By P Ramasamy
This is my reply to what was raised by MIC national treasurer, Vell Paari, in his article “Does Pakatan have any plans for Indians?” in an online publication a few days ago.
Vell Paari thanked Lim Kit Siang and I for taking the time to reply to his earlier article in which he praised Prime Minister Najib Razak as the “father of Indian development”. He said for both of us to reply to his article, it must have touched “the nerves of the top echelons of DAP”.
In the article, he wanted Lim and I to respond to the questions he had posed about whether Pakatan Harapan (PH) has any development plans for the Indian community, and why we had accepted the leadership of Dr Mahathir Mohamad in PH, without being emotional about it.
However, before he could hear from us, he himself said in his piece that Lim and I are not in a position to answer his questions simply because “there are no answers”. In other words, he said that PH has no programmes for the Indians.
Vell Paari should not engage in the drama of self-importance as if he raised questions that no one has raised before. He should not overestimate his ability to pose questions and then childishly say that Lim and I would not have the answers as there are none in the first place.
As responsible elected representatives, we have to counter the lies, half-truths and embarrassing position taken by MIC to engage in the senseless defence of Najib.
It is rather strange that even to this day, Vell Paari has never had the objective mind to take his father and former MIC president, S Samy Vellu, to task for not doing anything worthwhile for the benefit of the Indian community.
Vell Paari can “go to town” in his praise of Najib, I don’t care. But if he drags the Indian community into his personal drama, then every Malaysian has the right to fair comment.
Vell Paari might think that Mahathir was one of the worst prime ministers Malaysia has had. The Indian community suffered under his leadership. But at the same time, his father, Samy Vellu, should shoulder part of the blame. What was the performance of Samy Vellu during his long years in MIC? What development did he bring to uplift the poor Indian community?
I believe that one of the worst periods for the Indian community was when Mahathir was prime minister and Samy Vellu was the leader of MIC. It was the combination of this deadly authoritarian leadership that caused havoc to the Indian community, the majority of whom worked in plantations and urban areas.
I would agree if Vell Paari took Mahathir to task for what he did and did not do, but he should not spare his father, Samy Vellu, for abandoning the welfare and well-being of the Indian community. Just because Najib has given a governmental post to Samy Vellu does not render him the great leader of the Indian community.
I would have grudgingly accepted it if Vell Paari had called his father, Samy Vellu, the “father of the development of the Indian community”. While he is willing to bestow such a title on others, he lacks the elementary guts and decency to bestow it on his own father, Samy Vellu. What a filial son. Maybe he thinks that his father does not deserve such a title? Is this true?
If MIC leaders have no faith in their own party and leadership, this does not augur well for the future of the party. As it is, the party is in the doldrums as Indians have gradually deserted its ranks. Umno might not be around too long to maintain its lifeline for MIC.
P Ramasamy is Penang deputy chief minister II.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.