Malaysian opposition steps into MIC turf

May 27th, 2008 - 2:39 pm ICT by admin  


Kuala Lumpur, May 27 (IANS) Malaysia’s parliamentary opposition says it represents the country’s estimated 2.6 million Indian community better than the government and cites the March election results to support its claim. The community is better represented by the opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat (PR) than the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), the opposition argued on a motion to decide on the membership of the Select Committee of the current 12th parliament.

The opposition said it was not satisfied with government’s BN nominee S. Subramaniam, the human resources minister who belongs to the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC).

MIC has traditionally spoken for Indians, but for the first time lost badly with its parliamentary strength reduced from 19 to three.

It lost seats to former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim’s Parti Keadalan Rakyat (PKR) and the Democratic Action Party (DAP) headed by Indian origin Karpal Singh.

The PR says the MIC no longer represents the Indian community, that is eight percent of Malaysia’s 28 million population.

PKR’s Mohammed Azmin said in parliament Monday: “Can’t you see that the number of Indian MPs in PR is bigger than those in BN? If it is truly done in the spirit of equal representation of all ethnic groups, the biggest voice representing the Indians today is PR, not BN.”

Opposing Subramaniam’s nomination by the government, he said: “MIC today is not capable of representing the Indians. Many of their leaders had lost (in the election). This proves Indians now are not represented by MIC.”

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