Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Recently, newspapers reported the story of K.Kamine Devi. Although she scored 10A1 in last year’s SPM, the Public Service Department turned down her application to study medicine overseas. This after the PSD had issued a statement recently guaranteeing scholarship for students who scored 9 A’s in their SPM. To add insult to injury, her application for a matriculation programme was also rejected. Kamine Devi is an Indian.

She is not the only Indian in the lurch. Lost out simply because of skewed education and affirmative action policies. Also, Kamine Devi is not the only unfortunate Indian. There are many with a similar story.

A fortnight ago, M.I.C Central Working Committee Member S,Murugasen in a letter to Malaysiakini revealed that out of 751 successful candidates for Jawatan Pembantu Penguatkuasa Gred N17 only 10 candidates or 1.3% were Indians. Now, for the uninformed, Grade N17 are support staff and is usually open to applicants with SPM or equivalent qualification. There are more likely from the lower and lower-middle income families who may have discontinued studies after Form 5 to find a job in order to support their families.

What I found interesting was the M.I.C’s Central Working Committee Member’s expose that “whenever the issue of low percentage of Indians being accepted into the government employment is raised, the standard answer is that there were insufficient number of applicants. However, feedback from divisional level M.I.C Youth leaders is that many Indians Youths do apply for governmental jobs but are not called for interviews and out of those called only a very small percentage have been successful”. Quite startling and hard-hitting especially when during the recent general election, M.I.C gave a glowing report card about job opportunities for Indian youths. Yet three months later, M.I.C in public is talking about unfairness. Is M.I.C in the government or now running with the opposition?

Still on the same point, a letter from the Inland Revenue Board published in NST on Monday, June 23, 2008 stated that the Inland Revenue Board does not have race quota in recruitment of new officers. Now let me remind everyone that I also believe in the fairy god-mother and Santa Claus. According, to the Inland Revenue Board, in their recent recruitment exercise only 2,16% (324) of the total applicants (15,018) for the post of executive officer Grade 7 were Indians. And of the number of successful applicants, 2.47% ( eight) were Indians who fulfilled the criteria set for the job. As for the total application received (916) for the post of administrative assistant Grade 11, only 0.44 % (four) were Indian applicants. Of the total number of successful applicants (190) all four of them were successful.

Even in the Johor Bahru courts, the majority of the Indians are only employed as court interpreters. This is a sunset position as there are already some judges who encourage litigants born after 1970 to converse in Bahasa Malaysia. They are often urged to speak in Bahasa Malaysia without the aid of an Interpreter. So, it is safe to say that in years to come the job of interpreters especially Tamil and Chinese Interpreters will become redundant. With that another job opportunity in the civil service closes for Indians.

The private sector does not look promising either. Go to the banks and other office's and count the number of Indian faces there. Even, legal firms which once provided Indians with clerical job opportunities employ fewer Indians. If there is one segment of the Indians population who has better prospect of finding jobs, at least clerical jobs are those who can speak Mandarin. Trust me if you can speak Mandarin, you will never be jobless.

Last week, the Star gave a breakdown of the intake into public universities. Out of the 40,184 STPM and equivalent candidates, 6.84% were Indians. The number of places awarded to Indian student for critical courses are as follows:-


What can be seen is that the Indian intake into public universities is ridiculously and unfairly small.

Hoping for an overseas scholarship to study one of the critical courses will be like waiting for Godot. There is a better chance of witnessing the Halley’s comet.

So what’s the point I am making? Indians must realize that in the near future it is going to be nearly impossible for Indians to get employment in the civil service. In the private sector which is dominated by the Chinese, there is a “national service” pressure for companies to provide employment for Malays first before Indians. Just have a look at the banks and see how many Indians are employed. Indians are already finding it really difficult to near impossibility in getting scholarships. Indians must prepare now for their children’s future. Indians must begin to look elsewhere and not rely on the government to educate their children.

The only way for Indians to uplift themselves and their families is through education. That means Indian parents must make every possible sacrifice for their children. My sister, brother and myself are eternally grateful to our parents for the sacrifices they made to ensure that we got the education we want. My parents received not a single sen from the government yet my parents sacrificed their yesterday for our tomorrow. The saved every single sen to pay for our education.

To study, one needs money. Indian parents must realize that the realistic option for their children education are private universities or to study abroad. Whichever option, one needs money and lots of it. I just wonder how many parents and particularly from the lower and lower middle class Indian families actually put aside of money each month for their children’s education. However seeing the number of empty beer bottles on the table of the ever grateful Chinese coffee shop owner only, I fear a bleak future for many Indians. Add to that, is the sad sight of seeing children wasting their valuable studying time every night sitting together with their mothers watching Indian serials on Astro. Sometimes I just wonder if Indian parents ever care for their children’s future. There are many Indians who would not buy a computer for their children but have no qualms in installing Astro. Just where are their priorities, I often wonder. At least one can see Malay parents buying for their children computers at Courts Mammoth even if it is purchased through installment plan. Believe me, Malay children are really good or at least better than Indian children when it comes to computer technology.

Let me advise Indian parents, save and save all your money. Invest in your children’s education even if you could only educate them to have only trade skill. Education, that’s the best gift you can give your children. Cut out or at least reduce the beer, forget the cigarettes and disconnect Astro. That’s a good start. The savings made, put it into your children’s education account and see it grow. It is hard but sacrifice now and be assured you will reap benefits later. With education, the world and not just Malaysia opens opportunities for your children. Your children will never need to be victims of quota system and affirmative policies. Instead the world awaits and welcomes them.

The writer welcomes comments at anfalaw@streamyx.com


  1. I would advise Indians who are able to leave the country for greener pastures to run without turning and looking back. The private sector is equally bad for the Indians - more so if one is an Indian woman. Take it from me as I speak from experience.

  2. sir,i totally agree with you.i hope indian parents will realise in what condition we malaysian india are in this country.
    we really have to work hard.its like negros living at the States.
    education is the only way to get out from this misery,i just hope that indian families out there realise this factor

  3. This is the grim reality facing the Malaysian indians, yet most of them and especially those belonging to the lower income groups are totally oblivious to it. The higher income groups (who consider themselves upper class or castes) want nothing to do with the poor indians. The poor indian probably still put a towel on his shoulder bents over with his arms folded and says 'Aiyaa'to the rich 'upper class'indian.Malaysian indians do not do themselves any favour. Your post,Norman, is a very good and a well thought through advice for the Indians,with all stats and so on, but how many Indians have computers ( as you have mentioned) or know how to access your blog? Do you speak Tamil? There appears to be some change to this sorry state as evident in the Hindraf action last year when indians of all classes came togather to demand for their rights. This is a sign that those rich indians who traditionally dominated the civil service,railways, legal and medical professions have also lost out to the Malays,and those who have not migrated now have to join the poor indians to fight for their rights. Is this a desperate state?

    You are right,it is probably wiser to drop Bahasa Malaysia and take up Madarin,after more than 1 in 5 persons in the world speaks Mandarin, and it is becoming an essential language for business.