Press Statement by Karpal Singh in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 16th October 2008: 

Hindraf 'illegal' - wrong move

The declaration of Hindraf as an illegal organization is not a step in the right direction. Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar says that the declaration was a result of monitoring an investigation by the Registrar of Societies since Hindraf was formed. As a result of this investigation, the Home Ministry acted under sections 3 and 5 of the Society Act, 1966. Declaring Hindraf an illegal organization without giving it an opportunity to be heard goes against the grain of natural justice. The Home Minister has made serious allegations against Hindraf. He says Hindraf was detrimental to peace, public order, security and the moral values of Malaysia, adding if the activities of Hindraf were not reined in, they would continue to jeopardise security and public order and the country's sovereignty as well as upset the harmony among the races.

Hindraf had an legitimate expectation to be heard to counter the serious allegations made against it including the claim that Hindraf was linked to the Sri Lankan terrorist movement, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE). This has been vehemently denied by Hindraf leaders. The Government is opening itself to be sued for defamation of a very serious nature.

I call upon the Government to review its ban on Hindraf and release M. Manoharan, P. Uthayakumar, R. Kengadharan, V. Ganabatirau and K. Vasantha Kumar detained under the ISA immediately so as to give them an opportunity to defend themselves against the serious allegations made against them as leaders of Hindraf.

* Karpal Singh, DAP National Chairman & MP for Bukit Gelugor