SEREMBAN: Indian rights group Hindraf is hoping that the component parties of Pakatan Harapan (PH) will allow its candidates to contest in the upcoming election using their logos.
Its chairman P Waythamoorthy said this was because the Registrar of Societies (RoS) was unlikely to allow Hindraf to be registered as a political party.
“Our application to RoS has been submitted but we believe they will not approve our registration,” he said.
“Therefore we are hopeful that, with our cooperation with PH, they (components) will allow us to contest seats they had lost before,” he said, adding that Hindraf did not want to run in the parties’ winnable seats.
“This will send the signal to the Indian grassroots that they will be represented in PH,” he said last night after launching the “Zero vote for BN” campaign during an event here to mark the 10th anniversary of a rally held by its precursor, the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), in 2007.
Also present were Pakatan Harapan leaders such as DAP’s P Ramasamy, Anthony Loke and Zaid Ibrahim, PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu.
The RoS has also yet to approve the registration of PH as a political entity although components PKR, DAP, PPBM and Amanah are registered.
Waytha said negotiations would be initiated with PH parties to get their understanding on using one of their logos and to give way to the group to contest some seats.
“We do not want to speculate how many seats we may contest, but we will discuss with PH about the number of seats they can offer us,” he said.
He claimed that the Indian grassroots wanted Hindraf to represent them in Parliament and in government.
He said PPBM and Amanah had made clear stands that they were Malay-based parties, and PKR and DAP, despite being multi-racial, had not been able to capture the hearts of the underclass Indians.
He added that there was strong support for Hindraf, claiming that more than 3,000 people had gathered at the event with 90% being Indians.
“I was told by some PH leaders that some Indian leaders in PH do not believe that Hindraf still has the grassroots support of the Indians, but today we have proved them wrong,” he said.
“The ones that showed up today are ordinary Indians who came on their own because they have confidence in us.”
Hindraf was a socio-political movement that burst into prominence in 2007.
It managed to gather about 50,000 Indians at its rally in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 25, 2007, to protest issues such statelessness among Malaysian Indians, destruction of Hindu temples, displacement of plantation workers and forceful conversions.
The movement’s influence was said to have contributed to the opposition parties’ success in the general election of March 2008 when they broke the Barisan Nasional’s (BN) two-thirds majority in the Dewan Rakyat.
The opposition PKR, DAP and PAS also won the five states of Penang, Perak, Kedah, Selangor and Kelantan, and formed the now defunct Pakatan Rakyat coalition.
Hindraf under Waytha later shifted its support to the ruling BN in the next general election in May 2013, following a memorandum of understanding signed with the BN which promised measures to uplift the Indian community.
Waytha, who was appointed as senator and deputy minister in the prime minister’s department thereafter, resigned from the posts in February 2014, citing the BN government’s failure to deliver the terms of the MOU.