A Hindu rights activist on Friday filed a $30.5 million libel suit against the Malaysian government for allegedly linking him to terror groups, his counsel said.
M Manogar said the suit was filed in the Kuala Lumpur High Court on behalf of P Uthayakumar who is being held along with four others under the Internal Security Act, which allows detention without trial.
The suit also names police chief Musa Hassan and Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail, the counsel said.
"Both the police chief and the attorney general have gone on record to announce that Uthayakumar is a threat to national security because of his links with terrorist organisations."
"Where is the evidence? If there is any evidence, charge Uthayakumar in the open court. Uthayakumar is claiming 100 million ringgit for defamation," Manogar told AFP.
The five leaders of rights group Hindraf were detained after they enraged the government in November by leading a mass rally protesting at alleged discrimination against minority ethnic Indians in Malaysia.
They are being held at the Kamunting detention centre in northern Perak state, some 300 km from Kuala Lumpur.
Police used tear gas, water cannon and baton charges to break up the Hindraf street protest which drew 8,000 people, and came just two weeks after another rare demonstration organised by electoral reform campaigners.
Religious and racial issues are sensitive in multiracial Malaysia, which experienced deadly race riots in 1969.