Media statement by M.Kula Segaran in Ipoh on Friday, 10th February 2012:
BN government has long marginalized the Indian community and it thus does not deserve any trust from the community
At the Thaipusam celebrations held at the Sri Subramaniam Swamy Devasthanam in Batu Caves three days ago, the Prime Minister Dato Sri Najib said the government was serious about addressing the concerns of the Indian community.
"The government has never gone back on their word. If I promise something, the government will surely do it. If you help me, I help you and if you trust me I trust you, Nambike (trust in me)," Najib assured the Indian community.
When I heard that the Prime Minister had used the term Nambike, I had thought that he meant to tell a Tembikai joke but mispronounced it as Nambike !
It is a real joke for a government that has ruled for decades and neglected the Indian community for so long to talk about Nambike.
Despite having suffered its worst ever electoral debacle in the 2008 general elections, partly due to the Kingmaker role played by the Indian voters, BN has not done much for the Indian community.
And despite having been the Prime Minister for close to 3 years, Najib has not delivered much to the Indian community as promised.
Undoubtedly, the BN government has for so many decades neglected to help the Indians in tangible and effective ways.
His actions just do not match his words.
Many of the Indian issues, like other marginalised communities, are economically related; issues such as education, housing, employment and income generation opportunities come to mind.
Today the Indian community has achieved some rather unflattering superlatives in the country amongst all the races: the lowest life expectancy, highest school dropout rate, highest incidences of alcoholism and drug addiction, highest number of prisoners in proportion to population and highest suicide rates.
Indian rubber tappers are denied the opportunities to own their small holding estate, cattle and goat rearers not assisted with barns and stables to house the animals, deteriorating Tamil school infrastructure and amenities, top Indian SPM and STPM scorers failing to get scholarships; the list goes on.
And till today, BN has not been sincere and effective in uplifting the economic status of the Indian community and the earlier promise to bring 3 % equity target has been postponed from 2010 to 2020.
How could a government that has marginalized the Indian community for so long ask for trust from the community?
May be Najib thinks that by promising to build 6 Tamil schools, shouting 1 Malaysia slogan and making good the promise of some monetary allocations, he has done enough to earn the trust of the Indian community.
Perhaps Najib thinks that there are Indian voters who can be easily pacified with simple "goodies", nice words and sweet promises.
Let me tell the BN government that the Indian community has awakened politically and the Indian voters will not simply give their trust to the BN government.
BN government has long marginalized the Indian community and it thus does not deserve any trust from the community.
So come the next general election, I am sure the politically awakened Indian community will once again play their King maker role to teach BN a bigger lesson and bring about a Better Malaysia for All.
* M. Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman & MP for Ipoh Barat