P Waythamoorthy will be able to contribute a lot in a personal capacity, says the STAR chairman.
PETALING JAYA: State Reform Party (STAR) chairman Jeffrey Kitingan today welcomed the reported return of P Waythamoorthy, the Hindraf Makkal Sakthi supremo, from five years of exile in London.
Jeffrey said he was looking forward to meeting the latter in Malaysia “to catch up on the last five years”.
“I am sure that he will still be able to contribute a lot in a personal capacity even though he has decided to relinquish the stewardship of Hindraf,” he said. “We need people like him to help create a third force in Parliament.”
He added that Waythamoorthy was a master strategist “able to penetrate and navigate anywhere” and would be an invaluable person in the fight for a better Malaysia.
Jeffrey was commenting on Waythamoorthy’s statement on Tuesday that he was ready to return to Malaysia by Nov 25, or earlier, although he had no valid travel papers to do so.
He was speaking on the sidelines of meetings in Kuala Lumpur with Sabahans and Sarawakians to update them on the political situation back in their home states.
On Waythamoorthy’s passport, Jeffrey urged the Home Ministry to “let bygones be bygones” and re-issue the Hindraf chief with a new international passport.
“The Home Ministry should not have cancelled his passport and leave him stranded overseas,” he said. “It was a desperate act by a desperate government to stop him from speaking out against it in international forums.”
He pointed out that the ploy backfired since the British government granted him political asylum as a human rights advocate and issued him with a UN-sanctioned travel document. Blessing in disguise On Waythamoorthy’s decision to hand over stewardship of Hindraf to a new leadership line-up, Jeffrey said that the move “may be a blessing in disguise”.
“Waythamoorthy is more than welcome to join STAR and help set up an autonomous Peninsular Malaysia chapter,” he said.
“STAR in Peninsular Malaysia will be free of political interference and control by STAR in Sabah and Sarawak.”
STAR’s stand was unlike that adopted by Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat in Sabah and Sarawak, he added.
“They are only interested in grabbing our seats in Parliament to further strengthen their political power at our expense.”
STAR deputy chairman Daniel John Jambun, who is also in Kuala Lumpur with Jeffrey, also said Waythamoorthy’s return was a good development.