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Mistreatment claims of Indians a lie: Malaysia
December 02, 2007 17:04 IST
Outraged over a local Hindu group's allegations of mistreatment of ethnic Indians by authorities, Malaysian Premier Abdullah Badawi has described the claims as lies intended to divide the races in this country and offered to step down if proved wrong.
"I rarely get angry, but this time I am very angry and this is something I cannot accept," Abdullah was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times.
The premier was reacting to allegations made by the Hindu Indian Rights Front (Hindraf), which had called for a rally declared illegal by the government last Sunday to protest against the alleged marginalisation of Indians.
He said Hindraf was making "baseless allegations and wants the UK to move an emergency UN resolution condemning ethnic cleansing in Malaysia".
The premier, infuriated by the allegations, denied the charges, saying, "Tell me do you believe there is ethnic cleansing in Malaysia? Is there ethnic cleansing, tell me? If this happened I will resign," the paper quoted him as saying.
He said Malaysians would not believe it and even the Indians who are Hindus did not believe it.
"Ethnic cleansing was perpetrated in Bosnia where the Serbs attacked the Bosnians to chase them out and make them non-existent. It was backed by the state. We do not do this here."
The daily said the premier took grave exception to a memorandum by Hindraf asking the UK to lead a global condemnation of Malaysia's "atrocities" against Indians.
Abdullah, who said the allegations were lies intended to divide races and Malaysia's destroy peace, added that he was not prepared to leave the country hostage to irresponsible groups.