Oleh Chris Maskilone
KOTA KINABALU: Former Sabah MIC leaders are forming a new government-friendly party to be known as Sabah Indian United Party or Parti Bersatu India Sabah (PBIS).
Protem President Datuk V Jothi said PBIS’ registration has been sent to the Registrar of Society (RoS) last month and now awaiting for approval from the Home Ministry.
“Everything should be alright,” he told a press conference here today.
Once getting the greenlight from RoS, Jothi who is the former Sabah MIC liaison body chief said PBIS would work towards safeguarding the interests of the Indian community in Sabah following the demise of MIC in the state.
MIC closed shop in Sabah in July last year when all its members left the party.
He also denied that PBIS was being formed with hidden agenda as claimed by certain quarters particularly other former MIC leaders.
Former Sabah MIC secretary Ron Gunasegran had said that there was no necessity for the Indian community in Sabah to have a new party as they could join the existing parties available to them.
However, Jothi said in a democratic country, Ron was free to express his views.
“It is their right (to say what they want). If they can help the community by other means, why not. There is nothing wrong.
“For us, we want the Indian community to be taken care off. We must move forward,” he said, adding that there were many problems faced by the community in Sabah that has yet to be addressed such as the issue of the Migration Fund Board workers, among others.
These people from Malaya who came to work in Sabah during the early Malaysia days under the scheme were facing problems in their application for Permanent Residence (PR) status until today.
Nonetheless, Jothi said the main objective of PBIS was to effect continuity and change in tandem with Malaysia Baharu with MIC no longer in Sabah.
“The motion was set forth by the lndian leaders from most of the divisions in Sabah. The formation of PBIS was thought carefully as a second driver ef change after the collapse of BN in Sabah,” he said.
He said the Indian leaders felt the formation of PBIS with strong support and inclination towards the government-of-the-day at the Federal and State level helmed by Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed and Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal would augur well towards consolidation of the party.
The reorientation was necessary in any community in view of the ever changing and dynamic political landscape in Sabah, he said.
“PBIS need to equip, adapt and embrace these changes to be relevant as a political frontier for the Indian community in Sabah,” said Jothi.
PBIS also felt that it has an upper hand in knowing the heart beat and pulse of its community and thus will be able to play a more effective role in managing the conflicts and problems of the community, he said.
Towards this end, he said the main objective of the party were to protect, promote and enhance the interest of the Sabah Indian community’s political, economic, educational, cultural, religious and social interests.
“It is also to provide opportunity for the Sabah Indian community to ensure that effective representation can be provided so that no one is left behind,” he said.
Jothi said PBIS would work towards continued empowerment and enhancement of the Indian community coherently with the Federal and state government in raising their socioeconomic status and promoting unity in Sabah.
As for the number of PBIS members, Jothi said currently they have around 1,000 to 2,000 members.
The PBIS protem committee line-up:
President: Datuk Jothi Veeramani A/L Valmuni
Deputy President: Nokiah A/L Sannasi
Vice President: Muthusammy P Karuppaiah, Balachandran A/L M Ramachandran and Didar Singh.
Secretary General: Thiruchelvam A/L Navaratnam
Treasurer General: Paul Godwin [email protected]
Information Chief: Ganesan Kumarasamy
Youth Chief: Gobenath A/L Jothi Veeramani
Deputy Youth Chief: Nishvan Naidu A/L Achunaidu
Women Chief: Jothi A/P P Sankaran Kutty Nayar
Deputy Wanita Chief: Salvinder Kaur
Committee members: Murugiah K Samikannoo, Suresh A/L Jothi Veeramani, Vasuthevan A/L Damotharan, Kalaichelvan A/L Govinda Raja, Jeohary Azad, Chandran Sekaran A/L Doraisamy and Balakrishnan Ramasamy. – SabahNewsToday