and the Malaysian Indian Community2017
by Arunajeet Kaur, PhD
Ten years ago, on November 25th 2007, a signiﬁcant number of Indians (mainly Hindu Tamils) demonstrated in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, at Ampang Road, to submit a petition to the British High Commission. The petition was to urge Her Majesty to appoint a Queen’s Counsel to represent Malaysian Indians in a suit against the British government. Malaysian Indians were suing the British government for their frustrations and resentment, pent up over 50 years whilst being resident in post-independence Malaysia, with a claim for compensation. A claim was made that colonial Britain, while being responsible for importing labour from India into Malaya, had failed to dispense its duties to the minority Indian community of Malaya at the time of decolonisation.
Why did a people, the British stereotyped as ‘malleable … and easily manageable’ march the streets of Kuala Lumpur on November 25, 2007 against a barrage of tear gas and water cannons, crying injustice, signiﬁcantly altering the trajectory of Malaysian history?
As author Arunajeet Kaur says in her book,
"... the Malayan colonial authorities dehumanised the whole process ..." In other words the British teated the Indian plantation workers as livestock, not people.
To quote Kernail singh Sandhu, Indians in Malaya 56-57