2001 Budget a Deepavali disappointment - nothing in RM91.05 billion budget to declare war on the marginalisation of Malaysian Indians from becoming a new underclass in the country

Media comments - at the Deepavali reception of Selangor DAP State Treasurer, T. Kannan
by Lim Kit Siang 

(Puchong, Friday): With the 2001 Budget being presented in Parliament a day after the first Deepavali in the new millennium, it is natural that there would be the expectation that the new budget would add to the Deepavali cheer this year.

However, the 2001 Budget is a Deepavali disappointment -  as there is nothing in the RM91.05 billion budget to focus on the grave problem of the marginalisation of Malaysian Indians to prevent them from becoming a new underclass in the country.

How can the Finance Minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin and the Barisan Nasional government claim commitment to the agenda of a caring society where the benefits of an expanding economy are shared by all segments of society when they could continue the policy of indifference and neglect about the latest injustice in the country - the  marginalisation of Malaysian Indians with the increasing hosts of  socio-economic, educational and cultural grievances of  the community.

The Cabinet should make amends for  the total omission about the  problem of the marginalisation of the Malaysian Indians as an underclass in a budget of close to RM100 billion by making a policy decision  on Wednesday committing  the government to a national priority and  strategy in the 2001 budget to reinstate  the Malaysian Indians in the mainstream of Malaysian development, followed by a supplementary 2001 Budget addendum in Parliament on the details of this strategy and commitment.



*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman