Malay ethnic Indians for "crucial" talks with opposition | india | Hindustan Times
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Malay ethnic Indians for "crucial" talks with opposition

india Updated: Dec 30, 2008 15:33 IST

The discontented ethnic Indians in Malaysia's opposition alliance will hold "crucial" talks on Wednesday to discuss their role in the group as they felt they were marginalised.

More than 50 ethnic Indian members of Malaysia's opposition alliance say they are being marginalised and discriminated by the coalition leaders.

The meeting, said to be "crucial", will discuss the issue. The alliance is made up of PKR, DAP and PAS, the three main opposition parties.

The meeting comes in the wake of ethnic Indian Member of Parliament S Manikavasagam announcing his decision to quit the PKR party of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

A large number of ethnic Indians backed the opposition alliance in the March 8 general elections, abandoning their loyalty to the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), a component of the ruling Barisan Nasional party, which they alleged had done little to uplift their status.

The opposition promised to look into the grievances faced by the minority Indian community. Manikavasagam's move, which will be the main item on the meeting's agenda, is said to have brought to the forefront the grievances felt by the Indian community within the opposition alliance pact, media reports said here today.

One of the options by the disillusioned members could be considering mass resignation followed by the setting up of a new party to represent the interest of Indian members.

Another is for them to remain in the parties and to fight for their interest from within, Star newspaper said. Among the issues causing unhappiness is the appointment to posts like local councillors, government-linked companies and village committees. It is estimated that there are 150,000 Indian members in the opposition alliance parties.