October 16, 2008
Ashwin Krushna Dwitiya
The Malaysian Government has banned the non-governmental Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), branding it as a threat to national security.
On Wednesday, Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar issued a statement declaring Hindraf, which has been advocating ethnic Indian rights since late last year for the minority community, an illegal organisation.
He said the government move followed the result of monitoring and investigations by the country's Registrar of Societies (RoS) since Hindraf was formed.
"As a result of the investigations, the Home Ministry, as per its authority under sections 3 and 5 of the Societies Act 1966, has declared Hindraf unlawful and detrimental to peace, public order, security and the moral values of Malaysia," he said in the statement.
Albar accused the Hindraf of exploiting "racial issues which caused an uprising against the government and created hatred between them and the Malays. I feel that if we don't rein in their activities, they will continue to jeopardise security and public order, our country's sovereignty, as well as upset the harmony among races."
Hindraf came into international focus after it organised a massive rally on November 25 last year to protest alleged marginalisation of the ethnic Indian minority in this country.
More than 20,000 people attended the rally, which was branded as illegal by the government. The large participation took the Abdullah Badawi government by shock. A large section of the ethnic Indians supported the Hindraf as they felt that the Malaysian Indian Congress, led by Samy Vellu, had done little to uplift the community over the past several decades. Source: TOI
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