(Picture source: The Reuters)
The “Hindraf 5” is still holed up under ISA detention and calls to release them have fallen on deaf ears.
The AG says that they are still a threat to the country (the fact is the AG is still unable to prove the link between Hindraf and terrorist groups) whilst the Internal Security Minister, Syed Hamid was reported in Malaysiakini as saying this to Hindraf:-
“Please do not threaten the welfare of the country. The government will then have no choice but to act protect the country,”
Mighty words but it is old same old story, is it?
Of course, MIC and the head honcho, Samy Vellu is singing a different tune now. Before the elections and at the height of the Hindraf rally, Samy was so critical of the movement and even seem to condone the hard stance taken by the Government.
But after the humiliating defeat in the last general election and perhaps realizing just how strong the influence of Hindraf on the Indian community, Samy is singing a different tune now. He even claims that he wants to “genuinely” help the Hindraf 5:-
“When somebody is trying to help them, they are saying ‘leave us, leave us, you are not genuine.” How do I prove I am genuine? You think I have to put a plastic soda on my body, clean and make my skin white before they believe me.”
Perhaps it is better now than never.
Hindraf rally was an eye opener for the Indian community and MIC had made the wrong move by opposing Hindraf. If one looked at the Hindraf was fighting for, it was nothing spectacular. A common person would not have noticed anything if the Government had just given little room to Hindraf to present their grievousness and then thereafter looked into the issues progressively.
But when the Government decided to use water cannon and tear gases into the peaceful crowd, it awoken a lot of people and the questions that started to emerge are “What is MIC doing about it?” and “Why the Government is taking such a hard stand?”.
If that was not enough, similar stand was taken by the Government for the Hindraf’s Rose Campaign and that was after condemning the 5 to be held without trial under ISA. Once again, the excuse of national security was used to justify the hard stand against peaceful crowd. Once again, MIC was “missing” from scene and for that MIC was severely “punished” in the last election.
So, will the Hindraf 5 be released now – as an act of reconciliation and gaining back the voters’ trusts perhaps? It would have been “humble” on the part of the Government if they have done that but look again. Despite the flip-flop reaction from the MIC head, oppositions and common Malaysians, the Hindraf 5 remains in the lock-up – again under the notion of threat to national security.
And to think back that one of the factor that lead to the defeat of BN in the last election was due to Hindraf, is the Government seeing it fit to punish the Hindraf 5 for their losses?
This may be a highly imaginative statement but look again – did the Federal Government saw it fit to cancel the tourism pact with several states just because they were under a “different” leadership? What would you call that if it is nothing more that an unspoken punishment for those who elected the “other guy” to lead the state Government?
The same old excuse being given when it comes to the request for the release of Hindraf 5 – national security. But we have yet to see the proof of it. So, what is the Government is trying to achieve with the continued punishment of the Hindraf 5 – a continued arrogance or misguided priority?