UPDATE 28 Nov 2007: What did I say about the ISA?
UPDATE 26 Nov 2007: Hindraf defies court order and goes ahead with gathering.
What A Lulu: Lulu’s Malaysia – Let’s Not Allow Them To Get Away With It (Just like at the Bersih rally, chemical cannon and tear gas is employed again)
What A Lulu: Lulu’s Malaysia – Let’s Not Allow Them To Get Away With It (2) (Supporters rounded up into Batu Caves temple and chemicalled like prisoners of war)
Darn Malaysia: No Tear Gas And Water Cannon Used At Batu Caves Temple (Compare with the pics and the link directly before this)
Darn Malaysia: HINDRAF Rally Thwarted By Police Violence (Pics of police heavy handed tactics)
Elizabeth Wong: Hindraf rally: 500 arrested (Pics and videos)
Jeff Oii has an excellent series of coverage:
However, it is true that HINDRAF supporters reacted to police force with violence (IF IF IF, you know we can’t trust anything politically relevant the Government Enslaved Media has to say), then I am sorry to say that I cannot support their actions.
This is different from the Bersih Rally, where although there were 40,000 peaceful marchers who were attacked by police and FRU, they DID NOT respond in angry retaliation.
No matter how vicious the government’s tactics, by responding to police actions with rioting – and apparently, even premeditated violence as the reported Molotov cocktail attack shows – the ralliers this time would have quickly lost the moral high ground IMHO.
But on that purported Molotov razing of a bus… As Lulu says, NONE of the more than a dozen Government Enslaved Media drones who covered the events and reported the fire attack has even ONE picture of the allegedly charred bus!!!
Assuming the violent protestor response is true (but how can we really believe anything the Government Enslaved Media prints anymore?), it will be that much harder to gain public sympathy and support for HINDRAF now.
UPDATE 23 Nov 2007: Hindraf legal advisor arrested under Sedition Act.
Also covered in the following:
Malaysiakini covers it at the following links, but requires subscription to view:
Malaysiakini: Hindraf chairperson arrested (Waytha Moorthy is arrested)
Malaysiakini: Supporters throng police HQ (Hindraf supporters show up to protest)
UPDATE 24 NOV: The Star: Lawyers Charged With Sedition
What did I say about the ISA in my post below? The HINDRAF people were arrested ostensibly for planning and organizing a demonstration at the British High Commission. Apparently, that’s seditious.
I insinuate (as readable below) that the real purpose of the lawsuit is actually to highlight the unfair policies in Malaysia, and that the authorities here know that that is the real purpose, thus have arrested the men for being a ‘seditious’ political threat.
If you doubt my conclusions, just compare:
These protestors in 2003 also gathered at a foreign embassy, and even burned a flag on the streets. They were not preemptively arrested for ‘sedition’. They were not even chided after they actually carried out the demonstration.
Double standards? DUH. Welcome to Malaysia.
Malaysian Indian lawyer Waytha Moorthy Ponnusamy is suing the British in London’s Royal Courts of Justice.
He’s demanding 1.9 trillion British pounds in compensation for the British bringing Indians to Malaya as indentured workers, whose 2 million descendants are now deprived of opportunities because of Malaysia’s pro-Malay policies.
Moorthy alleges that the British failed to safeguard the rights of Indians when they granted Malaya independence in 1957, and it only got worse with the New Economic Policies implemented after the May 13 incident.
Seems quite a load of nonsense, suing the Brits for something done ages past? He’s unlikely to get this case to court, let alone win, let alone be awarded the massive amount of cash he is claiming.
But what I think he’s really trying to do is to highlight the unfair policies so prevalent in Malaysia. Think about it, if a case like this causes raised eyebrows in Britain, wouldn’t a case filed against racial inequalities be thrown out of a Malaysian court immediately… Followed by quick Internal Security Act detention?
What Moorthy is trying to do is stir up international attention to the true state of Malaysia’s much-touted ‘racial harmony and religious tolerance,’ in a way guaranteed to make headlines due to its sensational phrasing.
Does anyone know if Malaysiakini or out local Government Enslaved Media picked this up? I was busy distracted by the Bersih Rally coverage.
The article below says that the Malaysian media ‘trumpeted his story’, but if that’s true, then why didn’t I catch any of those headlines?
Maybe it’s just like the Bersih rally that was totally, intentionally sidelined as inconsequential by the local Government Enslaved Media (GEM).
By contrast, the foreign media and local bloggers revealed a massive peaceful crowd that had gathered, and was subsequently attacked by police and FRU units using disproportionate violence.
Following which, our ministers and their Government Enslaved Media whitewashed and justified the police brutality during the event.
More info on terms used and related links at bottom of this post.
From Yahoo News, 21 Nov 2007 (bolding is mine):
Malaysian sues Britain over ethnic Indians’ woes
By Clarence Fernandez Reuters – Wednesday, November 21 11:29 am
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – An ethnic Indian in Malaysia is using an audacious strategy to highlight the plight of his mostly impoverished community by suing Britain, the country’s former colonial ruler, for $4 trillion (1.9 trillion pounds).
The Malaysian government dismisses the case as baseless, but lawyer Waytha Moorthy is determined to pursue it, even vowing to appeal to the Queen to appoint lawyers for the Indian community, which he says is too poor to find its own.
Moorthy wants Britain to pay damages of 1 million pounds to each of Malaysia’s 2 million ethnic Indians for rights abuses he traces to colonial-era labour schemes that brought their ancestors to Malaysia as indentured workers.
“We are seeking compensation because we were permanently colonised during British rule, and now, under the government of the ethnic Malays,” Moorthy told Reuters.
“We have lost touch with our roots and have been suppressed so far,” said Moorthy, who accuses British officials of failing to honour their responsibility to protect ethnic Indians when they granted independence to Malaysia in 1957.
In colonial times, many impoverished Indians and Chinese flocked to work and settle in Malaysia, drawn by government schemes meant to attract cheap labour for the country’s then lucrative rubber estates and tin mines, he added.
RUN FOR HIS MONEY
Some might feel that Moorthy, who paid court fees of more than 2,000 pounds to file his case in London’s Royal Courts of Justice, has already got a run for his money from the Malaysian newspaper headlines that have trumpeted his story.
But the episode highlights a very real dilemma: after 50 years of independence, ethnic Indians, most of whom are Hindu, own just 1.5 percent of the country’s national wealth.
The group, which forms about eight percent of Malaysia’s 26 million people, says a decades-old affirmative action plan for the country’s Malay Muslim majority has deprived it of opportunities, and the government has done little to improve living standards.
The affirmative action plan, adopted after deadly race riots in 1969, favours politically dominant Malays in housing, education, businesses, jobs and state contracts. Ethnic Indians say the policy is discriminatory.
Poor education further cripples their chances of upward social mobility, forcing them to continue being labourers, although some are now losing out to cheaper foreign workers.
“Indians have suffered under the Muslim-majority Malay government and also during British government rule for the past 200 years,” said Moorthy.
His suit also asks the British courts to declare the Malaysian constitution void for not safeguarding the rights of ethnic Indians, and seeks British citizenship for the group.
Moorthy said he was gathering 100,000 signatures for a petition to the Queen to appoint lawyers to represent the Indian community, which was too poor to pay its own legal costs, which he estimated would reach a million pounds.
“We only want justice in the United Kingdom courts,” he added. “Whatever justice is given to us we will accept.”
(Editing by David Fogarty)
The above is also covered by The Malaysian: Britain Sued Over Malaysian Indians.
May 13 1969 Incident (the Malaysian race riots)
Malaysian New Economic Policy (in response to the May 13 incident, allegedly to ensure more ‘fair’ distribution of wealth)
Ketuanan Melayu (Malay dominance)
Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia (which safeguards the special rigths of Malays)
Article 160 of the Constitution of Malaysia (defines what a Malay is – not at all related to racial lineage or genetics, but he or she must be a Muslim)
Internal Security Act of Malaysia (used to detain without trial for anything deemed a ‘security threat’ to peace and stability)
Sedition Act of Malaysia (prohibits any discourse deemed to be seditious - where ‘seditious’ can be defined however those in power wish to define it)
HINDRAF (Hindu Rights Action Force)