Boycott of KKB polls will come at a price, MIC man warns

“If we boycott the Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election, will we be able to help uplift the Indian community there?

(FMT) – Hulu Selangor MIC chief K Balasundaram says a Perikatan Nasional victory will have no effect on the state or federal governments and won’t improve the Indian community’s wellbeing.

A divisional MIC leader has urged party members and Indian voters in Kuala Kubu Baharu not to boycott the May 11 by-election, warning that doing so will come at a price for the community.

Hulu Selangor MIC chief K Balasundaram admitted that there were some party members who were struggling to accept Barisan Nasional’s cooperation with DAP, but said they were in the minority.

He urged MIC grassroots thinking about boycotting the by-election to consider the matter carefully.

“If we boycott the Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election, will we be able to help uplift the Indian community there? Because if the opposition (Perikatan Nasional) wins the by-election the state government would not change hands, and neither will the federal government,” he told FMT.

Two weeks ago, DAP’s Banting assemblyman V Papparaidu claimed that certain opposition-friendly groups were going door-to-door in Kuala Kubu Baharu, urging Indian voters to boycott the by-election. “Certain Indian leaders” were also involved, he said, and urged them to stop.

On the other hand, former DAP stalwart P Ramasamy had said his party Urimai would advise voters against supporting the PH candidate, Pang Sock Tao of DAP, due to dissatisfaction with the unity government’s treatment of the Indian community.

Kuala Kubu Baharu has a mixed electorate comprising 50% Malay, 30% Chinese and 18% Indian voters.

A Selangor DAP leader has previously said the party will need at least 60% of Indian votes to retain the state seat, which it has held since 2013.

Balasundaram said he has repeatedly advised MIC members to accept the current political reality, which is that BN must work with the current unity government for the sake of the Indian community.

“There are about 20% (of grassroot members) who cannot accept working with DAP but we are trying to persuade and make them understand (the situation),” he said. adding that BN and DAP’s long-time enmity was what made it hard for some to work with PH.

Hulu Selangor Umno chief Isa Abu Kassim admitted that it has been tough to get party members and the Malay voters at large to accept DAP. “But we will go down to the ground and explain the matter to them. That’s our job. We have to work hard, we know it will be a challenge.”

Isa said Selangor Umno’s entire machinery will be mobilised for the by-election to explain to Malay voters the necessity to partner with PH, particularly DAP.