Sunday, December 16, 2007

Demand for non-muslims department in Malaysian Govt.
Activists demand non-Muslim affair department in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur (PTI): Amid simmering protests by ethnic-Indians against
alleged marginalisation, activists on Sunday asked Malaysian premier
Abdullah Badawi set up a "non-Muslim affairs department" to look into
issues faced by other communities in this predominantly Islamic

"It is timely for the prime minister to set up a department to look
into non-Muslim affairs. What we have in the Prime Minister's
department now is a muslim affairs department," A Rajaretnam,
Secretary of the Federation of Malaysian Indian Organisation, told
reporters. He suggested that such departments should also be created
at state levels.

Abdullah met 13 NGOs on Friday to hear their views on various issues
faced by ethnic Indians here and "assured us that he will personally
address the issues," Rajaretnam said.

Abdullah had asked the NGOs to list out the community's grievances
that led to the November 25 demonstration called by Hindu Rights
Action Front (Hindraf). Rajaretnam said a committee would be set up to
prepare the list within a month.

He said the NGOs had requested Abdullah to set up the separate
department as Malaysia was "a multi-racial, multi-ethnic and
multi-religious country". "The premier should look very seriously into
the setting up of the department."

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