Top posts

Featured Posts

ACCEPT your karma BN, stop the foolishness and re-issue Waytha’s passport

ACCEPT your karma BN, stop the foolishness and re-issue Waytha’s passport
Hindraf Makkal Sakthi chairman Waythamoorthy Ponnusamy wants to return home after over four years in involuntary exile in London where he has political asylum as a human rights advocate. His homecoming, with or without an international passport, has been set for Aug 1.

Waytha would like to return home in dignity but apparently the Home Ministry isn’t playing ball. The Ministry is yet to advise the Malaysian High Commission via the Foreign Ministry to issue Waytha with a passport. He travels at the moment on a UN document issued by the British Government. Suhakam the Malaysian human rights organisation, if it’s worth its salt, should take note of Waytha’s predicament. The same goes for other NGOs in the country.

Briefly, he was accorded political asylum by the British after the Malaysian Government, vide a letter dated 17 Mar, 2008, demanded the return of his international passport. Apparently, the idea was to prevent the Hindraf Chief from continuing with his international lobbying against the “apartheid regime in Malaysia”. The Home Ministry reportedly also wanted to get a copy of his passport to file the details on his international travels.

British Immigration seized his passport at Gatwick Airport on 28 April, 2008 when he flew in from Switzerland after a briefing at the United Nations. The British were then also under the impression, apparently conveyed by Malaysian police, that he was a dangerous terrorist on the run and with links to the outlawed Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka.

The Malaysian High Commission subsequently returned Waytha’s passport to him via Imran Khan, his lawyer in London, after it was learnt that he had been accorded political asylum status and issued a UN travel document by the British Government.

In any case, the passport was of no use since it had been blacklisted in all European immigration systems, and subsequently, throughout the world. Imran returned the passport to the Malaysian High Commission, as instructed by his Client, and sought a new passport and an appropriate apology from the Malaysian authorities. Putrajaya wouldn’t hear of it and continued to spin the circumstances surrounding the passport seizure.

Playing the usual games
The Malaysian High Commission in London, on its part, insisted that the passport had not “expired” and that they had no instructions from Putrajaya to issue him with a new document. There was no apology either. Therein the matter lay until the passport, still gathering dust in a drawer at the Malaysian High Commission in London, expired sometime late last year.

It’s not known why Waytha wants to suddenly return home but there could be any number of reasons.
The oft-cited one of late is that he wants to hand over the leadership of Hindraf to a new generation and focus on human rights activities. He’s also chairman of the UK-based Human Rights Foundation of Malaysia. If Waytha had his way, he wouldn’t advise his elder brother Uthayakumar to remain as the movement’s legal advisor.

Waytha’s take on Hindraf is that the movement had never been about him and his brother.
He hopes that handing over the reins of the hydra-like ad hoc apolitical human rights movement at this moment in time would ensure it sustainability until its principle objective – Equal Rights for All Malaysians – is met and then it can wither away into the sands of time.  Hindraf originally began as a reaction against the alleged conversion of Everest hero Moorthy to Islam but soon came under community pressure to take up other human rights issues.

The Hindraf Chief’s return could not possibly be because the country will be soon going to the polls i.e. the 13th General Election. He prefers to remain apolitical although he has previously expressed an interest in gearing up for the 14th General Election in 2018.

On July 2, Waytha re-filed a US$4 trillion class action suit against the UK Government for abandoning the Indian community in Malaya (now Peninsular Malaysia) on 31 Aug, 1957.
He first filed the suit on 31 Aug, 2007 but had to withdraw it after the Malaysian Government thwarted his attempts to seek legal aid from the British Government on Sun 25 Nov, 2007.

The handing over of a memorandum to Queen Elizabeth, via the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, was met with an extraordinary level of brute force by the authorities. It was a Sun but the High Commissioner ordered the High Commission be kept open to receive the Memorandum.
One reason for the ensuing violence may be that instead of 10,000 people turning up, as expected, to witness the handing over of the Memorandum, 100,000 ordinary citizens took to the streets and struck fear and terror into the hearts of the powers-that-be.

The over-reaction on the part of the authorities, living in fear of their very shadows, made headlines all over the world and sealed the fate of the ruling party at the Sat 8 Mar, 2008 General Election, the 12th, which witnessed a political tsunami. The Indian community, already incensed over a spate of temple demolishing, body-snatchings and the like, voted en bloc against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN). One estimate gave only 15 per cent of Indian votes to the BN.

Past catches up with Umno-BN
Putrajaya, by continuing to deny a passport to Waytha, is merely closing the stable doors after the horses have bolted.

It should stop its foolishness on the passport a response well before Aug 1.

The Indian community will be amused if the Federal Government continues to shabbily treat a man who has made enormous sacrifices over the last four years to re-file the class action suit.
It’s a done deal.

The Federal Government has to accept its karma – its past catching up with it in the present to haunt its future – instead of continuing to be in a state of denial.

It’s best to resign itself to being made a party to the class action suit by the British Government.
The Malaysian Government has to play ball and make the best of a bad situation for it.

It must be remembered that Britain has a permanent seat in the UN Security Council and given the emergence of India and China, things could easily spin out of control for Putrajaya if push comes to shove. There are no exceptions. So many other “criminal regimes” around the world have been brought to book for their “crimes against humanity”.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog