KUALA LUMPUR – Hindraf said today that it would apply to join the Pakatan Harapan federal opposition pact and planned to take on MIC in straight fights in the next general election.
The Indian rights non-governmental organisation, which announced earlier today that it would convert into a political party, also said it could help Pakatan Harapan in 31 federal and 59 state seats with significant Indian electorates that saw marginal Barisan Nasional (BN) victories in the last election.
“We hope to be able to take on MIC directly one to one, all the MIC seats,” Hindraf chairman P. Waythamoorthy told Malay Mail Online.
“We can help [Pakatan] win in the 31 parliament seats; these are rural seats. We have enough ground support to move the voters in those 31 seats. That’s why we can add value to them. We give and take,” he added.
The 31 federal seats, he said, are in Kedah, Perak, Selangor, the Federal Territories, Negri Sembilan, Johor and Pahang.
In the 13th general election, MIC won four out of nine parliamentary seats, and five out of 18 state seats it contested.
National newswire Bernama reported MIC president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam as saying earlier this month that his party planned to contest nine federal and 19 state seats in the 14th general election due by August 2018.
The four federal seats that the Indian BN component party won in Election 2013 were Segamat, Hulu Selangor, Tapah and Cameron Highlands. MIC had contested against PKR in the first three seats, and against the DAP in Cameron Highlands.
Waythamoorthy said Hindraf — which came into prominence after its mass rally a decade ago in 2007 — would campaign for the marginalised Indian community.
When pointed out that some Malaysians wanted the country to move beyond race politics, he said the matter was still “debatable”.
“I know people are talking about it, but whether the country is ready, it’s debatable,” said the Hindraf leader. “We don’t need to even exist if there are enough politicians who will fight for minorities, [but] we don’t see that happening now.”
Hindraf’s desire to join Pakatan Harapan and to contest some seats adds to a crowded Opposition front that saw Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) join the pact comprising PKR, the DAP and Parti Amanah Negara last March.
– Malay Mail