New Indian political vehicle dead in the water

IT IS good news that the majority of the political commentariat has pooh-poohed the idea of a new political party to espouse Indian Malaysian concerns.

The commentators have acknowledged the wide prevalence of a feeling of disappointment among Indian Malaysians over the quality of their representation in the unity government.

Actually, Indians don’t mind if they are under-represented in the government if non-Indian leaders in the same establishment take care to push Indians concerns.

Since this is not happening in the government of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Indians are feeling low.

The idea of a new political vehicle has sprouted if only as solace for Indian pangs over under-representation and the lack of effectiveness of the few Indians reps who are in government.

A new party will expand an already overcrowded political landscape. Moreover, there is no magnetic leader on the horizon to draw Indians to its banner.

Quality Indian Malaysian leaders emerge from a background where they have been prominent in their chosen professions, stellar in academia or commendable in espousal of NGOs (non-governmental organisations).

Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy

Emergence from this matrix is long in parturition which is why when they do emerge and are selected for representative office; it is churlish to restrict them to term-limits.

This was the case with Professor Ramasamy Palanisamy, former Penang chief minister II and the DAP Perai state assemblyman and Charles Santiago who was the three-term DAP MP for Klang.

Ramasamy thinks that for a new party to be effective, it must be unallied to the two national coalitions vying to govern Malaysia, namely Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Perikatan Nasional (PN).

He suggests each competitor should only obtain Indian electoral support on a solemn pledge to deliver on Indian concerns. This would be very difficult to bring off.

Easier would be the proposition that the Indian complement to the ostensibly multi-racial vehicles of DAP and PKR be invigorated by the infusion of new Indian talent.

This raises the question of where is this talent to be had? Frankly, it’s hard to know. – Oct 12, 2023


Terence Netto is a journalist with 50 years in an occupation that demands resistance to fleeting impressions.

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

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