Ethnicity does not matter, performance does

The ethnicity of the newly appointed cabinet members does not matter as long as they can perform their duties well, said social activist K Arumugam who heads a number of Indian NGOs. He is also a board of director of human rights organisation, Suaram.

“Ethnicity is irrelevant if they can perform. Racial representation is important because holistically they want a cabinet based on racial composition. That promotes racial division.

“The thinking process is that we are ethnically divided that we forget wood from tree or tree from wood. I welcome the reshuffle announcement,” he said.

The cabinet reshuffle announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim this morning saw the axing of V Sivakumar who was human resources minister.

Gobind Singh Deo (PH-Damansara) returned to the cabinet as Digital Minister. The ministry is a new outfit that was part of the Communications and Digital Ministry.

M Kulasegaran (PH-Ipoh Barat) returns to the cabinet as Deputy Minister in Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reforms), replacing Ramkarpal Singh (PH-Bukit Gelugor).

A new addition is Datuk R Ramanan who was appointed as Cooperatives and Entrepreneur Development Deputy Minister. He is replacing Senator K Saraswathy who is now Deputy Unity Minister.

In total, the Indian community sees the appointment of one additional deputy minister.

Parti Sosialis Malaysia deputy chairman S Arutchelvan pointed out that having a higher number of representation need not necessarily mean that it is meaningful for the Indian community.

“Previously there were four Indians in the cabinet,” he said in reference to the cabinet line-up under the Pakatan Harapan government led by Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“The question is, were they better? Any government should be able to resolve problems of all communities,” he said.