KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — The outlawed Hindraf movement has reaffirmed its support for Pakatan Rakyat in the Bukit Selambau by-election despite none if its leaders being chosen as the candidate.
But Hindraf chairman P. Waytha Moorthy warned the opposition pact to maximise the current political climate for success.
“If we fail to work and act together to get rid of Barisan Nasional in the next GE (2012) then the hope of opposition ever taking over the reins of the country will die permanently and I honestly envisage the crack and crumble of Pakatan from then on,” said Waytha Moorthy, who is in self-exile in London.
Saying the Hindraf grassroots were disappointed with the choice of candidate, he however admitted it was PKR chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s discretion to name the candidate but hoped for consultations in the future to avoid confusion.
“Hindraf acknowledges that our grassroots supporters are disappointed that the Bukit Selambau seat was not offered to any of the five shortlisted candidates and urge our supporters to remain focused and calm,” he said in a statement today.
A record 15 candidates are running for the Bukit Selambau state seat in Kedah. Any winner apart from the Barisan Nasional is virtually guaranteed a state exco post.
Waytha Moorthy added that Hindraf national coordinator R.S. Tanendran had confirmed that “most of his statements had been taken out of context and manipulated by the government run media to portray that Hindraf does not support Pakatan to create confusion and anxiety amongst supporters”.
“Our mutual ‘political enemy’ would be no other than the Barisan Nasional imperialist government,” he said, adding Hindraf also backed the opposition for the Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat.
He claimed that after 50 years, Hindraf had created the awareness “that changed the mindset of 80 per cent of traditional Indian Barisan Nasional voters who had always been loyal to Barisan Nasional”.
He disclosed that he and Anwar have come to an “understanding that matters affecting the Indian community would be further discussed and resolved at a later date with leaders of all three Pakatan parties.
He added the Indian voters in Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau were now politically mature and would not fooled by Barisan Nasional and their “peanuts” thrown during elections.
Hindraf came to the fore in November 2007 when it organised a massive march by Indians who claimed to be marginalised from the country’s success. It also filed a suit against Queen Elizabeth claiming the British brought them here and later abandoned them when Malaysia became independent in 1957.
Five Hindraf leaders, including Waytha Moorthy’s brother P. Uthayakumar, are being detained under the Internal Security Act.
Pakatan Rakyat capitalised on the Hindraf movement to win a record 81 Parliament seats and four states in Election 2008.