Prof. Ramasamy, Penang's new Deputy Chief Minister

[TamilNet, Saturday, 22 March 2008, 21:34 GMT]
Professor Ramasamy, a Political Scientist who left Malaysia and taught in Germany and Singapore, beat former Penang Chief Minister Dr Koh Tsu Koon at the recently held Malaysian elections and has been appointed Deputy Chief Minister for Penang, widely regarded as the Malaysia's economic heartland. Professor Ramasamy participated as a member of the LTTE's constitutional affairs committee prior to Geneva Talks in June 2006.

LTTE Constitutional Affairs Committee meets in Geneva
Professor Ramasamy
Ramasamy won Batu Kawan parliamentary seat by defeating former Penang Chief Minister Koh Tsu Koon, one of Malasia's respected politicians.

"“One must be constantly vigilant against the corrupting influence of power,” he said, adding that having an open, transparent and accountable government will help curb corruption. He says his years as a critical academic prepared him for the new job," Malaysian daily "The Star" reported.

PDF IconPre election canvassing (English/Tamil)
PDF IconNews report on candidates (English)
"Malaysia's ruling coalition, the Barisan National (National Front (BN)) lost substantial ground in elections held on Sunday, March 8, winning only 140 seats in comparison to 198 in the 2004 elections. The opposition parties succeeded to win a majority vote in 5 out of 13 states, leading to claims of a "political tsunami" in Malay politics.

Map of Malaysia
Map of Penang, Malaysia
"The opposition focused on corruption, discrimination towards Malaysia's ethnic Indian and Chinese population (comprising 1/3 of the population of almost 25 million) and mismanagement of the economy," Jerusalam Post reported on the elections.

Dr Ramasamy was with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), the National University of Malaysia, for nearly 30 years but left in rancour in 2005 after the university did not renew his teaching contract. After 2005 Dr Ramasamy took up teaching positions in Germany and Singapore, and returned to participate in Malaysian politics.

“The growing unhappiness among the people and the urgent need to bring about change persuaded me to enter opposition politics,” he said, according to The Star.

“We will reform the NEP [New Economic Policy, a controversial socio-economic restructuring affirmative action program that favored the majority Malays], promote open tenders, enlarge the democratic space, create jobs and promote economic growth,” he said. “Penang may well turn out to be a model state,” the Star added quoting Ramasamy.

Professor Ramasamy has a B.A. degree from Indiana University, USA (1977), M.A. from McGill University, Canada (1980), and Ph.D. from University of Malaya (1991).

Related Articles:
10.02.08   Kudos to wider Tamil identity
21.12.07   Tamil youth of Malaysia: question of culture and empowerment
11.06.06   LTTE's Constitutional Affairs Committee meets in Oslo
28.08.03   Solheim, Canadians join as LTTE's Paris meet concludes

External Links:
BBC: Penang abandons pro-Malay policy
Island: The new ball-game in Malaysia by Kumar David
TimeAsia: A Working Racial Bias
STAR: Dr P. Ramasamy -- from critic to Penang No. 2
TamilNation: Selected Writings - Prof P.Ramasamy
TC: Unjust Termination of contract as Professor by Prof. P. Ramasamy
Wiki: Malaysian New Economic Policy
JP: Malaysian Elections Demonstrate Growing Support for Reforms


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