KUALA LUMPUR, May 1 – Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) chairman P. Waythamoorthy has defended its decision to ink a deal with Barisan Nasional (BN) after the Opposition failed to deliver its promises to the Indian community.
He said the movement had a series of 24 meetings with Pakatan Rakyat leaders to get an endorsement to implement its five-year comprehensive blueprint for the Indian community since November.
Waythamoorthy, in expressing disappointment, said for five years it was “played out” by the opposition which was only good at making promises to the Indian community, but never fulfilling them.
“While Pakatan Rakyat had taken us for a ride and outrightly rejected Hindraf’s demand, BN came through to endorse its five-year blueprint.
“BN had given us (Hindraf) a window of opportunity to uplift the Indian community, which simply could not be missed,” he told Bernama in an interview after recording the Tamil version of the Hello Malaysia programme over Bernama TV yesterday.
On April 18, Hindraf and BN signed a memorandun of understanding (MoU) with six key points, aimed at bringing poor Indians into the mainstream of the country’s development.
Waythamoorthy said the movement had agreed to forge an understanding with BN and support the coalition in the coming general election, following the latter’s commitment to improve the livelihood of the Indian community. Prior to the agreement, he said Hindraf had invited both BN and Pakatan Rakyat to negotiate, and only BN was serious and began discussions in late March.
To a question whether Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s transformation policies were in line with Hindraf’s blueprint, Waythamoorthy said BN would deliver on its promises as its track record spoke for itself.
“PM Najib has shown his commitment and sincerity, and publicly apologised, and promised to rectify and correct past mistakes of the government’s wrong-doings. Najib was very clear and open that BN wished to address the economic issues affecting the Indian community,” he said.
As Najib showed his willingness to work with Hindraf, Waythamoorthy was adamant that the movement sought a permanent and comprehensive solution to bring vast changes in the community’s socio-economic status.
“We are confident that Datuk Seri Najib will honour the pledges that have been made. His track record speaks for itself. Even before the MoU, the government had implemented initiatives and chanelled hundreds of millions of Ringgit, specifically to the Indian community,” he said.
In describing the move as smart-partnership, Waythamoorthy said BN and Hindraf had compromised to arrive at a reasonable conclusion and a practical solution.
In dismissing claims by several opposition leaders that he had “sold himself to the devil”, Waythamoorthy said: “It’s a false propaganda created by Pakatan Rakyat leaders.
“If BN had bought me, why should I be adamant that there should be a blueprint to seek a solution for the Indian community?,” he asked, noting that the Indian community had finally realised that only BN could ensure a brighter future for them.