Kamsiyah Yeop has marked the 24th anniversary of Samy Vellu as Cabinet Minister with another shocking statistics about Indians becoming an “underclass” – the plunge of the Indian ratio in the public service from 9.8% in 1980 to the current 5.2%
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Wednesday): On Monday, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Kamsiyah Yeop gave Parliament another shocking statistics illustrating the plight of the Indians in Malaysia as an “underclass” to mark the 24th anniversary of MIC President, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu as Cabinet Minister when she revealed that the Indian ratio in the public service had plunged from 9.8% in 1980 to the current 5.2%.
This means that during the 24-year tenure of Samy Vellu as the sole Indian Cabinet Minister, who was first appointed Works Minister on 21st October 1979, the Indian ratio in the civil service had almost halved!
According to Kamsiyah in her answer during question-time in Parliament on Monday, the present ethnic breakdown of the public service is Bumiputeras 83.7%; Chinese 8.2%; Indians 5.2% and others 3.3%.
This is most shocking and a far cry from the statistics in the early years of the New Economic Policy (NEP) as well as all declared government targets in the various five-year development plans. For instance, the Fifth Malaysia Plan 1986-1990 gave the following ethnic breakdown of the public service for 1980 and 1985, which when compared to the figures given by Kamsiyah, is a terrible indictment of the colossal failures of the government to restructure the civil service to reflect fairly the racial composition of the country’s population:
Why did the MIC President and the MIC, which claims to be the only political party in the country which could represent the interests of the Malaysian Indians, allow the Indian ratio in the public service to plunge from 9.8% in 1980 to the current 5.2% in the 24 years Samy Vellu sits in the Cabinet as Minister?
What is the use of being the most senior and longest-serving Cabinet Minister – which Samy Vellu will become after the retirement of Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad as Prime Minister in 10 days’ time – if the price the Malaysian Indians have to pay is to become what is aptly described by the Star TV Focus Asia current programme censored by Astro – “The Indian Underclass”, whether in terms of being a new criminal class in the country, or the relentless socio-economic marginalization of the Indians, whether reflected in the sharp drop in the Indian ratio in the public service from 9.8% in 1980 to 5.2 % or the sharp plunge of Indian intake into the public universities from over 10% in 1970 to 5.2% in 2003?
What is completely unforgivable is that the sharp plunge of Indian ratio in the public service is completely against the Second Outline Perspective Plan which was approved by Parliament in June 1991, as follows:
It is not just Samy Vellu and MIC who have to explain the failure and shortfall of the Second Outline Perspective Plan (OPP) targets for ethnic composition of the government service, with the Indian ratio falling to 5.2 per cent when the Second OPP target for 2000 set it at 9%, MCA, Gerakan and SUPP Ministers should also explain for the even bigger failure and shortfall for the Chinese ratio in the public service, plunging to less than one-third of its Second OPP objective of 26.3% in 2000 to a paltry 8.2% currently.
The problem of gross under-representation of the Indians and Chinese in the public service, whether as a global total or for the higher echelons of the public service, must be addressed as an urgent national priority.
In the past three days I had been asking questions on the occasion of the 24th anniversary of Samy Vellu as Cabinet Minister – and I found to my shock and horror that none of the persons I had asked could answer the questions.
I asked who is the highest Indian in the public service, whether there is an Indian who is a Ketua Setiausaha, and if so, who is he, what is his post. None of the persons I asked could give an answer. Is this the price for having Samy Vellu as Minister for 24 years – and the longest-serving Minister from November 1?
In fact, most Indians were dazed when I asked whether there had been an Indian KSU and if so their identity in the past six years.
There is currently an Indian as a KSU, but who is he and in which Ministry? When the overwhelming majority of Malaysian Indians, and not just the overall Malaysian population, are unaware of the answers – something is very wrong not only with the Malaysian nation-building 46 years after Independence, but also the restructuring prong of the New Economic Policy, National Development Policy and the three Outline Perspective Plans to ensure that the civil service reflect fairly the racial composition of the country’s population.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman