01 Jun, 2013

Waytha wants to work with DAP

GEORGE TOWN: Incoming deputy minister P Waythamoorthy aims to work with the DAP to implement Hindraf’s five-year blueprint for the betterment of the Indian community in Penang and nationwide.

Waythamoorthy, who takes office as Senator and deputy minister on June 5, said he will imbibe DAP’s Gelang Patah Declaration (GPD) and will engage Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang, and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to explore ways and means to work together to implement the proposed policies to uplifting the marginalised Indian community.

Kit Siang launched the 14-point GPD during his election campaign in Gelang Patah on March 31.

“Since Kit Siang has now won Gelang Patah and Guan Eng had retained his Pakatan Rakyat government in Penang for second consecutive term, I would like to engage both father and son to implement Hindraf’s blueprint together with their declaration.

“After all the declaration was for Indians. Why not work together for betterment of Indian community?” Waythamoorthy told FMT.

He said he was willing to work with everyone and anyone, including political parties, NGOs and individuals, so long as they were committed, honest, sincere and serious about resolving Indian issues.

Hindraf blueprint is a written proposal to execute permanent solutions to resolve major issues affecting the marginalised segment of the Indian community. It is not meant for those living in comfort zones.

Barisan Nasional endorsed and agreed to implement the blueprint on April 18, 2013 while Pakatan rejected it outright despite having 24 meetings.

Waythamoorthy said Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had, during Hindraf’s negotiations with BN, made his own commitments to implement permanent solutions to resolving socio-economic issues plaguing the Indian community. This was unlike Pakatan de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, who dismissed it.

“Najib, compared with others, was frank, committed and serious to resolving problems faced by marginalised Indians,” said Waythamoorthy.

‘Don’t judge me yet’


The DAP’s 14-point GPD is essentially a package of election promises to empower and improve the lot of poor Indians.

In the declaration, DAP promised to resolve a myriad of issues that plague the Indian community.

Among the issues were poverty, joblessness, statelessness, inaccessibility to higher education and lack of representation in local councils and the civil service.

Other matters included the community’s susceptibility to extrajudicial killings and other forms of oppression, problems they faced in acquiring land and other facilities for Tamil schools, Hindu temples and burial grounds.

Critics have jibed the GDP as “DAP’s instant noodles” to counter the comprehensive Hindraf’s blueprint.

Waythamoorthy, who will assume his responsibilities in the Prime Minister’s Department next Wednesday, said many people failed to comprehend the actual problems faced by poor Indians and the extent of the community’s predicament.

He said the special unit for Indian affairs, which he will head and which will come directly under Prime Minister Najib, aims to address and resolve the unique, peculiar and complicated Indian issues.

Waythamoorthy sees himself as a “human rights defender and advocate, not a politician” like others.

He relishes his new role in the government, although he acknowledged that it will be a challenging and uphill task.

“I will need time adjust and set up the unit. Government administration is a whole new thing for me.

“I would prefer to let my actions do the talking. Let me deliver than judge me. Don’t prejudge me.

“This will be the dawn of a new era for the human rights cause in the country,” he said.

FMT


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