(Kuala Lumpur, Saturday): I have known Datuk K. Pathmanaban, who died of kidney and liver failure at the Pantai Medical Centre here early this morning, for a quarter of a century.
Pathma’s passing is a great loss to the country as he is a great Malaysian son.
Although we belonged to different political camps in Parliament, I had always respected Pathma’s sincerity, seriousness and commitment to his duties both as Deputy Health Minister and later Deputy Labour Minister.
It is particularly a loss to the Indian community as well as the country that Pathma never became a Cabinet Minister where his talents and qualities would have greater space to serve the community and nation.
Patham was quoted in a recent article about the recent phenomenon where
the Malaysians Indians have become the new underclass in the country, where
“Most observers would say the Indian community has been marginalized. Some 80% are below the water. A huge iceberg below the water. That's very, very sad."
In a way, the marginalisation of the Malaysians Indians had been preceded by the marginalisation of Pathma in Malaysian politics, which is “very, very sad”.