PRIME Minister Najib Razak’s “father of Indian community development” remark at the MIC annual general meeting this morning only works on MIC members, say Indian leaders.

“He can say that in front of MIC members and they will believe him, but go and try to make the same speech in front of the general Indian community. He will not be so confident.

“When he held many important posts in the government prior to becoming the prime minister, what has he done for the Indians? Basically nothing.

“Even the Malaysian Indian Blueprint (MIB) was merely a paper that holds no weight as it is not policy,” said Malaysian Indian group Rapat’s president, A. Rajaretinam.

It included an allocation of RM500 million by Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) for the Bottom 40 (B40) group within the Indian community, and a special clearance system to grant citizenship to Indians who resided or were born in Malaya before 1957.

“The blueprint was not endorsed in Parliament. The funds given can be cut anytime if the government does not have the money to execute the plan. To me, it is just a piece of paper,” he said, adding that the MIB was just to fish for votes.

“But MIC no longer appeals to the Indian community, not after 2007. 2008 and until now, their voting patterns have changed,” said Rajaretinam.

Meanwhile, Hindraf chairman P. Waytha Moorthy called Najib’s claim laughable.

“He is probably the father of kleptocracy and the reason why there are mini napoleons within the MIC leadership to continue to plunder the community further,” said Waytha Moorthy.

He said, after the 2008 General Elections, Najib as then deputy prime minister chaired the newly established Cabinet Committee on Indian Concerns.

Then, when he became the prime minister, he formed the Special Implementation Taskforce (SITF) in 2010.

“The prime minister is well known for planning and creating new units, but there is always no implementation, or it is handed down to the same old guards who have been looting the Indian community for the last 60 years.

“Furthermore, all these units are ad hoc in nature and have no formal standing or binding with the planning department of the government, even though they are under the Prime Minister’s Department,” Waytha Moorthy added.

He said Hindraf had previously forged an alliance with the government for the Indian community but left 8 months later after it realised that the ruling party had gone back to its old antics.

Waytha Moorthy also said that the MIB was practically a watered down Hindraf blueprint, revived to hoodwink the Indian community.

“After almost 10 years since Najib started, we are back to square one without any permanent long term solution for the Indian community to be on par with national development,” he said, adding that the MIB only offered piecemeal solutions without addressing core issues.

Klang MP Charles Santiago said Malaysians need a prime minister who strives for the development of all Malaysians and creates opportunities for all his citizens, not just Indians.

Charles said Indians under Umno’s leadership – even under former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad – suffered because of the Malay first policy.
He said currently, Indians, especially those from B40 group, suffer from severe poverty because of failed Umno and Barisan Nasional policies, which focused on creating opportunities for the rich.

“I see poor Malays, Chinese and Indians in my office in Klang every Thursday. Many are not able to put food on the table for their families, send their children to school or pay for medicine.

“We have seen Najib wooing the Chinese and Indians over the past few months in a clear indication that the next general election is around the corner.

“But in doing so, Najib cannot set a new low for himself. He must understand that we don’t need a ‘father of Indian community development’ but a prime minister for all Malaysians.”