KUALA LUMPUR – It has been almost a month since Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Hindraf discussed the prospect of the Indian rights group joining the opposition coalition.
But according to Mahathir, he has yet to receive any formal application from the Indian-based NGO.
“They have not applied. We haven’t received any official letter from them to join PH.”
Mahathir was speaking to reporters after chairing the PH presidential council meeting at the Amanah headquarters here this evening.
Also present were the coalition’s president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and deputies Lim Guan Eng and Muhyiddin Yassin.
The unprecedented meeting between Mahathir and Hindraf leader P Waythamoorthy took place on Aug 17.
The talks centred around the prospect of Hindraf becoming PH’s fifth component or an affiliate of the opposition coalition.
Speaking to FMT right after the meeting, Mahathir had said the NGO had an important role to play in the opposition machinery.
“We notice the Indian community is not well represented in PH. There is no Indian party.
“There are multiracial parties where Indians are members but the representation is not adequate.
“I think we appreciate the fact that Hindraf has got the support of the ordinary Indians, not the lawyers or the doctors, but the ordinary estate people.
“So we are working to get Hindraf, if not as a member of PH, at least as part of the opposition,” he had said.
PH is made up of four parties, which are the Mahathir-led Malay-only PPBM, the multiracial PKR and DAP, as well as PAS’ splinter, Amanah.
Hindraf, which is not a registered political party, is led by Waythamoorthy, who enjoyed a brief stint as a senator and a deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department under Najib Razak.
He resigned from both posts shortly after the 13th General Election, citing the BN government’s alleged failure to protect the interests of the Indian community as the reason.
His strength among the Indians in the rural areas was not lost on Mahathir, who aims to also secure Indian support ahead of the upcoming general election.
Earlier today, M Kulasegaran was appointed one of PH’s vice-presidents following criticism that PH had failed to give important positions to Indian leaders.