Speech at Malim Nawar on 8th May 2010
It was sad that Pakatan Rakyat's candidate Zaid Ibrahim lost in the recently concluded Hulu Selangor by election as he would have been an ideal lawmaker who could be an effective voice of the people inside and outside Parliament.
It was sadder as his victory would have added momentum to PR’s bigger electoral objective in the next general election --to do battle for Putrajaya.
PR knew from the beginning that the Hulu Selangor by election was going to be a tough fight, given the improved approval ratings of the Prime Minister in a recent survey conducted by Merdeka Centre.
But the campaigning period proved the challenges were tougher than expected, with the Barisan Nasional (BN) blatantly going about with its politics of money.
However, PR is not deterred by this defeat. Neither must our supporters be disheartened.
Let the Hulu Selangor by election be another Ijok, where PR came back to capture the Selangor state power in the 2008 general election after Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim had lost in the 2007 Ijok by election.
Analysis of results has shown that BN won Hulu Selangor by election due to increased support from the Malay and Indian voters.
Kamalanathan is an MIC member but it is obvious now that his victory did not bring much joy to the MIC and its president Dato Seri Samy Vellu and deputy president Dato G Palanivel
Kamalanathan’s win has fuelled much talk that it will hasten Samy’s political retirement. Kamalanathan’s candidature has also resulted in G Palanivel having to make backdoor entry to Parliament.
Never before has MIC had to suffer such loss of face and political humiliation. This is the price MIC and its leaders have to pay for not having the courage to quit their positions or quit the Barisan Nasional when they are no longer seen as BN's assets.
In fact, during the by election, Kamalanathan was seen more as an Umno candidate than an MIC or even a BN candidate.
Now that Kamalanathan has become a new MP, let’s see whether he will be a voice of the people.
I therefore challenge the new Hulu Selangor MP Kamalanathan to speak up on the Indian students" dilemma on the SPM 10+2 subjects’ issue.
Last year, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had announced that despite the government's decision to allow SPM students to take 12 instead of 10 subjects, only the results of the 10 core subjects would be considered for government scholarships and other official purposes.
Although flexibility would be given to Indian SPM students to opt for Tamil and Tamil Literature papers, this still falls short of what the Indian community demands.
It is illogical and unfair that the two additional cannot be given equal ranking as other subjects. It is also unjust that they cannot be considered as the core subjects, to be considered for JPA scholarships and other official purposes.
Will Kamalanathan speak up or will he and the BN now take the Indian support for granted after their Hulu Selangor by election victory?
Speech at Malim Nawar