Hindraf leader P Waythamoorthy did not minced his words in attacking Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar for labelling the outlawed group as an extremist organisation.
“The allegation that Hindraf is an extremist group and allegedly ... declare that Malays and Islam are their only enemy is absolutely ridiculous and a blatant lie,” said Waythamoorthy, who is currently in self-imposed exile in United Kingdom.
According to Waythamoorthy, the Hindu Rights Action Force “was never a religious body”.
“It only raises legitimate rights of Hindus and Indians to practise their religion in peace and quiet under the Federal Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“We have always maintained we never have any problems with Malays and Muslims but we have serious problems with Umno, which is a bully, and practises racist and extremist divide-and-rule policies to survive and maintain its political rule in Malaysia,” said the Hindraf chairperson.
Syed Hamid, in an interview with Malaysiakini yesterday, said that Hindraf “advocates and propagates hatred”.
The minister, who last week declared Hindraf an illegal organisation, cited the speeches made in 338 demonstrations organised by the movement.
But Waythamoorthy challenged Syed Hamid to prove his accusations against Hindraf.
“Each and every Hindraf gathering and meetings are recorded and kept in a safe. We knew these and many other dirty and cheap methods would be used by Umno to demonise and paint an evil picture of Hindraf and were ready for the negative propaganda campaign especially when the entire state machinery and media are controlled by them.”
Syed Hamid denies lying
Earlier this week, Hindraf accused Syed Hamid of lying when he said that Waythamoorthy’s passport was not revoked five months ago.
The movement showed a document purportedly issued by British authorities confirming that the passport had been revoked by the Malaysian government.
On May 26, Syed Hamid said his ministry had been informed by the Immigration Department that the Malaysian international passport issued to Waythamoorthy "is still active in our passport and travel document system".
However, the minister conceded that there was previously a directive for Waythamoorthy to surrender his passport to the Malaysian High Commission in London.
After he was appointed home minister, Syed Hamid said he subsequently gave the order for the directive to be rescinded.