IT WAS MORE FRUSTRATION OF BEING ON THE FORGOTTEN FRINGE, THAN BEING MALAY OR INDIAN….unless there were some backroom engineers!
A Malay Wedding, a Hindu wake and a misunderstanding over a broken wind-screen exploded into a clash that caused 6 deaths of scores of injured.
The ethnic nature of the clashes appears to have masked the undercurrents in Malaysian society and the emergence of a frustrated underclass in an economy long touted as the next Asian tiger economy. The clashes between Malay Muslims and ethnic Indians erupted March 8 in run-down sections of Petaling Jaya, a largely upper- middle class residential town just next door to
In socio-economic terms, "the area is one of the worst areas around
The poor must be able to walk with dignity.
Some 60 percent of the 22 million Malaysians are ethnic Malays or indigenous people. About 50 percent of the people are Malays, almost all of whom are Muslim. A quarter are Malaysian Chinese, while 8 percent are ethnic Indian. For several years now, a few academics have been pointing to a growing underclass in Malaysian society, the result of an unbridled, lopsided
approach to "development".
During his 20-year tenure as premier, Mahathir Mohamad has pursued a model of heavy industrialization, complete with towering skyscrapers, a glittering airport and an impressive Formula One racing circuit. But he has neglected social security nets for the poor, critics say. How one defines poverty in the country is problematic to start with. The official poverty line in peninsular or western
If that figure is used,
This is where the crux of the problem lies: many among the working class, including factory workers, barely earn that amount. Indeed, those at the lower end of the ladder, especially plantation workers, general workers and laborers, struggle to earn 500 ringgit monthly. Before the Asian crisis in mid-1997, academics had argued that 750 ringgit would be a more appropriate gauge of the minimal cost of living for urban households, said a report prepared by the Malaysian Institute for Economic Research for the United Nations Development Program in 1998. Given this measure, during the boom decade between 1985 and 1995, the percentage of poor households increased from 14.3 to 23 percent, much of the rise occurring in the urban areas.
(The above are excerpts in my archives. I regret being able to identify the sources. I apologise for that.)
And in this shocker – the Malaysian government plans to act as housing loan guarantors to poor folk who can’t afford to buy their own homes.
What a load of bullshit.
Poor people can’t afford to buy homes because of inflation and the ever increasing cost of basic items. All of which are problems created, perpetuated and worsened by the current Malaysian government. Tackle those problems and build cheaper homes for the poor, instead of shackling them to government-endorsed loans which they can already ill afford.
It’s not rocket science!
And Patrick Teoh in his NIAMAH post asks: WHAT FOR?