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Get real, pundit tells Young Power

 | September 1, 2012

It’s unlikely for Pakatan to accept an Indian-based party, says analyst A Thiruvengadam.

PETALING JAYA: A prominent analyst of Malaysian Indian politics has poured cold water on the idea of an Indian-based party within Pakatan Rakyat.

A Thiruvengadam, who writes a column for a Tamil daily, said today that the proposal was unrealistic in the light of Pakatan’s stand against race-based politics.

He was commenting on a proposal by a group calling itself Young Power and claiming to represent Indian youths.

One member, G Krishnan, told FMT on Wednesday that the group was disappointed that neither Barisan Nasional nor any party in Pakatan was doing enough to address issues of concern to Indians.

Krishnan also said Young Power had raised the proposal with several Indian leaders in Pakatan by text message and had received positive responses.

“It’s a mission impossible,” said Thiruvengadam, noting that Pakatan leaders have often spoken against raced-based politics and that it is not easy to get registered as a political party in Malaysia, especially one that aligns itself with the parliamentary opposition.

Furthermore, he added, it was doubtful that any Indian currently holding a leadership position in any of the Pakatan parties would resign to join the new party.

Thiruvengadam is a former PKR member and former municipal councillor for Petaling Jaya.

His advice to Young Power was that it should instead support a two-party system for the country.

“Indians can benefit more via the two-party system since they are the third largest community in the country, which makes them an important deciding factor in the polls,” he said.

However, Young Power’s proposal has the support of P Jenapala, the pro-tem president of the Indian Justice Party.

Sambal belacan

Jenapala, a former PKR deputy secretary, said he saw nothing wrong in Pakatan accepting an Indian-based party since the bloc includes PAS, which he described as a “one hundred percent Malay-dominated party”.

He rejected the Pakatan claim that it is a coalition for all races.

“PAS will say, ‘Let’s go towards a better Malaysia as long as Muslims are supreme.’ DAP will say, ‘Malaysia for Malaysians as long as the Chinese are supreme.’ And PKR is a Pakatan version of Umno upholding Malay supremacy.”

He questioned why PAS, DAP and PKR were refusing to merge into one party if all three were genuinely for multiracialism.

“To them, Indians are just the sambal belacan that they add to their food to make it tasty,” he said.

Kapar MP S Manikavasagam of PKR said he had not received any text message from Young Power.

“I’m not aware of any proposal to form an Indian-based party within Pakatan,” he told FMT.

“It is up to the top-level Pakatan leaders to decide whether they would encourage it,” he said.

However, he added, he was sure that PKR would not engage with any race-based political party.

Nevertheless, he expressed support for Young Power’s call for Indian leaders to be given significant positions at both state and national levels.

“Some of their demands are fair and should be taken into account,” he said.

Also read:

‘Young Power’ wants Indian-based Pakatan party


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