About two dozen Hindraf supporters gathered at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre shopping mall this morning to take part in a hunger strike to commemorate the second year anniversary of the movement's mass gathering.
Led by Hindraf activist S Jayathas, the group arrived at the KLCC entrance at about 9.10am. Sixteen of them were wearing orange coloured Hindraf t-shirt. Most of them also have anti-ISA badges on them.
They plan to observe an 18-hour hunger strike until 4pm to represent the movement's 18-point demands to the government to alleviate the plight of the Indian community in this country.
"The 18-point demands are meant to alleviate the ethnic Indians Malaysians from hardcore poverty.
"There is no guidance and opportunities for the Indians, so many turn to crime. The government knows about the problem but is not taking action," said Jayathas.
One of those participating in the hunger strike T Samy, 32, said he joined the group to highlight the "sufferings" of the Indian community.
"The government should open their ears to the Indian plight. Treat us fairly," said Samy, an engineer from Klang, Selangor.
The police - numbering about 24 - are monitoring the situation.
The KLCC management meanwhile had requested the group not to sit on the pavement as it would disrupt their business.
Memo to PM too
Although the group agreed to this request, the police had then asked the group to disperse following complaints from the property owners. The police also told the group that they were involved in an illegal gathering.
Jayathas refused to stop the hunger strike and split his group into smaller groups of four to continue with the hunger strike.
Later today at 1pm, a group of children will present the hunger-strikers with garlands before proceeding to Putrajaya to hand the same 18-point memorandum to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
On Nov 25, 2007, some 30,000 mobilised in the streets of Kuala Lumpur following a protest rally called by Hindraf to submit a memorandum to the British High Commission on the situation of Indians here.
The government had banned Hindraf last October.