Malaysian lawyer to sue Britain for independence wrongs

June 30th, 2012 - 12:24 am ICT by IANS  

London, June 29 (IANS) An exiled human rights lawyer from Malaysia has decided to re-file a billion dollar suit against the British governnment, blaming it for having failed to protect the Indian Malaysians when independence was granted to the former colony in 1957.

Waytha Moorthy, the London-based lawyer, wants a million-dollar compensation for each of Malaysia’s 1.8 million Indians on the grounds that the then Harold MacMillian government failed to protect them in 1957.

Moorthy, 46, will attend the high court Monday to re-issue his class action lawsuit against the British government, a press release stated.

Originally launched in 2007, but never heard and now out of time, Waytha Moorthy’s claim is on behalf of Indian Malaysians. He says these people face appalling human rights abuses and live unprotected and in “continuous colonisation” under the rule of the Malay-Muslim majority.

Moorthy argues this situation is the direct legacy of the then British government who gave the Muslim population special rights and privileges in perpetuity in Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia, effectively establishing a system of apartheid which has marginalised Malaysian Indians ever since.

“The British government needs to take responsibility, apologise, make reparation, and send out a strong message that the way the Malay government is acting is morally wrong.”

Moorthy is also the chair of HINDRAF, a non-governmental NGO advocating equal rights for Malaysians of Indian origin.

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