Uthaya: Indians ‘doomed’ without Malay ‘Abraham Lincoln’

Joe Fernandez
 
The enemy has always been Umno and it will continue to remain so, he said.
 
KUALA LUMPUR: Lawyer P. Uthayakumar made it clear over a cendol at a stall along Jalan Bukit Pantai, followed by bru coffee and vadae at Saravana Bhavan in Bangsar, that “Indians in Malaya (peninsula) are doomed unless a Malay ‘Abraham Lincoln’ emerges”.

Everything changed after his ISA detention in 2007, he said.

He noted that Indians appear to be comfortable with Pakatan as evident from his electoral defeats in Andalas and Kota Raja in 2013.

Uthaya feels that both BN (Barisan Nasional) and Pakatan provide the either/or factors for Indians.

He stressed that he has no quarrel with “others”. “Our enemy has always been Umno and it will continue to remain so.”

Many Indians don’t enjoy upward social mobility, and also lack a social safety network,” he added. “On paper, the system is for all.”

“The reality is that Indians are left out.”

In prison, said Uthaya, 80 per cent of the inmates are Indians if drug-related activities are excluded. “Indian youths are committing crimes and asking their mothers to keep their ill-gotten gains,” lamented Uthaya. “In the old days, our mothers would never go along with criminal activities”.

He conceded that he has no way forward unless Indian voters can gather in 15 parliamentary seats and 38 state seats. “I tried before GE13 and failed,” said Uthaya. “I don’t know whether others have a way forward.”

Alternatively, he said, the Election Commission can create seats where there are large Indian concentrations. “Even the Orang Ulu, such a small community, have several seats in the legislature.”

MIC leaders, he reminded, don’t represent the community. “They are elected by Orang Asli and Malay voters.”

His foray into politics, he reiterated in revisiting 2013, came to an end after the Andalas state seat and the Kota Raja parliamentary seat. “My 20 years of service meant nothing to the people,” he said. “It was game over.”

Uthaya projects himself these days as Hindraf-HRP.

Even so, he disclosed, there were no activities under Hindraf-HRP, the acronym HRP standing for Human Rights Party. “I am back with my legal practice and only taking up some human rights causes.”

Uthaya was Hindraf legal advisor before he was incarcerated under the ISA in late 2007 for 17 months.

In or out of jail — he spent a further 16 months in jail from late 2014 — he was “with Hindraf”.

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