Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Malaysia's Indian workers' flipflop: more than what meets the eye

More than What Meet the Eye on Malaysia's Indian Workers' Flipflop
Malaysia backtracks on Indian workers' ban

Nidhi Razdan
Wednesday, January 9, 2008 (New Delhi)
After New Delhi demanded an explanation on conflicting reports on the ban of Indian workers in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday issued a categorical denial.

Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee is understood to have done some tough talking with Malaysia's visiting Public Works Minister Samy Vellu.

The welfare of Indians in Malaysia is important - was the message as Kuala Lumpur strongly denied reports of a ban on the recruitment of Indian workers.

The Indian foreign ministry had demanded a clarification after the conflicting reports on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the Malaysian home minister said his government had never come out with such an order on Indians. Defence Minister A K Antony who was visiting Malaysia just days earlier brought up a larger issue.

''I brought to the notice of Malaysian external affairs minister, the delay in signing of MoU on employment and welfare of Indian workers in Malaysia and Malaysian workers in India, and he promised he would look into it,'' said A K Antony, Defence Minister.

Indians worried

However, there seems to be more to the story than meets the eye. Sources in Kuala Lumpur have told NDTV that senior Malaysian home ministry officials had told leading international news organizations about the ban on Indians, reading from a government circular.

Could it be that Malaysia backtracked after the adverse India reaction?

That flip flop was evident on Tuesday itself as the Malaysian Public Works Minister, who is visiting New Delhi, first confirmed the report and then denied it. On Wednesday, he simply brushed aside the waiting media.

On the streets of Malaysia Indian workers were also worried as they read Wednesday's newspapers.

''They told us we are not allowed to get Indian workers so we find it very very difficult,'' said Kaliarasu Kalimuthu, Indian Businessman.

There are 1 lakh 40 thousand Indians working in Malaysia, and things have deteriorated after thousands of ethnic Indians protested against discrimination last November, protests that were strongly crushed by the government. The reported ban on Indians was being linked to that.

While the Malaysian government may now deny the ban, Indians in Malaysia are still on the edge after the tension in recent months.

1 comment:

DIASPORA said...

Is it not time to be fair and humane and ask - Why should The right Hon'ble Dato Dr P Samy Velu take all the kickings when the cause for all the mess that goes on lies in the over blown list of cabinet members; their Deputies; Parliamentary Secretaries; Cronies; Political stooges; Sycophants and Imbeciles who rule the roost.

We must thank the Dato for having stood the test of all the 'stones' and 'bricks' thrown at huim not only in Malaysia but also in India.

It is one of the greatest tragedies of our times that because of the mess that our power brokers and politicians make that one of our Cabinet Ministers is made a fool by hanging around Chennai to see a State Chief Minister. How many of our Ministers would have been prepared to be subject to such ignominy. And for how lng are we going to make Malaysia and Malaysians look stupid in the eyes of the world.

We have bloated bureaucracy that seems to be of no help to improve things. The PM is left to wander on his own and go on pleading for service to the rakyat and to stop the culture of 'meetings' after 'meetings' and the 'Boss tidak ada dalam Pejabat. Dia dalam Meeting' is the standard reply for anyone in the bureaucracy who is higher than a person fit to be a Section Clerk in the old days. To be frank the jobs that so called Senior Bureaucrats do today were dealt with mostly by Section Clerks - who performed their jobs mucg more efficiently and with less looking forward first to ..... you know what.