KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 (Bernama) -- MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Velly tonight admitted that the recent street demonstrations organised by an illegal group, to a certain extent had affected the loyalty of Indians towards the government.
He said based on feedback, there were Indians who began questioning why the issues raised by the community had not been resolved by the government.
"There were those who questioned why their applications had not been entertained. So, I have asked the Prime Minister to give a bit more to the Indians (in development programmes) considering their history (in the country). The Prime Minister has agreed to consider this," he said.
Interviewed in the "60 Minit Bersama Menteri" (60 Minutes with the Minister) programme on RTM1 tonight, Samy Vellu said most of those who were involved in the illegal street demonstrations had regretted their actions.
"I've met with many of them and I asked them why did they get themselves involved. They said they were a bit "hot" that day because there were people who made them "hot". But now they have cooled down and have come to realise that street demonstrations are not the best way to ask for something," he said.
The Works Minister said he had also explained to them that most of the issues raised had been discussed by the Cabinet over the last several months.
In fact, he said, steps were being taken by the government to improve the lot of the Indians in this country.
"But we must remember that we will not get 100 per cent of what we asked for. Where can you find a government that fulfils 100 per cent of the people's requests?
"The problems are not just faced by the Indians but also by the Chinese and Malays. They also make demands and they too don't get 100 per cent," he said.
Samy Vellu also described the illegal group as "sightless" for not being able to see the progress achieved by the Indians in the last 50 years.
"In the old days, 80 per cent of them worked in the estates, just to earn wages, and had no assets or savings. But 50 years later, many of them have become professionals and businessmen with high education, and they now have assets and savings," he said.
He also described the group's attempt to claim for compensation for the Indian community from the British government as unrealistic, because from his discussions with several lawyers, it would be impossible for the British to fulfil it.
"These lawyers told me that if their claim is fulfilled because the British brought their forefathers here to work in the estates, then there would be more claims from other countries such as India. The British government could become bankrupt," he said.
On the question about unity among the multiracial society, Samy Velly said that it was a bit shaky at the moment and needed to be strengthened like the way it used to be when he was still a child.
"I suggest that we develop subjects on unity in schools and we teach our children on the repercussions of disunity, to remind them of history and about how the people could live together as Malaysians," he said.
Samy Velly was also asked whether he was ready to let go his MIC presidency considering his many contributions during his 30 years of leading the party.
He said that he would do so "when the time comes".
"I shall let it go when the time comes. But I believe at the moment, I still need to settle many things. When I have settled them, I'd give up the post... another person with calibre can then take over," he said.