Indians must close ranks to fight BN!
ADUN SPEAKS | Recently, I pointed out some of the weaknesses of the Pakatan Harapan coalition when it comes to providing effective and lasting representation to communities that are considered numerically small and economically weak.
These criticisms directed at Harapan were merely to highlight some of its weaknesses, and to prepare the coalition for its all-out war against the BN regime. As I have said on numerous occasions, Harapan must be an all-inclusive coalition that would provide confidence and hope for Malaysians to effect a regime change.
This is the reason why I asked Indians to unite under the banner of Harapan to take on BN in the coming general election.
If Harapan could be formed by accommodating Dr Mahathir Mohamad and other former Umno leaders, then I don't see why Indians with different political persuasions and ideologies could not be brought into the larger fold of Harapan.
Indians are numerically small and economically weak, and this is the reason why the community cannot be divided and manipulated by leaders who have no interests for their general advancement.
As I have said in my numerous political talks, Indians cannot be spoon-fed and neither are we in the position to demand affirmative action programmes for the community.
Right now, the politics of the BN regime is not conducive for the general advancement of Indians. Rather than seeking piecemeal solutions for Indians, let us first unite under the banner of Harapan to engender a political situation that will be conducive for Indian socio-economic progress.
Given the objective situation of Indians, we cannot expect Harapan to deliver the goods on a silver platter to the community. Whether in the ruling party or outside, Indians have to fight for their rights.
As I have said, when the political situation is conducive, the fight for rights will be made easier and meaningful.
Hindraf a common property for all Indians
While some Harapan Indian leaders might have had their differences with Hindraf leaders in the past, Hindraf is considered a common property for all Indians. Apart from some self-seeking MIC leaders, the entire Indian community was behind the efforts of Hindraf in seeking justice for Indians.
Indians in the country, whether they were former supporters of BN or currently support the efforts of Harapan, are invariably supporters of Hindraf. Among the Indians, Hindraf is equated with the fight for justice, respect and dignity for Indians.
Some Hindraf leaders might have supported the BN in the last election. But today, they have admitted to their mistakes. I think we should accept this and move forward.
If they are coming forward to support the efforts of the Harapan, I think we should welcome them and support them. There is nothing wrong to accept them within the larger formal or informal fold of the Harapan. In mobilising the Indian community, they should closely work with Harapan Indian and non-Indian leaders in the spirit of comradeship and respect.
At a time when the Indian community is being undermined from within and without, there is nothing wrong with Indian leaders closing ranks to instil hope and confidence among the different layers of the Indian community.
Indians might be seen to be divided and weak. However, under the right kind of leadership, the community can overcome its present weaknesses to forge ahead.
I would like to advise Indian leaders within Harapan to forge a new leadership with those who want to support the coalition to challenge the continued hegemony of the BN regime.
Indians with the right mix of leadership, strategic thinking and planning could alter the political scenario for the betterment of all communities and groups!
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.