Sunday, December 16, 2007

Listen to the voices of the dispossessed -- Hindu Sangam

Listen to the voices of dispossessed

Malaysia Hindu Sangam | Dec 14, 07 3:41pm Malaysiakini

We wish to express our apprehension and regret at the increasingly strident voices of disunity that threatens ethnic harmony among Malaysians. We note with grave concern the events of November 25 when tens of thousands of Indian Malaysians from all walks of life gathered at Kuala Lumpur City Centre. They carried their frustrations, aspirations and hope for a better future in Malaysia.It is clear that a very significant segment of the Indian Malaysian community feel that their religious, educational, social and economic rights and interests are being marginalised. They feel alienated from our nation’s mainstream development and progress. Although the Malaysia Plans and Outline Perspective Plans have recognised the increasing income disparity among Malaysians and have taken positive measures to tackle it, clearly the government’s intervention programmes have not adequately addressed the needs of the Indian community.

There is, without doubt, a serious problem and one that we are committed to overcoming. We hear the pleas and share the pains of those who were forced by circumstance to protest. We are anxious to work with all Malaysians to build a better home for everyone.

To that end, we have consolidated our resources and are in the process of formulating proposals for the government’s consideration within the next three months. We express our earnest hope that our concerns can be directly addressed by the prime minister through dialogues and discussions. We also hope that the government will formulate appropriate policies, measures, implementation strategies and monitoring mechanisms.

All Malaysians are justifiably proud of our long history of living together in peace and harmony. This has been due to our mutual understanding and common goal in building a united nation of diverse people. In keeping with this tradition, we take this opportunity to wish our Muslim brothers and sisters Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha and our Christian brothers and sisters Merry Christmas.

The above letter is signed by Malaysia Hindu Sangam and 48 other non-govermental organisations.

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