THE 2024 budget was a slap in the face of the Indian community, who supported the Pakatan Harapan (PH) unity government.
The miserly pittance allocated for Indians to overcome their poverty and other needs simply shows that nothing substantial can be had from this government.
Indians need to show their electoral strength for a better bargaining position. Politicians will heed people’s power only when they see its clout.
Furthermore, there is no point starting a new party as nothing is going to change. There is a sizeable percentage of Indians in DAP and PKR as well as the MIC in the unity government, but what did the Indians get in Budget 2024 for their overwhelming support?
I have always believed that the unity government will take Indians for a ride and shun them after their objectives are attained. However, it must be noted that deception cannot be permanent.
There is no point in talking about Indian disillusionment with the unity government now. Indians will have to re-assess their strength and look forward positively to the future.
Indians need to form a strong non-governmental organisation (NGO) to champion their interests. Outspoken leader Prof P. Ramasamy needs to take the initiative by inviting interested Indians to join the NGO.
The NGO must be open to all Indians as in most case ordinary Indians make better leaders than the so-called educated and eminent ones. This NGO must be the one leading and guiding the Indians electorally as to whom to vote or not.
Selangor should be their main target in the next election. This time Perikatan Nasional (PN) had come too close to unseating PH.
If most of the Indians had withdrawn their support for DAP and PKR the end result would have been totally different. PH would have lost its jewel in the crown, and losing Selangor will hurt DAP and PKR the most.
The swing vote should be used to its maximum potential in Selangor next time. Before offering their support the Indian NGO must get a written proof from the political party that it will help Indians with large allocations for their needs.
With this kind of documentary proof Indians can legally and politically ensure that their demands are met.
Verbal electoral promises are nothing but hot air. Selangor has the largest Indian population and together with those in Kuala Lumpur (KL) the Indians make up more than half of the 2 million people. They can be the most influential swing voters in the country.
Indians need to be united on this issue. Indians can get more benefits from a developed state like Selangor instead of a pittance from the federal government.
There will be no need for any self-seeking feeble Indian federal ministers or be concerned with ministerial appointments.
Indians can do without any ministers. Indians can represent themselves and there is no need for the federal government to help Indians. Indians have no need for federal budgetary allocations anymore.
Indians need to plays their cards smartly if they are a force to be reckoned with. Selangor is the nation’s richest and most developed state and has a myriad opportunities for Indian advancement and betterment in various sectors – there is no need for federal funds to help the community.
In fact Selangor is the major contributor to federal funds. Selangor gives more than it receives. Having a major say in the Selangor administration will help Indians more than the beggarly amounts dished out in the budgets.
There can be special programmes to help Indians in Selangor. Indians can say good riddance to reliance on the federal government.
It should be noted also that about half of the urban Indian poor reside in Selangor and KL and helping them will go a long way to eliminating Indian poverty in the country.
With these initiatives Indians can confidentially say that the unity government’s days of apathy and indifference towards Indians are numbered. Indians need to concentrate on two things only, namely the well-being of the Indian community and the country. – Oct 16, 2023
V. Thomas is a Focus Malaysia viewer.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.
Main pic credit: The Star