Thursday, December 13, 2012

The status of Keadilan's ongoing engagement with Hindraf

Tian Chua Vice President Parti Keadilan Rakyat
I would like to make several clarifications in reference to the recent news report in Malaysiakini yesterday which quoted Hindraf President Waythamoorthy that Pakatan Rakyat has “agreed to sign Hindraf Blueprint (on Indian Issues) in the first week of January”:

First of all, I am uncertain whether the report accurately reflects the statement of Waythamoorthy. Nonetheless as one of the representatives of Parti Keadilan Rakyat in our engagement with Hindraf, I would like to clarify the current status of our discussion:

In principle, Keadilan and our partners in Pakatan Rakyat always open to cooperation with any political forces which share a common vision of reform for the country. We appreciate Hindraf's efforts in voicing up the plight of Malaysians of Indian descent. Therefore, we believe that there is potential common ground for cooperation.

In the light of this, Keadilan and Hindraf has begun discussions to exchange views  on issues of common concern since September. During these discussions, Hindraf representatives presented a document which they call a " 5-year Blueprint on the Uplifting of Indian Poor " which contains an analysis of the current situation of the Malaysian Indian community and several proposed solutions for resolving long-standing issues.

In principle, we are in agreement with some of the proposed solutions in the Hindraf document. An example would be the long-unresolved issue of statelessness faced by hundreds of thousands of Indians despite being born in this country. Keadilan is committed to a speedy resolution of this serious injustice. However there are also proposals where we would take a different approach.

Keadilan is fully committed to resolve social injustices faced by any community regardless of ethnicity or creed. At the same time, when it comes to formulating a political program, we have stressed to Hindraf that Keadilan would not act unilaterally without the consensus of all partners in Pakatan Rakyat. The Blueprint proposed by Hindraf must be presented to the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council for discussion. This process is yet to take place, and thus it is too early to announce the signing of any agreement. The relationship between Pakatan Rakyat and Hindraf can only be determined jointly by all three parties and not Keadilan alone.

Whilst Keadilan values the role of Hindraf in raising the problems of Indian Malaysians, we also would like to reaffirm that defending the rights and dignity of all communities is fundamental to Keadilan's operating principles. Our ongoing discussions with Hindraf and other NGOs aim at finding effective resolution of the injustices and oppression experienced by all Malaysians under the BN regime. With this objective in mind, we will continue to engage Hindraf leadership to explore common ground for collaboration.

Tian Chua
Vice President
Parti Keadilan Rakyat

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