The Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, has announced on 16th October 2008that the HINDRAF movement is declared an illegal organisation .This announcement received a mix response from various groups. The BN government justifies that they have no other choice but to take this unpopular decision in accordance with the law of the country. Government argues that the activities carried out by HINDRAF is not only detrimental to the public order, national security but also to the harmonious race relations in this country.
But on contrary, the opposition parties alleged that the banning of HINDRAF , is tantamount to a burial of the basic principles of democracy in this country. The opposition parties argue that the HINDRAF has done no wrong, but merely voiced the grievances faced by a vast majority of Indian origins in this country.
Some SUHAKAM commisioners has voiced their opinions on government's ruling on HINDRAF, saying that the banning is tantamaount to an act of curtailing the basic freedom of speech. Even some religious scholars belongs to various religions practiced in Malaysia are also not in favour of banning INDRAF because this act is seen as a anathema to the basic principles of just (adl) and benevolence (ihsan).
Before we could agree or disagree with government’s move to ban HINDRAF, let see the developments which leads to the government’s decision fairly.
HINDRAF is regarded by many Indians as a psychological response or a culmination of frustration among Indians, particularly youths towards government policies and development programs. Majority of the Indian youths who born after Merdeka feel that the various problems faced by Indians in social, economic and religious sphere were not addressed effectively by the BN government. Many Indians, particularly the youths, alleged that fall short of progress for Indians are to due to ineffectiveness of Indian representation in government. Hence, the Indian youths argue that the HINDRAF is a platform to put forward their griviences to be heard by the government.They youths also argue that their parents have given their undivided support to BN/UMNO ever since the first election held in this country.
The Indian youths also feel that the Indian voters have supported strongly the UMNO into power to rule this country when UMNO face problems of infighting and disunity among the ranks in UMNO.The Indians in general also feel that BN could form government continuously since the first election because it obtain an undivided support from the Indian voters.But, majority of the Indian voters felt that BN, headed by UMNO leaders, has not walk the talk after every elections. They alleged that BN failed to alleviate the pressing problems faced by the Indians.The Indians were left alone miserably to meet their basic needs or survival. This caused disappointment and frustration among many Indians particularly among the young Indian voters. Eventually, this unhappiness stired the birth of HINDRAF waves among Indians. Hence, HINDRAF carried out many activities informing the Indians grievances to the Indian masses.They also tried their best to meet our Prime Minister on many occasion but in vain. At last, they orchestrated a huge gathering on 25 Nov 2007 in KualaLumpur to show their unhappiness which caused shocking waves to many who under estimated the under current passing among Indians.
However, the government have been patient about the activities carried out by HINDRAF supporters all over the country. Even the Prime Minister allowed the HINDRAF supporters to participate in the Hari Raya Open House to forge goodwill and friendship among Malaysian of all creed.But,alas, what happened at the Hari Raya Open House? Many feel and agree that the incidence took place in the open house has caused unesiness and discomfort to many participants who attended the function. Many wonder why our PM's gesture of goodwill to the HINDRAF supporters was hijacked for other motives?
I do aware that many people share the HINDRAF cause sympathetically .But many are not happy with the incidence HINDRAF caused on the Hari Raya Open House. Open house is not a place to put up demands and slogans or displeasure against ISA. I believe that the Hari Raya Open House incidence has caused HINDRAF griveously.
What has happened is a destiny.Now lets think about our future as Malaysian Indians. I don't deny that the banning will cause pain to many Indians but at the same time the Indians also must not fail to understand that the HINDRAF actions should not cause a sense of uneasiness among various communities in this country.So, what will be the right solution?
The BN componen parties, MIC, Gerakan and PPP are appealing to the home minister to release the 5 HINDRAF leaders who are still under ISA detention. The irony is this componen parties are also part of the present ruling government. So, the government's consideration to relese the 5 HINDRAF leaders in near future will augur well not only to foster goodwill among Indians and government and heal the wound caused by the unpopular ISA but also will help to make the componen parties calling for the release relevan in Malaysian politics. Will the BN government consider the Indians plight symphatetically.?