Mr.Palanivel has a panacea for the woes facing the Indian community in Malaysia. He would like them, as reported in Malaysiakini today, to return to working in the estates!
He offers them, with a magnanimous wave of his flailing hand, the princely sum of RM700. Which, last we checked, is less than what foreign maids earn in Malaysia these days.
This miserable excuse for a leader then, is what the Indians are saddled with. It is little wonder that they have never progressed. The MIC, bereft of capable, intelligent leaders, would like the Indians to take this regressive step. Which would effectively cut them off from the nation's mainstream of development, and turn them into little more than a population of slave labourers.
What he should be doing is helping the urban poor, by ensuring that they have jobs, housing and educational opportunities for their chidren. As well as reskilling for the adults. If he finds this too challenging or onerous a task, he should resign.
There may perhaps, though, be method in Mr.Palanivel's madness. And his preposterous suggestions.
The MIC has little share in the urban vote. They rely, for their vote bank, on the hapless Indians in the estate. Their votes are all too easily bought, with a bag of rice or a crisp RM100 bill.
We find it sinister, that Mr.Palanivel should recommend Sime Darby as a prospective employer. We know that Sime Darby had stopped the opposition from campaigning in estates under their control in today's by-elections. Mr.Palanivel, perhaps, would like the Indians poor, weak and without choices. That would return to MIC a captive Indian Vote, which they could then put to good use, for their own benefit. As they did for the past 50 years.
If the Indians again vote for the MIC and BN in the next GE, they will be voting themselves into another 5 decades of misery. Their only way out is to strive toward a two-party state, which can only be achieved by voting, en masse, for the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, in the next Elections.
Or the Indians will continue to be led by politicians like Mr.Palanivel, bankrupt of ideas and who will surely, by ineptness and incompetence if nothing else, keep them mired in their sad, poverty-stricken state.