End of road for PM Anwar with Indians?
It was joyous occasion for non-Malays in general and Indians when PKR president Anwar Ibrahim became the 10th Prime Minister of the country after the GE15 November 2022.
It was essentially a dream come true for the Indian community. They thought that Anwar was their dream prime minister. Being neglected and discriminated for long, Indians found a saviour in Anwar, the prime minister.
To keep the Indian community on the side of PH, Anwar entertained Tamil film actors from Tamil Nadu by meeting them and gracing film festivals.
Occasionally, he took to the stage to dance to the popular songs of the famous movie idol MGR or MG Ramachandran. Such Indian cultural engagements kept alive the image that Anwar would take care of Indians especially the rank and file.
It was a just matter of time before Indians began wondering whether Anwar was really the person they knew. Not even a year in power, there were no reforms implemented let alone seriously discussed.
In fact, there was not set agenda for reforms. If at all Anwar touched on reforms, these were in the passing with no signs of early implementation.
Anwar talked about the abject poverty of the Malays and Indians, but without any solutions in sight. Just before the state elections, he couldn’t even provide a logical and sensible answer to the Indian student who raised a question about the unfairness of the matriculation pre-university programme.
He rudely brushed aside the student’s question by saying that the removal of the quota system would spooks the Malays by providing ammunition to the right wing forces.
Such an answer hurt the Indian community very much. They didn’t expect Anwar of all the leaders to defend the biased quota system of entry into the matriculation programme.
Even if the racism against Indians by re-elected PKR candidate cannot be directly attributed to Anwar, there was nothing done to admonish or punish him by the top party leadership including Anwar himself.
The worst incident that caught the Indian community by surprise and dismay was his conversion of an Indian youth to Islam in Klang, six days after the state elections.
No other prime minister before him had done the conversion, but Anwar defied the odds, by taking lead in converting an Indian youth.
It was a biggest insult to the Indian community whom the vast majority are Hindus by faith. It is not clear why Anwar despite the religious and ethnic sensitivity in inter-religious conversion would take a leading role in the religious conversion.
What is that Anwar wanted to prove knowing very well the inter-religious conversion is extremely sensitive and dangerous. Or, alternatively, due to the low turnout of Indians in the state elections especially in supporting the PH, I am not sure whether Anwar saw the conversion as inflicting punishment on the Indian community for their disloyalty.
Whatever can be said about the conversion, Anwar’s direct role in might indicate a political motive that he can do what he wants and get away without repercussions from the Indian community. It is not about the three incidents mentioned. There are other political, social and economic matters that Anwar has not given the right kind of leadership in steering the country out of the present doldrums.
But nonetheless, these specific instances are testimony that Anwar has veered of the course in providing a statesman kind of leadership to the country.
Is Anwar still the MGR of the Indian community?
I would like to know the stand of the DAP and PKR leaders on the conversion matter.
Are they careful in not wanting to spook the Malays?