Saturday, September 15, 2012

Today, My Heart Sinks for My Fellow Malaysians

After five decades in power, one economic policy after another under the Barisan Nasional, there are a few groups of people that I believe have been left out in our development.  While I am frustrated with the BN governance, I myself am guilty of being ignorant and indifferent at times. 

As I read these statistics, my heart sinks and tears flow, and I shall remember how I felt today for the rest of my life in politics. Today, I am determined to do this: never, never shall I see statistics as numbers and forget that these numbers represent the PEOPLE, my fellow Malaysians, the very individuals that deserve life, liberty, and the right to pursue happiness. 

The Indians 

Indians population in Malaysia dropped from 15% in 1957 to 7.1% in 2010. 

Malaysian Indians equity ownership is only 1.5% of Malaysia's wealth. Worse still, minus the two big tycoons, Ananda Krishnan and Tony Fernandez, the 7% of Malaysia population (~ 2 millions) only own 0.7% of the national wealth. The promised 3 % equity target  by Dato Sri Najib Razak has been postponed from 2010 to 2020.

Some other statistics about the Indians in Malaysia:  
- the second highest infant mortality rates
- the lowest life expectancy rates - 67.3 years compared to national average of 71.2.
- the highest school drop out rates: only 5.0% of Indians reach the tertiary level compared to the national average of 7.5%.
- the highest incidence of alcoholism, drug addition and prisoners in proportion to population. 
-  60% of serious crimes are committed by Indians.

The Non-Malay Bumiputras

The graph below shows Malaysia poverty rate by ethnicity.  After decades of development, all the ethnicity groups have tremendously reduced their poverty rate. However, the non-Malay Bumiputeras have been seriously left behind, both in absolute term as well as in the rate of poverty reduction. (check out for the Other Bumiputra category)

Source: Malaysia The Millennium Development Goal Report, United Nation, 2010 

People in Sabah in particular, suffer a serious lack of development: 
- about one-fifth of Sabah people live below poverty line
- 41% of Sabah land area is without piped water compared to 10% in Peninsula
- 23% of areas in Sabah are without electricity compared to only 0.3% in the Peninsula

And yet, in the 9th Malaysia Plan (2006-2010), Sabah was allocated only 8% of the total national budget and less than 3% of total development budget.  This is a complete injustice in action!

My Hope - Right of Social Mobility for All

The vicious cycle of poverty and social problems should be broken with well-thought policies from the government and deliberate efforts from the society. 

All Malaysians, and I say again, ALL MALAYSIANS, deserve equal opportunities of social mobility and their rights to pursue happiness in this land. 

Note: The statistics above may not be 100% accurate and updated as there are not many well-established research available online. This maybe proves again our negligence on them?