Friday, October 17, 2008
Better to win the hearts and minds
IT'S simple political common sense - win over the hearts and minds of those who resist you. If they oppose you, neutralise them at least and if they are still hostile to you, just leave them alone. You don't need to be Sun Tze to know these basic principles. There maybe misforgivings with Hindraf, particularly over the street protest and the incident at the PM Hari Raya open house, among some sections of Malaysians. But we cannot ignore the fact that Hindraf enjoy very strong support among the Indians. The fact is this - MIC has lost the legitimacy to represent the Indians. The PPP and IPF cannot to the job either. In the absence of an organised Indian movement, Hindraf appears to be the only vehicle that enjoys the backing of the community. That's the political reality. Overtures have been made in the past and even if Hindraf appear to be pro-opposition, its leaders have taken pains to emphasise they prefer to be apolitical. Their only quarrel is with Samy Vellu, they claimed. The question now is this - was there a window of opportunity where the BN leaders could have make peace with Hindraf, hear the grievances and see what could be done? Has an opportunity being lost? So, Hindraf is now banned. The followers would not wear the same orange coloured T-shirts but how do we see and tell what's in the hearts and minds of the followers? How does the BN intend to win back those crucial votes with the ban of Hindraf - unless its leaders are convinced that MIC can perform a miracle.