Singapore, Nov 26 (UNI) The Hindu Rights Action Force's (Hindraf) ''illegal'' rally staged yesterday in the Kuala Lumpur city centre was ''politically motivated'', Malaysian government said today.
Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said, '' Whatever the motive, the government was not afraid of facing it. We will not back down from a political challenge.'' Mr Najib, who is also Deputy Chairman of the Malay-Chinese-Indian political party coalition Barisan Nasional (BN), said if the government was discriminatory in its policies against the Indian community, as claimed by Hindraf, they would not have supported the party and the coalition would not have achieved its massive electoral victory.
Hindraf now wants to raise the issue of alleged marginalisation, Malaysian national news agency Bernama quoted the Deputy Premier as saying.
Thousands of Hindraf sympathisers joined yesterday's rally to support the handing over of a petition to the British High Commission. The petition has asked Queen Elizabeth II to appoint a Queen's counsel to represent the Indian community in a class action suit against the British Government for bringing Indians as indentured labourers to then Malaya in 1800s and exploiting them.
Hindraf is claiming 4-trillion dollar compensation through a recently filed suit in London claiming that the British were to blame for the marginalisation of Indians in Malaysia.
Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protestors.
Bernama said more than 130 people were arrested after the protestors turned violent and damaged public property and hurled stones and other objects at the police, injuring several policemen.