Anwar needs to woo Indian voters with vigour to keep “green wave” in check

THE general sentiments widely circulated in social media before the 15th General Election (GE15) was that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was the only saviour of the Indian community and would treat the community fairly, equally and justly.

Anwar is also popularly known among Indians for his dance moves and lip-syncing to the Tamil hit song “Naan Aanayittal” (If I am destined to lead the country) by the late Indian film star MGR.

The crowd broke into thunderous applause each time it sees Anwar dance with gusto with an MGR impersonator.

Now that Anwar has taken helm of the country’s administration, the Indian community wants absolute answers from the Prime Minister (PM). During the launch of “Malaysia Madani” blueprint, he said that he wants to foster new way of thinking among Malaysians.

Time to walk the talk

Soon after GE15, the media reported that almost 75% of the Indians voted for Pakatan Harapan (PH). Nearly 90% of Malays voted for the Malay-Islamic coalitions Perikatan Nasional (PN) while 90% of ethnic Chinese voted for PH.

But it was a different case in Tapah and Sungai Siput where 75% of the Indian voters voted for Barisan Nasional (BN).

As for Anwar’s predecessors, it cannot be denied that Datuk Seri Najib Razak has done a lot to transform and uplift the socio-economic status of all races, especially the Indian community. When Najib dished out the goodies, many from the opposition said it was a populist move.

Observing the birth of a new Malay-Muslim belt, political analysts say that racial-religious polarisation is pervasive in the peninsular.

Both Anwar and UMNO need to keep the Indian votes in their fold to counter the powerful “green wave”.

Anwar must showcase through his policies and actions, that he is sincere in reaching out to all those in need, particularly the poor Indians.

Will Anwar enhance the Malaysian Indian Blueprint (MIB) initiated by MIC? If so, the PM should be directly in charge of the implementation and enforcement of the blueprint. The Indian community is largely poor and needs a leg up and support.

The PM must set the direction for the Indian blueprint as high hopes are directed towards him.

In 1974, MIC had initiated the first blueprint to uplift the Indian community, but the effort was in vain as there was no specific target.

In 2017, ex-PM Najib launched the Malaysia Indian Blueprint (MIB) which was re-initiated by MIC. The party worked so hard in charting the implementation strategy of the MIB.

Earlier to that, Najib revived the Cabinet Committee on Indian Affairs with the committee made up of MIC top leadership. Among issues discussed were the plight of Tamil schools, seats available for Indian students in public and private higher learning institutions, issuance of Mykad, birth certificates and creation of more job opportunities for Indians in the civil service.

Economic empowerment, skills training for youth, construction, micro credit facilities, refurbishing of temples and community halls were also discussed.

Indian Consultative Council

Just a quick recap, the ex-PM’s direct involvement in policy reforms facilitated far-reaching strategies in the past. MIC was directly involved in obtaining approval for seven new Tamil schools. As a result, the total number of Tamil schools in the country increased from 523 to 530.

The Indian community doesn’t need piecemeal solutions. Efforts must be made to improve the quality of their life in every sector.

The community needs fulfilment of the fundamental necessities face by Indians, including eradication of poverty, welfare support, housing for the poor, and addressing the issues of high scoring students being rejected from government matriculation programme.

The data recommendation to resolve problems faced by the Indians came not only from the government but from the grassroots.

Tan Sri S.A. Vigneswaran

In 2022, MIC president Tan Sri S.A. Vigneswaran has set up the Indian Consultative Council (ICC) to deal exclusively with matters affecting the ethnic Indian community.

The ICC has members from various industries, work backgrounds and expertise in specific domains. Among them are academicians, planners, business community leaders, industry practitioners, educators, former senior government servants and grassroots leaders.

Malaysian Indians make up an estimated 6.6% of the 32.7 million Malaysian population while the Chinese make up 22.8% and Bumiputera 69.9%

The needs-based approach is essential for the Indian community. Re-introduction of the Cabinet Committee for Indian Community is vital so that then cross-cutting concerns under different ministries can be addressed.


Now an analyst, M. Vivekananthan has served the government of Malaysia at various ministries, agencies for almost 30 years. He was previously a private secretary to minister and deputy ministers.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia

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