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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hindraf to re-file US$4 trillion class action suit


Its chief P Waytha Moorthy also plans to return home from his self-imposed exile in London next month.
GEORGE TOWN: Hindraf Makkal Sakti is all set to re-file its US$4 trillion class action suit against the British government next month.
Hindraf supremo P Waytha Moorthy will file the suit in London in mid-June before returning to Malaysia from a self-imposed exile, with or without his Malaysian passport.
Unlike in 2007, the filing of the suit this time would be a low key affair.
Hindraf advisor N Ganesan said the movement had engaged a team of at least 10 Queen’s Counsel and solicitors to work on the suit.
He said the suit will seek compensation for Malaysian Indians whose ancestors were brought in by the colonial government as indentured labour.
He claimed that, after granting independence to Malaya, the British had left the Indians without representation and at the mercy of the Umno-BN government.
Waytha Moorthy originally filed the class action suit on Aug 31, 2007 in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Malaya’s independence.
However, it was stalled when the government clamped down on Hindraf following the movement’s mammoth rally near KLCC on Nov 25, 2007.
Several lawyers, including P Uthayakumar and DAP’s Kota Alam Shah M Manoharan were detained on Dec 13 that year under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA).
Waytha Moorthy however, was not detained as he had already left the country by then.
The Hindraf suit is expected to provide a ‘clear and unambiguous’ representation of Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.
Article 153 governs the special status of majority ethnic Malays and provides constitutional features to safeguard the interests, rights and benefits of minorities.
Ganesan said the suit would reveal the “correct information and real happenings” that took place during pre-independence talks on Article 153 and the Federal Constitution.
He said Malaysians would have a clearer picture on majority special privileges, minority rights and on the so-called majority-minority social contract in the country.
“It will reveal whether the constitution has been misused and abused,” he told FMT.
Lawyer deported
Hindraf’s team of British solicitors will be headed by internationally-renowned UK human rights lawyer Imran Khan.
Imran was deported by Malaysian authorities upon his arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on Aug 12 last year.
He was scheduled to meet his clients among the working class ethnic Indian community at Klang Hokkien Hall on Aug 14.
Subsequently Imran demanded an explanation, apology and compensation from the Malaysia government for his “humiliation.”
Hindraf would announce on June 16 on the exact date when Waytha Moorthy will return to Malaysia.
His international passport was cancelled by the Putrajaya administration just before he arrived in Britain on April 21, 2008, from Geneva.
His passport was seized and he was detained by British Immigration at Gatwick Airport for several hours.
But he was allowed to enter London temporarily for three days, after which he was allowed to apply for political asylum. He was granted asylum.

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