THE
MALAYSIA
SITE

 
Home
- Bargaining
- Batik
- Books and info
- Chinese New Year
- Chingay Parade
- Climate /Banking
- Culture /Religion
- Festival Deepavali
- Festival Ponggal
- Festival Loi Krathong
- Festival Songkran
- Festival Thaipusam
- Geography
- History of Malaysia
- King - the recent
- Lakes of Malaysia
- Malaysians from China
- Malaysians from India
- Map of Malaysia
- National Anthem
- Phoning Home
- Politics
- Public Holidays 2017
- School Holidays 2017
- Singapore - Hotel
- Singapore - Johor Bahru
- Singapore - KL by bus
- Singapore - KL by train
- Special Events
- Ticket Train Service
- Ticket Bus Service
- Wedding in Malaysia
Home
Kuala Lumpur
Jungle
Penang
Langkawi
Melaka
The Highlands
Perlis
Kedah
Sepang
The West Coast
The East Coast
Sabah
Sarawak
Car/Bus/Train/Plane
Malaysia with Children
Hotel Reservation

Tiger

Golf & Green Fees
Malaysia Cooking
Links
Contact
 



 

Malaysian Indians

Kids

The third largest ethnic group in Malaysia after the Chinese and the Malays are the Malaysian Indians.  Despite the fact that the Indians constitute about 8% of the country’s population of 22 million they own less than 2% of its national wealth. 

The mass Indian (South Indian) immigration can be traced back to the early 20th century when the British brought them to meet the labour force requirements in the colonial public services and in private plantations.  While the bulk of the Tamils were employed in the plantations, the Sri Lankan Tamils and Malaysians were in supervisory or clerical positions.  Of the North Indians, the Punjabis were in the police force, while the Gujaratis and Sindhis were in the business (mostly textiles).  Despite the mass exodus of South Indians back to India after independence and after the racial riots of May 1969, the Tamils (South Indians) constitute about 80% of the total Indian community.

The Indians themselves are to some extent responsible for their present unenviable and ignominious status, and the policies of the Malaysian Government since independence had not been helpful either.  Ignorance born out of poverty in the plantations resulted in many of them not getting citizenship which was offered in 1957 when Malaysia became independent. This prevented them from getting jobs.

A major setback for the Indian labour force was the steady closure of the rubber plantations giving way to tea and oil palm plantations.  Their numbers started dwindling and they had competition from the illegal Indonesian immigrants. Unlike the Chinese who lay great emphasis on education, it was not given due importance by the Indian working class. 

The Tamil schools in the estates were often mere apologies and offered no opportunity for progress in higher education. The undue importance on Tamil education has also weakened the Indian community in competing with the indigenous Malays and the Chinese. One of the major reasons for the low percentage of Indian origin students in the tertiary institutions in the country is the lack of merit and as a result, even the quotas set for the Indians remain unutilised.   

 

 

Despite their economic backwardness, the Indians were a peace loving people and were not involved in any racial riots either in May 1969 or later except for a few incidents of clashes on account of religious sentiments.  However in March 2001, the ethnic clashes between Indians and Malays in a village in the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, brought into focus  the plight of the Indian community in Malaysia. 
The incident has since been forgotten  on the assumption that the clashes resulted on account of poor living conditions in the villages than the racial differences.  There has been no  introspection of this incident by the Government or by the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), the leading political party of the Indians. 
The MIC, a constituent  of the coalition  government at the center since independence does not have much political clout and has not been able to do anything substantial to improve the lot of the Indians.

As of now the problems faced by the Malaysian Indians are not being attended to by the Malaysian Government nor does the community have the economic or political  clout  to demand their redressal. 

1 Malaysia

One wonders whether the Indians belong to the third major race or  to a third class race in the country.  We are not aware what recommendations the High Power Committee of Government of India ( really high powered with extensive tours all over the world, five star hotels and  lavish receptions etc) have made for the poorer sections of the Indian community abroad.  Acceptance of the dual citizenship for a selected class is not going to be helpful either for this hapless lot.


 


Little India - Kuala Lumpur

    Ben van Wijnen

 

 

 

Copyright © 2001 - 2017 WINT. All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/malaysite