GEORGE TOWN: Desperate DAP Indian leaders have again highlighted the predicament of the Indian community, saying the party could not put up with the discriminatory practices anymore.
"It is time for a change. Don't make the same mistake again," Deputy Chief Minister (II) Dr P. Ramasamy told an audience comprising various races at a DAP--organised forum for Indians at the Chinese Town Hall.
Among the problems faced by Indians, he said, was a shortage of Tamil schools and Hindu burial land.
Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran said Indians were considered a fixed deposit for Barisan Nasional, but the tide was changing following developments in the political scene.
He said in the past, the community did not mind being scolded or disregarded because `BN would not forget them' but it has changed now with Pakatan Rakyat (PR) ruling four states.
"We finally have our first deputy chief minister (in Penang) who is an Indian. You must understand that even if MIC won big, its leaders will never be made DCM," he said.
Making comparisons to BN's BR1M project, Kulasegaran commended the PR government in Penang for providing aid to the underprivileged. Tronoh assemblyman and former Perak Speaker V. Sivakumar said receiving blue identity cards was nothing to be proud of, but embarrassing Indians were only now recognised as citizens.
"You read in the newspapers and see pictures of happy people receiving their MyKad. This is a travesty because these people are citizens of this country but they were never recognised despite being born here.
"You also see identity cards being given to elderly people. Why give elderly persons? What are they going to achieve at this age? You should have given them that privilege when they were younger," he said.
The event, organised by the Lintang Delima DAP branch, saw a packed lineup of speakers including State party chairman and Tanjung MP Chow Kon Yeow, party secretary--general and Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, and former ISA detainee V. Ganabathirau.