PETALING JAYA, 11 May 2009: Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) chairperson P Waytha Moorthy will brave the possibility of arrest and return to Malaysia immediately following the release of all five Hindraf lawyers from detention without trial.
In a press statement today, Waytha Moorthy, who has been living in self-imposed exile in the UK, said he decided to return with or without any government assurance or conditions.
“I shall return knowing the risks involved as I honestly believe that the Hindraf cause was just and fair,” he said, adding that the organisation’s supporters had before this warned him of arrest and incarceration.
“This does not [scare] me anymore as the objective to obtain the release of the Hindraf lawyers has been achieved. Now it is time to press forward with the objectives of the community that has been systematically discriminated, marginalised and sidelined for 52 years,” he said.
“If the government arrests me or detains me, there will be many others within the community with conscience who will spearhead the struggle,” Waytha Moorthy added.
Waytha Moorthy left Malaysia for the UK after the government cracked down on the 25 Nov 2007 mass Hindraf demonstration in Kuala Lumpur. In December 2007, Waytha Moorthy’s brother P Uthayakumar and four other Hindraf leaders were arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for their involvement in the movement.
The other four were Kota Alam Shah assemblyperson M Manoharan, K Vasantha Kumar, V Ganabatirau and R Kengadharan.
They were released in two batches, the first involving Ganabatirau and Kengadharan in April in one of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak‘s first acts upon becoming premier.
The release of Manoharan, Vasantha Kumar and Uthayakumar was announced by Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein on 8 May.
Waytha Moorthy said the arrest of the Hindraf five under the ISA in 2007 was meant to curtail the movement’s “legitimate concern for Indian Malaysians and allow it to be a lost cause for them”.
He said he decided at the time that Hindraf’s agenda had to be highlighted in the international arena and thus left for the UK to “keep the movement alive”.
He said the Malaysian government revoked his passport and he was granted asylum by the British government after garnering international support for Hindraf.
“Hindraf is now a strong mass movement and can never be suppressed further. The spirit Hindraf invoked with the Malaysian community is inerasable,” Waytha Moorthy said.