PR-Hindraf Pact on the Cards

By Terrence Netto, Free Malaysia Today

A meeting to explore common ground between Hindraf’s chairman and Pakatan Rakyat coordinator Zaid Ibrahim issues in an understanding that could see both work together with GE13 in mind.

Following a cordial meeting in Singapore yesterday, Hindu Action Front (Hindraf) chairman P. Waythamoorthy and Pakatan Rakyat’s Zaid Ibrahim are optimistic that an understanding can be achieved between the two groups.

Pakatan Rakyat is the opposition coalition that groups PKR, DAP and PAS, the three parties that collectively denied the ruling Umno dominated BN government of its two-thirds majority in Parliament in the March 2008 general election.

The meeting between Waythamoothy and Zaid was initiated by individuals concerned to secure Hindraf’s backing for PR at the next general election (GE13) which is expected to be called much earlier than its due date in 2013.

It was held in Singapore because Waythamoorthy cannot return to Malaysia, his passport having been revoked by the Malaysian government in April 2008. He travels on a United Nations document issued by the British Government which granted him political asylum last year after the revocation of his passport.

Presently, he resides in London where he fled to after five Hindraf activists, led by its founder P. Udayakumar, who is Waythamoorthy’s elder brother, were detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in December 2007. All five detainees were released shortly after Najib Razak became Prime Minister last April.

Following the two-and-a-half-hour meeting between Waythamoorthy and Zaid in a hotel off swank Orchard Road, Zaid emerged to say he saw no difficulty in PR accommodating the essence of the Hindraf programme in its Common Policy Framework.

“An enlightened affirmative action programme would accommodate the concerns of Hindraf over the condition of the Indian Malaysian poor,” said Zaid in remarks to FreeMalaysiaToday immediately after hearing out Waythamoorthy.

“I was pleasantly surprised to discover from what Moorthy had to say that Hindraf’s demands are not extreme and are worthy of incorporation into the CPF,” he said.