Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Tamils - a Nation without a State> Malaysia > Tamils in Malaysia Protest Against Discrimination by Malaysian Government


On Tamils in Malaysia - Shan Ranjit, 8 December 2007  "The Chinese and the Indians were against the enforcement of Malay as the medium of instruction in all schools and as the national language and on the privileged educational and employment opportunities offered to the Malays. .. the religion of the majority -Islam- plays a bigger role in the daily life of Malaysians. Their national color is Green - the color of Islam. Their national flower is the five petal hibiscus - to represent the five ideologies of Islam. Their national flag does not include any symbols representing other minorities. They even have a ministry that helps those people who had converted voluntarily to Islam..."
1969 Malaysian Race Riots
Digging Up Malaysia's Racial Past
Malaysian Indians:the Third Class Race - C.S. Kupuswamy, South Asia Analysis Group, 28 February 2004
Ethnic Tensions in Malaysia: A wake-up call for the Malaysian Indian Congress - C.S. Kuppuswamy, 2001  "Ignored by government Policy, hidden from mainstream Malaysian society, the Indian labour force indeed becomes Malaysia�s forgotten people"
Social and Political Ferment in the Malayan Indian Community 1945 to 1955 - S.Arasaratnam 
Bahasa Melayu - Official Language of Malaysia: by National Language Act 1967 & Article 152 of Federal Constitution

Indictment Against Malaysia - Karupu Samy - The record of racial discrimination  practiced by the Malaysian government as well as by government agencies is an open secret. Figures in this list are estimates. The Government of Malaysia has the most correct figures. Is the government of Malaysia too ashamed to publicise their racist acts by publishing the statistics?  The Record Speaks..

(1) Out of all the 5 major banks, only one bank is multi-racial, the rest are controlled by Malays

(2) 99% of Petronas directors are Malays

(3) 3% of Petronas employees are Chinese

(4) 99% of 2000 Petronas gasoline stations are owned by Malays

(5) 100% all contractors working under Petronas projects must be bumis status

(6) 0% of non-Malay staffs is legally required in Malay companies. But there must be 30% Malay staffs in Chinese companies

(7) 5% of all new intake for government army, nurses, polices, is non-Malays

(8) 2% is the present Chinese staff in Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), drop from 40% in 1960

(9) 2% is the percentage of non-Malay government servants in Putrajaya. But Malays make up 98%

(10) 7% is the percentage of Chinese government servants in the whole government (in 2004), drop from 30% in 1960

(11) 95% of government contracts are given to Malays

(12) 100% all business licensees are controlled by Malay government e.g. Approved Permits, Taxi Permits, etc

(13) 80% of the Chinese rice millers in Kedah had to be sold to Malay controlled Bernas in 1980s. Otherwise, life is make difficult for Chinese rice millers

(14) 100 big companies set up, managed and owned by Chinese Malaysians were taken over by government, and later managed by Malays since 1970s e.g. MISC, UMBC, UTC, etc

(15) At least 10 Chinese owned bus companies (throughout Malaysia, throughout 40 years) had to be sold to MARA or other Malay transport companies due to rejection by Malay authority to Chinese application for bus routes and rejection for their application for new buses

(16) 2 Chinese taxi drivers were barred from driving in Johor Larkin bus station. There are about 30 taxi drivers and 3 are Chinese in October 2004. Spoiling taxi club properties was the reason given

(17) 0 non-Malays are allowed to get shop lots in the new Muar bus station (November 2004)

(18) 8000 billion ringgit is the total amount the government channeled to Malay pockets through ASB, ASN, MARA, privatisation of government agencies, Tabung Haji etc, through NEP over 34 years period

(19) 48 Chinese primary schools closed down since 1968 - 2000

(20) 144 Indian primary schools closed down since 1968 - 2000

(21) 2637 Malay primary schools built since 1968 - 2000

(22) 2.5% is government budget for Chinese primary schools. Indian schools got only 1%, Malay schools got 96.5%

(23) While a Chinese parent with RM1000 salary (monthly) cannot get school-text-book-loan, a Malay parent with RM2000 salary is eligible

(24) Vice Chancellors of all 10 public universities are Malays

(25) 5% - the government universities lecturers of non-Malay origins had been reduced from about 70% in 1965 to only 5% in 2004

(26) Only 5% is given to non-Malays for government scholarships over 40 years

(27) 0 Chinese or Indians were sent to Japan and Korea under "Look East Policy"

(28) 128 STPM Chinese top students could not get into the course that they aspired e.g. Medicine (in 2004)

(29) 10% place for non-bumi students for MARA science schools beginning from year 2003, but only 7% are filled. Before that it was 100% Malays

(30) 50 cases whereby Chinese and Indian Malaysians, are beaten up in the National Service program in 2003

(31) 25% is Malaysian Chinese population in 2004, drop from 45% in 1957

(32) 7% is the present Malaysian Indians population (2004), a drop from 12% in 1957

(33) 2 million Chinese Malaysians had emigrated to overseas since 40 years ago

(34) 0.5 million Indian Malaysians had emigrated to overseas

(35) 3 million Indonesians had migrated into Malaysia and became Malaysian citizens with bumis status

(36) 600000 are the Chinese and Indian Malaysians with red IC and were rejected repeatedly when applying for citizenship for 40 years. Perhaps 60% of them had already passed away due to old age. This shows racism of how easily Indonesians got their citizenship compare with the Chinese and Indians

(37) 5% - 15% discount for a Malay to buy a house, regardless whether the Malay is poor or rich

(38) 2% is what Chinese new villages get compare with 98% of what Malay villages got for rural development budget

(39) 50 road names (at least) had been changed from Chinese names to other names

(40) 1 Dewan Gan Boon Leong (in Malacca) was altered to other name (e.g. Dewan Serbaguna or sort) when it was being officially used for a few days. Government try to shun Chinese names. This racism happened in around year 2000 or sort

(41) 0 churches/temples were built for each housing estate. But every housing estate got at least one mosque/surau built

(42) 3000 mosques/surau were built in all housing estates throughout Malaysia since 1970. No churches, no temples are required to be built in housing estates

(43) 1 Catholic church in Shah Alam took 20 years to apply to be constructed. But told by Malay authority that it must look like a factory and not look like a church. Still not yet approved in 2004

(44) 1 publishing of Bible in Iban language banned (in 2002)

(45) 0 of the government TV stations (RTM1, RTM2, TV3) are directors of non-Malay origins

(46) 30 government produced TV dramas and films always showed that the bad guys had Chinese face, and the good guys had Malay face. You can check it out since 1970s. Recent years, this tendency becomes less

(47) 10 times, at least, Malays (especially Umno) had threatened to massacre the Chinese Malaysians using May 13 since 1969

(48) 20 constituencies won by DAP would not get funds from the government to develop. Or these Chinese majority constituencies would be the last to be developed

(49) 100 constituencies (parliaments and states) had been racistly re-delineated so Chinese voters were diluted that Chinese candidates, particularly DAP candidates lost in election since 1970s

(50) Only 3 out of 12 human rights items are ratified by Malaysia government since 1960

(51) 0 - elimination of all forms of racial discrimination (UN Human Rights) is not ratified by Malaysia government since 1960s

(52) 20 reported cases whereby Malay ambulance attendances treated Chinese patients inhumanely, and Malay government hospital staffs purposely delay attending to Chinese patients in 2003. Unreported cases may be 200

(53) 50 cases each year whereby Chinese, especially Chinese youths being beaten up by Malay youths in public places. We may check at police reports provided the police took the report, otherwise there will be no record

(54) 20 cases every year whereby Chinese drivers who accidentally knocked down Malays were seriously assaulted or killed by Malays

(55) 12% is what ASB/ASN got per annum while banks fixed deposit is only about 3.5% per annum

Tamils - a Nation without a State

Malaysia - மலேசியா
- an estimated 1,060,000 Tamils live in Malaysia -

Tamils in Malaysia Protest Against
Discrimination by Malaysian Government

25 November  2007 - 8 December 2007

Malaysian Police Break up Rally - BBC Report, 25 November 2007

Protect ethnic Indians in Malaysia: Vaiko

Government must summon Malaysian envoy on issue of Tamils: Pattali Makkal Kachi, Tamil Nadu

Tamils will be radicalised if discrimination continues - Daily News & Analysis

Malaysia asks Karunanidhi to lay off

"I will keep working for the welfare of Tamils, irrespective of where they live in the world" - M.Karunanidhi

In a draconian response, Malaysia charges 26 ethnic Indians with attempted murder in connection with anti-discrimination rally, 5 December 2007

Malaysiakini Interview with P.Uthayakumar, Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) Legal Adviser, 5 December 2007

P Waytha Moorthy, president of Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) asks India to impose sanctions on Malaysia, 6 December 2007

Fears of ethnic unrest have emerged in Malaysia after some 20,000 people participated in a Nov. 25 rally in Kuala Lumpur, Associated Press, 7 December , 2007

Malaysian Minister Nazri uses 'LTTE links' suggestion to manage protest against discrimination, 8 December 2007

New Delhi  snubs Malaysian Tamil leader, says can't go beyond a point, 8 December 2007

Malaysian Police Break up Rally - BBC Report, 25 November 2007

Tear gas and water cannon were used to disperse a crowd of over 5,000 people as they rallied outside the British High Commission. The protesters are calling for reparations from the UK for sending Indians to Malaysia as indentured labourers a century ago. The activists also demand measures to improve the living standards of Hindus. At least 5,000 ethnic Indian men gathered outside Kuala Lumpur's famous Petronas Towers, carrying Malaysian flags and placards. Some demonstrators were beaten and bundled into police vans, as tear gas and water cannon were fired into the crowd, according to the Associated Press news agency.

Organisers had pledged that the demonstration would be peaceful, but Malaysian authorities nevertheless banned it, fearing that it could inflame racial tensions.

The ostensible aim of the rally was to call on the British government to pay $4 trillion (�2 trillion) in compensation to the two million ethnic Indians in Malaysia whose ancestors were taken to the country as indentured labourers in the 19th century.  But the BBC's Robin Brant in Kuala Lumpur says the real goal of the demonstrators is to highlight what they see as the unfair treatment of minority Indians in Malaysia. Ethnic Indians - mainly Hindus - form one of Malaysia's largest minority groups.

Activists say that many Hindus live in poverty, partly because of policies granting jobs and economic advantages to the ethnic Malay Muslim majority.

"Indians are treated like third-class citizens. The community has been suffering in silence for decades," said opposition politician M. Kulasegaran.

The government has rejected claims of unfair discrimination. In advance of the rally, three leading members of the group behind the protest - the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) - were arrested. The three men were later charged with making seditious comments - and could face up to three years in jail if convicted.

Protect ethnic Indians in Malaysia: Vaiko - Times of India  27 November  2007

CHENNAI: MDMK General Secretary Vaiko on Tuesday requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take immediate steps through diplomatic channels to protect ethnic Indians in Malaysia.

In a letter to Dr Singh, a copy of which was circulated to the media here, he said the Malaysian authorities had used police force against ethnic Indians, mostly Tamils, when they took out a peaceful rally on November 25.

"Making up some eight per cent of Malaysia's population, Indians are historically underprivileged, compared to other ethnic groups and have long felt discriminated."

"More than 90 per cent of ethnic Indians in Malaysia are Tamils. They have contributed to bring economic prosperity in Malaysia, shedding their sweat of labour all these years. But they have been discriminated in education, jobs and business opportunities by Malaysian authorities," he added.

Stating that the reported statement of the Malaysian Prime Minister against the peaceful rally was "disturbing and causes apprehension" about the future safety and welfare of ethnic Indians, Vaiko requested the Prime Minister to take steps to protect them.

Government must summon Malaysian envoy on issue of Tamils: PMK, Hindu, 30 November 2007

Tuticorin (PTI): Backing Chief Minister M Karunanidhi for seeking appropriate action from Centre to stop the alleged ill-treatment of ethnic Tamils in Malaysia, PMK leader S Ramadoss on Friday said Kuala Lumpur's envoy in New Delhi should be summoned to convey the feelings of the Tamils here.

Ramadoss said that Malaysia has a special place for Tamils as the first world Tamil conference was held there. But in the light of reports of attacks on Tamils in Malaysia, the Tamil Nadu government should organise a similar conference to convey "how the Tamils here feel when their right to live with dignity in Malaysia is affected," Ramadoss told PTI here.

Tamils will be radicalised if discrimination continues
Daily News & Analysis, 29 November 2007

HONG KONG: Angry ethnic Indians who marched in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday to protest race-based discrimination in Malaysia carried portraits of Mahatma Gandhi as a symbol of their non-violent struggle.

�But if their genuine grievances continue to be ignored, (Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers leader) Velupillai Prabakaran could soon replace Gandhi as their inspiration,� warns P. Ramasamy, former professor of history at University Kebangsaan Malaysia.

In an interview to DNA from Singapore, Ramasamy, who was appointed by the LTTE to its Constitutional Affairs Committee in 2003, connected the dots that link the Tamil diaspora in Malaysia (which accounts for most of the Indian population there) to the Tamil Eelam movement in Sri Lanka.

The chilling picture that emerges is one that holds serious foreign policy implications for India, quite similar to what it faced in Sri Lanka in the early 1980s.

�There is a very real risk of radical groups taking over the movement if the Malay government persists with its racially discriminatory policies,� says Ramasamy, whose services at the University were terminated for criticiing government�s policies.

�Today, the ethnic Indian movement may be a loose formulation, and their ideas may not seem well-formulated. But if there�s a police crackdown, there will be retaliation.� The government�s stated intention of invoking the Internal Security Act against demonstrators could trigger such a confrontation.

Malaysian journalist Baradan Kuppusamy, who has been an up-close observer of events concerning the Indian community, too senses an increasing inclination to resort to militancy as a last resort.

�They have been knocking their heads on the wall for so long, that some form of radicalisation has already happened.� Militant views are not yet being publicly articulated, �but they are frequently voiced in private gatherings,� he notes.

It is in this context that the Tamil diaspora�s solidarity with the LTTE assumes significance. Ramasamy notes that Tamils in Malaysia are active contributors to the Tamil Eelam cause.

�Indians in Malaysia are very sympathetic to Prabakaran, and Tamil newspapers valorise Prabakaran,� adds Kuppusamy.

So is there a real risk of an LTTE-like movement getting underway in Malaysia? Says Kuppusamy: �From my study of the ethnic Indian movements, I feel that the current leadership � headed by firebrand lawyer Uthayakumar � is among the most radical, willing to take big risks, and court arrest.�

But from there to an open call to arms is a long way off, and Kuppusamy believes this leadership is incapable of making that leap. �But there could be a splinter group in the years ahead, which could be far more radical, so, yes, the possibility does exist,� he says.

For the Indian foreign policy establishment, which is still grappling with the Sri Lanka-sized problem, the prospect of Malaysia going down the same road can only be a nightmarish proposition.

Malaysia asks Karunanidhi to lay off
Reuters, 29 November 2007

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia told Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Thursday to mind his own business after the he complained about Malaysia's treatment of its ethnic Indians.

Karunanidhi had asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday to intervene and protect the rights of Tamils.

He made the request after the minority community's biggest anti-government protest in Malaysia at the weekend, sparked by anger over policies they say prevent ethnic Indians from getting decent jobs or a good education for their children. "This is Malaysia, not Tamil Nadu," Malaysia's de-facto justice minister Nazri Aziz told reporters by telephone. "This has got nothing to do with him ... lay off."

He said he had not seen a protest letter from Karunanidhi. In the letter to Singh, Karunanidhi said he was "pained" at the way Malaysian police had treated Tamils when they organised a rally to complain of racial discrimination.

The rally, which drew more than 10,000 people, had triggered sporadic protests in Tamil Nadu, witnesses said.

Karunanidhi said Tamils were the largest group among Malaysia's 1.8 million ethnic Indians and added that the people of Tamil Nadu were disturbed by the events there.

He sought Singh's intervention "to end the sufferings and bad treatment of Malaysian Tamils". Karunanidhi's DMK party is an ally in Singh's federal coalition.

Multi-racial Malaysia has brushed aside claims that it mistreated its ethnic Indians, saying that they were better off than those in India.

But ethnic Indians complain of a lack of educational and business opportunities, saying government affirmative-action policies that favour majority ethnic Malays had marginalised them.

"I will keep working for the welfare of Tamils, irrespective of where they live in the world" - M.Karunanidhi,  Hindu, 3 December 2007

CHENNAI: Quoting his mentor and founder of DMK, C N Annadurai, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Sunday said that he will keep working for the welfare of Tamils, irrespective of where they live in the world.

His comments come at a time when Malaysia, facing opposition from its ethnic Indian minority against their "marginalisation," asked the DMK patriarch to "lay off Malaysia's affairs," after he wanted the Centre to intervene in the issue.

Speaking at the felicitation function of Dravidar Kazhagam (DK) leader K Veeramani on his 75th birthday here Karunanidhi on Sunday night said "In his first speech in the Parliament, Anna said he was a Dravidian who took pride in that fact, and represented a community whose spoken language, Tamil, was like its mother.

"Similarly, I take pride being a Tamil and would keep working for their welfare, unmindful of where they live," he said.

Malaysia charges 26 ethnic Indians with attempted murder in connection with anti-discrimination rally Vanakkam Malaysia, 5 December 2007

Kuala Lumpur Dec 5, 2007: Twenty-six ethnic Indians have been charged with attempted murder in connection with an anti-discrimination rally in Malaysia last month, a lawyer said on Tuesday.

The defendants pleaded innocent to charges of attempting to kill a police officer during a clash at a temple compound outside Kuala Lumpur on Nov 25, said lawyer M Manoharan Malayalam.

The rally, involving 10,000 people, was the largest protest in at least a decade involving Indians, the country's second-largest minority population after ethnic Chinese. They had demanded equality and fair treatment in Muslim-majority Malaysia.

''It's very shocking,'' Manoharan told The Associated Press. ''This is a clear victimisation of the Indians by bringing forth a malicious prosecution that is race-based.''

Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail said the policeman received stitches on his head after being attacked with bricks and iron pipes.''This has nothing to do with race,'' he told the AP. ''We follow the law. It applies to everyone under the sun.''

Manoharan said the 26 Indians were earlier arrested during the rally and about half of them have already been charged for illegal assembly. They were released on bail but police rearrested them at their homes before dawn today in a surprise raid, he said.

They face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty, he added. Indians, which make up eight per cent of the country's 27 million people, say they suffer discrimination because of an affirmative action policy that favours the majority Malay Muslims in jobs, education, business and government contracts.

Malaysiakini Interview with P.Uthayakumar, Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) Legal Adviser, 5 December 2007

Fending off allegations that he is a racist, extremist and attention-seeker, Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) legal adviser P Uthayakumar insists he is nothing of that sort.

In an interview with Malaysiakini two days ago, he spoke at great length about his self-proclaimed vendetta against Umno, his Kelantanese heritage and his interpretation of 'ethnic cleansing' of Indian Malaysians.

Edited excerpts from the interview follow:

Malaysiakini: Can you gauge the success of Hindraf rally - did you achieve what you set out to achieve?

Uthayakumar: To us it was a success. It was above my expectations because we targeted 10,000 but towards the end we knew that the numbers were a lot more higher. Our estimate was about 100,000 although Malaysiakini estimated it to be 30,000 and the local press made it 5,000-10,000.

The floodgates were broken. We didn't expect that [...] there was a lot of excitement on the part of Indians in particular to attend the peaceful assembly. I do not know why but it was the talk of almost every Indian in Malaysia. They felt that they had a duty to attend the assembly and it was a historical day in Malaysia in a sense that people in such large numbers turned up.

Where were you that day? People said you did not appear until 1.30pm. Why was there a lack of leadership during the rally?

About 7am, I left my house and by 7.30am I was right in front of KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre). We were telling the crowd not to do anything but keep quiet because we are officially suppose to start at 9am, we would wait for everybody to come.

We were waiting for 9am and we wanted to go and tell the police we wanted to hand over the petition (addressed) to the Queen but before we could do anything, the police started firing tear gas into the group to break them up.

I was particularly concerned with the safety for the assemblers because as I told Malaysiakini (in an interview the night before the assembly that) I would take personal responsibility because whatever happens, I have to take responsibility.

There were pictures of me with the British Council in the background - that's in Jalan Ampang (left). From right in front of KLCC we moved into Jalan Ampang and I believe that was the major crowd, the bulk of the crowd was there.

We have no experience in organising a large assembly so there was problems with coordination. We originally wanted people to gather in front of KLCC at the last minute but the crowd was too large so we could not really coordinate properly.

Q. Do you think the poor coordination led to the violence and people getting injured?

No, I think the police attack on innocent peaceful assemblers was what caused the violence.

Q. But that was to be anticipated, wasn't it?

No, we have warned the police that we are assembling peacefully, our big banner said kami aman, polis jangan ganas (we're peaceful, police don't be violent'). We were exercising our right pursuant to Article 10 of the Federal Constitution (right to freedom of assembly). Who are the police to tell us not to gather? Who is the government to tell us not to gather?

Q. So are you saying you're placing constitutional superiority over people's safety?

No, the people came against all odds. The prime minister (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi), the deputy PM (Najib Abdul Razak), the inspector-general of police (Musa Hassan) had warned them not to come every day for the past week with the media going full blast with their headline news on the radio, TV, the press in particular the Tamil press (all saying) 'Don't go' but yet 100,000 [sic] people defied the PM, the DPM, the IGP.

Normally the media propaganda works but this time it did not work. The floodgates were opened. People came out in large numbers because they have been suppressed, oppressed, marginalised for 50 years. We are against the practice of racism by Umno [...] on the Indians. They have already been pushed to the wall and they come out in large numbers to peacefully register their protest against the Umno-led Barisan Nasional.

Q. On the issue of racism, people allege that Hindraf is racist in nature. Why do you take such a communal approach when poverty affects Chinese, Malays and other minorities as well?

Umno's racial mindset has in fact spilled over to the opposition, NGOs and civil society in Malaysia (which have) begun to play to the gallery. They don't go according to the seriousness of violation of human rights or the issue (but) by what gets them political mileage (because) the Malays and Chinese form 90 percent of the population.

If you take the latest example of the Hindraf peaceful assembly, people were arrested and beaten up and remanded for three days [...] and they were charged immediately. None of the other supposedly multiracial opposition parties, NGOs or civil society (groups said anything) - there was pin-drop silence from them because the victims were Indians.

If you see the issue of temple demolition - if only Anwar Ibrahim, Dr Wan Azizah (Wan Ismail), Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng, Nasharudin (Mat Isa) and (Abdul) Hadi Awang condemned the Umno government for demolishing temples [...] they put their foot (down) strongly and tell (Abdullah), 'Look, this is wrong, how can you go and demolish somebody's temple', I am sure the Umno government will back off.

But DAP, PAS and PKR will lose Malays votes so they don't want to make a stand. If at all, they should be more multiracial. Maybe I shouldn't use the word 'racist' against them, they should be multiracial. (When) the temple in Padang Jawa was demolished Kulasegaran moved an emergency motion (in Parliament but) why couldn't it be Lim Kit Siang (as the parliamentary opposition leader)? [...] it is a national issue, it is not an Indian issue.

[...] So if the opposition party, NGOs and civil society doesn't want to do (Indian issues) [...] if we don't do, nobody would do it. So we are left with no choice but to focus on Indian issues, temple demolitions, Indians schools not being fully aided [...] many schools look like a cow shed. I have not seen one Chinese or Malay school which looks like a cow shed.

The press don't highlight the issue according to the gravity or the seriousness of it. So here we are, we are saying it's a serious problem, please pay attention to it but it is unfortunate that we are Indians and we champion Indian issues because the other communities are not interested so we are left with no choice but to do it ourselves. So who is racist- lah?

I was brought up in Kelantan where 99 percent (of people) are Malays, 0.9 percent Chinese and 0.1 percent Indian. Until today I speak fluent Kelantan Malay; not many people know that and I don't look like someone who can speak Kelantan Malay. I was brought up with the Malays. I've got nothing against the Malays.

You want to know a little secret? I once went out with a Malay girl for five years. I have got people who say I'm a racist, I'm anti-Malay but no I'm not. But because of religious considerations I could not convert to (Islam). She is a wonderful lady [...] converting was something I could not accept. I told her from the beginning and we went our separate ways. It was sad, very sad but it had to happen. But I am no racist. Hindraf is no racist.

Q. Do you think you could broaden your struggle, fight for rights of all poor people and not polarise races?

You see when it comes to the poor, the Chinese poor they have their guilds, associations and they are taken care of. The Malay poor is taken care of by the government. Chinese control 50 percent of the business in this country, they own a certain amount of political clout, they own about 30 percent of the votes. The Umno-led government takes the Chinese seriously. The Orang Asli they have an (Orang Asli Affairs Department), international bodies and NGOs which take care of aborigines. There are groups that take care of the foreigners.

But if a local Indian suffers some form of violation, these people will not speak up. I think that is not right. I think the onus is on the multiracial community to address the most serious violations of human rights. So if the Malay and Chinese communities do not want to support the Indian poor, there's nothing we can do about it. We can't help it. It is beyond our power. It is up to them now.

There is criticism in a blog that describes Hindraf as "sheer idiots" for thinking they can change Indian Malaysians by walking [...] to the British High Commission on a Sunday. People are saying Indians can be changed by education, eradicating toddy, eradicating gambling and others.

To me, if the writer has a better solution he should have put it in his comments. Anybody and everybody can criticise. They should have come up with constructive criticism saying 'don't walk on a Sunday, this is what you should do'.

To me we've talked about it, we are on the ground, we've been doing work for the last 10 years we do not have any other choice but to stage a peaceful assembly. I wish the writers and other commentators have better solutions for us, we would follow that, we would listen to them.

Q. What do you expect out of the lawsuit against the British government?

The British are not like Malaysian. They do not have the Malaysian mindset. We have confidence in the British courts. We cannot say the same about Malaysian courts. [...] So these people who have doubts about our suit, they are basing it on a Malaysian mindset. If at all we lose the suit, so what? So be it. We have got the best chance at justice.

Q. What has happened to the 10-member delegation to deliver the petition to the Queen?

On Nov 27, the PM threatened us with the Internal Security Act and there was a real danger of Hindraf leaders being arrested. We had to devise a new strategy (for) one person to leave the country to carry the torch on the assumption that the others will be detained under ISA. So now (Hindraf chairperson) P Waythamoorthy ( photo) is on an international lobby to India [..] he will then proceed to London, Geneva, Brussels, Washington DC, New York, Atlanta.

Q. For the sake of transparency, how much does Hindraf get through donations? How much is being spent on Waythamoorthy's lobby?

We will take it as it comes. We have never done this before. Maybe about RM50,000 (for the trip). Since it's public funds, I think until yesterday we have collected about RM150,000 already. We were surprised. We wanted to take stock of the exact amount before we make the announcement because we are accountable to the public. We have got almost zero foreign funding. This is also good because we maintain our independence.

Q. What is this vendetta against Umno about?

You see Umno has been very successful, (it) has been trained by the British who are very good and astute politicians. They conquered three-quarters of the world, they trained the Umno leaders [...] to be very good politicians; they divide and rule.

The way they rule the Indians is that they create a system with MIC (and) leave the two million Indians' problems to Samy Vellu (photo), the MIC, Hindu Sanggam.

They've got a structure [...] so any problems regarding the Indians, Umno will say 'go see your MIC leader'. The MIC leaders are powerless. Samy Vellu is the most senior cabinet member; he qualifies to be the PM but he is not because of his ethnicity, he cannot be PM.

During the Padang Jawa temple issue Samy went to the ground (and told) the enforcement chief, 'please don't break the temple' and the enforcement chief told him pergi dah (go away). I'm breaking the temple'.

What powers does Samy Vellu have (if) even the enforcement chief of the Shah Alam City Council doesn't want to listen to him? To me, that enforcement officer is more powerful than the most senior minister in the cabinet. That's the reality because (the officer) is a Malay and Samy Vellu is an Indian. That's a fact.

You can say I'm a racist but you see in Malaysia, people avoid talking about the realities about race. So Samy Vellu is a proxy of the Umno government. He is suppose to cheat and mislead the community. Samy Vellu has no power, he'll only tell you three things: 'I will bring this up with the cabinet', 'I will bring this up with the PM' or 'I will bring this up in Parliament' because beyond this he cannot say anything.

To me even if you remove Samy Vellu and place me in his position, I will not be able to do anything. I'm powerless. Only PM and Umno have the power. Umno rules this country not Barisan Nasional. It's a game Umno has played for 50 years so the Indians will end up fighting among themselves, it's exactly what Umno wants.

Q. Have you tried engaging Umno?

Of course. We have written over 1,000 letters over the past 10 years to the PM, chief ministers, mayors, the attorney-general, IGP (about) all the atrocities (done) to Indians (but) they just don't (give) a damn. They don't even bother replying save for a few letters acknowledging they have received our letters, thank you very much, full stop. That's the first and last we hear from them.

The PAS-led government in Kelantan has not broken a single Hindu or Buddhist temple. In fact the largest sleeping Buddha in Southeast Asia is not in Thailand but in Kelantan in Kampung Neting, Tumpat, where I grew up. The PAS-led government does not break temples, only the Umno-led government breaks temples.

Q. Why didn't Hindraf raise the issue of the 'surau' that was also demolished and show you're not racist?

Because the surau was already replaced with a bigger surau, fully funded by the government. It is a non-issue. [...] Until today, none of these groups - political parties, NGOs or even Umno - have said anything (about the fact) that no Hindu temple has been given government land or is fully funded by the government. There is zero. Nobody talks about it.

Q. But there are also claims that there are many temples built illegally.

Most of these temples were built before Independence. Similarly mosque and suraus were built before Independence [...] but they have all be legalised. So they become legal. Now these Hindu temples, you do not legalise it and then you say they are illegal. Where is the justice? Article 8 of the Federal Constitution states there is equality before the law. Why one rule for the surau and one rule for the temples?

There is a Tamil proverb saying that 'you should never live in a village with no temple'. The Encyclopedia of Britannica define the Tamils as a 'temple-building race'. It is their culture, it goes to the heart and the core of their culture. So (over) the issue of illegal temples, just make them legal, like how you make mosques and suraus legal, the problem is solved.

In the post-independence temples, the government has not made any allocation of land, so they (Indians) built temples which are (located near their) houses, whatever. But if the government had given them land, as it gave to Muslims, there would be no issue of illegal temples.

Q. Why isn't Hindraf lobbying to legalise the temples?

That is what we're doing now. We are asking the government to gazette all Hindu temples. Take stock of all the Hindu temples, give them the land, gazette them as Hindu temple reserve and let's move on from there. Any new temples, we deal with separately. The power is not with Hindraf, the power is with the government.

(The Umno-led government) insults Hindu temples by relocating them next to sewerage ponds. Really demeaning, really insulting. If you don't call that ethnic cleansing, then what is? They are insulting us saying, 'that's where you belong'.

Q.What is Hindraf's relationship with Parti Reformasi Insan Malaysia (Prim)?
Prim's registration has never been approved. We at all times have been operating under (human rights NGO) Police Watch. It was only because of the recent Hindu temple demolitions that we started doing work under the Hindraf platform. That's all.

Past Umno ministers have said we are doing it because of political motivation [...] but because of the Umno-led government manoeuvering and gerry-mandering of parliamentary constituencies, there is not a single parliamentary or state constituency with an Indian majority. There is none. We can't contest anywhere in Malaysia; we will lose because we do 99.99 percent Indian issues. So we can't win.

As you can see I criticise Umno and I also criticise the opposition, so we are non-partisan. If we fight for Malay issues, it means we are fighting Umno's racist policies. We are fighting against Umno's Malay supremacy thinking. Of course, PAS and PKR will not support us because they will lose Malay votes but that is not our concern. We are fighting for justice, equality, fairness for all communities.

As we see it now, politics is not important to us. The issues are more important. And I think we will lose credibility if we join a political party. We will support candidates who are sympathetic to the Hindraf cause and we will work behind them.

Q. Maybe you can win if you become a political party by taking a less communal stand...

Maybe we will take a less communal stance and focus less on Indian issues when the Malays and Chinese fill in the blanks and take up Indian issues on a serious and equitable basis. If they had done it before, we would not be focusing on Indian issues [...] we would (strike) a natural balance.

People do not know about the non-Indian work we do. Even my lawyers friends have told me, 'eh, this is a Chinese case, a Chinese victim of police brutality, eh, you get Chinese papers coverage you know, you must do'. I don't go by that. I don't go by the mileage we get. I go by the seriousness of the issue.

Q. How do you feel about the PM's statement that Hindraf is spreading lies and causing hatred? He wants proof that genocide and ethnic cleansing have taken place in Malaysia.

I started off my letter (to British PM Gordon Brown) with (a reference to) Kampung Medan. Six people were killed, (more than a) hundred (were) injured (in May 2001).

Q. But your letter states '100 over Indians were slashed and killed' but you just said only six were killed...

No, the 100 over includes the six. Six were killed but 100 were slashed and (sustained) grievous bodily injury.

Q. Aren't you worried that this statement '100 over Indians were slashed and killed' is misleading people to think hundreds were actually killed?

I've made this allegation about genocide and ethnic cleansing seven years ago and I have repeated it many times but it (only) caught fire at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kampala, Uganda (last month). It caught the attention of the British PM and the press in Kampala, the (Malaysian) government is upset.

But to me Hindu temples being relocated next to sewerage tanks - that is ethnic cleansing a la Malaysia. Every three weeks, a temple is demolished. If you don't call it ethnic cleansing, what is it then? In Bosnia, you kill people. (But ethnic cleansing) a la Malaysia is worse because you are living and suffering on a day to day basis.

Q. Don't you think your choice of words is what's getting you in trouble?

No, if they want to charge me for sedition, then so be it, but the court must give me a chance. I would like to produce hundreds of documents and media reports to justify that it is ethnic cleansing. Let the court decide whether it is ethnic cleansing or whether it is sedition but the court must hear me out. I have the evidence, I have the proof.

Q. Is it true you got your law degree in United Kingdom through MIC-owned Maju Institute of Educational Development (MIED) loan?

Certainly not. My mother sold a house in Brown Garden in Penang for RM91,500. MIED gave me a subsidy of 10 percent which is about RM12,000 - it was given to me by MIC (for) which I was thankful. But upon completion of my studies, I paid it back in full.

Q. Why did you say Umno leadership was behind your car tyres being slashed recently?

Because they are now attacking me. Currently, who is attacking me? I have no enemies except Umno and the police. So it's either one of them. I have no other enemies. Who else would do it?

Q. But you don't have evidence. It is because of such statements that people attack you and calling you an extremist.

Then you tell me, who else? No, I don't have any enemies - at all. I have zero enemies. I maintain a very low profile because of my work - I go home, I have no social life. I don't go to pubs, I don't go to disco, I don't go for birthday parties. I don't interact much with society, I'm a homely person.

Q. Tell us more about the political asylum you tried to seek in UK in 2004?

It was at the height of the Francis Udayappan (missing police detainee) case. There was an attack on me, done with razor-sharp precision. That kind of thinking can only come from the police. [...] They smashed my car windscreen and I hit a lamp post and somebody pulled out a gun and pointed it at me. I had all the evidence.

I would have easily qualified for asylum but in the meantime the (de facto) law minister Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz told me to come back, 'Malaysia is your country please come back' and he assured me my safety. I came back to Malaysia [...] and the asylum application was withdrawn.

But with the current (situation) my life is back in danger again. But if you ask me whether I will seek asylum again, the answer is 'No'. I will stay back and fight this time.

P Waytha Moorthy, president of Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) asks India to impose sanctions on Malaysia, 6 December 2007

New Delhi, Dec 6 : India should impose trade sanctions on Malaysia to pressurize the latter to adopt affirmative policies to uplift the conditions of its citizens of Indian origin, says a Malaysian leader of a movement demanding better opportunities for Indians.

P Waytha Moorthy, president of Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), was one of the chief organisers of a protest by Indian-origin Malaysians Nov 25 in Kuala Lumpur against alleged government discriminatory policies, which was met with stiff resistance from security authorities.

The protest march was also in support a $4 trillion lawsuit filed in London in August by Hindraf, demanding that Britain compensate Malaysian Indians for bringing their ancestors to the country as indentured labourers and exploiting them.

Along with his elder brother and another lawyer, Waytha Moorthy was charged with sedition and then discharged. But, there are now reports that the prosecution may be again filing charges against them in a higher court.

Meanwhile, Waytha Moorthy has made India the first stop in his multi-national journey across United Kingdom, Netherlands and United States to garner pressure against the Malaysian government.

Earlier, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said that the issue was a matter of concern.

But, Waytha Moorthy said, "India could do much more". "As an outsider, India is an economic superpower. I can tell you that Malaysia respects India due to business interest," he said, urging India to impose trade embargo against the Southeast Asian country.

Moorthy believed that it would not be interference in Malaysia's internal affairs. "It is a member of United Nations and if there is any violation in any state, then the international community can and should take action," said the Malaysian Indian lawyer.

He also asked Human Rights groups to send fact-finding missions to Malaysia, as well as petition the Malaysian Attorney General to drop charges of attempt to murder against 31 Indians.

The lawyer-turned-activist asserted that he was a Malaysian first. "While our parents may consider themselves immigrants, but we are born and brought up in Malaysia and therefore want to fight for our rights," he stressed.

Waytha Moorthy had earlier in Chennai met with the Tamil Nadu chief minister, K Karunanidhi, his daughter and leaders of AIADMK and MDMK. After arriving in Delhi, he met with BJP leaders, L. K. Advani and Jaswant Singh.

"I briefed Mr. Advani about our plight and he told me that he will take it up," he said, but added that he was unable to meet Congress leaders so far. He leaves Friday for London.

Indian-origin citizens constitute eight percent of the population in Malaysia. Several Malaysian Indians activists claim that Indians have been at a disadvantage at various levels due to affirmative policies for Malays since Independence, which had led them in education, social and economic factors.

Fears of ethnic unrest have emerged in Malaysia after some 20,000 people participated in a Nov. 25 rally in Kuala Lumpur
The Associated Press, Friday, December 7, 2007

SHAH ALAM, Malaysia: Malaysian authorities are investigating an ethnic Indian protest group for possible links to terror networks, including Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger separatists, an official said Friday.

The Hindu Rights Action Force, or Hindraf, denied any terrorist ties, and accused the government of trying to stem support for the group after it staged a massive rally last month to highlight the economic plight of Malaysia's minority ethnic Indians.

Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail said concerns have surfaced that Hindraf is trying to establish links with organizations like the Tamil Tigers, which has been branded a terror group by the United States and European Union.

"Police have started investigating," Abdul Gani said. "This is not a game. It is a very serious matter. I think everyone ... is worried if there is a connection" with the Tamil Tigers.

Abdul Gani, speaking to reporters, declined to comment on whether Hindraf leaders might be charged with any terrorism-related offense, saying police need to finish their probe first.

Malaysia's national police chief, Musa Hassan, said late Thursday that "there have been signs of Hindraf trying to get the support and assistance of terrorists." He did not elaborate.

Lawyer P. Uthayakumar, a top Hindraf leader, called the claims of terror links the government's "desperate attempt ... to divert from the real issues, which are racism, marginalization and permanent colonization of the Indians." "It's plain and obvious that we have always pursued legal and peaceful means," Uthayakumar told reporters. "They're running out of ideas."

The Tamil Tigers � banned in the United States as a terrorist group since 1997 � have been fighting since 1983 to create a separate homeland for Sri Lanka's minority Tamils following decades of discrimination by governments controlled by the Sinhalese majority

Fears of ethnic unrest have emerged in Malaysia after some 20,000 people participated in a Nov. 25 rally in Kuala Lumpur � the largest protest in years involving Indians, who form 8 percent of the population.

Hindraf, which organized the protest, is demanding equality and fair treatment for Indians, saying an affirmative action program that gives preferential treatment to Muslim Malays is tantamount to racial discrimination.

Malays make up about 60 percent of Malaysia's 27 million people and control the government, which denies there is discrimination and says the fruits of economic progress are shared by all.

Malaysian Minister Nazri suggests 'LTTE links' to manage discrimination protest

Link is with Tamil Tigers and India�s RSS, claims Malaysian Minister Nazri  Malaysian Star 8 December 2007

KUALA KANGSAR: The Government has 'identified' the overseas groups linked to Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf).

Minister in the Prime Minister�s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said the groups are Sri Lanka�s Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the RSS, a militant organisation in India.

Speaking to reporters yesterday after presenting gifts to UPSR excellent students at Kati, near here, Mohamed Nazri said this was from statements of Hindraf leaders who went overseas to garner support that they would meet LTTE leaders... �If it is true that Hindraf leaders have links with them, Hindraf is also a terrorist group,� he said yesterday, adding that the Government was closely monitoring the activities of Hindraf leaders.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan was reported to have said yesterday that there were signs lately that Hindraf was trying to garner support from terrorist groups. He said Hindraf had also set up a fund by misleading the public into believing that the money was to finance its activities.

On accusations by Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran that the A-G was pressuring the judiciary by leading the prosecution team charging Hindraf supporters, Mohamed Nazri said being the country�s top lawyer, the A-G could act for the Government in any court in the country.

�The A-G�s job is to prosecute. The fact that the A-G is involved shows the seriousness of the matter as it can affect the country�s peace,� he added.

On calls by the Pertubuhan Pembela Islam (Pembela) that Hindraf be banned, Mohamed Nazri said the Government would do so if the group was linked with the LTTE.

In Shah Alam, Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patil said detailed investigations would be carried out to determine the alleged link between Hindu Rights Action Force and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam.

He told reporters that a police report had been lodged that Hindraf members were going out to contact the LTTE.

�These are serious allegations and we believe that investigations have to be done,� added Abdul Gani.

In Penang, DAP national chairman Karpal Singh said the leaders of the Hindu Rights Action Force should be given the opportunity to explain the reasons behind the demonstration.

He added that the presence of thousands of Indians at the demonstration was cause for concern and reason enough to assume that the problems of the community ought to be addressed.

New Delhi  snubs Malaysian Tamil leader, says can't go beyond a point, 8 December 2007

New Delhi, Dec 8: In a clear message that India can't go beyond a point to push the cause of Malaysia's Indian community, the government cold-shouldered Malaysian Tamil leader P. Waytha Moorthy during his visit here this week.

A disappointed Moorthy had to leave India without meeting any minister or official. "There was no meeting with anybody from the external affairs ministry or anybody from the government," an official source said.

Moorthy, the leader of Hindu Rights Action Group (HINDRAF), a non-governmental organisation, was in India for a day before he headed to Geneva and Washington to drum up support of the international community against the alleged ill-treatment of Indian origin people of Malaysia.

Moorthy, a lawyer who has taken up the cause of Malaysia's over two million ethnic Indians through HINDRAF, has demanded an affirmative action plan for the Indian community in Malaysia and wants New Delhi to use its clout to pressure the Malaysian government for a better deal for ethnic Indians.

Moorthy could only meet senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani who promised to lobby the Indian government to take up the issue of alleged discrimination against ethnic Indians, largely Tamils, in Malaysia.

One of the reasons for the government playing safe is that it does not want to risk its growing relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the East Asia Summit in which Malaysia is an influential player, a diplomatic source said...

People of Indian origin, mostly Tamils, comprise eight percent of Malaysia's population of 27 million. They allege that an affirmative action policy favouring Malays in government jobs has led to their marginalisation and made them more vulnerable to exploitation.



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