Another minister tells Waytha to go if he can’t toe the line

Mohd Farhan Darwis, TMI

The Defence Minister has joined a growing chorus calling on Deputy Minister P Waythamoorthy to resign from his Cabinet position if he wants to act like a representative of a non-governmental organisation.

Echoing Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who made the same call yesterday, Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein said Waythamoorthy, the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, should think rationally before making statements now that he is in government.

“Being emotional on it is not the right way of a leader. I support Datuk Zahid….101 percent. As Cabinet ministers we have to be responsible.

“We cannot place our personal political interest above the collective interest of the government,” he said after meeting US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel in Kuala Lumpur today.

Ahmad Zahid had told the former Hindraf leader to quit his Cabinet position after Waythamoorthy had questioned the police shooting of five alleged gang members.

“In the war against crime, there should be no quarter given to criminals,” Ahmad Zahid had said.

Waythamoorthy had said he will not be silent on issues just because he is in the government.

“In fact, it is to the advantage of the government that I voice out the true sentiments of the people on the ground so that I can contribute positively to the objectives and good governance of the government,” he had said in a statement after the shooting last Monday.

The five who were killed – J. Gobinath, 31, R. Ramesh, 27, N. Rakan, 25, M. Suresh, 25, and M. Gobinath, 21, – were shot dead by police during a raid as they were believed to be linked to nine out of 19 shooting cases this year.

They were in an apartment in Sungai Nibong when the police party moved in.

The families of the dead have lodged four police reports demanding an inquest into their deaths.

Yesterday, several Malay non-governmental organisations called on the former Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader to leave the government if he wanted to speak against it.