Madurai, Dec 6: Contrary to the alleged racial discrimination by the Malaysian Government, the Malaysia Tamil Writers Association has claimed ''Tamils are safe in the Muslim dominated country.'' The recent protest rally by ethnic Indians in Kuala Lumpur, under the Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF), an umbrella body of NGOs demanding equality and fair treatment in the Muslim majority country, had nearly sparked diplomatic row between India and Malaysia.
Talking to newspersons here last night, Malaysia Tamil Writers Association President P Rajendran, leading a delegation of 34 writers from Malaysia said, ''I would say it is the only Muslim majority country in the world, where the rights of ethnic minorities, especially Tamils are safeguarded and we all lead a life of peaceful co-existence.'' On the number of schools with Tamil as medium of instruction had gone down sharply, Rajendran terming it ''wrong'', he said the Malaysian Government was giving due recognition to Tamil language.
He further said, at the primary level, Tamil was kept as a compulsory subject in Tamil medium schools while it was an optional subject in the middle and higher education.
Mr Rajendran said in fact the Malaysian police extended full cooperation during the Hindu festivals. About the police ban order on the recent rally taken out by HINDRAF, he replied that unlike in India, the Malaysian police would take strict action against any organisation including those of Malaysian or Chinese communities, if they did not get prior permission.
He refused to comment on the strong reaction made by the Malaysian Minister Mohammed Nazri Abdul Aziz against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi for his supportive statement to the Malaysian Tamils.
Rajendran said the Malaysia Tamil Writers' Association would establish an endowment in Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) to promote Tamil literature and strengthen literary exchanges between Tamil Nadu and Malaysia, based on the request from the School of Tamil Studies, MKU. The other details of establishing the endowment would be discussed with Mr Karunanidhi on December 11 at Chennai, he added.