The Defence Minister has joined a growing chorus calling on Deputy Minister P Waythamoorthy to resign from his Cabinet position if he wants to act like a representative of a non-governmental organisation.
Echoing Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who made the same call yesterday, Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein said Waythamoorthy, the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, should think rationally before making statements now that he is in government.
“Being emotional on it is not the right way of a leader. I support Datuk Zahid….101 percent. As Cabinet ministers we have to be responsible.
“We cannot place our personal political interest above the collective interest of the government,” he said after meeting US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel in Kuala Lumpur today.
Ahmad Zahid had told the former Hindraf leader to quit his Cabinet position after Waythamoorthy had questioned the police shooting of five alleged gang members.
"In the war against crime, there should be no quarter given to criminals," Ahmad Zahid had said.
Waythamoorthy had said he will not be silent on issues just because he is in the government.
"In fact, it is to the advantage of the government that I voice out the true sentiments of the people on the ground so that I can contribute positively to the objectives and good governance of the government," he had said in a statement after the shooting last Monday.
The five who were killed – J. Gobinath, 31, R. Ramesh, 27, N. Rakan, 25, M. Suresh, 25, and M. Gobinath, 21, - were shot dead by police during a raid as they were believed to be linked to nine out of 19 shooting cases this year.
They were in an apartment in Sungai Nibong when the police party moved in.
The families of the dead have lodged four police reports demanding an inquest into their deaths.
Yesterday, several Malay non-governmental organisations called on the former Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader to leave the government if he wanted to speak against it.
Right-wing Malay NGO Perkasa said the chairman of Hindraf should make private inquiries about the incident rather than doubt the credibility of the police force.
“Our security forces are scrambling to reduce the public’s ire towards the increasing number of armed criminals but Waythamoorthy here is questioning the actions of our forces,” said Datuk Zulkifli Noordin, who is Perkasa vice- president.
“We do not deny his right to fight for the Indian community but he needs to know his position. If he still wants to have the mentality of an NGO leader, it is best that he resigns and focuses on building the Indian community,” he told the Umno-owned Malay daily, Utusan Malaysia.
Another group known as Tolak Individu Bernama Anwar Ibrahim (TIBAI) also asked the deputy minister to respect the police.
The group’s adviser, Muhammad Zahid Md Arip, said Waythamoorthy is looking at criminal activities from a very narrow scope and as such he should be dropped from the Cabinet.
“This is not a race issue but it is about national and public security. I urge the prime minister to remove Waythamoorthy from his position,” he added.
Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) president Azwanddin Hamzah cautioned Waythamoorthy from acting so quickly on his own to defend the Indians.
“Criminals are still criminals and the police know what they are doing. He should have discussed this first instead of impulsively releasing a statement,” Azwanddin was quoted as saying. - August 25, 2013.