Deepavali Message by Lim Guan Eng in Penang on Saturday, 25th October 2008: 

Happy Deepavali   

I wish all Hindus in Malaysia a Happy Deepavali. May this joyous occasion bring us peace, happiness and prosperity.

This is the Festival of Light where we celebrate the triumph of good over evil. Unfortunately, on this special moment of joy, five of our fellow Malaysians are still detained without trial under the draconian Internal Security Act.

Together with many others, our brothers P. Uthayakumar, M. Manoharan, V. Ganabatirau, R. Kengghadharan and T. Vasanthankumar have been unjustly detained for a long time now.

I express our deepest sympathy and solidarity with the families of the Hindraf Five detainees. Please understand that since DAP was formed more than 40 years ago, many of our leaders had suffered the same fate of political prosecution. I too have been such a victim of the Barisan Nasional government's prosecution and persecution.

This is the reason why we always demand for the repeal of the ISA and many other oppressive laws that have been used to stifle the voice of freedom in this country.

Not only these Hindraf leaders are in detention, their organisation that gives hope many Indian Malaysians in this country was also banned.

What happened a few days ago was also shocking. I was told that a group of people including a six-year-old girl and her mother who wanted to submit a letter at the Prime Minister's Department in Putrajaya on Thursday were arrested by the police.

I was also informed that when the mother and daughter who were later released after they were brought to a police station, they decided to stay with the other members of the group. I am touched by such a spirit of friendship and solidarity. After all, they were in Putrajaya to send a letter.

I hope our Hindu friends, as well as other Malaysians, to persevere and continue to work towards achieving the aim of having a truly fair and non-discriminatory society. It is not easy task but may we be guided by the spirit of Deepavali.

Together we shall continue to fight on a moral and ethical ground towards achieving equal opportunities, level playing field and social justice. We must insist that any government should show love for its people based on human dignity, compassion and a caring society.

* Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister Penang & DAP Secretary-General