Opinion: The need for an Indian MP in Federal Territory – Alagan Raju

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Pakatan Harapan does not see a need to place an Indian MP in KL, as they believe Indians are taken care off. Perhaps that is the belief that is held by its leaders. Perhaps the MP of Puchong can help take care of the Indian affairs in neighbouring KL. Perhaps the national leadership of Pakatan, with its Indian representation, can really look after the Indians in the Federal Territory.

After all, Kuala Lumpur is not a state. It is a Federal Territory, without a State Government, and with DBKL to administer its affairs. You have the Federal Territories Ministry which supervises DBKL and has the advice of MIC and MyPPP and IPF, so why bother?

After all, the Indians don’t really count. Sure, you have Brickfields and Sentul, and Little India and Masjid India, but the numbers of Indians have lessened of late.

Once a year, the Indians congregate in KL to celebrate Thaipusam, in the largest religious procession in the country, but they have the Chinese and Malay MPs to represent them, which serves its purpose.

In fact, there is no real purpose for an Indian state representative, applying the same logic.
That’s not the case is it?

The fact is state governments are treated differently, because it is necessary for Indians to be “seen” to lead, but in the Federal Territories, there is no need because there is no power structure.

However, the absence of the power structure is what makes it even more crucial to have Indian representation in the Dewan Rakyat for Kuala Lumpur.

A power structure allows for appointments, in multiple layers of government- state agencies, smaller municipal councils, resident’s associations, ratepayers committees and so on.  In a Federal Territories scenario, these roles are all rolled up into a MP’s position. He or she is expected to be representative to both local and national issues, to speak up for the community he or she represents geographically as well as the racial and religious group he is selected from.

Sure, these issues could be brought up by a non Indian MP, but is it so wrong for KL Indians to ask for just one seat out of 14 with all other races? Various clans within the Chinese community- the present MPs come from the Hakka, Teochew, Hokkien and Cantonese speaking communities and different Malay groups- Jawa, Minang and Bugis are represented within this 14, can not one Indian represent all Indian communities and religions as the bare minimum?

Is that too much to ask for?

It can be understood for states like Terengganu or Kelantan or populations with a high concentration of one race, like Kuching.

But Kuala Lumpur is a balanced territory. Even the first KL municipal council elections had an Indian representative, a lady no less. Later on it had a few Indian MPs, the most famous of them being V David himself.
There is no point calling Indian kingmakers and dedicating entire manifestos for them if even the thought of selecting an Indian MP as a winnable candidate seems so foreign to the parties contesting.

Or aren’t Indians worth even that trouble?

  • Alagan Raju is a KL Post reader and this is his personal opinion; does not represent the views of KL Post.