PETALING JAYA: Hindraf chairman P Waythamoorthy tonight ended his 21-day hunger strike amid a chorus of approval from some 700 of his supporters.
Waythamoorthy started his hunger strike on March 10 at the Arulmigu Agora Veerabathrar Sanggili Karuppar Temple, in Kampung Benggali, 17 ½ mile, Rawang, to compel either or both Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional to endorse and implement the Hindraf blueprint for the betterment of marginalised Indian community.
“The hunger strike ended in beautiful manner, in the midst of Hindraf supporters. We now look forward for the second meeting with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak,” said Hindraf advisor N Ganesan.
He had then collapsed in the afternoon at about 3pm and was rushed to a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur.
After seeking several hours of treatment, Waythamoorthy had then insisted on going back to the temple to listen to what his supporters wanted him to do.
“We are transporting him back to the temple so that he will end his hunger strike there,” his wife K Nageswary told FMT.
Back at the temple, a large crowd of about 700 supporters had gathered upon hearing that Waythamoorthy has been hospitalised. When they saw him returning to the temple, they eagerly told him to break his fast.
“The crowd urged him to end his hunger strike. After asking them a couple of times, and after receiving a thunderous response urging him to end his fast, Waythamoorthy finally decided to listen to his supporters,” said Ganesan.
Second meeting with Najib
Waythamoorthy has been taken back to the hospital for further observation and for him to regain his strength.
Earlier the doctors informed his family that he was suffering from low sugar levels and high blood pressure.
“We expect him to be discharged tomorrow. We will then decide on how to pursue the promised second meeting with the prime minister,” said Ganesan.
Last Monday a three-member Hindraf delegation which included Waythamoorthy and Ganesan had met Prime Minister 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 discusss the Hindraf blueprint for the Indian community.
Ganesan said today that the second meeting would most likely take place in the next couple of days.
Hindraf had previously expressed disappointment with Pakatan for failing to agree with them on the blueprint.
Yesterday DAP supremo Karpal Singh had called on the Pakatan Rakyat leadership, led by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, to resume talks with the Hindraf leadership and find an amicable solution to end the Hindraf blueprint stalemate.
He had also urged Waythamoorthy to end his hunger strike and not to his life in danger.
“Waythamoorthy should not risk his life. He has made his point. He should end his fast before it endangers his health,” a visibly moved Karpal had said.
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.
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