A forum to discuss the social and economical problems faced by Indians in Johor was organised by Johor DAP Gelang Patah branch on May 26, 2012. Around hundred over local Malaysian Indians participated in the forum.
Former PAS contestant for the Ulu Tiram seat Kumutha Raman, who spoke on behalf of Johor PAS, criticised Barisan Nasional (BN) for neglecting Malaysian Indians for more than 50 years.
She also stressed that Malaysian Indians especially women should actively update themselves with current issues happening around them rather than spending time watching Tamil soap operas.
Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran in his speech questioned the sincerity of MIC leaders in dealing with issues pertaining to the Malaysian Indian community after 2008 general election.
Earlier, MIC president G Palanivel announced that officials in Putrajaya will huddle with a team of professionals to formulate a comprehensive plan aimed at “rescuing” the country’s poor Malaysian Indians. The initiative is expected to be finalised during a round-table conference to be chaired by Prime Minister Najib Razak which is expected to be called by July 2012.
“From this we understand that, firstly, the next general election will not be held anytime earlier than July since the prime minister will only chair the round-table conference in July.
“Secondly, Indians in this country cannot count much on BN as after having been in power for decades as well as having lost significant Indian support at the last general election, BN is still talking about holding conference to discuss how to rescue Malaysian Indians,” he added.
“A good percentage of the community has been marginalised. They are trapped in poverty, earning low or no income, trapped by money lenders, have their homes facing auction, unable to pay their basic utility bills or send their children to school, pay bus fares and so on – they are in deep trouble.”
“If BN was sincere and serious about helping the Malaysian Indian community, all the right and necessary programs should have been implemented decades ago. If BN has learnt its lesson from the 2008 general election, the government ought to have walked its talk 3 years ago after Najib Razak become the nation’s prime minister. “said the MP.
Some of the delegates who spoken in the forum were DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) representatives P Ramakrishnan and K Selvakumaran respectively.