KUALA LUMPUR, 16 Oct 2008: The MIC will continue with its efforts to secure the freedom of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders who have been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) since December 2007, said MIC president Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu.
He said the MIC was pursuing the matter on humanitarian grounds and also because of the request from the detainees’ families.
“We are sympathetic to their plight,” he told reporters after chairing the MIC’s central working committee meeting at the party’s headquarters here today.
Samy Vellu said this in response to the government’s move to ban Hindraf yesterday.
The five detained are R Kengadharan, 41, M Manoharan, 47, V Ganabatirau, 35, P Uthayakumar, 47, and K Vasantha Kumar, 35.
Asked if the ban would further erode support for the party, Samy Vellu said the MIC had its own strength in fighting for the interests of the Indian community.
“I don’t think anything will push the Indians away,” he said.
He also disagreed that the ban had caused the community to lose its voice, saying the government had formed a cabinet committee specifically to hear the grievances and solve the problems faced by the community.
Samy Vellu said he would raise several matters concerning the community with Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. He said among them was the situation faced by the 22 Tamil schools which were supposed to be built at a cost of RM30 million, but had encountered problems because the cost had risen to over RM100 million.
He added that the MIC would hold its Deepavali open house on 27 Oct at Dewan Merdeka, Putra World Trade Centre, from 10am to 1pm. — Bernama