Monday, April 26, 2010

A Pakatan-Hindraf pact is imperative - Malaysiakini

COMMENT With Indian votes showing signs of drifting back to Barisan Nasional, it becomes more imperative than before for Pakatan Rakyat to work out an accommodation with Hindraf, the group responsible for detaching Indian voter support for the BN at the last general election.

A heavy defeat for Pakatan in the by-election for the Bagan Pinang state seat in Negri Sembilan last October was an indication that Indian voters could be induced to return to BN.

A complete analysis of voting patterns in yesterday's poll for the Hulu Selangor seat is yet to be done, but it's already safe to say that what Bagan Pinang semaphored Hulu Selangor has reinforced – the Indian vote, in the estates especially, is drifting back to BN.

NONEWhat with a settlement of the long festering Maika Holdings issue in the offing, the return of the Indian rural vote, a reliable bloc since independence for the ruling coalition, to its allegiance of old appears certain to happen.

PKR ought to lead Pakatan in going some distance in preventing this.

Last November, Zaid Ibrahim, in the process of collating the Common Policy Framework for Pakatan, met up with P Waythamoorthy of Hindraf in Singapore to come to grips with the basic demands of the group.

An informal understanding was reached but this has been blurred by the continued stridency of Waythamoorthy's elder brother, P Uthayakumar, whose derogatory sniping at all and sundry for supposed failure to make good on promises to the Indian community makes it almost impossible to induce him to become a partner in the delicate negotiations that an accommodation would entail.

This is a vexed matter, made so by the unilateralism of Uthayakumar and the perception among Pakatan leaders that the man is unappeasable.

Certainly, it doesn't help that Uthayakumar plans to contest in the next general election in the Prai state seat and in the Batu Kawan parliamentary one in Penang under the emblem of the Human Rights Party which is his creation.

Both seats have a significant Indian voter presence, enough to give Uthayakumar's quixotic quest a tincture of realism.

Emerging sodality

Of course, there are some like the victorious candidate in the Hulu Selangor poll, P Kamalanathan, who claim that Hindraf is a one-election wonder and that its influence has waned.

This is conjecture. Even if Kamalanathan succeeded in outpolling Zaid Ibrahim among Indian voters in Hulu Selangor it won't validate this theory.

indian crowd malaysia 
291107The issues that are sources of discontent among Indians – their general poverty and lack of economic opportunity – are not peculiar to them alone; the Dayaks of Sarawak and the Kadazan of Sabah are similarly placed.

In fact recent attempts at a sodality of the discontented, taken to include – together with the Indians, Dayaks and Kadazan – the Orang Asli, under the rubric of a 'third force', has gained credence.

Prescient manoeuvring by Pakatan can bring this emerging sodality to coalesce under its wing and strengthen its claim to be a credible political vehicle for the fulfillment of the legitimate aspirations of the poor in Malaysia.

There is time yet before the next general election, which is anticipated for the middle of next year, to induce Uthayakumar to abandon his general election plans and work out an accommodation with Hindraf.

After having witnessed the way the Indian poor voted in the Bagan Pinang and Hulu Selangor by-elections, it would be unwise for PKR, and the coalition it leads, Pakatan, to do nothing to forestall the drift back of the Indian voter to BN.

TERENCE NETTO has been a journalist for close on four decades. He likes the occupation because it puts him in contact with the eminent without being under the necessity to admire them.

HELLO Pakatan, it was also bribery & corruption in GE12

Of course the commentors now run down the Malaysian Indians ie the poor and poverty stricken how they were bought over as they could have created the swing for a Pakatan victory. Looking at some of the comments, it really makes me wonder what kind and how politically immature these people are and can only blow their hot air without any actual analysis.

By R. Shan (Human Being)

It is rather surprising that Pakatan is sounding like an old record that bribery and corruption paved the way for an unknown Mr Kamalanathan further being an Indian to wrestle and defeat the infamous Datuk Zaid Ibrahim in the recent election when the bulk of the Chinese votes more or less voted for Pakatan?

Isn’t bribery and corruption part and parcel of the UMNO machinery? Who are you trying to fool?

Of course the commentors now run down the Malaysian Indians ie the poor and poverty stricken how they were bought over as they could have created the swing for a Pakatan victory. Looking at some of the comments, it really makes me wonder what kind and how politically immature these people are and can only blow their hot air without any actual analysis. Memories do serve us all short to understand the mechanism of politics.

The same bribery and corruption was there in GE12, but the Malaysian Indians created the swing through the involvement of HINDRAF as an impetus on the marginalization & discrimination state of the Indians with humnaity as the concern, where the bribe and corruption did not stop them to vote for the opposition. Don’t these people see this or is it the type of people that are inbred for the politics of Pakatan.

Pakatan, if you win, you claim it is multiracial, if you lose you blame the Indians who were bribed and corrupted like in Bagan Pinang. If such is the case, then you do accept that the Malaysian Indians are the kingmakers how the election goes.

Now, your ardent commentors & followers in their armchair position throw all kind of accusations against the Malaysian Indians for the loss in Hulu Selangor. But let me ask you this. What have they fought for? Are they asking for preference? Are they asking to be treated differently from the rest of the Malaysians? No, they are asking what you can do that is different from UMNO with their lackey MIC.

Pakatan had their chances and choices, but they would rather label the very cause that started the uprise HINDRAF as racist and play politics as opposed to BN who sat silently and watched how Pakatan was burning their own bridges with HINDRAF.

To date, with all the criticism that HINDRAF lays at the path of UMNO after the election, have you seen them chastize HINDRAF as much as Pakatan has or it's ardent commentors and bloggers? The self destruction of PAKATAN is obvious when they are not able to engage HINDRAF. And this UMNO has learnt that as long as there is a battle between PAKATAN and HINDRAF, UMNO can make it's own route for the Indians as seen in how quickly MMSP was formed against the will of MIC. Of course, MMSP is nothing but an instrument of UMNO.

Kamalanathan did not win because UMNO is strong, but because PAKATAN is playing politics with the people like what BN has been doing for the last 52 years before their realization after the last election. The realization was created by HINDRAF without bribery and corruption and solely on a humanity pursuit, and BN had taken steps to address these problems and that is why they are by-passing MIC to approach the people directly.

With Pakatan, they seem to be folded in a battle with HINDRAF who can be a formidable ally as they need to realize that HINDRAF has stood aloof beyond politics on the stand that they have taken whether it is UMNO or PAKATAN.

The aloofness of HINDRAF is somewhat misintepreted or manipulated. Before GE12, UMNO with various accusations. Then after GE12, and in particular after the Kg Buah Pala issue, it was the turn of PAKATAN. UMNO has died down, but PAKATAN keeps harping on the racism of HINDRAF.

It is funny. With all the racial criticism of HINDRAF, the PAKATAN fans blame the Malaysian Indians for the loss in Hulu Selangor. What they fail to realize is that the humanity aspect that HINDRAF pursues is not the summer soldiers and sunshine patriots that they seek but a permanent solution that PAKATAN can offer for a humane will for this society that has been sidelined and kicked around for everyone’s personal political will.

Sure, bludgeon me. But I alone cannot make the difference, but we need a community to seek what is the truth and reality on the ground for the humanity that we seek without any political interference or influence for the betterment of the future generation.

HINDRAF is a stampede for humanity

As social activists, Hindraf started fighting against police custodial deaths under PoliceWatch, then the conversion matter of Moorthy and against temple demolitions under the name of Hindraf, and now on a more broad-based human rights violations and marginalisation of minorities under the Human Rights Party. As it is rights based, naturally it is open to all races.

By Hang Tuah

Hindraf is fighting for the poor Indians, not the urban, educated, middle class or rich Indians and similar ones in other races but the bottom 30% who live in small towns, rural areas, those who do not have access to piped
water, education, sometimes electricity, who earn RM 13 a day when even the migrants earn RM 22 per day, those indiscriminately shot at and brutalised in police custody.

It is these Malaysians that Hindraf fight for when the other communities contemptuously shun them as the societal sore even when they are Malaysians!

As it grows and more resources are available, with more non-Indian participation in their effort, Hindraf will broaden its campaign to include all races in their fight against discrimination and marginalization of policies driven by political parties. As of now it restricts itself to only those Malays and Chinese who approaches Hindraf for assistance when they have been shunned by everyone else, including their own race.

Recently, this included a Malay alleged drug addict who died in police custody, and HINDRAF bought a coffin for him when his family could not afford it, as well as the more recent case of Norizan who was shot five times by the police.

Hindraf has given up on the urban English-educated Indians who yearn to be 'whiteys', with the typical know how attitude but continue to ignore and disassociate themselves from their poorer and marginalised Malaysian
Indians cousins. There are over 10,000 professional Indians but only a few care for the plight of the poor Indians. These English speaking 'professional Indians' prefer to be multi-racial in outlook and socialise with Chinese and Malays, groveling for inclusion and acceptance, not realising that in this racist-centric nation, their own Malay and Chinese 'multi-racial' friends have only contempt and disregard for all Indians! Just look at the comments in the cyber world; never an intelligent or a factual argument on the struggle but one that depicts and castigate them with sneers and sarcasm.

Hindraf struggles for policy change in a macro aspect not on an individual micro sense, but which would eventually benefit all communities not just Indians. A policy change benefits all across the board, regardless of race or religion.

Hindraf initiated or shall I say opened the eyes of many, of the desperation of the Malaysian Indians, by action. Not some cyberworld and passive position that many take today. It wholeheartedly supported Pakatan during the GE12 and all it got back for the society it represented was broken promises. Not once since coming to power has PR conferred with Hindraf on policies. Except for the meetings between Waythamoorthy and Zaid outside Malaysia, until today there is no contact with Hindraf, all their letters and petitions have been spurned!

Hindraf does not trust UMNO or PR. Hindraf warns all Malaysians not to trust politicians on either side. These politicians have no intention to resolve the rakyats’ woes, but to ensure that they are in pole position for themselves but never for the poor or the poverty stricken. They just want your support, your votes.

Everyone wants Hindraf to join PR and fight for 'The Cause', but no one wants to hear Hindraf's demands. They simply want Hindraf's interests to be subsumed to Pakatan's greater interests for the political front. HINDRAF can’t do that and will not bow to any force as it is only submissive for a humane cause. The reality today in the current state at least within the major three races, Malay, Chinese and Indian is so transparent, and if the Malays who are politically favoured and those Chinese who are economically well placed, or the elite Indians, cannot understand or fail to recognize the depleted state of the Malaysian Indians, then it is them that are a lesser

Hindraf feels Anwar has done all that he can and there is not much more he can achieve. Perhaps just a few more seats. That's about all. We need something more to change the government. Hindraf is also embarking on raising Dayak consciousness and Dayak nationalism, and forming a formidable front in East Malaysia.

Hindraf's demands have to be placed upfront as this is the society that has deteriorated so far in every aspect as the rest Malaysians stood by and watched it happen. We have already seen that PR has no intention to resolve Hindraf's demands even when they have the power to do so. PR has no idea on what to do in East Malaysia too, we are told; no stated policies, another ping pong game for their political needs.

What more if PR goes to Putrajaya. When they can't do a simple thing in the states in West Malaysia that they already govern, how are they to address the poor and poverty concerns of the Malaysian Indians?
Hindraf is convinced that the Chinese and to a lesser extent the Malays, will not sway unless the Indians walk first and create the stampede! The Chinese will not be seen caught voting against the establishment as they have too much at stake as much as the Malay politically, but they will do it if the Indians starts this as the poor and
marginalized poor Indians have nothing to lose in their desperation and despair to seek a better future for themselves in a so-called multi-racial motherland Malaysia in namesake.

Without Hindraf PKR is dead

Dear Editors,
Could you please publish the article below.
Thank You very much.

We have not obtained the complete details of the results but from what we have heard a majority of the Indian voters of Hulu Selangor had cast their votes for BN.. HRP and Hindraf had stayed completely neutral in this election and this is entirely the people's decision.The people of Hulu Selangor have spoken.

Our political analyst Subramaniam Bharathy, at the outset of this election, had said that two clear conditions had to be met for PKR to win. They needed to field a credible Malay candidate and they needed to get endorsement from a strong Indian grassroots organization like HRP for a clear win. PKR met one condition, but not the other. The results prove the veracity of that prediction.

Endorsement from HRP would have come had the leadership of the PKR heeded HRP's request on the allocation of land to all the Tamil Schools in Selangor that did not sit on their own land. PKR decided it was not worth the prize requested. That probably cost them this seat.

1725 votes majority means a swing of 865 votes the other way and Zaid would have won instead. This would have been more than achieved had Uthaykumar gone in with the troops for one day.. But PKR probably thought the price of that was too high.

PKR now needs to keep in mind they are not going to get to Putrajaya without paying the due price. That much is clear from these elections. The ball has been in PKR's court for some time now.

We definitely want to see UMNO go, but not to be replaced by a clone.


National Advisor