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Waytha: Indian-run underworld threat to national security Joe Fernandez | July 24, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: Hindraf Makkal Sakthi has cautioned the government that Indians already make up the largest component of the growing underworld in the country. At the same time, Indians form only 7 per cent of the population according to the latest statistics.

“Indians, despite their smaller numbers, also make up most of the underworld leaders,” lamented Hindraf Chief P. Waythamoorthy in pre-Merdeka remarks. “The power has shifted from party politics to the underworld.”

Waytha, a senior lawyer in private practice and human rights advocate, warned that the underworld in Malaysia draws on the nearly one million displaced estate workers in the peninsula. “This is a serious problem with national security implications,” he stressed in elaborating on a statement issued on Saturday.

“It’s a timebomb ticking away. There are no political benefits in this.”

He charged that this large number of people have been denied upward social mobility and, as a result, have turned to a life of crime. “There’s widespread dissatisfaction among the underclass, the bottom 40 per cent of the community.”

He attributes the “criminalisation” of the Indian community to Federal Government policies including those that favour “opportunism”. “This must be the only country in the world which has quotas and reservations for non-minorities.”

The Federal Constitution, however, was about equality.

“The displaced estate workers, more than others, are being denied opportunities to make a better life for themselves,” said Waytha who was in the Cabinet and the Senate briefly after the 13th General Election in 2013.

He assured that the people only want their rightful place in the sun. “The government cannot be party to denying them opportunities.”

He argued that the government cannot go on “shortchanging, suppressing and marginalizing a large number of people in the country. They feel oppressed.”

“This has been going on for 59 years in the country. It has to stop.”

Dredging up the reason why he quit the government, Waytha reminded that a RM4.5 billion Hindraf-Barisan Nasional (BN) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) had been abandoned.

“It was supposed to make up for historical wrongs,” he said. “It would have helped put the community back in the mainstream”.

The MoU, continued Waytha, was the basis on which Hindraf worked to help increase Indian voter support for BN from 15 per cent in 2008 to 45 per cent in 2013. “After GE13, we were betrayed and taken for granted.”

The MoU was a document of substance and firm commitment on the governments’ part, pointed out the Hindraf Chief. “It’s realisation that the community had been neglected for the past several decades since independence.”

“This was openly admitted during the signing ceremony for the MoU.”

He urged the Cabinet to read the MoU and support its implementation.

BN leaders, in addition, even openly apologised to the Indian community in conjunction with the unveiling of the MoU. “The government can no longer pretend and play dumb and deaf on promises made,” said Waytha. “Commitments have been made.”

“This is a serious issue which involves national interest.”

In summing up, the Hindraf Chief advised the government against “throwing chicken feed at the community” through piecemeal approaches. “It’s not sustainable.”

He was referring to government programmes being implemented “from time to time” through MIC, MIC-linked NGOs and SEDIC, a unit in the Prime Minister’s Department. “MIC no longer represent Indians.”

“The community despises MIC.”