Kuala Lumpur – In response to Tun Mahathir’s remarks that MIC should be eliminated at the forthcoming GE-14 and that the Indian community’s problems were as a result of failures of a former MIC leader who was entrusted by him to carry out the agenda for the Indian community, MIC President Datuk Seri Dr S.Subramaniam has slammed the former premier saying that “the Indian woes were in fact inherited from the times of Tun Mahathir” himself.
The following is the full text of Dr Subra’s press statement released today evening:
“There were many issues plaguing the community for several decades and these are being resolved one at a time. Economic issues, Tamil schools, stateless Indians, temples and employment were some of the primary problems. These were all legacy issues inherited from the time of Tun Dr Mahathir when he was the Prime Minister. Therefore it is very unfair and irresponsible for him to pinpoint all Indian issues to just one leader in MIC.
What baffles me is that Tun Dr Mahathir was the PM for 22 years and all these problems came under various ministries and government agencies. Many of these issues were also debated extensively at Cabinet meetings. So is Tun Dr Mahathir saying that he was unaware of these problems just because one person failed to highlight it to him?
If that is the case, then the very government machinery that was under his care and leadership had failed him and the Malaysian Indians. This also shows the inherent weaknesses in his leadership.
The issue of stateless Indians was handled by the Home Ministry while Tamil schools were handled by the Education Ministry. Tun Mahathir himself in the past has served both as Home Minister and Education Minister.
Similarly, all other problems that were handled by different ministries, were ultimately reported to Tun Dr Mahathir, as Prime Minister.
If the system failed to highlight these issues to him then I can only conclude that he failed to implement a system that benefitted the Indian community.
Above all, when Tun Mahathir attended official opening ceremonies of MIC General assemblies every year, during his tenure of 22 years, year after year Memorandums were given to him and the President of MIC during his presidential addresses at these assemblies would highlight to Tun Mahathir the issues affecting the Indian community in the presence of thousands of MIC delegates.
Now Tun Dr Mahathir seems to feel differently about these issues. If only he had felt like this before and done something during his tenure as the PM, many of the problems faced by Indians would have been resolved now. In fact Tun Mahathir left many of these problems to remain idle and persist without providing any directions.
Despite the shortcomings during his tenure, the MIC had relentlessly pursued Indian issues and voiced them out.
Now, PM Datuk Sri Najib Razak is more open to hearing these issues and he is coming up with solutions for the Indians. Only during Dato Sri Najib’s administration, we are witnessing glorious times in term of Socio-economic development targeted towards Indians. To address the issues plaguing the Indian community Dato Sri Najib took a holistic approach to solve it with the implementation of Malaysian Indian Blueprint.
What is important is that Dato Sri Najib took the initiative to solve the years-old Indian issues within a short span of time, immediately from the time he took over as PM in 2009.
I would like to point out at this juncture, the initatives solving the problems for the Indian community only began in 2010 after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak took leadership in 2009. One example is when the citizenship cases of 7,000 individuals were solved through the ‘MyDaftar’ campaign.
Never in the 22 years of his tenure as PM did Dr Mahathir ever came close to provide a solution for us on the major issues faced by the community. Finger pointing at someone at this moment in time baffles me even more.
This government has spent almost RM 1 billion for the development of Tamil Schools in this country during the last 10 years. One measure of this is the upward trend in Tamil school enrolment which now stands at 58% of all Standard One Indians students. New Tamil schools are also being built now, something that was unfathomable during Tun Dr Mahathir’s tenure. The increase of intake in civil service, an increase of intake in higher education, Amanah Saham and the list is inexhaustive.
I would like to reiterate that MIC is now overcoming the legacy problems inherited during the tenure of Tun Dr Mahathir”.