Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hindraf vs Hindraf: One faction sues, the other makes police report - Malaysiakini

The tussle between two Hindraf factions has escalated into a legal battle with the filing of a RM100 million suit by the movement's chairperson-in-exile P Waythamoorthy against four individuals and six news organisations.

hindraf penang split into two factions 040409 waythamoorthyIn his statement of claim, Waythamoorthy (right) said the six news organisations carried statements of the four individuals who had alleged that he misappropriated public donations for Hindraf.

The four individuals are Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy, Sungkai state assemblyperson A Sivanesan, and two former ISA detainees V Ganabatirau and K Vasanthakumar.

The six news organisations named as defendants are English daily The Star, online news portals Malaysiakini and The Malaysian Insider, and three Tamil dailies Makkal Osai, Tamil Nesan and Malaysia Nanban.

Since their release from ISA detention earlier this year, Ganabatirau and Vasanthakumar have each headed a splinter group under the same name, while Ramasamy and Sivanesan are prominent DAP leaders who were formerly vocal Hindraf supporters.

Five hours after the law suit was filed, Vasanthakumar lodged a report at Brickfields police station against the 'wild allegations' that he was a police agent.

He said that rumours that he was a police officer were spread via text messages and the Human Rights Party website.

'Duo not Hindraf leaders'

Waythamoorthy is seeking RM10 million from each defendant for the alleged defamatory statements that was published between July and August this year.

The suit was filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today by lawyer P Uthayakumar, who is Hindraf's most recognisable leader and also Waythamoorthy's elder brother.

Speaking to reporters later, Uthayakumar said all Hindraf monies will be handled by accountants from Jan 1, 2010 onwards and thus the money can be accounted for.

hindraf isa prayer 131209 uthayakumarHe said that the subject of Hindraf accounts were brought up by the four individuals in order to divert attention from the Penang government's management of the Kampung Buah Pala issue.

"This (suit) is also a message to the press - just because somebody make a statement, you cannot go around publishing whatever you like," said Uthayakumar (left).

Among others, Waythamoorthy's suit is also seeking an injunction against all 10 defendants to stop them from repeating the allegations against him.

Seeking unusual declarations

Meanwhile, Waythamoorthy is also seeking a declaration that Ganabatirau and Vasanthakumar are not Hindraf leaders and subsequently, for an injunction preventing the duo from referring to themselves as such.

He also seeking an injunction against media organisations from referring to the duo as Hindraf leaders or its associates.

Waythamoorthy's suit seeks several less conventional court declarations, among others, a declaration that Vasanthakumar is a police spy attached to the "Special Branch E3M" with the rank of assistant police superintendent.

He is also seeking a declaration that Ramasamy, Sivanesan and Ganabatirau were "mandores" (Tamil for labourer supervisor) of the DAP, particularly its secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.