COMMENT | It was rather irresponsible on the part of Tamil daily Malaysian Nanban to have said that PKR's vice-president Dr Xavier Jeyakumar is the main stumbling block in denying seats to Hindraf candidates in the coming general election.
Xavier, like his Indian colleagues in DAP, might have had differences with Hindraf before, but the present situation is much changed.
With Hindraf's admission in the Pakatan Harapan fold as a strategic partner, along with another Indian based party, whatever opposition there was towards it has died down.
In fact, Hindraf leaders are constantly engaging Indian leaders in both DAP and PKR in mobilising Indian support for Harapan in the coming 14the general election.
Malaysian Nanban should not have said that Xavier was responsible for preventing Hindraf leaders from getting seats. There is no truth in this allegation. Xavier might be a member of the Harapan committee, but he alone does not determine the allocation of seats.
In fact, the allocation of seats to Hindraf must get the consent of the respective political parties first before Harapan could make an official statement.
Earlier, some DAP leaders were blamed for blocking the entry of Hindraf into Harapan. However, once the decision was made to admit the movement, their opposition has generally died down. Today, many of the Indian leaders both in DAP and PKR are closely working with Hindraf in denying crucial Indian support for the BN in certain areas.
The statement by Hindraf leader P Waythamoorthy that Xavier should not be held responsible for preventing Hindraf candidates from being allocated seats is something welcome.
Waythamoorthy might have supported the BN in the last general election as result of false promises by caretaker prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, but this time around he is wiser. He clearly knows that the future progress of the Indians in the country lies with the Harapan's brand of politics.
This is the reason why he has come out in the open to support Harapan, and he hopes that the coalition would be able to allocate a few seats to Hindraf in the coming GE14.
Waythamoorthy has requested Harapan leaders like chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad to consider giving Hindraf some seats where it could deliver Indian votes. Mahathir in his earlier statements had indicated that Hindraf support for Harapan might be something necessary to draw the support of the Indian community’s poor in the rural and urban areas.
Malaysian Nanban over the past few years has seemingly embarked on a mission to publicise unsavoury and inaccurate reports on Harapan’s Indian leaders. Some of these leaders have filed defamation cases in the courts on the editors and journalists for publishing materials that have cast negative aspersions on Harapan’s Indian leaders. The story about Xavier is one such instance.
The act of blaming Xavier for denying seats to Hindraf is to cast aspersions on Harapan’s Indian leaders and to deny Indian support for Harapan.
There are already signs that Indians in the country are fed up with BN. Even the unveiling of the Malaysian Indian blueprint and financial allocations to the Indian community have not endeared them to the ruling coalition.
MIC president Dr S Subramaniam’s recent statement that BN could get more than 65 percent of Indian support is not something based on evidence. If MIC candidates are moving away from their traditional areas of contest, this merely suggests that the party is in big trouble this time around.
Despite the negative report on Xavier by Malaysia Nanban, it took some degree of magnanimity on the part of Waythamoorthy to come out with the statement pledging Hindraf's support for Xavier.
He said that it was not right for this Tamil daily to cast the blame on Xavier, as the latter is not a hindrance to the involvement of Hindaf in the efforts of Harapan.
P RAMASAMY is caretaker Penang deputy chief minister and incumbent Perai assemblyperson.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.