MEDIA STATEMENT BY HINDRAF
RE: HINDRAF"S PEACEFUL STRUGGLE FOR THE RIGHTS OF THE MINORITY INDIANS WILL CONTINUE TO THE END
HINDRAF WILL NOT GIVE UP EVEN IF WE ARE FIGHTING A LOSING BATTLE .
MY STATEMENT TO AP TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT
On the 30th December 2007 I was interviewed by a journalist from the AP who had spent about 1 ½ hours interviewing me. I am equally disappointed that a small portion of the interview had been blown out of proportion to mean I am giving up the struggle of Hindraf or that the struggle is likely to die soon.
I wish to clarify the following:
a) I will continue to lead HINDRAF even if I"m on the move throughout the world.
b) HINDRAF"s struggle will not die “soon" as I have many plans lined up and will reveal to the Malaysian Indians in stages and with the support of PEOPLE POWER which we are witnessing now we will together continue to advocate and assert the rights of the Minority Indian community.
c) I will do all possible within my means to lobby support from the British Government Parliamentarians and Human Rights Organizations and these include our demand that the 5 Leaders of Hindraf be released unconditionally and the Minority Indian Rights which has been neglected over the last 50 years be protected. Thereafter I plan to continue the lobby to Europe, United Nations in Geneva , America , Canada , Australia and New Zealand .
d) HINDRAF would also be organizing various peaceful protests throughout the country to highlight the plight of the 70% poor underclass Malaysian Indian society and for the release of the 5 Leaders of which I would announce the first plan on Monday 7th January 2008.
e) In the interview I was questioned what if after years (5-10years) of campaigning and lobbying the Government still doesn"t budge?
My answer was even if we are fighting a losing battle we will continue with the battle because not all battles are meant to be won. Great warriors do not worry about dying in the battlefield. If we are meant to loose we will loose so that someone else who take up the cause after us will win the war. If we loose after years of campaigning so be it we will call it a day. No one organization (including HINDRAF) can ever claim we are here forever and will continue forever. Nothing is permanent in this world and it also applies to HINDRAF.
PEOPLE POWER can continue with the struggle but the ultimate power lies in the Government. In Malaysia Indians are minority and the reality is we can"t form a Government to change the situation. So the responsibility lies in this Government to make the necessary changes in the interest of the minority Indian community.
f) In the said interview I repeated my statement which was given to the AFP about 2 years ago when I commented on the issue of temple demolition. I had then said that (on the issue of temple demolition) eventually we too would fail the community but I fear the outcome after that. “At the moment devotees are crying and begging but eventually they would not plead and cry any more".
My fear which I had highlighted about 2 years ago came true when we all saw what happened at Padang Jawa Temple demolition. Devotees who were for the first time protecting the temple with their bare hands and yet the authorities had violently attacked them and though devotees were injured in the attempt they were arrested and charged with criminal offences.
I again wish to reiterate my fear. The Government has successfully locked up voices of peaceful struggle for democratic rights and dissent. People have no one they can trust to lead them as they are all locked up. All their hundreds of appeals, memorandums and letters to the Prime Minister written on their behalf by these leaders have gone to waste bins. What can you expect them to do next? These are poor people who are not educated to articulate their grievances in a refined manner. In these cir*****stances I honestly feel our “chapter" (HINDRAF"S peaceful struggle) has been forcibly closed by the Government and so they must expect a new chapter to be opened but we are not part of that chapter. If a new undesirable chapter is opened in the history of Malaysia then we hold the Government solely responsible for they have killed legitimate voices of dissent and peaceful democratic struggle by HINDRAF.
g) I was also quoted to have said the following, “…..if they can give us real concessions we are willing to keep our mouth shut I don"t look at myself as a sacrifier".
1 ½ years ago I was interviewed by members of the Police Special Branch who had wanted to know my intentions of leading HINDRAF and my activities. Everyone would know that at that time HINDRAF was practically dealing on issues of Religious conversions (Article 121 1(A)) and Temple demolitions. Yes I did tell the Special Branch then that if the Government resolves at least the temple demolition issue and permanently gazettes all temples existing prior to independence I will “keep my mouth shut" and leave the public scene.
h) I will never regret for initiating HINDRAF and leading it to its current struggle. The Malaysian Indians have been cheated by the UMNO led Government over the last 50 years using “coalition" Indian political parties to pacify the Indian community whenever they complain their rights are trampled upon. The UMNO Government"s “divide and rule" policy seemed to have succeeded but not any longer. The Indian community can no longer be cheated
But my heart goes to the 5 HINDRAF leaders who have been made scapegoats by the Government. The irony is even our legal advisers namely Mr.R.Kengadharan and Mr. M. Manoharan who were purely acting for HINDRAF as legal advisers were not spared. They were both vigorously and couragesly defending us when various sedition and criminal charges were levelled against us. Their incarceration in particular are not acceptable for it goes against all tenets of basic Human Rights to detain lawyers who defend their clients. It proves the Government is vindictive and malicious and had intended to warn would be advocates of HINDRAF to “stay away" from representing us.