Tuesday, March 2, 2010

HRP attempts to carve Indian-majority seats

Athi Shankar (Malaysiakini)

The Human Rights Party launched its voters’ registration campaign in Prai as part of its strategy to create Indian-majority constituencies at the state and Parliament-level.

HRP believes the Prai state legislative assembly constituency could be the launchpad for its political quest to create at least 15 Indian-majority state seats across the country.

Prai, a state seat under the Batu Kawan parliamentary constituency, has 14,175 registered voters of which 5,074, or 36 percent, are Indians.

Penang deputy chief minister II P Ramasamy currently holds both the Prai state and Batu Kawan parliamentary seat.

HRP hopes to register about 4,100 more Indians in order to turn Prai into an Indian majority seat.

‘Giving Indians a voice’

The voter registration drive was launched by HRP pro-tem secretary-general P Uthayakumar in Penang yesterday.

He said the Prai state seat was key in the party’s plan to kick-start its ‘Malaysian Indian Political Empowerment Strategy’ to create 15 parliamentary and 38 state seats with an Indian majority.

According to Uthayakumar, the Indian community is plagued with problems because they do not form the majority in any constituency.

“By having Prai as a Indian majority seat, HRP and Indians would have a more say in the state policies.

“We can demand for better treatment for Indians from the state government,” he said.

He said HRP outlined its empowerment strategy because Indians could no longer trust any of the elected representatives, regardless of whether they are from Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat.