Hindraf Makkal Sakthi has declared it will openly and unconditionally support the grand coalition of the Opposition to oust the ruling Umno/Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition from Putrajaya.
“We will mobilise our supporters to work voluntarily to defeat BN,” said Hindraf Makkal Sakthi Chairman P Waythamoorthy in a statement.
“This move can be taken as a declaration of war against Umno/BN.”
He urged the Indian community to permanently erase from their minds that Umno and BN could ever be trusted again.
Waytha, who was briefly in the federal Cabinet and the Senate after the 13th General Election (GE13), called on Opposition political parties to accept his movement’s declaration with an open mind.
“We have a common goal to bring down this regime. We agree with Pakatan Harapan’s reform agenda.”
Explaining the declaration, the human rights advocate referred to Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Budget 2017 as a “racist Umno agenda”, given the weaknesses of his coalition partners.
“Budget 2017 is clear proof of Najib’s lies and deceit. He portrays care and utters words and promises which are sugar-coated.”
He described the RM210 million for the Indian community in Budget 2017 as “peanuts”, a “bribe” for MIC leaders and their honchos.
“They have formed hundreds of NGOs to milk the funding provided for the community. These are from Sedic, the so called Indian empowerment unit, and the Economic Planning Unit (EPU).”
He pointed out that Hindraf earnestly engaged with Najib.
“We agreed to support him in GE13,” conceded Waytha. “However, this was based on his assurances and commitment to resolve the plight of the 800,000 displaced estate workers. They had been neglected for 40 years.”
Najib, he continued, agreed to sign a RM4.6 billion memorandum of understanding (MoU) based on the Hindraf Blueprint.
“He was even willing to apologise to the Indian community openly.”
Upon those terms, said Waytha, Hindraf agreed to support Najib.
The MoU and the Hindraf blueprint were for the underclass Indians displaced from estates, he recalled.
The prime minister promised to build 100,000 affordable homes and carry out economic projects for the underclass or the Bottom 40 per cent (B40) Indian community, said Waytha.
“Land was to be allocated to rural/estate workers for organic farming.
“These are people who, due to age, could not be re-trained for alternative jobs.”
Among other programmes, he mentioned specific programmes with government agencies to prevent Indian youths from joining the underworld.
“Najib personally assured me and the Indian community the necessary budget would be allocated,” said Waytha in referring to the promised RM4.6 billion Budget for underclass Indians.