Hindraf not against Malays

Athi Shankar | January 29, 2012

A national coordinator also believes that Hindraf's struggle was slowly returning to its mainstream position since joining the ABU bandwagon.

GEORGE TOWN: Hindraf Makkal Sakti is not against the Malays or any other ethnic groups in the country.

It’s solely a grassroots movement fighting for the rights, interests and benefits of ethnic Indians, especially the working class, said Hindraf national coordinator W Sambulingam.

Speaking at a Hindraf – ABU (Anything But Umno) forum in Rembau, Negeri Sembilan, last night, he said that the movement’s main agenda was to coerce the government to recognise and uphold ethnic Indian citizenry rights.

He said Hindraf wanted the Umno-helmed federal government to end its racist policies discriminating ethnic Indians.

“We are not questioning what the government is giving others

“We are only asking the government to give what is rightfully ours,” Sambulingam clarified to FMT on his speech.

Some 700 people attended the forum, with Indians making up about a third of them, while the rest were dominantly Malays.

Also present were ABU leader Haris Ibrahim, Solidarity of Malaysian Youth (SAMM) chief Badrul Hisham Shaharin @ Chegubard and Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad.

Sambulingam said that one main Hindraf demand was for the government to give land for Tamil schools and gazette them all as fully-aided schools.

Among other demands are affordable housing, business and employment opportunities for the needy and deserving working class Indians.

Back in mainstream politics

He said Hindraf would definitely field candidates to contest the next general election as it was “high time for Hindraf to provide a strong voice for the voiceless.”

Gauging the growing support among Indians and non-Indians to Hindraf vis-à-vis close ties with ABU, Sambulingam believes that the movement was back on track after seeing a lean isolated spell for the past two years.

After the heydays of 2007 – 2008 period, combination of self-inflicted tactical blunders and concerted demonisation by others have sidelined and outcast Hindraf from mainstream political activism.

But since joining the ABU bandwagon, Hindraf believes that its struggle was slowly but surely returning to its rightful mainstream position.

Even the violent disruption caused by some thugs on Hindraf – ABU forum in Klang on Jan 21 failed to deter Hindraf activists.

“Now the Malays and others can accept Hindraf’s views and demands on Indian issues.

“Hindraf’s struggle is definitely back on mainstream agenda.

“We will now intensify it with support of other ethnic brothers,” Sambulingam told FMT.

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