Monday, March 31, 2008

Malaysian opposition calls for release of Hindraf 5

Release of Hindraf 5 - pressing agenda of 82 MPs and 196 State Assembly members from Malaysian opposition

One of the major breakthroughs of the March 8 political tsunami was the transformation of “Makkal Sakti” from a call for the end of the long-standing marginalization of the Malaysian Indians into a rallying and symbolic cry by all Malaysians to end all forms of marginalization against any Malaysian or group, regardless of race or religion.

It is distressing therefore that despite assurances by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that he has heard the voice of Malaysians on March 8 for change, actions taken by the second Abdullah administration have proved otherwise – in particular the statement by the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar refusing to release newly-elected Selangor DAP State Assemblyman for Kota Alam Shah and four other Hindraf leaders, P. Uthayakumar, V. Ganabatirau, R. Kenghadharan and T. Vasantha Kumar from Internal Security Act (ISA) detention.

A pressing agenda for 82 MPs and 196 State Assembly members from DAP, PKR and PAS in Malaysia is to work out a common strategy for the immediate and unconditional release of the five Hindraf leaders from ISA detention and to ensure that the second Abdullah government understand the meaning of “Makkal Sakti”.

(Speech at the DAP Bukit Glugor general election thanksgiving dinner to celebrate re-election victory of Karpal Singh as MP for Bukit Glugor at Long Say Building, Burmah Road, Penang on Saturday, 29th March 2008)

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