Waythamoorthy has a fruitful meeting with spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and it could pave way for strong electoral ties between Pakatan and Hindraf
GEORGE TOWN: PAS has assured Hindraf Makkal Sakti that marginalised ethnic Malaysian Indians would have a better future if Pakatan Rakyat captures Putrajaya in the next election.
PAS spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat assured that “things would be different under Pakatan” to Hindraf supremo P Waythamoorthy during a meeting on Thursday morning.
Hindraf national coordinator W Sambulingam said Waythamoorthy had explained to Nik Aziz of the human rights violations against the Indian community under Umno’s misrule.
He said Waythamoorthy told the PAS leader how most working class Indians have been excluded and isolated from the country’s mainstream development since independence.
“Tuan Guru Nik Aziz listened attentively on the plight of marginalised Indians raised by Waythamoorthy.
“The Menteri Besar was symphatetic and assured us that under Pakatan rule things would be different,” said Sambulingam.
The private meeting between Nik Aziz and Waythamoorthy was held at the Kelantan Menteri Besar’s home.
As Nik Aziz was not feeling well, the meeting, originally scheduled at the Menteri Besar’s office, was moved to the PAS leader’s home.
Waythamoorthy also held a separate meeting with PAS vice president and Kelantan executive councillor Husam Musa in his Kota Bahru office the same day.
PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu was present.
Sambulingam said Waythamoorthy and the PAS leaders held discussions on forging electoral ties between Hindraf and Pakatan to face Barisan Nasional.
Waythamoorthy also assured Husam and Mat Sabu that Hindraf was willing to deploy its members as elections volunteers for Pakatan in Selangor, Perak, Kedah and Negeri Sembilan.
“Waythamoorthy reiterated Hindraf’s commitment to help Pakatan on the understanding that there should be a strategic win-win partnership between the parties,” said Sambulingam.
Waythamoorthy has also briefed both leaders on the displacement of about 800,000 estate workers since the 70s due to the country’s unscrupulous urbanisation programme.
Sambulingam said Waythamoorthy told them that these estate workers were systematically excluded from the government’s mainstream socio-economic master plan for decades.
He added that the PAS leaders were enlightened on how estate workers were denied land, house and cash compensations and even job opportunities.
“Waythamoorthy explained how estate workers were relegated from a vibrant pool of human resources to forgotten urban poor,” said Sambulingam.
The Hindraf chair also highlighted the plight of about 350,000 stateless Indians, who were denied proper jobs or education, own properties and even get their marriages registered.
Both the meetings were facilitated by Mat Sabu.
Waythamoorthy, who returned to Malaysia on Aug 1 after a five-year self-imposed stay in London, also met DAP national chairman Karpal Singh in Penang on Aug 12.
Waythamoorthy thanked Karpal for his support and legal assistance to the Hindraf activists who were detained without trial under the now repealed Internal Security Act.
The meeting between Waythamoorthy, a leading Indian rights activist and Muslim leaders from PAS could pave way for a strong electoral ties between Pakatan and Hindraf.
If it happens, Hindraf could help sway lost Indian votes from BN, boosting Pakatan chances to capture federal powers in next election.