KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — Minister P. Waytha Moorthy has hit back at Umno Youth today, after the latter called for his resignation over a video of his scathing criticism against then Barisan Nasional (BN) government recorded 10 years ago.
The chairman of Hindu rights group Hindraf said his activism was public and widely known globally, and BN and Umno had even approached him in 2013 to address the issues of the ethnic Indian community.
“The Umno government and the entire Malaysian community are fully aware of what I did during my five years of exile in the United Kingdom,” Waytha said in a statement.
“Yet they made me a deputy minister in 2013 because they knew they had made a mistake in not addressing the legitimate issues affecting the Indian community.”
Waytha was appointed deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department after BN won the 2013 general election. He later resigned the next year.
The minister of national unity and social wellbeing said the viral interview by a Dutch TV station happened after the mammoth Hindraf rally in November 2007 at which hundreds of protesters were arrested.
“Some protesters were charged with murder simply because one police officer was bleeding whereas hundreds of protesters were severally injured. I myself was imprisoned and tortured,” he related.
“Post-rally lawyers from Hindraf were arrested under the Internal Security Act and my international passport was revoked by the Malaysian government when I was at the UN headquarters in Geneva making representations on the plight of the Indian community.
“The Umno government ran a false propaganda campaign that I was directly involved with the LTTE and was attempting to topple the government,” he added, referring to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
He also defended his allegations, among others that around 10,000 Hindu temples were destroyed, including cases of forced religious conversions which were gathered from hundreds who came to him for assistance.
“The policies by the then Umno government had immensely prevented the majority of the Indian community to be included in the mainstream development of the nation,” he said.
Umno Youth wing chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki had yesterday called for Waytha to relinquish his ministership, claiming the latter had slandered the country.