Hindraf’s class action suit gets London hearing on Thursdayhttp://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/01/17/hindrafs-class-action-suit-to-get-london-hearing-on-thursday/
KUALA LUMPUR: Hindraf Makkal Sakthi’s class action suit in a British court will be heard on Jan 19, 2017, in London, according to a statement from the NGO.
The case, filed on behalf of descendants of indentured labour in Malaya (peninsula), will be heard at the Court of Appeal at the Royal Court of Justice, The Strand, at 9 am.
The class action suit was filed by Hindraf chairman P Waythamoorthy.
Hindraf secretary P Muniandy said in the statement that those wishing to follow live the court hearing could do so via Hindraf’s Facebook page from 5 pm on Jan 19.
He said Waythamoorthy was currently in London, with Hindraf counsel Karthigesan Shanmugam, to brief senior barristers and solicitors on the case.
Waythamoorthy filed the appeal to prove that at no time was the British Queen the Queen of Malaya.
“The decision insulted the dignity of the Malay Rulers who were, independently, sultans of nine states,” said the statement. “The sultans were merely receiving advice of the Governor of the Federation of Malaya by virtue of the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1948.”
Waythamoorthy, meanwhile, said in a telephone interview that “we need to set the record straight”.
Otherwise, he cautioned, Malaysians would be misled into thinking that the British Queen was the monarch of pre-independent Malaya.
Elizabeth II had acted as the Queen of the United Kingdom, at all times, and hence was liable for the neglect shown by her officers and government towards the Indian community, “enslaved for almost 200 years” in Malaya.
The statement was referring to Justice Nicholas Blake’s ruling previously that the Queen was acting in 1957 as the Queen of Malaya, and not the Queen of the UK.
Hence, the judge reasoned, Hindraf’s class action suit should fail on that ground alone.
The judge cited additional reasons, including that there was no duty of care by the UK government towards Indians in Malaya in 1957; even if there was duty of care, the UK government did not breach those duties; and there was no special relationship between the UK government and Indians in Malaya to render the UK liable for the lack of protection afforded in the Constitution given to Malaya.
The class action suit was heard at the High Court in London on March 30, 2016 and April 1, 2016.
The High Court struck out the claim on the grounds the claimants had no real prospect of success and there was no compelling reason why the case should be disposed of at a trial.
The class action suit seeks reparations and certain declarations from the British court “for the injustices suffered by the descendants of indentured labour who were uprooted from their native India and displaced in Malaya”.
Waytha quizzes minister over tombstone in school
In a letter to Mahdzir, dated today, the Hindraf chairman said that the tombstone placed in SMK Sultan Abdul Samad in Bukit Kuda, Klang had been “constructed and erected” during the year-end school holiday period.
“It has been brought to our attention that the above school’s headmistress along with the state education department and other unknown persons had constructed and erected an Islamic tombstone. They did this without the consent of the parent-teacher association and the teachers of the said school.
“What is even more baffling is the school consists of over 80% non-Muslim students,” Waytha said.
Calling it a part of the effort by “little Napoleons” with an Islamisation agenda, Waytha said it showed total disregard for the feelings of students and parents from other races.
“Little Napoleons with extreme religious agenda in national schools have shown total disregard for the feelings of the other races by acting in such a blatant manner putting up the tombstone.
“To what purpose does it serve is not known nor how does it serve the interests of multi-racial and multi-religious students. Is this part of the larger agenda of Islamisation of the education system for political reasons?” he asked the education minister in the letter which was copied to Prime Minister Najib Razak and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Joseph Kurup. The latter is in charge of the national unity and integration department in the PM’s department.
Waytha, who is a former deputy minister in the prime minister’s department, said any Islamisation of national schools, along with the mono-ethnic staffing of schools will only result in the people of Malaysia becoming more polarised in the years to come.
“The people will also be fearful of national schools,” he added.
“Education in national schools should be about learning compulsory tertiary education with zero religious indoctrination. The act by the agent provocateurs in SMK Sultan Abdul Samad in Klang, clearly is in breach of the policies and educational blueprint that the government has embarked on.”
Waytha also called for Mahdzir to state categorically that this act is not part of the government’s policy, and that national schools will be free from any religious influence in order to comply with the desired Malaysian identity for schools, stated in the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2012-2025 Annual Report released on Aug 9 last year.
“We believe it is not a policy of the education ministry to build tombstones in national schools but rather that this is an isolated incident spurred by the civil servants in this school.
“We strongly urge you to immediately call for an investigation on this matter and reprimand the civil servants involved without causing anxiety and anguish for the students and parents in the said school,” Waytha said, demanding that the tombstone be removed for all practical purposes.
Putrajaya urged to save Malaysian on Singapore death rowhttp://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/01/09/hindraf-urges-putrajaya-to-save-man-from-gallows/
Hindraf chairman P Waytha Moorthy also urged Putrajaya to intervene and “ensure that a Malaysian life is not short-lived or falls prey to antics of Singapore without having an opportunity to preserve their life”.
“Singapore with its statutory presumption has failed to do what is necessary and in line with customary international law, where a notion of prevention is an important part of protection of the right to life.
“They have an obligation to provide and facilitate this right including the duties to take reasonable measures to prevent such capital punishment rather than relying on a slapstick statutory presumption,” he said in a statement released today.
Waytha was referring to the case of Prabagaran Srivijayan, 29, who is on death row in the island republic and is set to be executed in a few weeks.
He was convicted in 2012 after drugs were found in the car he was driving to enter Singapore.
According to Waytha, Prabagaran had during the trial claimed that he did not know of the existence of the drugs in the car, which he said he had borrowed from a man called Nathan.
“During investigations, he had also positively identified Nathan and another man Balu from photographs shown to him by the Singapore police but for unknown reasons the Singapore authorities failed to seek their Malaysian counterpart’s assistance to secure the arrest of Nathan and Balu,” Waytha said.
He added that the Singapore Court of Appeal had rejected Prabagaran’s appeal based on circumstantial evidence and after having failed to note that material witnesses were not produced in court by the prosecution in the original trial.
Meanwhile, it was reported yesterday that a prominent Singaporean lawyer and two of his Malaysian counterparts are racing against the clock to save Prabagaran’s life.
Singaporean M Ravi, who founded the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign, is working with human rights lawyers Latheefa Koya and N Surendran to stop Prabagaran’s execution.
Both Latheefa and Surendran are members of PKR. Surendran is also the Padang Serai MP.
According to Singapore website The Independent, the Malaysian lawyers may file for a judicial review in the Kuala Lumpur High Court for an order to compel Putrajaya to file an immediate complaint at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
“The argument put forward by activist groups in Singapore, led by lawyer Ravi, is that the core elements involving prevention and protection of right of life are ignored.
In contrast, statutory presumptions are prioritised without affording a prompt, thorough and effective investigation and securing all relevant evidence concerning the event to prevent a violation of the right of life for Prabagaran,” Waytha, who is a former deputy minister in the prime minister’s department, said.
Waytha added that Malaysia, like Singapore, are signatories to bilateral and multilateral agreements such as the International Drug Control Conventions of 1961, 1971 & 1988 which allows the infringed party to raise the grievances for their own citizens.
“These treaties envisage reference of disputes to the ICJ that opens a door for the Malaysian government to bring forth a case against Singapore when it involves the Malaysian citizen as it is reflected in Article 36 in the statute of ICJ,” he said.
Meanwhile, Waytha noted that almost 70% of the prisoners on death row in Singapore are Malaysians.
Waytha calls for setting up of Minority Affairs Ministry
Waytha calls for setting up of Minority Affairs MinistryJoe Fernandez | March 30, 2016
Most of those marginalised and discriminated against do not have representatives in Parliament or the state assemblies to defend their interests.
KUALA LUMPUR: Race relations are at its worst in the country and unless something concrete is done to repair the damage, Malaysia would sink into “a hell with racial and religious bigots” running amok and causing irreparable damage, warned Hindraf Makkal Sakthi in a statement.
“We call for the setting up of a Minority Affairs Ministry (MAMi) which would look into the plight of the over 45 per cent non-Malay citizens, especially those left out by the system.”