Malay Hindu Group to Support Ruling Coalition
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Ahead of the May 5 polls in Malaysia, the country's leading Hindu group today took a U-turn and decided to back the ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Najib Razak, citing his sincerity towards the community.

The Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) Chairman P Wayathamoorthy today said his group will support the ruling coalition of Barisan Nasional (BN) in Sunday's general elections, satisfied with Razak's "sincere intention to help the ethnic Indian community".

He said Najib's actions were in contrast to the opposition alliance, which he felt was not serious in trying to solve problems faced by the minority Indian community.

"Yes, it is true that we (Hindraf) opposed Barisan in the past but since Najib took over as the prime minister, he has shown a positive approach in trying to solve the problems faced by the Indian community. He had openly apologised for BN's mistakes in the past," Wayathamoorthy told Bernama TV here.

After years of supporting the ruling coalition, the largely disgruntled ethnic Indian community chose to vote for the opposition, prompted by a massive anti-government rally organised by Hindraf or Hindu Rights Action Force, just months before the 2008 polls.

Hindraf organised a massive rally in November 2007, attended by 20,000 ethnic Indians to protest alleged "marginalisation" of the ethnic indian community, which comprises eight per cent of Malaysia's 28 million people.

The BN was then led by former premier Abdullah Badawi.

"BN was ready to accept our demands but the opposition alliance was not. In fact, there were a number of aspects that were added by Najib in the list of requests from Hindraf. That is an endorsement to the Indian community," said Wayathamoorthy to Bernama TV.

On March 8, the Registrar of Societies approved the registration of Hindraf as Persatuan Hindraf Malaysia, a non-governmental organisation, with the pro-tem committee headed by Waythamoorthy.

Waythamoorthy, on behalf of Hindraf, signed a five-year blueprint last month to bring the ethnic Indian poor into the mainstream of national development through a five-year Hindraf-BN action plan.

Hindraf is led by two brothers - Wayathamoorthy and Uttayakumar, who are now at loggerheads.

However, Wayathamoorthy stressed that he was still the leader of the pressure group and denied reports in a Tamil daily that he was sacked from the party and chairman's post by his brother.
Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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