Tamils - a Nation without a State
- 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
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" -
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
Moorthy, president of Hindu Rights Action Force
(Hindraf) asks India to impose sanctions on Malaysia,
6 December 2007
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
New Delhi snubs Malaysian Tamil leader, says can't
go beyond a point, 8 December 2007
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
"Indians are treated like third-class citizens. The community has
been suffering in silence for decades," said opposition politician
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
“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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.