Malaysian government wants to ban Hindraf

October 8th, 2008 - 12:49 pm ICT by IANS  

HindrafKuala Lumpur, Oct 8 (IANS) The Malaysian government wants to ban the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) that has on many occasions caused unrest, says a top home ministry official. As Hindraf was not a registered organisation, the ministry’s legal unit would look into the technicalities of disbanding the group, home ministry secretary general Abdul Aziz Mohammed Yusof told The New Straits Times Tuesday.

He said Hindraf had been creating unrest within the community, citing the recent “gatecrashing” of the Hari Raya open house that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmed Badawi and his cabinet hosted last week.

Hindraf’s “insolence”, he said, had angered many, especially Muslims who felt the group had marred the spirit of the Hari Raya festival — as Eid is known in this part of the world.

About 165 Hindraf activists and their families utilised the open house to voice their demand for freedom of five of the organisation’s leaders — M. Manoharan, S. Kengadharan, P. Uthaya Kumar, Ganabatirau and Vasanth Kumar — who are serving two-year terms.

Speaking to the New Straits Times from Singapore, Abdul Aziz was also bemused at reports that Hindraf had lodged a police report against Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar and Malay language daily, Utusan Malaysia, for allegedly hurting the feelings of Hindraf members in a news report.

He said if the report had been made under Hindraf’s name, it would be ridiculous as the group was not even a formal entity.

The five Hindraf leaders in detention had organised a protest rally last November here that was attended by 10,000 people. It sought to highlight the grievances of Malaysia’s 2.6 million ethnic Indians, a bulk of them Tamil Hindus, about jobs and education.

The rally was broken up and the five were detained under the stringent Internal Security Act (ISA).

Prime Minister Badawi had on Monday said he was irked and “disappointed” by Hindraf’s attitude during the incident.

Having allowed the group who came in colour-coordinated T-shirts to join the celebrations, Badawi said he regretted their unruly behaviour of chanting for the abolition of the ISA and the release of their leaders detained under the act.

Badawi said the group was also “arrogant” as they did not bother to shake the extended hands of the hosts and country’s leaders who stood in a line to greet visitors to the open house.

The Badawi government has alleged that Hindraf has terror connections, particularly with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) of Sri Lanka.

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