Non-Muslims are being squeezed out by syariah compliance, with increasing and alarming regularity.
The latest case was the dismissal of an Indian canteen operator from the Politeknik Seberang Perai (PSP) in Penang.
Was this the action of a Little Napoleon, who misinterpreted the rules, or just a simple misunderstanding by ‘Gopi’, the man at the heart of this latest scandal?
Gopi, whose full name is Gopi Krishnan Gopal, has also claimed that he was told to convert to Islam if he wants to continue running his business, a charge denied by the politeknik.
Other acts of anti-Indian racism
Earlier in February, we read the Facebook post entitled the “Voice of an Indian student” detailing the shabby treatment meted-out to an Indian postgraduate student and her friend, by a Universiti Malaya lecturer.
The post went viral, but instead of firm and swift action by the University’s Vice Chancellor (VC), to stamp out racism, the VC passed the buck to a panel of professors, and the students’ complaints went from pillar to post, until the public forgot about this racist attack.
Today, it is the turn of an Indian food seller, called Gopi, who caters to the needs of the Indian students at an institute in Seberang Perai.
After more than six months of selling Indian food at the premises, Gopi’s services were suddenly terminated. He vented his fury on WhatsApp and Facebook, and uploaded a voice recording of a conversation between himself and one of the institute’s top administrators.
The man informed Gopi that he was not “syariah compliant”, and that his services were probably terminated because he sold non-halal food.
Despite a petition by the 300 Indian students in the polytechnic, Gopi’s appeal was unsuccessful. Despite pleading with this newly installed administrator, that he had not yet broken even with his newly purchased equipment, the administrator’s response was a resolute, “No”.
When Gopi’s story went viral on social media, he alleged that he received calls from various quarters, including a government officer from Putrajaya, who told him to “keep things quiet” as there were efforts to get his stall reinstated.
Why was it allowed to happen in the first place? Will it happen again to other non-Malays and non-Muslims? When will this madness end?
Syariah laws will not affect non-Muslims
Malaysians wonder if syariah compliance is being used unfairly, as the latest tool to discriminate against non-Malays and non-Muslims.
When the authorities wanted to peddle Hadi Awang’s Amendment to Act-355, we were told that syariah laws would not affect ordinary non-Muslims. Theory is one thing, but in real life, syariah laws have encroached and will continue to stamp on the rights of non-Muslims.
The government polytechnic denied the allegations made by Gopi, and has lodged a police report at Bukit Mertajam.
This is not the first time, discrimination against Indians have taken place in Malaysia. The bumiputeras who lag behind in many fields are now aided by affirmative action policies, so that they can play “catch-up” with their non-Malay Malaysian peers. Education is one such field, although the Ministry of Education denies that Indians are being discriminated against.
Kamalanathan is Najib’s apologist
Oh to be a fly on the wall, in the office of the Deputy Education minister, P Kamalanathan. The beleaguered man, is also a Central Working Committee (CWC) member of the Malaysian Indian Congree (MIC), the party which claims to represent the rights of Malaysians of Indian extraction.
Kamalanathan is often tasked with solving tricky issues involving discrimination against Indians. Many of them have not been satisfactorily resolved. Lessons have not been learnt, because time and again, the discrimination against the Indians is repeated.
Today, the hapless Kamalanathan, must again, defend the government’s affirmative action policies, instead of championing the rights of the Indian community.
How will he resolve Gopi’s problem ? The educational institute insists that it was an administrative reason which led to Gopi’s dismissal, but the allegations of being asked to convert, are worrying.
So, was a Little Napoleon at work, who misinterpreted some issue? Had Gopi been guilty of something more serious to do with food production, or are we going to see another cover-up?
It appears that “The Indian Blueprint” is just a book of hollow promises. Another Najib’s “syok sendiri” or “vetti pecchu” soundbite.
Let us see who takes over Gopy’s stall, and their relationship to the Little Napoleon.