Hindraf's Uthayakumar launches new political party - Human Rights Party (HRP)


Uthayakumar (front, third from left) is mobbed by his supporters during today’s launch of the latest Indian-based party, Human Rights Party Malaysia. – Picture by Baradan Kuppusamy

KLANG: P. Uthayakumar today launched his Human Rights Party Malaysia (HRP) before 3,000 cheering hardcore supporters by lambasting Umno for sidelining Indians for 52 years, while also training his guns on Pakatan Rakyat (PR) for winning on Indian votes but failing to help the community.

He said the cavalier attitude of Umno and PR towards Indians was because the community lacked political clout, and he is now offering a unique scheme where marginalised Indians could create this clout as well as pressure for public resources to uplift the community.

Under the scheme, Indians in certain states should re-register as voters in select constituencies where there are about 20 to 30 per cent Indian votes, he said.

“By doing this they would create Indian majority parliamentary and state seats in the country and can, if united, win the seats easily,” he said.

“We will use the clout created by controlling these seats to bargain for the community,” Uthayakumar said.

“We will no longer be political beggars,” he said to a standing ovation from supporters, who arrived from across the country, many of whom wore Hindraf’s saffron-coloured T-shirts. Uthayakumar, who wore a similar T-shirt with his fiancée, was mobbed by his supporters.

Uthayakumar, who is secretary general of the party, announced the names of state leaders at the function and vowed to fight on until the “last drop of my blood.”

“I will not betray you, I will not sell you for some crumbs and I will never give up the struggle,” he said to huge applause.

Elaborating on his scheme, he said DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang and party secretary general Lim Guan Eng were classic examples of politicians who have “migrated” from their hometowns to fight and win and hold office in other states.

“We should be like them. We must create Indian power centres in all states, re-register ourselves in those constituencies and elect our own representatives to parliament,” he said.

“Only in that way can we create clout,” he said, adding that currently Indians were members in numerous political parties. “Our votes are split and we are dismissed as non-entities.”

He said the new party can win 15 parliamentary and 38 states seats if this scheme was implemented successfully.

“This is what we are going to do for the next two years …to get Indians to re-register in selected constituencies to create Indian community power centres,” Uthayakumar said.

Among the areas he identified are Padang Serai in Kedah; Ipoh Barat, Sungei Siput and Bagan Datuk constituencies in Perak and Ulu Selangor; along with Kota Raja and Klang in Selangor.

Uthayakumar spoke for nearly two hours, listing out all the grievances the Indian community suffers from – poverty, neglect, and marginalisation – and laid the blame at the feet of Umno.

“It is Umno that rules the country, it is Umno that decides who gets what and how much, not Barisan Nasional (BN),” he said. “Umno is the enemy but it is a very smart enemy and we have to watch out for it.”

Also present were DAP Teluk Kemang MP M. Manoharan, human rights lawyer N. Surendran and PR supporter David Balla who is the key financier of the new party.

Manoharan said he was there as counsel for Uthayakumar and added he takes the criticism of PR in his stride.

He urged party supporters to beware of Umno, which will work with the Special Branch to sow disorder, confusion and splits within the party.

Uthayakumar also lambasted the DAP for failing to resolve the woes of the villagers of Kampung Buah Pala in Penang.

About 30 Buah Pala residents were also in the audience cheering him on.

“Guan Eng can, with one just signature, settle the Buah Pala issue but he has refused to do so giving all kinds of excuses,” Uthayakumar said. “The reason is we are politically weak.”

He cited as example the sole DAP representative who could bring the PAS-led Kedah PR government to its knees by pulling out of the coalition over an abattoir to slaughter pigs.

“Just one man can do that…imagine 15 or 20 MPs (of our party) walking out. How much we can achieve,” he said.

Uthayakumar, a former detainee under the Internal Security Act, also launched his book titled Malaysian Indian Political Empowerment Strategy: The Way Forward that was conceptualised and written during his 514 days detention in Kamunting.

MI
19/07/09

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