This is the video of Mr. Raju’s family who are sleeping on mats at the Dewan Orang Ramai. The place is dusty, dirty, without water supply and broken glass hanging precariously from the windows.
I heard about Kampung Manis during last Sunday homily. My church’s youth went to the kampung to gotong royong. The Form 3 and Form 4 youths did a great job of clearing up the rubbles and rubbish. I was touched and told Father Fabian I want to go to the kampung to film it. He introduced me to a medical doctor in Prai who usually does these social works. Dr. Jeya took me to the place and introduced me to the family.
It is very hard for us who lives comfortably to feel for the poor. Sometimes, we wonder why they never rise above their poverty. Sometimes, we blame them for all the social ills and such. But we have to remember that some of them are suck into a vicious cycle caused by poverty, the system and a lot more factors.
Like Shan, my fellow CJ and also a strong supporter of Hindraf said, “Indian problems are no problems”. He said our country marginalised the Indians and usually ignore their plights. He said Indians were driven out of their own land like Kampung Buah Pala. Though I do not always agree with Shan, I know there is some sad truth in those strong statements.
You see, the frustrating thing is we always segregate ourselves into races. When it comes to Indians, they waited upon Indian politicians to help them. MIC, Hindraf and Indian DAP politicians. To tell you the truth, when you put the same races together, they tend to be even more ‘explosive’. When we can see beyond our colours and races?
I am lucky. When I met Dr Jeya, it so happened he was with a group of people and they were having coffee. I heard that when the family tried to see the CM (because Indians don’t always like Indians very much), they were told that he is away (which he is not). He send his ‘usual’ assistant to take the appeal letter and the assistant send a clerk to take it.
I don’t expect the CM to see every single people who walks into his office to see him. But what I was utterly pissed is how the CM had spent so much time and space to entertain ‘the other 15 Indians’ and even gave them so much airtime to talk to the press. Yet, everywhere I go, I heard complaints about Indians losing faith in Prof. Rama, wanted to see CM personally and instead get this ‘office boy’ welcoming treatment.
I had voiced this out personally to CM and whether he believes me or not, well…it is up to him. What I want to say is, “Enough of your Kampung Buah Pala damage control. I am sick of listening to the propaganda. Move on, there are lots more Indians needing your help.”