The Malaysian Perak state's Mentri Besar (chief minister) Zambry Abdul Kadir has assured ethnic Indians that their interests would be taken care of even though they have no Barisan Nasional (BN) representatives in the legislative assembly. At the helm of the state's affairs after a sudden political changeover earlier this week, Kadir assured that members of the community need not worry as the Barisan government would not leave them out.
Perak, ruled by the opposition, switched over to ruling coalition BN earlier this week.
"Even though there are no Indian representatives, rest assured that everything will be taken care of," Star Online quoted Kadir as saying Sunday after attending the Thaipusam festival at the Arulmigusubramania Temple in Gunung Cheroh here.
Kadir visited the temple accompanied by two ethnic Indian leaders - Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator T. Murugiah and G. Rajoo, chairman of Perak unit of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) - and spent 40 minutes with the Hindu congregation there.
Kadir stressed the importance of close cooperation within the multi-racial society and spelt out the Barisan government's commitment to safeguarding the interests of all.
"Let us be united and move on," The Star newspaper's website said.
He also announced a RM100,000 ($33,000 approximately) allocation for the temple to carry out activities, including to celebrate the Thaipusam Tamil fesival.
Tamils form a bulk of the two million population of ethnic Indians in Malaysia.