Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was given a teddy bear and a Hari Raya card by six-year-old W. Vwaishhnavi, the daughter of Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Force) chairman P. Waythamoorthy at the recent Hari Raya open house at PWTC.
So what commotion are we talking about? Can a group who wish to present the PM with a ‘teddy bear’ and ‘raya card’ by a ‘six year old’ wish to cause a commotion?
It does not gel. Does asking for ISA detainees to be release amount to causing a commotion? Hmm…some might think so. But I don’t.
Haris Ibrahim of People’s Parliament was there as well. He has his own account here “Harta ISA @ PWTC“. I don’t read him complaining about a commotion.
Perhaps STAR reporters were in another world?
Hindraf commotion at govt’s Raya open house by JANE RITIKOS, TEH ENG HOCK, LISA GOH and LESTER KONG.
Another person who lives in another world is my ex-friend Azalina Othman (Tourism minister). She says that HINDRAF could send a memorandum on Oct 13 when Parliament convene.
Do you think they could do that? Then let me refresh her memory: “160 held after illegal rose rally“:
Police detained 160 Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) supporters who took part in its “rose” campaign near the Dataran Merdeka area here yesterday morning.
The Hindraf supporters with children holding roses had planned to gather outside the Parliament building and the leaders wanted to hand over a memorandum on improving the lot of the Indian community.
So what is Azalina talking about?
Read The STAR’s out of this world Oct 1 report:
Some 160 Hindraf supporters visited the annual Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house hosted by the Prime Minister and other Muslim Cabinet ministers, causing a short but loud commotion in the process.
Together with their children, some met with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who was given a teddy bear and a Hari Raya card by six-year-old W. Vwaishhnavi, the daughter of Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Force) chairman P. Waythamoorthy.
Waythamoorthy’s wife K. Shanti said the card contained a message asking Abdullah to release Hindraf Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees.
Waythamoorthy has been living in London since last December after his colleagues M. Manoharan, P. Uthayakumar, V. Ganabatirau, R. Kenghadharan and K. Vasanthakumar were detained under the ISA for organising a protest rally in November, 2007.
“Our message is that we want our heroes released. It is an open house and we can come as we want. During Hari Raya, you are supposed to ask for forgiveness.
“So we forgive Umno’s sins against the Indian community. We just want the detainees released,” said Shanti.
Clad in orange T-shirts, the supporters gathered outside the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) around 11am on Wednesday and joined the public queue at noon.
After about an hour, they were ushered into one of the dining halls but did not get to meet Abdullah.
“We are not here for the food and drinks. We want to pass a message to the Prime Minister,” said Shanti.
Undeterred, they exited and re-entered via the entry meant for VIPs, causing a loud commotion as security personnel tried to restrict them.
After 10 minutes, a compromise was reached and the group was allowed to join the public queue to greet the Prime Minister. They waited patiently and managed to pass the teddy bear and card to Abdullah at about 2pm.
Several Cabinet Ministers disapproved of the timing of the memorandum, saying that a Hari Raya open house was the wrong platform for it.
“This is not the time, this is not the correct venue. They can come to wish Selamat Hari Raya and shake hands, but the rest of it, different time, and different date.
“If they come in peace and harmony there shouldn’t be any problems,” said Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar.
Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said Hindraf members should have known their limits and not turn up at an open house “like this”.
“There are platforms for you to make your submission. This is not the proper way of doing things. I mean, it’s a Raya do. Today is Hari Raya, it’s got nothing to do with memorandums.
“This shouldn’t have happened like this, especially during this festive season, whether it’s Hari Raya, Christmas, Deepavali or Chinese New Year,” he said.
Tourism Minister Datuk Azalina Othman said such behaviour would reflect poorly on Malaysia’s image to tourists.
“If you are here as a guest, then behave as one. Parliament will convene on Oct 13. They can do so (submit their memorandum) then,” she said.