Hindraf awaiting Najib’s, Anwar’s response

Dr V.S. Paraman, CPI 

The return home of Hindraf chairman P. Waytha Moorthy from exile has taken many by surprise. To clear the air against allegation that Waytha’s exile had been self-imposed, his accusers should be made aware of a statement by Malaysian High Commissioner in Singapore, Mohd Hussin Nayan, on July 31, 2012 that Waytha’s passport had indeed been revoked by the Malaysian government in 2008.

It is fortunate that the British government accorded political asylum to Waytha, lending further credence to the Hindraf plight.

The Hindraf chairman had used his time abroad to further the Hindraf cause and through his untiring efforts, Hindraf received international recognition.

Hindraf was given space to make presentations to the British Parliament, American Congress, European Parliament and United Nations as well as to U.S. State Department, U.S. Foreign Relations Committee, U.S. Human Rights Caucus, and noted international NGOs Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

In recognition of his efforts in raising serious human rights violations by the Malaysian government on her citizens, the ‘Human Rights Conference of India Diaspora in Different Parts of the World’ awarded him the ‘Global Human Rights Defender of India Diaspora’ award this year.

Waytha’s project in London

During his exile in London, Waytha sifted through more than 500,000 declassified documents from the British archives on the Reid Commission as well as documents pertaining to independence to Malaya.

He then handpicked almost 40,000 precious documents that will serve Hindraf well in the class action suit fikled by Hindraf against the British government. For this, Hindraf engaged the services of solicitor Imran Khan who has a reputation for unflinching commitment to fighting injustice and acclaimed for his in the human rights arena.

Waytha Moorthy successfully filed the British civil suit on the July 2, 2012 and thereafter returned home to Malaysia.

Don’t mistake Hindraf for spent force

Since his return, Hindraf has held dozens of roadshows and public forums across west Malaysia. From Johor, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Selangor, Perak, Penang and Kedah, these gatherings have attracted large crowds, packing indoor halls with enthusiastic Malaysian Indians.

Their Shah Alam forum attracted 1,500 people and a recent Seremban meet brought together almost 1,400 Malaysian Indians.

Hindraf has no choice but to go to the ground as they are well aware that their message is not going to be carried by the mainstream media which is biased towards Barisan Nasional. And neither is it going to get any favours from the online media that is heavily tilted towards Pakatan Rakyat.

Within the space of a week of Waytha’s return, the nationwide roadshows managed to register the contact details, such as email addresses and handphone numbers, of Indian supporters on the Hindraf roll.

Currently more than 20,000 have registered and Hindraf has now raised the bar to collect 100,000 registrations so that these supporters can spread by word of mouth the Hindraf message further. Looking at the large turnouts, the general public should realise that like it or not, Hindraf is very much alive within the heart of every Malaysian Indian in this country.

Hindraf to be change agent

Throughout these nationwide tours, the Malaysian Indians have been giving a resounding ‘Yes’ for Hindraf to be given the mandate to speak on their behalf to voice their critical issues to the Malaysian authorities.

The message is loud and clear. Malaysian Indians want comprehensive changes and not just cosmetic changes to their critical issues. Armed with this mandate, Hindraf have the moral right to speak on behalf of the marginalized Malaysian Indians.

It is for this reason that Hindraf has chosen the path to be apolitical and to engage with all state governments as well as the federal government to provide comprehensive solutions on the Indian problems of marginalization.

In fact, Hindraf’s vision is to be a primary comprehensive change agent in leading Malaysia towards the creation of a society based on equality, justice and freedom. Hindraf’s mission is to create an empowered civil society movement that strives to bring all the marginalized segments of Malaysian society into the mainstream of national development, with particular focus on Indians.

Hindraf intends to contribute positively to changing the social values in Malaysian society so that institutionalized racism and religious supremacist policies are dismantled and may be completely eliminated.

Hindraf believes the British civil suit will be the foundation stone to bring about comprehensive changes in Malaysia the way how Apartheid in South Africa was dismantled.