KUALA LUMPUR: Non-Governmental Organisation Hindraf, which has been fighting for the rights of Indians, says it is time it evolved into a political party.
Delegates to its extra-ordinary general meeting on May 7 unanimously adopted a proposal for the change in status, stating there was a need for strong political representation for the Indian community.
They also unanimously agreed that Hindraf should throw its support behind the Pakatan Harapan in the upcoming general election.
In a statement today, Hindraf secretary Muniandy Ponnusamy said the change followed a series of nationwide forums and meetings with the grassroots Indian community.
He said the overwhelming call was for Hindraf to evolve into a political party “so that effective and proper representation of the Indian community is heard in the political sphere”.
The delegates, he said, felt that although some temporary and ad-hoc “cosmetic changes” had taken place due to pressure applied by Hindraf, a permanent solution to the plight of the Indian community was needed, especially at the policy and macro levels.
“It was felt that though there are Indian representatives, it is only superficial representation in Parliament and the government administration.”
He said the framework of the present constitution of Hindraf fulfilled all required criteria under the Act to be sanctioned as a political party.
Muniandy said the EGM also unanimously adopted a resolution calling on the Home Minister to approve Hindraf’s application for the conversion of its status.
He said Hindraf had been raising the plight of the down-trodden Indian community in Malaysia since 2005.
He claimed that Hindraf had been a catalyst in breaking the two-thirds majority held by the Barisan Nasional in the 12th general election.
In addition, Hindraf had created awareness, nationwide and internationally, of the “neglected socio-economic plight of the down trodden Indian community in various aspects ranging from displaced estate workers, statelessness, education, business, and employment opportunities”.
He said Hindraf had effectively played its role in pressuring the government into looking into the affairs of the minority Indians who “had been marginalised and neglected for over 60 years” due to the ineffectiveness of incumbent Indian politicians.