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“Indian question: Anwar to tread the tightrope of stability and instability” – Ramasamy

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COMMENT BY PROF DR P.RAMASAMY,
FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF MINISTER II, PENANG

Indian question: Anwar to tread the tightrope of stability and instability

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim together with the deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi met the MIC leaders on August 2, 2023. The meeting was called after the relationship between the unity government and MIC was strained to some extent.

The MIC was unhappy that despite being the loyal component of the BN, the party was not allocated any seats at all in the forthcoming state elections in scheduled on August 12, 2023.
Apparently, from the reports of the meeting, it appears that the MIC leaders agreed to support the PH-BN candidates in the elections.

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Anwar remarked since he has trusted the MIC president SA Vigneswaran, he didn’t see why the Indians in the MIC cannot trust him.

The issue was not just about the lack of allocation of seats to the MIC candidates, but why the unity government failed to appoint MIC leaders in government posts after the last general elections in November 2022.

Eight months had passed by since the formation of the unity government, the MIC leaders have not be rewarded with posts in the government or those in the government linked companies (GLC).

Given the strained relationship between Umno and the MIC, it was hoped that Anwar would look into the matter to rectify things.

Anwar has promised to look into the grievances of the MIC. It is expected that once the state elections are over, the MIC might be given some rewards in the forms of posts in the government or the GLCs or both.

Anwar’s meeting with the MIC came at time of certain rumblings within the Indian community about how they have been not been appreciated by PKR and the DAP.

Anwar might have succeeded in convincing the MIC Indians to vote for PH-BN coalition.

It remains yet to be established whether Indians are fully convinced by the assurances given by Anwar. Indians in the country have been ignored by the past governments led by BN and later PN.

They still harbour the hope that their dire situation might be turned around under the unity government headed by Anwar.
Anwar in office for eight months is saying all the right things but the implementation part is something slow and sluggish.

Indians in general understand that the political predicament of Anwar in dealing and managing the recalcitrant forces of race and religion.

The unity government is still in its infancy, it has to win in at least three of the six states to have some form of political stability.
A slight tilt towards the side of the non-Malays by Anwar might send the wrong message to the ever vigilant opposition.

Anwar is in the most unenviable position. He has to tread the tightrope of the political stability and disaster.

How Anwar delicately balances the difficult political situation without losing sight of the larger trajectory will be keenly watched.