Penang Indians were never ever given the due respect by the previous MIC – Barisan Nasional regime
by Satees Muniandy
During BN’s rule in Penang, there were only 2 State Assemblymen representing Indians in the State. Prior to 2004, it was only 1, and that was Perai state seat. In 2008 General Election, Barisan Nasional only fielded two Indians to contest in state seats under MIC, respectively Perai and Bagan Dalam. Even though, claim to be a multiracial political party, Gerakan didn’t at all give an Indian a chance to contest in that Elections.
POLITICAL REALITY IN 12th GE – Contrast to BN, Pakatan Rakyat let Indians to contest in 7 Penang (2 Parliament, 5 State) seats, in 12th General Election in 2008. DAP fielded 4 Indians, respectively in Perai, Bagan Dalam, Sri Delima & Dato Keramat state constituencies and 2 Indians in Bukit Gelugor & Batu Kawan Parliament constituencies. PKR fielded an Indian in it’s Batu Uban state seat. Pakatan Rakyat politically recognized Indians in Penang in the 12th GE, where else, BN only underestimated the Indians all the while.
5 State Assemblymen & 2 MPs – All the PR Indian candidates won in the 12th General Elections. For the first time in the history Penang, 5 Indians elected to the Penang State Assembly of Penang, representing not only their constituents, but also the Malaysian Indian community. Furthermore, 2 Parliament Constituencies also won respectively by YB Karpal Singh and Prof Ramasamy.
With that, political voice of Indians in Penang has been strengthened. This was the long awaited, political recognition for Malaysian Indians. This recognition not given by Barisan Nasional, but by the Pakatan Rakyat!! The Penang Pakatan Rakyat’s achievement started even before winning the election!!
Deputy Chief Minister – For the first time in Malaysian History, an ethnic Indian-Tamil has been appointed as a Deputy Chief Minister of Penang under Pakatan Rakyat rule. Prof. Ramasamy’s appointment as Deputy Chief Minister of Penang came as a pleasant surprise for Malaysian Indians, as this was the first time an Indian given an opportunity to hold such a high political office. This was also a long due recognition, which finally came with the Pakatan Rakyat rule in Penang.
Prof Ramasamy’s appointment was not merely based on his racial background, but his intelligence and capability was also reasons for his appointment as Deputy Chief Minister of Penang. He was seen as the perfect person to hold such a post, which was also agreed by his political rivals. Even, former MIC President, Dato Seri Samy Vellu has openly welcomed Prof Ramasamy’s appointment. These shows, Indians with right qualifications will be given chance to excel under Pakatan Rakyat, and won’t be discriminated as how the previous regime did.
MPPP & MPSP
Prior to 2008, only 4 Indians, respectively 2 in MPSP & MPPP were appointed as councillors by Barisan Nasional. After Pakatan Rakyat formed the Govt, respectively 4 Indians in MPSP and 3 Indians in MPPP were appointed as Councilors. During BN’s time, these Indian councilors were in the posts for the namesake. But, now after PR took over, Indian councilors are playing vital role in the municipality planning, development and operations.
Community Safety & Development Committee (JKKK) Chairmen
Prior to 2008, under Barisan Nasional, there was only 1 Indian appointed as JKKK Chairman (in Perai). During BN’s time, Indians were totally sidelined in this lowest level of political administration of state government. But, today after March 2008 Political Tsunami, Pakatan Rakyat has appointed more than 10 Indians to head these Community Safety & Development Committees in the areas where Indians residing.
Penang Indians were never ever given the due respect and political recognition by the previous Barisan Nasional regime. But, Penang Pakatan Rakyat not only recognized political importance of Indians before the elections, but also after forming the Govt. The Pakatan Rakyat sincerity in politically recognizing Indians in Penang is evident in past 4 years of PR rule in Penang.
Firstly, I would like to state that, Penang Pakatan Rakyat Govt, which is in power since 2008 is a People’s Govt that reflects the multiracial concept, without discriminating anyone based on race, religion or political affiliations. But, even in this situation, some racist elements within Barisan Nasional often blame Penang PR of, sidelining a particular community. Recently, an Young MIC Leader, who aspiring to become BN’s candidate in upcoming GE, has leveled such allegations, that Penang PR Govt is sidelining Indian community in Penang. To counter those lies, I write this article, in few parts. I hope, no party will take this as a racial approach, but understand this is an effort to counter the lies of Barisan Nasional.
And you can’t expect to read this kind of article, which highlight the achievements of Penang PR Govt in State’s Official Bulletin, cause the “State Bulletin” is spearheaded by “Neutral” elements, and only “Self Boasting Social Media Heroes” will be given chance to write whatever they want there.