Putrajaya (Malaysia), Oct 25 : The action against the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) should not be construed as a clampdown on Indians or Hinduism by the government, said Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar.
He said the action taken so far against the outlawed movement was simply because of their association with militancy and their extremist views, the NST Online reported.
"We are very clear on this and I don't offer any apologies for taking action in order to protect the peace, security and harmony of the country," he said when commenting on the arrest of the 10 Hindraf supporters who had turned up outside the Prime Minister's office on Friday.
Hamid also said that it was the British authorities who had seized the passport of Hindraf chairperson P Waytha Moorthy, who is currently in self-imposed exile in London.
Speaking at his ministry's Hari Raya Aidilfitri gathering yesterday, Hamid said they had seized the passport in London upon Waytha Moorthy's return from an overseas trip and then sent it to the Malaysian High Commission.
"I have given the instruction for the passport to be returned to him. The travel document was never cancelled. It expires in 2010."
Asked why the passport was seized, he said the British authorities did so based on its police-to-police network information, which showed that Waytha Moorthy was under investigation and had charges levelled against him.
Hamid also lambasted Waytha Moorthy for labeling him a "racist, extremist and liar" in response to the minister's justification in banning Hindraf.