Indians urged to unite
> PM calls on BN-friendly parties to merge under MIC
KUALA LUMPUR: Indian-based parties such as the Indian Progressive Front (IPF), Malaysian Indian United Party (MIUP) and Makkal Sakthi have been urged to unite under MIC.
“The question of leadership and turmoil (within MIC) has been resolved. It has emerged more powerful, stronger and committed to the cause,” Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said in his speech at the MIC 70th annual general assembly at Putra World Trade Centre here yesterday.
Najib said the number of Indian-based parties and their demands have been overwhelming for him.
“When there are too many parties claiming to represent the Indian community, it is a headache. I receive letters from all these parties. Various letterheads in various colours,” he quipped.
“When you (IPF, MIUP, Makkal Sakthi) come into the house, you accept the leadership of the house. One swallow doesn’t make a summer, one man cannot make a difference,” Najib told the leaders of the other Indian-based parties, who were present.
“A strong MIC is an inclusive one. Munnerovum (let’s progress),” he said, to applause from the delegates.
The three parties are Barisan Nasionalfriendly but are not formally part of the coalition.
Najib said Indians should no longer be called “pendatang” (immigrants) or any other derogatory term, in order to preserve harmony.
He also announced that the “National Blueprint for the Indian Community” will be launched in January.
A special secretariat will be established to ensure contents of the blueprint are executed as intended.
“Previously, I tried very hard to ensure programmes for the Indian community were implemented smoothly. I am disappointed the decisions I made before this were not fully implemented.
“Often, at the lower level, it gets pushed back to me. Despite having pushed for it personally, the system keeps pushing it back to me.
“With a strong secretariat though, the government will ensure its plans go through,” he said.
The Barisan Nasional chairman also spoke of the government’s plan to have a kindergarten for each Tamil-medium school in the country.
“Let’s execute this. Let’s begin from the basics. Inculcate them (Indian children) with a strong foundation and Malaysian values. I am definitely committed to the Indian cause,” he said.
MIC president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam told reporters he is agreeable to the other Indian-based parties working with MIC, adding that the “door is always open to them”.
Also present were deputy president Datuk Seri S.K. Devamany, Dewan Negara president Datuk S.A. Vigneswaran and Barisan Nasional secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.
Najib shares a light moment with Subramaniam (left), Devamany (right) and other MIC supreme council members at the party’s 70th annual general meeting in Putra World Trade Centre yesterday.