Tuesday, May 28, 2013

'Stop Bickering, Focus On Uplifting Indian Community - Experts', Bernama, 28 May 2013


Stop Bickering, Focus On Uplifting Indian Community - Experts

By S.Chandravathani

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- MIC leaders should stop bickering over positions and appointments, and focus on uplifting the Indian community, a researcher at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) said Tuesday.

"The Indian problems are huge and there is so much work to be done," said Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria, the Principal Research Fellow at the Institute of Ethnic Studies, UKM.

Dr Denison was commenting on the MIC's contention that it should head the Indian Affairs Unit, under the Prime Minister's Department, instead of Hindraf chairman P.Waythamoorthy.

Waythamoorthy has also been appointed as a Senator and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department.

"Why fuss about the appointment now, after Najib signed the memorandum of understanding with Hindraf last month, on setting up the unit. From the time the agreement was signed until his appointment, no MIC leaders raised any objections to the terms, which indicated an implementation role by Hindraf," he told Bernama when contacted.

While some have questioned the sincerity of Waythamoorthy and have accused him as a 'sell-off' to Barisan Nasional, Dr Denison said only time can tell if Waythamoorthy's sincerity is genuine, for self-interest or community interest.

"This appointment shows that Najib has honoured a promise made on April 18, this year. We need to recognise that the PM is keeping his word, based on the five-year blueprint signed," he added.

Dr Denison said Waythamoorthy, a non-political leader, might be able to focus on resolving issues and concerns, for the benefit of the bottom 40 per cent of the Indian community.

The appointment though was criticised by several individuals, including Waythamoorthy's own brother, Uthayakumar, who claims to be Hindraf's leader, for accepting the cabinet post and called him a political opportunist.

MIC Youth chief T Mohan also rebuked the appointment, saying that it would further weaken Indian support for the government.

Meanwhile, Assoc Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian of Universiti Sains Malaysia said Waythamoorthy's appointment was Najib's prerogative, because it was Najib who would account to the stakeholders for the five years in office.

Hence, he noted that the Hindraf chairman's appointment would specifically help deliver Barisan Nasional's manifesto, to bring positive change to the Indian community's socio-economic position.

"As he has already been appointed by the PM, it is better for both parties (Hindraf and MIC) to work closely to ensure the end result of the action plan, that will benefit the community. Leaders must stop fighting among themselves, and assist each other for national development," he said.


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