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HINDRAF full of lies and misrepresented on stateless Indian figures

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KUALA LUMPUR: Former Selangor Mentri Besar Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo says Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) de facto leader P.Uthayakumar has misrepresented the figure he (Dr Khir) made in 2007 on 40,000 stateless Indian children, as it a nationwide figure and not only for Selangor.

Dr Khir told The Mole the number he cited was obtained from a Barisan Nasional Supporters Club report in 2007 and it was conducted to address and resolve the issue of stateless Indians in the country.

His clarification rebuts claims made by Uthayakumar that there are 40,000 stateless Indian children in Selangor.

Uthayakumar has reportedly projected there are 450,000 stateless Indians in the country, saying that his estimates are based on Dr Khir’s statement in 2007 that there were some 40,000 stateless Indian children in Selangor.

Dr Khir said: “I mentioned the figure based on a report by BN Supporters Club because we were already working to resolve the matter.”

“The figure is for the whole country and not only in Selangor. We however had set up a task force in Selangor to tackle and solve this issue then. When I was the MB, we understood the gravity and implication of this issue. We worked on the ground before this matter is politicised by the opposition,” Dr Khir said.

He said during his tenure as the Mentri Besar there was an estimated 700,000 Indians in Selangor and the 40,000 figure (of stateless Indians) is too large for any state government to ignore.

“To me the estimate is just incorrect. No state government will dismiss it if the figure is accurate. The current Selangor government would also have handled and highlighted it to the Federal level because it affects our nation,” Dr Khir said.

He also believed that the Parti Keadilan Rakyat led state government is not serious in resolving the issue.

“They are more focused in politicising it. If I remember correctly (Dr) Xavier (Jayakumar state exco for plantation workers, poverty and compassionate government) had set up a task force for this issue as well but I haven’t seen any progress.”

“It has been four years since they took over. Knowing them, they would have announced how many people have been registered but nothing much has been said. That is why I believe they are only using this issue for political mileage,” said Dr Khir.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said on Sunday the claims of 300,000 Indians without identification documents or citizenship is a lie fabricated by the Opposition to infuse hatred towards the government.

Najib reportedly said the claim was not true because checks carried out showed that only 9,000 such cases existed and 50 per cent of the cases have been solved.

The following day Makkal Sakti president Datuk R.S Thanenthiran described Pakatan’s claims that there are 300,000 stateless Indians in Malaysia as an absolute lie and an exaggeration.

“The figure is absolutely a lie and an exaggeration. Only God knows where they got the figures from,” Thanenthiran said.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat vice president N.Surendran had planned a sit-in protest outside the National Registration Department this morning urging the authorities to solve the issue of stateless Indians.

News portal Free Malaysia Today reported hundreds have gathered at the open space behind the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya for the sit in protest.

Among Pakatan Rakyat leaders who were present include Klang MP Charles Santiago, Kapar MP S Manikavasagam and PKR vice president Datuk Chua Jui Meng.