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By S Thayaparan

Uthayakumar's uneasy ties with Pakatan

"There comes a time when silence is betrayal." - Martin Luther King Jr.

INTERVIEW The following is the second of a three-part interview with Human Rights Party leader P Uthayakumar. The first part is here.

Many now accuse Hindraf and you of being racists but you have a public record of defending Malaysians regardless of ethnicity. Do you think that Hindraf's own polemics is to blame or do you think that Malaysians are generally disinterested in the plight of marginalised communities after years of being divided along ethnic lines?

Hindraf labelled as a racist outfit by no less than prime minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim and top Pakatan Rakyat Malay and Chinese leaders is a very clever political strategy. It's the 3Ds - ‘diverting, diluting and denying' the institutionalised state-sponsored racist policies which victimise the most vulnerable Indian poor.

Only in bi-racial 1Malay-sia and in no other part of the world is a cry against racism in itself becomes racism. When Hindraf demands equal rights, equal opportunities and equal upward mobility opportunities for the Indian poor, we become a ‘racist outfit'.

For 15 long years, I have tried convincing and engaging for hours with top Pakatan and NGO leaders not to racially segregate the Indian poor but to no avail. I have since given up...