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Thaipusam Day Message By Lim Guan Eng In Petaling Jaya On 23.1.2008 

Malaysians Indians Have Proven Their Courage And Determination To Stand Together To Reclaim Their Rights Promised To Them, The Greater Challenge Is To Stand Together With Other Malaysians To Demand Justice, Political Freedoms And Equality For All

When Malaysians and Hindus celebrate Thaipusam, it is not simply a victory of good over evil. Thaipusam also conveys a message of hope over despair and that justice and righteousness will always prevail.  

Malaysian Indians have been amongst those who have been discriminated, marginalized, neglected and even treated with contempt. Only when Indians stood up together bravely facing chemically-laced water cannons, police beatings and tear gas to demand redressal of their grievances, did the BN government finally pay some  attention. 

Many Indians attributed the declaration by the Prime Minister this year of a public holiday for Thaipusam for Federal Territory not to MIC President Datuk S. Samy Vellu  but to the Hindraf leaders who are under Internal Security Act(ISA) detention. After all, Samy Vellu was ignored by BN as long as MIC leaders accumulated extraordinary wealth undisturbed.  

For this reason, Thaipusam in Malaysia is celebrated by remembering not Samy Vellu or the Prime Minister but those 5 detained Hindraf leaders. DAP urges the government to released them unconditionally immediately.  

Only when the BN were shocked at the possibility of losing Indian votes in the coming general elections, are there attempts to appear to be responsive to Indian demands. However the problems faced by the Indian community are not limited to declaring Thaipusam a public holiday in the state of Federal Territory( not yet for  Malaysia). The problems faced by the Indians are similar to those faced by other Malaysians, some which the Indians are worst off, such as economic deprivation, being driven from their homes, their religious temples destroyed, having the highest suicide rates and a higher prison population more than three times its national population of 7.5%. 

In the past BN has bullied the Indians who they have despised as useless and frightened. On November 25 2007, Malaysian Indians have proven BN wrong and that MIC no longer represents them. Malaysian Indians have shown that they have the courage to stand together to reclaim their rights promised to them during Merdeka. The greater challenge for Malaysian Indians is to stand together with other Malaysians to demand justice, political freedoms and equality for all.  

Let us all give hope that we as a nation can be better than each one of us as an individual to reclaim and fulfill the Merdeka promise 50 years of political equality, equal economic opportunities and socio-economic justice.  

* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General


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