Malaysian apex court dismisses Hindraf leaders’ petitions

Kuala Lumpur, April 16 (Inditop) Malaysia’s Federal Court Thursday dismissed an applications of two Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders who complained about defects in the proceedings that considered their detention under the stringent Internal Security Act (ISA).

Of the two, R. Kenghadaran was released earlier this month along with 12 others on the day Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak took office. The habeas corpus petition was filed before his release.

M. Manoharan, who is a lawmaker and legal adviser of Hindraf is in jail along with two others – Vasanth Kumar and P. Uthayakumar.

Hindraf has been petitioning various courts as part of the campaign that began with its holding a protest rally in Kuala Lumpur in November 2007 to highlight the perceived discrimination in jobs and education against Malaysia’s two million-plus ethnic Indians.

The prime minister referred to his gesture of releasing Kengadharan at his first cabinet meeting Wedneday, Star Online said.

Razak emphasised on the need for Malaysians to get out of what he called the “ethnic prison”.

“We released two Hindraf detainees. But, at the same time, we also released 11 others (non-Indians).

“If there is a road accident, the first thing we tend to do is ask if the victim is Malay, Chinese or Indian. That is the Malaysian mentality. If someone has died, does it matter if the person is Malay, Chinese or Indian? Tell me, does it matter?”

He said most Malaysians were still concerned about their own community, New Straits Times reported Thursday.