\’Malaysian Indians feel let down by opposition alliance\’

Thursday, March 11, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Indians feel \”extremely let down\” by the opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat (PR) they voted for in a big way two years ago, a special report in a Tamil daily here said.

No concrete plan or action has been initiated by PR-held states to uplift the status of Indians, while Barisan Nasional (BN), the ruling alliance under the stewardship of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, is attracting the community again, the Makkal Osai report said.

Malaysia is home to nearly two million ethnic Indians, a bulk of them Tamils who settled here during the British era.

The ethnic Indians, who are traditional supporters of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) and smaller BN constituents, shifted away from it and voted for the PR alliance that won 88 seats in parliament and wrested control of five of the 13 states.

According to a post-poll survey, about 68 percent ethnic Indians shifted away from the BN. A general feeling of neglect and fewer opportunities in jobs and education than the majority Malays and ethnic Chinese caused this shift, even as the two larger ethnic groups also shifted away from the BN in the election held in March 2008.

The run-up to the election had witnessed controversy over shifting of a Hindu temple in October 2007, leading to a protest march by the Hindu Rights Action Front (Hindraf) that was declared illegal and five of its leaders jailed for several months.

MIC, the largest Indian party, retained only three of 19 seats and its long-time and minister, S. Samy Vellu, lost his bid at re-election to parliament.

Vellu said people now realised promises were made \”just to win votes and not with the intention of helping the community\”, The Star newspaper said Thursday.

P. Uthayakumar, one of the Hindraf leaders who was jailed, slammed PR, saying its leaders had failed to fulfil promises made during the last election to solve problems faced by the Indian

Filed under: Politics

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