Uthayakumar: I won’t join any political party


(The Star) – Hindraf founder P. Uthayakumar (pic) walked out from Kajang prison after being held for a year and a half, promising that he will not join any political party.

“I walked into the prison with this orange shirt,” he said, pointing to his trademark Hindraf shirt.

“And I left the prison with this orange shirt. I will not change it to dark blue, light blue or any other colour,” he said, making a reference to Barisan Nasional and PKR colours.

Uthayakumar was driven out of the prison compound at about 9.40am yesterday and was welcomed by his wife S. Inderadevi and a group of supporters and family members, who had waited from 7am.

Uthayakumar, who was jailed for sedition, said he had no regrets.

“The only day I cried in prison was when my mother passed away a week after the prison authorities refused my application to visit her in hospital,” he said.

His lawyers – former Kota Alam Shah assemblyman M. Manoharan and former Teluk Intan MP M. Manogaran – said they would continue with their efforts to have the Sedition Act abolished.

“This is our priority at the moment,” said Mano­haran.

Uthayakumar, a former Internal Security Act detainee, was charged on Dec 11, 2007 with publishing a seditious letter on the Police Watch Malaysia website, dated Nov 15, 2007, addressed to then-prime minister of Britain Gordon Brown.

During the defence stage of his trial, Uthayakumar refused to submit his defence, claiming it was in protest over how Indians in Malaysia were being treated.

However, he later appealed to the High Court against the conviction.

On Feb 18, the Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed Uthayakumar’s appeal to quash his conviction but reduced his 30-month jail sentence by six months.