Malaysian PM to launch party of ethnic Indians

September 25th, 2009 - 2:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Hindraf Kuala Lumpur, Sep 25 (IANS) Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak will launch a new party of ethnic Indians that will cement the split in the ranks of the banned Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf).
The new party, to be launched Oct 10, is called Malaysia Makkal Sakti.

“We are happy that he has accepted the invitation and we feel it is a good start for us with the prime minister launching our party,” secretary general of the new party, Kannan Ramasamy, was quoted as saying in The Star Friday.

The party, which was officially registered early this year, is a splinter group of the outlawed Hindraf that courted controversy and tough government reaction when it organised anti-government rallies in November 2007.

Charging them with sedition, the government had detained five top Hindraf leaders - M. Manoharan, now a lawmaker, P. Uthayakumar, Vasanth Kumar, S. Kengadharan and Ganabati Rao - under the stringent Internal Security Act (ISA).

On becoming the prime minister in April, Razak released them as “a conciliatory gesture”.

Although a large number of pioneering Hindraf members still appeared to be anti-establishment, Kannan and party president R. S. Thanenthiran, both Hindraf coordinators, have made peace with the government, the newspaper said.

The prime minister also heads the ruling alliance Barisan Nasional (BN). The Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) and several smaller parties in the alliance represent the interests of the ethnic Indian community.

Blessed by the government, the new party could also join the BN.

Indians, a bulk of them Tamil Hindus, form nearly eight percent of Malaysia’s multi-racial 28 million population.

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