Monday, April 19, 2010

‘Give Tamil schools land first’ Report from

By B Nantha Kumar and Luke Rintod

KUALA LUMPUR: Hindraf will only campaign for Pakatan Rakyat in the Hulu Selangor by-election if the state government commits itself to giving land to all Tamil schools.
Its information chief S Jayathas said the the Selangor government must “not just make promises but must allocate” land for all 98 Tamil schools in the state.
“We don’t want verbal guarantees anymore from the Selangor menteri besar. Give us the commitment in black and white… or give it to the media in black and white,” he told FMT today when asked if Hindraf will support PKR candidate Zaid Ibrahim in the upcoming by-election.
Nomination is tomorrow, while polling will be held on April 25. Some 19 percent of Hulu Selangor’s voters are Indians.
Yesterday, BN announced MIC information chief P Kamalanathan as its candidate.
Hindraf has been openly critical of the Pakatan state government, alleging that it had failed to take affirmative action to improve the lives of the marginalised Indian community.
(1) Hindraf strongman P Uthayakumar, who met Sabah PKR chief Jeffrey Kitingan yesterday, said while Hindraf had long since given up hope that the BN would address the plight of Indians in Malaysia, it was also not satisfied with Pakatan because an "Umno mindset or culture” has crept into PKR.
Uthayakumar, who is also the pro-tem secretary-general of the yet-to-be-registered Human Rights Party Malaysia, had indicated the group’s stand to Jeffrey and members of the Common Interest Group Malaysia (CigMa) comprising Daniel John Jambun, Dr Nicholas Bawin and several other PKR supporters.
The delegation is here to support Zaid’s campaign to retain the PKR seat, previously held by Zainal Abidin Ahmad, who died on March 25. Before the election, BN candidate G Palanivel held the seat. He lost to Zainal by a slim 198 majority.
A member of the CigMa delegation, when asked to comment on the meeting with Uthaya, said: "Hindraf was adamant that it would only support Zaid if the Selangor government could satisfy at least one of its 100 requests to Pakatan”
"Uthayakumar wants the Selangor government to allocate land to Tamil schools in Selangor.
"If Zaid or Menteri Besar (Khalid Ibrahim) can give them an assurance, then they will come out to support Zaid.”