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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hindraf 'very disappointed' with Pakatan manifesto


Hindraf has expressed “extreme disappointment” with Pakatan Rakyat’s manifesto, saying that it has neglected the interests of the Indian Malaysian community.

“Our disappointment is deep and distressing - caused not so much by what it says, but by what it does not say.

“Pakatan has chosen to completely ignore the needs and interests of the Indian community in the country in its election pledges and, in that one stroke, has said so many things,” said chairperson P Waythamoorthy in a press statement today.

azlanPKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim had previously rebutted similar complaints about the manifesto by saying that its promisestranscend racial boundaries.

However, Waythamoorthy pointed out that the manifesto makes promises specific to the Malays, Chinese Malaysians, Orang Asli communities, armed forces veterans, and Felda settlers.

“The provisions there do not seem to transcend racial groups and subgroups. Enough has been said of Pakatan moving away from racial politics, but that is more a statement of their intent than the frame for their policies.

“They have been using this once too often as a cover to ignore the problems of the Indian poor and marginalised,” he said.
Waythamoorthy also lamented that Pakatan has not endorsed Hindraf’s five-year blueprint, which he said offers a “permanent, practical and comprehensive” solution to the problem of marginalised Indians for a “mere” RM4.5 billion a year.

“This sum should be seen as a reinvestment on human capital which would bring about progress and development in the lives of these marginalised people,” he said.

This was despite numerous meetings with Anwar and Pakatan leaders, during which verbal agreement was expressed ‘in principle’ with the demands in the document.

While acknowledging that it is Pakatan’s prerogative whether or not to endorse the blueprint, Waythamoorthy said: “What we are more concerned about is the loss of a historic opportunity to actually get the process of change rolling, if it continues in this vein.”

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