Tuesday, August 11, 2009

All is not Vel yet

Vel, Vel, looks like the Prime Minister has been rather busy of late going for walkabouts, shaking hands and exercising with students.
His latest attempt at showing that he is serious about connecting with the people took place on Sunday when he visited Batu Caves, that hilly bastion of Hinduism. He became the third Prime Minister after his father and Tun Hussein Onn to visit the grandest Hindu shrine in Malaysia.
Not only did he do a little walkabout, but he went there armed with goodies for the Indians.
The problem is this - such encounters of the personal kind work only for a while. The feel-good factor among the Indians will dissipate as soon as the next Indian criminal suspect dies in police custody.
The Indian community has complained for too long that they have been marginalised. It does not help that their leaders had been busy fighting their private political wars and have little time to truly represent them.
And at Batu Caves, noticeably absent was MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, who was in Perak to attend the state's MIC Convention.
While the reason may be valid, observers have read his absence in a negative way with one news portal even suggesting that Najib was distancing himself from Samy.
Najib must realise that winning over the hearts of the people would require sincerity and delivery of his promises. A walkabout here, a handout there and announcements everywhere will not ensure a landslide Barisan Nasional victory in the next general election.
All is not Vel yet.

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