PRESS RELEASE: Public debates on racial lines must be rejected
We refer to recent calls for a public debate between Indian leaders from the MIC and Pakatan Rakyat. We categorically reject debates between political leaders organised purely on racial lines. Single-race debates are an unhealthy reflection of the BN's race-based and 'divide and rule' politics, which has been rejected in toto by Pakatan Rakyat. The problems faced by the marginalised Indian community is a key national issue, and not just a matter which concerns Malaysian Indians alone. Any public debate upon this issue should involve all interested and responsible parties, irrespective of their race. The MIC, which is subservient to UMNO, is powerless and incapable of bringing positive change and development to the Indian community. Any debate solely with MIC Indian leaders on the future of the Indian community is an exercise in futility. Further, it is UMNO which has held real power in the BN and is to blame for the serious and long unresolved problems faced by the Indian community today. It is time UMNO stopped deceiving the public that the MIC can effectively represent Indians or resolve their manifold problems. These problems include poverty, lack of educational opportunities, poor employment prospects, disproportionate crime rate, statelessness and an inequitable share of the national wealth. As such we call upon the UMNO/BN to make available senior UMNO Cabinet Ministers for a public debate with Pakatan Rakyat leaders upon the problems and future of the Indian community. This would afford all Malaysians an opportunity to evaluate both parties' plans and commitment to resolve the problems of the Indian community. In view of the urgency and importance of the matter, we call for a response from UMNO/BN to our invitation for a public debate within 48 hours.
MEMBER OF POLITICAL BUREAU
SUBANG Member of Parliament
TELUK INTAN Member of Parliament
MEMBER OF KEADILAN CENTRAL COMMITTEE
KAPAR Member of Parliament