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Persecution of Hindus in Malaysia

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We Tamil Brahmins have been concerned at the treatment meted out to our fellow Tamilians in Malaysia.

The Malaysian government has a record of persecution and discrimination of the country's substantial Hindu minority, constituting 7% of the population. With a 40% minority population, Malaysia needs to include the minority population in dialogue and address grievances such as the violent responses to peaceful protests, judicial onslaughts against faith, and destruction of temples.

The Hindu American Foundation in its report 'Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Report: 2006', says that 76 Hindu temples were demolished, desecrated or forcibly relocated by the Malaysian government. The most prominent case is that of the destruction of the 100-year old Sri Muthu Mariamman temple, which was located on a rubber plantation and home to approximately 1,000 families.

"Hindus also face an socio-economic disadvantage as they are not entitled to benefits under the government's bumiputra program," The majority Muslim Malay, viewed as bumiputra or "sons of the soil," benefit from an affirmative action policy that includes discounts on housing, quotas on educational institutions, preference for government jobs, and disproportionate opportunities for economic advancement. "Many Malaysian Hindus have left Malaysia to settle in the United States, as they are unable to gain scholarships or admission to colleges or jobs, despite high academic achievements."

Here is the latest in the persecution of Hindus in Malaysia.

Malaysia: Tamil Newspaper Shut

Published: April 18, 2008
The government has shut down a prominent and outspoken newspaper catering to ethnic minority Indians. The paper’s news editor, B. R. Rajan, called the move punishment. The Tamil-language daily, Makkal Osai, or People’s Voice, provided wide coverage for the opposition party of Anwar Ibrahim and for activists who marshaled 20,000 ethnic Indians to protest last November against racial discrimination in Malaysia.

http://www.nytimes. com/2008/ 04/18/world/ asia/18briefs- TAMILNEWSPAP_ BRF.html? _r=1&ref=world&oref=slogin
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