50 Indian leaders plan meeting to decide on their future in PKR


PETALING JAYA: Discontent is boiling over among the Indian members of Pakatan Rakyat parties and more than 50 of their leaders are meeting tomorrow to discuss their position in the coalition.

The meeting, said to be “crucial”, will discuss the disappointment felt by the Indians, who claim that they face discrimination and marginalisation by leaders of the pact, which is made up of PKR, DAP and PAS.

It is being called five days after Member of Parliament for Kapar S. Manikavasagam an­­nounced his decision to quit PKR.

Manikavasagam’s move, which will be the main item on the meeting’s agenda, is said to have brought to the forefront the grievances felt by the Indian community within the pact.

The meeting is being organised by the informal Indian liaison committee, which is headed by P. Jenapala, who quit as PKR deputy secretary-general last week.

He said one of the options to be considered at the meeting is a mass resignation followed by the setting up of a new party to represent the interest of Indian members.

Another is for them to remain in the parties and to fight for their interest from within.

“We are meeting so that we can come up with a strong stand on whether we should remain within the parties of the pact or otherwise,” Jenapala said when contacted by mStar Online, the Malay news portal of The Star.

He said the group would stick together no matter what decision was reached.

“If we decide to leave, we will all leave. If we stay, we will all stay,” he said.

Jenapala said the meeting was crucial because it would determine the future of the Indians.

He said many Indian leaders within PKR had voiced their unhappiness recently over the happenings in the party.

“We now want to hear them as a group and come up with a collective stand,” he said.

Among the issues they are unhappy over is appointments to posts like local councillors, government-linked companies and village committees, he added.

It is estimated that there are 150,000 Indian members in the Pakatan component parties.

PKR’s political bureau is also scheduled to meet tomorrow and is expected to discuss Manikavasagam’s resignation and related matters.

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