Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hindraf seeks IGP help over anti-Umno march

(Malaysiakini) The Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) is seeking a meeting with inspector-general of police (IGP) Ismail Omar to discuss matters concerning the movement's planned march on Feb 27 to protest against Umno and the use of the novel 'Interlok' in schools.

NONEIn a letter to Ismail today, Hindraf chairperson-in-exile P Waythamoorthy (right) said that the movement fears that agent provocateurs would be employed by Umno to disrupt the event.

He said that as the planned march is well intended and peaceful, the police is thus obliged to ensure that no untoward incidents occur.

“If you refuse to do the necessary, we will hold you responsible for any untoward incident that may occur during the march and you will be liable for negligence in failing to provide protection to innocent civilians protesting peacefully,” he wrote in the letter.

The event, dubbed the Solidarity March Against Umno Racism, is scheduled to kick off at KLCC.
hindraf feb 27 march against interlok 030211 posterIts primary objective is to protest against the education ministry's decision to retain the use of the controversial novel 'Interlok'.

Critics argue that the novel portrays the Indian community in negative light and was therefore unsuitable for use as a school text.

Applied for permit

Waythamoorty said that the march will serves as an eye opener to the Malaysian public on the “institutionalised racism” practiced in Malaysia.

“It is time that the Umno-led government discards all its racist policies which has created disharmony, mistrust, oppression and suppression of the minority communities in general and the Malaysian Indian community in particular,” he said.

He adds that although Hindraf believes that the Police Act 1967's requirement for a permit for peaceful assemblies is unconstitutional, they have nevertheless submitted their application on Feb 11.

NONE“Knowing how the Police have responded to such applications in the past, we now feel that you as IGP have to personally get involved to ensure that the marchers are given the security they need,” he said.

Over the weekend, the police launched a major crackdown on Hindraf convoys (above) organised to protest the novel throughout the country.

At least 59 were arrested during the crackdown, with some alleging that they were treated roughly by the police in the process.