Thursday, March 18, 2010

Doors are closed on Waythamoorthy

The Malay Mail,
Hindraf leader barred from returning to Malaysia because of his anti-constitutional stance

KUALA LUMPUR: P. Waythamoorthy, the self-styled leader of Hindraf, who fled Malaysia for refuge in the United Kingdom, is not welcomed home.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said the government was not willing to allow him back.

"Although he has confided he wants to return, the government has closed the doors on him," Nazri told The Malay Mail at the Parliament lobby yesterday.

Nazri said the drastic decision was made not because he was fighting for the rights of Tamils in Malaysia but because of his stance that Article 152 of the Federal Constitution concerning Malay rights be abolished.

On several occasions, Waythamoorthy, had remarked in public that the inherent rights of Malays in the constitution must be removed.

According to Nazri, the large majority of "our Tamil brothers" are loyal to the constitution and the rules but only want a bit more equality and a reasonable share of the economic cake.

In April 2008, the Malaysian authorities revoked Waythamoorthy’s passport.

He travels on a United Nations' document issued by the British Government which granted him political asylum last year after the revocation of his passport.

Presently, he resides in London after five Hindraf activists, led by its founder P. Uthayakumar, who is Waythamoorthy's elder brother, were detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in December 2007.

All five detainees were released shortly after Datuk Seri Najib Razak became Prime Minister last April.

A Tamil daily reported last week that Waythamoorthy and Hindraf adviser N. Ganesan went to the House of Commons to endear the British Parliamentarians on what he claims as the marginalisation of ethnic Indians in Malaysia.

The report added that Hindraf had joined forces with a group representing the interests of indigenous groups from Sabah and Sarawak, represented by Common Interest Group Malaysia (Cigma) activists Daniel John Jambun and Nicholas Bawin Anggat.

Both groups insisted that Britain had a historical, legal and moral obligation towards former subjects in its ex-colonies.

Ganesan alleged the Indian community, largely the descendants of indentured plantation labourers brought into Malaya by the British from Tamil Nadu, were being systematically marginalised by the government.

Last September, Waythamoorty stated he wanted the Malaysian government to give him back his passport.

He said he was prepared to take responsibility for his actions, even at the risk of being detained under the Internal Security Act.

He had also said the government owed him an apology and holds Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar, the former Home Minister, responsible for revoking his passport.

Syed Hamid, however, denied he had ordered it.