The launching of a new Indian-based party by minister P Waytha Moorthy is "absolutely unnecessary' and goes against Pakatan Harapan's pledge against non-communal politics.

Saying this, MIC vice-president C Sivarraajh claimed that the new party, called Malaysian Advancement Party (MAP) would also further fragment the Indian community, which is already the minority in the country.

"Pakatan preached about non-communal politics, about party for all, but ironically, it now has parties for the Malay, and other races.

"Furthermore, this (MAP) will weaken out political voice, because the 2 million Indian population is already scattered into many political parties," he told Astro Ulagam.

"Waytha should not have abandoned the spirit of Hindraf, which caused the Malaysian political tsunami.

"I would say he has abandoned the Hindraf cause for his own political agenda," he added.

Regardless of how many parties there are claiming to represent Indians, real change will not happen without effective leadership and political will, Sivarraajh noted.

In announcing the launch of MAP yesterday, Waytha, who is a minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of National Unity and Social Wellbeing, said his party will protect, promote and advance the interests of local Indians in their political, economic, cultural, religious and social interests.

"As a people's movement, the party will ensure that it plays a crucial role in the renewed hope and opportunities under the Pakatan Harapan government for the Malaysian Indian community with effective representation," he had said in a statement, adding that he would resign as chairman of Hindraf, to enable him to serve the party.

Move a political suicide

Meanwhile, DAP's P Ramasamy called Waytha's move to establish MAP "political suicide".

According to him, it is tragic for Waytha to abandon Hindraf, which galvanised and brought tens of thousands of Indians to the streets of Kuala Lumpur more than a decade ago.

"The movement, a household name among Malaysian Indians, stands the misfortune of being relegated to history.

"Its contribution in bringing about meaningful change to the community may be forgotten.
"It is political suicide to kill off a genuine movement and to replace it with a party that is new and lacks identification with rank and file Indians," the Penang chief minister 2, said in a statement.

He further questioned how Waytha is going to get support from poor Indians in the country.

"Rather than strengthening or transforming Hindraf, Waytha has sought to placate the extreme religious and racial forces by abandoning the movement.

"Placating the extreme forces might endear Waytha to some sections of society but then it has no relevance for the advancement of Indians.

"It tells tales of a man or leader who could not defend himself over the Seafield Hindu temple fiasco, but sought to hide himself behind Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

However, anti-crime activist R Sri Sanjeevan thinks MAP is necessary in today's political scenario.

According to him, existing Indian parties have "too many baggages" and that is where MAP could make a difference.

"If Waytha can inject young blood and bring real reform, he will survive. Remember, it is never easy to please Indians," he told Astro Ulagam.

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Photo source: Waythamoorthy Facebook.