FMT LETTER: From Gunasekaran Selvaganesan, via e-mail
Disillusioned by years of neglect by successive MIC leaders who were supposed to have stood up for the community, Malaysian Indians decided to put their lot with the unknown ‘angel’ in Pakatan Rakyat in 2008.
However, the past four years have shown that this leap of faith by the previously unshakeable BN supporters was misplaced. Pakatan has done little or nothing for the Indians in the last four years since they were brought to power largely on the back of the swing votes of Indians.
When compared with the tangible steps taken by the Najib administration, the-PR led state governments have failed, despite their sweet pre-election promises to the Indians.
Of the Pakatan-ruled states, Pulau Pinang has appointed an Indian Deputy Chief Minister, P Ramasamy, Selangor has appointed Dr Xavier Jayakumar as a state exco Member and Kedah recently appointed a S Manikumar as a state exco Member. All are in positions of power which can help them to push through pro-Indian policies to uplift the community.
However, many Indians wonder what the PR governments in these states have done for the development of the Indian community? Can Pakatan Rakyat specifically outline what they have done for the Indians in their states? Apart from giving handouts to Tamil schools and temples, has there been any significant policy to uplift the Indian community in these four states?
All that is visible is that they keep criticising the Federal government and MIC for whatever policies or efforts that the BN implements to help uplift Malaysian Indians. Sure, we all know the historical wrongs of the BN, and MIC in particular. But surely when they do start to try to make a difference it should be encouraged and not wildly criticised. Pakatan’s criticisms can just as easily be thrown back at them. What have they done?
In Kedah, pre-GE 12, Pakatan Rakyat promised to declare Thaipusam a public holiday in Kedah should the Indians help them win the state. Four years has passed and still this most basic of promises which hardly requires great effort has not been fulfilled. Manikumar, the exco member representing the Indians in Kedah has failed to stand-up for the Indian community’s interest and has no major role in the PAS-dominated state government’s decisions.
In Penang, they have a Deputy CM who has the power to implement policies or even to advise and propose to the CM to design specific policies for the Indian community but despite that they have not done anything commendable for four years.
One major example, is the Ladang Batu Kawan issue where Deputy CM II, P Ramasamy promised to provide double-storey houses to 35 families living in the farm which is being redeveloped. The issue remains unresolved till today since 2008. Furthermore, what has the state government done for Tamil schools in Penang? What have they done to resolve Kg Buah Pala?
In Selangor, after four years in power, the state government only managed to build one Tamil school at a cost of RM4.7 millon and that too, was provided by a private developer in return for god knows what. While commendable that they are taking an interest in Indian education, it is quite ridiculous to say it takes four years to build only one school.
Even the land on which this school stands was already alienated by the previous BN state government to SJKT Midlands. The Pakatan government has now sold the said land to I-City. Why has the state government not revealed the details of sales and purchase agreement with I-City to the public, the owners of the land where the school was built?
Just for this school built with developer’s money and leveraging on land already given by the previous BN state government, Pakatan took out a 26-page special supplement to congratulate themselves on this once in four years achievement!
These four years of Pakatan being in power in four states has only served to remind the Indians that they are best served by the BN despite their historical missteps. At the very least the Najib-led BN government seems to have heeded the warning by the community after the last elections.
Najib has instituted favourable policies towards the community and made real and meaningful efforts throughout his tenure to prove the sincerity in his ‘Nambikei’ slogan towards Malaysian Indians. Can the Pakatan say the same?