10.1.3 Effectiveness of the government’s Programme as noted by the HINDRAF/HPR, Malaysia
- There are 203,505 ethnic Indian households living in 2,670 estates nationwide (Sinar Harian,2.08.10,pages 26).
- An estimated 80% of these households would fall under the EPH, however the Government welfare and assistance programs do not reach them for a variety of reasons ranging from racist practices under the BTN trained civil servants, statelessness and the “make it difficult policy” at the relevant Government departments.
- An estimated 90% of 442,000 workers or a third of 1.3 million workers who earn below poverty line of RM 700.00 are the ethnic Indians (Utusan Malaysia, 5.08.10, pg 31)
- Government figures collected on PIH and EPH (figures released by the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Depart., and reported by the NST,16.07.10,pg 23) stated that that there are 56,179 PIH and 26,406 EPH.
- In October 2010, the F.T. Minister Raja Nong Cik stated that a parent or parents with three children on a household monthly income of RM3,000 is on poverty line (The Star, 26 October 2010, pageN14)
- The government allocated RM 48 Million as welfare fund to meet assistance and housing rental payments as well as RM 174 Million for senior citizens. (see NST 24/10/2009 at page 10).
- The HRP Malaysia has learned that most of the Malaysia Indians who had applied for welfare assistance had their applications rejected at counter level; given the run around, or only granted a lower figure of RM 120.00 (USD 35.00) per month when the poverty line index was RM 687.00 (see The Star 24/10/2009; page N6). There are instances when the payment of such fund was also was terminated after just a few months;
- Despite government claims that less than 4% Malaysians live on poverty line – NST,16.07.10,pg 22) and extreme poverty line (EPH) is to be eradicated by year end; and that government announcement on 29 September 2010 that out of 44,643 EPH, 23,678 (46%) of them live above the EPH line; the following cases have been recorded:
- Three ethnic Indian children aged 6, 7 and 9 were forced to eat sand to abate their hunger (NST, 19.06.10, pg9)
- 65% of Tamil school pupils fail their UPSR exams because of poverty related problems (Tamil Nesan, 6.11.10, pgN12 and HRP letter to Unicef (dated 18.06.10)
- an ethnic Indian woman due to her situation arising out of poverty, delivers her baby by the side of a drain in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur and cuts off the umbilical cord herself (Makkal Osai, 31.12.09 & The Star, 1.01.10, pg N45);
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