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Malaysian Politician Announces New Party for Indian Community

Malaysian politician and activist P. Waytha Moorthy

Malaysian leader P. Waytha Moorthy, the country’s National Unity and Social Well Being Minister, is going to launch a new political party named Malaysian Advancement Party (MAP), which would aim to protect, promote and advance the interest of the Indian community.

Moorthy, the pro-tem committee chairman of MAP and a renowned Hindu activist in Malaysia, said that the registration process of the new political party has begun and that an application has been submitted in this regard.

“The main objectives of the party, among others, will be to protect, promote and advance the interest of the Indian community’s political, economic, educational, cultural, religious and social interests,” he said in a statement, the Star reported.

“It will work towards continued empowerment and enhancement of the Indian community, coherent with the Federal Constitution, in raising their socio-economic standing and promoting unity and cohesion in the nation,” he added.

Moorthy said that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition has a diverse representation, with members of different races, but the Indian community wanted a party which could represent and fight for their interests in the country particularly, according to the New Straits Times.

“Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Force) has for so long, since 2005, been fighting for the interests of the Indian community, especially low income earners. They (Indian community) want us (Hindraf) to represent them, hence the need for the setting up of a political party,” the publication quoted Moorthy, the founder of Hindraf, a coalition of Hindu non-governmental groups, as saying.

He added that the new party will bring fresh hope to the Indian community in Malaysia, and will ensure their effective representation, so that every one is able to enjoy the growth and development in the country.

He also said that MAP will follow an approach based on fundamental rights for community empowerment. Citing the multicultural strength of Malaysia, he promised to propagate the values of inclusiveness, equality and transparency with the new party.

“We will work and participate with all political parties in Pakatan Harapan to enhance the reform agenda under this Malaysia Baru,” said Moorthy, according to the Star, using the Malay word “Baru” for a “new” party.

Moorthy, 52, was born in Malaysia to first-generation immigrants. He has been involved in public interest litigation related to problems about law and order in the country, and issues involving the Malaysian Hindu community, such as denial of grant of citizenship status to ethnic Indians born in Malaysia, forced conversion of ethnic Indians to Islam, unlawful demolition of Hindu temples, and denial of government compensation to workers from the community.