Hisham: Poor attendance shows Hindraf rally a failure

(Bernama) – Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the planned demonstration by Hindraf in Kuala Lumpur Sunday to protest against the novel “Interlok” had failed as there was poor response from the people.

He said the demonstration, which he believed was supported by certain quarters, was organised to create a similar situation as in Tunisia and Egypt which were seeing a public uprising against the governments of these countries.

“Their effort failed as there was poor response, while they (organisers and participants of the demonstration) had also violated the law and inconvenienced the public,” he said after simultaneously opening the annual general meetings of the Umno branches in Perak.

He was earlier asked to comment on the arrest of 109 people including eight Hindraf leaders and human rights activists by police in the federal capital today.

Hishammuddin, who is also Umno vice-president, also confirmed that Hindraf chief P.Uthayakumar was among those arrested.

The minister said he was waiting for a detailed report from the Inspector-General of Police (Tan Sri Ismail Omar) on the arrests made.

“According to a report I received this morning, it was not a big demonstration. The many Indians who had gathered at Batu Caves were there for a religious event and not for a street demonstration,” he added.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah said those arrested included eight women, while two reporters from the alternative media were arrested under Section 186 of the Penal Code for obstructing the functions of the police.

Aged 18 to 66, the protesters arrested were being detained for up to 24 hours in accordance with Section 27 (5) of the Police Act for taking part in an illegal demonstration, and Section 45 (1) of the Societies Act 1966.