WAYTHAMURTHI-VICTOR OR VANQUISHED?
ONCE UPON A HERO
Hindraf leader P Waythamurthi’s inevitable return to Malaysia was a matter we had hi lited over the past year at least in our blog. Waythamurthi had lost legitimacy in his bid to represent Indians whose ‘plight and welfare’ he claims has been his main motivation and driver of his movement Hindraf. The community had fractured down the middle.
His hosts, the government of Britain had waved a yellow card at him and he knew the Malaysian government had more cards up their sleeve they could play against him that he could ever muster to shore up his position.
Relentless criticism of Waythamurthi’s handling of his campaign, his squandering of the momentum gained by Indians at the 2008 general elections and his selling out to forces, in particular Pakatan Rakyat (“PR”) and Anwar Ibrahim and his steadfast refusal to condemn Ambiga Sreenivasan for her betrayal of Malaysian Indians were all issues we hi-lited which Waythamurthi refused to respond to. Much of Waythamurthi’s position in this respect stemmed from his own ignorance of wider the situation, the duplicity of his “allies” Ambiga and Anwar in particular and his larger than life ego.
To his and to Hindraf’s credit, it is universally acknowledged by pollsters and statisticians that it was they who altered the course of the 2008 general elections in Malaysia. It is something the Barisan Nasional (“BN”) acknowledged in private but not Hindraf’s allies like the Parti Keadilaan Rakyat (“PKR”), Bersih or followers of Raja Petra Kamaruddin (“RPK”).
The Brahmin/ Chinese axis in Bersih were indignant and wilfully excluded Hindraf and Waythamurthi from their movement when it suited them. Waythamurthi and his followers are after all the dregs of the Hindu caste system which Ambiga Sreenivasan subscribes to.
BEING TESTED IN THE WILDERNESS
Waytha’s poorly presented speeches and public condemnation of the Malaysian government whilst in London flew in the face of the facts. He concealed his embarrassment. He tried to conceal his weaknesses, he went into denial over his political naivety and immaturity knowing full well he was likely to become a spent force if he would not alter his course.
Waythamurthi had been challenged on a number of occasions to shed his uncompromising attitude towards government especially where he was unable to shed a scintilla of evidence against his many far fetched claims against the Barisan Nasional, UMNO and the target of his allies Dr. Mahathir Mohamed.
It was the subservient role within this unholy alliance of PKR, the slimy and incredulous ego maniac Raja Petra Kamaruddin, the Malaysian Bar and its treacherous caste fashioned alter ego Ambiga Sreenivasan and her Bersih movement that finally compelled Waythamurthi to come to terms with the practical realities he and his followers were facing in exile. It was a stark choice between insignificance and political oblivion.
In sharp contrast to RPK’s and Ambiga’s position, Waythamurthi had not lobbied like them on the side for safe parliamentary seats or high office (judge in Ambiga’s case) blackmail government for them to stop their activities. Ambiga felt she was invincible having secured cheap trophies from the French and American’s on her questionable credentials.
WHEN FRIENDS BECOME ENEMIES AND ENEMIES FRIENDS
The British and Australian governments whilst pandering to their very liberal NGO movements at home were likewise faced with their own dwindling fortunes elsewhere. Rejected by the Arabs in the middle east for their failed attempts to effect change outside the ballot box with their Arab springs, they had also to contend with the dangers of playing Russian roulette with unknowns in the peninsula and Singapore. (Read Bersih, RPK and PKR).
Singapore has had its own share of seismic shifts on the domestic political front recently. The Lee family and the government in the island state are not unaware of the potential of a spill over of any Bersih type victories in Malaysia on to their own turf. They have calculated the possible consequential disasters that await them in such an event and have wisely decided to drop Bersih out of their agenda quietly.
Neither the British, Australians or the Singaporeans have time to pander to these self-righteous policy free opposition groups long term. It was a long shot for the west and Singapore till Ambiga spilled the beans. The evidence is overwhelming and she will be called to account for her dalliances with foreign groups funding an overthrow of government in Malaysia. That act must wait to be played out after the elections. And it will be.
They have proved to be self serving, racist and subversive (read Ambiga’s directions to exclude Hindraf members from her Bersih 3.0 in previous articles on GRK). Anwar’s rejection of his Indian Malaysian constituency was typical of the man’s character and his party’s idea of an inclusive democracy (to the exception of Indians).
NO ONE EVER LOST ANYTHING FROM TRYING-PERSISTENCE
It is not as if the government of Najib Razak had not tried or bent the rules significantly to deal with and accommodate Waythamurthi and his members in Hindraf. UMNO die hards, Barisan conservatives had all baulked at PM Najib Razaks’ ‘turn a new leaf, give and take politics’.
Many within the Barisan were no different in their uncompromising stance against Waythamurthi and Hindraf. Their attitudes to Hindraf and Waythamurthi were comparable to those of Guan Eng, Lim Kit Siang, Ambiga, Anwar and Karpal Singh (he may deny the claim and threaten to sue but thats fine by us). They had little or no time for the marginalized Indian Malaysian communities. But not PM Najib Razak. Hindraf and Waythamurthi were not an embarrassment but a challenge to Najib Razak’s idea of democratic government.
Najib Razak persevered, he was relentless he was patient and he listened. He had worked and worked tirelessly and personally to salvage the fractured Indian community’s political representation inspite of the insults hurled at him and his wife by the likes of Balasubramaniam, Amrit Singh Siddhu, certain elements of the Malaysian Bar, notably Ambiga Sreenivasan and a host of Indian led NGO movements. He persevered and we followed the trail since its inception not long after Waythamurthi had been exiled to Europe.
In policy initiatives as Prime Minister, Najib Razak is as bold as his late father’s was it would seem. He went out of his way to accommodate an obstinate and self indulgent Waythamurthi, continuing even after Murthy and Hindraf by all accounts had become a spent force, paper tigers and above all and an enemy unto themselves.
A FUTURE FROM A DIVIDE PAST- ONCE BITTEN
No one within the Indian community can now with their hands on their hearts say that they have not been given a fair go in politics. It is time to look to a future without a towkay holding the leash. Its time to build bridges and to let merit be judge. This is not about handouts. It is not about the position of the Chinese. They have always fended for themselves at the expense of others and benefitted largely through their treachery to the exclusion of their allies. Let Ambiga and the Karpal’s of this world run with those hares and hunt with the hounds.
Guan Eng and Anwar Ibrahim have themselves to blame if they lose out at the next general elections. Or in the alternative as is widely predicted by the pundits they suffer a complete wipe out at the ballot box come 2013. They in the opposition have no one else but themselves to blame for their failures. Guan Eng and his Chinese cohorts believe Penang is Chinese territory are part of the problem of the great racial divisions in Malaysia. Hindraf should divest themselves of the Hindu tag. They ought to now Malaysianize themselves and blend into the mainstream now that they have been handed a second opportunity to redeem themselves and to regain their spent political capital on a silver platter.
RETURN TO VOTE- THE VOTE IS FOR RESIDENT MALAYSIANS
As for Malaysians living abroad wanting extra constitutional “right to vote” at the next general elections, here is the reason why they should not be given such an opportunity. Apart from the constitution not supporting such indulgences at election time, the example of Waythamurthi, perhaps the most controversial figure in Malaysian politics in a long time is the one if not the most important reason why the constitution must be obeyed in this regard.
There are no short cuts, no absolute freedoms and no Malaysian Bar distortions of the Federal Constitution as an alternative to true democracy.
Waythamurthi and his followers stand testament to this rule.