New party for Malaysian Indians formed

May 19th, 2009 - 12:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Hindraf Kuala Lumpur, May 19 (IANS) Several key members of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), banned in Malaysia, have set up Makkal Sakthi Party, the latest outfit that claims to speak for the Indian community in this country.
It is led by former Hindraf national coordinator R.S. Thanenthiran who campaigned across the country for the opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in the election held in March last year, hurting the ruling alliance Barisan Nasional (BN).

The Star newspaper Tuesday speculated that since he has fallen out with the opposition alliance, the formation of the new party by him could have the BN’s blessings.

A new Indian party, if it has official blessings, would also be an additional way for the government to independently communicate with the Indian community, analyst Baradan Kuppuswamy said.

The new party’s pro-tem secretary-general Kannan Ramasamy said the party had received approval from the Registrar of Societies.

“We submitted the forms last month after realising the need for a political platform to represent the Indian community’s needs and wants,” said Kannan.

He said since Hindraf was outlawed, it was timely that the movement and its support base found an alternative conduit to champion the Indian cause.

Kannan added that the lack of support from those whom the Makkal Sakthi movement and Hindraf helped win the general election last year was also one of the factors behind the decision to form the new party.

He said the new party would remain neutral and work with whichever coalition that was willing to support Hindraf’s demands.

“We are open to talks and negotiations with both the Barisan Nasional as well as Pakatan Rakyat and will support the coalition that supports our aspirations,” he added.

A bulk of the Indian community, an estimated two million plus and forming 4.7 percent of the 28 million population, is Tamil Hindus who came here during the British era.

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