Funding of various minority and self-help groups , “token” and meager

By I.J. Perera

I am writing in light of the soon to take place tampering of the Constitution under the guise of 'allowing' minorities a chance at succeeding to become an 'elected president' if that particular racial composite has not been able to become a president for more than 5 terms.

I would like to convey that this is not only ridiculous but also extremely insulting and a weak attempt at quelling public dissatisfaction of the disqualification of Dr Tan Cheng Bock (a unifying figure). It is also hilarious that a "first world" government and judiciary is unable to sufficiently comprehend the meaning of "reserved" while making statements like: "the candidates must still meet the eligibility criteria and go through a proper election". Reserved means "kept specially for a particular purpose or person" and that no other can qualify in that case.

I feel this issue all boils down to funding of the various MINORITY SELF-HELP GROUPS which is a "token" and meager in this instance. Funding of Mendaki and Eurasian Associations have been so insignificant that the two associations are barely able to survive and have to redirect their members to one other for practical aid and bursaries!

A classic example will be last weekend's "Educational Awards" by my Eurasian Association. Almost half of the recipients are NOT Eurasians but Malays and Indians. When the Management Committee was queried about the reason for assisting non-Eurasians, they replied that those Malays and Indians were turned away by their respective associations as they "do not have sufficient funding" to aid them and the Eurasian Association is thus coerced into helping them to "maintain the public peace".

As a result of this, we have seen many poor and needy Eurasians have their aid trimmed from $200 to $50 in some cases with a reduction of food rations along with the NTUC vouchers. Is this fair for us? It is precisely because of such discriminatory practices that we are witnessing the demise of the Eurasian community in addition to the lackluster achievements of the Malay-Muslim community!

If the government is really serious about "uplifting" the minority communities, it should start putting its monies where its mouth is, which is obviously not Temasek or GIC!

It should also abolish the racial classification and start introducing the concept of "1 Malaysia"!