Be a better leader, critics tell Ramasamy

They say the DAP peace deal does not resolve the problems Penang Indians face

(Free Malaysia Today) – A group of DAP grassroots leaders have asked Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy to review his leadership skills, claiming that he appears detached from problems plaguing the Indian community.

The group consists of veteran and young members of branches within the mainland parliamentary constituencies of Bagan, Bukit Mertajam and Batu Kawan. They are all Indians, but they preferred not to be named out of respect for the peace deal that DAP has worked out to end Ramasamy’s open spat with party chairman Karpal Singh.

In separate interviews with FMT, they said Indians in the state had benefited little from Penang’s achievements since DAP took the reins of the state administration in 2008. As a result, they added, many Indians who voted for Pakatan Rakyat candidates in the last election were now reverting to Barisan Nasional.

Several of them said Ramasamy probably meant well, but was hampered by inexperience, ignorance or the lack support from his aides. They said some of the aides appeared ignorant and arrogant to the grassroots.

They complained that the state had yet to fulfil some of its promises to the Indian community.

“Where is the macro-economic master plan for Penang Indians?” said one.

They alleged that state agencies had not given enough jobs to Indians or provided them with affordable housing.

“Indians are unable to shake off their perception of feeling marginalised. Our graduates do not feel welcome in state-linked companies or in the public sector.”

They said BN parties were taking advantage of the situation. One of the critics cited the case of a young graduate who managed to get a job with a state agency only after seeking the intervention of a MCA divisional leader.

Another critic acknowledged that Ramasamy’s office did provide funds to Tamil schools but said the officials seemed unaware that some parent-teacher associations had channelled the money to MIC-linked functions.