A group of activists led by former Hindraf information chief S Jayathas is urging Pakatan Harapan not to accept Hindraf chairman P Waythamoorthy into the opposition coalition.
“We want Pakatan Harapan to know what grassroots Hindraf activists feel about Waythamoorthy’s inclusion in the coalition. It will be a very big mistake if he is accepted into the coalition,” he said.
“It must be made clear that Indians have not forgotten his massive betrayal of the community on the eve of the 13th general election,” added Jayathas, who is now a PKR member.
“While admitting the mistake, he continues to shift the blame to Pakatan Rakyat for the failure to achieve a deal at that time. This smacks of arrogance on his part,” he said.
Jayathas was referring to Waythamoorthy’s decision to support BN and subsequently accept a deputy minister post in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s administration.
“What guarantees can Waytha offer that he will not betray the community by joining BN again?” Jayathas asked during a press conference at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall.
Jayathas also pointed out that Waythamoorthy had threatened to sue an MP from DAP, which is part of Pakatan Harapan.
Seven other Hindraf activists were slapped with legal suits as they had questioned Waythamoorthy’s actions, said Jayathas.
Earlier this month Klang MP Charles Santiago of the DAP noted that Waythamoorthy had not kept the Indian community’s best interests when the latter joined the government as deputy minister in 2013.
This led to Waythamoorthy threatening to sue Charles as Hindraf has consistently claimed that it championed causes of the marginalised Indian poor.
Jayathas also cast doubts on Waythamoorthy’s claims of having wide support of the Indian community.
He said the claims were ‘ridiculous and without basis’ since the Indian community was supportive of Pakatan Harapan.
He said Waythamoorthy had not produced any evidence to support his claims and that Pakatan Harapan should not be fooled by him.
Waythamoorthy has held talks with Pakatan Harapan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad, promising to deliver 31 parliament and 59 state seats to the coalition.
Jayathas also asked Waythamoorthy to clear the air over allegations that former Special Branch deputy director Abdul Hamid Bador arranged for Waythamoorthy’s return to Malaysia after his self-imposed exile.
“The Indian community has a right to know these facts since he wants to represent the community,” he added.
Jayathas also termed Waythamoorthy’s claim of being the Hindraf representative as a ‘joke’ since “the movement belongs to the Indian community” and there were factions including one that was led by Waythamoorthy’s brother, Uthayakumar.
Another activist N Shanmugam accused the Hindraf chairman of attempting to become a hero.
“He only has a group of people without activists on the ground. He hijacked Hindraf to become a hero,” he said.