DR Mahathir Mohamad has pledged to the Indian community that he will uphold their rights if he becomes prime minister again.
He said the Indian community was expected to play an important role in and could influence the outcome of the 14th general election.
“I’m sure the Indian community will play an important role. They may be small in number, but Indians hold the decisive vote ,” he said during his speech at a Ponggal celebration in Kapar today.
The Pakatan Harapan chairman said he would not let the community’s rights be forsaken and would defend them if Indians gave him their support in the next election.
“I pledge to you, should I once again become PM, I will take good care of the people in the country. Surely, I will pay attention to the needs of the Indian community.
“That is my pledge. I know you will be able to support us so that the pledge will become a reality,” he said to a 300-strong crowd at the event today, which marked Dr Mahathir’s first attempt to engage the community since becoming PH’s candidate for prime minister.
He also said that the Indian community would cast the deciding vote in the next general election.
During his 22-year tenure as prime minister, Dr Mahathir had borne accusations of not doing enough to uphold the rights of the Indian community.
Prime Minister Najib Razak, meanwhile, had said that during his eight years in power, he had done more for the Indian community compared with Dr Mahathir.
Dr Mahathir, who is also patron of the Malaysian Indian Advisory Council, said he acknowledged the problems the community faced and pledged access to better education for Indian youth if he becomes prime minister.
“Indians are a very dynamic community. They are very keen on their children’s education. Indians want to better themselves,” Dr Mahathir said.