'No racial slurs, Gobind Singh is an Indian too' - Sivarraajh

16 Dec 2023 07:00am
Senator Datuk Sivarraajh Chandran - FILE PIX
Senator Datuk Sivarraajh Chandran - FILE PIX

KUALA LUMPUR - Senator Datuk C. Sivarraajh has urged the public to avoid racial slurs and misleading information, especially in light of the recent Cabinet reshuffle.

He said representation takes many forms, and judging solely based on cabinet positions was unproductive.

"I urge everyone not to speculate misleading information and not to bring up racial issues especially since there are no Indian Ministers in the Cabinet.

"Let's not spread racial slurs among us and give the new ministers time to perform," he told Sinar Daily recently.

Sivarraajh's comments come after several people claimed that the newly-minted minister Gobind Singh Deo's fluency in Tamil was not a prerequisite for his effectiveness as Digital Minister.

There were also comments and discussions on social media where Deputy Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development Minister Datuk R Ramanan, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Law and Institutional Reform) M. Kulasegaran and Deputy Unity Minister Saraswathy Kandasami were powerless since they only held 'Deputy Minister' position.

He stressed that the new Deputy Ministers were not powerless as they were appointed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim himself.

However, Sivarraajh stressed that language should not be a determining factor, highlighting that Gobind was an Indian too.

"Let Gobind do his work; give him one year, and I am confident he will address many issues with a different approach.

"Raising such concerns is not logical," said Sivarraajh.

He further highlighted the importance of critical thinking and independent research, especially regarding online information.

He urged the public to distinguish between factual analysis and emotional outbursts on social media.

"As you can see, self-proclaimed social media activists often speak out of emotion, with varying relevance.

"The same person might downplay their words before and after an election, so how can they claim that Deputy Ministers are powerless when the Prime Minister himself appoints them?" he asked.

In a historic departure, the current Cabinet no longer includes a Tamil-speaking minister.

The sole Indian minister is DAP’s Gobind, a Punjabi who follows the Sikh faith.

In previous years, it was a norm for the Cabinet to always include a Tamil-speaking minister to represent the Indian community.

Gobind has been seen by the Indian community as the “replacement” of now-former Human Resource Minister V. Sivakumar, the sole Indian member in Anwar's Cabinet.

During his one-year tenure, Sivakumar faced controversy and allegedly delivered an inept performance as the human resources minister.

To placate the community, the number of Indian deputy ministers was increased to three, from one previously.

However, many argue that having three deputies does not compensate for the loss of one full-fledged minister, sparking heated debates on social media.

While some express dissatisfaction, others argue that even if there were half a dozen Indian ministers in the Cabinet, nothing substantial would change.

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