PAS leader Mat Sabu says Waytha Moorthy is a Malaysian citizen and as such he should be issued a passport to return home.
GEORGE TOWN: PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu and political activist BK Ong today called on the Putrajaya administration to issue a passport to Hindraf Makkal Sakti P Waytha Moorthy to allow him to return home.
The PAS leader, also known as Mat Sabu, said the London-based Waytha Moorthy should be allowed to return to the country safely given that the Hindraf leader has always a Malaysian citizen.
“As a citizen, one should be allowed to return.
“He is not an underground guerilla leader, but was merely a human rights activist,” Mat Sabu told FMT here today.
He said he would have no qualms if the federal government refused to issue a passport to Waytha Moorthy if he was ever a militant, who had waged a war against the country and the King.
“However, this is not a case here.
“Waytha Moorthy fought for ethnic Indian rights and staged a few peaceful demonstrations to highlight his community’s plight.
“To me, that’s not criminal offence. It was within his rights.
“Putrajaya government should give him a passport to facilitate his safe return,” he said.
Malaysian Election Observers Network (Meonet) chief BK Ong concurred that from the human rights point of view, it was within the Hindraf supremo’s citizenry rights to return safely to his country without much hitch.
“The Malaysian government is obligated to issue a passport to him.
“It’s within his citizenship rights stipulated under Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in which Malaysia is a signatory,” he told FMT.
Waytha Moorthy left the country on Nov 28, 2007, three days after Hindraf organised a mammoth rally at KLCC.
In the aftermath of the rally, police cracked down on the ethnic Indian rights group and detained Waytha Moorthy’s brother Uthayakumar and several others without trial under the now repealed Internal Security Act.
Waytha Moorthy, who stayed overseas since then , obtained political asylum and a five-year valid British travel document after his Malaysian passport was revoked by Putrajaya in March that year.
The travel document was issued on Sept 8, 2008 by the British government under the Geneva Convention
Waytha Moorthy announced that he would return to Malaysia on Aug 1 after he had re-filed Hindraf’s trillion-dollar class action suit against the former colonial British government at London Courts on July 2.
The suit seeks justice from the British government for abandoning ethnic Indians at the mercy of perceived racist Umno regime when Malaya gained independence in 1957.
When his passport was revoked, it is learnt that Putrajaya had informed the Downing Street that Waytha Moorthy was wanted for criminal charges in Malaysia.
Waytha Moorthy however, is clueless until today on the charges since Putrajaya had not issued any extradition order to London on him.
“I am not aware of the exact criminal charges that I would face,” he told FMT.
Mat Sabu also called on the Putrajaya to clear the air the Waytha’s possible charges.
He said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak should walk his talk on his political transformation plan by allowing Waytha Moorthy to return home without the threat of prosecution.
“Being the transformer of the transformation, Najib should allow a human rights activist and Malaysian citizen to return to his rightful country,” he stressed.