Wednesday, April 6, 2011

HRP sues for registration

ROS was bowing to Umno and BN when it refused its approval, says Uthayakumar

PETALING JAYA: The Human Rights Party (HRP) is seeking a court order compelling the government to register it as a political party within seven days.

In a suit he filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today, the party’s pro-tem secretary-general, P Uthayakumar, also asked the court to set aside the Registrar of Societies’ dismissal of his application to form HRP.

He named Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, the Registrar of Societies (ROS) and the Federal Territories ROS as respondents.

HRP has been trying to get ROS approval for more than three years. It submitted applications for registration in 2009, 2010, 2011 and last March 14. All were dismissed.

Uthayakumar claimed that the respondents, in ensuring the failure of HRP’s bid for registration, acted in bad faith and at the behest of Umno and Barisan Nasional. He alleged that Umno and BN were trying to hamper HRP’s effort to improve the lot of poor Malaysian Indians.

He also accused the respondents of “selective approval”, citing the speedy registration of Kita and Perkasa.

A member of HRP’s pro-tem central committee, S Thiagarajan, said he was optimistic about the outcome of Uthayakumar’s suit.

Once the party was registered, he added, his group would apply for the registration of Hindraf Makkal Sakti (HMS) as a non-governmental organisation.

In a related development, a court here has postponed the trial of 21 HMS activists accused of participating in last February’s rally against the novel Interlok, which critics say contain inaccurate and derogatory remarks about Malaysian Indians.

Thiagarajan told FMT that the Kuala Lumpur Magistrate’s Court had postponed the trial to July 25 and 26.

“The deputy public prosecutor asked for a postponement because they were not prepared with documented evidence,” he said.