Prove you are truly for Pakatan Harapan by helping PH win in the coming 14th general election (GE14) before asking to contest under the coalition banner.
This challenge went out to Hindraf which had asked to contest GE14 under the PH logo.
DAP’s candidate for Cameron Highlands in the last general election M Manogaran said there was currently a trust deficit among some members of PH regarding Hindraf’s real intentions.
This was especially so since the Indian rights group had worked with BN in the last general election.
“Pakatan welcomes Hindraf with open arms but it’s all about trusting our partners,” he said.
“Since you went against us in the last round, this round you should support us without contesting.
“Then in the next round, if we form the federal government, I myself will support you to contest some seats.”
In April 2013, in his speech at the MoU between Hindraf and BN, Hindraf chairman P Waythamorthy had said both parties would sign a five-year blueprint to bring the Indian poor into the mainstream of national development.
He also urged all Hindraf members to ensure that BN won the polls.
Manogaran said what aggravated this trust deficit even further was the fact that former ally PAS was now working against them.
“On the one hand, you went full-scale in support of BN. On the other hand, we have experience with former allies who betrayed us. Once bitten, twice shy.”
Manogaran’s comments come after PSM central committee member Dr Michael Jeyakumar said the inclusion of Hindraf may help the opposition although there could be some resentment from PH’s Indian leaders.
The Sungai Siput MP had added: “There are many Indian leaders within PKR and DAP, as well as Indian factions within PH who will feel that it is their turf that Hindraf is encroaching.
“That would be a bit of a problem because, I believe, many of the seats MIC won were contested by PKR or DAP Indian leaders.
“If Hindraf takes these seats, then there might be a problem with these guys who had contested there before and lost but who might want to contest there again.”
Manogaran said it wasn’t that the Indian leaders in PH were against Hindraf contesting but that they were worried about Hindraf’s true intentions.
“What is Hindraf’s aim? Do they want to help PH win or do they want to contest and win some seats? We must be very clear on this.
“They say they can bring in the Indian votes. Then, why not help us win the seats where we have been fighting for so long?
“Take IPF (Indian Progressive Front) in BN for example. They are not contesting any seats but they are at the forefront helping BN all the time.
“If you had helped Labis candidate S Ramakrishnan last time, we could have probably won.”
He said Indian leaders in PH, especially in DAP, have been faithful to the coalition through thick and thin.
“In my case, for example, DAP sent me from a winning seat — Teluk Intan — to Cameron Highlands and I didn’t fight back or didn’t say ‘no’.
“I took the challenge even though it was a last-minute decision. Can anyone in Hindraf match my commitment?”
In 2008, Manogaran had managed to win the Teluk Intan seat with 52% of the votes against Gerakan’s Mah Siew Keong.
He then contested in Cameron Highlands in 2013 but lost to then MIC’s G Palanivel who managed to rake in 48% of the votes.
Manogaran also said it was not fair for Hindraf to claim that they were the only ones that represented the Indian community.
“I was part of the Hindraf struggle. In Nov 25, 2007, I and N Surendran of PKR were the legal advisers on that day.
“If we are going to give Hindraf some seats then we might as well do the same with PSM. PSM is on the ground helping people too and they help people, regardless of race.”
Recently, Waythamoorthy said he was hoping that PH’s component parties would allow its candidates to contest in the upcoming election using their logo.
He said this was because the Registrar of Societies was unlikely to allow Hindraf to be registered as a political party.
“Our application to RoS has been submitted but we believe they will not approve our registration,” he said.
“Therefore we are hopeful that, with our cooperation with PH, they (components) will allow us to contest seats they had lost before,” he said, adding that Hindraf did not want to run in the parties’ winnable seats.
Indian candidates in Pakatan Harapan who contested in Cameron Highlands and Labis lost to BN.
In Cameron Highlands, BN’s Palanivel obtained 10,506 votes, defeating Manogaran by 462 votes.
In Labis, BN’s Chua Tee Yong garnered 37,714 votes, winning by a majority of 353 votes against DAP candidate Ramakrishnan.-FMT