Hindraf leader ‘still has his passport’

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 17 May 2008

PUTRAJAYA: The Government has not revoked Hindraf chairman P. Waythamoorthy’s passport, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said.

He said there was no truth to such claims by Amnesty International, adding that as far as he was concerned, Waythamoorthy, who is in London, was still in possession of his passport.

“I am surprised by this report. I would assume that Amnesty would check its facts before making such a statement to the press as such claims can be sensationalised.

“I am not really aware of what has happened to Waythamoorthy, but as far as I am concerned, the Government has not ordered for his passport to be revoked. If he wants to return to Malaysia, he can do so,” he told The Star yesterday.

According to an AFP report quoting Amnesty’s Washington-based Asia-Pacific advocacy director T, Kumar, Waythamoorthy’s visit to the United States has been put off because “of his passport’s cancellation.”

According to the report, the Hindraf leader had planned to visit Washington for talks with leaders of the US Congress, Amnesty and other rights groups to highlight alleged discriminatory policies against Indians in Malaysia as well as the arrests under Internal Security Act of five senior movement members.

Waythamoorthy claimed British immigration officers informed him that his passport was revoked upon his return to London from Geneva after visiting the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights office there.

Syed Hamid said the Government would not revoke the passport of its citizen unless the person relinquished his citizenship and when this occurred, all documents to prove his Malaysian citizenship must be surrendered.

He said the “misunderstanding” was probably because Waytha-moorthy’s passport had expired and he could have his passport renewed at the Malaysian High Commission in London.

Meanwhile, the Prisons Department said in a statement yesterday that Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee P. Uthayakumar received medical treatment 10 times until April 14 at government hospitals and clinics since being detained at the Kamunting detention centre in Taiping last November.

It said he was also supplied with various types of medicine for his diabetic condition.

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