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Sikh News Malaysian Punjabi Party Gets First Woman President

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Vikram singh, May 3, 2010.

  1. Vikram singh

    Vikram singh
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    SPNer Thinker

    Feb 25, 2005
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    Kuala Lumpur: An ethnic Indian Sikh has been elected as the first woman president of Parti Punjabi Malaysia party, the 24-year-old political group that was formed to take care of the interest of the Sikh community in the country.

    Susheel Kaur, 59, whose father Jeswant Singh founded the party in 1986, became its first woman president, elected unopposed by more than 50 delegates at the party's biennial general meeting here.
    Multi-ethnic Malaysia has a sizeable Indian population comprising about eight per cent of the total population. Though a majority are Hindus, there are more than 100,000 Sikhs who came here for trade and business several years ago.

    Susheel Kaur, a senior consultant who majored in social impact studies, felt that she was not cut out to be a politician but stressed that she felt responsible for the party which was founded by her father.

    She took over the reins from her cousin, Gurdeep Perkash Singh, who led the party for the last six years. She had served as the party's secretary for 10 years.
    With a PhD in population geography from Punjab University, Chandigarh, she believed that her academic qualification and working experience would assist her in formulating a new direction for the party.

    She, however, acknowledged the sentiments within the Punjabi community which saw the party as a weakling compared with other political groups.

    "One of the reasons why the party has not been able to leap forward and become the de-facto voice of the Punjabis in this country is because of its repeated failures to gain admission into the ruling coalition of Barisan Nasional.

    "We have been trying to do this for over 10 years now. Not fewer than six applications were submitted but all went unanswered. In fact, our latest application was made on Feb 2.

    We are still waiting for an answer," she told New Straits Times.

    She added that it was an open secret that an Indian-based party within the BN coalition had opposed PPM's joining the ruling coalition, without identifying the party.

    Kaur said if things did not move in positive direction her party could think of aligning with the opposition.

    The Punjabi party represents merely five per cent of the 130,000 strong Sikh community in the country.

    With about 3,000 members now, Kaur said it would be difficult for the party to engineer socio-economic policies for the community unless it went all out to form partnerships or networking with the various Sikh and Punjabi non-governmental organisations in the country.

    "I feel great to have been elected as PPM's first woman president and I promise I'll give my best to raise the profile of the only Punjabi political party in this country," she said.
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