A PKR survey revealed that urban and semi-urban Indians are still partial to the Pakatan Rakyat coalition
Malacca vice-president G Rajendran said that a recent survey by an independent team indicated that 60 percent of Malaysian Indians, who were mostly from the urban and semi-urban areas, were fed up with the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration.
He claimed that the team, which included him, had visited 62 parliamentary constituencies where the respective Indian communities had played a major role in deciding the winning candidates in the historic 2008 general election.
“We’ve been doing the survey for the last six months. The feedback is favouring Pakatan,” he told FMT.
According to him, Indians will play a pivotal role in the coming general election.
“The survey revealed that the outcome of 130 state assembly seats in Kedah, Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Penang, Johor, will be determined by Indian votes,” he said. (A parliamentary constituency has three to four state assembly seats.)
Rajendran said currently the BN leaders are playing a “psychological war” with the Indian community.
They are pitting the Indian community against Pakatan leaders by saying the community is unlikely support the opposition party.
“These are utter lies… the Indian voters still have faith in Pakatan.
“Pakatan has excellent state governments in Kedah, Kelantan, Penang and Selangor respectively,” he added.
Fewer people in estates
Rajendran pointed out that only 15% of the Indians are now living in estates and rural areas, based on the survey.
“This is the group that MIC is focusing on. They (MIC) are hoping that by sorting out this group’s simple needs it is enough to win at the ballot box,” he said, adding that this group was still true loyalist to BN.
Rajendran, however, believes that despite MIC’s forays, the rural Indians are unlikely to turn against Pakatan in the 13th general election, even though the community is facing numerous problems to vote.
“Many of the voters have no transport to go to the voting centres.
“Some do not have identity cards and others are too complacent or are not interested to vote,” he said.
He added that that there should not be a comparison between a by-election and a general election, where in the former, the BN can give its full attention to the rural areas where Indian reside.
He also said the BN would also have trouble convincing the 20% Indians who lived in urban areas to vote for the ruling regime.
“BN cannot ‘touch’ them (urban Indian) at any cost.
“Thus, the remaining 65% of the Indians who live in the semi-urban are now seen as the real threat to both sides,” he said.
Rajendran is confident that 55% of the semi-urban Indians will support Pakatan in the upcoming election.
He said MIC was doomed and was unlikely to offer BN many voters.
He added that accusations hurled at PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim and the government’s refusal to ban the “Interlok” novel, along with the discrimination in social and education developments, are several factors that would work against the MIC.
He described Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s recent announcement to help needy Indians as mere “instant noodles”, adding that BN can no longer fool the community.
On Monday, Najib launched an education charity fund called “Community Chest” and pledged to channel a minimum of RM100 million annually from next year to help needy Chinese and Tamil mission schools.
Rajendran said that “Najib only officiated at the programme and he cannot claim credit for it. The charity is a brainchild of Malaysian business tycoons.
“The BN has hijacked the charity from those tycoons to gain votes from non-Muslim,” he added.