"This is Malaysia, not Tamil Nadu."
That’s what Malaysia’s Justice Minister Nazri Aziz had to say after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi expressed his "pain" at the way Malaysian policemen thrashed ethnic Indians last Sunday.
Aziz told Karunanidhi to mind his own business after the chief minister complained about Malaysia’s treatment of its ethnic Indian minority, a chunk of which is made up of Tamils. "This has got nothing to do with him... lay off," Reuters quoted Aziz as saying.
<b1>In Chennai, Karunanidhi defended himself saying, "I don’t want to reply to his (Aziz) remarks. It is my duty to defend Tamils. If there is any punishment for doing the duty, I am prepared to accept it."
The issue disrupted proceedings in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, with MPs cutting across party lines asking the Centre to take up the issue with the Malaysian government. Speaker Somnath Chatterjee rejected this demand saying that members should not say anything that would affect relations with the friendly country.
Earlier, the chief minister wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to intervene on behalf of ethnic Indians, who gathered in a 10,000-strong rally to protest against their living conditions in Malaysia last Sunday.