The MIC appears to have slid out of the picture after its poor showing in 2008 as Prime Minister Najib reaches out directly to Indian Malaysians in a series of events.
30 Jan – Najib visits Batu Caves on Thaipusam eve. He becomes only the second PM to visit the site after his father. But a giant replica of him at the venue becomes an issue – as did the refusal to allow the Selangor MB to speak at the same venue.
23 April – Najib officiates at the 1Malaysia Vaisakhi Open House at the Indera Mulia Stadium in Ipoh. He announces an allocation of RM4 million to assist in “strengthening cultural aspects, language teaching and repair and maintenance of Sikh houses of worship across the country”. See Berita Harian report here. “You help me…”?
12 June – Najib launches SMC2010, endorsed by the Sri Murugan Centre, and reportedly offers “more scholarships and direct financial aid for Tamil schools under the 10th Malaysian Plan”. See Malaysian Insider report here.
August – The Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress (Kimma) becomes an associate member of Umno after six earlier applications to join the BN were rejected. See Star report here.
19 Sept – A large delegation from the Malayalee community will meet Najib at a lunch-time get-together at the Mines Resort in Kuala Lumpur.
8 Oct – Similarly, the Telugu Association of Malaysia is organising an “Evening with the PM” at the Putrajaya Convention Centre. See TAM website here: “TAM is organising Malaysian Telugu unity gathering to show support to 1 Malaysia concept launched by our beloved Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak.”
In the Hulu Selangor and Sibu by-election campaigns, and the Vaisakhi celebration, we witnessed pledges of RM3-4 million each to various groups. No doubt, other groups will be waiting to see what they can extract from the PM.
All in the spirit of “you help me, I help you”?