08 December, 2007

Be tough with Hindraf, newspaper urges Malaysian government



HINDRAF leaders were due yesterday to take their smear campaign to Europe, Britain and the United States to spread the vile contagion with which they have already infected India: that their homeland, Malaysia, is committing "ethnic cleansing" against Indians, who are a community subjected to systematic state repression. Such unconscionable allegations won the sympathetic ear of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Karunanidhi, who conveyed them to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who expressed his concern to the Malaysian government. While in Chennai, Hindraf also met with leaders of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, and in Delhi with L.K. Advani and Jaswant Singh, leaders of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.


The Malaysian government should invoke the stringent Internal Security Act against a body of ethnic Indian immigrants for spreading 'lies' abroad on 'ethnic cleansing' against the community and for seeking 'global sanctions against their own country', an influential daily newspaper said Saturday.


The 'restraint' shown by the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had been 'flagrantly violated' and it was time to act against the leaders of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), The New Straits Times said in a hard-hitting editorial.

It noted that the Hindraf's 'unconscionable allegations won the sympathetic ear of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, who conveyed them to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who expressed his concern to the Malaysian government'.

The reference was to the visit to India by Hindraf leader M. Vaithya Murthy, who urged India to impose sanctions on Malaysia.

'While in Chennai, Hindraf also met with leaders of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, and in Delhi with L.K. Advani and Jaswant Singh, leaders of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party,' it said.

However, while Murthy received a hearing from Karunanidhi and BJP leaders, the Singh government not only kept away, but External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee dismissed any notion of support to Hindraf saying that it was Malaysia's 'internal matter'.

In a hard-hitting editorial titled 'Enough!', the newspaper accused Hindraf leaders of spreading the 'vile contagion with which they have already infected India: that their homeland, Malaysia, is committing 'ethnic cleansing' against Indians, who are a community subjected to systematic state repression'.'

It was time to act now that Hindraf was carrying its 'smear campaign' further to Europe, Britain and the US, the paper said.

It quoted Hindraf leader P. Uthayakumar as having 'brazenly declared to a Singapore newspaper that he 'can't rule out violence'.

'Rising out of this cauldron of lies, distortions and blatant political opportunism, the volatile vapours of speculation go so far as to threaten a militant insurgency,' it warned.

The oft-cited 'underlying grievances' of the nation's Indians have been recognised, as have those of the Malays, Chinese and other races, and slowly but surely attended to for the past 50 years, the newspaper said.

'But that means nothing at all to Hindraf's prime movers, who now want global sanctions against their own country, even as their campaign drives wedges between Malaysian communities with deeply hurtful racial and religious rhetoric,' said the edit.

Advocating a tough line by the government, it said: 'No matter how regrettable, these subversives need to be reminded why all Malaysians have to live with the prospect of detention for those few who revel in attempting to destroy the national concord that millions have spent decades trying to build.'

Claiming to speak for Indian immigrants who form eight percent of Malaysia's 27 million population, Hindraf has become controversial after a massive rally it held on Nov 25 was declared illegal and forcibly dispersed by the police.

Other organisations, including Malaysian Indian Congress, the main political party that speaks for the Indian community, have distanced themselves from Hindraf's campaign.

(Source)

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