SEREMBAN: DAP organising secretary Anthony Loke has claimed that the appointments of Indians to high-ranking government positions were made possible by the opposition which “broke the glass ceiling” following the general election of March 2008.
The Seremban MP alleged that the MIC did not know Indians could hold high posts in Malaysia before opposition parties, which later formed the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, won the five states of Penang, Perak, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan in that election.
“Before 2008 there was no uprising among the Indians, and MIC did not know that an Indian could become a deputy chief minister of a state here in the country,” he said
“When we took over Penang in 2008, we made (DAP’s Prai assemblyman) P Ramasamy the deputy chief minister (2) of the state, the first time ever in the history of Malaysia,” he added.
He said DAP had made it clear that a deputy chief minister’s position would be given to an Indian during the “political tsunami” and Makkal Sakti movement that led to the electoral success.
“In the 50 years of Barisan Nasional (BN) rule, there had never been an Indian deputy chief minister,” he said at the launch of Hindraf’s “Zero Vote for BN” campaign during the 10th anniversary of its rally here last night.
Also present were Hindraf chairman P Waythamoorthy, Ramasamy, DAP’s Zaid Ibrahim, PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu.
“Since we set the precedent, the next government of Penang, whoever they may be, will not be able to take the position away from the Indians,” he said.
Loke added that an Indian was also appointed as the Perak state speaker.
“In 2008, we made (DAP’s Tronoh assemblyman) V Sivakumar the speaker of the Perak state assembly,” he said.
He added that after the Pakatan Rakyat government was deposed in March 2009 following a constitutional crisis, the BN state government that took over had to put an MIC leader as the next speaker.
“Did MIC know that they could become the state speaker before that?,” he said.
Sivakumar was replaced by MIC’s former Sungkai assemblyman R Ganesan as speaker in May 2009.
Loke also said many Indians were still suffering from the same problems they had been plagued with for years.
“After 60 years of independence, Indians until today do not have their identity cards. MIC and BN set up taskforce after taskforce but they are all useless,” he said.
“Until today hundreds of thousands of Indians remain stateless,” he claimed.
“This issue still has not been resolved. This is why we are asking Indians to just give PH one year to prove we can solve this issue once and for all. If we fail just vote us out the next term.
“Let us prove that what MIC could not do in 50 years, we will do in 5 years,” he said.