VIDEO | 24.27 mins
PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli is unapologetic that the Pakatan Rakyat manifesto makes no specific mention of Indian Malaysians, despite the brickbats from the community.
Instead, he echoed his party's de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim's statement on Tuesday that the manifesto is meant to transcend racial boundaries.
"We took a lot of brickbats, correct... I am not apologetic at all and as a key member of the manifesto committee, I stand firm, " he said.
He said that being serious about reform and remaking the whole country beyond the racial line, as a reform coalition, Pakatan cannot write its manifesto along those lines.
Rafizi (right) added that promising different groups different prescriptions was a no-no because society shared the same problems.
"What makes the Indians poor is also precisely what makes the Malays or the Chinese poor," he said.
Extolling virtues of BN party
Rafizi was debating MCA vice-president Gan Ping Siew in Kuala Lumpur last night on 'The Future of My Party' theme, in which both acknowledged that policies should transcend racial boundaries.
However, Gan (left) maintained that MCA is still relevant as a mono-ethnic party, pointing to the fact that the party has won some 80,000 new members, whereas only close to 900 have resigned.
In addition, he said the party has been able to influence the national decision-making process, especially under Najib Abdul Razak's premiership, unlike the "strongman politics" of his predecessor Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Nevertheless, Gan, who is also a senator and youth and sports deputy minister, said MCA needs to be more vocal in articulating its position on national issues that it stands for or it would be seen as a party based on communal interests and social work.
"MCA should not be seen as merely advocating communal issues; that is wrong. The communal issue are part of national issues.
"Therefore we must advocate and campaign. The way forward is to look at the wider national interest -communal issues and social issues as they are part of the national interest - and make very clear what we stand for," he said.
'No attempt to engage Hindraf'
Meanwhile, Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) national adviser N Ganesan in a statement said Hindraf has tried actively to work with Pakatan since August last year for a win-win situation for the Indian community.
Ganesan ( right ) said he expected the political and electoral alignments may not work, however he could not imagine Pakatan being callous to defend their actions unapologetically and with impunity in its manifesto.
He described Rafizi's statement that "the Pakatan manifesto is for all, not just Indians" as rubbish and this simply proves his opinion of Pakatan's impunity.
"In retrospect, this tendency to deceive the Indians in general and the Indian poor in specific have been clear from 2008 after the 12th general election.
"For the tsunami that Hindraf created for Pakatan, there has not been one attempt, not one single attempt to engage Hindraf the prime mover during that heyday, into drawing up plans for the grouses they represented.
"They (Pakatan) only want the Indians votes but not their representation in Parliament and state assemblies.
"The working class have no business there. Their refrain is - just remain a pressure group, do not ask for seats, do not ask for leadership of ministries, just stay out there, get us the votes and then maybe we will give your mandores some crumbs. But you stay out there," Ganesan said.