Thursday, May 21, 2009

PKR man: Pakatan not doing enough for Indians

May 21, 09 5:15pm

A grassroots PKR leader today lashed out at Pakatan Rakyat and its administration in Selangor for continuing to marginalise the Indian community in the state."The sidelining of the Indian community by the Pakatan in Selangor is not much different from what Barisan Nasional has done," said Petaling Jaya Selatan division's deputy chief A Thiruvenggadam today.He alleged that all promises made by Pakatan leaders, including PKR president Anwar Ibrahim and Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim, before the general election in March 2008 to uplift the Indian community remained unfulfilled."In Selangor, the PKR-led state government has so far failed to keep up with its promise to do something for the community."No job offers have given to the Indian community. No contracts have also been allocated for the Indian businessmen in the state," said Thiruvenggadam, who is a PKR-appointee as a councillor to the PJ city council."I have been asking for the past one year or so for the state government under Khalid to make it a state policy to provide jobs and business opportunities for the Indian community but to date nothing has moved," he said in a statement.He claimed that all Pakatan leaders were repeatedly lying to the Indian community by promising them better things as compared to the neglect committed by Barisan Nasional."They are only cheating the community to garner support.

\Nothing is being done."

They have done nothing for the community by giving some money for the Tamil schools in the state. They must also help the community to be economically strong," he added.He said that the Pakatan leadership's argument that it should not be looking after one particular race only does not hold water."Why do you want to neglect an already marginalised community? There is nothing wrong in helping this community to find its feet. Otherwise, it will just remain neglected," he said.He added that it was ironic that many Pakatan leaders in power today were human rights defenders before this and now they were not seeing the sorry plight suffered by the Indian community in the state.He also challenged the state government to come up with statistics on what it has done to uplift the Indian community in the state.Thiruvenggadam said he would be revealing more on the state government's failure in helping the Indian community at a press conference next Monday.Nalla: I am not surprised by this The Indian community, for long BN voters, shifted sides to Pakatan in the last general election after complaining that they have been neglected for years.Pakatan leaders had said that they would be different from BN and would help the community gain an economic status.However many observers, including insiders like Thiruvenggadam, have complained that the plight of the community remained the same.Commenting on this, BN-allied Malaysian Indian United Party (MIUP) leader KS Nallakaruppan said he agreed with the contention that the Pakatan state governments have done nothing for the community. Pakatan won control of five states in the general election."The complaints are valid. I have travelled throughout the country, including to the five states under Pakatan control and the feedback I get is that they are still in the same poor, neglected state."Apart from appointing some Indians to some high-profile posts and local councils, Pakatan had failed to deliver its promise for the Indian community," he told Malaysiakini.He was referring to the appointment of DAP's P Ramasamy as the deputy chief minister 2 in Penang and V Sivakumar as the Perak assembly speaker."Temples are still being demolished in the Pakatan states. Tamils schools are still in the same condition. Have they reduced poverty?" he asked."I know full well about Anwar and other PKR leaders. They have never cared about the Indian community," he added.He said that while BN could have been slow in reacting to the needs of the Indian community in the past, it has now learnt its lessons with the federal government implementing some policies to overturn the situation.Nallakaruppan left PKR in 2007 after a fallout with Anwar and formed his party.