Malaysian Indian party seeks to join ruling coalition

Thursday, September 2, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR - The Malaysian Indian United Party (MIUP) is pressing for full membership of the Barisan Nasional (BN), the ruling coalition, a party official has said.

The MIUP, which is a party that aims to work for the Indian community, applied for BN’s membership last year. It hopes for an early decision by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, who is also the BN chief, following the admission last week of the Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress (Kimma).

Kimma has been accorded observer status of the United Malays National Association (UMNO), the BN’s dominant component of the majority Malays.

“The decision reflects Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wanting to see more friends who are not UMNO members support Barisan,” MIUP party chief S. Nallakarupan was quoted as saying in The Star Friday.

Estimated at about 1.7 million and comprising seven percent of Malaysia’s 28 million population, the ethnic Indians are represented by a large number of parties.

Though the majority of ethnic Indians are Tamils (about 90 percent), it is a diverse group of Telugus, Malayalis, Sindhis, Gujaratis, Sikhs, Christians and Muslims.

There are some exclusively Indian parties like the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), Indian Progressive Front (IPF), MIUP and the Malaysian Indian Democratic Action Front Mindraf).

Besides, there are some predominantly Indian ones like Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), some hybrid parties with reasonable Indian participation such as the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Party Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and some minor religion-based parties like Malaysian Indian Muslim Association and the Parti Punjabi Malaysia.

A recent entrant is the Malaysian Makkal Sakthi Party, formed last year by a breakaway faction of the Hindu Rights Action Force that courted controversy by staging a rally for which its top leaders were detained.

Filed under: Politics

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