Monday, December 20, 2010

HRP to Pakatan: Give us 15 parliamentary seats

Hindraf-Human Rights Party (HRP) has issued an ultimatum to Pakatan Rakyat to back out and allow the Indian-based party to take on BN in straight fights in 15 parliamentary seats and 38 state seats in the next general election.

hindraf book launch 191210 uthayakumar with booksIn a letter sent today to PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang and PAS president Hadi Awang, HRP pro-tem secretary-general P Uthayakumar said that if Pakatan does not heed HRP's call, the opposition coalition will find itself in three-corner fights in the constituencies.

In return for giving way to HRP, pledging support and providing machinery assistance to HRP, Pakatan will get “unequivocal support and cooperation in all the other 207 parliamentary and 538 Pakatan state assembly constituencies” to win back the lot of ambivalent Indian voters.

“We have shown magnanimity in throwing our lot behind (Pakatan) in the 12th general election, now we ask you to return that favour.

“We hope Pakatan will not field candidates in these (constituencies) to become the spoiler and cause three-cornered fights against our common political enemy (Umno-BN),” he said in the letter.

Wanted: Ijok, Lembah Pantai, Padang Serai
Speaking at a press conference in HRP headquarters in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, Uthayakumar said that the seats chosen had significant proportions of Indian voters and include seats currently held by Pakatan Rakyat such as Padang Serai in Kedah, Ipoh Barat in Perak, Kota Raja in Selangor and Lembah Pantai in Kuala Lumpur.

ijok revisit 220807 school boyThey are also eyeing Sungei Siput, Perak, currently held by socialist party PSM central committee Dr D Jeyakumar.

He added that 15 loyal Hindraf activists have been short-listed as candidates.

“They have been tried and tested, have been part of Hindraf since day one, won't jump ship to another party and are as strong as PAS candidates,” he said.

When asked why HRP chose not to back Pakatan candidates in these chosen constituencies, Uthayakumar said that this is because the issues faced by the Indian poor in these areas have not made their way to Parliament under the present MPs.

“Yesterday, in his tweet to Anwar, (Padang Serai PKR parliamentarian) N Gobalakrishnan said that Indian poor in Ijok are sharing drinking water with ducks, even though water is under the jurisdiction of the Selangor Pakatan government,” he said.

'We'll join Pakatan if…'

However, HRP does not rule out the possibility of contesting under the Pakatan banner if they fail to register themselves as a political party with the Registrar of Societies by the next general election.

“We have given all the documents required by ROS on Nov 25, but whether we are registered or not we will contest…the worst case scenario is that we will contest as independents.

“MIC is given at least nine parliament seats and 20 state assembly seats on a silver platter. Why can't we be allocated some, too?” he asked.

hindraf book launch 191210 uthayakumar with letter to PKRWhen asked if this means that HRP is interested in joining Pakatan, party advisor N Ganesan (in photo, next to Uthayakumar) said this will only happen if the coalition is willing to incorporate into their mission HRP's goal of getting the working class into the mainstream.

“The ball is now in (Pakatan's) court. In a one-on-one (contest), we stand a better chance of beating BN than Pakatan (in these constituencies),” he said.

Parliamentary seats that HRP demands is:
1. Padang Serai (Incumbent: PKR - N Gobalakrishnan)
2. Batu Kawan (DAP - Ramasamy)
3. Sungei Siput (PSM - Dr D Jeyakumar)
4. Ipoh Barat (DAP - N Kulasegaran)
5. Bagan Datoh (BN - Ahmad Zahid Hamidi)
6. Cameron Highlands (BN - SK Devamany)
7. Hulu Selangor (BN - P Kamalanathan)
8. Kuala Selangor (PAS - Dzulkefy Ahmad)
9. Klang (DAP - Charles Santiago)
10. Kota Raja (PAS - Siti Mariah Mahmud)
11. Rasah (DAP - Anthony Loke)
12. Teluk Kemang (PKR - Kamarul Baharin Abbas )
13. Alor Gajah (BN - Fong Chan Onn)
14. Tebrau (BN - Teng Boon Soon)
15. Lembah Pantai (PKR - Nurul Izzah Anwar)
Book lauch tonight
Tonight, Uthayakumar is also due to launch the second book that he wrote during his 514 days of detention under the Internal Security Act.

HRP kamunting replicaEntitled 'Nov 25 Hindraf Rally 2007', the 400-page book is his personal account of the events leading up to the historic rally that saw some 30,000 people take to the streets protesting discrimination against ethnic Indians, and his experiences under the ISA.

HRP has since built a 'replica' of Uthayakumar's Kamunting cell at its headquarters as a memorial, including a dummy of the lawyer dressed in his prison uniform.

“This book tells you the story of Hindraf. We have printed 1,000 copies each in both (English and Tamil) and will print more depending on sales,” the author said.