Re-constitution of DAP National Estates Sub-Committee under the chairmanship of Sdr. K. Ramasen, State Assemblymen for Bukit Raja

DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, today issued the following statement:

1. Re-constitution of DAP National Estates Sub-Committee under the chairmanship of Sdr. K. Ramasen, State Assemblymen for Bukit Raja.

The DAP Central Executive Committee has re-constituted he DAP National Estates Sub Committee under the chairmanship of Sdr. K. Ramasen, State Assemblymen for Bukit Raja, Selangor.

Sdri. Mrs Ganga nayar, Selangor State Assemblywomen for Serendah, and Sdr. S. Ramanathan have been appointed vice chairman.

The new committee line-up is as follows:
Chairman: Sdr. K. Ramasen, State Assemblyman
Vice Chairman: Sdri. Mrs. Ganga Nayar, State Assemblywoman
S. Ramanathan (Perak)
Secretary: Sdr. P. Patto
Asst. Secretary: Sdr. K. Raman (Negri Sembilan)
Treasurer: Sdr. B. Ramu (Perak)
Committee members: Sdr. N. Govindan (Perak)
Sdr. V. Govidasamy (Perak)
Sdr. S. Govindaraju (Perak)
Sdr. Tay Kee Yan (Johore)
Sdr. R. Subramaniam (Johore)
Sdr. N. Ramasamy (Selangor)
Sdr. Clemet de Britto (Malacca)
Sdr. M. Kuppusamy (Negri Sembilan)
Sdr. R. Thanabalan (Penang/ Kedah)
Sdr. N. Mahadeven Nair (Selangor)

The objective of the National Estates Sub-Commttee is to continue to champion the causes of the downtrodden workers in the estates, especially those who have suffered retrenchment and dismissals after spending the best part of their lives in helping building up the rubber industry in the country.

The estate workers in some states have been treated no better than slaves, and it should be part of the tasks of the DAP National Estates Sub-Committee to restore to estate workers the full human dignity and self-respect all persons are entitled to.

In this regard, estates in the hands of foreign capital or local capital, should no more be treated as private empires or kingdoms of the estate managements, where they sometimes exercise extra-territorial rights like colonial countries in Asian lands in times of old.

All estates must be easily accessible to Malaysians, and we cannot permit foreigners especially to claim Malaysian soil as inviolable territories of theirs, wherein they exploit and oppress Malaysian estate workers and their families.

2. Economical, educational and social backwardness of the Malaysian Indians cry out for immediate redress

As a group, it can be said that the Malaysian Indians are the most unfortunate lot, and their economic, educational and social backwardness cry out for immediate redress.

There is however no sense of urgency or even awareness in the National Front government of the plight of the Malaysian Indians, especially those in the estate sector, and the importance of devising a special programme to redress their backwardness.

Because general elections is around the corner, the MIC, which claimed to be the champions of the Malaysian Indians, recently held a economic seminar on the position of the Malaysian Indians.

What is of greater relevance is what the Malaysian Indian Congress have done or could do to uplift the Malaysian Indians from their poverty and backwardness, which had seen progressive deterioration of their position since Independence in 1957. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that more than any other community, the Malaysian Indians have become poorer and poorer with every passing year, although all through these years, the MIC is in the Cabinet.

When the UMNO held bumiputra economic seminars and pass resolutions, the Prime Minister would set up a special committee in the government to implement the resolutions of the seminar.

I would like to know whether the Prime Minister has set up a special government committee to implement the resolutions passed at the MIC economic seminar held recently, or are the MIC resolutions only meant for the newspaper publicity, without any hope of government acceptance?

The impression that I have gathered is that the Cabinet and government are not in any way bothered or concerned about the resolutions, and no action will be taken on them.

To end this decades of neglect and indifference to the plight of the Malaysians Indians, the MIC President, Tan Sri Manickavasagam, should get the Cabinet to consent to the appointment f Royal Commission of Inquiry into the economic, educational, social and cultural backwardness of the Malaysian Indians and propose recommendations to the government as to the measures and new policies needed to arrest the further deterioriation of the political, economic, educational, social and cultural position of the Malaysian Indians.