Najib says PH must apologise for ‘lies’ over stateless Indians

PETALING JAYA: Najib Razak has accused Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders of lying about the number of stateless Indians in the country, following a statement by a deputy minister that there were only 3,853 such cases and not hundreds of thousands as stated by the coalition leaders before the general election.

The former prime minister said the figure given by Deputy Home Minister Azis Jamman in the Dewan Negara today was the same given by the previous government.

“With this new revelation, I wonder if PH leaders will apologise for their miscalculation,” he said.

He said PH leaders in the past had accused Barisan Nasional of lying, and held demonstrations and ceramahs to incite the Indian community, with claims that there were some 300,000 stateless Indians.

Najib said 1,638 cases of stateless Indians were resolved by his administration, and added that the Barisan Nasional government had treated all races fairly.

Azis was earlier criticised by rights group Lawyers for Liberty, who disputed the figure as there were thousands of others whose applications had been rejected.

“Azis simply dismisses the figure of 300,000 stateless Indians which I had first suggested in 2012. That figure was a credible estimate based upon the feedback from NGOs, activists, and also population studies,” LFL adviser N Surendran said today.