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"My passport was revoked" -- Waytha

My passport was revoked, insists Hindraf leader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LUMPUR: Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader P. Waytha Moorthy is still claiming that his Malaysian passport has been revoked despite the government stating otherwise.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