|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Don't meddle in our affairs, Malaysia tells India
December 01, 2007 17:58 IST
With India expressing concern over the alleged ill-treatment of ethnic Indians in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur has said it will deal with its citizens according to its laws and no other country should interfere in its "domestic" matter.
"I hope there is no misunderstanding of what is happening here. If they are talking about Indian citizens, we would understand the concern, but what happened involves Malaysian citizens," Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said.
He said all Malaysian citizens, no matter their origin, had to abide by the law of the land.
"If they break any law, it is our right to deal with them in accordance with Malaysian laws," he told The Star when asked about External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's comments expressing New Delhi's concern over the alleged mistreatment of ethnic Indians in Malaysia.
Albar said if foreign governments start to question ethnicity in the country, Malaysia would eventually face a break-up.
Indians make up eight per cent of Malaysia's 27 million people, the third biggest group after ethnic Malays and Chinese.
At least 10,000 ethnic Indians took part in a demonstration, banned by the government, in Kuala Lumpur last Sunday complaining about alleged marginalisation of ethnic Indians in Malaysia and 94 people have been charged.
Police used teargas and water cannons to disperse the crowd, which wanted to march before the British High Commission to hand over a memorandum seeking support for a $4 trillion suit against Britain for bringing Indians to the country as indentured labour and blaming it for their current woes.