Deepavali Message by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 27th October 2008: 

Deepavali wishes to Hindu Malaysians and all Malaysians – Makkal Sakti for good to triumph over evil

Deepavali wishes to Hindu Malaysians and all Malaysians – Makkal Sakti so that good can triumph over evil in our motherland.
For the second consecutive year, Malaysian Hindus as well as Malaysians generally will be celebrating Deepavali in a somber mood.

Malaysian Deepavali this year has again made international news particularly in India over the arrest and release of P Vwaishhnnavi, the six-year-old niece of detained Hindraf leader P Uthayakumar, her mother K Shanti, as well as the Deepavali-eve release on bail of ten persons after two days in police custody, over Vwaishhnnavi’s attempt on Friday to submit a letter to the Prime Minister in Putrajaya appealing for the release of the five Hindraf leaders under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Malaysian Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar cannot be more wrong when he said in a recent Malaysiakini interview that he has got the support of peace-loving members of the Indian community for the government’s ban on Hindraf.

What have Hindraf done in the past seven months since Hamid became Home Minister after the March general election to justify the government ban of Hindraf, when such action was not deemed appropriate or necessary before the general election?

Hamid’s interview is most unfortunate, misleading and even mischievous as he is suggesting that only those who are not “peace-loving” would oppose the government’s Hindraf ban.

I am peace-loving but I am opposed to the government’s Hindraf ban.

Are there no Barisan Nasional Ministers and leaders who dare to tell Hamid that they are peace-loving but they are opposed to the ban of Hindraf?

No wonder the MIC leaders, in particular its President Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu have become so irrelevant when they dare not even communicate such a simple point to the Home Minister.

What is the use of having a MIC Minister in Cabinet when such wrongful perception by Hamid could not be rectified in Cabinet at the first available opportunity?

Let this Deepavali be purposeful and meaningful in the eternal battle for light to triumph over darkness.

I make three Deepavali wishes:

Firstly, let the first Cabinet meeting after the Deepavali on Friday rectify the misperception of the Home Minister by making clear that members of the Indian community and Malaysian nation who want the government to revoke the ban on Hindraf are both peace-loving and justice-loving!

Secondly, the government ban on Hindraf should be lifted immediately as part of a comprehensive government programme to resolve the long-standing political, economic, educational, social, cultural and religious grievances of the Indian community which have made them into a new underclass marginalizing them from the mainstream of national development.

Thirdly,immediate and unconditional release the Hindraf Five from ISA detention. They should be tried in open court for any offences under the law but not detained without trial in Kamunting Detention Centre.

* Lim Kit Siang,  DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor