Editor’s Note: The Indian NGO leader who is not named by Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is very likely the infamous pro-Barisan Nasional (BN) Ramesh Rao who gained notoriety during incarcerated ex-premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration when his Pertubuhan Minda dan Sosial Prihatin (PMSP) was among the various groups that would regularly lodge police reports against government critics.
NEWLY minted Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi must take the Indian community seriously.
He cannot simply appoint an NGO (non-governmental organisation) leader to take care of the Indian affairs.
Not when the NGO leader is seen as extremely obsequious to UMNO leaders in the past and present.
There is no such thing as Indian affairs under his present portfolio let alone appoint somebody to take care and report on the woes of the Indian community.
The Indian community suffered under the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration for more than 60 years.
What makes Zahid think that he will be different this time around in addressing the myriad of woes faced by the Indian community?
I am not sure whether such an appointment is something complimentary or an insult to Indians in the country.
Another half-hearted initiative?
When BN as a whole could not resolve the major problems of the Indian community, how could the appointment of one controversial NGO person is able to change the fortune of a community that has sacrificed so much for the development of the country?
Zahid himself said during the appointment process that he would blame the NGO leader if he fails to take up and resolve Indian-related issues.
So, it is plainly obvious that Zahid is fully aware of the capacity of this person as to what he can do and not.
It is just matter of time before he announces that this particular person has failed to serve the Indian community and therefore, he is removing him.
Interestingly such a method might absolve Zahid from any blame in the future.
My question is simple: why is it that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is allowing Zahid to make this kind of ridiculous announcements.
The problems faced by Indians and others require a systematic solution by the unity government anchored by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.
More than 60 years of the discrimination and marginalisation of Indians must be holistically addressed.
Certainly, piecemeal efforts and ad hoc appointments are not the answer to the woes of the Indian community.
It is my advice to Zahid that he should focus his attention on his role as the DPM and the portfolios that he is in-charge of.
He should not stray by making ad hoc appointments in areas that are not within his purview.
I wish to reiterate that the appointment of the NGO person might do more harm than good to the Indian community.
Indians need brave and honest leaders who fully understand the plight of the community.
It is Anwar who should be looking into the plight of the Indians and others; certainly not leaders who have no record of assisting the community. – Dec 25, 2022
Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is the state assemblyperson for Perai. He is also deputy chief minister II of Penang.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.