KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 — Now it is Hindraf's turn to deal with disagreements from within its ranks. Senior leader V.S. Ganapathi Rao came out unexpectedly to defend Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng over the Kampung Buah Pala demolition issue.
One of the symbolic "Hindraf Five" detained under the Internal Security Act after a mass rally in 2007, he questioned Hindraf's aggressive stance against the DAP secretary-general over what some claim to be the last Indian heritage village on the island.
Speaking to The Malaysian Insider, he said: "It appears that some people are using the Hindraf name to manipulate the issue to criticise DAP." He was referring to calls for Lim to resign as chief minister for his failure to solve the displacement of over 30 households in the village.
"We had agreed to end public demonstrations and when a Hindu temple was demolished in Kuala Lumpur, nobody said anything. So why are they doing this to Lim? To make Barisan Nasional happy?" he added.
Despite other Hindraf leaders such as national co-ordinator S. Jayathas and chairman P. Waythamoorthy having strongly criticised Lim, to the point of calling him a "heartless man," Ganapathi called for those involved not to politicise the issue but to let the chief minister do his best.
He also questioned the authority of Waythamoorthy and Jayathas to represent Hindraf's stand on the issue.
"Who made Waythamoorthy chairman? There was no election. The few of us just sat down one day and decided to start Hindraf. There is no one leader in charge. But if he wants to claim to be chairman, that is his problem," said Ganapathi.
He also said that Jayathas was appointed co-ordinator by Waythamoorthy but without the agreement of the rest of the leaders including those in the Hindraf Five.
Ganapathi said he was saddened that "those who had not contributed" are now claiming to be leaders and causing cracks in the organisation.
He said Hindraf was "losing its direction" with political parties and individual agendas coming to the fore.
"I do not see the team working together anymore," he said.
Ganapathi added that since the Kampung Buah Pala issue was caused by the previous administration under Barisan Nasional, Lim should now try to give the residents some alternatives and options even if the land cannot be acquired back from the developers due to the cost involved, a cost Lim claims would be more than "tens of millions of ringgit".
Source : The Malaysian Insider