Monday, March 10, 2008

Hindraf: Make ISA detainee S'gor deputy MB

The Hindu Rights Action Force wants its legal advisor M Manoharan to be appointed as a deputy menteri besar in Selangor under the new state government to be formed by the opposition.

The opposition yesterday toppled the BN government by winning 36 seats out of 56 in the state. BN won the remaining 20 to be in the opposition in the state legislative assembly.

PKR’s secretary general Khalid Ibrahim, who won the Ijok state seat, is expected to be named as the new Menteri Besar to replace BN-Umno Mohd Khir Toyo.

Hindraf’s chairperson P Waythamoorthy said that it was time for the opposition to repay the Indian community for their huge support in turning the wave in favour of the opposition in yesterday’s general election.

“Nationwide, the Indian community has shown its dissatisfaction towards the BN government and had voted them out.

“The opposition has been riding on the wave of makkal sakhti (people’s power) in the run up of the general election.

“And it is no secret that the Indian voters have delivered their votes for the opposition,” said Waythamoorthy who spoke to Malaysiakini from New Delhi, India.

He added that now it was time for the opposition to repay the trust placed on them by the Indian community and not to betray that trust.

“As such we hope that Manoharan will be appointed as a deputy menteri besar in Selangor. Likewise, we hope the opposition parties will appoint an Indian representative as a deputy menteri besar or deputy chief minister in the other states that they have won,” he added.

The Hindraf factor

Apart from Selangor, the opposition has also taken control in Perak, Kedah and Selangor - all states which have a large number of Indian voters.

Waythamoorthy said that Hindraf had played a vital role in awakening the silent angst in the Indian community over their socio-economic sidelining.

Last week Waythamoorthy urged all Hindraf supporters to vote for the opposition to ensure that the plights of the Indian community are addressed.

Hindraf also organised a mass rally o Nov 25 last year in Kuala Lumpur, attracting some 30,000 ethnic Indians, to express their discontent with the government.

As a result five Hindraf leaders - including Manoharan -have been detained for two-years under the Internal Security Act, for allegedly being involved in terrorism activities.

Manoharan contested for the Kota Alam Shah state seat in Klang and managed to wrest the seat from BN with a 7,184 majority. In his forced absence, his wife S Pushpaneela undertook the task of campaigning for him.

Apart from Manoharan, many other Indian candidates representing the opposition nationwide were elected in an unprecedented manner.

And in a total reversal, the Indian votes rejected almost all MIC candidates, resulting in heavy defeats for MIC president S Samy Vellu and his entire party top leadership.

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