Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hindraf should Welcome “Gelang Patah Declaration” to Gain More Comprehensive Support from “Pakatan Rakyat” 兴权会理应欢迎《振林山宣言》 进而争取“民联”更全面支持

     Hindraf should Welcome    
 “Gelang Patah Declaration” 
to  Gain  More  Comprehensive
Support from“Pakatan Rakyat”

 Statement issued by Sahabat Rakyat Johor Working Committee
Chinese version released on 9 April 2013

Hindraf Chairman Waytha Moorthy has been going on a 21-day Hunger Viratham (hunger strike) before the coming General Election. He intended to draw attention of both the UMNO-dominated BN ruling clique and Pakatan Rakyat (hereinafter referred to as the “PR”). The highlighted issues are the long term dilemma faced by the marginalized Indian communities and the demand of endorsing Hindraf’s “5-year Blueprint” by the political parties.

The Hunger Viratham got a very positive response from veteran leader of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) Lim Kit Siang.  On the 31st of March, he solemnly issued the “Gelang Patah Declaration” (hereinafter referred to as the “Declaration”) at the Gelang Patah Constituency in which he is contesting. DAP’s solution to the plight of the Indians are presented in the “Declaration”.

In our views, Hindraf should welcome this “Declaration” because (1) the 14-points declaration basically reflects the most pressing aspirations and demands of the Indian population; (2) the announcement was made in the form of solemn declarations by the most authoritative and well-known senior leader Lim Kit Siang, together with most of the Indian leaders within the party. It was announced in a Parliamentary Constituency which has a special significance in this General Election. The “Declaration” showed formal commitment by DAP and its release was witnessed by the people of all ethnic groups, as well as all the groups and political parties of the country.

Disappointing Statements by Ganesan

We the Sahabat Rakyat Johor Working Committee has committed to support the Waytha Moorthy led Hindraf’s struggle to liberate the Indian communities from their plight. A statement entitled “DAP's Blueprint for Indians is a Copy of Hindraf's” published by Ganesan in the name of the Hindraf advisor on 2nd of Apr has caught our attention.

In our opinion, DAP leaders’ acceptance of Hindraf’s most pressing demands as the main content of “Declaration” is a positive move. According to Ganesan, that was an effort of DAP who copied Hindraf’s “5-year Blueprint” in order to fish the Indians’ votes. This kind of rhetoric is not convincing.

The Indian communities have been oppressed and enslaved in the past 55 years. It has been a known fact that the root cause is the institutionalized racism rule by the UMNO-led Perikatan and BN governments, who inherited the mantle of the British colonial power.

In his statement, Ganesan could not wait to question the DAP Penang government for what was being done in the past 5 years. He has clearly exposed his prejudice against DAP and over-demanding from the Penang state government.

The next day (3 April), Ganesan released another statement entitled Hindraf Dares Kit Siang for an Open Debate. He challenged Lim Kit Siang to openly debate the proposition that “DAP Gelang Patah Plan for the Indians is not a sincere plan to address the problems of the Indian poor in comprehensive and permanent ways”.

We are in the view that Ganesan, on the other hand, should challenge the president of UMNO and BN, Najib to debate the proposition that “Institutionalised racism ruling by the UMNO-dominated Alliance Government and Barisan Nasional Government is the root cause of the enduring oppressed, discrimated and marginalised predicament of the Indian, Chinese and other ethnic minorities in our country”. This debate willl only be educational to all ethnic communities who have been oppressed, discriminated and marginalised for 55 years.

In an interview by Free Malaysia Today, Ganesan emphasized the favourable outcome from the “informal contacts” following the meeting between Hindraf and Najib. He also looked forward a second formal meeting with Najib. It’s inevitable to associate Ganesan’s behaviour with his strong interest of accepting the “enlistment” by Najib.

No More Illusion Towards BN Ruling Clique

Two faces against suqiu
UMNO-dominated Alliance Government and Barisan Nasional Government has ruled for 56 years. All ethnic communities, especially the Indian and other ethnic minorities should realize that racial hegemonistic ruling dominated by UMNO is the root cause of the agony of all ethnic communities, in particularly the lower working class people. Therefore, we should no longer harbour any illusion about UMNO-dominated BN.

At this juncture, even if the BN ruling clique endorses Hindraf’s Blueprint or makes any promises, it is only to fish for votes from the Indian community. In 1999, former Prime Minister, Mahathir agreed in principle to the “Chinese Associations’ General Election Demands” (suqiu) endorsed by 2098 Chinese Associations. However, he later kicked away the ladder after the election. Waythamoorthy and Hindraf should take this typical incident as a lesson in their way forward.

Ganesan’s action of pointing his struggle against Lim Kit Siang and DAP, but not against Najib and UMNO-dominated BN government is a very deceiving act. DAP or Pakatan Rakyat is not the culprit of the enduring institutionalized racial discrimination in our country. They are not the main object or target of struggle of the populace today. In the few state governments ruled by PR, PR has just yet fulfilled their promises on the issue of basic rights of the Indian community or on Kampung Buah Pala in Penang in the past 5 short years. The broad masses, including the Indian community should hold DAP and PR accountable for their promises when they come into power.

Support Hindraf’s Demand to Voice their Aspirations in the Parliament

Waytha Moorthy has been brave and firmly called on the government to repeal Article 153 of the Federal Constitution. This is a struggle for equal rights and interests of the Indian communities as well as the other minorities.

There is yet any democratic political party or political leader dare to express support to this just demand from Hindraf, given the possibility of losing the Malay votes or risk of being legally attacked. Therefore, the spirit of Waytha Moorthy to almost lay down his life for justice is very rare and highly commendable.  His effort should be continued until the genuine equality among ethnic groups is achieved.

To this end, we hope Lim Kit Siang and DAP will make room for Waytha Moorthy to contest on behalf of Hindraf on a DAP ticket in a parliamentary seat with significant proportion of Indian voters. This is indeed similar to allow Wong Tuck as a representative from Himpunan Hijau contesting in Bentong constituency. It will pave the way for Waytha Moorthy as the representative of the marginalized Indian communities, to voice the aspirations of repealing Article 153 and demanding for equality among ethnic groups in the Parliament.

Meanwhile, Waytha Moorthy could, via DAP’s inner channel, suggest to add on points that Hindraf wishes to highlight but not covered in “Declaration”. Although DAP consists of Indian members and leaders as well, they are only minorities in the party, that’s why DAP is always regarded as a Chinese-ethnic-community-based party, representing the interests of the urban petty bourgeoisie. By putting forward “Declaration” decisively, Lim Kit Siang is allowing DAP to breakthrough its limitation as a Chinese-based party, to unequivocally represent the interests of the Indian ethnic community as well. “Declaration” is no doubt a breakthrough with great significance, regardless from the perspective of ethnic party politics or democratic human rights movement. Hindraf should support and work hand in hand to strengthen the democratic front of Indian and Chinese-based democratic political parties and organizations, and to dump BN into the dustbin of history.

Hindraf should Maintain "Non-partisan" Political Position

The "non-partisan" political position upheld by Waytha Moorthy, Hindraf's chair, is in line with the interests of the broad masses, especially the Indian ethnic community. From present situation, it seems like there is a joint attempt from the internal and external, to deliberately equate Human Rights Party (HRP) with Hindraf, and to equate Uthayakumar's opinion with Waytha's or Hindraf's. This is to create doubt of the masses about the political position of Hindraf, hoping to split Hindraf and thereby weaken the influence of Hindraf's "non-partisan" political assertion. We are of the view that, Waytha Moorthy, as Hindraf's Chair, should respond to the following points at his soonest:

(1) Articulate Hindraf's political position on GE13, mainly on how we treat the besieged Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat, the government-in-waiting, and also how we treat the Gelang Patah Declaration by Lim Kit Siang DAP.

 (2) Articulate Hindraf's position on HRP, mainly to clarify the relationship between Hindraf and HRP, to explain whether or not statements released by Uthayakumar, the Secretary General of HRP in the name of "De facto leader of Hindraf" represent Hindraf's position and views. If they don’t, why does Hindraf remain silence? We are of the view that Waytha Moorthy should uphold the "non-partisan" political stance in order to gain wider support from the populace.

Our Hope on DAP and Hindraf

We very much hope DAP and Hindraf will “Form a democratic front, fight for the cause of the vulnerable communities!" Our position is embodied in the Letter from Johore NGOs to the Johore people entitled "Unite! People of Johore, Realize 3Pressing Demands; Smash UMNO Hegemony, Form a Democratic United Front!" We are resolute and steadfast in our stand! We are willing to act in unison with people of all ethnic groups and democratic political parties and organisations!


Pengumuman / 启事 / Notification

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作为活跃于柔佛州的为民主人权和民族尊严而奋斗的两个组织——柔佛州人民之友工委会与柔州兴权会(HINDRAF JOHORE)针对第13届大选,在去年底联合发表了一篇主题为“打破巫统霸权,建立民主联合阵线;团结全州人民,实现三大迫切诉求”的《告柔佛州人民书》;我们毫不犹疑,也毫不含糊主张“把国阵抛弃到历史的垃圾堆中去”。




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