Imran Khan wants the Malaysian government to apologise to him and all Indians here for barring him from entering the country.
GEORGE TOWN: Apart from seeking compensation, Hindraf Makkal Sakti lawyer Imran Khan also wants Putrajaya to apologise to him and all Malaysian Indians for refusing him entry into the country on Aug 12.
He also wants the British government to pressure Putrajaya to allow him to discharge his duties as a legal professional here. He has already forwarded his case to the Malaysian high commissioner in United Kingdom.
The award winning human rights lawyer plans to come back to Malaysia soon pertaining to Hindraf’s US$4 trillion suit against the British government.
Imran wants an apology from the Malaysian government for the way it treated him when he arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Aug 12.
“I also want the government to apologise to Malaysian Indians for depriving their legitimate right to legal advice and representation from me.
“I want the government to publicly give reasons to my clients on why I was banned from entering Malaysia,” he said in a video interview with London-based Hindraf chairman P Waythamoorthy.
The British lawyer was forced by Malaysian authorities to fly back to England.
Imran said he felt disappointed, embarrassed, humiliated and angry over his deportation, for which reasons were not given until now.
He only learnt that he was a “prohibited immigrant” to Malaysia when he arrived at the Dubai international airport on his return flight transit.
“I was never refused entry to do my legal work before… even in countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan. No government should interfere in the fundamental rights of individual to seek legal address,” he insisted.
Imran has already submitted an official compensation demand from the Malaysian government for his ordeal at KLIA. He wants to donate the sum to a charity of his choice.
Imran was scheduled to meet clients in Malaysia to consider them as co-claimants for the suit and provide legal advice, assistance and representation to them.
Hindraf’s class action suit was against the British government’s negligence and failure to protect the rights of minority Indians when independence was given to the country.
Imran and his colleague, Suresh Grover, who was surprisingly allowed entry, were to also collect evidence, if any, to back the claim against the British government.
Imran believes that it was a pre-meditated Malaysian government ploy to stop him from meeting his clients and collect evidence.
“I was specifically picked out at the airport immigration check point. They knew I was coming and were waiting for me. The decision to refuse me entry was deplorable and outrageous. I was not given any reasons.
“The Malaysian government made the wrong decision to disallow me entry without any legal foundation. It was fait-accompli,” stressed the lawyer.
Imran said for a British citizen, Malaysia from the outside looked like a progressive country but the government’s action had altered this view.
The lawyer said he would be concerned if the Malaysian government thought his work would cause Putrajaya considerable embarrassment.
“If it does, it does. If the case exposes injustice in Malaysia, so be it. I am not there for political reasons. I am there representing my clients.
“I am not there to interfere in the political make up or processes in Malaysia,” he pointed out.
Imran said he used to represent minorities, who fight for their rights under a majority government, similarly like in Malaysia.
After examining what happened in Malaysia over the past 50 years, he concluded: “It’s worse in Malaysia.”
He pointed out the stateless status of many Indians and the fact that 76% of them are living in abject poverty was outrageous and unacceptable in any country, especially so in a rich Malaysia.
“My colleague Grover has expressed to me that he has evidence to support the case. There are some foundation and truth of what I been told taking place. The evidence would support the action. I am disappointed that I was not there to get it first hand,” he said.
Imran said a good government should not fear any legal action if it operated fairly.
He said the Malaysian government’s attempt to stop him from doing his legal work indicated that the class action was based on legitimate grievances.
“I’m more determined now because I sense there are attempts to stop me from doing this work,” he said.
Waythamoorthy originally filed the class action suit on Aug 31, 2007, the 50th anniversary of Malaysia’s independence.
However, it was stalled following the Malaysian government’s clampdown on Hindraf and the arrest of its lawyers under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA).
The suit was to demand compensation for Indian Malaysians whose ancestors were brought in by the colonial government as indentured labourers.
The suit claimed that after granting independence to Malaya, the British left the Indians without representation and at the mercy of the Malay extremism practiced by Umno government.