KAJANG: Hindraf founder P. Uthayakumar is now a free man after being imprisoned for a year and a half for sedition at the Kajang Prison.
Uthayakumar, who was escorted by prison officials and police, left the prison compound around 9.40am Friday.
He was received by supporters and family members, who had waited in front of the prison from 7am.
Dressed in an orange T-shirt, the official Hindraf colour, Uthayakumar said he had “no regrets” in his struggle.
“I have no regrets. The only day I cried in prison was when my beloved mother passed away and the prison authorities had the week before refused my application to visit her in hospital,” he said.
He also said he had no intentions to join any other political parties, seemingly directing his statement against his estranged brother, P Waythamoorthy, who is a former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
“I walked into the prison with this orange shirt, I left the prison with this orange shirt. I will not change it to dark blue, light blue or any other colour,” said Uthayakumar.
His wife S. Inderadevi said it was the happiest day of her life after going through months of depression and sadness.
“For whatever happened, I am proud of him, not just because he is my husband, but because I am married to a man who struggles for the Indian people and I believe he did not do anything wrong,” she said.
His lawyers, former Kota Alam Shah assemblyman M. Manoharan and former Teluk Intan MP M. Manogaran said they would continue with their efforts to abolish the Sedition Act.
“The Government should consider abolishing it completely. This is our priority at the moment,” said Manoharan.
The former Internal Security Act detainee was charged on Dec 11, 2007 with publishing a seditious letter on the Police Watch Malaysia website, dated Nov 15, 2007, addressed to then-prime minister of Britain Gordon Brown.
During the defence stage of his trial, Uthayakumar refused to submit his defence, claiming it was in protest over how Indians in Malaysia were being treated.
However, he later appealled to the High Court against the conviction.
On Feb 18, the Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed Uthayakumar’s appeal to quash his conviction and 30-month sentence for sedition.
The Court of Appeal then reduced his sentence by six months.-The Star