Malaysian authorities charged three ethnic Indian activists with sedition Friday in an apparent attempt to stop a rally in support of a lawsuit that holds the British responsible for the Indians' economic woes.The US$4 trillion (€2.7 trillion) lawsuit, filed in London in August, demands that Britain compensate Malaysia's ethnic Indians — who comprise some 8 percent of the country's 27 million people — for bringing their ancestors to then Malaya as "indentured laborers" and exploiting them under colonial rule.The Hindu Rights Action Force, a non-government group, hopes to gather 10,000 people to demonstrate outside the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.Authorities have warned that the rally would be illegal and have thrown a security cordon around Kuala Lumpur, citing concerns of potential violence ahead of the protest.Police arrested the Indian group's chairman, Waytha Moorthy Ponnusamy, his brother and a senior associate Friday. The three men were later charged in court with making seditious comments, which carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison.Two were freed on bail, but Waytha Moorthy remained in custody because he refused to post bail in a gesture of defiance. The court was scheduled to hear the case Monday.Kuala Lumpur Police Chief Zulhasnan Najib Baharudin said police refused to issue a permit for the rally for security reasons and warned that protesters could face arrest. Malaysian law prohibits public gatherings of five or more people without a police permit."If there is any assembly, it's unlawful," Zulhasnan said.Police have mounted security road blocks throughout Kuala Lumpur since Thursday, sparking massive traffic snarls.Ethnic Indians, mainly Hindus, form one of Malaysia's largest minority groups. Activists say more than two-thirds of them live in poverty, partly because they are deprived of opportunities by affirmative action policies that favor the ethnic Malay Muslim majority.Government authorities have rejected claims of discrimination.Police had earlier served Waytha Moorthy a court order forbidding the rally's key planners from being present outside the British High Commission."We've told our people to continue" with the rally, Waytha Moorthy said.A Malaysian human rights group, Suaram, called the arrests an "attempt by the police to intimidate and to prevent (activists) from exercising their right to freedom of peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of expression."The group plans to submit a petition Sunday urging Queen Elizabeth II to appoint lawyers to represent the Indians in the suit, which is meant to show that British neglect allegedly caused Malaysian Indians to remain economically disadvantaged after independence in 1957.The planned rally would be the second street protest in Kuala Lumpur in less than a month. Police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse activists Nov. 10 at an opposition-backed rally that drew thousands of people demanding electoral reforms. (International Herald Tribune)
***** While this episode of arrest and charging in court was going on yesterday, that PM wannabe of keris-kissing fame, Hishammuddin started the typical bangsa, agama dan negara shit-stirring which Umno is notorious for. He said that "the 'silent majority' should make itself heard and stand up to people with their own agenda." Trying to give it a May 13 style ethnic twist he added that racial and religious sentiments made for a dangerous cocktail which could spell disaster. He also surreptitiously brought the thugs and goons of Umno into the picture by 'cautioning' Umno Youth members to remain calm. Do you think Hishammuddin or any of the other leeches in Umno will tell the truth that this is in reality a protest by a certain section of the citizens of this country against the practices of the GOVERNMENT and NOT against anyone else? Why should he? He has a lot more to gain personally by stirring shit and raising the political temperature.
In a way, this protest has come at a good time for the racists leading the government. They will use this opportunity to try and martial all the Malays or at least those naive, illiterate and some of the downright chauvinistic 'nationalists' with the clarion call of Melayu in danger or something equally silly.
They have no respect for human rights or sense of fair play. All that the greedsters in government are concerned about is fulfilling their dire need to stay in office. If one day in the future they have to stab the Malay in the back to preserve their power, they won't have any qualms in doing that as well.
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Labels: Corrupt Government, Discrimination., Intolerance, Legal Matters., Legal Matters. Royal Malaysia Police, Malaysia Boleh, Questionable Decision, Thugs, Unfair