Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) has warned that “inordinate delay” by the Pakatan Rakyat coalition in endorsing its five-year blueprint to resolve long-standing issues of the Indian poor could see it withdraw its support for it in the coming general election.
It said that despite initial interest shown by Pakatan to engage with Hindraf, as seen by the number of meetings held between the two parties since November 2012, including with Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, “there is nothing to show in the form of progress”.
According to Hindraf national secretary P Ramesh, the meetings were to discuss Hindraf’s blueprint in bringing poor Indian Malaysians into the mainstream of national development.
He describes the blueprint as justifiable “economically, politically, historically and morally”.
“Hindraf has made it clear to Pakatan from the outset that any support from Hindraf in the coming 13th GE is incumbent on Pakatan endorsing the blueprint,” Ramesh said in a statement today.
“However, we are deeply concerned by the inordinate delay on the part of Pakatan in endorsing the blueprint and forming an electoral pact with Hindraf.
“This will cause a serious setback to all parties wanting to see a change in the political landscape of Malaysia.
"Hindraf wishes to inform its supporters and well wishers that the breakdown in talks is looking imminent with the current approach by Pakatan leadership."
‘Wary of selfish politicians’
In view of this, Ramesh said Hindraf will advise the marginalised Indian community not to “expect magic to happen after the GE just on a regime change”.
“Hindraf has become wary of selfish politicians who use the elections as a tool to excite people and make empty promises for their votes and after having got their votes, forget their promises.”
On Nov 25, 2007, Hindraf, then led by brothers P Waythamoorthy (right) and Uthayakumar, mobilised some 30,000 to march down the streets of Kuala Lumpur to highlight the marginalisation of Indian Malaysians.
The movement was largely credited with contributing to the historic March 2008 election results which saw a massive swing in the number of Indian votes away from BN.
Five Hindraf leaders were later detained under the Internal Security Act for two years, with Waythamoorthy living in exile overseas for five years before returning last August.
The movement was declared illegal in Oct 2008 but the government lifted its ban last month.
On Nov 2, last year, Anwar and other PKR leaders met with Hindraf to discuss issues plaguing the Indian community in the country.