An exiled Indian Malaysian human rights lawyer plans to file a lawsuit against the British government for failing to provide adequate safety to the community under the rule of Malay-Muslim majority when independence was granted to the former colony.
London-based Waytha Moorthy claims that the then British Harold MacMillian's government failed to provide protection to Indian Malaysians when independence was granted to the former colony in 1957.
The 46-year-old lawyer was expected to re-issue a class action lawsuit at the High Court Monday. He is claiming a sum of $1 million in compensation for each one of Malaysia's 1.8 million Indians.
Originally launched in 2007, but never heard and now out of time, Moorthy's claim is on behalf of Indian Malaysians who he said face human rights abuses and live unprotected and in "continuous colonisation".
The then British government gave the Muslim population special rights and privileges, effectively establishing a system of apartheid ever since, he said in a statement.
"In India, at the time of partition, the British government gave rights to minorities.
"In Malaysia, minority racial and religious groups were hung out to dry. The result is that 45 percent of the population is still being marginalised, humiliated and discriminated against when it comes to jobs, education and finance," said Moorthy, chair of HINDRAF, an NGO advocating equal rights for Indian Malaysians.
The organisation is banned in Malaysia and Moorthy has been jailed on numerous occasions in that country.