The Prime Minister Should Direct The National Statistics Department To Prove The Reliability Of Its Latest Population Census Or Else Repeat The Exercise Nationally to Determine The Actual Racial Composition In Malaysia
by Lim Guan Eng
(Petling Jaya, Monday): DAP calls on MCA, MIC, Gerakan and SUPP Ministers at the forthcoming Cabinet meeting on Wednesday request Prime Minister Datuk Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to prove the reliability of its latest population census or else repeat the exercise nationally to determine the actual racial composition in Malaysia. Politics is a numbers game and the number of people is an important as well as sensitive political factor as it decides on the extent of access to government resources, education, employment and economic opportunities.
DAP agrees with MIC President Datuk S. Samy Vellu questioning Malaysia National Statistics Department on its estimate that Indians only made up 7.5% of the country’s 25.7 million population. Datuk Samy Vellu had said in The Star today wondering how the Indian population last year had gone down by 2.5% when the Indian community ranked second behind the Malays in the country’s birth rate and Indians in his constituency had told him that a house-to-house survey had not been conducted there.
The National Statistics Department had revealed that Malaysia had a population of 25.7 million of which 24 million Malaysians and 1.7 million were non-Malaysians. Indians made up 1.8 million (7.5%), Chinese 6.1 million (25.4%), bumis comprising of 13 million Malays and 2.8 million other bumis (65.8%) and other races 300,000(1.3 %). There were 13.1 million males of which 12.1 million were Malaysians. And 12.6 million females of which 11.8 million Malaysians.
The decline in non-Malay population is expected but as Datuk Samy Vellu said, appears to have gone down more rapidly than the declining birth rate. At this rate by 2020, Chinese and Indians may comprise only 20% or 6% of the population respectively. The National Statistics Department must clarify whether the marked reduction of the Chinese and Indian population of 35% and 10% over 40 years ago is due to declining birth rate. Or whether the marked increase in the numbers of bumis helped by increased immigration of Muslims, especially from Indonesia. Muslim Indonesians who attain citizenship automatically become bumis even though they are not born in Malaysia.
It may be too late for MIC to try to preserve the rights of the Indian community but their objections contrast with the spineless and defeatist MCA and Gerakan who not only dared not voice their objections but accept the injustices of the BN government’s discriminatory policies. Perhaps this is the reason why the loyalty of MCA leaders who hold senior government position in Malaysia is questionable when their leaders talk of loyalty to the country but become permanent residents in Australia or other foreign countries.
* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General