Perak DAP vice-chairman V. Sivakumar cautioned Prime Minister Najib Razak not to ask for ‘nambikai’ (trust) from the Indian community until he had solved 10 top issues of national importance which have been neglected by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
These issues are:
- Job opportunities in the private sector
- Opportunities to study in professional courses
- Scholarships for local and international studies
- Opportunities for contracts and businesses
- Welfare aid to the less fortunate
- Allocation to build and maintain Tamil schools
- Land for squatters
- Land for farming and breeding
- Citizenship for all red Identity Card holders
- Political representation that reflects the national social composition
Speaking at a gathering in Perak to mark the 4th anniversary of the March 8 political tsunami yesterday, Sivakumar who is also former Perak State Assembly Speaker flayed the Prime Minister for using the word “nambikai” after 54 years of Barisan Nasional’s rule.
“Indians have already lost ‘nambikai’ towards MIC and BN, they are no longer BN’s ‘fixed deposit’ in the election,” said the DAP state assemblyman for Tronoh.
Ethnic Indians form a decisive block in 67 parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia with their votes constituting a crucial factor in determining election outcomes.
While in previous elections BN support among Indians has been as high as 80%, the March 8, 2008 election results showed a significant swing in the Indian community towards the opposition coalition.
Sivakumar said this was due to the Indian community’s disappointment at BN’s lack of seriousness in tackling problems faced by the community –particularly socio-economic problems.
“BN makes policies without caring about the existence of other minorities who are left behind in development programs. Many Indians feel BN’s policies are discriminatory,” he added.
Now seen to be scrambling to win back Indian support lost post-2008, BN leaders have unleashed a slew of “vote-buying” activities.
Overshadowed by in an enormous flower garland large enough to accommodate his wife as well, Najib announced an ‘initial allocation’ of RM2milllion to build an Indian cultural centre during the Batu Caves visit.
Hindraf in a response said that it was “shameless” and “sacrilegious” of Najib to pollute a Holy Day with cheap politics, while the underclass has suffered in a state of “semi-slavery under UMNO” for half a century.
Ethnic Indians have the lowest per capita income in Malaysia well below the projected national average. Reports show that ethnic Indians form 60% of urban squatters and 41% of beggars; whereas 54% of Malaysian Indians work as laborers.
Although the BN government claims to be addressing these issues, the socio-economic status of Malaysian Indians is still in dire straits after 54 years. The unemployment rate, school dropout rate, crime rate, and high incidence of single parents, all testifies to social malaise among Indian Malaysians.
MIC President G. Palanivel has been accused of being out of touch with the real problem faced by Malaysian Indians, especially after his suggestion that urban poor Indians who are earning a meager income should move back to the estates to earn a better and higher income as a temporary solution.
Without any long term solutions by MIC and BN, can Malaysian Indians ‘nambikai’ Najib in the next general election? –The Rocket