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  Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 7th October 2008: 

Among Abdullah's last acts as PM - reach out to Hindraf supporters to end the status of Malaysian Indians as a new underclass instead of excoriating and demonizing Hindraf

I am taken aback by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's comments yesterday concerning Hindraf, which Utusan Malaysia used in its front-page headline: "Kecewa sikap Hindraf: Penyokong buat bising, enggan bersalam dengan TPM, Menteri PM".

In the past few days, Hindraf has come under intense attack, with even MIC leaders like its President Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and Secretary-General Datuk Dr. S. Subramaniam joining in the Hindraf-bashing.

Tomorrow, Abdullah would most probably be announcing that he would not be defending the post of Umno President in the March Umno General Assembly.

Whatever his announcement, among Abdullah's last acts as Prime Minister should be to reach out to the Hindraf supporters to end the status of Malaysian Indians as a new underclass instead of excoriating and demonizing Hindraf.

Abdullah should initiate this healing process which is an important integral part of Malaysian nation-building, to end the marginalization of the Malaysian Indians in their own country just as a similar healing process must also begin to address all other marginalized Malaysians in the country, particularly in Sabah and Sarawak.

There can be no better start to this "healing process" than for the Cabinet tomorrow to release the Hindraf Five from Internal Security Act making Deepavali this year a most significant and memorable one in making all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, feel proud again to be sons and daughters of the nation.


* Lim Kit Siang,  DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor