Anwar should not ignore issues affecting Indians, says activist

Ravin Palanisamy

Hindu Agamam Ani head Arun Dorasamy says Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim should pay more attention to issues faced by the Indian community or risk losing their support in the next federal election. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Nazir Sufari, December 19, 2023.

PRIME Minister Anwar Ibrahim should pay more attention to issues faced by the Indian community or risk losing their support in the next federal election, an activist said. 

Arun Dorasamy, who heads Hindu Agamam Ani, said a simple survey conducted by the group showed there was a serious decline in Indian support for the prime minister.

“The survey was conducted over two days, where a direct polar question was asked on the approval for Prime Minister Anwar and his government’s handling of Indian issues.

“From the survey, 22 of 200, which is only 11% of the people who took part, supported the PM while the remaining disagreed and regretted voting for Pakatan Harapan (PH),” Arun told The Malaysian Insight. 

A study conducted by political analyst Prof Bridget Welsh of the University of Nottingham Malaysia’s Asia Research Institute revealed that estimated Indian support for PH was at a thumping 81% during the last general election (GE15). 

Since GE15, however, the support of the community has dwindled as was reflected in the August six-state elections. 

Arun said Anwar had failed to elevate the Indian community since taking over the premiership 13 months ago, adding that the prime minister had put too much emphasis on religious and racial issues in his focus to win Malay-Muslim support. 

He also said Anwar had on several occasions hurt the feelings of the Indian community. 

“Anwar had been insensitive by deciding to participate in the conversion of a Hindu person, then responding harshly to a student in Penang about the quota system, the fiasco surrounding the banned Tamil hymns in a Penang education event, and his calls to shut down micro-Tamil schools with less than 15 students. 

“And most recently, when he did not name a single Tamil-speaking full minister to his reshuffled cabinet line-up.

“All this that occurred in the past 13-months have hurt the Indian community,” he said.

PH must buckle up

Arun said Indians are not going to ditch Anwar and PH immediately, claiming that there was always room for improvement. 

He said if Anwar managed to correct his mistakes and improve the situation, PH might regain the support of the community in the next federal polls. 

“For a start, Anwar can appoint a full-fledged, Tamil-speaking minister, who knows and understands the plight of Indians and is also sensitive towards the culture.

“With this, there will be someone to represent this marginalised Indian community.

“Maybe he can appoint a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department. He has the power to do it, so he should,” Arun said. 

This is the first time in the country’s history since Independence that there has not been a Tamil-speaking minister in the cabinet. 

Gobind Singh Deo, the sole Indian, appointed as the Digital Minister, is a Punjabi who professes the Sikh faith. 

Several Indian leaders had taken a swipe at Anwar for not having a Tamil-speaking minister in his reshuffled cabinet. 

Among them are former Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy, who said the lack of representation would make it impossible for the Tamils to defend the community’s schools, temples, and language and advance its socio-economic interests. 

Arun said non-Malays, including Indians, played a pivotal role in helping PH secure wins in most of the seats the coalition contested in GE15. 

“From the 82 seats won by PH in GE15, almost 28 seats were secured by a high number of Indian votes,” he said. 

Arun said Anwar would lose the battle in Tambun, the parliamentary seat he won during GE15, should the election be held now. 

“I can surely tell Anwar that the Indians will not vote for him in Tambun should the election be held now,” Arun said. – December 19, 2023. 

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  • Aiyah. Dont waste ur time with this PMX. He is not interested in helping the Indians. I d rather vote for PN than a hypocrite aNd liar.

    Posted 3 months ago by Besaman Mucho · Reply