In­di­ans as Min­is­ters in Malaysia

In­di­ans also ap­pointed as Cab­i­net Min­is­ters in Malaysia.

Alive - - News - ■ by G. Joshi

Two cit­i­zens of In­dian ori­gin, first Shri Gobind Singh Deo, a Sikh of In­dian-ori­gin and sec­ond Shri M Ku­lasegaran a Ta­mil­ian Hindu of In­dian ori­gin have been ap­pointed as Cab­i­net Min­is­ters in Malaysia. They are the first cit­i­zens from a mi­nor­ity com­mu­nity to be ap­pointed as Cab­i­net Min­is­ters in the his­tory of Malaysia. Shri Gobind Singh Deo, 45, from the Demo­cratic Ac­tion

Party (DAP), has been made a Cab­i­net Min­is­ter. He has been given the com­mu­ni­ca­tions and mul­ti­me­dia port­fo­lio. He is one among the two politi­cians of In­dian de­scent in­cluded in the Pakatan Hara­pan coali­tion's Cab­i­net.

Pakatan Hara­pan (Al­liance of Hope) is a po­lit­i­cal al­liance that was founded in 2015 as a coali­tion of sev­eral po­lit­i­cal par­ties in Malaysia. It is the largest coali­tion and the rul­ing party in the Par­lia­ment of Malaysia. Deo rep­re­sents Pu­chong con­stituency in the Malaysian Par­lia­ment and is the son of late Malaysian lawyer and politi­cian Shri Karpal Singh. He was first elected as a Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment in the 2008 Gen­eral Elec­tion.

Deo was re-elected to the lower house, with an in­creased mar­gin, in 2013 and he again won this year's elec­tion with a mar­gin of 47,635 votes. The other per­son of In­dian-ori­gin is Shri M. Ku­lasegaran from the DAP, who has also been made a Cab­i­net Min­is­ter. M. Ku­lasegaran (MK for short) is a well-known and ex­pe­ri­enced lawyer in Malaysia. He is a Hindu of Tamil ori­gin. The 60-yearold prac­tis­ing lawyer is the vice-chair­man of DAP as well as Pakatan Harpan’s vice-pres­i­dent.

MK, the sec­ond youngest of nine sib­lings who grew up in a rub­ber es­tate, re­ceived his early ed­u­ca­tion at An­glo-Chi­nese School in Si­ti­awan, Perak. Af­ter com­plet­ing his BA (Hons) Bar­ris­ter at Law from

Lin­coln’s Inn, Lon­don, he es­tab­lished his Law of­fices Kula & As­so­ciates, which started func­tion­ing on May 1, 1985. He was called to the English Bar in July 1982 by the Hon­or­able So­ci­ety of Lin­coln’s Inn; there­after he was ad­mit­ted and en­rolled as an ad­vo­cate and so­lic­i­tor of the High Court in Malaysia in 1983. Ku­lasegaran joined DAP in 1983.

Gobind Singh Deo

He wore a tur­ban dur­ing the swear­ing cer­e­mony. MK was wear­ing tra­di­tional Tamil head­gear a

"thal­lapa," a tur­ban tra­di­tion­ally worn by Tamil kings. MK also ex­pressed his pride in wear­ing the thal­lapa, in recog­ni­tion of his her­itage. It is a part of Tamil cul­ture. Malaysia is a fed­eral con­sti­tu­tional monar­chy in South­east Asia. It con­sists of thir­teen states and three fed­eral ter­ri­to­ries. Kuala Lumpur is the na­tion's cap­i­tal and largest city, with a pop­u­la­tion of over 30 mil­lion.

Malaysia has its ori­gins in the Malay king­doms which, from the 18th cen­tury, be­came sub­ject to the Bri­tish Em­pire. Malaya was re­struc­tured as the Fed­er­a­tion of Malaya in 1948, and achieved in­de­pen­dence on 31 Au­gust 1957. Malaya united with North Bor­neo, Sarawak, and Sin­ga­pore on 16 Septem­ber 1963 to be­come Malaysia. How­ever, in 1965, Sin­ga­pore was ex­pelled from the fed­er­a­tion.

About half the pop­u­la­tion is eth­ni­cally Malay, with large mi­nori­ties of Malaysian Chi­nese Malaysian In­di­ans, and in­dige­nous peo­ple. The gov­ern­ment sys­tem is sim­i­lar to the English par­lia­men­tary sys­tem. The head of state is the king. He is an elected monarch cho­sen from the hered­i­tary rulers of the nine Malay states ev­ery five years. The head of gov­ern­ment is the Prime Min­is­ter. The coun­try's of­fi­cial lan­guage is Malay lan­guage.

It is gen­er­ally be­lieved that Sikhs were brought to Malaysia the then Malaya as po­lice and sol­diers. But that is not cor­rect. It is recorded that first Sikhs were ac­tu­ally sent to Malaya as war pris­on­ers. The first two Sikhs to set foot in Malaya were An­glo Sikh war pris­on­ers Ni­hal Singh (bet­ter known as Bhai Ma­haraj Singh) and Kharak Singh. They had been sent first to the An­daman

Is­lands and later to Sin­ga­pore and Malaya.

It is pos­si­ble that a small num­ber of Sikhs in Po­lice may have al­ready been present in Malaya and Sin­ga­pore when the Bri­tish

Deo was re-elected to the lower house, with an in­creased mar­gin, in 2013 and he again won this year's elec­tion with a mar­gin of 47,635 votes. The other per­son of In­dian-ori­gin is

Shri M. Ku­lasegaran from the DAP, who has also been made a Cab­i­net Min­is­ter. M. Ku­lasegaran (MK for short) is a well-known and ex­pe­ri­enced lawyer in Malaysia.

founded Sin­ga­pore in 1819. By 1850s Sikh po­lice were al­ready de­ployed in Bri­tish Colony of Hong Kong be­fore they were de­ployed in Malaya. The process of mi­gra­tion of Sikhs to Malaysia started again in 1865, but this time in­volved re­cruit­ment in the armed forces in the Bri­tish Em­pire mainly as po­lice, mil­i­tary and guards. This is fur­ther sup­ported by the fact that one Mr John Mackay, a planter took the first Sikhs to Aus­tralia in 1837.

First Sikh unit

The first of­fi­cial Sikh unit - mostly Sikh - in Malaya was raised with one Capt Speedy, in 1874. Sikhs were con­sid­ered the prime of the mar­tial races by the Bri­tish. English po­lice of­fi­cers had al­ready ex­pe­ri­enced the ef­fec­tive­ness of Sikh po­lice in Shanghai, Hong Kong,

Af­ter their suc­cess­ful de­but as law and or­der keep­ing men the Sikhs were ea­gerly sought by other trou­bled states. In their wake came rel­a­tives and fel­low vil­lagers bring­ing with them the di­verse skills, trades and abil­i­ties of field and farm. When the 1953 Im­mi­gra­tion Act made fur­ther mi­gra­tion to Penin­su­lar Malaya vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble, the Sikh com­mu­nity was al­ready firmly es­tab­lished and be­came re­mark­ably in­flu­en­tial.

Malaysia has nearly 1, 00,000 Sikhs to­day.

Burma, etc, and were very much im­pressed by their qual­ity of work ethics.

Af­ter their suc­cess­ful de­but as law and or­der keep­ing men the Sikhs were ea­gerly sought by other trou­bled states. In their wake came rel­a­tives and fel­low vil­lagers bring­ing with them the di­verse skills, trades and abil­i­ties of field and farm. When the 1953 Im­mi­gra­tion Act made fur­ther mi­gra­tion to Penin­su­lar Malaya vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble, the Sikh com­mu­nity was al­ready firmly es­tab­lished and be­came re­mark­ably in­flu­en­tial. Malaysia has nearly 1, 00,000 Sikhs to­day.

Re­la­tions be­tween Tamils of In­dia and Malaysia have ex­isted for more than 2000 years.

Even be­fore Bri­tish coloni­sa­tion, Tamils had been con­spic­u­ous in Malaysia es­pe­cially since the 11th cen­tury. They spread Tamil cul­ture and the Tamil lan­guage and script to Malaysia. The Tamil em­peror Ra­jen­dra Chola I of the Chola dy­nasty ruled Malaysia in the 11th cen­tury.

Tamil mer­chant guilds

Many such guilds were es­tab­lished in sev­eral lo­ca­tions. Tamils were among the most im­por­tant trad­ing peo­ple from In­dia. Although the bulk of them have merged with the ma­jor­ity Malay eth­nic group, some com­mu­ni­ties such as the Malacca Chit­tys are the dece­dents of the ear­lier Ta­mil­ians. Dur­ing the

Bri­tish colo­nial era, Bri­tain fa­cil­i­tated the mi­gra­tion of In­dian work­ers to work in tea and rub­ber plan­ta­tions. The over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of mi­grants from In­dia were eth­nic Ta­mil­ians from the then Madras Pres­i­dency of In­dia un­der East In­dia Com­pany.

Tamil In­dian free­dom fight­ers Maruthu Pandi­yar, their rel­a­tives and 72 war pris­on­ers were de­ported to Pe­nang in the year 1802 by the East In­dia Com­pany.

The Sri Lankan Tamils, also known lo­cally as Cey­lonese Tamils, were em­ployed prin­ci­pally in the civil and pro­fes­sional ser­vices. Since the es­tab­lish­ment of English rule started a steady in­flow of plan­ta­tion work­ers. Apart from this there was also sub­stan­tial mi­gra­tion of In­di­ans to work in Malaysia due to their gen­eral good com­mand of the English lan­guage.

The Por­tuguese gov­ern­ment of erst­while Goa also en­cour­aged their sub­jects and fam­i­lies to mi­grate to Malaysia. Thus it formed the pop­u­la­tion of In­di­ans in Malaysia, which like In­di­ans in Mau­ri­tius, Fiji, and Suri­name etc has pros­pered due to their fam­ily val­ues and stress on ed­u­ca­tion.

Gobind Singh Deo is the first sikh to be­come a Cab­i­netMin­is­ter in Malaysia.

M Ku­lasegaran, a Ta­mil­ian Hindu ap­pointed as a Cab­i­net Min­is­ter in Malaysia.

Malaysia has its ori­gins in the Malay king­doms.

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