P Waythamoorthy clarifies that it is his brother's personal view not to back the 'Anything But Umno' movement. Hindraf's stand, he adds, is different.
According to Hindraf Makkal Sakti chairman Waythamoorthy, the movement respected Uthayakumar’s view, but had reached a collective stand to the contrary.
He said Hindraf’s official stand was to fully support and cooperate with ABU because “ousting Umno from Putrajaya is a common goal for all.”
“We in Hindraf respect his views though collectively we differ from his personal opinions. Hindraf’s voice is a mix of its grassroots supporters, not based on an individual,” he added.
Yesterday, Human Rights Party (HRP), Hindraf’s political offshoot, information chief S Jayathas issued a statement that a five-member Hindraf supreme council had decided to pull out from ABU.
The statement advised supporters not to attend any future ABU forums, in light of the violent attack on Hindraf activists in Jalan Kebun, Shah Alam on Jan 21.
The statement also listed Uthayakumar as Hindraf’s de facto leader.
However, when contacted this morning, Jayathas failed to clarify who appointed Uthayakumar to this post and when was it done.
Asked why Uthayakumar had previously declared Waythamoorthy as Hindraf’s leader and that he was only a legal advisor, Jayathas said it was to stop certain quarters from manipulating the issue.
A few minutes later, Jayathas uploaded a 2007 Wikipedia posting on the HRP website which referred to Uthayakumar as “Hindraf de facto leader.”
On the five-man supreme council, Jayathas claimed that it was formed well before Hindraf’s mammoth street protest on Nov 25, 2007 and its members were P Karuna, P Siva, K Waran, besides Uthayakumar and himself.
Asked why the supreme council was never publicised before, he said: “We laid low. But now, we want to be active.”
‘We can’t do it alone’
Meanwhile, Waythamoorthy stressed that Hindraf’s collective official stand was to support any third force from the Peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak to “dethrone Umno and its mandores from Putrajaya”.
He said Hindraf would continue to work in tandem and move forward with any force that had a similar agenda to ABU’s.
“We will work with anyone to end Umno and their mandores’ atrocities against society, especially the poor and marginalised communities,” the London-based activist told FMT.
Hindraf’s decision to adopt a multi-pronged strategy and engage with any third party forces to oust Umno was made at the movement’s second annual convention held on Dec 4, 2011.
Uthayakumar did not attend the convention.
Waythamoorthy said Hindraf had consistently fought to end Umno’s rule but realised that it could not do this on its own.
He said Hindraf’s cooperation with third forces against Umno was solely based on a consensus that human rights and equality should be across the board starting with the poorest groups.
He said Hindraf coordinators unanimously agreed that a concerted effort from all parties irrespective of race, religion or creed was the best way to address the issue of the poor and marginalised Malaysian Indians and those in a similar position.
“Hindraf can never do it alone, without cooperating with others who have common goals,” he said.