Save Malaysians of Indian origin – HINDRAF

via By Pramod Kumar-www.organiser.org published on January 11, 2010

Hindu Rights Action Force, (HINDRAF), the organisation fighting for the cause of Malaysian Hindus, appealed to the Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) attending the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas International Conference in New Delhi to pressurise the Malaysian government to stop human rights violation of Hindus there, start long-term programmes to correct their marginalisation and also stop prosecution of the HINDRAF leaders.

The Malaysian Indian Minority & Human Rights Violations Annual Report 2009, prepared and circulated by HINDRAF Makkal Sakthi (HMS) at the Conference in New Delhi on January 7, also urged the NRIs to persuade the Government of India to immediately terminate all Malaysian companies’ projects in India especially by PLUS, GAMUNDA IJN, SCOMI and other UMNO-linked companies undertaking road works, highway projects, monorail and other projects.

HINDRAF urged the Government of India to impose trade sanctions on Government of Malaysia until all atrocities and injustices against the Malaysian Indians are stopped. The Malaysian Hindus also want India to stop buying Malaysian Palm oil, stop investment in Malaysia, stop all Indian IT professionals to work in Malaysia, stop all medical seats offered by it to Malaysia on a government to government basis with immediate effect and the same be granted directly to the Malaysian Indian students to be handled directly by the Indian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur.

The HINDRAF further appealed to all the participants of the Conference: “Upon return to your countries of residence especially in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, kindly lobby your local Members of Parliament, policy and decision makers, European Parliament, United Nations, International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court, United Nations Security Council, NGOs and international community to register their protest and take action against the atrocities against the minority Indians in Malaysia.

Hindus living in Malaysia since four or five generations are today living very miserable condition. They are being denied even the basic human rights and are everyday victimised by racist and religious extremists. “The Government of Malaysia has not only robbed them of their fundamental rights but continues to deny equal opportunities in every facet of life. The complete neglect of the conditions of Indian Malaysians has resulted in large scale dispossession and marginalisation of the majority of Hindus. The ruling coalition in Malaysia dominated by United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) runs a racist, Muslim religious extremist and Malay supremacist government. By explicit state policies the Hindus are excluded from the national mainstream development of Malaysia and they are systematically denied equality and equal opportunities,” the report alleged.

Highlighting the miserable condition of HINDUS in Malaysia Shri P Uthayakumar, legal adviser of the Hindraf, said everyday there is some report in three Tamil dallies that any temple, burial ground, Tamil school or any Indian settlement is being demolished, relocated, rearranged or about to be demolished in some parts of the country against the wishes of the marganalised Hindus. More painful is that the land on which these schools or temples are relocated is mostly the waste land under high tension electrical cables or near a drain.

Forced religious conversions and religious intolerance are evidence of creeping Islamisation of Malaysia. Whenever there is a crossing between Islam and Hinduism, there is a tendency for the Islamic perspective to dominate regardless of the merit of the case. This can be seen in several cases of Hindus who found themselves or their children forcibly converted and are not able to reverse the process. “This is an area where clearly minority rights are being trampled upon. Students are converted to Islam in schools even without informing them. The case of Smt S Banggarma is the burning example of forced conversion. She was converted to Islam when she was a child of seven years and was staying at a welfare home and then she was given a Muslim name Siti Hasnah Vangarama Abdulla. She came to know of this conversion when she applied for registeration of her marriage to Sockalingam which was conducted as per the Hindu rituals. Even the birth of her two children was not registered. If a Hindu is running a shop in a Muslim locality, suddenly the licence of his shop is cancelled and is renewed only if he converts to Islam,” points out Shri Uthayakumar while talking to Organiser.

Recently, some extremist Muslims protested the existence of a 100-year old Hindu temple. They slaughtered a cow, took it’s head and paraded and stomped that to insult the Hindus. More surprising is that the Home Minister of Malaysia held a joint press conference with the Muslim protesters and justified their action. Officially, Malaysia is a secular republic but practically the Prime Minister and even the opposition parties openly call it an Islamic country. The Hindus who convert to Islam do not face much difficultly and become son of the soil. That is why there is large population of Hindus who are Muslim in official record but live as Hindu. The condition of Chinese, Christians and Buddhists is better than Hindus.

According to the report, about 70 per cent of the Hindus in Malaysia have been made or remain in the hardcore poor and working class group with 90 per cent being under the daily or monthly wage-earning category. The poverty is arising from exclusion of the racist religious extremist system-exclusion from proper basic life facilities, from education at all levels, from economic, social and cultural development programmes, from equal opportunities in employment to name few areas. This is all executed with intent, as there seems to be no desire whatsoever to correct them.

The HINDRAF has listed 15 categories of human rights violations of Hindus there. These include education, land issues for public purposes, basic citizen rights or birth certificates and national identity documents and citizenship, poverty, housing, suicides, involvement in crime and extra-judicial killings of Indian suspected criminals, federal government’s poverty eradication and social development programmes, licence and permits for trade and regulated occupations, government contracts and entrepreneur development programmes, law, justice and the federal constitution, government fund allocations in federal government budget, state sponsorship of racism, forced religious conversion and opposition political parties.

Those who raised these issues of serious human rights violation were not only arrested and detained without trial but were tortured very mercilessly. It happened in the case of Shri P Uthayakumar and Shri M Manoharan who led the HINDRAF rally against these violations. They were detained without trial under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) for 514 days. Though they have now been released, the Malaysian Government is attempting to prosecute Shri P Uthayakumar for sedition. He, if convicted, can be sentenced to 3 years imprisonment.

“The force of the police, the Attorney General’s chambers, the judiciary and the civil service are stacked up against the Indians in Malaysia. Where else can we raise these issues and complaints in persuit of a more just, equitable and fair society if not at this Pravasi Bharatiya International Conference,” the report said. The HINDRAF has also been declared outlaw in October 2008 though there is no indication of any threat by it to any facet of Malaysian life, other than that it represents effectively the oppressed and marginalised Indians.

The opposition political parties of Malaysia too disappointed the Hindus there. They rode to victory in the general elections of 2008 on the issue of ‘Makkal Sakthi’, the rallying call of HINDRAF, but they have now literally abandoned their cause. So, there is no hope from the political parties too. “Several incidents relating to demolition of Hindu temples, Hindu burial grounds and Indian traditional settlements and Indian squatter settlements and denying state hand to the above and also to Tamil schools by the state governments run by even these opposition parties demonstrated the true position of the opposition political parties and the few Hindu representatives in those parties,” the report said. Though all the political parties and even the ruling party have given representation to some Hindus, they are just showpiece especially to show the foreign representatives.
 

 

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