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.


balan said...

Not sure if this ban make sense as HINDRAF is not a legal organisation in the first place.

As a moderate Indian Malaysian, I don’t agree or support HINDRAF (maybe one of the few Indian who do not support HINDRAF in Malaysia).

No, I’m not a BN Supporter.

The approach, writing and rhetorics incites hatred towards others. They are another organisation hiding behind race, religion, temples and schools. Their arguements are flimsy and does not make much sense.

For alternative views on HINDRAF, from a Indian Malaysian point of view, , please visit (AUg/Sept/Oct Archive)

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