PORT DICKSON: Pockets of the Indian community in Port Dickson have indicated their readiness to support PKR candidate Anwar Ibrahim in the Oct 13 by-election, saying they have suffered enough under Barisan Nasional (BN).
Tanah Merah resident Maruthan Kupusamy said although he had not met Anwar and knew little about him, the farmers there had had enough of BN.
“We requested land but we were never entertained,” the 69-year-old estate worker told FMT.
“If we had a piece of land, at least we could do our own farming or build a small house. Now we have nothing.”
He gave the example of a housing project started by the previous government which had been abandoned after the May 9 polls.
Only 60 of the 100 units were completed before the project was dumped, he said.
Kupusamy, who is also a unionist, said he had learnt how corrupt the former administration was while fighting for the welfare of other estate workers.
He criticised the decision of former Umno leader Isa Samad to contest the by-election as an independent candidate.
“I don’t understand why Isa decided to contest,” he said. “Isn’t he ashamed of what he did in the past? Why does he still want to come here and campaign? It’s so embarrassing.
“Some may say he helped the community here before, but he only helped the village people. He never bothered about us estate workers.”
He claimed he was once insulted by MIC leaders while an MCA man had threatened to “take his wife away”.
“That is why we have decided to vote for Anwar. I believe he will be able to bring change to this constituency and improve the welfare of estate workers.”
Shah Alam city councillor V Raidu, who is chairman of DAP’s parliamentary liaison committee in Kota Raja, said the Indians in Port Dickson were ready to back Pakatan Harapan (PH) and PKR in the by-election.
He pointed out that this was the first time the Indian community was represented by four Indian ministers.
“I am responding to what PAS said, that the Indians in Port Dickson are not fixed deposit votes for PH.
“But in the 60 years under BN there was no such thing, and under PH there is,” he said, referring to the Indian ministers.
Meanwhile, a group of MIC members told FMT they were planning to leave the party after the by-election.
Their leader who wished to remain anonymous said they had spoken to party chiefs and suggested that MIC leave the BN coalition.
“If they don’t leave, we will leave,” he said. “We have had enough. In fact, we wanted to leave earlier, but some of the leaders advised us to stay on until this by-election is over so that we will not be accused of giving support to PH.
“We still believe in our party but we had to vote for change in the 14th general election.”
He voiced concern over the collaboration between Umno and PAS, saying they were “okay with Umno” but worried about what would happen if cooperation with the Islamist party became official.
“PAS has been too extremist in its religious views. We don’t want that in BN,” he said.
He added that the group would not join any other political party after leaving MIC as they wanted to wait for the political landscape to stabilise.