Hindraf gets good vibes from BN, wants debate with DAP

Hindraf is looking forward to a second meeting with Najib after getting positive feedback through informal contacts. It is also challenging Lim Kit Siang to a debate on its blueprint.

K Kabilan, FMT

Hindraf today said that there were indications that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak would seriously look into its five-year blueprint for the betterment of the marginalised Indian community.

“We think there are chances of our proposals being adopted by the Barisan Nasional,” Hindraf’s national adviser N Ganesan told FMT today.

He said that following a formal meeting between Hindraf and Najib on March 25 at Putrajaya, there have been “informal contacts” between the parties on the matter.

“Based on these informal contacts, things are looking positive. We now await our second formal meeting to take place to take this to the next step,” he said.

No date has been fixed for the second meeting but Ganesan is confident that it would be held very soon.

“We don’t know if Najib would be free in the next couple of days but we believe the high-profile meeting will take place very soon,” he added.

He refused to divulge more details on the informal contacts, apart from saying that the outcome of these contacts has been very favourable.

“There are indications of acceptance [by the BN] of our proposal,” he said.

On March 25, a three-member Hindraf delegation which included Hindraf chairman P Waythamoorthy and Ganesan had met Najib at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya.

Najib had then assured them that he would be holding a second meeting with them to discuss the Hindraf blueprint for the Indian community.

Hindraf’s blueprint, among others, highlights issues related to displaced Indian plantation workers, the need for tertiary-level education for Indian students, job opportunities in the government sector, financial loans to Indian entrepreneurs, and the establishment of a Minorities Affairs Ministry.

Waythamoorthy had embarked on a hunger strike on March 10 in order to get either BN or Pakatan Rakyat to endorse the Hindraf blueprint. He ended his hunger strike on March 31.

He had previously said that Hindraf would support whichever party that endorsed its blueprint. Alternatively, he had declared that Hindraf supporters would abstain from voting if neither Pakatan nor BN was willing to endorse the blueprint.

He had also expressed his disappointment with Pakatan and its leader Anwar Ibrahim for not taking them seriously despite having several meetings.

With the latest development now, it looks like Najib and BN would be benefiting from Hindraf’s support if he accepts their proposals for the Indian community. However, it is uncertain if he would accept the Hindraf blueprint in toto or would negotiate for some compromise.

Debate challenge to Kit Siang

In another development, Ganesan today challenged DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang to debate him on the DAP’s blueprint for the Indian communtity which was launched on March 31 in Gelang Patah. Lim is contesting in Gelang Patah this time around.