PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Indian Commerce Association (Mica) has urged Pakatan Harapan (PH) to consider Indian rights group Hindraf’s plea to have its candidates contest in the upcoming election using the logos of the coalition’s component parties.
Recently, Hindraf chairman P Waythamoorthy said it was unlikely the Registrar of Societies (RoS) would allow Hindraf to be registered as a political party.
“Therefore, we are hopeful that, with our cooperation with PH, they (components) will allow us to contest seats they had lost before,” he had said, adding that Hindraf did not want to run in the parties’ winnable seats.
Speaking to FMT, Mica president P Sivakumar said it would be wise for PH to work with an Indian organisation which was well connected on the ground with the Indian community.
“Hindraf is in a better position compared with other Indian organisations because they’ve been championing the Indian grassroots, the Indian youth and the Indian lower income groups for some time and they are quite well known,” he said.
Sivakumar said it was important for PH to take Hindraf’s request seriously because were the government to change, even years from now, the Indian community must not be left out of the mainstream.
“That’s a concern. Leaders can change at anytime but some party must be there to address the Indian community’s issues otherwise these issues will continue unresolved.
“Indians in the country yearn to live a life without discrimination, a safe and peaceful life, and to live in harmony with other races.
“It is still questionable if the Barisan Nasional (BN) sincerely wants to uplift this dislodged community or if it is just working it’s way to regain it’s lost votes from ‘loyal Indians’ since 2008.”
Former political detainee and lawyer R Kengadharan had made a similar call recently, saying that while PPBM and Parti Amanah Negara were Malay-Muslim-based parties, the multiracial parties, PKR and DAP, were led and dominated by non-Indians.
“Hindraf must be included as a political partner in the opposition coalition to be the voice of Indians. Otherwise, the community will drift from mainstream politics,” he had said.
He suggested that Hindraf be allocated two parliamentary and two state seats to contest in the coming general election.