Poverty is still or remains the major problem faced by Malaysians, irrespective of race or ethnic background. Lack of education, the key to all opportunities, is another problem although the administration is providing 'free' education.
Whether we like it or not, we still face some social problems because the poor make up most of the bottom 40 per cent.
Many Malay, Indian, Chinese and the Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak have not been able to overcome the cycle of poverty. Things are not going to be rosy next year when prices of essential goods are going up and up. Blame it on crude oil.
Malays had high numbers of drug addictions while Indians and Chinese continues to face public employment blues and the question of just, equal and fair opportunities, as raised now and then by their community leaders.
Children of the poor - Malays, Indians, Chinese and other Bumiputeras dropped out of the educational system prematurely.
These are the problems of the Malaysian poor, not of the Malay, Indian or Chinese poor, but the Malaysian poor.
The Malaysian poor are suffering in silence and most of the time, forgotten. They could not afford to be in the big city to march to palaces or to foreign embassies to seek assistance or the attention of The White House or the occupant of No. 10 Downing Street, London or the Chief Minister of a foreign country to "intervene".
Any one care to walk with the Malaysian poor?