Friday, December 14, 2007

Dialogue with PM by Indian NGO leaders

PRESS STATEMENT : Dialogue with the PM by Indian NGO Leaders

14 December 2007

Dialogue with the Prime Minister by Indian NGO Leaders

At the above dialogue by leaders of a number of Indian based NGOs with Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Seri Abdullah bin Hj Ahmad Badawi which was held in Putrajaya this morning Malaysia Hindu Sangam was represented by Datuk A.Vaithilingam.

In Datuk A.Vaithilingam’s speech he appealed to the Prime Minister to seriously consider the release of five Hindraf Leaders held under the ISA and charge them in the court so that justice can be done. He stated that holding them under the ISA is not proper in a democratic country and it will also affect the image of the country.

Further he appealed to the Prime Minister to reconsider the charges against 31 persons held without bail on the charge of attempted murder. He said that all of them were at the place of worship and many of them were merely bystanders who might have just questioned the police and be arrested. We find it difficult to believe that these people would have really wanted to murder. We are pleased and the Prime Minister responded by stating that he would speak to the Attorney General.

Amongst other issues Datuk A.Vaithilingam spoke on the problems faced by Hindu temples. He called on the Prime Minister to stop all demolition of temples and also recognise all temples as official temples which have been built over the years on lands which belong to employers of the devotees in plantations, government quarters and other areas.

He called upon the Prime Minister to look in to the laws which does not protect the wives when their husbands convert. He requested to the Prime Minister to ask the Attorney General to consider these issues which have taken too long a time without any proper result.

He also complained to the Prime Minister that there should be non-Malay staff employed in all government departments. He said that when he entered the PM’s Department today almost all the staff he met along the way were of only one race.

On the issue of the Hindraf he said that the response of the public in large numbers at rallies and meetings shows that the Indian community is facing numerous problems. In actual fact the Hindraf is the result of many serious issues which had come about after Moorthy’s case following series of enforced burial of Hindu bodies by Islamic departments ignoring the families and the unnecessary cruel demolition of a number of Hindu temples especially the last being the one at Padang Jawa a few days before Deepavali. He also said the huge response at rallies is probably the results of many social problems faced by the Indian community especially the urbanisation of the community which has moved out of the rural areas. He appealed to the Prime Minister to consider these issues rather than hitting out at Hindraf supporters.

Datuk A.Vaithilingam concluded that he has been approached by numerous Indian Based NGOs to bring the problems of the Indian community to the Prime Minister to be discussed through dialogue and peaceful negotiation. Therefore, he has agreed to be the coordinator to prepare a memorandum to be submitted to the Prime Minister for consideration in a few weeks. Initially it started with 48 Indian based NGOs and as of today it has risen to more than 70 NGOs.

He expressed the eagerness of all the NGOs to work together and cooperate with the Prime Minister in implementing projects to uplift the standard of living of the community. He also stressed the need for National Unity by the people of the all the different races and religions in this country. The theme of national unity should be uppermost in the mind of all Malaysians.

Thank you,

Yours in service,

Dr. K. Balakrishnan PhD
Hon. General Secretary
Malaysia Hindu Sangam

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