Malaysian parliament bars motion on Hindraf ban

October 20th, 2008 - 2:45 pm ICT by IANS  

HindrafKuala Lumpur, Oct 20 (IANS) The Malaysian parliament, Dewan Rakyat, Monday barred an emergency motion seeking a debate on the ban imposed on the Hindu Rights Action Front (Hindraf) last weekSpeaker Pandikar Amin Mulia rejected a motion filed by M. Kulasegaran, an ethnic Indian lawmaker, calling the government’s action “unjust, unwarranted and ham-fisted”.

The emergency motion, filed last Friday, was rejected by the speaker on the ground that there was no urgency to debate the matter as the MPs could do so in their speech on the budget, Star Online said.

In his application, Kulasegaran, who belongs to the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP), urged the government to immediately lift the ban and engage Hindraf for the betterment of the Indian community.

He said the move to ban Hindraf “would only aggravate the disaffection of the Indian community with the government”.

The ban week came last week in the form of a refusal to register Hindraf under the Registration of Societies Act.

The Hindraf has been in the eye of a political storm after it staged a protest rally in the Malaysian capital here in November 2007, joined by 10,000 people.

Five rally organisers - M. Manoharan, Vasanth Kumar, P. Uthaya Kumar, Ganabatirau and S. Kenghadharan - are serving two-year jail terms under the stringent Internal Security Act (ISA).

The government has not heeded appeals to release them and allege that they were disturbing the delicate ethnic balance of the country. They have also been accused of having terror links especially with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) of Sri Lanka.

The Muslim Malays form 60 percent, the Chinese 33 percent, and ethnic Indians - a bulk of them Tamil Hindus - eight percent of the country’s 28 million population.

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