07 October, 2009

Will Makkal Sakti become an alternative party ?

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 7, 2009) : News of the launch on Saturday of new political party Makkal Sakti has raised questions among the Indian community over a hidden agenda.

Will Makkal Sakti become an alternative party or is it just to push for change in the MIC which has represented the Indian community for 63 years, they ask.

Dr S. Sivamurugan, political analyst at the Social Science Faculty of Universiti Sains Malaysia, said Makkal Sakti should not be seen as an alternative party to MIC.

"There is no chance for another party to replace MIC. Makkal Sakti can be an alternative party to address problems of the public which had been overlooked by MIC," he said.

Makkal Sakti could function as a platform to get component Indian parties like the Indian Progressive Front and People's Progressive Party, which refused to cooperate with MIC but which still support the Barisan Nasional, to contribute to the community, Sivamurugan said.

"Indian political parties can cooperate to help the 30% of Indians living below the poverty line. They can help the younger generation get access to job opportunities, educational and welfare aid."

A random survey on Jalan Brickfields and Lebuh Ampang, two shopping areas popular with Indians, yielded similar reactions.

"The MIC had been championing the rights of Indians for a long time but is now disliked as several leaders refuse to allow change in the party.

"The anger of the Indian community is directed at the leadership, not the party," former teacher S. Thiagarajah, 40, said.

M. Alice, 58, hoped the presence of a new party would make MIC leaders and members sit up.

"They have been awakened from their sleep and now realise the importance of support from the Indians. If not, they will forget their responsibility as it is the people who put them there," she said.

Nanthini, 33, an officer in the private sector, said the new party would give the MIC competition, which was good for the party.

S. Tamilmagan, 28, a private sector employee, said: "If a new party can bring the Indians together, why not?"

P. Ganesh, 23, a student at a private college, said the emergence of Makkal Sakti would make MIC leaders realise that the party needed change.

- Bernama (Via)

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