ADUN SPEAKS | In the last few years, I am not mistaken, three additional Tamil primary schools have been established in areas of sizeable Tamil presence.
These new schools are not sufficient to address the demands of Indians in the new areas of their concentration.
It must be understood that the Indian presence in rural areas, particularly in plantations has declined considerably over the years.
Indians have moved to urban areas and as such, there is a need for new Tamil schools in these areas.
But the Indian community needs more than just Tamil primary schools. Schools with low and falling enrolment need to be relocated.
We don't want a situation where schools with low enrolment are closed down, something tragic that happened more than 20 years ago.
The former president of MIC, S Samy Vellu not only failed to prevent some Tamil primary schools from being closed down, he encouraged the grouping of schools that lead to the closure of a number of Tamil schools.
Paradoxically, MIC, which was supposed to protect the Tamil schools, accelerated the closure of a number of Tamil schools in the country.
A few decades ago, there were more than one thousand Tamil schools in the country. Today, with the addition of the three primary schools, there are about 526 schools in the country.
If BN cares for the votes of the Chinese community, they should also be concerned about the votes of Indians who might make a difference in about 60 electoral constituencies in the country.
If there is a close contest in the coming election between the opposition and the BN, chances are, Indian votes will make difference.
However, Indian political parties have never pressed the BN on this matter.
But the problem is, that unlike the vibrant Chinese community, the BN government through the slavish political parties such as MIC, MyPPP, IPF and others, easily hoodwinks the Indian community.
The self-seeking leaders of these parties do not have the interests of the community at heart. Their political survival has assumed more importance than the survival or the wellbeing of the Indian community.
The contest for the parliamentary seat of Cameron Highlands seems more important to MIC and MyPPP rather than the future of the Indian community in the country.
The Indian community does not need enemies in Umno or BN, they have theirs in MIC, MyPPP, IPF, Makkal Sakthi and other "malarial or dengue infested" parties.
Well, if these political parties are "saviours" of the Indians, then they don't need new enemies.
P RAMASAMY is the Penang Deputy Chief Minister II and Perai assemblyperson.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.