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Samy tells Indians to work 'within the system'
Published:  Nov 25, 2007 1:21 PM
Updated: Jan 29, 2008 10:21 AM

MIC president S Samy Vellu today appealed to the minority Indian Malaysians to work within the system instead of taking to the streets to highlight their grouses.

His press statement, which was sent to the media by SMS (short messaging service) this morning, came in the wake of a massive rally in Kuala Lumpur organised by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf).

"We do not support street demonstrations. We believe in working within the system. We have been working within the system to resolve the problems faced by the Indian community," said Samy Vellu.

The MIC chief said that his Indian-based party is "the mainstream party in voicing the rights of the Indians and it will remain so".

"There is still a lot more to be done for the Indians and we'll continue with our struggle. The (Hindraf) gathering is an opposition ploy to smear the government's image," said Samy Vellu.

About 20,000 Indian Malaysians have come from all parts of the country to protest against the marginalization of the minority ethnic community.

Despite a complete lockdown by the police and an 'arrest on sight' order, thousands of protesters braved tear gas and chemical-laced water cannon this morning to send a memorandum to the British High Commission.

Petition to the Queen

The protest is to support a lawsuit by Hindraf against Malaysia's former colonial power for bringing Indians to Malaysia as indentured labourers and exploiting them for 150 years.

Furthermore, the suit sought a declaration that the Reid Commission Report 1957 failed to incorporate the rights of the Indian community when independence was granted, resulting in discrimination and marginalisation to this day.

The quantum being sought is about US$2 million for every Indian currently residing in Malaysia.

Following the filing of the suit, Hindraf held nationwide roadshows explaining to grassroots about the case.

Coupled with their work to prevent rampant state-sanctioned demolition of Hindu temples, Hindraf won over a wave of support for their cause.

Today's memorandum was to petition Queen Elizabeth II to appoint a Queen's counsel to argue the case on their behalf.