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Under the feature headed "Ex-minister to Indians: What more do you need?" the former Information Minister was reported to have said
"They have become citizens and enjoy the same as what the Malays get, so what else is not right?”
Right. He infers that all Malaysians get equal treatment but we all know the cards are stacked so heavily against non-Bumis when it concerns entry to universities, scholarships, employment and promotions in government departments.
Maybe this guy has become so used to the propaganda created by his former ministry he has brainwashed himself with his own crap.
The Indices of Poverty published in the NST some days back to try and convince the public that Indians are doing well is interesting except that not much analysis was done and no more information was given.
Just providing the percentages can give a wrong picture and then policy makers will start programs that do not address the real issues.
Under ethnic groups, the category "Others" seems to be suspect.
The results are quite erratic with the Poverty Index going up and down like the KLSI!
The Chinese and Indian groups made steady progress and both were affected by the 1997crisis.
The Bumiputeras were affected earlier than 1997; probably in 1996 and perhaps the results could be caused more by cultural practices than economic woes or perhaps it is a combination of these two factors.
For a start a Muslim can have more than one wife but most modern women do not want to welcome a second wife and hence divorce is quite common.
It would be good for such analysis to include figures for single-parent households with sub-divisions into widows and divorcees. Perhaps a percentage of the poor Bumiputera households are being created by the get-rich scheme of the NEP?
Fortunately as the numbers show, the Indices of Poverty for Bumis and Chinese are about the 1997 levels but for the Indians it has increased.
One caveat I would make about programs to eradicate poverty like the NEP. Is should never be used simply by looking at charts and percentages but the best allocation of resources.
For example it is not justified to deny better qualified students from entering universities just to achieve some quota. Every Malaysian citizen should have the right to be educated to the level of his or her competence so that he or she can enter the job market without much hassle.