Malaysian leaders criticise Hindraf for disturbing public peace

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Singapore, Dec 9 (UNI) Malaysian leaders have lashed out at the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) for disturbing public peace and having links with the Sri Lanka-based Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Prime Minister Mr Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Deputy Prime Minister Mr Najib Razak, Youth Chief of the United Malays Nasional Organization (UMNO) which leads the national front coalition government Mr Hishamuddin Hussein have taken a tough stand against top leaders of Hindraf, which made media headlines by organizing a protest rally on November 25 in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.

RSS, a hardline organization in India, has also been linked to the Hindraf, according to media reports this week.

''Hindraf has exceeded the limits, many people say Hindraf has gone beyond the tolerable limit... they have violated the law,'' Deputy Prime Minister Mr Najib said, as reported by media reports.

Mr Hishamuddin has also called on the government to invoke the Internal Security Act, which allows detention without trial if Hindraf poses a threat to public peace.

The Sultan of Selangor State in central Peninsular Malaysia, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, has expressed his disappoinment with the Hindraf.

''I am disappointed with what Hindraf has done. I am upset.

There are better ways of doing things. To stage a protest and fight with the police, I can not accept. This is not the way to do things in Malaysia,'' said the Sultan in a rare royal rebuke from a ceremonial ruler.

31 people are in detention on charges of attempted murder, for they are alleged to have thrown pipes and stones at a policeman on duty who was trying to stop the protest. The policeman required stitches to his wounds.

Hindraf, led by some lawyers have protested for ethnic Indians being marginalized in Malaysia.

They have also taken their case to the British government, calling on the former colonial masters to raise their issues with the United Nations.

Separately, the Hindraf leaders have filed a four trillion dollar claim against the British government for having brought their forefarthers to the colonised Malaya as indentured labourers, and left out the preceeding generations from the Malaysian prosperity.

The protest, in which an estimated 5,000 to 20,000 ethnic Indians participated, is the largest rally ever held by minority groups in Malaysia, where the ruling government, led by UMNO and a representation of a number of other parties including the Malaysia Chinese Association and the Malaysian Indian Congress, face a general election next year.


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