The Home Ministry has been reported as having banned Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) and had labelled them as a threat to "public order, peace, security and morality". This announcement was made by Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar and had declared it an illegal organisation, a move that is an infringement on the basic human right to expression and contradicts the Prime Minister's previous commitment to opening up the democratic space and allowing more open discussion in the country among our multi-ethnical society.
HINDRAF from records have been trying to voice out the legitimate grievances of the consistent socio-economic marginalisation of the Indian community of which every Malaysian citizen is having full knowledge about.
The Indians were predominately working and living in the rubber and oil palm estates and with the expansion into the manufacturing sector by the government to keep in line with its 'vision 2020' which is to make Malaysia a developed country, these poor Indians were forced without proper guidance into the urban lifestyle. These had created various ill-effects which the BN government had refuse to consider seriously but had kept 'empty-promises' to look into.
It is proposed that the government should reconsider its ban on HINDRAF and respond to grievances of various ethnic groups by engaging in further discussion and working towards reaching mutually beneficial solutions, if Malaysia truly desires to become a democratic country of developed nation status, it must not suppress opinions of any interest groups, much less those who are already downtrodden upon and at wit's end.
picture from library collection