Editor’s Note: The above pic which Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin cheekily captioned as “Old friends from Penang” has sparked 1,001 speculations as to the political direction of former DAP stalwart Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy (second from left). Below is the ex-Perai state assemblyman and former Penang chief minister II’s brief account of what actually transpired during his one hour-long ‘minum kopi” session with the Perikatan Nasional secretary-general and Larut MP.
I HAVE known Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin since my parliamentary days. I have known him to be a pleasant and cordial person.
After I left DAP, I have received invitations to meet up some prominent or concerned persons about the political direction of the country.
Last week, I received an invitation to meet up with Hamzah for coffee at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur together with my colleagues Satees Muniandy (former Bagan Dalam state assemblyman) and David Marshel (former Kampung Jawa Auto City DAP branch chief).
Apart from the usual niceties for not having met long, the topic of the conversation gravitated to Malaysian politics in general and non-Malay/Indian representation in the country in particular.
I was curious to know what Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) agenda was for the non-Malays in general and Indians in particular. Hamzah responded by saying that while there was some degree of Indian support, the key question is how to integrate Indians within PN.
He suggested that there might be need to form an Indian political party at some point in time. My question was how an Indian party can be formed without the support of the community in the country. This was the essence of the discussion between me and Hamzah.
We agreed to meet if there was a necessity. The meeting lasted for an hour or so. I was glad that I met him to gather some information about PN’s stand on the Indian community and why the coalition was keen to harness Indian support.
The wild rumours that my colleagues and I are contemplating to join the PN has no basis whatsoever. It is just the figment of the imagination of some in the country.
This coming Friday (Sept 29), I have been invited by the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) to attend their 25th annual assembly in Penang. Does my attendance mean that I am joining PSM?
If my colleagues and I are invited for functions or meetings out of respect, it is honourable for us to accept such an invitation. This was the case of my meeting with Hamzah.
My interest in meeting with Hamzah was just to ascertain the political agenda of PN and how the coalition is going to address the rights of non-Malays in general and Indians in particular. Put it in other words, purely a non-official fact-finding mission amid a friendly and amicable conversation.
Is there anything wrong with this meeting? Did I break any sacrosanct laws in the country? I am a free man now and I will certainly do what I consider as important. – Sept 27, 2023
Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is the former DAP state assemblyman for Perai. He is also the former deputy chief minister II of Penang.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.