GEORGE TOWN, Nov 27 — Former Penang deputy chief minister II P. Ramasamy has launched a new ethnic Indian-focused party called the United for the Rights of Malaysians Party.
The former DAP leader said the new party is known as Urimai in short, which is Tamil for “rights”.
“We have submitted the registration to the Registrar of Societies and pending approval, for now, this is a movement to defend the rights of the people, especially the non-Malays,” he said when contacted by Malay Mail.
Ramasamy said he is the interim chairman of the movement and that it was launched yesterday in Kuala Lumpur.
“The launch yesterday was attended by more than 400 people,” he said.
He said he was toying with the idea of forming the party with his supporters, former Bagan Dalam assemblyman Satees Muniandy and Malaysian Tamilar Kural president David Marshel, after the elections.
Both Satees and David had also left DAP before the state elections in August.
“We believe that there is no party that can represent the ethnic Indians in Malaysia, aside from MIC, which we know is not active,” he said.
Although Urimai will be Indian-based and Indian-focused, he said it will be open to all ethnic groups.
“The main thrust of the party will be to help the working class Indians,” he said.
He said parties like DAP and PKR under Pakatan Harapan (PH) may have ethnic Indian elected representatives but they failed to bring up issues to champion the Indians.
“They are too afraid to offend their party leadership,” he said.
He said one of the reasons he was removed as a candidate by DAP in the previous election was because he was always outspoken over issues faced by the non-Malays.
He said DAP and its new partner, Umno, were unhappy with him due to his vocal criticisms against the unity federal administration.
“If we look at DAP and PKR, they have between 20 to 45 per cent Indian supporters but they are not doing anything to help them so there is a general dissatisfaction among the Indians against them,” he said.
He said he has received tremendous interest from the Indian community in the formation of Urimai to represent their rights.
“There is a lot of enthusiasm for this party but for now, we have to wait for the registration to be approved first,” he said.
As for why he would form a new party when there are so many other political parties around, he said the other existing parties do not address the issues faced by ethnic Indians in Malaysia.
“There are no such party, other than MIC, so it is better for me to try [to set up this party] and fail than not trying at all,” he said.
In the meantime, pending approval by the RoS, he said the Urimai movement will be travelling from state to state to gather support.
He said state coordinators have already been appointed to take the movement from state to state.
“It is a national-level party, that’s why it was launched in KL yesterday, but we want to reach out to as many people as possible,” he said.
Ramasamy was formerly the Perai assemblyman and Batu Kawan MP under DAP.
He served as the Penang deputy chief minister II since 2008 before he was dropped as a candidate in the August state elections.
He subsequently left DAP but stressed that it was not due to being dropped as a candidate but due to his unhappiness with the party leadership.