HINDRAF leaders to meet Malaysian PM by Sunday

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Kuala Lumpur, Dec.3: Leaders of the Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) are likely to meet Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi by Sunday.

Hindraf legal adviser P. Uthayakumar repeated his call that he would like to meet Abdullah to discuss the problems faced by Malaysian Indians. He said this in a peaceful gathering of about 200 Hindraf members at the Batu Caves temple yesterday.

Uthayakumar stressed that they would continue to fight for their rights until someone listens to their grievances. The HINDRAF leadership is likely to know this week if they are going to be charged with sedition.

Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz, Minister in the Prime Minister"s Department, was quoted by The Star as saying that the police has conducted an investigation into whether the HINDRAF was behind a recent petition accusing the Government of carrying out ethnic cleansing of the Indians here.

Aziz said that if there was evidence that the petition was seditious, the Attorney-General could prosecute them. "We expect to get feedback (from the Attorney-General"s Office) within this week," he said.

Last Sunday, police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse an illegal gathering organised by HINDRAF.

Thousands converged at various locations in the city to support Hindraf"s plan to submit a petition with 100,000 signatures to the British High Commission. The petition was to ask Queen Elizabeth II to appoint a Queen"s Counsel to represent the Indian community in a class-action suit filed against the British government for bringing Indians as indentured labourers to the then Malaya and exploiting them.

Mohamed Nazri urged the public not to support HINDRA, which he heard was planning another rally.

“If the gathering takes place, the Government will take the appropriate action," he said.

Meanwhile, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu claimed that Malaysia has always told other countries the truth about how the Indians here are being treated.

Commenting on how the recent Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) demonstration would affect Malaysia"s relationship with other countries like India, Samy Vellu said: “When I go there (India), I tell the truth about what is happening here."

He added that the community sometimes got what they asked for and sometimes did not.

HINDRAF, on the other hand, has inaccurately claimed that the Indians here did not get anything from the Government, said Samy Vellu.

“Are the Indians in Malaysia without clothes? Are they without jobs or makan (food)?" he said yesterday.

In Kuala Lumpur, Selangor MIC chairman Datuk G. Palanivel welcomed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's reassuring statement to all Malaysian Indians.

“Malaysian Indians are fully aware of the PM's fair and just commitment to all Malaysians," said Palanivel, who is also the party's deputy president.


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