IN THE recent cabinet reshuffle, MIC was not given a place as was promised by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PMX).
In the run-up to the Aug 12 six state elections, Anwar promised the MIC leaders that they will be considered for government posts.
However, despite this promise, Anwar failed to consider MIC leaders in the recent cabinet reshuffle.
Rather than getting upset and angry, MIC president Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran said the party would not take offence over the omission of the party candidates.
Not only this, Vigneswaran did not think that the non-appointment of Indian Tamil candidates might affect the welfare and wellbeing of the Indian community.
He added that the MIC will continue to discharge their duties towards the Indian community. I am a bit taken back by the comments of Vigneswaran.
Even if MIC is not bothered about the non-inclusion of its leaders in the cabinet list, surely, Vigneswaran cannot dismiss the importance of having one or two Indian Tamils as cabinet ministers.
Disappointment with MIC president
It does not matter if MIC was not involved but surely Vigneswaran being the leader of a grand old party should not dismiss the importance of Indian Tamils in the cabinet. As a leader of MIC, he cannot adopt a cavalier attitude in cabinet appointments.
As I have said before, if Anwar had the interest of the Indian community and based on his earlier promise to the MIC, he should have considered the party’s candidates.
Anwar not only failed the MIC, a component party of Barisan Nasional (BN) but failed to consider Indian Tamil candidates from the DAP and PKR. He was more prone to consider Malay and Chinese candidates instead.
Vigneswaran should not be entrapped by his own party interests. He should consider the larger and more fundamental interests of the Indian community, the majority of whom are of Tamil origins.
Vigneswaran not only failed to speak up for the MIC but the concerns of the larger Indian community.
Once MIC had two ministers and a few deputy ministers. Eventually, the number of ministers were reduced to one. However, there has been no more ministerial appointment after the removal of DAP’s V. Sivakumar in the recent cabinet reshuffle.
Yet there are one or two recent newly appointed ministers who had the temerity to say that other non-Indian ministers can take care of the Indian problems.
If this is the logic, then why can’t more Indian ministers be appointed to take care of the Chinese and Malay problems.
Even if Indian Tamil ministers are not effective, their symbolic presence in the government is important. Let the non-Indians not belittle the contribution of Indian leaders.
I am disappointed that Vigneswaran failed to take a strong stand in criticising Anwar’s leadership for ignoring the tragic plight of Indians in the country. – Dec 19, 2023
Former DAP stalwart and Penang chief minister II Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is chairman of the Urimai (United Rights of Malaysian Party) Interim Council.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia
Pics credit: Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran’s Facebook