Posts Tagged ‘Uthaya’

RM50 billion suit for discrimination against Tamil Schools

January 15th, 2013
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Not sure how many readers know about this. RM50 billion suit has to be the largest so far in the country. Usually its in millions only.

RM50 billion! Imagine what can be done with such a huge amount. Probably the country will go bankrupt if lose this case. Anyway, even if they win the case, I doubt the award will reach billion ringgits.

Let’s have a look at Article 12 (1):

Without prejudice to the generality of Article 8, there shall be no discrimination against any citizen on the grounds only of religion, race, descent or place of birth –

  • in the administration of any educational institution maintained by a public authority, and, in particular, the admission of pupils or students or the payment of fees; or
  • in providing out of the funds of a public authority financial aid for the maintenance or education of pupils or students in any educational institution (whether or not maintained by a public authority and whether within or outside the Federation).

And here is the famous Article 153:

  1. It shall be the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
  2. Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, but subject to the provisions of Article 40 and of this Article, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall exercise his functions under this Constitution and federal law in such manner as may be necessary to safeguard the special provision of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and to ensure the reservation for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak of such proportion as he may deem reasonable of positions in the public service (other than the public service of a State) and of scholarships, exhibitions and other similar educational or training privileges or special facilities given or accorded by the Federal Government and, when any permit or licence for the operation of any trade or business is required by federal law, then, subject to the provisions of that law and this Article, of such permits and licences.
  3. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong may, in order to ensure in accordance with Clause (2) the reservation to Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak of positions in the public service and of scholarships, exhibitions and other educational or training privileges or special facilities, give such general directions as may be required for that purpose to any Commission to which Part X applies or to any authority charged with responsibility for the grant of such scholarships, exhibitions or other educational or training privileges or special facilities; and the Commission or authority shall duly comply with the directions.
  4. In exercising his functions under this Constitution and federal law in accordance with Clauses (1) to (3) the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall not deprive any person of any public office held by him or of the continuance of any scholarship, exhibition or other educational or training privileges or special facilities enjoyed by him.
  5. This Article does not derogate from the provisions of Article 136.
  6. Where by existing federal law a permit or licence is required for the operation of any trade or business the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may exercise his functions under that law in such manner, or give such general directions to any authority charged under that law with the grant of such permits or licences, as may be required to ensure the reservation of such proportion of such permits or licences for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may deem reasonable, and the authority shall duly comply with the directions.
  7. Nothing in this Article shall operate to deprive or authorise the deprivation of any person of any right, privilege, permit or licence accrued to or enjoyed or held by him or to authorised a refusal to renew to any person any such permit or licence or a refusal to grant to the heirs, successors or assigns of a person any permit or licence when the renewal or grant might reasonably be expected in the ordinary course of events.
  8. Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, where by any federal law any permit or licence is required for the operation of any trade or business, that law may provide for the reservation of a proportion of such permits or licences for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak; but no such law shall for the purpose of ensuring such a reservation-
    • (a) deprive or authorise the deprivation of any person of any right, privilege, permit or licence accrued to or enjoyed or held by him;
    • (b) authorise a refusal to renew to any person any such permit or licence or a refusal to grant to the heirs, successors or assigns of any person any permit or licence when the renewal or grant might in accordance with he other provisions of the law reasonably be expected in the ordinary course of events, or prevent any person from transferring together with his business any transferable licence to operate that business; or
    • (c) where no permit or licence was previously required for the operation of the trade or business, authorise a refusal to grant a permit or licence to any person for the operation of any trade or business which immediately before the coming into force of the law he had been bona fide carrying on, or authorise a refusal subsequently to renew to any such person any permit or licence, or a refusal to grant to the heirs, successors or assigns of any such person any such permit or licence when the renewal or grant might in accordance with the other provisions of that law reasonably be expected in the ordinary course of events.
    1. (8A) Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, where in any University, College and other educational institution providing education after Malaysian Certificate of Education or its equivalent, the number of places offered by the authority responsible for the management of the University, College or such educational institution to candidates for any course of study is less than the number of candidates qualified for such places, it shall be lawful for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong by virtue of this Article to give such directions to the authority as may be required to ensure the reservation of such proportion of such places for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may deem reasonable, and the authority shall duly comply with the directions.
  9. (9) Nothing in this Article shall empower Parliament to restrict business or trade solely for the purpose of reservations for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak.
    1. (9A) In this Article the expression “natives” in relation to the State of Sabah or Sarawak shall have the meaning assigned to it in Article 161A.
  10. The Constitution of the State of any Ruler may make provision corresponding (with the necessary modifications) to the provisions of this Article.

With my limited understanding, Article 12 seems to say that every student and school must be given the same treatment in terms of funding. So, you can’t be allocating RM5 for SK student and RM4 for tamil school student for extra co-curricular activities, for example.

I also wonder, recently Tamil schools were to be given photostat machines (as announced by MIC President) via an anonymous donor. Does it mean that things like photostat machines are not provided by Education Dept/Ministry, or do they only provide for national schools or fully-aided schools, or based on any other parameters? Does that count as discrimination? Other things like salaries are standardised, so no issue of discrimination (that’s due to Article 136).

This is going to be an interesting trial, provided it gets its place in court and not simply dismissed.


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin may soon be compelled to answer in court allegations they had discriminated against Tamil schools after the Court of Appeal today allowed a DAP lawmaker’s challenge.

Kota Alam Shah assemblyman, M. Manoharan and Indian politician P. Uthayakumar, were found by a three-man bench to have locus standi, Latin for the right to bring legal action, against Najib (picture), Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, and the federal government for what they said was a clear breach of constitutional rights on equality and access to education.

“The Court of Appeal allowed our appeal and said we have the locus standi… the case will go to trial,” Manoharan told The Malaysian Insider when contacted.

The High Court had last June struck out the civil suit, ruling that neither Manoharan nor Uthayakumar had a direct personal interest in the matter.

But the appeals court panel, chaired by Datuk Mohd Hishamuddin Mohd Yunus, said the duo could do so as their claims were premised on Articles 4, 8 and 12 of the Federal Constitution, which is public law and not private law.

Article 4 holds that the constitution is the supreme law while Article 8 guarantees equality in the law. Article 12, which Manoharan said was key to their suit, lays out the non-discriminatory rules with regards to access to education and its public funding.

“We want the PM to come and answer our claims.

“When the Constitution says education is equal, why is there a difference [in treatment] between Tamil schools and national schools?” Manoharan raised.

The lawmaker said he and Uthayakumar were seeking a declaration from the government that all 523 Tamil vernacular schools nationwide be fully-aided schools, and to be given financial assistance equal to that granted national schools.

Currently, only 370 Tamil schools nationwide receive any government funding, and even that is only partial, Manoharan said.

They also demand 10 acres of land be set aside for Tamil schools; a Tamil vernacular school for every district and in every state except for Perlis, Kelantan and Terengganu — the latter “because there are not many Indians there” according to Manoharan — and a Tamil educational institute, equivalent to the current junior science college set up for Malay students, built.

“And also a RM50 billion fund for 55 years of neglect of Tamil schools, to undo the injustices,” added Manoharan, who is also a lawyer.

He said the High Court has set January 29 for case management of his suit.

Despite Putrajaya’s various moves and initiatives, some Malaysians remain dissatisfied with the government’s role in helping vernacular schools.

In last year’s Budget 2012, the government gave a special supplementary allocation of RM100 million for the upkeep of vernacular schools.


Latest interview with Uthayakumar

November 15th, 2011
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He answers some questions and creates more as well. Enjoy interpreting!


The tinted glass door, which conceals the operations within from the outside world, slides open and a beaming P Uthayakumar emerges to welcome FMT into his lair. Nestled in a shop-lot in Bangsar Utama here, this is the nerve centre of both Hindraf and its political offspring, the Human Rights Party (HRP).

Outside, sits an antiquated Volvo, which the 50-year-old lawyer purchased in 1993. “It’s my first car,” he said, conceding that the road he has chosen is anything but profitable.

Inside, the former Internal Security Act detainee has created a replica of his cell at the Kamunting Detention Centre, which includes a figurine of himself.

Sporting a blown-up image of Uthayakumar with long beard and unkempt hair, the figurine, clutching a food tray, is dressed in the same tattered clothes which he wore during his detention.

The enclosure is littered with the books he had read during his incarceration and other items, including the toothbrush and toothpaste he used.

“You see, there is no brand,” he said, picking up the plain white toothpaste tube. “I believe it comes from China and when you use it for a long period, your teeth actually fall off,” he added, laughing.

The walls of the cell are plastered with photographs depicting Hindraf’s struggle throughout the years.

In his private chambers, a computer screen wired to the CCTV, allows Uthayakumar to keep a vigilant eye on the front door just in case the police come knocking.

Racist, extremist, threat or hero?

Mention the Hindraf leader’s name and it is bound to draw mixed reactions.

To some, he is a threat, racist and extremist. The harsher critics believe he has lost his marbles or is nothing more than an Indian clone of Perkasa’s Ibrahim Ali. But to some, he is a hero who has suffered for the betterment of the Indian community in Malaysia.

In his defence, Uthayakumar said Hindraf and HRP voice the truth; and the truth knows not political correctness. As a result of this, the feathers of those on both sides of the political divide are ruffled.

“Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat want the Indian votes but not their problems,” he added.

Bouquets and brickbats aside, the irrefutable fact is that Hindraf forced the government to take notice of the Indian community’s plight and caused a vote swing in the last general election.

Within a few hours on that epochal November morning four years ago, Hindraf managed to do something which MIC was unable to do for decades. Even the once-critical MIC leaders acknowledged this.

There are also those who claim that Uthayakumar has transformed into a BN operative based on his scathing criticisms against the opposition.

‘Ultimate struggle is to end Umno’s rule’

But the Hindraf leader makes it crystal clear that his beef with Umno is greater and therefore the movement is willing to extend a conditional olive branch to Pakatan in order to vanquish a common foe.

“Our ultimate political struggle is to end Umno’s rule in Putrajaya. It is one of the last few remaining regimes in the world which has ruled this nation for 54 years. We want an end to Umno’s rule and there are no two ways about it,” he stressed.

Underscoring the importance of dismantling governments that remain in power for a protracted period, he said: “The problem of the Indian poor is due to Umno’s rule. So we feel that at any cost, the rule must end. When there is a change of regime… like in India, BJP came in and after that, when Congress returned to power, it became a better government.”

However, Uthayakumar said this does not mean Hindraf will give Pakatan a blank cheque.

“We want to be the internal check and balance vis-à-vis Indian issues but they (Pakatan) don’t like this idea. We have seen their dismal performance in the states they control with regard to this issue.

“The argument is that ‘we only control the states’. Fair enough, but licences, land for schools and Yayasan Selangor scholarships are within the respective state’s jurisdiction.

“The other excuse is that they have only been in power for three years. But my question is simple, do you need 50 years to make changes? To give land to all Tamil schools in Selangor does not need years, just a few minutes to sign the required paperwork is sufficient,” he added.

‘MIC trapped in a paralysing system’

Uthayakumar also dismissed Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s efforts to woo the hearts and minds of the Indian electorate as cosmetic and lacking in substance.

He is also certain that MIC’s new president G Palanivel will not be able to reverse the fortunes of the Indians because the latter operates in a paralysing political structure.

The president himself, he said, is not empowered within the Barisan Nasional framework, so how will he empower the community which he represents?

“The system is such that these leaders are used as ‘mandores’ by Umno to shortchange the Indian poor. I have an old newspaper cutting of (Palanivel’s predecessor) S Samy Vellu becoming MIC president in 1979. He had said then, ‘give me six months and I will transform the Indian community’.

“Three decades later, there has been zero movement. To me, Palanivel coming to power makes no difference. I wouldn’t even say ‘little’, it just makes no difference,” he added.

But to be fair to Palanivel and Samy Vellu, Uthayakumar said, even if he becomes the MIC president, he will not be able to deliver.

There will, however, be one significant difference between the two MIC presidents and him. “I would have resigned,” the Hindraf leader pointed out.

“If only these Indian leaders had quit because they were not being able to deliver, I think Umno would have got the message a long time ago,” he said.

“Even with Pakatan, that is what we are asking for. We want to be empowered. If they are going to use us as mere show pieces, then we don’t want the job. Then just let me live and die as a small timer. Let the record show that I didn’t make it, didn’t go places or achieve anything, so be it,” he added.

Asked if HRP candidates will contest against MIC in the coming general election, Uthayakumar reiterated that the battle is with Umno and not its minions.

However, he does not rule out this possibility. “If the situation is such that we have to prove that we are not planted by BN, then we may do so but there is no final decision on this yet,” he said.

‘We cannot be controlled like the rest’

Responding to a question, Uthayakumar expressed disappointment with the Pakatan top leadership for not engaging Hindraf and HRP.

“What is upsetting is that we went to jail for 514 days and upon our release, they could have asked us ‘you went to jail for a cause, so what are your problems? How can we help you in Kedah, Selangor and Penang?’ No such overtures were made,” he said.

Uthayakumar revealed that HRP met PAS leaders, including its president Abdul Hadi Awang, on Oct 4 but the end result is not something to shout about.

Asked why Pakatan leaders are giving Hindraf and HRP the cold shoulder, he replied: “We cannot be controlled unlike the Indian mandores in DAP and PKR.”

“Similar to the Indian parties in or linked to BN, they can be controlled by Umno. But we speak our minds without fear or favour. We take a principled position. The bottom line is we want equality and equal opportunities for the Indians.

“We don’t want temporary or ad hoc solutions for the Indian woes. We want a wholesome solution and not have Pakatan playing the same Umno game,” he added.

Part 2:

In an interview with FMT, Hindraf and HRP leader P Uthayakumar discusses the predicament of whom the Indians should support in the next general election.

Below are excerpts from the interview:

Is the 15/38 (to contest 15 parliament and 38 state seats) plan still on?

The original plan was 15/38. But we are not ready for it although it remains our ultimate and optimum political strategy. What we decided after that was 7/14 – seven parliament and 14 state seats – in the frontline Indian states such as Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Pahang and Johor. It will be the parliament seats, and the state seats which fall under the parliamentary constituency. We are a small party, so we are looking at things realistically for an effective use of our limited resources.

But if the olive branch (extended to Pakatan Rakyat) fails, then we may have to proceed with Plan B, or rather Plan C, which is putting our 7/14 plan to effect in Selangor. With our limited resources, we will pull our chiefs from the other states and we will work out the logistics and train our crosshair on Selangor. Assuming that we are stonewalled by Pakatan, this will be our last resort, when we are left with no other alternative.

But in reality, it will only have a minimal impact on Pakatan, and it will not disrupt the coalition’s plan to seize federal power. We are not coming in their way as far as Putrajaya is concerned. But they risk losing Selangor, so it is up to them. We want to negotiate, but they don’t.

We are also in a dilemma. Assuming that we give political directions like in 2008 for the Indians to vote Pakatan… assuming Pakatan comes to power in Putrajaya and if they don’t deliver. We have seen the initial signs of this in their states, non-delivery or perhaps a marginal difference with BN but the core problems of the Indians remain unresolved. If this happens, the Indians are going to come back to us and ask “look you told us to vote for Pakatan, what now?” So we are also in a dilemma.

Perhaps Pakatan feels that Hindraf no longer commands the support of the Indians and therefore sees no reason to engage it.

Of course if you compare with 2007, the answer is ‘yes’ (support having dwindled)… It will appear as such for the naked eye. In 2007, that was the peak and nothing can remain at the peak forever. But it will be wrong to say that we don’t have grassroots support at all… crowds still throng our functions, perhaps not in large numbers as before, but we don’t give hampers and rice packets (to lure them).

And if we don’t have the support and if we don’t matter, why are the police still afraid of us in terms of approving permits for our events and so forth? There is something we have, something is on our side… someone told me that perhaps because we speak the truth, we are feared.

Pakatan’s emphasis is multiracial politics and you are considered ethno-centric…

If Pakatan leaders are truly multi-racial and look into the problems of the Indian poor, there will be no need for Hindraf. We don’t want to exist, there will be no necessity for us. But the situation is such that Pakatan won’t touch it (the Indian poor issue), BN won’t touch it, but when we touch it, we are accused of being ethno-centric… I think this is just a clever strategy to avoid the issues by branding us as being ethnocentric.

But how different is Hindraf from Perkasa, and you from Ibrahim Ali?

Pray, tell us one instance where we have claimed supremacy. If you can point out one instance, then I concede, we are perhaps the Indian Perkasa. On the contrary, we are saying that we want equal rights and opportunities as enshrined under Article 8 of the Federal Constitution. All we are asking for is to be above the water level, so that we can survive and not drown. Branding us as the Indian Perkasa is another tactic to divert attention from the critical needs of the Indians.

By calling itself the Hindu Rights Action Force, does this mean Hindraf is only interested in issues concerning the Hindus and not the woes of Indians of other faiths or those of other races?

Hindraf was formed by accident due to the religious conversion issue, in particular to a case where the remains of an army corporal was seized and given a Muslim burial. Even his wife had not known that he converted. So Hindraf arose from that, when several Hindu organisations came together and there was a proposal for a strong name, so the Hindu Rights Action Force was born. It started off on that basis, but nobody foresaw Hindraf taking this dimension.

Throughout our struggle, we have not discriminated. Our focus is on the Indian poor, whatever your religion is… we have also taken up cases of those of other races. So not only Indians, we have also handled cases involving the Chinese and even Malays. In practice, it does not matter to us if you are a non-Hindu or even non-Indian. But we focus on Indian issues because the government takes care of the Malays and natives. The Chinese control some 70% of the economy and are self-sustaining. They also have Chinese new villages nationwide, so even if you are a poor Chinese, you have a social safety net. But do Indians have this… is there one Indian new village? Estates are temporary.

So from the word ‘go’, for the Indians, there have only been temporary and ad hoc solutions. If you are in difficulty, they will give you packets of rice and groceries, shake hands, and the cameras go ‘click’, ‘click’, ‘click’. The Indian poor are even worse off than the foreign workers here, whose welfare is looked after by foreign-funded NGOs. But nobody wants to touch the Indian poor, so we took up the job.

So there is no possibility of Hindraf backing BN?

No! There is no way… we have no confidence (in them) at all. Our real enemy is Umno, not the other BN component parties. This is why we don’t attack MIC, because we consider them as nobody; to us, they are ‘persona non-grata’.

Ideally, we want to have a working relationship with Pakatan. But like I said before, we will not be a part of Pakatan as mandores or show pieces. But if they are genuine… (Pakatan supremo) Anwar (Ibrahim) had recently said that ‘Malaysians must be treated as children and not slaves’. As it stands now, we are treated as slaves in a way, not as children because children get equal treatment. Politicians can say all sorts of things, but do they mean it?

Why isn’t P Waythamoorthy coming back to Malaysia?

I told him not to come back because we need a representative overseas. If you remove Waythamoorthy, we will be doomed outside of Malaysia. There will be nobody to do the international lobby… during our Interlok protest, after the police nabbed the core group, it was Waythamoorthy who was giving instructions from London to those in the second and third tiers of command. If  Waythamoorthy did not make the tactical move to leave the country at that time, I will probably still be under ISA detention because there will be nobody to do the international lobby… we also enjoy a certain degree of latitude to operate now because Waythamoorthy is overseas. When we are ‘bullied’ by the authorities, Pakatan, the NGOs or the Bar Council won’t come to our aid. But the authorities know that Waythamoorthy will press the ‘international button’ and pile up the pressure.

(Uthayakumar’s brother, Waythamoorthy left for London just ahead of the police’s crackdown on Hindraf in December 2007. He has not returned since).

Some feel that the tens of thousands who turned up for the rally in 2007 were actually lured by the promise of receiving RM1 million per person via the class action suit you planned to file against the British government.

We have a recording of Waythamoorthy stating at all the nationwide forums in the prelude to the Nov 25 rally that ‘we do not promise you one cent, but what we promise you is our whole-hearted effort (on the civil suit)’… the original purpose of gathering outside the British High Commission was to ask the Queen to appoint her barristers and solicitors (to represent us), that was the strategy, hoping that something will happen because we didn’t have the money. The filing fee for the case itself came up to around RM22,000, what more the legal fee. Honestly, we never expected Nov 25 to happen (in terms of the crowd)… but I can tell you one thing, such a thing of that scale will not happen again in my lifetime… tsumanis and cyclones don’t happen everyday. That was the peak.

What is the status of the suit?

The lawyers (from Britain) came here and one of them, Imran Khan, was denied entry. We are now collecting data on matters like Indian taxi drivers and businessmen being denied licences, students denied scholarships and so forth. We are now appealing for legal aid to move the civil suit

Have you identified the candidates for the election?

We have a list, but we have not made it public… it’s a tentative list.

Are you contesting?

Yes I am… I have to.

Which seat are you planing to contest?

Let’s not reveal that for the moment.



HRP wants 23 seats for election

September 16th, 2011
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I don’t think HRP should bother with the protest at PKR HQ. Just proceed with their campaign and nominations. No one can stop HRP from standing in elections (of course, there’s small problem of HRP not allowed to be registered as a party yet, so have to stand as independents or some other methods). If you are good, people will come and look for you, need not worry. Same goes with HRP. If they are able to build a good support from the people at those constituencies, and deemed as threat to BN/PR, then those coalition will come knocking on HRP door.


THE Human Rights Party (HRP) is demanding that Pakatan Rakyat give it seven parliamentary and 16 state assembly seats in the coming polls.

The party’s protem secretary P. Uthayakumar threatened that at least 10,000 Indians would protest outside PKR headquarters on the first Sunday after Parliament has been dissolved if their request was denied.

He said HRP was eyeing four state seats in Selangor because one-third of the Indian population lived there.

“In the last general election, we gave Pakatan a chance but it has failed to address the problems faced by the Indian community.”


Hindraf not taking part in Bersih rally

June 22nd, 2011
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Found out that HINDRAF will not be participating in Bersih 2.0 rally. According to Uthaya, its because they don’t want to support the PR team this time.


Hindraf Makkal Sakti will not be participating in the July 9 Bersih 2.0 rally, said its leader P Uthayakumar.

“We are not participating because Pakatan Rakyat failed to endorse our 18-point demand made in 2007,” he added in a press statement.

Uthayakumar was responding to a news report that linked the Hindraf rally to the first Bersih rally in 2007 that swung public sentiment against the government during the 2008 general election.

The former Internal Security Act detainee said back then, the movement supported Pakatan because it did not have a choice.

“Hindraf did not have a political choice but to give the unconditional political directions to support Pakatan. But after the 2008 general election, it became more plain and obvious that PKR, DAP and PAS like the Umno-BN regime only wanted Indian votes,” he said.

He added that the situation was different now because Hindraf has a political platform, namely the Human Rights Party (HRP).

However, Uthayakumar said Hindraf will back Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan on the condition that HRP is allowed to contest 15 parliamentary and 38 state seats in the next polls.

“We are committed to politically ending Umno’s rule of Putrajaya; we support Pakatan taking over Putrajaya and even Anwar becoming the next prime minister of Malaysia but on condition of HRP’s ‘Project 15/38? as the internal check and balance mechanism so that the Indian poor are not segregated or excluded from national mainstream development of Malaysia,” he added.

He also indicated that there were proposals for another Hindraf rally to be held on Nov 25.




HRP aims to be third political platform

August 13th, 2010
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I can’t say much of the “dreaming of numbers” as it sounds melodramatic, but hey, great things start with one man’s dream, don’t they? Only time will tell how HRP’s ambitions will turn out.

The one problem I envision, with targeting Indian majority seats is that it will most likely be a direct assault on other Indian candidates from either BN or PR. I agree that PR will be most affected as compared to BN if HRP does enter the fray.

Anyway, for long term success, HRP should extend their manifesto beyond Indian community uplifting. They should insert issues that benefit everyone such as housing for the poor, equal education.

Good luck to HRP! Unggal vottu, Uthayavukku?

In the next general election, the Human Rights Party Malaysia (HRP) is aiming to become the third political platform to uplift the socio-economic status of the Indian community in the country.

The party is planning to go for 15 out of the total of 222 parliamentary seats in the nation and 38 out of the total of 576 state seats in the country.

Party pro-tem secretary-general P Uthayakumar (left) said. “I dreamt of the magical number ‘1538’ while I was in detention under ISA in the Kamunting Detention Camp in Taiping and we hope to realise this dream in the coming general election. This will give us the political power to voice out the concerns of the Indian community both in the state assemblies and in Parliament.”

The Indian community had first put their faith in the Umno-BN government but he was disappointed to note that it had denied the Indian community their basic rights to a better socio-economic environment for the past 53 years.

“Then the community opted for the Pakatan Rakyat as a second platform during the last general election, hoping for a change in the political climate of the country.

“They (Pakatan) sailed through the elections by taking four states by politicising our ‘Makkal Sakthi’ theme and benefiting from our labour and even imprisonment,” said the former ISA detainee.

According to him, Pakatan did not measure up to the Indian community’s expectations in solving their economic woes and improving their standard of living.

Pakatan Indian politicians who were elected in constituencies with a large Indian presence failed to highlight the plight of the community both in the state assemblies and in Parliament he charged.

Uthayakumar claimed they were not action-oriented but only gave media statements and lip service and did not bother to go the ground to solve the woes of the marginalised community.

“These elected representatives only played second fiddle to their masters and did not want to offend the Chinese and Malay voters by aggressively campaigning for the rights of their community,” he alleged.

So, HRP has decided to go on the warpath against Pakatan and BN by forming the third platform and this move may put the spanner in the works of Pakatan’s ambition to take over Putrajaya in the next general election.

He accused both BN and Pakatan of harping on Malay and Chinese issues and problems but conveniently forgetting the Indian community.

When asked about allegations that he was attacking Pakatan publicly with the aim of getting his party registered by the Registrar of Societies (ROS), an angry Uthyakumar said, “Our enemy is Umno-BN who had taken away our rights as citizens of this country.”

As the ROS has not approved the application to register HRP, the party will field its candidates as independents under the banner heading of Uthayakumar.

When asked if HRP would work with Pakatan in the coming general election, he said it was possible but with the condition that Pakatan must surrender some of its state and parliamentary seats for HRP.

“We are not going to give a blank cheque to Pakatan but expect seats in return,” said Uthayakumar.

At the moment, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) wants DAP to cede the Jelapang state seat to it or else their candidate will stand as an independent.

Uthayakumar said HRP will also take the same stand if its demand for some of the state and parliamentary seats from Pakatan is unsuccessful.

When told that HRP is seen by some as a racist party, Uthayakumar said the it was formed to help the marginalised Indian community uplift their socio-economic status in the country.

But he quickly added that the spin-off from helping the Indian community would help make all Malaysians equal partners in the economic cake.

HRP has started their preparation for the next general election by targeting the Buntong state seat, which has the highest proportion of Indian voters in the country at 46 percent, and next the parliamentary seat of Ipoh Barat which has 22 percent Indian voters.

The party leader hopes to increase the number of Indian voters in Buntong from 46 percent to 54 percent to make possible a win for HRP.

Then it will go into constituencies with a large Indian presence and increase the Indian voter populations to ensure that they win their seats.

HRP is now highlighting several social problems in the Indian community, including conversion cases involving Indian women, Malaysian born Indians being denied birth certificates and identity cards and the increase in Indian youths turning to crime.

The party also wants Tamil schools, Hindu temples and Hindu cemeteries to be given permanent state land titles and gazetted accordingly.