DAP assemblyperson M Manoharan today described Pakatan Rakyat-led Selangor as no different than the previous government run by Barisan Nasional.
In his 20-minute Selangor 2010 debate debut, the former ISA detainee and Kota Alam Shah assemblyperson said the Pakatan government should have rewarded the Indians the most. His reasoning was that ‘they are the ones who contributed to the coalition’s huge win in the last general elections’.
Manoharan also chided Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim for only having one Indian exco in the government leadership lineup.
“The government is supposed to appoint two Indian excos. Instead, they only gave one (to Dr Xavier Jayakumar).”He asked why Bukit Melawati assemblyperson M Muthiah wasn’t appointed as well. Manoharan said that as Muthiah is an engineer, he would be qualified to be an exco.
Manoharan also attacked the menteri besar for giving a ‘less-important’ porfolio to Jayakumar, a dentist. The latter was tasked with the health, estate workers, poverty and caring government portfolio.
“If a dentist from Umno (Dr Mohd Khir Toyo) could be made a menteri besar, why isn’t a dentist in Pakatan given a more important portfolio?” said Manoharan.
MB’s defence of Umno unacceptable
Manoharan said the menteri besar should not have commented on a case sub judice (under judgement) when Khalid rebutted the accusation that Umno was involved in the infamous ‘cow-head’ protest last August.
Last Tuesday, Khalid defended Umno over the recent protests against the relocation of a Hindu temple in Section 23. Though he admitted that the protestors were from Umno, he stopped short of accusing the party of orchestrating the protest.
Continuing his tirade, Manoharan said the budget presented by the state government should have addressed more plights among the Indian community.
“Selangor still does not make Indians as its priority. I hope they will come up with their own think-tank so that they would not lose the Indian support in the next election,” he said. He cited Hindraf’s think-tank as a deciding factor in Pakatan’s win in the last election.
Champion other races too
At this juncture, PKR rep Azmin Ali (Bukit Antarabangsa) interjected, saying that any Pakatan assemblyperson should champion every race, rather than focusing only on one race.
“I am a Malay, but I don’t champion my own race. I am concerned about the Indians and the Chinese too,” said Azmin (left).
He also said that the menteri besar, although he did not come out with specific programmes for the Indian community in the budget, still allocated RM4 million to Indian vernacular schools.
Azmin also said that Khalid had allocated RM2 million to estate workers’ children who were mostly from Indian families.
“I can assure you that throughout the time we have governed the state, the state government is always concerned about the Indian community and other races as well,” added Azmin.
However, Manoharan remained unconvinced, saying that such arguments were also made by BN previously.
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