Sunday, February 3, 2008

Indian minority urged to protest Malaysian poll

Indian minority urged to protest Malaysian poll
Published: February 03, 2008, 08:26
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia's main opposition party, The Democratic Action Party (DAP), has offered to endorse two ethnic Indians as election candidates, even after they were detained under internal security laws after they helped organise a mass Indian street protest.

The DAP said on Sunday the pair were existing party members who had the right to stand for election, despite their indefinite detention as threats to state security.

The party's secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said, "It's basically up to them. If they agree, we will nominate them."

Racial tensions are expected to cost the ruling coalition votes in the upcoming election after more than 10,000 minority ethnic Indians took to the streets in November, accusing the government of denying them jobs and rights to University education.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's multi-racial coalition is almost certain to be re-elected as the opposition is not strong enough, the press pro-government and the electoral system weighted in favour of rural voters, who tend to support the government.

However, the Prime Minister says that the Indian community could deliver a protest vote against the coalition, whose minority Indian partner came under heavy attack during the November protest.

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