Monday, April 6, 2009

Hindraf duo still not fully free -- Lim Kit Siang

Hindraf duo still not fully free
Posted by admin
Sunday, 05 April 2009 18:15

(The Malaysian Insider) - The two Hindraf leaders released from the Kamunting detention centre this afternoon are still in police custody, opposition leader Lim Kit Siang said today.

He said both V. Ganabatirau and R. Kenghadharan were taken by police and are believed to be at the Selangor police contingent headquarters in Shah Alam.

Both were released conditionally and had yet to leave the police custody.

“This is a most shameful way in releasing the two and most outrageous way in treating their families, which included young children!” Lim said in a statement.

“Can the new prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak explain the reason for the police ‘cat-and-mouse’ with Ganabatirau and Kengadharan and their families when Najib had announced their ‘immediate release’ under the ISA?” the Ipoh Timur MP asked.

He said both Hindraf leaders were taken out of Kamunting Detention Centre at 1.30pm under strict police escort, without being allowed to meet with their families, and as at 4.30pm the two police cars transporting the two in custody were sighted at Sungei Buloh, believed to be on the way to the Shah Alam police building.

The DAP strongman said the police move was a violation of the three Najib thematic themes of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now."

Another three Hindraf leaders have yet to be freed. Critics say the release of just two is to fish for votes in three by-elections this April 7.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Release of Hindraf leaders in Malaysia

New Malaysia PM to free detainees, lift media ban
By VIJAY JOSHI – 23 hours ago
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, in his first act after talking office Friday, freed 13 people being held under a law that allows indefinite detention and lifted a ban on two opposition newspapers.
"These decisions are timely as we move to enhance the confidence of our citizens in those entrusted with maintaining peace, law and order," Najib said in a surprise announcement on national television, hours after taking the oath of office.
"In this spirit, I would like to announce that the government has decided with immediate effect to remove the temporary ban on two news publications (and) release 13 detainees" from detention under the Internal Security Act, he said in a short and solemn speech.
Those freed include two ethnic Indian activists who were arrested in December 2007 for leading an anti-government campaign, three foreigners and eight suspected Islamic militants, Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar announced separately.
About 30 others remain in custody under the decades-old ISA, which allows indefinite detention without trial. Najib also promised to "conduct a comprehensive review" of the act.
He lifted the ban on the Harakah and Suara Keadilan newspapers, the publications of two main opposition parties. The three-month ban, imposed on March 23 with no reason given, ignited fears of a crackdown on press freedom.
"It is a good start. I am happy he has done this as it sets the bar high for his promise of adherence to rule of law. We fully expect him to live up to it," said Malaysia's leading human rights lawyer, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar.
"The ISA is a draconian and oppressive act which runs counter to the rule of law in modern Malaysia. All other detainees must be released as well," he told The Associated Press.
At various times opposition lawmakers, journalists and bloggers have been arrested under the ISA. Five ethnic Indian activists from the Hindu Rights Action Force, or Hindraf, were arrested in December 2007, of whom two are being freed.
They had organized a massive anti-government demonstration to complain about discrimination faced by ethnic minorities in the Malay-majority country.
"We want the unconditional and immediate release of all ISA detainees," said Hindraf leader P. Wayatha Moorthy, who lives in exile in London. "Only then can Najib sow confidence in the people" that he wants to bring democracy to Malaysia, he said in a telephone interview.
Malaysia's minority ethnic Indians and Chinese have been chafing at an affirmative action program for the Malay majority. In March 2008 elections, minority discontentment led to the ruling National Front coalition's worst results in the 51 years it has been in power.
It failed to get a two-thirds majority for the first time in 40 years, conceding 82 seats to the opposition in the 222-member Parliament. It also lost an unprecedented five states.
Najib's predecessor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, accepted blame for the loss and was forced out of office by the United Malays National Organization party, which leads the Front. Abdullah resigned Thursday as part of a planned power transition spread over one year.
The 55-year-old, British-educated Najib inherited the mammoth task of healing the country's politics, society and an economy heading for recession.
Associated Press writers Julia Zappei and Eileen Ng contributed to this report.
Malaysian Indian Congress calls for release of three other HINDRAF members
April 4th, 2009 - 2:23 pm ICT by ANI
Kuala Lumpur, Apr.10 (ANI): The Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) has urged the federal government to release the other three Hindu Rights Action Front (HINDRAF) members, who were detained under Internal Security Act in 2007.
MIC president S. Samy Vellu was quoted by The Star as saying: “We thank the Government and Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for releasing two ISA detainees associated with the banned HINDRAF movement.”
He was asked to comment on the freeing of Hindraf lawyers V. Ganabatirau and R. Kengadharan who were among the 13 ISA detainees to be released by Najib in his first address to the nation as Prime Minister yesterday.
Samy Vellu said the MIC was happy that the Government had agreed with the party’s request to release the HINDRAF members.
“I hope they will release the rest of them quickly as it will make the Indian community happy,” he said.
Education Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the move to release the 13 ISA detainees was an act to stabilise the political situation in the country. (ANI)
Freeing detainees in the interest of Malaysia, says Najib
Jaishree Balasubramanian.
Kuala Lumpur, Apr 4 (PTI) Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak today said the decision to release 13 people, including ethnic Indian activists, detained under country's tough security law proves that his government was not"repressive".
"If we don't release them (the detainees), they will say the government is repressive. If we release them, they will say we are populist,"Najib told reporters at a press conference at the administrative capital of Putrajaya.
"The government has the best interest of the people at heart,"he said, describing it as the main reason behind the release of the detainees.
In his first decision as prime minister, Najib yesterday said he will revoke a ban on two newspapers and release 13 people held under the tough Internal Security Act (ISA), which allows for indefinite detention.
One Indian national, who had been detained under ISA for having forged documents, would also be released. Two other ethnic Indian activists along with their three colleagues had been in detention since December 2007 for organising a massive rally, declared as illegal by the government, on Nov 25, 2007.
More than 20,000 ethnic Indians participated in the rally, organised by Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) to protest against alleged marginalisation of the community. The government had denied the allegations and later banned Hindraf. Three Hindraf leaders are still under detention.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Badawi to quit in April 2009. Good riddance.

Malaysian prime minister to resign April 2
The Associated Press
Saturday, March 28, 2009; 6:22 AM
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Malaysia's prime minister announced Saturday he will resign April 2 and hand over power to his deputy, completing a transition one year in the making after the ruling coalition's shock drubbing in general elections.
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi relinquished the presidency of the United Malays National Organization party, which leads the ruling National Front coalition, earlier this week to Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak.
In keeping with tradition, the party chief also becomes prime minister.
"I wish to retire with a feeling of peace. I want to carry no negative emotions with me," Abdullah said, choking with emotion in a speech wrapping up the party's annual congress.
Abdullah, 69, said he will meet Malaysia's king, the constitutional monarch, on April 2 to convey "my intention to relinquish my responsibility as the prime minister." He said a ceremony to hand the reins over to Najib will be held later but gave no date. Local media speculate it will happen April 3.
Najib, 55, comes to office under a cloud of his own. The opposition accuses him of corruption and links to the murder of a young woman who was his friend's mistress. He vehemently denies the allegations.
"Please don't prejudge me ... judge me by my actions. Don't judge me on rumors of baseless allegations," Najib told reporters after Abdullah's speech.
The five-day UMNO congress elected top office bearers, most of them Najib allies, who will find places in his Cabinet.
"I believe the new leadership lineup will bring the desired change and strengthen our party to return it to the people's hearts," Abdullah said, quoting liberally from the Quran in a 30-minute speech.
The party congress' debates and speeches also became a virtual soul-searching to pinpoint the reasons for UNMO's plunging popularity.
They acknowledged what many Malaysians have been saying: UMNO is a party of corrupt and power-hungry politicians. The party is also accused of subverting the judiciary, the police force and the bureaucracy while discriminating against the Chinese and Indian minorities.
In 2003, Abdullah replaced longtime Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad amid great hopes that he would be a reformer. He was credited with allowing people to criticize the government and loosening controls over the media. But his much-vaunted promises to end corruption and bring about racial equality brought few results.
Critics within the party also said the freedoms he allowed led to a groundswell of support for the opposition, which dealt a heavy blow to the National Front in March 2008 elections. The front failed to win its traditional two-thirds majority in Parliament for the first time in 40 years and lost control of five states, its worst result since taking power after independence in 1957.
On Saturday, Abdullah apologized for his shortcomings. In earlier speeches, many party leaders paid handsome tributes to Abdullah for stepping down in the party's interest.
Abdullah also was weakened by regular public attacks from Mahathir, who accused him of corruption and nepotism by promoting his son-in-law, Khairy Jamaulddin. To the surprise of many, Khairy defeated Mahathir's son in an election at the UNMO congress for chief of the party's youth wing.
After his speech, Abdullah walked over and embraced Mahathir, who attended the congress for first time in four years, apparently to mark Abdullah's departure.
Abdullah said he will take a short break from politics to help his wife with her garden but will continue to contribute to the party.
"It is not that I will disappear and go to another world or to outer space," he said. He is expected to remain a lawmaker in Parliament but will have no role in Najib's government.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Stop the crufixion of Malaysian Indian -- Hindraf

HINDRAF – Stop the crucifixion of Malaysian Indian

22 years old Kugan a/l Ananthan proclaimed dead after being in custody
in Police Station (Balai Polis) - Subang Jaya. What is happening to
the Malaysian Indians? Why don't the UMNO led government just arrest
and kill us all as the NAZI's did in the holocaust once for all as we
as the thirds class citizen and are such a sore eye to you. Look at
his injuries suffered in the police station at Look at
the main media spinmaster at New Straits Times that can claim that a
22 year old man can die all of a sudden within 5 days being in police
custody. Such atrocities prevail in this modern time for the unwanted
Malaysian Indians we are. Does humanity chooses its color, race,
religion or are we going to wait for the tailored version post mortem
by the UMNO led government to dictate on what actually happened
through its spinmasters?

Aren't we not deserving human to enjoy the same rule of law and
constitutional right to life amongst other Malaysians but rather
treated as animals and slave?

Why the rule of law, constitutional rights of being a Malaysian takes
a back step when it involves a Malaysian Indian? What have we done to
deserve such treatment when our forefathers had toiled for the
progress and benefit of the nation?

The recent case of Prabakaran's permanent bodily harm inflicted by the
police force has not even settled and we have a dead body of a
Malaysian Indian in the police station.

As for the missing Solomon the other who was arrested seems to be out
of radar. Is he going to end up as another dead body? The police
force has neither released him nor confirmed his whereabouts until
today. There is clearly no transparency or accountability by the
police force on his matter.

The abuses and human right violations that are perpetrated either in
the police stations or outside the police station seems endless
without regard to the rule of law and the constitution.

The UMNO led government seems to be providing the protection to the
police force in their modus operandi in marauding the public as and
how they wish. This is clearly an indication of a police state that is
against the principal of democracy in fairness and justice and above
all total annihilation of the Malaysian Indians.

Thank you.

P. Waytha Moorthy

Hindraf- Chairman

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Watch Malaysian police info here

The blocked/deleted hindraf site containing a wealth of information
can be accessed here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Malaysia bans Hindu Rights Action Force

Malaysia bans Hindu Rights Action Force
Press Trust of India
Thursday, October 16, 2008, (Kuala Lumpur)

The Malaysian government has banned the non-governmental Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), branding it as a threat to national security.

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar on Wednesday issued a statement declaring Hindraf, which has been advocating ethnic Indian rights since late last year for the minority community, an illegal organisation.

He said the government move followed the result of monitoring and investigations by the country's Registrar of Societies (RoS) since Hindraf was formed.

"As a result of the investigations, the Home Ministry, as per its authority under sections 3 and 5 of the Societies Act 1966, has declared Hindraf unlawful and detrimental to peace, public order, security and the moral values of Malaysia," he said in the statement.

Albar accused the Hindraf of exploiting "racial issues which caused an uprising against the government and created hatred between them and the Malays. I feel that if we don't rein in their activities, they will continue to jeopardize security and public order, our country's sovereignty, as well as upset the harmony among races."

Hindraf came into international focus after it organized a massive rally on November 25 last year to protest alleged marginalisation of the ethnic Indian minority in this country.

More than 20,000 people attended the rally, which was branded as illegal by the government. The large participation took the Abdullah Badawi government by shock. A large section of the ethnic Indians supported the Hindraf as they felt that the Malaysian Indian Congress, led by Samy Vellu, had done little to uplift the community over the past several decades.

Syed Hamid said the decision to ban the movement was not made based on only one or two misdemeanours committed by Hindraf, but covered the entire gamut of activities the group had been involved in since its inception.

"Hindraf submitted a registration application to the RoS on October 16 last year.The application had not been approved, but it went ahead and organised several public gatherings and demonstrations without a permit," he said.

"Considering all the facts and evidence we have, I am satisfied that Hindraf was and is being used in a manner detrimental to public order and national security," New Staraits Times quoted him as saying on Thursday.

An opposition MP has called the government's decision to ban Hindraf as ridiculous and uncalled for, adding that he would move an emergency motion asking for an open debate in Parliament on Thursday.

"This is against the interest and aspirations of the Indian community that is seeking a more tolerant and fair government," M Kulasegaran said, adding that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had agreed to hold a dialogue with Hindraf leaders but "nothing was done".

Hindraf national coordinator, R S Thanenthiran said the ban was unfair as they had not committed any crime or broken any laws, adding that Syed Hamid could have done this in retaliation to the police reports Hindraf supporters lodged against him.

Thanenthiran said Hindraf chairman P Waythamoorthy, who is in self-exile in Britain, had instructed coordinators to wait for a day before making further statements.

Coalition of Indian NGOs secretary-general Gunaraj George said that by banning Hindraf, Syed Hamid had rendered the Indian community voiceless, but said it would not dampen the spirit of its supporters.

"I know that their struggle will go on especially to free all those detained under the Internal Security Act," Star newspaper quoted him as saying.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Waytha slams Utusan, TV3 and UMNO linked NGO

Waythamoorthy slams Utusan, TV3 and UMNO linked NGO~malaysiakini

Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) chairperson P Waythamoorthy has taken Malay daily
Utusan Malaysia and television station TV3 to task over their 'biased and invalidated' reporting.In a statement today, he said: "This was a clear to invoke racial tension."He was responding to reports regarding Hindraf's visit to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's open house at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur last Wednesday."The visit has been demonised and given the impression that a criminal act was committed and Islam insulted. "It is indeed shocking that federal ministers, senior professors and government officials do not have the intelligence to differentiate between a memorandum and greeting card," he said.

Waytamoorthy, who is currently in self-exile in London, also noted that Hindraf's previous pleas for a dialogue with the prime minister have fallen on deaf ears."The open house is the only day in the year a commoner could make the acquaintance of the PM personally and Hindraf took the liberty to send a clear message- release all prisoners held unjustly without trial in spirit of forgiveness," he said.

Reveal photos and videos
The Hindraf chief also slammed Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar for interpreting the event as an insult to Islam. "We challenge Utusan (Malaysia) and TV3 to make public their photographs and video recordings to prove that Hindraf supporters behaved in an inappropriate manner."To the contrary we have evidence that the PM and his deputy were all smiles and accepted the greetings and card with an open heart," he added.

Last December, five Hindraf leaders were detained under the Internal Security Act several weeks after they had organised a mammoth street protest in Kuala Lumpur. They remain incarcerated without trial at the Kamunting Detention Centre.

Meanwhile, Waythamoorthy said the Umno-led government failed to realise that Malaysians were at a different wavelength now and could judge for themselves what truth, justice and equality means."Utusan Malaysia and TV3 can continue to act as an apparatus of the ruling government with their inept propaganda, but they fail to comprehend that most Malaysians are equipped with their own resources without any real need for their ultra bias commentary," he added.

Legal action
On Saturday, Hindraf coordinator RS Thanenthiran said the movement would initiate legal action against Utusan Malaysia over its reports. According to him, Hindraf was disturbed by the reports which he claimed were 'tainted by lies and distorted facts.'He said the Utusan Malaysia front page report under the headline – 'Hindraf Keterlaluan' (Extreme Hindraf) was unfair and communal, and seemed to suggest that the movement was made of extremists out to disrupt Muslim festivals and pour scorn on Islam.

Criticising another article - Baharom Mahusin's commentary in the same edition, Thanenthiran said the writer was unfair, attempted to incite racial hatred and instigate communal conflict.

Among others, Baharom had penned that 'kalau penyokong Hindraf melakukan penghinaan seumpama itu di kawasan-kawasan pendalaman yang menjadi kampung halaman orang Melayu, mereka sudah pun diajar tentang makna dan akibat berperangai kurang ajar.' (If Hindraf supporters poured such insults in the interior areas dominated by Malays, they would have been taught a lesson on the meaning and consequence of misbehaviour.)

source: malaysiakini