The Indian Community is now wiser about politics, says V Arumugam, PKR's former state assemblyman.
On the contrary, they are wiser now to the political dynamics in Kedah and would not easily fall for Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat, which now rules the state.
Gone are the days when Indians, particularly those working in plantations, would blindly support MIC, said Arumugam.
“Now they want to see which side can offer them the best deal for themselves and their families,” he said.
Kedah has the country’s highest concentration of Indians in a rural area, covering the stretch from Kulim, Sungai Petani, Padang Serai, Lunas to Merbok and Bukit Selambau.
According to Arumugam, reports that the Indians are returning to BN, particularly in Kedah and, especially after Padang Serai MP N Gobalakrishnan exited from Pakatan, are not accurate.
“I think the majority of us would continue to support Pakatan. We can see for ourselves now what the state government is doing compared to what MIC did for us in the past 50 years.
“The BN’s move in dishing out goodies has raised questions among Indians as to why they are only getting attention now compared to previous years.
“The community realises BN’s goodies are designed to win votes, but there is no sustainable policy in place to raise their living standards, particularly the poor from rural areas.
“We prefer to get goodies by ourselves through government policies. We dislike having to be dependent on handouts. This is the feeling of most Indians,” said Arumugam.
On the logging issue, the squabble between Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak and his councillors as well as the poor financial position of the state, Arumugam said in the eyes of the Indians, these are just politics.
The mainstream media are harping on such issues but for the laymen these have been overblown to cause problems for Pakatan.
In Kedah, there is the logging issue; in Selangor, the acute water shortage and in Penang, the excessive hillslope development.
“They may be issues but the laymen see them as mostly political that do not affect their lives,” said Arumugam.
What matters most is the “bread-and-butter” issues and Pakatan has the edge on this because its leaders are speaking the language of the average person and his needs.
To enable a better standard of living, the government must eradicate corruption, provide a level playing, uphold justice, reduce crime rate and foster unity.
Instead, the opposite is happening and this is why the Indians have joined many others in expressing their anger, said Arumugam.
He also said BN has lost the plot with the young, who are now supporting Pakatan.
“They are prone to anti-establishment virtues, but most importantly, they have access to the alternative media and thus, there are more reports about Pakatan leaders,” he said.