The video (above) produced by Malaysia Gazette TV cannot be swept under the carpet as we enter the final week of the 2022 general election campaign.
What is the meaning of nationhood if we can completely ignore the plight of people like this ethnic Indian man and his family featured in the above video? He has been in Malaysia for 65 years and is still burdened with only a red identity card?
Now, I wonder which political coalition or leader will bring this cruel reality to the fore.
This case is probably just the tip of the iceberg of many things wrong in a nation that claims to be democratic.
We have heard that there are migrant workers here who have obtained citizenship. Some of us may have even heard that citizenships are allegedly for sale in Sabah.
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But here is evidence based on the account of a man who was brought to Malaysia as a three-month-old baby by his parents and who has lived all his 65 years in Malaysia. He has raised a family of three children, with the eldest now 19.
But he was denied citizenship despite having a red identity card.
And because of this denial of citizenship, his children could never go to school.
His entire family has little choice but to work as rubbish collectors for a living.
A politician of Javanese origin can become a multi-millionaire and leader of a political party. He is now lurking as a camouflaged prime minister-in-waiting.
A certain foreign preacher can be given all the protection he needs so that he does not have to face court charges and possible imprisonment back in his original homeland.
Foreign nationals can become business partners here and perhaps even enjoy government contracts that turn them into millionaires.
But a family that has lived here for 65 years is still being punished with a red identity card.
If no political coalition, political leader or election candidate takes up this issue of red identity cards on the campaign trail and speaks out about it as a priority in their ‘bed-of-roses’ manifestos, then we have failed humanity and applied unfairness most cruelly.
We are selfish when we try to create a better Malaysia only for ourselves while failing to address this well-hidden truth of selective (or discriminatory) awarding of citizenship.
Everyone, every civil rights body, every religious congregation must speak up about this denial of fundamental rights that has left this man, his family and probably many more people like him at the edge of deprivation.
The media should also speak out to help correct this grave wrong in our midst.
Such failures on our part are the reason discriminatory policies thrive in Malaysia.
Will this video report prompt an honest, soul-searching and responsible response to a problem that goes against universal principles, religious teachings and ethical human conduct?