Action to be taken against Hindraf: Malaysian minister

October 9th, 2008 - 4:49 pm ICT by IANS  

HindrafKuala Lumpur, Oct 9 (IANS) A Malaysian minister Thursday repeated the threat that the government would act against the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), but did not specify what the action could be.Deputy Home Minister Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh was quoted as saying on Star Online that action might be taken under the Societies Act 1966 for causing disturbance during the Hari Raya function hosted by the prime minister and Muslim cabinet ministers on the occasion of Eid here last Wednesday.

He said action would be taken soon on Hindraf, its committee and members, though the organisation was not registered. Hindraf is a group that claims to represent Malaysia’s ethnic Indians.

“Action will be taken. We have many alternatives. Under the act, whether the organisation is legal or not, it is still an organisation. If it is not legal, action will be taken based on the provisions for an illegal organisation, if it is legal then action will be taken under the proper provisions,” he said.

His ministry’s secretary general Abdul Aziz Mohammed Yusof had made a similar announcement Tuesday while talking to The New Straits Times.

Wan Ahmad Farid was commenting on calls by several quarters that action be taken against Hindraf for their ‘rudeness’ at the Hari Raya function.

“When it comes to the law, there must be no delay. Whatever action is taken has to follow procedure and legal channels. What is clear in this matter is that whoever breaks the law must face action,” he said.

Wan Ahmad Farid, however, declined to state what action will be taken against Hindraf.

He said when action is taken, Hindraf cannot blame the government or allege that it had not been given the opportunity to voice its views, he told Bernama, the official news agency.

About 165 Hindraf activists and their families used the Hari Raya Open House to seek freedom for its leaders - M. Manorahan, P. Uthaya Kumar, Vasanth Kumar, Ganabatirau and S. Kengadharan - who are serving two-year terms under the stringent Internal Security Act (ISA).

The government cracked down on the leaders after they staged a protest rally last November to voice the grievances of Malaysia’s 2.6 million ethnic Indians, a bulk of them Tamil Hindus, who form eight percent of the 28 million population.

The government has alleged that Hindraf has terror links, especially with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

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