By S. Retnanathan
PUTRAJAYA, Aug 17 (Bernama) -- MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu today launched a stinging attack against a non-governmental organisation, the Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF), which claimed that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government had done little to address the woes of the Malaysian Indian community over the last 50 years.
"I must state here that if there is anything that affects the Indian community, the MIC will be there to fight it out even when we are partners of the Barisan Nasional. To me, I have never remained idle and I don't waste time," Samy Vellu, who is also Works Minister, told Bernama today.
The MIC supremo was asked to comment on a 18-point memorandum by HINDRAF, which was handed to the Prime Minister's office last Sunday by the organisation's chairman P. Waytha Moorthy, secretary V.K Regu and its legal adviser P. Uthayakumar.
Apart from stating that the Indian community was marginalised by the BN government, in the memorandum, HINDRAF also wanted an end to special privileges given to Malays. The memorandum also took a dig at Umno asking the largest political party in the country to "stop playing politics" through the "mandore" (supervisor) system by dishing out aid to the Indian community on a piecemeal basis.
Yesterday, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, when asked to comment on the memorandum at a press conference here, could only exclaim saying: "My God, how can they say so?"
Abdullah, who is also Umno president, had said that anyone saying the ruling BN government did not help the Indian community was going overboard and that if at all the BN had failed to aid the community, there would have been friction in ties between the community and the other races long ago.
"If we had not done anything, we would have quarrelled a long time ago, we don't wait for him (Datuk Seri Samy Vellu) only. The Indians are not stupid, they also know (what the government does for the Indian community)," said Abdullah.
Samy Vellu today thanked Abdullah for stating that the BN government had always assisted the Indian community to advance economically and socially in the country.
"I am rather sad to hear that there are groups who still claim that the Indian community is 50 years backward despite the continuous efforts taken by the government to address the needs of the Indian community. Any fair minded person would acknowledge the many achievements of the Indian community in economics, religion, education and social aspects," he said.