Hindraf chief quits from deputy minister post

Hindraf chief P. Waytha Moorthy went pro-government last year and took a pool of Hindraf leaders and supporters with him. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Hindraf chief P. Waytha Moorthy went pro-government last year and took a pool of Hindraf leaders and supporters with him. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — Hindraf chief P. Waytha Moorthy today resigned from his post as deputy minister in a protest move against Putrajaya for allegedly delaying promised reforms to improve the welfare of the country's ethnic Indians.

In a brief statement today, the association’s secretary P Ramesh said that Waytha Moorthy  tendered his resignation to the Prime Minister’s Department at 5pm.

“In his resignation letter, he had elucidated his reasons for relinquishing his duties from the current administration,” Ramesh said.

However, it remains unclear if the Hindraf chief has also quit as a senator.

Senate president Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang told The Malay Mail Online that he hadn’t received any letters.

Waytha Moorthy could not be reached for comments.

On Saturday, Ramesh disclosed that Waytha Moorthy made the decision after a meeting with the group’s central committee.

According to the several local dailies, Hindraf felt that the Barisan Nasional (BN)-led government has been “dragging its feet” on its pledges, despite signing the 18-point memorandum of understanding on April 18 last year.

Waytha Moorthy, who returned from a self-imposed exile in the United Kingdom in 2012, went pro-government last year and took a pool of Hindraf leaders and supporters with him, armed with a belief that Hindraf’s support for BN would result in a better life for the country’s ethnic Indian community.

Hindraf was banned by the federal administration following the historic rally it organised in 2007 to demand rights for the community.

But several months before Election 2013, the government lifted the ban, earning accusations from critics that the move was merely a political manoeuvre to win the Indian vote. Waytha Moorthy was awarded the deputy minister post after the general election.

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