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Monday, May 29, 2017

GE 14: Opposition should stop using Indians as pawns

At least the Barisan Nasional has, finally, come up with a blueprint to help the Indians but what has Pakatan Harapan done except criticise the blueprint?
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By Raghavan Nair
‘Indian’ leaders from Pakatan Harapan recently held a press conference to reveal their analysis of the Malaysian Indian Blueprint (MIB). It was indeed a historic event as this was the first time that Indians within Pakatan had come together, that too to do the usual, to pour scorn on another initiative for Indians.
What was truly devastating was the depth of analysis provided, a mere two page analysis of the original MIB document which is 168 pages. After more then a month, one would expect a comprehensive analysis of facts and figures or even a counter Indian blueprint. Disappointingly, it was a shoddy analysis, which only reflects the quality of Indian leaders within the Pakatan coalition.
Calling this scanty group a coalition of Indian leaders is misleading to say the least. Embarrassingly, prominent Pakatan Indian leaders such as Deputy Chief Minister of Penang P Ramasamy, and MPs M Kulasegaran, Gobind Singh Deo, Kasthuri Patto, R Sivarasa and even Selangor state executive councillor Ganabathi Rao were missing from this line up.
Let me go a step further and ask Pakatan Harapan: If you indeed represent all races in Malaysia, why were prominent top brass of the Pakatan leadership absent in endorsing this analysis? Where were Azmin Ali, Lim Guan Eng, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Lim Kit Siang? Is it because Indian votes are so inconsequential that they do not see reason to allocate time and resources for such a function?
On the opposite spectrum, for the MIB launch, other then Prime Minister Najib Razak and his deputy, about 10 Cabinet ministers and top civil servants, regardless of race or religion, were gathered to show solidarity for the MIB and endorse the document.
For the first time in history, the executive branch of the country recognises Indians and is showing its commitment wholeheartedly. Of course only time will tell if it will be well executed to actually benefit the Indians, but at least they have laid out a detailed plan to uplift the community.
Where are your plans Pakatan Indian leaders?
Are you just following the age-old decree of your current de facto leader? Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the prime minister for 22 years, and during this period the decline of the Malaysian Indian community accelerated. I wonder why when Dr Mahathir was prime minister not a single blueprint was put forth to address the neglect faced by the Indian community.
Let’s rewind the clock. We Indians were systematically marginalised under Mahathir’s watch. And now these Indian leaders in Pakatan are celebrating him and his leadership and stand with him to bring transformation to Malaysia.
Will they stop this charade of using Indians as pawns towards their goal of capturing Putrajaya?
Raghavan Nair is an FMT reader.

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