Hong Lim, MP, Member for Clayton, and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Opposition Leader on Asia Business Relations, has issued a media statement asking the Liberal Party to “show their bonafides by doing the REAL and RIGHT thing by the Indian community” by pre-selecting an Indian born to represent the Liberal Party in this seat.
He added that he believes the retirement of the Hon. Ted Baillieu from the very safe Liberal seat of Hawthorn presented a unique opportunity for the Liberal Party.
“It would be remiss of me not to voice my concern that the Liberal Party continue to take the Indian community for granted and treat the community with disdain and contempt using members of the community to run as candidates only in seats where there is no hope of winning or just as a running mate to give preference to a non-Indian Liberal main candidates,” said Mr Lim.
The past immediate Liberal Minister of Multicultural Affairs, Nick Kotsiras, had publicly called for more MPs to be from migrant descents, before he resigned from the portfolio. Many other prominent Liberal MPs had done the same. “It is high time the Indian community entreated the Liberal Party to have the courage of conviction and follow what the Labor Party has been doing for many elections — preselect candidates of Asian heritage to winnable and safe seats,” said Mr Lim.
“Victorian Labor MPs’ rank already proudly has one Sri-Lankan born, one Cambodian/Chinese (three more Chinese after this November election), three Turkish and three Lebanese, not to mention that we also have Indian and Chinese MP at federal level,” he added.
Mr Lim believes that the Indian community, soon to be the largest in Victoria and Australia, given its growing importance, enormous contribution to the growth and prosperity of Victoria and Australia, should be appropriately recognised and accorded the respect the community deserves; and the Liberal Party should refrain from this continuing patronising, condescending and exploiting attitude of a “born to rule mentality” in its dealing with the Indian community. “The Indian Community should send very strong and clear message that enough is enough and the time is NOW,” said Mr Lim.