Hindraf is an unregistered society under the Societies Act 1966. Everybody knows that and the government is fully aware of that. Ever since they came into existence until now, they remain unregistered and ever since then until now, no action has been taken on them for being an unregistered society, which is obviously an offence under the Societies Act 1966.
Section 41 of the Act stipulates that any society that is not registered pursuant to Section 7 is an unlawful society while Section 42 and 43 of the Act stipulates the punishment for the office bearers and members of the unlawful society. Thus, the government, knowing that Hindraf is an unlawful society all these while had never ever intended to take action against the office bearers and the members of Hindraf but the moment the Hindraf supporters barged into the Cabinet’s Aidilfitri open house in PWTC recently demanding the abolishment of the ISA and the release of the ISA detainees and after the pressure and request by many quarters for the government to take action against Hindraf supporters, the government finally decided to take action against the Hindraf supporters under the Societies Act.
If I may just recap what was verbatimly reported in The Star on 9/10/2008: -
Deputy Home Minister Senator Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh said Thursday the Government will take action against the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) under the Societies Act 1966 for causing a disturbance during the Hari Raya function hosted by the Prime Minister and Muslim Cabinet ministers at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur last Wednesday. He said action would be taken soon on Hindraf, its committee, and members, even though the organisation was not registered...Wan Ahmad Farid said this when asked to comment on calls by several quarters that action be taken against Hindraf for their ‘rudeness’ at the function on the first day of Hari Raya. Wan Ahmad Farid said the Government through the Home Ministry would not hesitate to take action against an illegal organisation as it had to follow the law. "When it comes to the law, there must be no delay. Whatever action taken has to follow procedure and legal channels. What is clear in this matter is that whoever breaks the law must face action,” he said.
So my questions are: -
(1) Since I could not find any provision under the Societies Act 1966 on an offence for causing disturbance in private or public place, I wonder under what Section of the Societies Act 1966 the government is going to charge the Hindraf supporters?
(2) Even if I may overlook on the relevant provision, why is it charging them for causing disturbance and not on the basis of them as an unlawful society?
(3) Is the government suggesting that it is ok to remain as an unlawful society so long as you do not cause disturbance in private or public places especially so during the Prime Minister’s open house?
(4) Why is it the government wants to take action after receiving pressure form others and not on the basis that Hindraf is an unlawful society?
(5) Since the deputy Minister said that “when it comes to the law, there must be no delay”, why is it the government delays in taking action against Hindraf office bearers and supporters since they have been moving as an unlawful society since long time ago?
(6) Is the government suggesting that an offence is not an offence until and unless it affects the government especially the Prime Minister?
(7) If I get my facts right, the Deputy Home Minister is a lawyer by profession and I wonder from which university did he graduate from?
For The Star full report, click here http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/10/9/nation/20081009133820&sec=nation