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Waythamoorthy back in Malaysia

 | August 1, 2012

There was a red alert at the Johor Baru immigration checkpoint, but he was allowed in after half an hour.

JOHOR BARU: Hindraf Makkal Sakti supremo P Waythamoorthy finally returned home to Malaysia at 12.20pm today after living in self-imposed exile in England for 56 months.

He stopped at the Johor Baru immigration checkpoint at noon in a grey Toyota Estima, and there was a slight scare that he might be arrested when his passport was held for about 30 minutes.

He had crossed the causeway after checking out from the Singapore border checkpoint at 11.45am.

There was a red alert on the computer screen of the Malaysian immigration counter when he submitted his passport for clearance. The officer at the counter told him the alert meant that he had to see her superior.

Another official then collected his passport and those belonging to the members of the entourage escorting him, who numbered about 20 and included his wife, K Nageswari, and 10-year-old daughter, Vwaishhnavi.

The fear of arrest dissipated when immigration officials returned the passports.

A relieved Waythamoorthy was driven straight away by Hindraf activists to a local resort.

He is expected to perform prayers at 5pm at a Hindu temple in Ulu Tiram.

During the hiccup at the immigration checkpoint, Waytha said he and the rest of the Hindraf leadership were prepared to handle any situation, including arrest.

Hindraf advisor N Ganesan said Waythamoorthy’s return had opened a new chapter in the movement’s struggle to uphold the civil rights of Malaysian Indians.

“Previously, we fought to establish that there are problems,” Ganesan said. “Now our struggle will be focused on finding effective and decisive solutions to resolve the issues of marginalisation of Indians.”

He said it was time for those in power at both state and federal levels to stop their “political games” and address those issues.

Waythamoorthy left Malaysia three days after the historic Hindraf rally of Nov 25, 2007, which resulted in the detention of several activists under the Internal Security Act. The arrests took place on Dec 13 of that year.

In the following October, the government decided to ban Hindraf.

Earlier, in March 2008, the Malaysian government had revoked Waythamoorthy’s passport. Following this, he applied for and was granted political asylum by the British government.

About a month ago, he filed a class action suit against the British government for alleged wrongs committed against Malaysian Indians during the colonial era.

It was after filing the suit at the London High Court that he announced his intention to return with or without a passport. However, the Malaysian High Commission in Singapore issued him a passport last Monday.

Also read:

Govt urged to lift ban on Hindraf


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