Najib, father of Indian community, a sign of desperation
It is ridiculous on the part of the Prime Minister Najib Razak to claim that he is the father of the development of the Indian community at the MIC’s annual general meeting on Sunday, September 24, 2017.
He also took credit for appointing an Indian for the post of the director general of customs despite strong objections from some sections of the Malay community.
Is Najib truly concerned about the Indian community or he merely wants to endear himself to the community to ensure that they would make a difference in the coming general election in favour of the ruling regime?
Najib is well aware that Indian community despite its sacrifice is one of the poorest sections of the Malaysian community. The vast majority of Indians face problems of unemployment, obtaining business licenses, entering into tertiary institutions and not to speak of religious and cultural squeeze they experience as result of the hegemonic role of Islam.
Najib cannot even settle the matter of unilateral conversion of non-Muslims to the anger and frustration of the non-Malays especially Indians. While he says that the BN lacked the two-third majority to amend the constitution, but at the same time he gives a different message to the Muslims by saying that he would not give in to the demands of the non-Muslims without the support of PAS and Muslim organizations.
It is this cheap double-talk that has created serious doubts about the true intentions of Najib amongst the non-Malays. Yes, he might have given more money to Indians in comparison to earlier prime ministers, but then nobody really knows whether the money has filtered down to the benefit of needy Indians.
Indians in the country demand to be respected as citizens and not discriminated along the line of race or religion. Financial assistance is important, but then if they don’t have the rights, such assistance might make little difference to their existence.
Indians like other discriminated groups require a political climate that in the long run that would be conducive to the removal of may obstacles that stand in the way of they becoming full-fledged citizens where racial and religious bigotry would be dismantled. Is Najib, despite all his cheap talk, prepared to consider the fundamental structural problems that stand in the way of Indian development? Is Najib prepared to respect Indians not such more as “Indians” but Malaysian citizens who are entitled to equal and unalienable rights as citizens of the country?
To say that he is the father of Indian community shows among others that he has little or no respect for the MIC, a party that supposedly represents the community. The whole world knows that the party has abandoned the Indians over the last few decades. If at the party exists, it is merely due to the lifeline thrown by Umno.
Najib’s claim that he is the father of the development of the Indian community is certainly a big slap on the face of the MIC, particularly its president S. Subramaniam, who other than “warming his chair” has not done anything worthwhile for the benefit of the community.
The MIC, other than being a weak partner of the MIC, is broken and shattered party today. It cannot claim to be the sole representative of Indians today, for the community is not only fractured along party lines, but the opposition parties have more Indian parliamentarians compared to the MIC.
Lately a serious of events has backfired for Najib. He is extremely desperate to shore up political support. His recent visit to the United States and his promise of RM2 billion in investments from public funds has not gone well with the Malaysian public.
Other than this, the calling of a special press conference to make an important announcement merely entailed the re-admission of Muhammed Muhammed Taib into Umno.
It is rumoured that the press meet was called to announce the collapse of the Selangor government but somehow this event did not materialize.
Najib should have announced that he was the father of Indian development when he fist took office. If he had done so and followed up with serious measures to address the plight of the Indian community, then Indians might have given him a chance. But then, it is too late now.
I have serious doubts that Najib would be able to endear himself to the Indian community in the coming days or months.