COMMENT | The real intention of the Malaysian Indian Blueprint (MIB) has been made loud and clear - it was meant to get Indian votes in next general election.
Najib Abdul Razak said, at a Tamil school event in Bukit Gantang, that if Indians do not deliver their votes to BN in the coming 14th general election then MIB would not take off.
Najib launched the MIB in April with much fanfare and publicity. It was premised on the objective to deliver the Indian community from poverty, underdevelopment and misery.
Najib also remarked that Indians should not be fooled by the antics of the opposition, as they had no such programme for Indian progress.
However, despite the "grandiose" objectives of the MIB, the programme itself was criticised as political in nature, something that was introduced to garner Indians votes before the next general election.
But those die-hard supporters defended the MIB and said that it held the promise to uplift the Indian community, especially those in the B40 socio-economic group. They refused to believe that Najib would betray Indians, especially since he has done much for the Indian community, a lot more than other prime ministers in the past.
Najib's frank speech at the Tamil school event has put to rest all the arguments that were marshalled in defence of the MIB. For the critics, there is feeling of dé·jà vu. We told you so!
MIB a politically-motivated programme
In this respect, the critics of the MIB were right in telling all this while that there is nothing magical about the MIB and that its launch had all the trappings of a politically-motivated programme.
Najib's admission that if Indians withdraw their support from the BN, there would be no blueprint to lift the community was predicted after the launch of the programme. If the BN had miserably failed Indians over the last 60 years, there is no reason to believe that it could do in the future.
Najib's speech at the Tamil school event puts to rest all speculation about the real objectives of the MIB. Some of its diehard supporters, particularly the MIC, must take stock of Najib's message and whether the party can deliver Indian votes to BN in the next general election.
Whatever was said about Najib's altruistic aims, it has become crystal clear that if Indians don’t deliver their votes to BN, the MIB would become another miserable chapter in the history of Indian development.
In other words, as I have said numerous times in my writings, Najib is quite desperate to get the votes of Malays and Indians in the next general election. I think he has written off the Chinese votes, but still thinks that, with a good combination of "carrot and stick", he would be able to get Indian support.
As the election is drawing nearer, he realises that he must use the "stick" to threaten the Indians to vote for BN. But he and other BN leaders, including those from the MIC, fail to realise that times have changed and Indian supported for BN cannot be taken for granted.
The last two general elections provided a powerful reminder that it would be impossible to reverse the trajectory of Indian support, even if BN is prepared to promise "the heaven" for Indians.
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.