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Monday February 28, 2011

Hindraf demonstrators deliberately pushing for bad publicity, says Najib

TEMERLOH: Hindraf’s demonstration in Kuala Lumpur was a deliberate move to create bad publicity for Malaysia in the international media, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

He said the group hoped police would use force on them so that the Government would be seen as a brutal and autocratic regime.

“We do not want to be hard on them but they are hoping the police will use violence against them and it will be good stuff for the international media to exploit,” he said yesterday after visiting three Felda schemes here.

The police, he said, had the right to arrest leaders of the Human Rights Party as they had organised an illegal gathering to protest against the Interlok issue yesterday.

Talking it out: A senior police officer trying to get the group to disperse near the KLCC yesterday.

He said the group could always submit their memorandum or meet him in Putrajaya to settle any problems. “The Government is in the midst of helping them and a lot has been done,” he said.

On claims by a blogger that he had termed the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as an extremist group, Najib denied this.

“What I said was the movement could take part in the country’s elections but they must reject any form of extremism. I did not say that they are extremists,” he added.

In Ipoh, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said most people had stayed away from the Hindraf gathering in Kuala Lumpur.

“This was because they were aware that the gathering had not received a police permit,” he said after opening the Perak Umno branches’ annual meeting here yesterday.

He also denied reports that thousands of people had gathered at the Batu Caves temple to participate in similar protests.

”They were there to take part in religious ceremonies,” he said.

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