Malaysian Indians want to quit opposition ranks: media report

December 31st, 2008 - 3:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Dec 31 (IANS) Malaysian Indian politicians who are part of the opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat (PR) are disenchanted and many want to quit, a media report said Wednesday.They contributed to PR’s unprecedented victory in the March poll, helping it win 88 seats. But some of them say they feel sidelined and discriminated against.

The PR, headed by controversial former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, has not done enough for the two million-plus Indian community, they say.

Their feeling of discrimination and marginalisation was highlighted by S. Manikavasagam, lawmaker from Kapar, who last week announced his intention to resign from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), the alliance’s largest constituent, The Star newspaper said Wednesday.

Fifty more members at different levels want to leave PKR en masse.

However, Indians in PR are divided and do not want to take a stand in what they feel is the internal matter of the PKR.

Democratic Action Party (DAP) vice-chairman M. Kulasegaran said his party did not want to get involved in what he deemed a PKR internal matter. He said the matter touched on ethnic Indians as a race in multi-ethnic Malaysian society.

Kulasewgaran, MP from Ipoh Barat, said the DAP did not face problems like discrimination and marginalisation, as claimed by the PKR leaders.

“What is clear is that the DAP is not involved,” he told mStar Online, the Malay news portal of The Star.

DAP is headed by lawyer-lawmaker Karpal Singh, an ethnic Indian.

Kulasegaran said he did not know of any exclusive meeting of Indian Pakatan leaders.

Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) central committee member D. Jeyakumar denied that there was racial discrimination within the Pakatan.

“I do not see any discrimination within Pakatan because all races are treated well.”

He said although PSM was not an official component of the Pakatan, he believed the pact would bring positive changes to the people.

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