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Indian sues Malaysia on terror taint

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 5.01.08

Kuala Lumpur, Jan. 4 (Reuters): A Malaysian ethnic Indian, who recently led the community’s biggest anti-government street protest, sued the state today for 100 million ringgit ($30.5 million) for defamation after it linked him to terrorists.

P. Uthayakumar, a leader of the Hindu Rights Action Force, also named attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail and national police chief Musa Hassan in the claim, Uthayakumar’s lawyer said.

Hassan had accused the group of seeking aid from terrorist groups after it led more than 10,000 protesters to complain that the government had marginalised the community.

Uthayakumar and four other ethnic Indian leaders are being held at the Kamunting centre since December 13 under the draconian Internal Security Act, which allows detention without trial. The government claimed that they were a threat to national security.

“This shocking piece of libel on the character and reputation of Uthayakumar has been disseminated not only widely in this country, but also internationally,” said Uthayakumar’s lawyer N. Surendran.

“It is an attempt to blacken and ruin his reputation globally,” he said.

A Malaysian court has allowed a joint trial for 54 ethnic Indians who took part in the “illegal” assembly on November 25 last year.