in the name of not meeting the required educational standards. This is nothing more than an indirect way of blocking. Recent clear example of this is the derecognition of Medical degrees offered by Crimean State University after Mahathir made a visit and found that most of the students from Malaysia there were Indians. He came back and new Ministry certification requirements were introduced and the Crimean University Medical degree was derecognized.
The poor Indian students who go overseas for Law, Engineering or Medicine are denied loans by PTPN. Denial of loans for overseas education is a way of making it more difficult for poor students from getting degrees which would make them upward mobile.
One other way of minimizing entry of poor Indian students into local public Universities was to have all Indian students wanting to go to public Universities to sit for the extremely difficult STPM examination while Matriculation which is a much easier exam is reserved exclusively for the Malay-Muslim students. This way you can still call it meritocracy as the basis for selection to the local public Universities, while conveniently ignoring the uneven difficulties of the entrance exams – how is that for ingenuity.
All these are devices which do not directly block but have the effect of making it more difficult for Indians to gain their entitlements and become upward mobile. This is directly a result of the Malay supremacist agenda of UMNO.
4) Minimal allocations of budgetary resources
i) Limiting the amount of money spent by the government for the Indians in tertiary education is another tactic to block Indians. Places are limited in public universities, polytechnics and technical schools and places in appropriate disciplines. There are 163,779 students studying at the 20 government Universities nationwide at an annual expenditure cost of RM 2.8 Billion. Our estimate is a mere 1% of this expenditure will accrue to Indian Malaysian students. Very few scholarships are awarded to Indian students for local universities and for overseas universities. Most of the Indians students who have made it through University in the country have done it largely by family support. Many parents have spent their entire life’s savings to put their children through tertiary education. The statistics the Government often puts out to show the number of Indian students in all Universities does not reflect Government support, it only reflects the degree of sacrifice of the otherwise poor parents.
Places for PhD programs in local universities, are limited to a handful. 8,132 Phd graduates have been produced from the 20 government Universities. We suspect that not more than a few would be Indians. Teacher’s training college intakes are pitiful. Only 4 (1.45%) students out of 581 new student intake at the Sultan Idris Teachers Training College for the year 2009 (TN 3/1/08 at page 16) were Indians. This just shows how much Indians count in the UMNO’s scheme of things.
Only a handful of seats in Medical Faculties of the Malaysian Government Universities are made available to Indians. Exact statistics are not available but it is estimated to have been around 1 -2 percent of the places.
There are 62,000 diploma places and 60,000 degree places for 2010 at 27 Polytechnics in Malaysia (NST 22/11/09 at page 25). Our estimate is a mere 0.1% of these places will be allocated for Indian students no matter their qualifications
5) Total non- allocations of budgetary resources
i) In the following Rural Development programs there is zero or almost
zero allocation of resources for the Indian poor:
FELDA( Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority)
FELCRA (Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority)
RISDA (Rubber industry Smallholder Development Authority)
MARA (Majlis Amanah Rakyat Malaysia)
FAMA (Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority)
KESEDAR(South Kelantan Development Authority)
DARA( South East Pahang Development Agency)
KEDA ( Kedah Development Authority)
PERDA (Penang Regional Development Authority)
KEJORA (South East Johore Development Authority)
KETENGAH (Trengganu Regional Development Agency)
Taking just one very indicative rural development program of FELDA – Federal Land Development Authority is a Government agency handling the resettlement of rural and landless poor into newly developed areas. It focuses on opening smallholder farms growing cash crops. FELDA’s schemes are open only to Malay settlers drawn from rural Malay poor. Priority was given to the landless. New settlers are assigned to a particular settlement, and are given 10 acres (40,000 m² or 4.1 hectares), 12 acres (4.9 hectares) or 14 acres (5.7 hectares)[of land to cultivate usually either rubber or oil palms.The costs of acquiring, developing and allocating the land are borne by loans made to FELDA settlers. These loans are repaid in monthly instalments deducted from the settlers’ income over a 15-year period
Nowhere in the Federal Constitution does it say that programs like this must exclude Indians. But that is exactly what has happened. This is very clearly basic UMNO policy. The original Land (Group Settlement Areas) Act of 1960 governing the development of scheme areas does not specify any ethnic preference in settler recruitment, merely requiring settlers to be Malaysian citizens. Also, Felda’s own policy guidelines permit it to recruit 30% of any scheme population from non-Malays for schemes that are located outside Malay reservation areas.
In 1980, the World Bank raised concerns over the ethnic bias in FELDA settler selection by pointing out that if the government was serious “about increasing the non-Malay share in agriculture, some increase in the non-Malay share of settlers was warranted.” It was especially concerned about Indian estate workers who faced increasing under-employment following the estates’ conversion from rubber to oil palm and who in normal circumstances “would be good candidates for land development schemes.”
The World Bank’s concerns went unheeded by UMNO and condoned by the Mandore MIC. No change whatsoever was permitted to the policy emphasizing Malay participation and restricting non-Malay participation in rural development programs. It became a platform for patronage that has been developed and honed and fine tuned over the last 50plus years, and provides the necessary opportunities for accumulation of wealth for the growing appetites of the UMNOputras..
Large part of the National Budget (easily 500 Billion Ringgits – a very conservative estimate of RM 10 Billion per year for the last 50 years) was channeled through these agencies for the various development programs for the rural and agricultural sector. There was zero allocation in any of the programs and projects for Indians in the country.
Even if the allocation were commensurate with the percentage of Indians in the total population, the Indian allocation should have been about 10 Billion Ringgits. Not an insubstantial amount. The picture today would be very different, had this happened. Clearly this shows that the outcome of marginalization of the Indian rural poor was not an unavoidable one, but was a direct result of non allocation of any resources to the problem.
ii) Zero allocations or almost zero allocations in the following educational programs by UMNO
Elite shools like MRSM, RMC, Aminudin Baki Institution, MCKK,
Special academies like the Aviation training Centre and Flying academies
Various MARA programs -IKM, Kolej Kemahiran Tinggi,Institut Kemahiran Belai Negara
Taking one of these educational institutions - UiTM. UiTM began in 1956 as RIDA training centre, became MARA college in 1965, now has 4 satellite campuses, 15 branch campuses, 9 city campuses and 19 affiliated colleges. a workforce of 15 000, the university offers more than 300 unparalleled academic programs, almost 120,000 students. This is the biggest University in Malaysia. It is an open policy that this institution will not take in any non-Muslim Indian students. Need I say more. Had there been a similar program for Indians today the problem we have with Indian youth so embroiled in crime would have been totally averted not to mention other positive outcomes.
The MARA Junior Science Colleges (MRSM) is another prime example of exclusion of Indians students – there are 42 such schools throughout the country. Their intake is 5,100 per year. (Source UM – 19th Nov 2008 page 10.) The purpose of these schools is to target the cream among the students for development into future leaders of the country. But it is obvious UMNO has no need to develop future Indian leaders so do you think that any of the 817 Indian children who scored 7As in the 2009 UPSR exam will get in to the MRSMs. Or even if a few are given admission, they will be many indirect blocks to them joining these programs, like concerns about food, religious practices for which there will not be any special consideration for non-Muslims.
There are a total of 11,000 students in MRSM. Each of the MRSM is built at a cost of around RM100 million. Compare this with the RM100 million promised (only promised mind you) for the 523 Tamil schools throughout the country. These kinds of programs are very glaring examples of gross usurpation of the national resource.
iii) The Government give zero or almost zero support for Indian entreprenuer development. The following are few entrepreneur development programs of the UMNO Government. There are many many more.
Small and Medium Enterprise development
Just taking the Agropolitan project, this is basically a womb to tomb entrepreneur development project in the Agricultural sector. This totally excludes Indian participation. Their womb to tomb program is:
· Initial Study – markets, products, technologies, demand, sweet spots
· Establish overall scheme – roles of different govt depts., budgets for
the development project
· Provide finance. Seed capital
· Provide know how – training, exposure,
· Provide basic requirements – land, seedlings, fish fry..etc,
· Provide technical support – yield improvement, troubleshooting
· Provide marketing support
This kind of special support is required in order to really build an entrepreneurial community from scratch. Not even a small portion of the funds or services are made available to budding Indian entrepreneurs.
iv)No Indian small businessman ever gets assistance from the programs of any of these funding schemes of the UMNO Government.
SME bank schemes
AGRO Bank scheme
Tekun Nasional Schemes
Taking one of these, the Tekun Nasional scheme – the objectives of the
· Provide business funding which is easily available and quickly disbursed.
· Provide information on entrepreneurs and business opportunities
· Offer training and support to entrepreneurs participating in Tekun programs.
· Create a community of Tekun entrepreneurs who will form a hard driving, innovative and progressive business network.
· Nurture a culture of entrepreneurship within the Malaysian people.
· Encourage and foster a culture of prudence in the Tekun community
To give you an idea of the participation in the Tekun program of Indians see what Samy Vellu has to say and compare that with the statement from the Tekun MD. Samy Vellu said 352 Indian entrepreneurs from Perak, Kedah (205), Penang (20) and other states (1,258) had received TEKUN Nasional loans this year and last year. A total of 93 entrepreneurs received loans amounting to RM761,000 on July 24 2009 in a ceremony.
Compare with the following statement from Datuk Abdul Rahman Hassan, the Managing Director of Tekun ’ Sehingga 31 Disember 2007 , TEKUN Nasional telah menyediakan pembiayaan sebanyak RM 772.0 juta kepada 139,000 orang usahawan diseluruh negara. Untuk tahun 2008 ini, TEKUN Nasional telah memperuntukkan sebanyak RM 182 juta sebagai pembiayaan kepada seramai 19,000 usahawan.’ That is close to 1 Billion Ringgits. Have you ever heard of any loan disbursements to any Indian businessman friend or relative of yours.
What Indian entrepreneurs get is just an eyewash, to make it look like the Indians are being assisted, when in fact it is just the MIC Mandores helping themselves to the little crumbs thrown their way while creating an illusion of Indian entrepreneurial development program.
I have tried to show , how by taking away the rights of the Indian poor progressively and by denying equal opportunities to them, in the name of NEP the UMNO led Government with connivance from their Mandores MIC have pushed Indians out to the fringes of Malaysian society to be economically marginalized.
In part one of this series I started with a definition for economic marginalization – to be denied opportunities for participating productively in the economic development of the nation. To have been pushed out of the mainstream of economic development.
Hopefully, the common thread behind how all that occurs is clearer now.
Viva la Makkal
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