Hindraf leader P Uthayakumar returned to his mother's house in his hometown of Rasah, Seremban late tonight and received a hero’s welcome from a sea of thousands of orange-clad supporters.
The 47-year-old lawyer had earlier today refused to sign the conditional papers of release and travelled from Kamunting to Seremban - a six-hour journey across three states - in a convoy of 100 cars and motorcycles.
Interestingly, one of the conditions for his release was not to set foot in Seremban.
Along the way he stopped at several places - among them, Rawang, Sungai Buloh and Labu toll exit - to speak to his supporters who had came to see him.
He arrived at the Labu toll plaza in Negri Sembilan at about 9.15pm and later at his house where he hugged her mother and ate mutton curry, a dish which he had longed for after 18 months behind bars under the Internal Security Act.
Uthayakumar said he chose not to sign any conditional release letters as he felt he had done nothing wrong.
“I did not sign the conditional release, in which one of the conditions was that I would not return to Seremban.
“Following that, the Kamunting authorities decided to throw me out (of the camp),” he said.
Asked what his immediate plans were, Uthayakumar said he would consult his supporters first.
“I feel Umno and Barisan Nasional have not changed despite a change in leadership,” he said.
“I called on the leaders of the country to release the remaining 10 detainees who are still being detained in Kamunting. Some of them had been under detention for eight years,” he said, adding that detention without trial is unlawful.
To visit younger brother in London
Uthayakumar said he would rest for the next two days and would decide on when to go to London to meet with his younger brother, Waythamoorthy, the chairperson of the outlawed Hindraf movement.
Waythamoorthy has been in self-imposed exile in Britain since the ISA arrests in late 2007 where his brother and four others were detained.
“I want to discuss with him the next course of action. I also want to visit him as he has this rare heart condition and I am very concerned for his health,” he said.
“I will discuss with Waytha (about the future) and if the feelings are strong to form a party as demanded by the supporters, we would certainly seriously consider it.”
But first, he said he had to look for his passport.
He also laughed over the recent formation of another Indian-based party called Mindraf.
“There is a joke that the Chinese want to form Chindraf and Jemaah Islamiah may form Jindraf - people are riding on Hindraf’s popularity,”
He also reminded his followers not to worship or idolised him, after some Hindraf supporters were seen trying to kneel before him and kiss his feet tonight.
“No, they should not treat me in this way as I am an ordinary person,” he said.
“But I could see many people are supporting the cause as we have been marginalised and I think we have a platform to seek for better welfare of the Indian community,” he said.
Uthayakumar pledged that despite the adversities he is going to face, he would continue with the struggle and would not let the authorities to stop him.