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Malaysia's Indian community disillusioned with Anwar

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KUALA LUMPUR: Disgruntled ethnic Indian leaders from Malaysia's opposition Parti Keadilan have threatened to leave the party.

In fact, one of its three MPs, S Manikavasagam, resigned on Wednesday as state liaison deputy chairman.

For the economically disadvantaged ethnic Indian community in Malaysia, all they want in the New Year are fairer opportunities.

Many said they are unhappy and disillusioned as they felt short-changed by the opposition party led by Anwar Ibrahim, whom they had supported in the last general election.

The 100,000 ethnic Indian members in the coalition, along with the Chinese vote, had helped the opposition to sweep the elections last March.

The ruling Barisan Nasional coalition lost control of five states and was denied the crucial two-third majority for the first time in its 50-year history. Now, many are thinking of forming their own party.

A final decision will be made next week after a meeting with Mr Anwar. Some, however, are urging those involved to keep cool.

Gobind Singh Deo, MP, Puchong, said: "The issue is simply this – having come nine months, is this a right time to throw in the towel and say, 'Look, as far as I am concerned, I don't think anything can happen?' I don't think that's right."

But with the crucial by-election in Kuala Terengganu coming up on January 17, there is little time to restore the image of Mr Anwar's opposition alliance, which is plagued by internal strife.

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