S. Arutchelvan writes this as a response to K. Balachandran of the Hulu Selangor Indian Welfare Society, who complained about PSM’s recent advocacy against the KL wholesale market’s banning of refugees.
In India during British rule, there was a sign in the Royal Simla Club saying Indians and dogs are not allowed. In South Africa the whole world opposed apartheid, which made large parts of the country whites-only. The whole human race opposes policies like this as discriminatory, racist and inhumane. The notice by DBKL in not allowing certain people to a common place has the same foul taste of racism. DBKL’s notice means that all refugees, including Sri Lankan Tamils, and various Myanmarese ethnic groups including the Rohingya will now be banned. We oppose this as an uncivilised act, an unacceptable practice in the 21 century. But we are not saying don’t help Malaysian Indians or don’t fight for them. This is the kind of distortion which Bala uses to portray himself as the champion of the Indian community and to portray us as traitors.
Bala should not be advising PSM on this because PSM is very consistent in helping many Indians in all issues including obtaining official documents like ICs, welfare issues, squatters issues, plantation issues etc . Perhaps he should visit my service centre to understand this. The only difference between Bala and ourselves is that we help everyone and we treat all humans equally, whereas Bala thinks only of his own race and his own community first. That is nothing wrong with that because most people are selfish sometimes. But we in PSM are not so inward-focused or self-centred because we believe in helping everyone. Every person deserves to be treated fairly. For years, Malaysian Indians were also fighting to get equal treatment.
We cannot have such discriminatory policies. Before this a Malay group was advocating a “Buy Malay goods first” policy. All this is not good for a multiracial country like Malaysia. Similarly this DBKL ban is no good in the long run for anyone.
Malaysia has previously helped Vietnamese , Acehnese, Sri Lankan Tamils, Myanmarese, and Syrians. All these people have problems in their own country and they seek refuge. PSM’s position has been the same for all these communities.
The comedy with the ban is that most Malaysian vegetable and poultry workers are refugees, and they also carry most of these goods to the market. Now we can eat the food they grow and are happy that they accept low wages to do difficult, dirty and dangerous work, but we cannot allow them to enter our markets. This is nonsense and cannot be accepted.
People like Bala should try to see things from a human perspective first. For those of us who oppose the caste system and oppose discriminatory policies, PSM is correct. PSM will continue to help all poor people irrespective of race and religion because we are a socialist party. If Bala and his friends have any issues involving poor Indians, they can refer those cases to us and we will try to help them to the best of our ability. But please stop preaching to us about who we should help. There are many Malaysians who keep telling us we should think of Malaysians or Indians first. The problem with these people is that they hardly do anything for their own race, or for their own community or for Malaysians, but they are very quick to preach to others and tell people what to do and not do.
Parti Sosialis Malaysia