HINDRAF BAN: Defiant leaders vow to fight on

via Author : Maria J.Dass - http://www.thesundaily.com/article.cfm?id=26687 published on October 18, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 16, 2008) : In the wake of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) being declared illegal yesterday, defiant leaders of the unregistered organisation have vowed to fight on.

Kamaruddin Jaafar of PAS, R Sivarasa of PKR and Tony Pua of
DAP with others opposition MP’s during their press conference
on Hindraf issue.
“We will not flinch and be cowed by the government ban. We are no longer afraid,” said its chairman Waytha Moorthy who vowed that Hindraf will continue its struggle for the marginalised, suppressed and oppressed sections of the Indian community.

“Declaring Hindraf as an illegal organisation will in any case not banish the spirit that created Hindraf ,” he said in a statement to the media entitled “Cowardly act by the Umno led government to suppress and oppress Malaysian Indian minority.”

Waytha Moorthy who is in self-imposed exile in London, said “Hindraf represents a very deep feeling experienced in the hearts and souls of millions of Indians both locally and internationally.”

“This dastardly and ludicrous attempt by the Home minister to declare Hindraf as an illegal organisation clearly indicates that the government is at wits end and shows that Malaysia is indeed a police state under the pretext of democracy.”

“The government’s continued use of illegitimate laws such as ISA, Sedition Act, and now the Societies Act with their predatory acts against Hindraf is a desperate attempt to silence legitimate voice of democracy,” he said.

Waytha Moorthy accused the government of demonising and bullying Hindraf on the pretext of law, public order and national security when all the group wants is for the government to address the true and real condition of downtrodden Malaysian Indians who have been systematically marginalised, suppressed and oppressed.

“The Umno government is not able to understand the phenomenon of Hindraf which represents the Indian commoner, the hard working oily- faced man who is made fun of in the streets, the man who people step on, the man who walks past you yet you notice him not,” Waytha said.

“These are the people whom Hindraf represents – the marginalised and downtrodden Indians. They all do not wither away with this illegal declaration,” he said.

“The Government obviously has a primitive understanding of the situation, as they cannot see a genuine problem within a significant section of the Malaysian society, ” added Waytha Moorthy who urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to advise Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Syed Albar to revoke the order.

Meanwhile DAP chairman and Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh said deeming Hindraf as an illegal organisation without giving it an opportunity be heard goes against the grain of natural justice.

In a statement to the media, Karpal said the declaration of Hindraf as an illegal organisation is not a step in the right direction as the group had a legitimate expectation to be heard to counter serious allegations against it.

These allegations include claims that Hindraf was linked to the Sri Lankan terrorist movement and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) although this has been vehemently denied by Hindraf leaders.

“The government is opening itself to be sued for defamation of a very serious nature,” said Karpal, adding that Syed Hamid had made serious allegations against Hindraf when he said the group was detrimental to peace, public order, security and the moral values of Malaysia and that if not reigned in, would continue to jeopardize security and public order and the country’s sovereignty as well as upset the harmony among races.

“Hindraf leaders currently being held under the Internal Security Act M.Manoharan, P.Uthayakumar, R.Kengadharan, V.Ganabatirau and K.Vasantha Kumar should also be released immediately to allow then am opportunity to defend themselves against the serious allegations made against then as Hindraf leaders,” Karpal added.

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