Thursday, May 16, 2019

Why Indians are the ones poisoned by toxic brew?

From MM Online (extracts):

Five deaths from methanol poisoning in Perak, says state exco

By John Bunyan

State Health, Consumers Affairs, Civil Society, National Integration and Human Resource Committee chairman A. Sivanesan inspects a liquor shop in Bercham May 14, 2019

Picture by Farhan Najib 

IPOH, May 14 — State Health, Consumers Affairs, Civil Society, National Integration and Human Resource Committee chairman A. Sivanesan today said that a total of five men had died of suspected methanol poisoning in Perak.

He said the victims were three foreigners and two locals who died after consuming alcoholic drinks.

“From April 30 to May 12, a total of 13 cases were reported of suspected methanol poisoning due to alcohol consumption.

“Out of the 13 cases, five were reported dead,” he told reporters after inspecting a liquor shop in Bercham here.

Sivanesan said the victim were aged between 23 and 73-years-old and included a woman.

“Five cases involved foreigners and eight cases involves the locals.

It's sad when such tragedies occurred, and seemingly always with Indians.


Years ago (2006?) I penned that probably the most deprived and marginalised ethnic group in Malaysia, a land of bountiful plenty, was and today still is the Indian community. Well, everyone knows though many would deny such a status. Eff, that's why Indian students need Matriculation far more than Malays.

Look, the Malays and other natives have their land, and except for some that are truly struggling along without even piped water, electricity and other basic amenities such as health or educational facilities, are in the main coping well.

Likewise with the Chinese – I know of several who still don’t enjoy piped water nor electricity but the rest are comfortable. Like some elite Malays there are of course Midas-rich Chinese. But the general group of Chinese ranges from upper middle class to some really poor, but as with most in Malaysia, even those at the lower economic rungs of society don’t suffer from 3rd World deprivations leading to hunger, malnutrition or rampant diseases.

But the Indians! What can I say?

Ironically the richest Malaysian until in recent times was an Indian, Ananda Krishnan.

Ananda Krishnan
among the richest Malaysians

And indeed there are other well known Midas-rich and powerful Indians.

Tony Fernandes 

Kenneth Eswaran 

Mohan Swami 

P Kasi

But the majority of Indians are struggling - truly truly struggling. I call the manifestation of their suffering, to wit, the 'toddy syndrome', a cruel but reasonably true observation.

The gap between the rich and poor Indians are unlike other ethnic groups. Their wealth distribution bell curve is distorted and squashed towards the lower values.

if 'x' represents the wealth curve for Indians, minus 10 being bloody poor whilst positive 5 to 10 is wealthy, the Indian ethnic group is represented by the black Bell distribution curve, with most being in the negative sector - Ananda Krishnan would be one of the very few on the right side

The typically hardworking but unskilled Indian struggles at the lower scale of employment, earns enough to live from hand to mouth day after day, has no or little after-hours amenities, has many children as a result of his sole entertainment (not unlike Chinese farmers in remote rural areas).

S. Sukumaran Sanmugam washes cars so he can buy his daughter some school books
at one stage he and family sleep in a bus shelter 

At the end of work he (not necessarily Sukumaran Sanmugam) dashes off to the local ‘pub’ for several tin mugs of watered toddy, gets himself pissed drunk to blank out his agonising frustration, apprehension, worries, physical/mental pain, hopelessness and anger at his-fate-decided-by-the-gods.

If not knocked out by the toddy by then, he comes home and, where in many cases, tries to solve his problems a wee bit by thrashing the hell out of his wife and kids. I apologise for stereotyping very poor Indians but alas, I have often witnessed such scenes in my village (I lived next to an Indian Labourers' quarters).

The evil toddy
 has become the proverbial 'last straw' for many socially-drowning Indians to hang on (even though kaytee admits he loves a drop or two of this brew occasionally, but of course in moderation).

Its devastating after-effect produces the syndrome, but the cause of the disease is hopelessness in an increasing competitive world that is rapidly leaving many Indian Malaysians behind.

Sukumaran, their children are born into immediate disadvantage. Their community is looked down upon, and worse, they are assigned ownership of Malaysian crimes which cannot be attributed to foreign migrant workers. They have become the debris, flotsam and garbage of Malaysian society.

Then, apart form being economic pariahs (excuse my rudeness in exploiting this word but I have done it with mucho sympathy for Indians) they are further afflicted by many forms of racism.

The principal form of racism obviously is related to their ethnic origin, but on top of this, as if being already a much marginalised Indian is not enough, they suffer from intra-Indian racism, as to whether one is a Tamil (the principal group), Telugus, Bengalis, Malayalees, etc.

Punjabis (including and especially Sikhs) and Sri Lankan Tamils seem to escape this vicious intra-racism. And I wonder about Gujeratis, Sindhis, Pakistanis, Indian Muslim, etc.

Indeed their unique sub-racial groupings are possible further disadvantage, because of the Indian Malaysian narrow politics based on sect, religion, linguistic differences or parochialism.

Wait, there is yet another odious factor, namely, that of religious affiliation, whether an Indian is a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, etc. All these were exposed in an article written by Malaysian veteran journalist Baradan Kuppusamy writing in Malaysiakini.

And then there is caste!

With their multiple disadvantages, namely, race, sub-race grouping, religion, caste, it's very little wonder the very poor Indian man resorts to his 'last straw'.

Thus such tragedies resulting from poisoning by toxic brew have to happen mainly and often to Indians.


  1. would 7 indian majority seats help reduce the indian poverty issue or instead create 7 millionaire? thaya ada jawaban?

    n what the mahathir inspired dap indian minister is doing beside climbing mountain n working on labour day?

  2. Everybody (almost) loves a tipple.

    Chinese towkays have their VSOP, ordinary people have their Carlsberg or Guiness, Zaid has his Black Label, Tojo has his Sake...and in Malaysia the prices keeps going up because of Government taxes.

    So the poor Indian labourer resorts to "underground" whiskey, often literally brewed underground, unfortunately sometimes with toxic methanol added in.

    Ah Mok still calls Indian "Keling" right ?

  3. For decades, there was a strange arrangement where the Malayan, then Malaysian government either directly sold, or contracted out to sell Toddy alcoholic drink.
    It was a way to provide an affordable drink to the target Indian labourers, instead of them looking for illegal drinks.

    I remember the Toddy shop in Pulau Tikus, near the Cantonment Road Post Office.
    Its still exists, no longer has any connection to the government, but now run by a private operator, still selling the drink.
    Good Stuff.

  4. So, the question should be, why wasn't there enough enforcement against illegal sellers or some legal sellers to prevent the sales of adulterated alcoholic drinks and causing deaths to occur whether those who died are foreigners or locals nationalities (especially among Tamil Hindus).

    Why equate deaths due to toxic adulterated alcohol consumption to the poor state of B40 Tamil Hindus among the better off Indians and the real need for affirmative policies just like any other B40 Malaysian for them to have a better life?

    Is it to say, affirmative policies for the B40 Tamil Hindus will prevent them from drinking toxic adulterated alcohol?


    Saying the B40 (Tamil Hindus) die from toxic adulterated alcoholic drinks due to the general neglect of their fellow Indians?


    Saying the B40 (Tamil Hindus) die from toxic adulterated alcoholic drinks due to the general neglect of their fellow Indians of other religions?

    The real issue should be why those sellers/manufacturers of illegal toxic adulterated alcholic drinks are not charged for murder and those enforcement personnel tasked are not charged as accomplices to murder or neglect in their duties.

    As for the B40 Tamil Hindus, the real issue is, why until today, they as Malaysians not given the same affirmative policies to uplift their lives just as like the B40 Malays and not hijacked thru other Indian political parties?