Hindraf leader to take oath in jail

April 30th, 2008 - 1:57 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, April 30 (IANS) His plea for freedom not heeded, M. Manoharan, the detained Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader, is expected to take oath as a legislator at the Kamuntin Detention Camp May 8. Manoharan was elected to the Selangor state legislature from Kota Alam Shah in the March general elections while in prison.

He is serving a two-year term under the stringent Internal Security Act (ISA) along with four others of the Hindraf for organising a protest rally of Tamil Hindus in November.

The five - Manoharan, 46, P. Uthayakumar, 46, V. Ganabatirau, 34, R. Kengadharan, 40, and K. Vasantha Kumar, 34 - were asked to complete their two-year jail term under a royal decree issued last week by the King of Malaysia.

Selangor state assembly Speaker Teng Chang Khim said he received a letter from Manoharan two days ago requesting him to go to the camp for the swearing-in.

“I have consulted our legal adviser and made the necessary arrangements for the swearing-in which is fixed for the morning on May 8 at the detention camp,” he was quoted as saying by The Star newspaper Wednesday.

Manoharan had earlier declined to take oath in jail and had appealed for freedom.

Manoharan stood on a Demcoratic Action Party (DAP) ticket and won the Kota Alam Shah state seat by 7,184 votes, beating incumbent Ching Su Chen (Gerakan) in the March 8 general election.

Manoharan’s wife S. Pushpaneela said she was relieved and happy that her husband would be taking his oath. “I will go to the camp on Friday and bring a suit and tie for the ceremony.

“This is a historic moment for all Malaysians especially the constituents of Kota Alam Shah. We are hoping for his release as soon as possible so that he can serve them,” she said.

Hindraf claims to speak for the Tamil Hindus, who form a bulk of the 2.6 million ethnic Indian population that came here during the British era.

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