The concluding part of the DAP Insider Exclusive Interview with a DAP Political Strategist, also known as Oracle about the status of the Indian votes for and support for the DAP
DAP Insider: “What then can be done or should not be done to further alienate the Indians from PR and DAP?”
Oracle: “Firstly, don’t insult the Indians. DAP leaders keep harping it doesn’t need the Indian votes to capture Putrajaya and they humiliate the Indians by not voting in a fair number of Indian leaders into the DAP CEC. I ask a simple question to the DAP – would you vote for someone who keeps running you down, humiliate you or someone who come forward to help you?
There are 15,000 Indians in DAP and a majority of them tell me that if the DAP value the Indian votes then do something about it. This is the moment of truth but the DAP leaders and supporters squandered the opportunity in the CEC elections and showed their true racist colours for all to see. That is why recently there are so many protests against the DAP by Indian branch leaders in the DAP – all disenchanted and demand for fresh CEC election due to the irregularities.
I have advised Kit Siang and Guan Eng to hold fresh CEC elections and accede to some of the demands by the Indians. But they are stubborn and so far refused to budge. In a way, DAP and its supporters are digging their own grave creating so much animosity with the Indians and they may see payback in GE13.
Many Indians have been warning Pakatan and DAP that it has failed to address many issues faced by the community since the last election. As such many Indians warned Pakatan that support would dip. But no one in Pakatan or DAP listened. And even if when DAP appears to listen, the leaders make comments that are patronising to say the least and it further drives the Indians away.
The PR and DAP cybertroopers are also no help as they are worse than patronising and they actually belittle the Indians and their value. These cybertroopers often vilify Indian as “racist” by the supposed multicultural alliance of PR and their supporters. DAP has never held any “high level” talks with P Waythamoorthy and Hindraf.
Instead, DAP these days accuses Hindraf of exactly the same thing Umno accused them of being – a “racist” organisation hell bent on destabilizing the status quo. Hindraf under P.Uthayakumar and the Human Rights Party’s rhetoric concerning the DAP did not help matters either.
Waythamoorthy’s “different approach” has Pakatan kool-aid drinkers painting the relationship between the brothers as some sort of Remus and Romulus retelling but as always nobody wants to acknowledge that different approaches to communal problems have always been the reality here in Malaysia.
In the partisan alternative press, some kudos is thrown Waythamoorthy’s way but still condescending and Uthayakumar has to suffer the further indignity of the accusations of being a BN turncoat, when he is currently facing sedition charges and battling a system predicated on exacting its pound of flesh for imagined slights.
Where are all the DAP lawyers and Karpal Singh and gang in all these? Have they even offered to help? NONE. Instead, Uthayakumar is mocked as stubborn, arrogant and unyielding but the truth is this is exactly what the disenfranchised of the Indian community needs after decades of Umno-BN. Not the Indians are pissed off with DAP and PR as well.
I have argued that the Human Rights Party is the perfect pressure group – vocal and uncompromising – but Hindraf could act as the bridge that links the polemics of Human Rights Party and the reforms needed, that can only be achieved by working with groups of power. The reality is that only Hindraf and the Human Rights Party (in its role as a pressure group) is capable of galvanising the marginalised Indian community into forming a cohesive force so they would be a formidable participant in the political process.
Honestly, the pro-Pakatan Indraf (Indian Rights Action Force) was an embarrassment that painted the alternative alliance efforts in wooing the Indian vote as a shoddy afterthought and was a great disservice to the people who marched on that fateful day (for various reasons) under the Hindraf banner. But at the same time, Hindraf itself is also to blame for not being cognisant of the change of terrain in the battlefield in the coming Umno-Anwar showdown for the future of this country.
Hindraf may have given voice to these concerns but BN has been quietly reaping the benefits of the resultant fallout. Something is better than nothing, they claim, and the old game of BN is better than the so-called new one of Pakatan. The more Hindraf is marginalised and painted as a racist group by Pakatan and the DAP, the more apathy sets in a certain section of the disenfranchised section of the Indian community.
For the crypto-racists within Pakatan and DAP who have always been contemptuous of the Indian community, this is not a problem until they lose a seat and blame the loss on the Indian community. The wonderful aspect of free speech on the Internet is that under the cover of anonymity the Indian community (like everyone else) can be bashed with impunity.
What I get from the rhetoric emanating from Pakatan and its kool-aid drinkers (a distinction should be made between them and the true believers) is that multiculturalism / multiracialism means the inclusion of cultural identities for everyone, except the Indians.
The championing of communal rights for the other two races in this country conveniently escapes the all-encompassing multicultural rights (sic) rhetoric whereas Hindraf’s “demands” are supposedly anathema because they follow the racial formula of the BN.
An example of this dissonance can be observed in PKR’s Tian Chua who said that Pakatan’s support for Indian Malaysian issues are not contingent on Hindraf support. This was echoed by Liew Chin Tong from the DAP – he himself a political strategist but certainly a myopic one as far as this issue is concerned.
Never mind the fact that the only time Indian issues get play is when Hindraf (and the Human Rights party) scream their heads off. Why wouldn’t you want to reassure the only credible Indian rights group in this country that their support is needed?
The DAP keeps chasing the Chinese educationist groups, Chinese commerce groups and Chinese/ Christian evangelical groups, just to name a few. Of course, the argument here is that said groups are merely fighting for their “rights” as enshrined in the constitution whereas Hindraf advocates a quota system.
PKR may claim to be committed to Indian issues but you can bet your bottom ringgit that if Hindraf and the Indian community stood side by side, Tian Chua would not be so cavalier in dismissing this rights group when his allies and he go chasing after every “other” rights or pressure groups out there.
Moreover, Tian Chua, spare me “we are not there to exchange political favours” spiel. Only a complete moron would believe that Pakatan is immune from the reality of the political process where horse trading, political favours and all the other necessary evils of achieving and maintaining political power is practiced.
This of course is a question of degrees and while we abhor the blatant and criminal way Umno has been doing this all these years, I would like to believe that most Pakatan and DAP supporters are not blind to the reality that Pakatan would have to do this to remain in power if it ever sits on the Putrajaya throne.
Never mind that the Malay-Muslim community is constantly reminded that a “need-based” affirmative action policy would see their “rights” secure and the DAP being Chinese dominated is an extremely influential voice in the alliance which means that Chinese “rights” would be taken care off. This leaves the Indians in the position of having no choice but to buy into the whole multiracial / cultural idea in the hope that the rhetoric translates into action.
It is extremely difficult to make the argument that you are an alliance committed to the ideals of egalitarianism and/or multiculturalism when your rhetoric and strategies relies on claiming the racial roles created by Umno under the guise of an all-inclusive alliance.
At the end of the day, as a supporter of Pakatan and DAP, I believe that Pakatan and DAP should acknowledge Hindraf and the Human Rights Party as the only game in town when it comes to the issue of Indian communal interest. These two rights groups are the only sociopolitical entities which have a genuine commitment to the plight of the disenfranchised and if Pakatan and DAP is sincere in their commitment to the Indian community, they would harness the potential of these groups as a means of drawing the disenfranchised section of the Indian community into the mainstream.
At the same time, Hindraf and the Human Rights Party have to drop their extremely polemical discourse and their own role in exacerbating the culture conflict within the Indian community and realise that just as Pakatan has to make compromises, so would they.
As long as the compromises they make serve some utilitarian value that favours the Indian community even at the expense of the principal, well that is the hard cold reality of politics especially racial politics anywhere in the world.”