‘Too many political parties representing Malaysian Indians’

Kuala Lumpur, Oct 19 (Inditop.com) The multitude of political parties claiming to represent Malaysia’s 1.8 million Indians could be detrimental to the community in the long run, a veteran politician has warned.

Loga Bala Mohan, who is vice president of one of them, Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), also complains that parties claiming to represent Indian supports often exaggerate their membership.

Going by their “far-fetched” claims, it would seem every Malaysian India is a member of one political party or the other.

Political parties representing the Indian community should “stop hoodwinking the public with exaggerated figures of their membership”, Bala Mohan was quoted as saying by The Star newspaper Monday.

“Many of these leaders claim to have the support of about 100,000 to 200,000 Indians, but can they substantiate the claims?

“They should stop playing with figures, merely to gain political mileage and for their personal interests,” he said at the state-level PPP Diwali open house in Penang state Sunday.

Popularly known as Loga, Bala Mohan said the Penang state PPP had only 22,517 members, of which 38 percent were Chinese.

Split due to personality clashes and groupism, these parties also lack focus, he said, advising Indians to unite and determine carefully their future instead of relying on new political parties and leaders who claimed to know what was best for them.

“The Indians must be focussed on what they want and find ways to achieve it, rather than allow people to claim to have their support,” he said.

Bala Mohan said many of these parties also claimed to support Barisan Nasional (BN), the ruling coalition, but hardly organised social-economic activities for the community.

While such support was good, he said, a large number of Indian-based parties could be detrimental to the community in the long run.

“These parties may be split in their views and demands for the community,” he said.

“If one party succeeds in getting education aid for its supporters, what will happen to the remaining groups of Indians who do not support it?” he asked.

The Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) is the largest ethnic Indian party while the PPP, Gerakan and the Democratic Action Party (DAP), headed by Indians, have multi-ethnic membership that includes the majority Malays and the Chinese.

MIC, PPP and Gerakan are constituents of the BN. The DAP and some smaller parties belong to the opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

Six parties claiming Indian support are said to be seeking registration. One of them, Makkal Sakthi, which opened earlier this month, is a splinter group of the banned Hindu Rights Action Front (Hindraf) that courted controversy by staging anti-government rallies in 2007.