“Indians have pride and dignity to reject irresponsible, self-serving politicians”

BOTH the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and his sidekick, the newly-appointed special officer for Indian Affairs Datuk Seri Ramesh Rao, have squarely placed the blame on the former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for hating the current Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Zahid said that it was Dr Mahathir who was responsible for sowing the seeds of hatred towards the DAP and, by extension, those parties that had fraternal ties with the party.

Ramesh, the infamous pro-Barisan Nasional (BN) supporter, spewed venom against Anwar to the extent of calling him an agent of the Japanese secret society, the Yakutzah.

Some years back, he remarked that Anwar influenced the Yakutzah by preventing Japanese foreign investments from coming to Malaysia.

Not only this, Ramesh lodged police reports and called press conferences against those who went against the UMNO leadership, principally the former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is currently incarcerated in prison for corruption.

However, things have miraculously taken a different turn after the formation of the unity government with BN as one of the coalitions in the government.

All of a sudden, Anwar has become the most beloved of those in BN, particularly for UMNO leaders like Zahid and his stooge Ramesh.

It is not that I am discounting the close ties between Zahid and Anwar long before the establishment of the unity government. I don’t think that the BN, particularly Umno, would have supported Anwar without the earlier friendship with Zahid.

Notwithstanding the ties between Anwar and Zahid, what is not acceptable is the attempt to cast the entire blame on Dr Mahathir.

Dr Mahathir may have been the mastermind behind the rot, but Zahid and others, including his sidekick Ramesh, cannot hold Dr Mahathir solely responsible for spreading hatred against Anwar and the DAP.

Dr Mahathir was able to do these heinous things because leaders like Zahid and others sided with him in order to save their own skins. In fact, they should have said no to Mahathir to mitigate the worst effects of the political rot.

With Dr Mahathir out of the realm of power, Zahid or his sidekick cannot turn around to criticise Mahathir or say that they followed the latter blindly.

They must shoulder the blame; in other words, they were also responsible for the slow rot of the system. It is good that UMNO has embraced the concept of unity government, the only option for the party to remain relevant without being swallowed by the green wave unleashed by Bersatu and PAS.

Zahid’s infamous sidekick or stooge Ramesh had a sudden charge of heart, even to the extent of calling Anwar “God-sent”.

I don’t think he independently made this about-turn decision, but the order must have come from above. Anwar must be a lucky man to be suddenly elevated from his close ties with the Japanese secret society to a position near God.

This itself shows how infamously Ramesh is unfit to shoulder the responsibility of taking charge of Indian affairs. He even failed the litmus test when he was asked how he was going to represent the Indian community.

Ramesh remarked that he wanted to ensure that Indians are transformed into professionals like in other countries.

But Ramesh, the special officer, does not realise that he cannot transform Indians into professionals without addressing the question of institutional racism, discrimination against them in the public service, a lack of educational and economic opportunities, and most importantly, their present predicament as third- or fourth-class citizens of the country.

The Indian community might be economically poor and politically disadvantaged, but they have the dignity and pride to reject self-serving and irresponsible politicians. — Dec 29, 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.


Main photo credit: FMT

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