KUALA LUMPUR, 4 April 2009: In welcoming the release of two Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders today, the MIC has appealed to the government to release the remaining three (Hindraf) leaders held under the Internal Security Act (ISA).
Party president Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu said, while the community was happy with the release, freeing the rest would ensure the trust and support of the Indian Malaysian community.
The former works minister expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the government for the duo’s release.
This evening, Najib, in his maiden address as prime minister, among other issues, announced the release of 13 people detained under the controversial ISA.
The two released were lawyers V Ganabatirau, 36, and R Kengadharan, 42, while those still in detention were lawyers P Uthayakumar, 47, and M Manoharan, 48, and K Vasantha Kumar, 36.
They were arrested on 13 Dec 2007 for their involvement in organising an illegal assembly in Kuala Lumpur on November 2007.
MIC information chief Datuk M Saravanan called on those released to work with the government in overcoming problems faced by the community.
As there were three more leaders still in detention, he said the party hoped that they would also be released.
“This will also show that the new government under the helm of the prime minister cares for all races.
“Those released must also realise that it is better to work with the government to further their cause, rather than use unlawful ways to get what they want,” said Saravanan, who is also federal territories deputy minister.
Meanwhile, Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon welcomed Najib’s announcement that the government would undertake a comprehensive review of the ISA which allows for detention without trial.
He suggested a parliamentary select committee be set up to go through proposals of the review, adding that this had been Gerakan’s stand. — Bernama