When I first met N (my cousin) after many years, I remembered her as a pretty secondary school girl. Her father was a junior technician in JKR but because of inequal upward mobility opportunities in the Malaysian civil service because he was not a Malay Muslim, he ended up becoming a street alcoholic.
He was forced to retire as a junior technician. In the meantime N’s mother a housewife, fed up with her husband's inability to keep the family afloat, left her JKR quarters with her two teenage daughters and a son, came to live in her mother’s squatter house.
N’s mother was ignored by Umno’s JKKK (grassroots-level eyes and ears of the Malaysian government) as she was an Indian Hindu and not a Malay Muslim under Umno's racist, religious extremist and supremacist policies in Malaysia.
Because she could no longer take the pressures of life, N’s mother got into depression and ended up becoming a mentally disturbed person. One day N’s mother beat up her persistingly nagging old aged mother on the head with a pail and critically injured her.
Had her grandmother died, N’s mother could have been prosecuted for murder and brought on more shame and mysery to the family. N’s mother had to move out of her mother’s house. Just before his retirement, a relative managed to secure a government loan to buy a medium cost house for this family.
In the meantime, N became pregnant. She started working at 19 and was quickly married off. She had two more children. N too, ended up becoming mentally depressed after her husband abandoned her and her three teenage children.
History repeats itself. N’s eldest boy was forced to stop school. He was exploited as a child labour. He had also worked as a door to door leaflet distributor. N initially worked as a dish washer. Thereafter she relied on her teenage son to put food on the table for the family.
B, the only brother of N, despite the odds, made it to the science stream and scored 12As’ in the SPM. Had he been a Malay Muslim he would have been a medical doctor, if not a medical specialist.
But because he was an ethnic minority Indian he merely qualified as a radiographer. And Umno would expect him to be grateful for this. D, the elder sister of N could not afford to continue her studies beyond SPM as her family could not afford it.
N’s house was eventually put up for auction as they could no longer service their housing loan. N eventually became a mental case. Her ex-husband sent all three children to an orphanage.
N’s relatives were in no position to help raise N’s three children or to take care of N as they all had their own set of serious family and financial problems.
Feeling guilty I tried making contact with N’s eldest son to offer him a job as despatch boy but was told that he was now a car repossesor cum small time gangster. One fine day he could potentially end up being shot dead with impunity by the police for being a suspected car thief and gangsterism activities.
N and her children never got welfare as the local Umno-controlled JKKK would not attend to her as she is an Indian. She never received proper psychatric treatment as the health and welfare personnel would not attend to her as she was Indian.
And then the final blow came when I went to my mother’s place last weekend. My mother told me that N who had been living at an abandoned home and wondering around the streets, was knocked down by a car and had died at age 38.
N’s two daughters who are in orphanages and living in cramped and poor conditions, are likely to run away, become teenage pregnant mothers like their mother, and the cycle mos likely will be repeated. Compliments to Umno in prosperous One Malay-sia.
N’s story is just the tip of the iceberg. The pain and sufferings of the Indians in Malaysia is a result of Umno's racist, religious extremist and supremacist policies, and Umno specifically excluding the Indians from the mainstream development of Malaysia.
They live in misery most their lives, and perhaps only death ends their sorrow. Many people ignorantly blame the individuals, families and their own society for their wretched lives, but it is the government's callous insentivity and denial of opportunities that is to blame.