PETALING JAYA: Penang deputy chief minister P Ramasamy has questioned the appointment of Ramesh Rao by deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to handle the plight of the Indian community.
He said this should be Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s responsibility instead.
In a statement today, Ramasamy said Rao, who is an NGO leader and a hardcore Barisan Nasional (BN) supporter, had no experience in handling the problems of Indians in the country.
“Indians need brave and honest leaders who fully understand the plight of the community, certainly not leaders who have no record of assisting the community,” he said.
Yesterday, Rao was appointed as Zahid’s special officer in charge of matters related to the Indian community.
However, Ramasamy said Anwar should be the person in charge of dealing with the Indian community’s concerns.
He said Indians had suffered under the BN administration for over 60 years, which meant that a “systematic solution” by the unity government led by Pakatan Harapan was required.
“BN as a whole had failed to resolve major issues faced by Indians and the appointment of a controversial figure, who is seen as extremely obsequious to Umno leaders, will make no difference,” said Ramasamy.
“Zahid must take the Indians seriously to change the fortunes of the community that had sacrificed so much for the development of the country.”
Ramasamy advised Zahid to focus his attention on his role as deputy prime minister, rather than making ad hoc appointments beyond his purview.
He also questioned why Anwar allowed this “ridiculous” appointment, raising a concern that Rao’s appointment might absolve Zahid from any future blame.
“The appointment of Rao might do more harm than good to the Indian community.”