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

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Waytha slams Mahathir for racism comment

Mahathir under fire from exiled Hindraf leader
Ahti Veeranggan | Jun 21, 08 7:12pm

Dr Mahathir Mohamad came under fire today for suggesting that the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) was made up of Tamil racists.

Exiled Hindraf leader P Waytha Moorthy slammed the former premier's racist attack as "typical of Mahathir trying to erase all his wrongdoings during his 22-year dictactor-like rule as the country's fourth prime minister."

All Malaysians, he said, know that Mahathir was single handedly responsible for wiping out the impartiality of the legislative, judiciary and executive powers through widespread abuse or power, corruption, nepotism and cronyism as well as destroying racial harmony in multi racial Malaysia.

"We are disappointed but not surprised by Mahathir's remarks. He is bent to safeguard his personal agenda rather than Malaysian interests", Waytha Moorthy added.

In a blog post this week, Mahathir chided MIC president Samy Vellu for campaigning alongside DAP chairperson Karpal Singh and former UN special rapporteur Param Cumaraswamy in calling him (Mahathir) a racist.

He criticised Samy Vellu for requesting the government to release the five Hindraf leaders detained under the Internal Security Act despite the fact that Hindraf represented Tamil racists, whose motives were akin to Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka and were seeking their former British colonial masters to protect them and did not believe in Malaysian institutions.

"Hindraf speaks not just of Indians but of Tamils as a separate race. Hindraf and its apologists are racist to the core," Mahathir wrote.

"His racial sling shots hurled at others will not undo the damage he had done to the country, nor will it address his failures as premier to provide equal and fair education, business, economic and religious opportunities to all, especially Malaysian Indians," said Waytha Moorthy in his online posting to his Makkal Sakti supporters, as Hindraf is popularly known now.
Indians conveniently ignored

Pointing out that Hindraf represents the oppressed and suppressed Malaysians of Indian origin, so systematically marginalised over the years, he stressed that the struggle for equality and fairness goes beyond race, religion, creed and skin colour.

The administrations under both Mahathir and current Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Waytha Moorthy said, have conveniently ignored and swept under the carpet the plight and grievances of Indian Malaysians raised by Hindraf over the years.

"However, Mahathir will continue with his usual antics to divert attention from his wrongdoings which are all being uncovered now," said the exiled Hindraf chairperson.

Waytha Moothy's brother Uthayakumar, Kota Alam Shah state rep M Manoharan, R Kenghadharan, V Ganabatirau and T Vasantha Kumar are being detained in Kamunting Detention Centre, Taiping since last Dec13 last after organising a mammoth rally in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 25 against perceived marginalisation and discrimination of Malaysians of Indian origin.

MIC deputy president G Palanivel has rebuked Mahathir's wrong perception on Hindraf and reminded the former premier "to remember his own roots" before making such statements, obviously referring to the former premier's forefathers, who are from South India.

It is an open secret that Mahathir's father, a school teacher, migrated to Malaysia from the southern Indian state of Kerala and subsequently married a Malay woman.

Waytha Moorthy likened Mahathir's continuous political and racial bickering as 'a broken record' failing to seek solutions on the grievances of the oppressed and suppressed Indian Malaysians.

Hindraf's goal, he pointed out, was to defend and protect Indian Malaysians in their quest for equal and fair participation in the educational, religious and economic spheres, and to set themselves free from the current oppressive system practiced by the ruling administration that clearly defied basic human right and freedom.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hindraf calls for repeal of ISA

Hindraf calls for repeal of ISA
From ANI

Kuala Lumpur, June 16: The Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) took to the streets here over the detention of their leaders under the Internal Security Act (ISA), and demanded repeal of the ISA.

The group travelled in a convoy of more than 50 cars and six motorcycles with banners calling for the abolition of the ISA.

The protest started from Rawang at 8.30 a.m. and ended in Klang at about 5 p.m. The protestors travelled through Sentul, Brickfields and Shah Alam.

According to the New Strait Times, police personnel were stationed at all major intersections to prevent any untoward incidents.

Copyright Asian News International

Monday, May 19, 2008

Malaysia's Mahathir quits ruling party

Malaysia's Mahathir quits ruling party (The Hindu, 19 May 2008)

Kuala Lumpur (PTI): Former Malaysian Premier Mahathir Mohammad on Monday announced that he was quitting the ruling party in protest against the leadership of his successor Abdullah Badawi, whom he blamed for the group's disappointing performance in the March general election.

82-year-old Mahathir, who was Prime Minister for 22 years before he handpicked Abdullah for the job, urged other members of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party to quit too as a way of pressuring the incumbent into stepping down.

The ties between the two had been on the decline after Abdullah did not implement some of the Mahathir's project ideas.

The ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, of which UMNO is the largest component party, won the March 8 election with a simple majority, losing one third of seats in the Parliament and five states to opposition.

However, Mahathir advised those who do quit not to join any opposition party.

Abdullah has so far refused all calls for him to step down and said he would defend his leadership in the party polls in December, the Star online report said.

Mahathir joined UMNO at its inception in 1946. After the May 13, 1969 riots Mahathir was sacked from the party's Supreme Council because of the widespread distribution of his letter to first Prime Minister Abdul Rahman criticising the latter's manner of handling the country's administration.

Mahathir rejoined UMNO in 1972. He was Prime Minister of Malaysia from July 16, 1981, until October 31, 2003.

UMNO information chief Muhammad Muhammad Taib said he was surprised at the decision, but added that it was Mahathir's right to do so.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

"My passport was revoked" -- Waytha

My passport was revoked, insists Hindraf leader


KUALA LUMPUR: Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader P. Waytha Moorthy is still claiming that his Malaysian passport has been revoked despite the government stating otherwise. He also claimed Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar's statement that it was a "misunderstanding" and that Waytha Moorthy's passport had expired was meant to mislead the public.

In a press statement yesterday, Waytha Moorthy said his passport was valid till 2010.

"I am holding a Malaysian passport which is valid until 2010. But the fact remains that the Malaysian government has revoked my passport," he said.

The "misunderstanding" followed a report on Saturday quoting Amnesty International's Washington-based Asia-Pacific advocacy director T. Kumar, who said Waytha Moorthy had to put off talks with leaders of the Congress and Amnesty in Washington because his passport had been cancelled.

Waytha Moorthy was only aware his passport was revoked when he returned to London from Geneva after talks recently with the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"The British Immigration authorities at Gatwick Airport (on April 21) told me my passport was cancelled," said Watha Moorthy, who has been living in the United Kingdom since December.

He said he was given leave to enter and remain in the United Kingdom for six months on April 2 upon his return from India.

"It is a known fact that no country would admit a person into its territory without a six-month validity period on the passport. For that matter, Switzerland would not have admitted me into their country on April 17. Nor would any airline allow me to board the flight without the six-month validity period," he said.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Malaysia says it hasn't revoked Waytha's passport

Malaysia says it hasn't revoked Hindraf leader's passport

PTI May 17, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian government has rejected "claims" by a leading global human rights group that it has revoked the passport of an ethnic Indian leader, who has been living in London on self-imposed exile.

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar said there was no truth in claims made by the Amnesty International that the passport of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) Chairman P Wayathamoorthy has been revoked.

Hindraf had spearheaded protests by ethnic Indians against the community's alleged marginalisation. Five of its members had been detained for holding an "illegal" rally.

Notwithstanding the minister's remarks, Wayathamoorthy's wife Eashwari also claimed that that her husband's travel document has been revoked.

"When he flew to London from Geneva, the immigration authorities there told him that Malaysia had revoked his passport. He was held at Heathrow airport and allowed to enter temporarily," she said.

Syed Hamid, however, said he was surprised by the Amnesty report. "... as far as I am concerned, the Government has not ordered for his passport to be revoked. If he wants to return to Malaysia, he can do so," he told 'The Star' daily.

He said the government would not revoke the passport of any of its national unless the person relinquishes his citizenship and when this occurs, all documents to prove his Malaysian citizenship must be surrendered.

He said the "misunderstanding" occurred probably because Waythamoorthy's passport had expired and that he could have his passport renewed at the Malaysian mission in London.

Eashwari said she was "happy with Syed Hamid's statement as it can be grounds for her husband to renew his passport in London," adding that at the moment he was not able to travel anywhere.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Hindraf Waytha's passport revoked by Malaysia Govt.

16TH MAY 2008



I was travelling back to London from Geneva after the HINDRAF briefing with the United Nations High Commissioner’s office on Human Rights on April 21, 2008 and was totally shocked to be informed by the UK immigration officer at Gatwick Airport that the Malaysian government had revoked my passport thus making me de facto stateless.

I see only one purpose. The Malaysian Government had intended that I be deported back to Malaysia by the British authorities so that I too could be arrested under the draconian Internal Security Act and be detained for unspecified period of time without trial and be subject to torture and inhumane treatment for my political beliefs. I have not committed any offence or crime other than to champion the cause of the systematically marginalized, discriminated and alienated ethic Indian community in Malaysia who remained a permanently colonized community despite achieving independence 51 years ago.

It is most distressing to learn that, the land that my forefathers toiled as indentured labourers and one that I had been made citizen by the will of the unavoidable circumstances has decided to banish and exile me for speaking and advocating the truth that was never spoken off before.

The government has once again acted according to its whims and fancy without a second thought of the public or for the good of the public.

The Malaysian government repetitively had oppressed , suppressed and persecuted all causes of HINDRAF by their act of totalitarianism from the very beginning but nevertheless the will and spirit of the HINDRAF supporters have been the beacon of hope for the new strength founded upon our new found MAKKAL SAKTHI (people power).

The callous and cowardly acts of the government against me not only undermine their credibility domestically but also internationally. The government needs to realize that the Malaysian public can no longer be cowed as the public are no longer the sheeps that begets the government wolves.

The government may use its best weapon in attempting to stall and break me but they fail to realize that I derive my strength from my MAKKAL SAKTHI and that is all that I need to carry on the torch and fight for the unjust cause of the ethnic Indians in Malaysia even if it means championing my cause from exile.

As much as I have been coerced, castigated by the Malaysian government, so have the HINDRAF supporters. HINDRAF supporters have shown unprecedented courage and character for the truth. It only motivates me further to pursue our goals.

The revocation of my passport is probably the last ditch desperate effort by the Malaysian government in crippling my international lobby for the cause of the Malaysian Indians. This unwarranted act has given me a greater “inner” strength to continue to fight for the struggle of the Malaysian Indians and for the unconditional release of my fellow brothers held unjustly in Kamunting. The government can unleash all the man made mechanism to stifle and silence me, but I have the backing of MAKKAL SAKTHI and that alone is sufficient for me to continue my fight for the people.

In MAKKAL SAKTHI, I have found the truthness of my cause for the people. In today's world, utterance of truth is seen as a revolutionary action, and my quest for the truthness has resulted as a hindrance for the government. My judge is the people not the government.

I will continue this struggle until my last breath. They may break me but they will never be able to break my will and spirit that is derived from the people for the truthness is in it.

I shall continue the struggle for the “freedom” of the ethnic Malaysian Indians from London and urge all HINDRAF supporters to remain calm as they have always been. I shall forever remain a loyal Malaysian and will return to Malaysia soon to continue and accomplish what I had started.

P.Waytha Moorthy




Saturday, April 26, 2008

Malaysian Minister does not rule out further Hindu temple demolitions

Malaysian Minister does not rule out further Hindu temple demolitions

April 25th, 2008 - 1:48 pm ICT by admin - Email This Post

Kuala Lumpur, Apr.25 (ANI): Even as the Malaysian Government is planning to introduce guidelines to govern the construction and demolition of places of worship, the countrys Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister, Shafie Apdal, has stopped short of giving an assurance that there would be no recurrence of the temple demolition incident in Kampung Jawa, Selangor, on the eve of Deepavali last year, which raised the ire of Hindus around the country.

"I won't say that because I am not in a position to do so. It is for each respective state authority, The Star quoted Apdal, as saying.

Elaborating on the guidelines, he said that there was a need to ensure that the guidelines were acceptable to all religious groups.

Speaking after chairing a meeting with the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism at the ministry in Jalan Sultan Ismail yesterday, he declined to reveal when the guidelines would be completed, but said it would not be too long.

Reaching an understanding between all religions, said Shafie, was vital, as was making sure laws and regulations have been clearly set down by local authorities.

He also did not rule out amending laws and enactments should the need arise.
Council president A. Vaithilingam said other issues discussed included conversions, bringing in of foreign priests and family laws.

Vaithilingam said the council had written to Home Minister Seri Syed Hamid Syed Albar requesting a meeting to discuss the issue of foreign priests.

Shafie, in his capacity as minister in charge of fostering unity, has been going all out to meet religious groups.

Last week, he met nine Muslim non-governmental organisations to seek their views on religious issues in the country, where many of the similar issues were discussed. (ANI)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Uthaya: Suhakam's conduct deplorable

Uthaya: Suhakam's conduct deplorable
Charles Hector | Apr 25, 08 3:48pm

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Suhakam: Uthaya wasn't denied treatment.

Madpet (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) is disappointed by the fact that the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) made and pronounced conclusions about complaints about detention conditions and health care of an Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee in Kamunting Detention Centre without even meeting with the said P Uthayakumar.

The Malaysian Human Rights Commission should never come to any conclusion or finding without at least meeting and talking to both sides.

In this case, it was reported that the Suhakam team, led by Human Rights Commissioner Siva Subramaniam, had meetings with '…senior officials, the doctor and police personnel at the camp, as well as medical personnel in Taiping hospital'.

It was also reported that 'Uthayakumar was neither present during the four-hour probe, nor interviewed by the team'. When Siva Subramaniam was asked why Uthayakumar's side of the story was not heard it was reported, 'He pointed out that media reports were also sufficient to highlight Uthayakumar's plight'.

The manner in which this 'inquiry' was done and the conclusions reached are very wrong, and is a deprivation of Uthayakumar and his family's fundamental right to be heard and participate in any inquiry and/or investigation.

Uthayakumar is already a victim of a draconian law that allows for detention without trial - where there is no right to defend oneself; no right to a fair and open trial and no right to even go for judicial review of the alleged reasons for detaining him.
As such, the manner in which Suhakam conducted themselves in this case makes it even more deplorable and is certainly unacceptable behaviour for a national human rights commission.

Madpet seriously hopes that the making of such speedy 'conclusions - in this case by Commissioner Siva Subramanian - was not affected by the fact that his current term expires in July 2008, and a belief that a 'pro-government' positioning now may assist chances of a re-appointment for another two-year term.

Human rights commissioners and Suhakam must at all times be independent and be seen to be independent and fearless and should only be driven by human rights and justice considerations. If a human rights commissioner cannot do this by reason of fear or some other reason, then the proper and ethical thing to do is to resign.

Madpet urges Suhakam to immediately retract its conclusions about the complaints by Uthayakumar, his family and/or his friends as reported in the media, and conduct a proper inquiry into these complaints in the proper manner – which would necessarily include that the fundamental rights to be heard and to participate be accorded to the alleged victim and the complainants.

Madpet also calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Uthayakumar and all those currently detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and other laws that allow for detention without trial and that all laws that allow for detention without trial be repealed.

The writer represents Madpet.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Vellu brings temple demoliton issue to the fore

Vellu brings temple demolition issue to the fore

Kuala Lumpur, April 21 (IANS) Senior Malaysian Indian leader S. Samy Vellu has once again spoken out against the demolition of a Hindu temple a week before Diwali last year, saying that it caused the Indian vote to swing away from the government. Vellu Sunday blamed the then chief minister of Selangor, Mohamad Khir Toyo, for refusing to heed his plea that the Hindu temple in Padang Jawa in Shah Alam not be demolished following a long dispute between the temple management and the civic authorities.

On the day it was brought down, Vellu said he had rushed to a hotel in Shah Alam to meet prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Khir who were attending a function.

"I begged him (Dr Khir) not to demolish the temple but he refused, citing a court order. I told him that if the temple was demolished, it would mean demolishing the Barisan Nasional."

However, according to Vellu, Khir refused to listen despite the prime minister's intervention.

"Dr Khir has to take a bigger slice of the blame for Barisan Nasional's poor show in the general election," the New Straits Times quoted Vellu as saying Monday.

Vellu had last week called the incident an "atom bomb" that caused the "political tsunami" against ruling coalition Barisan Nasional, reducing its two-thirds majority support in parliament to a simple one in last month's general elections.

Vellu, a long time minister and president of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), himself lost his ninth bid at re-election to parliament.

Vellu supported Badawi in the current tussle within the BN and said: "Let us stop blaming the prime minister for everything."

According to a post-poll study, 69 percent of ethnic Indian votes that traditionally went to MIC and 43 percent of ethnic Chinese vote swung in favour of the opposition, giving it an unprecedented 82 seats in parliament and control of five states.

Ethnic Chinese comprise 33 percent and Indians eight percent of Malaysia's 29 million population.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Malaysia to renew visas of temple priests from India, but in special categories only

Malaysia to renew visas of temple priests from India, but in special categories only

Kuala Lumpur (PTI): Malaysia today said it has decided to renew the visas of temple priests, musicians and sculptors from India who are currently in the country, a move that can be seen as a goodwill gesture to the ethnic Indian community alleging marginalisation in the multi-racial nation.
The Human Resources Ministry had raised the issue of getting visas and permits for temple priests, musicians and sculptors from India at a Cabinet meeting on April 9.
The announcement comes after immigration authorities had adopted a go-slow process on renewing visas of temple priests.
"The Cabinet has made the decision to allow or renew the visas of the temple priests, musicians and sculptors currently in Malaysia. In connection to that, the Cabinet has agreed to extend their service in this country, in special categories only," a statement issued by the Ministry said.
Human Resources Minister Subramaniam said he will meet Hindu and Sikh NGOs as soon as possible to discuss the categories that had been agreed on and the guidelines.
The statement said that "the Cabinet also wants efforts to be made to train local people to take over those tasks in the long term so that the reliance on temple priests, musicians and sculptors from foreign countries can be reduced."
An ethnic Indian leader on Monday appealed to the government to lift the ban on the recruitment of "urgently needed" priests from India for Hindu temples and Sikh gurdwaras. Ethnic Indians, mostly Hindus from Tamil Nadu, form 7.8 per cent of the country's population of 27 million.
The recent general elections saw the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition's majority dented, partly due to the discontent among ethnic Indians.

Malaysian temple loses bid to stop relocation

Temple loses bid to stop relocation

2008/04/17, SEREMBAN, Wed

The High Court today struck out an application by the Sri Maha Muniswara Alyam temple not to relocate the temple and a tree along Jalan Tampin, which are said to be more than 150 years old.

Lead counsel, G. K. Ganesan said the application was struck off on the grounds that the temple committee was not registered and that the temple was in fact a new structure that was built after 1957.

Earlier, in their submissions, counsel had argued that the temple and a tree near it had existed before 1957 and were therefore protected by ancient rites.

"We will file an appeal against the decision. Meanwhile, we urge the devotees to be patient and wait for the decision. The temple committee has agreed to a compromise and have the temple relocated to the back of the tree, but they don't want the tree to be uprooted as they believe that the deity 'Jada Muniswarar' resides there and should not be disturbed," he said.

The matter was heard in chambers before deputy High Court Registrar, Ahmad Sazali Omar, while the state was represented by its legal advisor, Ishak Sahari. Assisting Ganesan were S. Karthigesan, Vinod Sharma and John Fernandez.

Ganesan said the committee had also submitted plans on the proposed relocation of the temple to Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and the state legal advisor.

"We will ask the High Court to review the decision. We believe the case should not be struck out as this is a matter of worship and the government should pay heed to religious needs. The fact that Hindus worship deities living in trees dates back to history. We respect the government's decision to widen the road near the temple, but I am sure we can come to a compromise."

Ganesan said the state legal advisor was very co-operative and sensitive to their requests.

Meanwhile, temple committee secretary, K. Kannis said they had applied to register the temple committee two years ago and it was now in its final stages.

Malaysian Govt. bans Tamil - language daily

Malaysian govt bans Tamil-language daily
Published Date: April 17, 2008
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has imposed a ban on a leading Tamil-language newspaper critical of the government, its general manager said yesterday-a move the opposition called a "crackdown on human rights." S M Periasamy, general manager of the critical Makkal Osai daily, told AFP that he had received a letter from the home ministry, which is in charge for internal security-saying the paper's annual permit would not be renewed. "It means our daily has been banned," he said. Periasamy said no reasons were given for the government action, adding that he would immediately appeal to Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar.

From tomorrow, the daily will not hit the streets. If we continue to publish, the directors could be jailed," Periasamy said. Opposition lawmaker Lim Kit Siang, chairman of the Democratic Action Party, said the newspaper had been banned for giving too much coverage for the opposition since it made stunning gains in March 8 general elections. "It's the first sign of repression, a crackdown on human rights and the little space opening in the media after the March 8 political tsunami," he said.

Hindu temple demolition destroyed BN's Indian support: Samy


Hindu temple demolition destroyed BN's Indian support: Samy
By : Rina De Silva


The demolition of Hindu temples was the 'atomic bomb' that destroyed Indian support for Barisan Nasional in the March 8 general election, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said today. The BN paid the price for the rash actions of some leading to the Indian vote going largely to the opposition, he added.
The former Works Minister, an unexpected casualty of the political tsunami that swept parts of the nation during the polls, said the BN would have Indians support if it had addressed the issue of the temples properly.

He cited the demolition of a 36-year-old temple in Kg Karuppiah, Padang Jawa, by the Selangor government last October as the straw that broke the camel's back.

"That one temple that was demolished in Padang Jawa became a big atomic bomb which chased away the Indian community. We blindly smashed the temples and we paid the price for it. If we had 'jaga jaga' (looked after) the temples, we would have won the Indian vote,' he told reporters at MIC headquarters.

Samy Vellu had called for the Press conference to thank the Federal government for approving the renewal of work permits for 800 foreign priests for Gurdwaras (Sikh templeas) and Hindu temples.

Samy Vellu acknowledged, however, that the Selangor government later allocated a 10,000 sq ft piece of land in Shah Alam to rebuild the temple.

In the march 8 general election, Samy Vellu was defeated by Parti Keadilan Rakyat's Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj in the Sungai Siput parliamentary seat, a constituency the MIC strongman has held since 1974.

On why the Home Ministry approved the renewal of visas for Hindu priests and temple musicians and artisans from India, he said they understood the implications of not doing so.

"There will be a problem if they do not approve as temples may have to be closed," he said.

He said the BN's failure to secure the two-third majority in Parliament was discussed at Wednesday's BN management committee meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

"We discussed why we lost the elections. We asked questions like 'what is wrong with us?' and 'how did we lose the trust of the people," he said.

Samy Vellu was confident that the BN will spring back from defeat under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and plans to rejuvenate the coalition.

He said the BN was the only party that could bring stability, strength, unity and development to Malaysians.

"There is no other party. You can have 25 other parties joining together but this party (the BN) is a party of experience. It is a party of leadership. It is a party that has led the country for 50 years," he said.

On the Home Ministry's plan not to renew the permit of the Makkal Osai, he said this should not have happened and that the newspaper could appeal against the decision.

"I am sorry about it. I do not know why they did it. But the newspaper can always appeal against the decision," he said.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hindraf Uthayakumar's mother meets PM Badawi

Hindraf leader's mother meets PM Badawi
16 Apr 2008, 2132 hrs IST,IANS

KUALA LUMPUR: Detained Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader P Uthayakumar's mother met Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to plead for early release of her son who is seriously sick.

Uthayakumar's mother K Kalaivaniy was accompanied by 100 supporters and the movement's coordinator, R S Thanendran.

Thanendran urged Badawi to consider Kalaivaniy's request, adding that since there was no guarantee that Uthayakumar would get proper medical attention, it was only right that the government allowed his family to send him for treatment.

Badawi met them in his office Tuesday, The Star said. It did not report Badawi's reaction, if any, to the delegation, the first that has met him since November last year.

Hindraf, claiming to speak for two million Tamil Hindus, had staged a protest rally Nov 25. The government disapproved of the rally and it was dispersed forcibly.

Uthayakumar, 46, is the legal adviser to Hindraf and the Malaysian Peoples Reform Party.

He and three others - M. Manoharan, 46, V Ganabatirau, 34, K Vasantha Kumar, 34 have been held under the Internal Security Act (ISA) since November.

The government said it suspected Hindraf to have terror links, particularly Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and arrested some participants of the rally.

This was the second appeal in a week from the 66-year-old widow, who lives in Seremban.

She said her son's release was urgent, as he needed to take medicine for diabetes.

"He has not taken medication for his diabetes for a month, and this is very dangerous," she said Tuesday, adding that authorities' lack of concern for Uthayakumar's health could put him serious danger.

"When I visited him last week, he complained of being ill because he had not been on medication. I plead for my son's release and I will bear all his medical expenses myself," she added.

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar said he would not go by "sentiments" and the decision to be taken by the cabinet would be dictated by "national interests".

The government has yet to take a decision on the representation made last year by 66 men charged with participating in the Hindraf rally.

Deputy public prosecutor Nik Suhaimi Nik Sulaiman Tuesday told the court they were still considering the representation and asked for more time as they needed to verify certain details. He asked the court to fix trial dates instead.

He told Sessions Court judge Azimah Omar that the prosecution would call between 80 and 100 witnesses to the stand.

Azimah fixed two weeks for trial beginning Sep 15.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Appeal to PM of Malaysia from Uthayakumar's mother

Uthayakumar’s mother appeal to PM

By hindrafinternational

K. Kalaivaniy

30/1226 Lorong Belatek 7/2

Batu 3 Jalan Rasah


Negeri Sembilan

15th April 2008.

Y.A.B. Dato Seri Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi

Prime Minister of Malaysia


Dear YAB,





I am the 64-year-old mother of P.Uthayakumar who now suffers silent death in the lock up of Kamunting Detention Centre Taiping.

On the 8th April 2008 my son who is being detained under the much-criticised Internal Security Act since 13th December 2008 was admitted to the Taiping Hospital for high blood sugar as a result of being denied diabetes medication for more than 1 month. Upon admission his blood sugar level was 18.8 (normal being 6). His protein and uric acid level was also very high.

Upon examination the doctor who treated Uthayakumar had told him that his heart muscles were damaged but needed an Eco cardiogram to confirm this. However due to severe lack of facilities at the Taiping Hospital, he was given 28th of April 2008 for the said tests.

I also verily believe that my son’s other organs especially kidney and liver are equally affected but there is an attempt to cover this up by the Hospital and Prison Authorities. Despite our request the Hospital does not wish to divulge with matters concerning his health on grounds he is a detainee and that they have instructions from the “top” not to reveal anything.

What disheartened me further was the need to prematurely discharge Uthayakumar from hospital 2 days later despite his glucose level at 13.5 and upon discharge he was again deliberately denied his medication for more than 20 hours. To make matters worse he was deliberately served diet with high sugar content despite his objections and compelled to consume the above-mentioned unhealthy food.

My son complains of reduced vision in eyes, weakness and discomfort heart. I am advised and belief he is suffering a silent heart attack as a result of his health condition.

I belief the Prison authorities under “mysterious instructions” are deliberately ignoring his medical needs and diet to accelerate/worsen his medical condition so that he would suffer severe health conditions.

The conducts of prison authorities are scandalous and I have lost confidence on them and the Home Minister who remains silent on the issue.

I fear for the life, safety and health of my son.

I earnestly believe that there is a silent agenda to “inflict” and cause serious harm upon my son, as diabetes is known to be silent killer.

As an old aged mother I can’t bear to see my son silently dying in the prison and make this appeal to you directly to help facilitate the immediate transfer of my son to the National Heart Institute or a private hospital of my choice so that I could help my son undergo his medical needs, treatment and care.

I am not an educated person but from what I have read in the Tamil dailies, you have always assured all Malaysians irrespective of race and religion that you are a caring Prime Minister. My son is silently dying and there appears to be attempt and conspiracy to inflict harm on him.

I appeal to you as a compassionate Prime Minister to immediately instruct the prison authorities to liase with me to facilitate Uthayakumar’s immediate transfer to a private hospital. I am willing to bear the cost of private medical treatment on my son and do not wish to burden the state with unnecessary medical bills.

I also appeal to you Mr. Prime Minister to immediately and unconditionally release all 5 HINDRAF leaders currently detained as they only acted as messengers of truth to bring to your attention the sufferings of the ethnic Indian minority community in Malaysia. It is a known fact that post November 25th has opened up the eyes of Malaysians of all races of the Indian community plight.

I also noted and admired your humbleness when upon severe defeat at the recently concluded elections you had openly admitted your mistakes and had promised to make changes, which actually touched millions of fair-minded hearts in Malaysia. The people on the ground do not believe the Intelligence reports that the 5 are a national threat and I am certainly sure by now you would have obtained independent advise and realise you had been given wrong reports pertaining to the genuine struggle of HINDRAF.

My sons and hundreds of thousands other Malaysian Indians are born post independence and they think Malaysian. As Malaysians, none can blame them for seeking equality, fairness and justice as they rightly feel Malaysian. The country is progressing and so are the people, so let us allow legitimate voices of democracy.

I appeal to you Mr. Prime Minister as a father to this nation to exercise compassion and fairness to all your “children”. The families of the 5 are suffering daily. They shed tears daily unable to explain to their young children why their fathers who spoke the truth are incarcerated. Their young children suffer psychological scars as a result of being denied the love and care of their fathers.

Mr. Prime Minister I beg you to immediately release them on humanitarian grounds and let the whole Malaysia proudly say we have a Prime Minister who is caring, fair and exercises wisdom.

Yours faithfully


Malaysian ban lifted on Hindu and Sikh priests, temple workers

April 15, 2008
Ban lifted on Hindu and Sikh priests, temple workers

Source: Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 – The Hindu and Sikh communities can now heave a huge sigh of relief. The ban on foreign workers from India who have been brought in to help build and run Hindu temples and gurdwaras has been lifted.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam today issued a statement that the government has decided to renew the working permits of temple priests, musicians and sculptors who were brought in from India to continue rendering their services in the country. However, the statement does not address the status of fresh applications.

Subramaniam, who is also secretary-general of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), said he raised the issue at the last Cabinet meeting on April 9.

Datuk A. Vaithilingam who is the president of Hindu Sangam, the umbrella body for all Hindus in the country, said that it was good news but an unnecessary step in the first place. The ban was ordered by the Cabinet sometime late last year, he added.

“At the moment, they have accepted in principle. I'm told that there will be a meeting later with Home Minister, Datuk Syed Hamid Albar to discuss the details but I don't know when. I don't know why only the workers from India were affected,” he said.

In the meantime, the Hindu Sangam will continue to make new applications to bring in more priests, musicians and sculptors to fulfil the current shortage. There are roughly 180 priests for Hindu temples, which is not enough to meet the local demand.

According to MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, Hindu temples and Sikh gurdwaras are in dire need of some 500 and 300 priests respectively.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hindraf Uthayakumar's medical condition dangerous: Malaysia govt. should stop playing with his life.

Uthayakumar's medical condition dangerous

P Ramakrishnan | Apr 14, 08 4:43pm

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Hindraf worried for Uthayakumar's health.

Aliran is shocked to learn that Hindraf leader P Uthayakumar who is under ISA detention is being treated inhumanely. We find it difficult to believe that a country that has exalted the virtues of Islam Hadari could be so callous in the treatment of a human being - which is hard to believe or accept.

Uthayakumar, who is diabetic, has been wickedly denied his daily medication even though the Kamunting detention authorities had been informed of his health problems. His fiancee S Indradevi had also handed Uthayakumar's medication to the Kamunting Detention Centre's administration in the belief that it would be handed over to him. But this had not happened. She reportedly said that he had written six letters previously to the prison's director but the director did not respond in any way. The medicines were prescribed by a doctor in January.

As a result of this gross negligence and wanton cruelty, Uthayakumar had fallen ill and had to be hospitalised. His diabetic reading was 18.8 - something that is worrying. If he does not receive his regular medication, he can be subjected to various related illnesses associated with diabetes. His kidneys may be affected and his eye sight may be in danger - just to mention a few ailments related to diabetes. We also understand that his protein and uric levels are dangerously high.

His medical condition would require him to go on a strict diet but this doesn't seem to be the concern of the Kamunting authorities. They do not seem to take responsibility for the welfare of a detainee under their care. His younger brother was reported as saying that despite his condition he was forced to consume food which was high in sugar and starch.

Aliran wishes to emphasise that a detainee does not forfeit his right to medical care under whatever circumstance. As a human being, he is entitled to receive medical attention like any other Malaysian. And his family has a right to be notified when a detainee is hospitalised. This is something very basic in a civilised society.

Kamunting authorities need to be given an urgent course on human decency so that they will react as human beings and treat others under their care with dignity and compassion. So far their conduct has been disgraceful, deserving condemnation from the civilised international community.

The writer is president, Aliran.

Hindraf Uthayakumar faces harm, says mother

Hindraf detainee faces harm, says mother

Source :

Sunday, April 13, 2008 13:41 [IST]

Kuala Lumpur: The mother of a Tamil Hindu leader has alleged that her son was being served food with excessive sugar by jail authorities even though they knew he suffered from diabetes and other ailments.

K. Kalaivanyi, the widowed mother of P. Uthayakumar, one of the five leaders of the detained Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), on Saturday lodged a police report alleging that there was a "silent agenda" to harm her son.

Uthayakumar is lodged in the Kamuntin Detention Centre. Friends say he is weak and had been denied his medication after being prematurely discharged from the hospital the day before.

Lawyer Uthayakumar, 46, was arrested with four other Hindraf leaders Dec 13 for allegedly trying to incite Hindus over the plight of two million Tamil Hindus who came to Malaysia during the British era. They are being detained for two years under the stringent Internal Security Act (ISA).

When will Pak Lah pack up and go?

Malaysian PM rejects pressure to unveil exit plan
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Monday he would be re-appointed to the top job by his party in December polls and rejected calls to formalise his plans to relinquish power.

Abdullah has faced persistent demands to quit after the coalition led by his United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) was dealt an unprecedented setback in March general elections.

But despite mounting demands to quickly unveil his plans to hand over to his deputy Najib Razak, he said succession talks would only take place after UMNO's internal leadership polls in December.

"Delegates will continue to give me support during the party election and they will put me as president and Najib as deputy," he told reporters after a meeting of coalition lawmakers.

"After that Pak Lah and Najib will discuss issues related to transfer," he said, referring to himself by his nickname. "Why should I not contest the December party polls?"

"Of course I want the transfer of power to be smooth so that the party will be in good hands and there will be no chaos," he added.

Foreign Minister Rais Yatin indicated earlier that Abdullah's time frame was not adequate, telling the official Bernama news agency that UMNO members had the right to ask Abdullah to step down or announce a succession plan.

"I feel if the succession plan is announced, then the grassroots leaders would know the time frame, and that is good to stabilise the party. The grassroots should be allowed to say what they feel," he said.

Pressure also came from Trade Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, an influential UMNO vice president, who said the party would "fade away" if there were no immediate changes to the leadership.

"I think the sentiments are boiling at the grassroots. Therefore, if change does not happen in UMNO, many adverse things will surface," he said according to a newspaper interview.

After Abdullah's announcement, Domestic Trade Minister Shahril Samad said the premier should give his successor enough time to prepare the party for the next general elections which must be held by 2010.

"Obviously it is going to happen after December. Pak Lah is going to resign any time between 2009 (and) 2010," he told AFP.

"I think we should be fair to him, he has said he is going to go. Why the rush?" he said, adding that within the party there were "pockets of opposition" to Abdullah.

The UMNO-led coalition lost its two-thirds majority in parliament and control of five states in March 8 general elections, in the worst performance of its half-century rule over Malaysia.

Former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad, who handed over to Abdullah in 2003 but has since said he regretted his choice, on Sunday called on him to resign immediately to ensure a smooth handover.

Abdullah reportedly accepted partial responsibility for the party's electoral losses over the weekend, and said he would not "retain the leadership forever". - AFP/ac

Channel NewsAsia

HAF policy briefing on Malaysian protest

HAF Policy Briefing on Malaysian protest (April 14, 2008)

HAF Malaysia Protest Summary
© 2008 Hindu American Foundation, Inc.

The Hindu minority (7%) suffers from economic, social and educational discrimination, while the majority Malaysian Muslims benefit from an affirmative-action policy[1]

Hindus and other minorities face increasing religious discrimination, as Islamicisation has grown in recent years. Although Malaysia has a parallel court system: secular courts for non-Muslims and Sharia courts for Muslims, Hindus and other minorities have, at times, been forced to deal with the Islamic courts, where they have faced severe disadvantages. Furthermore, Hindus have been denied the right to conduct their funeral rites in accordance with Hindu practices, and in one case, lost custody of their child. In another case, a Hindu mother, Subashini Rajasingam, lost an appeal to prevent her husband, a recent Muslim convert, from changing their 4-yr old son’s religion to Islam. The highest court in Malaysia affirmed the ruling of a lower federal court, which granted the Muslim husband a right to use the Islamic Sharia courts to seek a divorce, and also upheld his right to convert their child to Islam without the mother’s consent. As a result, the Hindu mother may lose legal custody over her child, since Malaysia’s Islamic courts will not give custody of a Muslim child to a non-Muslim parent. [2]
A number of Hindu Temples have been demolished by government authorities, including the 100-yr old Maha Mariamman Hindu Temple. According to the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), thousands of Hindu Temples have been destroyed over the last 15 years. Moreover, in contrast to Hindu temples, mosque properties receive favorable treatment and public funds [3]

A peaceful protest of approximately 10,000 Hindus took place on November 25. However, Malaysian authorities used tear gas, chemical laced water cannons and baton charges to break up the rally; hundreds of protesters were beaten and arrested including several hundred gathered at the Batu Caves temple complex.[4]
Prior to the protests, three leaders of a Hindu NGO, Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), were arrested and charged with “sedition;” Malaysian authorities used repressive tactics to try and prevent the protest, including placing Kuala Lumpur on virtual lockdown. The leaders of Hindraf were later released after a court dismissed the sedition charges on technical grounds[5]

Hindus organized the protest for the following reasons[6]:

(1) Submit a petition to the British High Commissioner regarding a lawsuit filed against the British government for bringing Hindus to Malaysia as indentured laborers and failing to protect their rights in the Malaysian Constitution
(2) Bring attention to the economic and social plight of Hindus in Malaysia
(3) Protest the demolition and destruction of Hindu Temples
Following the protests, Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi threatened to use the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA), which allows indefinite detention without trial, to repress protests and demonstrations. The Prime Minister’s threats were strongly criticized by Malaysian human rights groups and lawyers.[7]

The dreaded ISA has been used since 1960 as an instrument of oppression and a means to stifle free speech and political opposition to the government. Under the Act, persons suspected of threatening national security may be arrested and detained indefinitely without charges or trial. According to Human Rights Watch, the ISA’s “provisions violate fundamental international human rights standards, including prohibitions on arbitrary detention, guarantees of the right to due process, and the right to a prompt and impartial trial.” Due its vague language, the Act has been employed to arrest and detain thousands of Malaysian citizens since 1960. Furthermore, persons held in custody under the ISA have frequently been subjected to physical and mental abuse.[8]

V Ganapathy Rao, one of the leaders of Hindraf arrested prior to the protests on “sedition” charges and later released, was re-arrested on November 29th. At least 80 other Hindu activists were charged with illegal assembly for their participation in the peaceful protests. On Decermber 4th, thirty-one other demonstrators were re-arrested and charged with attempted murder by the Malaysian government. [9]

Mr. Waytha Moorthy, the main leader of Hindraf, has left Malaysia and is currently in the United Kingdom.
On December 13th, 5 Hindraf leaders were arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA), for allegedly “carrying out activities that threatened national security.” The arrested Hindraf leaders included P Uthayakumar, M Manoharan, R Kenghadharan, V Ganabatirau, and T Vasantha Kumar. Immediately following the arrests, they were moved to the Kamunting detention center in Taiping, Perak, where can be detained for 2 years without any investigation or trial. Malaysian human rights groups, lawyers, and opposition leader Lim Kit Siang condemned the arrests and strongly criticized the use of the ISA to target and repress Hindu/Indian leaders and activists.[10]

The Malaysian government dropped attempted murder charges against the thirty-one Hindraf activists arrested on December 4th, however, twenty-six of them are still facing charges for “illegal assembly” and “causing mischief.” Furthermore, the 5 Hindraf leaders arrested and detained on December 13th under the ISA have yet to be released.[11]

Malaysian police indicated that they will seek the assistance of Interpol and Europol to monitor the activities of Hindraf. The motives behind such a move are highly questionable, however, as this announcement from Malaysian authorities coincided with reports of Hindraf leader, P Waytha Moorthy seeking international support for the marginalized Hindu community.[12]
66 Hindus, including N Gobalakrishnan, member of the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), are scheduled to be tried by a Malaysian court for their prior participation in a protest rally outside the Batu Caves temple complex on November 25, 2007. The 66 Hindus face charges of “unlawful assembly” and “causing mischief.”[13]

The Malaysian government is also suppressing freedom of expression by banning “policewatchmalaysia” (, the official website used by Hindraf.[14]

A new visa policy was instituted, placing severe restrictions on foreign born Indians applying for visas to work in Malaysia. According to some reports, the Malaysian government has placed a complete ban on the issuance of new visas for Indian workers. The visa restrictions are seen by some as linked to the earlier protests held by Malaysian Hindus demanding equal rights.[15]

On February 16, 2008 multinational rallies protesting Malaysia’s policies of religious apartheid were held across the world, including in Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, New York, London, Dublin, Brussels, Melbourne, Auckland, New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Singapore, and Jakarta. In Kuala Lumpur, Hindus gathered at Jalan Raja Laut in the city center to protest the government’s discriminatory policies against Hindus. The protestors carried roses to symbolize their peaceful struggle for equality. The police, however, used tear gas, chemical laced water cannons, and physical force to break up the rally. In addition, close to 200 Hindraf supporters were arrested, and nearly 5,000 temporarily detained, including women and children. Most of the arrested Hindus were eventually released, but at least 9 people still remain in police custody. Government authorities attempted to suppress the peaceful rally by using “racial profiling” and other repressive tactics by preventing Malaysians of Indian origin from entering Kuala Lumpur and removing them from buses traveling to the city. Road blocks were also set up to stop Indians from reaching Parliament, where the rally was originally scheduled to be held.[16]


Pressure the Malaysian government to protect the human rights of its Hindu minority
Release all arrested protesters
Allow Hindus and all minorities to peacefully protest and fully exercise their democratic rights
Stop the destruction of Hindu temples and treat all places of worship equally
The US Government must abandon the proposed Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) with Malaysia, unless the Malaysian Government drops it ethno-religious affirmative action policy, which favors the majority Muslim Malays. The FTA as currently constituted would require both foreign and domestic (non-manufacturing) investors to take on ethnic Malay partners (who would hold a minimum 30% of share capital). As a result, conclusion of the FTA with Malaysia would further the uneven distribution of wealth, thereby leaving the Indian Hindu minority at an increased economic disadvantage.[13]


It is in America’s strategic interests that democracy and human rights are protected and promoted in Malaysia, so it can serve as a model in the Muslim world
Prevent the situation from further deteriorating
In addition to Hindus, the human rights of other minorities are also at risk

Friday, April 11, 2008

HAF advocated for Malaysian Hindus at Congressional briefing

HAF Advocates for Malaysian Hindus at Congressional Briefing


Ishani Chowdhury
Hindu American Foundation
Director of Public Policy
Office: 301.770.7835
Fax: 301.770.7837

Washington, DC (April 8, 2008). The Hindu American Foundation Director of Public Policy, Ishani Chowdhury, testified on recent events in Malaysia at a briefing held by the Congressional Task Force on International Religious Freedom (TIRF) today on Capitol Hill. Entitled "Matters of Life and Death in Malaysia: Does the Recent Election Point to a Trend Toward Religious Tolerance?," prominent panelists included Dr. Bridget Welsh, Assistant Professor in the Southeast Asia Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University-SAIS; Angela Wu, International Director with The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty; and Mickey Spiegel, Senior Researcher with the Asia Division at Human Rights Watch.

At the briefing attended by representatives of the U.S. Department of State, staffers of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Malaysian Embassy, Chowdhury flayed the Malaysian government on its record of persecution and discrimination of the country's substantial Hindu minority, constituting 7% of the population. "With a 40% minority population, Malaysia needs to include the minority population in dialogue and address grievances such as the violent responses to peaceful protests, judicial onslaughts against faith, and destruction of temples," stated Chowdhury. As noted in the Foundation's report 'Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Report: 2006', 76 Hindu temples were demolished, desecrated or forcibly relocated by the Malaysian government. The most prominent case is that of the destruction of the 100-year old Sri Muthu Mariamman temple, which was located on a rubber plantation and home to approximately 1,000 families.

"Hindus also face an socio-economic disadvantage as they are not entitled to benefits under the government's bumiputra program," said Chowdhury. The majority Muslim Malay, viewed as bumiputra or "sons of the soil," benefit from an affirmative action policy that includes discounts on housing, quotas on educational institutions, preference for government jobs, and disproportionate opportunities for economic advancement. "Many Malaysian Hindus have left Malaysia to settle in the United States, as they are unable to gain scholarships or admission to colleges or jobs, despite high academic achievements," she said.

This panel included discussion of the implications of Malaysia's March 8th elections on religious minorities. Although the elections served as watermark of Malaysian democracy, the long-term effects are uncertain. Religious minorities were galvanized during the vote by the government authorized destruction of Hindu and Buddhist temples, and legal decisions that limit their religious freedom rights related to issues of life and death, including marriage, conversion, custody of children, and burial. The election resulted in damaging losses for Prime Minister's Abduallah Badawi's coalition.

"As an economically strong nation with a large minority community, Malaysia has the opportunity to serve as a model of harmony in the Muslim world, with the US benefiting both strategically and economically, " said Chowdhury. "It is in the nation's best interest to work to promote dialogue, repeal the draconian Internal Security Act, which allows indefinite imprisonment without trail, and work with the Hindu community to ensure fairness towards all faith traditions. Otherwise, it may not be too long until we see another country spiral out of control into the contentious and devastating realm of human rights abuse, and religious and racial divide. "

The Hindu American Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, non-partisan organization promoting the Hindu and American ideals of understanding, tolerance and pluralism. Contact HAF at 1-301-770-7835 or on the web at

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Detained Hindraf Uthayakumar denied medical attention by Malaysian Govt.

Hindraf man denied health attention by Government April 10, 2008
Posted by beritaman

Hindraf legal advisor P Uthayakumar, who is being held without trial under the security laws, has been hospitalised after being denied medication for diabetes, his lawyer said today.

Uthayakumar and four other members of the rights group Hindraf have been held at a detention centre in Perak since December after organising an unprecedented mass rally claiming discrimination against ethnic Indians.

Uthayakumar, who has been a diabetic for the past 12 years, was admitted to the Taiping hospital in Perak on Monday after his sugar level rose to more than three times the normal level, lawyer Santha Devi Velusamy said.

“He was not given his diabetes medicines for the past one month,” she told AFP.

“He has written six letters previously to the prison’s director but the director did not respond in any way. These medicines were prescribed by a doctor in January,” she added.

Hindraf chairperson P Waythamoorthy, who is also Uthayakumar’s younger brother, said that despite his condition he was forced to consume food which was high in sugar and starch.

“This is a serious violation of Uthayakumar’s rights and is deliberately done to exert torture, cruel and inhumane punishment on him,” he said in a letter to the UN human rights commissioner.

The five are currently fighting for their release in the country’s highest court.

Malaysia’s home ministry was not immediately available for comment.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hindraf lodges report against Islamic info officer Maligning Hinduism

Hindraf lodges report against Islamic info officer Maligning Hinduism

Wednesday April 9, 2008
Hindraf lodges report against info officer

PENANG: A police report has been lodged against an Islamic Information and Services Foundation officer for allegedly condemning Hinduism during a recent closed-door ceramah in Alor Star, Kedah.

Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) co-ordinator R.S. Thanenthiran said the ceramah was recorded and 11 clips were uploaded onto YouTube.

"We did our own checks and discovered that he had also put down other religions.

"He should stop before he causes religious unrest in our peaceful country," Thanenthiran said yesterday.

A police spokesman said they would investigate the report which was lodged at the Patani Road police station yesterday afternoon.

In Malacca, several Indian non-governmental groups and an individual have lodged police reports against the manager of a company in Setiawangsa, Kuala Lumpur, over alleged derogatory remarks made by him against Hinduism.

Malacca Hindu Sangam leaders of the Kota Melaka, Bukit Katil, Tangga Batu and Jasin MIC divisions, including an individual, lodged the report at the Central Malacca police station yesterday.

In their report, they claimed that the culprit had been making derogatory remarks in talks and in a website about Hinduism over the last several years.

His remarks are also on YouTube.

Fitna video vs. video of Malaysian muslim convert pouring hatred on Hinduism

Fitna Video vs Video of Malaysian Muslim convert pouring hatred on Hinduism

You decide whether what is said in the Fitna video is right or wrong

View the Fitna video here

The venomous video on Hinduisn by an Malaysian Indian muslim (In Malay language)

Whereas Malaysian religious council slams Fitna video as insult to Islam and the former prime minister Mahathir has called for for boycott of Dutch products.

But the same people propagate hatred towards other religions in their own back yard.
A Mr Shah Kirit Bin Kakulal Govindji also known as Shah Kirit Kumar Da'wa , Officer of IIS is propagating hatred towards Hinduism in the video here

His personal blog is here: personal blog

So Fitna appears to be justified. Muslims have no respect for other religions.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Visa ban on Hindu priests: Govt. of India should get this ban revoked

Visa ban on Hindu priests

Malaysian Govt takes revenge by denying visas to Hindu priests, musicians and temple builders! Major temples affected, Several temple construction coming to a standstill!

Hindu temples hit by 'cabinet ban'
K Kabilan | Apr 7, 08 12:02pm

Devotees of the Hanuman temple in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, have eagerly been anticipating a spanking new structure by year's end.

Construction work by specialist builders from India have been progressing smoothly, with about 40 percent of work completed on schedule to date.

But temple officials now foresee problems in completing the work as the immigration department has refused to extend the work-permits of the builders.

Worse, the department has given the workers one month to leave the country, and has refused to entertain applications to bring in new workers.

"We are stuck. The temple is only half-built. If these workers go, who will finish the work?" asked temple treasurer M Suresh.

"The department wants us to hire local workers. What they don't realise, or choose to ignore, is that not everyone can build temples. You need skilled and specialist workers."

He has another problem - what to tell the devotees who have donated huge sums of money for the temple construction.

This is not an isolated case. Across the nation, many Hindu temples face same problems with the immigration department refusing to renew work permits of builders, priests and musicians.

Its reason is that locals can be hired to do these jobs, a claim that many temple officials reject.

Half-built temples
Temple builder P Malairaju said about 10 of his projects are stuck as a result of this new policy.

"When we apply to bring in expert builders, we submit a huge dossier involving the work schedule and the need for these workers. Only after going through these documents, would the department approve a permit.

"Each worker is given an initial six-month permit which can be renewed for up to five years. However now, at the end of the six months, these workers are being told to pack up and leave," he told Malaysiakini.

He said the decision can be appealed and an extension could be granted for up to three months, but not in all cases.

He said that he has about nine expert workers at the Hanuman temple and about 90 more working at temples in other locations.

"When we asked the department why the renewal applications have been rejected, we were merely told to hire locals. Why can't they refer to our dossiers and see for themselves why we brought in these workers in the first place?"

He added that local workers still lacked the necessary skills to build temples and its intrinsic works.

"This is not like building an apartment or a building. You need to know the work," he added.

He also said that the department has also refused to entertain new applications to bring in workers to continue the stalled projects.

"What is going to happen is that there will be half-built temples all around the country. I pity the temple officials who have to face the wrath of devotees," he said.

Suresh agreed, saying that even now some of the devotee at the Hanuman temple were blaming the temple officials for "siphoning off the donation and slowing down the temple construction".

'We are stuck'
Other temples have been caught by the denial of renewed work permits for priests from India, thus forcing prayers and weddings to be conducted without priests.

The Sri Ayyanar Temple in Jalan Genting Klang is among those in this quandary. Its priest and a musician have been told to leave soon.

"How do we find replacements? Local priests are not interested in working full time. We don't have enough qualified musicians as well. And this temple is fully booked for the coming wedding season," said temple secretary A Gothandapaandi.

Similarly the Sri Subramaniam temple in Bandar Sunway is facing difficulty after its musicians were told to leave and applications for new musicians and priests were rejected.

"We are stuck. I fear for the future. We don't have enough local priests or musicians. The government should have some sense in this matter," said temple chairperson R Manivasagam.

Officials in other temple committees urged the government to end the 'ban'.

"Is there an unwritten code to stop the growth of Hindu temples in this country?" asked a temple secretary from Ipoh.

Sri Sivan temple secretary V Palani from Klang said: "Trained local musicians and priests prefer to work on freelance basis so that they can earn more. Temples need full time musicians and priests so that we can serve the needs of our devotees at all times."

When contacted, an immigration official said this is a cabinet-level decision and that all questions should be directed to the home ministry.

Back to cabinet
Last week MIC president S Samy Vellu raised the matter with the minister concerned, Syed Hamid Albar, who said the matter would be discussed in the cabinet before a decision is made.

Malaysia Hindu Sangam is also worried about the trend and has asked the government to revoke the cabinet decision, which was made late last year.

Hindu Sangam president A Vaithilingam said that the affected temples were all big, popular and registered temples.

"This sudden decision has caused a lot of unhappiness and had damaged the operations of especially larger temples," he said.

"We feel that the decision is very unfair especially when considering that there are two million foreign workers in the country, whereas the requirement of the temples for a few hundred foreign skilled workers is not being entertained," he added.

He also said that it takes many years to train highly-skilled priests and temple musicians.

"Unfortunately, the temples are not able to find locals with suitably high qualifications and skills to work for the pay that the temples can afford," he said.

Vaithilingam also said the Hindu Sangam is making efforts to meet Syed Hamid to resolve this problem.

This issue first cropped up last December when then minister in charge of foreign workers Radzi Sheikh Ahmad said that there is no ban on foreign workers - including priests, musicians and sculptors - from India.

He insisted that no applications from Indian priests, musicians or sculptors had been rejected, but admitted the government is trying to reduce foreign labour.

"Our policy is that we want locals to take up the jobs as priests, musicians and sculptors," he was reported as saying.

Temple officials, however, say that based on what's happening now, it is clear that there is I indeed a ban in place.

source: www.malaysiakini.com__._,_.___

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Indian component of Malay culture -- Sabri Zain

Indian component of Malay Culture

Date: 13 Nov 97
Originally To: "M.G.G. Pillai"
Re: Sanskrit and the Malay cultural ethos (fwd)

I am writing in response to MGG's excellent posting on the above. The
attempts by various parties to blot out the Indianised component of
Malay culture, I believe, is tantamount to destroying my rich cultural
heritage and turning Malays into third-rate Arabs. It is tue that islam
is a large component of our culture - but Malay culture is a rich
melting pot of many other cultures - Indian, Chinese, Thai, Javanese,
Minangkabau, Portuguese, even a pagan past when we were closest to our
roots in nature.

Historians tell us much about the political greatness and fame of the
Hindunized Malay Empires of Sri Vijaya and Majapahit. These two empires
controlled the destiny of the greater part of Malaysia. But how deep adn
widespread was `Indian' influence in Malaysia?

To begin with, Hindu influence was synonymous with Indian trade. This
trade was maritime and riverine, that is, confined to the coastal and
riverine areas of malaysia. The centres of Indian trade were places such
as Pasai, Indragiri, Melayu and Jambi in Sumatra; Malacca; Kuala Muda in
Kedah; and Surabaya in Java. The bulk of the people living inland of
these areas remained untouched by the religious by the religious,
economic and political influence of India. The Jakuns, Semangs and
Sakais of the Peninsular Malaysia, most of the original inhabitants of
the Borneo territories, of the Celebes, of Sumatra and the other bigger
islands of the Malay Archipelago were never converted to Hinduism. It
was only later, when communications inland were improved, that they were
converted to either Islam or Christianity. Smaller islands with central
zones never too far away from the coast were more thoroughly covered by
Indian traders. One such island was Bali, which has retained its Hindu
heritage up to the present day, despite the later onslaughts of Islam
and the West.

Then there was the next stage in the spread of Hinduism. Initially, it
came from traders from India, particularly South India. Later, the
centres of trade became powerful centres of political influence and

First, there was the great Empire of Srivijaya in Sumatra, followed in
the 14th century A.D. by its conqueror and successor, the Empire of
Majapahit in Java. The political expansion of these two Empires meant
also the theological expansion of Hinduism in Malaysia but even then,
Hinduism did not spread to all parts of Malaysia. Sri Vijaya and
Majapahit were essentially maritime powers, and their sphere of
political, military and social influence was generally limited to the
coastal and riverine areas.

The Hindu influence was limited more or less rigidly to the upper class
of old Malay society - the royalty. Malay royalty was essentially Hindu
royalty descended, according to the Malay Annals, "Sejarah Melayu", from
a legendary half-Indian and half-Greek monarch, Raja Suran, whose sons
all bearing Indian proper names, Sang Nila Utama, Krishna Pandita, Nila
Pahlawan, then descended on Bukit Siguntang in Sumatra from whence Malay
royalty spread. Malay royalty was essentially Hindu royalty because the
spread of Hinduism was not the result of any organised missionary
movement. Indian merchants by virtue merely of their financial and
cultural superiority drew converts from the ruling and trading classes
of the races with which they traded. If Hinduism was accepted, it was
because of a desire for a better standard of living rather than because
of an understanding and appreciation of a superior religious system.

Hinduism spread also through marriage. The petty princes of the
Malaysian coastal trading centres were glad to marry off their sons and
daughters to the financially superior Indian merchants or their
children. As for those who lived on the outskirts of the trading
centre: as money was not the basis of their economy, there was no
incentive to accepts Hinduism. Among them, the Hindu influence was to
come much later and in gradual stages. It is true that the common
people followed the religious faith of their rulers, for they were used
in such matters to take directions from above. But there was always an
undercurrent of fear, lest they should evoke the wrath of their
animistic deities. So, at best among the common people Hinduism was
assimilated only with a lot of local theological "spice" retained (the
same happened with the later adoption of Islam).

If such was the case, how do we explain the fact that old Malay
literature is almost completely derived from Hindu epics, from the
Ramayana and the Mahabaratha; and the fact that at least 30% of Malay
vocabulary is made up of Sanskrit words? Does not this prove that Hindu
influence was very much more intensive than I have suggested?

But it is often misleading to draw evidence solely from old Malay
literature to assess the relative position of Hinduism in the religious
beliefs and practices of the people at large. Old Malay literature, it
must be remembered, was exclusively Court literature. This literature
was made up of stories and legends of kings and princes, queens and
princesses, and of people connected with royalty. As Malay royalty was
basically Hindu royalty, Malay court literature had to be Hindu
literature. It is plain, then, that the Hindu element in old Malay
literature cannot be taken to represent the general pattern of life of
the common Malay people.

But the influence of India has been marked on the Malay language and
also in the sphere of religion.

Today, when a Malay speaks a sentence of ten words, at least three or
four of them will be Sanskrit words, three Arabic and the remaining
either of English, Chinese, Persian or of some other origin. One expert
has even suggested that there are only four words in the Malay
vocabulary which are genuinely Malay. The are "api" or fire, "besi" or
iron. "padi" or rice, and "nasi" or cooked rice. This is rather a
sweeping claim, but no one will deny that AT LEAST a third of Malay
vocabulary has originated from Indian tongues.

Words such as putera, puteri, asmara, samudra, belantra, kenchana,
sukma, and literally thousands of other words are all Sanscrit words,
either in original or in modified form.

What of the influence of India on the religious developments of the
Malaysian peoples? Malay folk-lore and Malay literature show that
during the period before the coming of Islam, about the 14th century
A.D., the greater gods of the Malay pantheon were really borrowed Hindu
divinities. They were, in some respect, modified by Malay ideas, but
only the lesser gods and spirits were actually native to the Malay
religious system. It is true these native gods and spirits can be
identified with the great powers of nature, such as the spirit of the
Wind (Mambang Angin), the spirit of the Waters (Hantu Ayer) and the
spirit of the Sun (Mambang Kuning). But none of them appears to have
the status of the chief gods of the Hindu system. Both by land and
water, the terrible Shiva and Batara Guru or Kala, are supreme.

In Malay folk-lore we find Vishnu, the preserver, Brahma the creator,
Batara Guru (Kala) and S'ri all invoked by Malays, especially by Malay
magicians. Of all the greater deities of the Hindu system, Batara Guru
is unquestionably the greatest. In Hikayat Sang Sembah , Batara Guru
appears as a supreme god with Brahma and Vishnu and some subordinate
deities. It is Batara Guru who alone has the "water of life", the
elixir of life, which can restore life to dead humans and animals. To
the Malays of old, then, and to the Malay bomohs even of the present day
in whom are preserved these notions, "tok Batara Guru" or any one of the
corruptions which his name now bears, was the all-powerful god who held
the place of Allah before the advent of Islam, and was a spirit so
powerful that he could restore the dead to life. All prayers were
addressed to him.

Of the lesser deities of Hinduism, the most notable who have remained in
Malay superstition and folklore are the "gergasi", half-human forest
spirits of Hindu mythology represented in Malay folk-lore as tusked
orgres that feed on human flesh. Then there is the raksaksa, a race of
cannibal giants ruled, according to the Indian Puranas, by Ravana. A
tribe of raksaksa is mentioned in the Kedah annals, HIKAYAT MARONG MAHA
WANGSA, which tell of a giant king, Maroung Maha Wangsa, who led a tribe
of giants and founded the present state of Kedah which they called
LANGKASUKA (as I had mentioned in an earlier posting, the real Langasuka
was more probably in Pattani, Thailand)

All in all, that a form of Hinduism was the accepted religion of the
Malays prior to the advent of Islam is certain, and it is a fact amply
proved by Malay folk-lore and superstition, Malay literature, Malay
customs and various archaeological inscriptions.

Muslim religious teachers in Malaysia today still preach the Islamic
concept of heaven in a terminology which is neither Malay nor Arabic,
but Hindu. The sanskrit word "syurga" is always used in connection with
the Islamic concept of paradise. The proper Arabic word for this is
actually "al-jannah". In the same way, the Hindu religious term "neraka"
or hell is used by Muslim Malays to explain the Islamic concept of
hell. The Arabic word for hell is "al-nar: or the place of fire. Then
the Muslim fast, the annual religious abstention from food and drink, is
known by the Sanskrit term "puasa". A Muslim religious teacher is often
called "guru, another Hindu religious term , in fact the name of a Hindu
deity, Batara Guru. The Muslim prayer is among the Malays, called
"sembahyang". "Sembah" in Sanskrit means to pray, and "yang" is a
Sanskrit term meaning divinity or conjuring respect, as in Sang Yang
Tunggal", the most divine one, and "Yang Dipertuan ". There are many
other Hindu religious terms that have lost their original meaning and
are being freely and unconsciously used by Muslim Malays in connection
with the religion of Islam. This shows that Hinduism exerted a profound
influence on Malay culture before the coming of Islam to Malaysia. And
this influence has survived, despite the strict monotheistic
restrictions of the Islamic faith, to the present day. So, in religion
as well as in other aspects of Malaysian culture, we cannot treat the
influence of India as something belonging to the past.
The political influence of old India which was climaxed by the great
Empires of "Sri Vijaya" and "Majapahit" is today at an end, but the
cultural influence of India which began at the beginning of the
Christian era is still very much alive, and it will be alive for many,
many centuries to come because it has become part of the life of the
Malays. And even politics is not going to change that.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Chinese party (of UMNO) demands Hindraf leaders' release

Chinese party joins demand for jailed Hindraf leaders' release

The Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), a constituent of the ruling alliance, has joined the demand for the release of five jailed leaders of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf).

From correspondents in Federal Territory, Malaysia, 2 Apr 2008 4:02 PM - (

The Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), a constituent of the ruling alliance, has joined the demand for the release of five jailed leaders of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf).

An unregistered body, Hindraf, claiming to speak for two million Tamil Hindu settlers, courted controversy after it organised a rally here Nov 25, 2007 to highlight the problems faced by ethnic Indians.

Police forcibly dispersed the rally using water cannons and arrested M. Manoharan, 46, P. Uthayakumar, 46, V. Ganabatirau, 34, R. Kengadharan, 40, and K. Vasantha Kumar, 34. They have been detained for two years under the stringent Internal Security Act.

The MCA has appealed to the government to open a dialogue with the Indian community to hear its grievances. The party, which has spoken for the estimated 33 percent ethnic Chinese population since Malaysia's independence, has for the first time lent its voice to an ethnic Indian cause after an appeal by the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) last week.

However, Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar has rejected the appeal of MIC chief and his former cabinet colleague, S. Samy Vellu, saying that 'national interests and not sentiments' would guide the government's decision.

Both MCA and MIC, which speaks for the eight percent ethnic Indians, belong to the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN).

The BN emerged victorious, but weakened in last month's general election, losing its two-thirds majority in parliament and control of five states.

MCA vice-president Donald Lim Siang Chai Tuesday called on Albar to seriously consider freeing the five Hindraf leaders 'if they are found not to be a threat to the country's stability'.

He said releasing the five would show that the government was 'democratic', The Star newspaper said.

'It will show that the government is open in its handling of issues affecting the people. This in turn will enable the government to garner more support from the people,' he said.

(© IANS)

Read more at:

Hindraf leader meets Advani

Hindu rights leader from Malaysia meets Advani

The Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) of Malaysia has urged the Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani to urge the government so that an all-party delegation is sent there to look into the plight of Hindus there.

From correspondents in Delhi, India, 2 Apr 2008 4:02 PM - (

The Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) of Malaysia has urged the Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani to urge the government so that an all-party delegation is sent there to look into the plight of Hindus there.

HINDRAF Chairperson P. Waytha Moorthy called on Advani at his home here late Tuesday and was with him for over half an hour, said Advani's personal staff.

Moorthy told IANS: 'I asked him to urge the government to send a discreet high-powered cross-party delegation to see for itself the plight of the Hindus in Malaysia. He has promised to take this up with the government and send a delegation soon.

'I asked him to speak to the Malaysian government to secure the release of five of our top office-bearers who are being detained without any trial under the Internal Security Act. He was surprised when I described to him the suppression and oppression we have undergone there in last 50 years.

'We are meeting other leaders also to build pressure on the Indian government.'

(© IANS)

Mahathir calls for rebellion in Malaysia

Mahatir calls for rebellion in Malaysia
Malaysia Sun
Tuesday 1st April, 2008

Former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohammad has urged supporters to openly rebel against the prime minister.

At a conference, about 2,000 members of the United Malay National Organisation party heard Mahatir speak against the party's leader, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Mahathir accused Abdullah of failing to curb unbridled corruption, nepotism and cronyism, and called on him to resign.

The meeting's agenda was to analyse the massive losses suffered by Abdullah's National Front ruling coalition in the March 8th general elections.

The volatile meeting quickly turned into vocal mass criticism of the 68-year-old prime minister, who still insists he has the full support of his party.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Release Hindraf 5; Hamid destroying Abdullah's reputation: Kit

Hindraf 5 ISA detention - Hamid single-handedly destroying Abdullah’s reputation

Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar is single-handedly destroying the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s reputation that he is belatedly delivering his reform pledges though more than four years behind time by his refusal to immediately and unconditionally releasing newly-elected Selangor DAP State Assemblyman for Kota Alam Shah A. Manoharan and four other Hindraf leaders, P. Uthayakumar, V. Ganabatirau, R. Kenghadharan and T. Vasantha Kumar from Internal Security Act (ISA) detention.

Hamid’s comment on Samy Vellu’s call for the release of the five Hindraf activists could be used against the Home Minister himself. Noting Samy Vellu’s claim that his call was not a “publicity stunt”, Hamid said that was “his right as the leader of the Indian community to fight for the cause” and that “if he was in Samy Vellu’s shoes, he might have done the same thing”.

Clearly, Hamid had done the same thing and was not looking at the ISA detention of the Hindraf 5 afresh in the light of the unmistakable message of the March 8 “political tsunami” in wanting an immediate end to injustices and abuses of power like the arbitrary and unjust ISA detention of the Hindraf 5, but was purely looking at the issue in his capacity as an Umno leader who must defend his turf in the upcoming Umno General Assembly, subordinating and sacrificing his Ministerial oath of office to give top priority to national interests as the new Home Minister to steer the country from its past history of human rights violations and abuses of power particularly in ISA detentions.

In obstinately refusing to accede to demands for the immediate and unconditional release of the Hindraf 5, even without calling for an instant review of the ISA detention of the Hindraf 5, Hamid is showing utter contempt of the verdict of the Malaysian voters in the March 8 “political tsunami”.

Today is the second meeting of the new Abdullah Cabinet. The question is whether other Ministers, particularly from MIC and MCA, had raised in the Cabinet the issue of the release of the five Hindraf leaders under the ISA as a positive and responsible response to the March 8 “political tsunami” or whether the political culture of subservience and subordination of Barisan Nasional Ministers in the Cabinet has remained unchanged despite the March 8 political tsunami.