Hindraf chief’s India visit: Malaysia to quiz Britain

January 20th, 2009 - 3:43 pm ICT by IANS  

HindrafKuala Lumpur, Jan 20 (IANS) Malaysia may ask Britain why it facilitated the visit to India of a Hindu leader that it thinks misrepresented the case of his ethnic compatriots at the recent diaspora gathering, Bharatiya Pravasi Diwas.The Malaysian Foreign Ministry is expected to raise with the British government its providing a travel document to banned Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader, P. Wathya Moorthy, Human Resource Minister S. Subramaniam said at a cabinet meeting.

“The foreign minister briefed the cabinet on what had happened and the allegations made by Wathya Moorthy,” Subramaniam said.

It appeared the British authorities had issued Wathya Moorthy with a travel document. “He has surrendered his Malaysian passport to the High Commission in London,” The New Straits Times said Tuesday.

Attending the Indian diaspora’s annual meet held early this month in Chennai, Wathya Moorthy distributed a booklet alleging human rights abuses in Malaysia and that ethnic Indians have been “marginalised”.

Moorthy called on the Indian government to impose trade sanctions on Malaysia.

India has made no response to this.

Subramaniam said much of the content in the booklet was “inflammatory and factually wrong”.

The minister, who is the nominee in the government of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), said he had explained to the cabinet what the MIC was doing to counter the allegations.

“We are engaging the non-governmental organisations and other bodies to counter the claims and make known the measures taken by the government to help the Indian community,” the minister was quoted as saying.

Hindraf courted controversy by staging a protest rally in November 2007 to highlight the grievances of Malaysia’s two million-plus ethnic Indians, a bulk of them Tamil Hindus who came here during the British era.

While Moorthy left the country and lives in the UK, five top Hindraf leaders - S. Kengadharan, M. Manoharan, Vasanth Kumar, P. Uthaya Kumar and Ganabati Rau - are serving two-year jail terms under Malaysia’s stringent Internal Security Act.

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