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The 12th day of the Hunger Strike undertaken by Mr P Wayhta Moorthy in Malaysia

Press Statement
Human Rights dfense International
21st March 2013
New Delhi:

Today is the 12th day of the Hunger Strike undertaken by Mr P Wayhta Moorthy in Malaysia in protest against the treatment meted out by the political elite of Malaysia towards the Indian Minority community in Malaysia. In his own words this is what Mr Waytha Moorthy has to say, ‘I embarked on this Hunger Strike to draw attention to the fact that the ethnic Indian minority, in specific the Indian poor are effectively a disenfranchised community in Malaysia. The cumulative result of 57 years of this has been a significant erosion of fundamental rights and dignity of the minority and marginalized Indian poor. The Government in power and the Government in waiting are in denial on the seriousness of the problem. There is no comprehensive plan for the permanent correction of this problem. My hunger strike goes on till the political elite accept the plan we have developed in the form of a 5 year Blueprint to bring the Indian poor into the mainstream of national development and commit to its implementation.”

So, for 12 days he has been on this protest Hunger Strike. Here,I would like to raise a serious note concerning the attitude of the Malaysian Government. Here is a man on hunger strike subsisting for 12 days only on water with his physical condition steadily worsening and the Government of Malaysia pretends no notice and has not lifted one finger to deal with the situation and to show some care for one of its citizens.

Contrast this with a similar event in our country. Mr. Anna Hazare, waged a hunger strike recently in our midst for 12 days, refusing to call it off unless Parliament adopted his proposed legislation to fight graft rather than a bill put forward by the government. The Government of India did finally concede on the 12th day.

When there exists a problem, a chronic one that drives a man to protest by making this huge personal sacrifice, does it not behoove the authorities to begin to take notice and to take action to sort matters out in a timely way. When Governments pretend and act with such impunity, they really begin to lose their moral authority to be the Government. Or maybe Waytha Moorthy is entirely correct. What his hunger strike may be doing unwittingly is to bring into full view to the world just what Waytha Moorthy is screaming about. The Indian minority and the large part of them are poor do not seem to matter in the scheme of things of this Government. Even when they have a situation of extreme protest.

We from the Human Rights Defenders community in General and from Human Rights Defense International urge the Government of Malaysia to immediately initiate actions so that Mr Waytha Moorthy may be wened off this Hunger Strike. This call is coming from us in the interest of all concerned. We do not wish to see an ugly turn to these events and this has significant potential to turn ugly.

Rajesh Gogna, Advocate,
Secretary General,
Human Rights Defense International,
8, Todermal Lane, Bengali Market, New Delhi-110001,
E-, W-
L-+ 91-2371-8929

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