Malaysia attacked over ban on Hindu rights group

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Malaysia attacked over ban on Hindu rights group

Post by Pollathavan on Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:53 am

Malaysia was accused Thursday of aggravating race relations by banning a Hindu rights group whose leaders are being held without trial.
The Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), which represents Malaysia's ethnic Indian minority, has been declared illegal by the government which found it "posed a threat to public order and morality".
Hindraf chairman Waytha Moorthy, who fled to Britain before the group's leadership was rounded up last year, vowed the movement would continue to fight for the rights of the disadvantaged community.
"Hindraf will not flinch with these threats and will continue its struggle," he said in a statement.
The government "enjoys demonising and bullying us on the pretext of law, public order, national security, when all we are fighting for is to address the true and real condition of the downtrodden Malaysian Indians," he said.
Hindraf angered the government last November by mounting a mass rally alleging discrimination against ethnic Indians, in a country dominated by Muslim Malays.
Five leaders are being held under the draconian Internal Security Act which allows for renewable two-year periods of detention without trial.
Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, president of the national human rights society Hakam, said the ban was unnecessary and showed a lack of sensitivity to the minority community which shunned the government in March elections.
"Hindraf is more a wave of consciousness than an organisation and in declaring it illegal the government has possibly alienated the Indian community even more," he told AFP.
"The cause of marginalisation is a real one and if you look at Hindraf activities so far, there has been no violence and none of their activities can be described as a threat to security with the exception of last year's demonstrations."
Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar announced the decision late Wednesday, saying the group threatened security and racial harmony in the multicultural nation, which has been hit by ethnic violence in the past.
Opposition lawmaker Lim Kit Siang said the government should reach out to the ethnic Indian community instead of banning Hindraf and address the factors which made them a "new underclass".
"It is a retrogressive, vindictive and petty step which will hamper the nation-building healing process vital for Malaysians to feel one and united people again," he said.
Ethnic Indians make up less than eight percent of the 27 million population of Malaysia, which is also home to a large Chinese minority, and the community fares poorly in terms of wealth, employment and education.

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Pollathavan
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Re: Malaysia attacked over ban on Hindu rights group

Post by Guest on Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:26 pm

i wonder .....how can we do our part to support them?

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