Anwar’s Malaysian Indian political dilemma

The 2.8 million Malaysian Indian community is already politically deeply divided with various political parties

KUALA LUMPUR, 10 Oct – Late Monday evening, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s office issued a media statement, saying that the Prime Minister neither supported nor endorsed the establishment of new political parties to garner support and strengthen the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH)/Barisan Nasional (BN) unity government.

While it is not unusual for the Prime Minister’s Office to issue statements, this one was indeed needed to quell rumours and speculation that the Prime Minister was spearheading the movement by allowing the establishment of an Indian-based political party.

The 2.8 million Malaysian Indian community is already politically deeply divided with various political parties, and a new party would definitely cause more factions in the minority community.

But what warranted Anwar to issue a statement? Was it so important that PMO had to nip the bud on the formation of a new party?

The Prime Minister’s statement was indeed warranted as a person closely associated to Anwar on Saturday declared that the Prime Minister had given his blessings to initiate the new Indian political party.

Anwar, who has close ties with the community, said in the statement that it was highly irresponsible for businessman P. Thiagarajan to declare that he supported the formation of such a party.

The Prime Minister also said his office took a serious view of people who misuse the prime minister’s name without permission.

Since taking power late last year, Anwar has always been courteous to the Malaysian Indian community, hearing out their issues and promising to solve them in time.

The Prime Minister at the Tamil International Conference a few months ago reiterated the importance for the community to remain united and forge ahead to be on par with the development of the nation.

He also made the same point while on a lighting visit to Kuala Lumpur’s Little India in Brickfields just over a month ago. He believed that a united Indian community would be the way to go in resolving outstanding issues the Indians had with the government.

But when one of his trusted men announced the setting up of a new political party allegedly with his blessing, Anwar could not just sit still as this would go against his believe that a united Indian community would be better for the nation.

“Therefore, the Prime Minister’s Office advises the public not to be confused by unofficial statements issued by any party,” the statement said.

It also said such actions were “highly irresponsible” and could have a negative impact on the credibility of Anwar and his administration.

It must be noted that formation of such a party would also create apprehension over the current batch of Indian leaders picked by Anwar to be Minister and deputy minister.

DAP’s V. Sivakumar and K. Saraswathy of PKR are Human Resources Minister and Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives deputy minister respectively in the current line-up.

The call to set up another Indian political party by Anwar’s “trusted friend” could also put Anwar relations with MIC, touted to be the largest Indian based political party in the country, in jeopardy.

MIC had been ever willing to assist Anwar since MIC is a BN component and in towing BN leadership line MIC had fully backed PH in the state and by-elections since the last General Election.

MIC had even muted its criticism against DAP over the past year and shown its willingness to join hands with anyone under Anwar’s unity government spirit.

While overzealous supporters have often sullied the name of their leaders, Anwar was not going to let that happen in this instance. His strongly worded statement on Monday was a testament of this. – Xklusif


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