S'porian goes on hunger strike in support of Malaysian hindus

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Singapore, Jan 1 (UNI) A Singapore national is on a five-day hunger strike here to seek the release of Hindu rights activists detained in Malaysia under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

23-year-old Seelan Palay said yesterday he would drink water but not eat during the hunger strike. Mr Palay has devoted one day for each detained member from Malaysia's Hindu Rights Action Force.

The five are being held for seeking equal rights under Internal Security Act (ISA), which allows for indefinite detention without trial.

''I'll sleep on the ground on a straw mat,'' he said, adding he was wearing a sign around his neck that read ''Give them fair trial.'' The activists were detained after they enraged the government on November 25 by mounting a mass rally alleging discrimination against Indians in Malaysia, where the majority were ethnic Malay Muslims.

Police used tear gas, water cannon and baton charges to break up the street protest by at least 8,000 people. Mr Palay claimed that he attended that rally.

Speaking from near the front gate of the Malaysian High Commission, Mr Palay called for in international pressure on the Malaysian government to prove allegations against the five in open court, The Straits Times reported.

''In line with the greater focus on human rights in ASEAN we cannot turn a blind eye to this matter,'' he said.

UNI XC SYU HT1912

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