A top ethnic Indian leader in Malaysia has asked all political parties representing the community to put aside their differences and unite to serve the minority community in this Muslim-majority nation.
"It (unity) is achievable if we in the community are prepared to move ahead in unison, putting aside our differences and harnessing our similarities. After all, the basic and fundamental aim is to serve the community and Malaysians at large," S S Subramaniam, former deputy president of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), said.
Echoing his thoughts, another MIC leader Murugiah said that being united was the only practical solution for the woes faced by the ethnic Indian community.
Commenting on the formation of a new ethnic Indian political party 'Makkal Sakthi' by a former member of the banned Hindu Rights Action Force, he said, forming new parties would be counter productive to the community as none of them could wield the necessary political influence.
"There is no point forming new parties when we are so divided and there is no understanding. I appeal that we don't form any more new parties but instead strengthen the existing ones," he said, adding "as long as we are not united, our voices will not be heard and the community will not be recognised or respected."
Subramaniam said MIC, an important component of the ruling coalition of Barisan Nasional, had played the role of an umbrella body for the Indians since its inception in 1946 but that situation had changed.