KOTA KINABALU, Jan 3 ― Ethnic Indians in Sabah do not need to be members of a race-based party in order to be represented, former state MIC secretary Ron Ganasegaran said today ahead of the launch of a new political entity touted to serve the community.
He said Sabah’s 10,000 Indian community did not need a new Indian-only party to represent them and that the new venture would only serve the interests of a few.
“Indians in Sabah don’t have that many issues, they are mostly professionals and businessmen, and some working class. Sabah is a multicultural state and we have a multicultural chief minister. So any party can help Indians in Sabah,” he told a news conference here.
Ganasegaran said Indians in Sabah were 80 per cent businessmen and professionals, 20 per cent working class and some 1,000 students in Universiti Malaysia Sabah.
“We are not the hardore poor so there are few big issues. The main issue is obtaining scholarships for students.
“There are four parties that are multiracial in nature ― Warisan, PKR, DAP and Upko ― any of these can help serve Indians here. At the federal level, there are four Indian ministers who can serve the wider interests of Indians here,” he said.
Ganasegaran, a businessman, said he left MIC 12 years ago because the Barisan Nasional (BN) party’s internal politics aimed at “enriching” its leaders and did not benefit the community as a whole.
“It was a platform for them to enrich themselves. Now, a new party will likely be to serve the same purpose. Do not fall into this trap again,” he said.
It was recently reported that Sabah MIC president Datuk V. Jothi left MIC after BN’s loss in the May 9, 2018 general election and will be forming a new party to be announced this Sunday.
Although the name of the party is not known, Jothi said it would be a state-based party that is government-friendly.
MIC set up operations in Sabah in 1995 after Umno. The party never contested for any seats in the state or general elections.