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Govt urged to lift ban on Hindraf

 | August 1, 2012

Despite having been issued a valid passport by the Malaysian government, Hindraf chairman P Waythamoothy is still on alert for any eventualities.

SINGAPORE: Hindraf supremo P Waythamoorthy wants the ban on Hindraf Makkal Sakti lifted.

He said his first task when he returns home today is to write to Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to do just that.

Waythamoorthy equated the issuance of a valid passport to him as a recognition by Putrajaya administration of the movement’s legitimate struggle for the civil rights of ethnic Malaysian Indian community.

He said his passport was revoked on March 2008 by the Home Minister because of his struggle for justice and equality for the Indian community.

On July 30, he said the government issued him a valid passport after Hindraf activists and supporters had campaigned hard for it.

“Hence, the Malaysian government should lift the ban and allow Hindraf to be registered as a legitimate human rights movement in the country.

“I will write on this to the Home Minister immediately once I return home,” the Hindraf national chairman told FMT here today.

Waythamoorthy left the country three days after a Hindraf-organised mammoth rally in KLCC on Nov 25, 2007.

Following the rally, the police detained several Hindraf activists on Dec 13 under the draconian Internal Security Act.

The Home Ministry outlawed Hindraf in October, 2008.

‘Hindraf is prepared’

Following revocation of his passport, Waythamoorthy successfully secured a political asylum granted by the UK government under the Geneva Convention.

Waythamoorthy lived in exile for nearly five years in Britain from where he highlighted the perceived marginalisation of Malaysian Indians by the Umno government.

After filing a class action suit against the UK government in London High Court on July 2 this year, Waythamoorthy announced his return home with or without a valid passport on Aug 1.

But on Monday, immigration officials in the Malaysian High Commission in Singapore issued him a valid passport to pave the way for his safe return home today from Singapore’s Woodlands to Johor Baru.

Waythamoorthy is scheduled to attend prayers at Arulmigu Sri Karumariamman Kovil in Ulu Tiram, a 15-minute drive from Johor Baru, at 5pm on the same day.

The Hindraf leader is expected to be accompanied by some 30 people, including his wife, daughter, relatives, Hindraf adviser N Ganesan and its national coordinator W Sambulingam, London-based human rights lawyer Suresh Grover and Waythamoorthy’s legal counsel N Ram, when he crosses the Johor causeway.

Eventhough he has received a valid passport, Waythamoorthy is not fully convinced that he would not be arrested by Malaysian authorities after he crossed the border.

“But we are prepared for any eventualities… Hindraf would react accordingly to deal with it in the event I am detained,” he said.


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