Bridget Welsh highlights the Madani government’s ineptitude towards the Indian community

This sparks reactions from both sides of politics


In a recent article in Malaysiakini, State polls: Important Indian Vote, political commentator and academic Bridget Welsh highlighted the Madani government’s ineptitude, and lack of action in focusing on specific problems facing the Indian community. Welsh states;

“Despite promises, Anwar’s government has yet to introduce any meaningful programmes for the Indian community, as a unique community”.

Then explains some of the issues behind the Anwar administration with promises made to the community;

“In fact, to date, there has been minimal discussion of the particular problems the community faces – including displacement from estates, protection of religious sites and serious economic vulnerability in families”.

In her article analyzing the impact and importance of the Indian vote to the coming state elections, Welsh described a number of constituencies, where the Indian vote would be one of the prime determinants of which candidate would win. Welsh contrasted this to the predicament that “There is a sense that Indian candidates are being increasingly displaced”.

It is becoming very clearly apparent that the MIC may not be fielding any candidates in the coming state polls, even though MIC candidates may be able to play a pivotal role in a number of seats in Selangor and Negeri Sembilan.

The MIC has been politically abandoned by PH-BN in the coming state elections, where a number of MIC members will not be actively campaigning for the unity coalition during the campaign proper. There is also talk of MIC abandoning the Barisan Nasional outright over the issue, although this is denied.

Prime minister Anwar Ibrahim at a ‘get together’ with the Indian community in Sungai Petani on July 15, seemed to have indirectly rebutted Welsh’s remarks by saying that his unity government would ensure the rights of all races were protected, as enshrined under the federal constitution. Anwar said “We will help all Malaysians irrespective of their race”.

Anwar hoped that the Indian community would, especially those living in estates, would escape the clutches of poverty, but didn’t specify how the government would assist in this directly.