Saturday, May 26, 2012

The hope for the Indian community lies with Pakatan Rakyat.

Speech by M Kula Segaran , DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat at the DAP Johor Indian Community Forum held in Skudai on Saturday,  26.5.2012

The hope for the Indian community lies with Pakatan Rakyat. 

Two days ago, MIC president Datuk Palanivel announced that officials in Putrajaya will huddle with a team of professionals to formulate a comprehensive plan aimed at “rescuing” the country’s Indian poor.

The initiative is expected to be finalised during a roundtable conference to be chaired by Datuk Seri Najib Razak, which is expected to be called by July.

Palanivel said the government could not take its Indian support for granted, despite reports that the community has begun returning to BN’s fold.

“The prime minister must help us. He has to give us a sizeable budget to take the Indian community out of their present problems,” he told a press conference after meeting with several think tank groups on the proposed initiative.

“For the Indian support to return to BN, we need to rescue the people. The more we do that, the more our support will grow.

“We cannot depend on the existing support and be confident that everyone has come back to us. The more we help them, the more they grow confident and the more our support will grow.”

What can we read from Palanivel’s announcement?

Firstly, he is probably hinting that the next general election will not be held anytime earlier than July since the prime minister will only chair the roundtable table conference in July.

Secondly, the Indians cannot count much on BN as after having been in power for decades as well as having lost significant Indian support at the last general election, BN is still talking about holding conference to discuss how to rescue the Indians!

Indians also cannot place their hopes on the prime minister simply because he has been the prime minister for more than 3 years yet he has not implemented bold, effective and immediate policies and programmes to help the Indians.

Neither can the Indians place their trust on MIC as MIC under the new leadership is as ineffective as before.
Palanivel said that at least 30 per cent of the country’s Indian community are either living in poverty or in dismal conditions, suffering from debt problems and are unable to make ends meet.

He further said:-
“A good percentage of the community has been marginalised... they are trapped in poverty, earning low or no income, trapped with money lenders, their homes facing auction, they are unable to pay their basic utility bills, they cannot send their children to school, pay bus fares for them and so on... they are in deep problem”.

If the BN government was sincere and serious about helping the Indian community, all the right and necessary programs should have been implemented decades ago.

If BN had learnt its lesson from the 308 general election, the government ought to have walked its talk 3 years ago after Najib became the nation’s prime minister.

Yet today Palanivel is talking about holding conference and 10 year road map.

What the Indian community needs last is conference, announcement and talk.

Indians do not need Palanivel to tell us decades" old problems as if these are newly discovered by MIC.
What the Indians need are action, fairness and justice.

Palanivel also talked about the need for the government to “ rescue “the Indian community.

I will say that the roundtable conference is just going to be a mere public relations exercise for BN to try to rescue itself.

Indians can only rescue themselves by going for political change which will bring about a Better Malaysia for ALL.

Although there is no single parliamentary or state assembly seat whereby the Indian voters form the majority of the electorate, Indian voter percentage can still help decide the electoral outcome.

In other words, we can be the kingmakers.

So with the political awakening of the Indian community, the Indians played their kingmaker role and helped create the 308 political history.

In the last general election, the Kingmaker role played by many Indian voters has helped to create the political tsunami that dealt BN its unprecedented electoral debacle.

There are 6 parliamentary seats in Johore where the Indian voters constitute more than 6 % of the electorate. The Indian percentage is enough to influence the electoral outcome in these constituencies. namely, Simpang Renngam, Gelang Patah, Pasir Gudang, Segamat, Labis, and Tebrau.

The next general election is going to be the most important one in the nation’s history.

The hope for the Indian community lies with Pakatan Rakyat.

Hence, Indians in Johore should together with Indians all over the country, rise to the occasion in the next general election and play their kingmaker role and vote Pakatan Rakyat to bring about A Better Malaysia for All.

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