KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today he will look into a request for greater MIC representation in the government.
Anwar said he will also discuss with his deputy Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and other party leaders in the Unity Government regarding the issue.
Speaking in front of thousands of MIC members and party president Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran at the MIC headquarters here, the prime minister said as of now, he doesn’t see any difficulty with that matter.
“I must again reiterate that you’re showing enough confidence (towards the Unity Government) and I’m of course, very appreciative of that.
“I’ve been going all over the districts (for state elections), particularly in the states on the West Coast, and at every function, I’ve seen MIC leaders attending and given the commitment and respect. I salute them for that,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman and UMNO president, and MIC deputy president Datuk Seri M Saravanan were also present.
Vigneswaran had earlier raised the issue in his speech, saying that MIC lacked government positions, including in government link companies (GLC). He also voiced his displeasure over the matter of seat allocations for the Aug 12 state elections.
MIC and MCA had previously announced that they would not be contesting in the upcoming state elections but would instead focus on preparations for the 16th general election.
Anwar, who is also Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman also asked to be given time for him to deliver the promise, especially on eradicating poverty among the various races, including the Indians.
“Not many Malays throughout history would dare say publicly in Parliament and outside Parliament, to say yes, the majority of the poor (are) the Malays, but the poorest is among ethnic Indians, and it is our responsibility to deal with this situation, irrespective of race.
Anwar said Malaysia needs poverty-eradication policies that transcend the racial barrier.
He also expressed his appreciation to MIC for their solid support towards the Unity Government, saying that it is his responsibility to reciprocate this support by show respect to the Indian community in this country.
“Please be assured, it’s not because I want you to show support in the state elections, I’ve said this long before,” Anwar said.
He said it was because it was his responsibility to do that for the Indian community, and also towards MIC as a seasoned party representing the Indians.
“ As much I trust Vicky (Vigneswaran), you (MIC members) need to trust me,” he said.