DAP calls for a high-powered Cabinet committee to present a blueprint to end the marginalization of the Indian Malaysians to be the focus of debate in the first meeting of the new Parliament next month
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): DAP wishes Tamils in Malaysia a happy and prosperous Tharana new year today, and Malayalees and Sikhs a happy and prosperous Vishu and Vaisakhi new year respectively tomorrow.
Although the MIC was allocated two additional posts of deputy minister and parliamentary secretary after the 2004 general election in the new cabinet of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, this could not make up for the MIC failure to secure a second Ministerial post or to get the Cabinet to address the long-standing issues of margninalisation and alienation faced by Indian Malaysians in the country.
All the talk by the MIC President, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu about a vision of creating a new identity for the Indian community in Malaysia are just brave but empty and meaningless noises unless the Cabinet is prepared to seriously address the long-standing fundamental issues which have reduced the Indian Malaysians into a marginalized community in 21st century Malaysia.
DAP calls on the Cabinet tomorrow to establish a high-powered Cabinet Committee entrusted with the task to present to the new Parliament when it meets for the first time on May 17 a blueprint to bring the Indian Malaysians into the mainstream of national development – political, economic, educational, social, cultural and all other aspects of the nation-building process.
The “Group of Concerned Citizens” in its paper “Election 2004: New Politics for Indian Malaysians” last month had summarized nine long-standing fundamental issues faced by Indian Malaysians, which should form the terms of reference of the Cabinet Committee, viz:
In the past decades, there had been a lot of talk of the “Malay Dilemma” and the “Chinese Dilemma”, and it is time that the “Indian dilemma” should be the focus of the debate of the first meeting of the 11th Parliament next month, as all these separate “dilemmas” of the various communities and sectors of the Malaysian society go to make up the “Malaysian dilemma”, of how all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or political opinion, can enjoy an equal, progressive and dignified place under the Malaysian sun.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman & Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor