In the aftermath of the November 25, 2007 Hindraf rally, the Indian voters were given political directions by Hindraf to unconditionally vote for Pakatan and there was an almost 180 percent swing of from 90 percent voting BN to 90 percent voting Pakatan.
This resulted in the 2008 general election results where Pakatan unprecedentedly won in six states including 10 of 11 parliamentary seats in Wilayah Persekutuan of Kuala Lumpur, in addition to denying BN their two thirds majority.
In at least the first three by-elections with substantial Indian voters during the tenure of the Hindraf lawyers’ detention under the ISA i.e. in Permatang Pauh, Bukit Selambau and Bukit Gantang, with up to 30 percent Indian voters in Bukit Selambau, PKR, DAP and PAS were still on the winning streak as they were still getting the Indian voters’ support, which they have since taken for granted.
Pakatan was and still is, only interested in the Indian votes, hardly in their welfare, wellbeing and interest let alone Hindraf’s 18-point demand.
In the post Hindraf lawyers’ release on May 9, 09 in at least the following three by-elections with up to 20 percent Indian voters in Bagan Pinang and Hulu Selangor and 15 percent in the latest by-election in Merlimau yesterday, Pakatan. has seen a dip in getting the popular Indian voters support.
Pakatan’s strategy of sending their Indian mandores to the ground in at least all these three by-elections has obviously not worked.
By refusing to engage Hindraf and HRP vis-a-vis seriously addressing the Indian poor’s problems in at least the three Pakatan-ruled states of Kedah, Penang and Selangor - and from the office of the opposition leader and their now 73 members of parliament including their 13 Indian mandore MPs - Pakatan has since the release of the two Hindraf lawyers in 2009 been losing Indian votes.
And neither will Pakatan continue getting the Indian voters for free. No more free lunches from the about one million Indian voters as at current date projected based on the last general election electoral roll.
Pakatan’s dream of capturing Putrajaya or even retaining the present three state governments of Kedah, Penang and Selangor in the backdrop of ‘60 percent of Chinese voters backing BN’ and ‘Malays returning to Umno’ and ‘Bigger majorities for BN’ (NST Mar 7) is in serious jeopardy.
Refusing to engage Hindraf and HRP may be foolhardy. And all because of our non compromising stand on Hindraf’s 18-point demand vis a vis the defenceless Indian poor and our refusing to become Pakatan’s Indian mandores a la MIC, the Umno Indian mandores.
There is widespread perception that it is HRP and Hindraf that has refused to work with PKR, DAP and PAS, which we deny is the case. It is PKR, DAP and PAS that has refused to engage us despite our numerous letters and feelers sent out to them.
The ball is in Pakatans’ court to engage HRP and Hindraf. But Hindraf and HRP will not start on the wrong footing by begging Pakatan in pursuit of their Project 15/38.
P Uthayakumar is pro-tem secretary-general of HRP