MIC President S Samy Velly has announced a mammoth gathering of 15,000 MIC members and supporters on Jan 20. They will gather in Kuala Lumpur to show their support for Barisan Nasional (BN) and Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
According to Samy, the gathering, to be held at the Cheras Badminton Stadium, would be the first in a series of gatherings throughout the country aimed at bolstering the party's strength and support for BN ahead of the coming general election.
On the outset, the show of strength is an impressive way of assuring PM Abdullah of Indians' support for the BN. However, looking deeper, one intends to ask how is this going to help solve the multitude of problems faced by the Indian community?
Does the PM need reassurance? And what can Samy hope to achieve with the reassurance? That MIC still command the support of the community?
The larger issues the party leadership should focus on are the state of Indian vernacular schools (which among the most dipilated in the country), high criminal activities amongst Indian youths, lack of economic opportunities, under representation in the civil service and others.
This episode proves that Samy has yet to learn the lesson of listening to the voices of the community he claimed to represent. MIC should instead spend its valuable resources and time on finding out what is wrong with the community and why are they disgrunted if Samy really hope to help win back their support.
The show of strength is very 'mafia-ish'. What we need is a pragmatic and humble political approach to help the community. Nothing heroic. Just simple compassion, acknowledgement of the problems and work on providing real solutions.
Perhaps Samy has been at the top for far too long. Time demands that he goes down to the ground.
Picture courtesy of Malaysiakini.com