SERDANG – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has urged all political parties representing the Indian community in the country to unite and work together for the betterment of the community.
He said although the Indians only made up 7.5 per cent of the population, the community was represented by more parties as compared to other races.
“This makes it difficult for the government to undertake specific programmes to help the (Indian) community.
“Even though this is easier said than done, I am a great advocate for the consolidation of the Indian parties, so that we can ensure the political representation of the Indian community will be more effective in the future,” he said.
Najib, who is also Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman, said this when opening the Indian Progressive Front’s (IPF) 22nd Annual Conference at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) secretariat building here Sunday.
The Indian component parties in the BN are MIC, and People’s Progressive Party (PPP). Besides the IPF, the other Indian parties in the country are Makkal Sakti and Malaysian Indian United Party (MIUP).
IPF, Makkal Sakti and MIP are all BN-friendly parties.
To IPF president Datuk M. Sambanthan’s request to accept IPF in the BN fold, Najib admitted that IPF had contributed significantly to ensure BN candidates won in elections.
“I hear the cry of IPF wanting to join the BN. I hope IPF will not give up on this quest because the political scenario is constantly changing,” he said.
However, Najib explained that under the BN system, only if all existing component parties in the coalition gave their nod could another party be allowed to come in.
“Although, the IPF is not a full-fledged BN component party, it has the BN spirit just like the other component parties. It only that it will take some time to convince the others (component parties in the BN) that what is important in the world of politics is strength,” he stressed.
In this regard, Najib reminded the 1,200 IPF delegates present to continue with their efforts to increase Indian voter support for the BN in the next election.
“As the BN chairman, I wish to see increased Indian voter support and we (BN) are sure this can be done. This is because the government is focusing on special programmes for the betterment of the Indian community, unlike the opposition.
“Pursuant to this, I am in the process of preparing a new book which features the stories of individuals from the Indian community who attained success through the help of the government, including provision of micro-credit from Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia, scholarships, places in matriculation colleges or technical training assistance,” he said.
Najib said the government was sincere in its efforts to help the Indian community and hoped the book when published would inspire more Indian individuals to attain success.
Also present were BN secretary general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, MCA vice-president Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun and PPP senor vice-president Datuk Maglin Dennis D’Cruz. – BERNAMA