Kuala Lumpur – “Pakatan Harapan’s decision to select Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as its pick for the Prime Minister’s post should they win the next general elections is definitely not good news for Malaysian Indians, who were the most affected by race-based policies that Dr Mahathir had practised throughout his tenure as Prime Minister” MIC Youth leader Dato’ Sivaraajh Chandran (pic) said in a press statement.
“Indians must keep in mind that it was the policies set by Dr Mahathir’s 22-year administration that gradually eroded the economic share that Indians had in the country, and it was those policies that eventually brought about the resentment that spilled out on the streets via the Hindraf rally in 2007. The Indian leaders in Pakatan Harapan can’t possibly expect to attract Indian voters by selling their vision of a future where the country’s fourth Prime Minister returns as the seventh Prime Minister, as an entire generation suffered from limited opportunities due to the past administration” Sivaraajh further noted in his statement.
“During Dr Mahathir’s tenure, the number Indian doctors were reduced, while insurance industry players were also affected, thus limiting economic opportunities for Indians. Professional fields in which Indians were dominant were all affected by these policies, thus reducing the Indians’ share of the economic pie. Even Dr Mahathir had admitted that Indians were poorly served during his 22 years leading the country. He had promised to do better this time, but if he was unable to ensure aid and allocations reached Indians while having an Indian party as his Barisan Nasional component, how will he fare leading a Pakatan Harapan lineup that does not have a single party representing the interest of Indians?” asked Sivaraajh.
“Dr Mahathir made plenty of references in his speech at the Pakatan meeting on Sunday regarding “politically unaware” that need to be approached using a Bumiputra-only political platform, but it must be noted that very little references were made to the economically poor Indians across the country. Will Pakatan Harapan attempt to educate them, let alone do the necessary to raise their socio-economic status? The fact remains that the policies put in place by Dr Mahathir had affected Indians, and the struggle to reverse the damage done by his administration is still an ongoing battle for us” Sivaraajh said.
“Luckily in BN we now have a strong leader in Datuk Seri Najib Razak who has taken pro-active steps in addressing the problems suffered by Indians, not least the introduction of the Malaysian Indian Blueprint (MIB)- the first ever official document attempting to raise the socio-economic status of Indians in the country. On the contrary, with the election just months away, one is bound to ask- what has happened to Pakatan’s Gelang Patah Declaration? Will they come up with another document to pull a wool over the eyes of Indians? Indians should not be deceived by the promises that Dr Mahathir makes today regarding the future- one just has to look at his 22 years as Prime Minister to know what a government under him would look like. After all, Dr Mahathir does not believe he did many things wrong during his tenure as PM. MIC Youth maintains that Indians had started returning to the BN fold in the 13th general elections and Dr Mahathir’s nomination as PM-elect will only serve to further distance Indians from Pakatan Harapan and in turn make them embrace BN” Sivaraajh concluded in his statement.