Saturday April 26, 2008
PENANG: Several Indian DAP grassroots leaders and members have expressed their dissatisfaction and anger at Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy for his failure in representing the community.
“Even though we have an Indian deputy chief minister, he has done nothing to ensure that we are represented in the administration. “Worse still, some members of the previous government are still serving the current administration and holding important positions. “Why can’t we have our own grassroots appointed to the local council and government agencies?” said one leader who attended the party’s Indian Affairs and Cultural Bureau meeting on Thursday.
“It was a very fiery discussion with many long-time party members criticising Dr Ramasamy. Many were hurt by his reported remark that he ‘does not represent the Indian community’ because we have very high expectations of him. “We have been marginalised for so long and now, instead of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel - all we see is darkness,” he said, adding that the state’s three other Indian assemblymen were also out of touch with the community’s needs.
After the 90-minute, closed-door meeting, DAP Indian Affairs and Cultural Bureau chairman and Bagan Dalam assemblyman A. Tanasekharan said Indian members “had finally come to accept” the newly-announced Penang Municipal (MPPP) and Seberang Prai Municipal Council’s (MPSP) line-up despite earlier objection to the under-representation of Indians. “It is normal to see some members objecting at the initial stage, but when they see the bigger picture, they will understand,” he said, adding that the bureau would not propose any changes to the line up.
Twenty-four MPPP and 24 MPSP councillors were sworn into office recently. Nineteen councillors were from DAP, 15 from PKR and two from PAS. It was learnt that the Indian DAP members were unhappy as only seven of them were appointed to the two local councils.
According to a source, a majority of the members were still “very unhappy” and had not accepted Tanasekharan’s explanation.