FMT LETTER: From Chandran Sivaprakasam, via e-mail
The announcement by Penang Deputy Chief Minister Prof P Ramasamy that an Indraf (Indian Rights Action Force) street rally would be held on May 27, clearly indicates that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parties have run out of ideas and have panicked in the wake of the Indian community realising that Anwar and Pakatan are only good at talking and promising but not delivering.
At least, this rally will be the one and only thing Ramasamy has “done” for the Indians in his four years as Deputy Chief Minister of Penang. Now he can rest easy and say he has “done” something for the Indians.
The idea of a street rally has been borrowed from Hindraf. The PR parties dare not choose their own name and identity for the street rally but instead are shamelessly riding on the name ‘Hindraf’ by coining the name for the May 27 street rally as ‘Indraf’.
Interestingly, Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Force) became Indraf (Indian Rights Action Force) for two reasons; the first is to accommodate Samy Vellu’s Muslim business partner for the AIMST University, Haji Thasleem, in the pro-tem Ccommittee. We all know that Haji Thasleem switched from BN to DAP because his former friends in the MIC rejected his repeated requests for a seat and a deputy ministership.
The second reason for the change from Hindraf to Indraf is because P Uthayakumar and P Waythamoorthy are not part of this march. The other embarrassing fact about this ‘rally’ is that they are holding it in Brickfields on a weekend only so they can claim that the crowds there already for shopping, eating and visiting are there for their ‘rally’. This clearly shows that even at the start they have no confidence in attracting Indians to their blatant selfish political cause.
The PR parties are now in a desperate situation looking for scapegoats to cover up their own failures in helping the Indian community despite the opportunities they had to help Indian community while they were ruling their respective states for the last four years.
They are still putting the blame on Barisan Nasional for not helping the Indian community despite the fact that the PR parties were ruling four states and had so many avenues and opportunities to help the Indian community to solve their woes through their respective state administrations.
Even if their lack of Indian programmes in the states is in the past, even for the future, their Buku Jingga manifesto does not contain one single programme specific to Indian or policy designed to directly benefit the community.
“Why are they not telling what they were able to do in their four respective states ruled by them? They should list out their achievements. The Indian community already punished the BN, trusted Pakatan and voted for Pakatan in 2008 and they should show what they have done in return for Indian community. If they were unable to do certain things because of hindrances from BN’s federal government then they should also state it openly for people to evaluate. Only then we can blame BN.
Some of the former ISA detainees ‘missing’
By regrouping some of the former ISA detainees who were detained subsequent to the Hindraf rally in 2007, the PR parties are putting Ramasamy in the frontline to revive the spirit and sentiments of Hindraf.
However, in the absence of leaders like Uthayakumar, his brother Waythamoorthy and Manogaran Malayalam, it is clearly inconceivable that the new ‘Indraf’ would be able to revive the old flames of Hindraf. The absence of former ISA detainee Vasanthakumar (who is now in PKR) in the pro-tem committee of Indraf also indicates that the former Hindraf leaders within Pakatan grouping are not united in their thinking in staging the Indraf rally 2.0.
Furthermore, the issues that were in existence then in 2007 are not there anymore. “This time the Indian community will not be fooled once again. Last time we supported them and why are they still blaming BN again. Pakatan could have done so much through their state governments. The Indian community is disappointed with PR now and therefore has decided to back BN leadership again, which seems to have realised its mistakes, prepared to apologise for it and is doing everything possible to help the Indian community.
“Having realised this, to divert the support of the Indian community away from BN, Pakatan parties are now trying to bring up a street rally in the name of Indraf. It will not help the Indian community in any way and the Indian community will not respond the way they did in 2007” said Ong Kian Ming, a political analyst closely following Indian political events.