Indian M'sians do not need a party to represent them

Opinion  |  S Thayaparan
Published:  |  Modified:

“Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.”

― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

COMMENT | Indian Malaysians do not need a political party to look after their ‘interests’. I am not saying this in some politically correct Kool-Aid way, but rather the with the grim judgement of history backing my statement.

While the MCA may have made strategic mistakes in the way how they handled the Umno/Malay hegemon, an argument could be made that they managed to balance the expectations of Chinese Malaysians against the ketuanan ethos, laying the foundation for the community’s independence from the discriminatory ‘malaise’ system.

What do I mean by independence? I made two points in one of my earlier articles about MCA’s decline:

1. What is really destroying MCA is not DAP propaganda, but the acceptance by a large voting demographic of the Chinese community that no representation in the government is better than MCA representation.

2. Corruption, systemic discrimination, the erosion of religious freedoms and the dysfunction of public institutions have become important issues cutting across class lines, but more importantly, act as a common ground for a certain section of the voting public looking for an alternative – any alternative – to Umno-BN.

The first point is not new to Indian Malaysians. MIC was more of a force of subjugation for the community rather than the unintended emancipatory role that MCA played.

The reality is that the Indian community is neither a potent economic or electoral force when it comes to determining the political process in this country.

While the original Hindraf movement managed to galvanise the Malaysian political scene, much to the consternation and protestation of the mainstream political class, it fizzled out for numerous reasons, and become a mockery of its original intentions.

In mainstream Malaysian politics, Indian representatives are reminded not to make noise because they are beholden to Chinese and Malay votes to sustain their political careers. Since I do not want to prolong old feuds, I won’t cite the numerous times political operatives have made this clear in numerous tweets and speeches.

But if this is indeed the case, what is the point of having an Indian political party?...

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