Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hindraf: Najib's shocking racial clash remark

Hindraf: Najib's racial clash remark 'shocking'
Tue, 22/01/2008 - 20:30 — admin
Jan 22, 08 7:32pm
The Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) today expressed shock over Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s statement that the movement’s leaders had to be arrested to prevent a racial clash.
In a statement, Hindraf chairperson P Waythamoorthy claimed that detaining the five Hindraf leaders under the Internal Security Act (ISA) was an ‘insult to justice’.
They were held without any proof, added the lawyer, who is currently in London.
“We are shocked with Najib's revelation that the arrest was indirectly meant to pacify those who were prepared to resort to violent acts.
“This is absolutely ridiculous and doesn't augur well in a democratic and civil society,” he said.
Yesterday, Najib told AFP that the arrest of the five Hindraf leaders had averted a major racial clash in Kuala Lumpur.
“If the Malays of Kampung Baru had come out then, we (would) have the spectre of a serious possibility of a racial clash in this country.
"There were signs that they were preparing to come out, so we had to tell them, 'look, don't make the situation any worse'. "The government was actually taking action to prevent anything worse from happening," the deputy premier was quoted as saying.
‘Obsolete’ threat
Waythamoorthy claimed that whenever a minority community raises its grouses, the government will instill the fear of racial clashes.
“Hindraf feels that the threat of ‘Malay violence’ is obsolete and by condoning such acts, the government is violating the principles of peace, harmony and co-existence,” he said.
The Hindraf chairperson also stated that the movement has always promoted peaceful democratic rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
“The issue of oppression, suppression and marginalisation of the Indian community over the last 50 years should be tackled but the government chooses to imprison those who advocate principles of democracy and minority rights,” he said.
Waythamoorthy said the Indian community will no longer “believe these lies.”
“Our demands have even opened the eyes of the underclass Malays who now realise that the Malay special privilege under Article 153 of the Federal Constitution has failed them, instead enriching the elite class of the ruling Umno leaders,” he added.
The Hindraf chairperson also reiterated his call to free the five held under the ISA.
The five, including Waythamoorty’s brother and Hindraf legal advisor Uthayakumar, were detained on Dec 13.
On Nov 25, Hindraf organised a massive street rally which drew some 30,000 Indian Malaysians to the streets.
The movement has since been labelled as an ‘extremist’ outfit and its leaders accused of having terrorist links.

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