Indians are disappointed with unity government
The high hope that the new unity government would appoint a few Indian ministers principally from PKR and DAP ministers has not materialised. To date, one Indian minister from DAP V. Sivakumar from the parliamentary constituency of Batu Gajah has been appointed.
There have been no ministerial appointments from PKR, the party that has nearly 40 percent of its membership from the Indian community. The Indian community shifted its political allegiance to then Pakatan Rakyat (PR) since the 2008 general election.
For decades, Indians were ardent supporters of the BN coalition with the presence of the MIC. The latter often boasted itself as the “mother party of Indians”.
With the Hindraf uprising in 2007, Indian enchantment with BN drastically declined.
By the time of GE12 in 2008, the long honey moon period with BN was over. Indians flocked en masse to throw their weight behind DAP and PKR.
With the formation of PH, Indian support to the multi-racial coalition was expedited to the extent that in GE14, non-Malay support was crucial in propelling the coalition to federal power.
Today there are more Indian MPs and state assemblymen in PH than in any other political coalition. Indians in PH, namely in PKR and DAP constitute a formidable force. It is unthinkable for PH to win federal power without the support of the non-Malays in general and Indians in particular.
Indians might be a numerically small community, but no serous minded political parties or coalitions are willing to ignore them at their own peril. In the recent GE15, more than 80 percent of the support to PH came from the Indians. Even one opposition politician remarked that Indians are “kingmakers” in the parliamentary constituency he contested.
The ascension of PH chairman Anwar Ibrahim as the prime minister of the country is a dream come true for Indians and others. Indians given their unenviable position in the country looked forward to the leadership of Anwar to steer the country from the present political, economic and social mess.
All Indians and others want is an institution of a system that will respect their equal rights in the country. They want the present of racial and religious discrimination to be done away with gradually.
This not a talk order, but something that citizens have the moral right to ask from a government that they think will take care of the rights of Malaysians irrespective of ethnic or religious differences.
Indians don’t expect that the present unity government anchored by PH will improve their existence overnight. They are prepared for a long haul in anticipation of a bright future for their children and grandchildren.
Given their level of support to PH, Indians expect to be fairly rewarded for their intense loyalty and political commitment. The community wants their leaders be awarded posts in the government as form of recognition of their community’s immense contribution to the country.
However, the recent announcement of the cabinet has come as a big disappointment to the Indian community. Only one Indian leader from PH was given the post of a minister.
There was no serious attempt to appoint an Indian candidate from PKR, the party that has largest concentration of Indians.
The Indian community is naturally disappointed when they were not even recognised for cabinet positions.
If Anwar could go the extent of awarding cabinet positions to those lost in the GE15, surely he could have provided some recognition for Indian leaders. It is not that there is not enough talented Indian leaders in PKR and DAP.
If the new government is not prepared to recognise the Indians, then where do they go from here.