Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) legal adviser M Manoharan has advised its chairperson P Waythamoorthy and his elder brother Uthayakumar to boycott the meeting with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
Manoharan, who is also Kota Alam Shah assemblyperson and one of the five who were detained under the Internal Security Act in 2007, said the Indian community should not forget what the BN and Umno government had done.
Using an Indian proverb, Manoharan (right) said if you can’t change a child at the age of five, you cannot expect the person to change at 50.
“We cannot expect Najib to change drastically as he had been in the cabinet for quite some time now. Hence, I am advising the two Hindraf leaders not to meet with the PM.”
Manoharan said the community should remember the atrocities committed by BN and Umno government which had seen hundreds of their temples being demolished, limited opportunities in the civil service, and hundreds of Indians including teenagers being held in detention centres in Simpang Renggam and also in Machang.
He said there is also the Kampung Medan acts of violence, which the authorities have refused to recognise, and also the hundreds of death in custody cases and shooting death incidents involving the Indian community.
Manoharan described the worst time for Indians as the period when Dr Mahathir Mohamad ruled the country for 22 years.
“Hence, we should remember this and decide not to meet the PM at all,” he said.
He was commenting on Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz’s statement on Wednesday, that Najib was willing to meet with Hindraf to discuss the issues of the Indian community.
Waythamoorthy had wanted the ban against Hindraf to be lifted, while Uthayakumar wanted the government to respond to five demands by Jan 1 before it would commit to talk.
Batu Caves and Hindraf clampdown
He said the people should remember that on the night of Nov 24, 2007, the police went in hard against protesters at the holiest Hindu shrine in Batu Caves.
“It was like a ‘mini genocide’ being committed by the authorities and this was followed by the rally the next day in Kuala Lumpur,” said the DAP lawyer.
Despite the protest, Manoharan said 31 protesters had been charged with attempted murder by the attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail himself.
The charge of attempted murder was eventually withdrawn by the AG’s Chambers in December.
Manoharan said as a result of the rally he, along with Uthyakumar and three other Hindraf leaders namely V Ganabatirau, R Kenghadharan and organising secretary T Vasantha Kumar, were detained under the ISA.
“All this, what the BN and Umno government did, should not be forgotten.”
Manoharan said if the government is committed in meeting with Hindraf then it should first apologise to all Indians for the acts they did the past 50 years.
Furthermore, he said the government should also be prepared to pay compensation to all Indians for the wrongdoing done.
“If the Australian prime minister was prepared to apologise for the atrocities it did to the Aborigines, why can’t the Malaysian government do the same following their actions on the Indian community,” he said.
He, however, did not want to reveal the amount of compensation sought.