Malaysian Leader Urges Release of Hindu Activists

March 30, 2008

Author: Mark Bendeich

Source: The Ottowa Citizen

Wire Service: Reuters

The leader of Malaysia's ruling ethnic Indian party called on Sunday for the release of five Hindu rights activists who were jailed without charge late last year after organizing a big anti-government protest.

S. Samy Vellu, whose Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) is part of the ruling coalition, originally backed the decision to jail the activists, but he has changed his mind after losing his seat in a protest vote by ethnic Indians at elections held this month.

The government arrested the activists under a colonial-era internal security law in December, a month after more than 10,000 ethnic Indians protested in the capital accusing the government of discrimination and the MIC of selling out their interests.