The Malaysian Indian blueprint (MIB) recently launched by Prime Minister Najib Razak could be described as comprehensive and detailed programme for the socio-economic uplift of the Malaysian Indian community.
However, whether its objectives would be translated into concrete actions for the betterment of the Indian community remains to be seen. Going by past history, there are serious doubts that BN would implement the strategies announced in the MIB.
Some of the die-hard supporters of the MIB have questioned the motives of the opposition for rejecting it and have asked the opposition to come out with a similar plan or an alternative one to address the woes of the community.
Now, whether the Pakatan Harapan wants to come up with an alternative blueprint remains to be seen. However, this is not to say that there have been no action plans at all to address the problems faced by the Indian community. For instance, the Gelang Patah declaration prior to the 13th general election is an instance of an action plan to guide the DAP in addressing socio-economic issues of the Indians.
The problem with the MIB is not the document itself, but whether the BN is serious enough to address the grave socio-economic problems confronted by Indians, especially those in the lower categories.
There is no use coming up with glossy documents when there is no intention in the first place to address the issues within.
The first Indian blueprint that came out in the mid-1970s miserably failed. What guarantee or assurance is there for the second blueprint to succeed?
Why come out with an Indian blueprint just months before the 14th general election? Is the announcement of MIB intended more to get Indian support during the election rather than a serious attempt to address Indian woes?
BN has been in power for nearly 60 years, and during these years there have been many action plans meant to address the socio-economic woes of the Indian community. However, none of these action plans really took off. So what assurance is there that this MIB would make a difference?
It is good for argument to ask why Harapan has not produced a document similar to that of the MIB. But why should Harapan ape the BN blindly to come out with a similar document?
It is not that Harapan has completely abandoned the Indian community as accused. Harapan has done more for Indians in Selangor and Penang in the last nine years than what the BN has done in more than 50 years. This is public knowledge.
Sometimes a reality check would provide some useful answers to questions posed about whether the MIB would be effective or not.
It is not that those in the opposition don't want the MIB to succeed. We want the MIB to succeed to show that BN is more serious about addressing Indian issues today than ever before.
The challenge is not whether Harapan will come out with it's own novel plan or not, but whether the BN will have the political will and muscle to make a difference to the millions of Indians in the country.
P RAMASAMY is Deputy Chief Minister II of Penang and the state assemblyperson for Perai.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.