Anyway as what been said by Guan Eng : WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GETS GOING.
I AM PROUD TO SAY THAT I AM A HINDRAF SUPPORTER AND WOULD GO ALL OUT TO FIGHT OUR WAY THRU WITH INTEGRITY .
(Malaysiakini) The Hindu Rights action Force (Hindraf) has been banned under the Societies Act 1966 as of Oct 15.
Far bigger political clout
Finally, the Indians broke their silence and spoke out where it counted the most - at the ballot box. During the March 8 general election, they voted as a bloc overwhelmingly against the BN, helped drive the ruling coalition from five state governments, reduced MCA to a mosquito party, practically retired MIC supremo Samy Vellu, and ended the myth of power sharing among ethnic communities within the closed doors of the BN supreme council conference room.
In doing so, the Indians have proven that they have far bigger political clout out of proportion with their numerical percentages. They can become king-makers. Hindraf has proven itself as the most empowering social movement in the half-century history of multiracial and polyglot Malaysian society.
A smart government in an enlightened democracy would recognize the message of the Indian voters. Political leaders would try to win back their hearts and minds by engaging the Hindraf people in serious, inclusive, and meaningful dialogues. The Indian problem would indeed have to receive urgent and comprehensive attention.
Unfortunately for the Indian community, the BN government is not all that smart, and our democracy is not all that enlightened.
After the general election, the BN government has rewarded the Hindraf people with more oppressive responses. Five Hindraf leaders were detained under the much hated ISA. Now, it has been banned, with official insinuation as if Hindraf is no better than organised criminals, fakers of passports, or even the communists of old.
With this punch of the iron first, is Hindraf therefore destined to fizzle out like a burst balloon?
Hindraf national coordinator RS Thanenthiran did respond the day after the ban by saying, “The government can ban Hindraf but it can’t silence the majority of the Indian community who feel marginalized”. As he pointed out, the ban can only aggravate the situation.
I am sure that Hindraf leaders are now taking stock of the situation and counting their many options. Perhaps they are waiting for feedback from people like you and me.
Words of Martin Luther King
The Hindraf predicament suddenly reminds me a lot of Martin Luther King’s Civil Rights Movement. In his letter from Birmingham city Jail (printed in 1972), King wrote:
“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed ... Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The urge for freedom will eventually come”.
King, like Hindraf leaders in recent months, had just been arrested and jailed for leading an “illegal” protest march against racism in America. But he knew he needed more than noble dreams and haughty rhetoric. He needed a strategy for action.
He explained how his non-violent campaign consisted of four steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices are alive, agitation, self-purification, and direct action. He wrote, “So we had no alternative except that of preparing for direct action whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and national communities. We started workshops on non-violence an repeatedly asked ourselves this question, “Are you able to accept blows without retaliating? Are you able to endure the ordeals of jail”?
When queried why he advocated breaking some laws and obeying others, King had this to say; “The answer is found in the fact that there are two types of laws. There are just laws and there are unjust laws. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St Augustine that ‘An unjust law is no law at all’.”
I suspect most Malaysian lawyers are influenced by legal positivism, which states that a law-legislated legally is a law, and must be obeyed. But I do agree with King and St Augustine - a law is not just a law; a law is either a good law or a bad law. Any piece of legislation may be legal, but it can also be highly immoral, and so must be changed peacefully at the earliest possible opportunity.
By now, we should know that, whatever the superstructure of the State may say about Hindraf, it is not a secret society out to ruin social stability and public security. It is a spontaneous movement of citizens trying to right socio-political wrongs through non-violent peaceful means. There is no denying that Hindraf does threaten the survival of the BN government. What’s wrong or illegal about that?
We should also know that the banning of Hindraf under the Societies Act of 1966 is an injustice that has made the Act into a bad law. It has become a law that denies the fundamental human rights to free association and free expressions, inalienable rights which are enshrined in our constitutions.
The Hindraf leaders may go to court and challenge their banning on constitutional ground. I don’t know. There may be a small later amendment to say that whatever decision a minister makes under this law cannot be challenged in a court of law.
It is good to see that the Hindraf leaders are now coolly calculating their odds and weighing their options. Their hot actions require cool heads.
They may end up adopting the philosophy of Martin Luther King, or they may not. They can also draw inspiration and courage from their ancient and rich Hindu traditions. There was Gandhi who could also provide them with some bright ideas.
Whatever they do from this point on, the worst choice is to get into an acrimonious factional fight over their next course of action. This would cripple their movement, as it did to the Socialist Front a few decades ago. They must guard against the infiltration of agent provocateurs into their rank and file to divide and rule them. This is a time that would indeed test their wisdom and courage to the limit.
A national problem
I see the Hindraf movement not merely as one involving Malaysian Indians only. The Indian problem is a national problem; it is your problem and my problem.
Once again, I would like to quote Martin Luther King. He wrote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects us indirectly.”
In short, we Malaysians of all ethnic origin must do whatever we can to defend the Hindraf movement in whatever way we can. The least we can do is to pray for them.
We must take note that the central concept that drove King’s Civil Rights Movement is “freedom”. Although the word “freedom” has been made to sound like a dirty word in Malaysian mainstream discourse, it is an idea behind the Hindraf movement.
As I see it, Hindraf is a struggle of the Indian community to be free from poverty, neglect, marginalisation, and from many social ills that are the direct results of socio-economic backwardness. Above all, theirs is a struggle for freedom from political oppression and persecution by the multi-racial ruling class. It is this same cry for freedom that an increasing number of Malaysian can share these days.
We all badly need a reformation in our country.
(Malaysiakini) Suaram activist Cheng Lee Whee who was
Nyam Kee Han, who is Suaram’s Johor co-ordinator, when contacted today said he was informed by Cheng’s lawyer that a magistrate this morning rejected a police remand for her to be detained for four more days.
The lawyer, said Nyam, argued on the grounds that 26-year-old Cheng has co-operated fully with the police since her detention.
He further added that the self-employed programmer is currently in the process of settling the police bail with her lawyer at the Johor Jaya police station, accompanied by supporters and Suaram members.
When contacted, Johor police chief Mokhtar Shariff stressed that Cheng was issued a remand order early this morning and had the right to hire a lawyer for her defence.
Cheng was detained under Section 28 of the ISA for ‘dissemination of false reports’ following a police report she made accusing the police of abuse of power in Thursday’s controversial demolition of a squatter colony in Johor.
According to lawyers, section 28 does not empower the police to detain a suspect without trial. The suspect must be brought to court within 24 hours, either to be charged or be further remanded to facilitate police investigations.
According to the section, "Any person who, by word of mouth or in writing or in any newspaper, periodical, book, circular or other printed publication or by any other means spreads false reports or makes false statements likely to cause public alarm, shall be guilty of an offence."
'Wrong perception of ISA'
Unlike other sections under the ISA that allow detention without trial, Mohktar stressed that Section 28 allows Cheng to face a due process of law. He added that Cheng had every right to to explain herself.
"People may have a wrong perception that the whole Act allows detention without trial, but Section 28 is the total opposite," he said when contacted today.
"We will issue a press release as soon as possible so people do not get the wrong impression of this section," said Mokhtar.
By Daniel Chandranayagam
Many employers everywhere scrutinise their employees’ every move, and take them to task when a second or two of company time is under-utilised. Although this may not be practised by all employers, it’s fast becoming a trend.
Now, it has been reported that employees of two logging companies have sexually abused Penan womenfolk in Sarawak. The Bruno Manser Fonds (BMF) reported, “Penan women from the Middle Baram area of Sarawak are launching a cry of alarm to the international community over cases of sexual abuse by logging company workers in the East Malaysian state's rainforests.”
According to initial news reports, officials from both companies are unaware of these matters. So while some employers know their workers every move, others claim they do not know when their employees might have committed criminal acts.
I suppose it might be unfair for a ‘regular’ kind of employer to keep tabs on their workers, especially after working hours. And of course, no one is saying anyone is guilty of anything. But to mitigate against damage to their business reputations, surely corporations, especially those with workers in remote areas, should have a system to monitor the happenings at their satellite arms?
Interhill Logging and Samling were named in reports in relation to the allegations. Samling’s Cheryl Yong stated, “Such events are criminal and will not be tolerated because we do not condone any illegal act by employees... Any victim of criminal acts should lodge their complaints directly to the police.”
Interhill’s representative, identified as “Mr. Kiu”, admitted that so far they had no information on the matter, and that this could be because of the bad infrastructure in the interiors, which has caused infrequent communication between the camp and the headquarters.
But let’s face it. Some businesses are larger richer and more powerful than many nations. But unlike countries, businesses only ever send out their workers to gain revenue for them. So why shouldn’t they be held accountable?
It appears that media coverage has caused investigations into the allegations made, not only by Suhakam and the Sarawak police, but also by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry. Its minister, Datuk Ng Yen Yen, said, “Companies cannot say that the behaviour of their workers is beyond them.”
Indeed. But if any culpability is found during these investigations, I wonder if any would be apportioned to the companies, and not just to the employees. Bar Council chairperson, Ambiga Sreenevasan, stated that companies could be called to act against employees found guilty of crimes, but Malaysia has no laws that provide for the companies themselves to be punished for employees’ crimes outside business hours and premises.
Unfair but true. While these workers were most likely placed there by the companies, the companies are not answerable to any law, and later could just replace offending workers (if any) with new ones, who may or may not perpetuate the alleged offences.
As many Malaysians push for greater accountability of their leaders, we shouldn’t forget corporate accountability either. And by this, I’m not just talking about responsibility to the shareholders, but also to their employees, their creditors and all stakeholders, which includes the environment.
The most recent on the Penans is a blockade staged against Interhill in Middle Baram, ostensibly to prevent the destruction of their last remaining rainforests.
Perhaps this is the only reason for the blockade.
Or just possibly (for I am known to be whimsical), it might be also to protect their women from any further indignities.
Deputy Chief Minister, Alfred Jabu Numpang, of the Malaysian state of Sarawak, has criticised blogger, Joseph Tawie for a posting on the latter’s blog. Freelance writer and blogger Tawie accused Sarawak state leaders of suppressing allegations of sexual abuse of Penan women in his blog, The Broken Shield.
A blog post urged the state authorities to probe the allegations of sexual abuse of Penan womenfolk, located in Sarawak’s Baram region. According to news reports, unidentified cabinet ministers present confirmed Jabu displeasure with Tawie. Jabu also had directed his anger at a journalist of a national newspaper.
Tawie’s posting, headlined ‘Penan rape cases: Let the truth prevails’, highlighted allegations that employees from timber companies, Samling and Interhill, had been abusing Penan women sexually. Allegedly, these employees have been committing the acts for almost a decade.
The Penan are a tribal community living deep in the forests of Northern Borneo. Aside from the sexual acts alleged against the logging company staff, the Penans are also upset that the forest they live in is being destroyed by logging, so much so that the tribe has staged a blockade against Interhill to stop them from getting into the forest (click here to read more).
Tawie said that the task force from the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry to look into the plight of the Penan schoolgirls as a result of rapes and abuse allegedly perpetrated by timber workers is timely.
Timely, because state leaders in particular (Chief Minister) Abdul Taib Mahmud, (Deputy Chief Minister) George Chan and (Deputy Chief Minister) Alfred Jabu have not only accused newspapers of deliberately publishing false news, but have also accused them as saboteurs. ‘Saboteurs’ is a very strong word indeed.
He said, “If there are some truth, then the truth will have an embarrassing effect on our (state) government leaders.”
Tawie’s blog is currently still up and running, although no word has been released on what action, if any, the authorities will take against him.
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — In yet another attempt to hasten Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s departure, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said the postponement of the Umno election to March next year will result in the party not having enough time to regain the people’s confidence.
“I agree with Tan Sri Muhyiddin (Yassin), there is no need for an additional three months, what can Abdullah do in three months? I don’t think he can do anything,” said Dr Mahathir.
“No need for delay, we need time to rehabilitate BN, we only have four years to do that, or else we are going to lose the next election,” he added.
On Thursday, Muhyiddin told reporters that the campaign period is too long and will drain resources.
“The campaign period is the longest in years and has never happened before. All this because we want to accommodate the so-called power transition plan,” he reportedly said.
Said Dr Mahathir today: “We need to go down and meet the people, but at the same time we are facing an economic crisis.”
On the suggestion by MCA Youth yesterday that a second deputy BN chairman be created for the party, Dr Mahathir said the idea must be studied carefully.
“BN is a multiracial coalition, if they entertain one racial group, other racial groups will be unhappy, if the Chinese support the coalition, but the Malays do not, BN will still be weak,” said Dr Mahathir.
“It must be studied carefully, whether it helps in getting the Chinese support or it will just erode the Malay support,” he added.
He said that the BN is a system that allows every group “to be represented fairly but not equally”.
“Let’s be more careful, that is why certain issues should not be discussed publicly, as it is no longer rational because people will be moved by emotion,” he added.
Similarly, he said, the idea to open up BN for direct membership should also be studied thoroughly.
©New Straits Times
Non-governmental organisations and political parties, which have been engaged in months of sabre-rattling over race and religious issues, said this was the essence of the statement from the Conference of Rulers.
As the rulers had spoken clearly on the social contract, NGOs and politicians from both sides of the divide said, the people should move forward.
Bar Council president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan agreed that the statement reaffirmed the importance of the Federal Constitution and was a reminder of the guarantees accorded to all Malaysians.
A week prior to Deepavali 2007, can you remember how the Indian community were greeted by their BN leaders? Their adored place of worship, the Padang Jawa Temple in Klang was cruelly demolished. Wonder if it is a decision that the previous Selangor MB regrets? Many Indians believe that it was ‘divine wrath and punishment’ that gave a trashing defeat to BN in the State of Selangor.
Now fast forward to 2008, this year the community got a wonderful present for their Deepavali festival. Our Government has banned and declared Hindraf illegal!!! None can say it better than F E Smith “There is more credit in being abused by fools than praised by rogues .”
One wonders if all this came about because the Big Boys were not happy that Indian families went to PMs open house in their orange Tee-Shirts. The delegation was led by a little 6 year old girl who handed over a greeting card and a teddy bear!!! By Gosh, by a stretch of any imagination, could the Malaysian population consider a little stuffed toy, as a threat to national security??
What is Hindraf then if it is not a surge of years of pent up frustrations of Malaysian Indians being marginalized in Education, in Government – the biggest employer in the country or even in business. Yet the world over, the Indian Diaspora economically does better than most other nationalities. So a question that Indians and others ask, how come in Malaysia, Indians are left behind???
Frankly do the Big Bosses realize that Hindraf is not a mere society that they can close down? Can you curb the pent up emotions of a people, generations who worked for this country and are now faced with difficulties. These simple people would have been happy to meet up with the PM and would have been his most ardent fan for life. Hey, I thought Governments are elected by the people, for the people and of the people, its hard to fathom, how come our leaders do not engage in dialogue? Yet, see how these simple Indian people, have been demonized?
Actually if the media have given an accurate report of the 27th September 2008, Candle light vigil, those big bullies in high places would have understood “the spirit of a people united”. That vigil was a true example of the Hindraf Spirit, organized for the release of the ISA detainees, most of whom are Malays, it was a call sent out before Raya, in hope that the Muslim brothers will get released prior to their festival Hari Raya. Many who led the Hindraf procession, and those who led the chants for Makkal Shakti and Hindraf Valage, were Chinese youth who came in full support the Indian cause. If it wasn’t the puasa month, for sure we would have seen many more of our Malay family there.
So then how can the spirit, the emotion, the soul, or the inner force, the oneness, the unity, the very essence of Malaysian Life be stilled, by a mere Government declaring it illegal?? Never and we loudly say never can the spirit of Bangsa Malaysia be snuffed out.
Now, like never before we Malaysians are bound together in one spirit, Malay, Chinese, Indian and others, have come together as one. You see it at the courts in solidarity for RPK, you see it on the blogs and websites, you see it at the vigils, we saw in the 8th March elections.
Yes my brothers and sisters, we are all bound together in one spirit. The spirit of unity cannot be declared illegal and cannot be banned. This time the wave of change is bigger than the Tsunami and it is sweeping our beautiful country. It’s a call for change, a call to wipe out all forms of racism that is being raised for political hegemony. It’s a call against corruption, scam and cheating of the Rakyat.
Let me jog your memory a bit to what our RPK said in one of the last few messages to us, before he got interned, albeit unfairly. I think briefly it meant that we Malaysians should give our lives to protect each other, so that not one drop of Malaysian blood is shed. We have to ensure that no one can divide us and protect this sprit of unity that binds us.
Maybe it indeed is a blessing, look back, last year’s Deepavali present resulted in March 8th Tsunami, five states landed into opposition hands and it was this refusal of the leaders to heed the voices of their own citizenry that gave them the defeat. This time one wonders what’s in store for the Big Boys in High Places!!
We the people of Malaysia are called together to ensure that we and the future generations, will live in peace, in harmony, entrusting our Country to the Good Governance of Honest Leaders called to be accountable by a Rakyat United.
The Spirit of Hindraf and Bangsa Malaysia will always live.
Mereka yang berminat dengan isu pembangkang nak tawan Putrajaya menerusi lompat parti Ahli Parlimen Barisan Nasional mungkin akan dapat ‘ feel ‘ suasana semasa jika berada di Parlimen sepanjang minggu lalu.
Pada waktu ada yang merasakan tentunya timbul excitement bila Dewan Rakyat mula bersidang balik pada Isnin 13 Oktober suasananya hingga ke hari Khamis bila sidang ditangguhkan untuk sambung ke minggu depan boleh kata biasa-biasa saja.
Ini mengenangkan kehangatan cerita Penasihat PKR Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim mendesak Perdana Menteri supaya adakan sidang tergempar Parlimen kerana pembangkang macam dah tak sempat-sempat nak buat usul tidak percaya terhadap kerajaan atas dakwaan ‘ sudah ada jumlahnya ‘ Ahli Parlimen Barisan Nasional yang nak melompat.
Malah sebilangan pemerhati yang berkunjung ke Parlimen dan para wartawan yang membuat liputan hairan melihat senario relaks dan tak wujud keadaan resah gelisah di kalangan para Ahli Parlimen BN serta tanda-tanda red alert macam kerajaan nak terbalik bila-bila masa saja disambar oleh pembangkang.
Lebih menarik dari tinjauan Agendadaily isu lompat parti ini semacam tidak diambil peduli dan tidak diperbualkan sangat oleh kalangan ahli parlimen baik BN maupun pembangkang.
“Hairan juga tengok isu yang sebelum 16 September dulu macam nak meletup dunia punya riuh dah sejuk macam tak ada apa-apa,”kata seorang aktivis politik yang dua tiga kali melawat parlimen untuk melihat suasananya.
Katanya mungkin mereka yang di luar
Hakikatnya kalau nak tahu isu itu tengah mengelegak atau tidak suasana di Parlimen dimana semua Ahli Parlimen berkumpul dan bersidang adalah penentu suhunya.
Apakah gambar ‘ penghulu’ Parlimen yakni Menteri Di Jabatan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz boleh duduk bersembang dan bergelak ketawa dengan Anwar yang juga Ketua Pembangkang sambil kena teh tarik di ruang rehat para Ahli Parlimen petang Khamis ini dapat memberi indikasi kepada senario itu.
Turut sama menyertai mereka ialah ahli Majlis Tertinggi UMNO yang bekas Ketua Menteri Melaka Tan Sri Rahim Thamby Chik yang datang melawat beberapa rakan di Parlimen petang itu.
Lain-lain yang ada di situ ialah Ahli Parlimen PKR Machang Saifuddin Nasution dan Ahli Parlimen PKR Subang N Sivarasah dan Ahli Parlimen Gombak Azmin Ali- 17/10/2008
A MCA Youth delegate today called on the authorities to detain Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for making racist remarks.
Khairy, who was one of the VIPs present at the MCA Youth meet this morning, has however left shortly after the opening before the debates commenced.
Ting took Khairy, who is also the son-in-law of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, to task over his remarks concerning the ratio of the bumiputera and non-bumiputera quota on scholarships.
He said such remarks were not only condoned by the Umno leadership but also paved the way for Ahmad to make similar offensive remarks.
|(Breaking News) |
A 26-year-old activist has been arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) tonight following a report she made accusing the police of abuse of power in yesterday’s controversial eviction of a squatter colony in Johor.
Cheng Lee Whee, a self-employed programmer who is a volunteer for human rights group Suaram, lodged the police report at the Permas Jaya police station in Johor Bharu at about 3pm yesterday.
The report was made in response to the forced eviction of squatters in Kampung Baru Plentong Tengah - a predominantly Malay village akin to Kuala Lumpur’s Kampung Baru - and the arrest of 27 individuals for attempting to stop the demolition of the settlement.
Cheng was summoned by inspector Azman Mustafa to the state police headquarters in Seri Alam at around 8pm so that her statement could be taken relating to her police report.
Four of her friends accompanied her to the police station, among them were Suaram Johor Bahru coordinator Nyam Kee Han, Parti Socialis Malaysia central committee member Choo Shinn Chei and Suaram volunteer See Siew Min. The three were arrested yesterday at the forced eviction.
At around 10.45pm, after Cheng had her statement recorded by the police, she was informed by Criminal Investigation Department chief DSP Mohd Nor Rasid that she had been arrested under section 28 of the ISA for "spreading false information".
Section 28 of the ISA involves the dissemination of false reports.
According to the section, "Any person who, by word of mouth or in writing or in any newspaper, periodical, book, circular or other printed publication or by any other means spreads false reports or makes false statements likely to cause public alarm, shall be guilty of an offence."
According to lawyers, section 28 does not empower the police to detain a suspect without trial. The suspect must be brought to court within 24 hours either to be charged or be further remanded to facilitate police investigation.
‘Police chief confirmed ISA arrest’
Cheng was later escorted to the Pasir Gudang police station where she is expected to be remanded tomorrow for further investigation.
DAP state assemblymen for Skudai, Dr Boo Cheng Hau, told Malaysiakini that he had spoken to Johor police chief Mokhtar Shariff as well as Seri Alam OCPD Supt Roslan Zainuddin by phone and both officers confirmed that Cheng had been held under ISA.
He called on the police to either charge Cheng or free her as soon as possible.
Attempts by Malaysiakini to contact Mokhtar and Roslan were unsuccessful.
Last year, the ISA was invoked in Johor against five individuals for allegedly spreading rumours through SMSes about racial clashes.
OCT 16 — Although I have always subscribed to the belief that a broader movement representing the poorer sections of the people regardless of race is better than just fighting for the cause of a single race, I have always sympathised with Hindraf and its objective of calling attention to the marginalisation of Indians in the country.
We must understand why Hindraf appeals to so many of our Indian brothers. The Indians, without doubt, are one of the most neglected groups and with no effective representation in the government — the MIC and multiracial parties such as PPP and non-racial parties like Gerakan have failed in their roles to effectively represent the interest of the poorer sections of Malaysians.
Frustration, discontent and anger among the Indians led to the sudden rise of this movement which snowballed into a force that has, in no small part, contributed to the dismaying performance of the BN parties in the last general election.
There is a real need for the government to analyse and address the reasons why Hindraf was able to become such a potent force within such a short time, and take corrective steps to tackle the problems facing the poorer sections of this country.
I was therefore shocked to learn that the government has, instead of engaging Hindraf to learn about the woes of the people, taken a step backwards to ban Hindraf.
Remember the Solidarity movement in Poland? Solidarity was formed in 1980 by Lech Walesa as a trade union movement in Poland, which was under communist rule at the time. It tapped into the disaffection of the people against the communist regime, and it quickly grew into a mass movement spreading to the whole of Poland.
The Polish Communists, as communists elsewhere would do, imposed martial law in 1981 and banned the movement. However, instead of stifling the movement, the legacy of the movement lived on and became an even bigger force, until in 1986, the Polish government had no choice but to lift the ban, and negotiated with the leaders of Solidarity in a series of roundtable talks. The rest is history.
Elections were promised and finally held, and Walesa was elected President of Poland in 1990.
I would advocate that it goes even a step further. Engage those NGOs that represent the poorer section of all Malaysians, and find a solution to help the poor of all races.
Fifty-one years after independence, this is the right time to stop race-based affirmative policies, and instead tailor all help based on social strata and need.
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 - Opposition parties Pas and PKR said today the reminder issued by the Conference of Malay Rulers yesterday is a warning to Umno not to incite racial hatred.
"I believe it was intended for the race based political parties and also media like Utusan Malaysia, which has been promoting racial hatred, through their reports and even short stories," said Pas vice president, Datuk Husam Musa.
A short story published by Utusan Malaysia last week has been criticised as incitement and a thinly-veiled attack on Seputeh MP Teresa Kok.
Husam, who is known to be a protege of Pas spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat, said that Umno should not misinterpret the Rulers' reminder and exploit it for its own political gain.
"Umno should get the message from the Rulers not to cause racial tension, and as the ruling party it is in the best position to do so," he told The Malaysian Insider.
He added the opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, has agreed to defend the Federal Constitution, specifically on the Malay language and the special position of the Malays and Bumiputeras.
"Pakatan Rakyat is a multi racial coalition, we always want to maintain racial harmony. There are Malay, Chinese and Indian members in DAP and in PKR," he added.
PKR information chief, Tian Chua also expressed a similar view, adding that it was a fair statement.
"It is a reminder not to politicise the issue, no political force can claim to be defending the rights of any race," said the Batu MP.
"In a way this is also a warning to Umno that this issue is none of your business. It is the Monarchy that is supposed to look after the Malay rights," said Tian.
The Conference of Malay Rulers yesterday issued a rare press statement urging everyone not to question the provisions in the Federal Constitution relating the special position of the Malays.
"It is not proper to dispute and question this Social Contract and more so to subject it to a review or change because it is the primary basis of the formation of Malaysia
"Therefore, it is appropriate for the Malay Rulers to remind that there should never be any attempt ever to test and challenge issues related to the Social Contract," said the statement.
"The stand is long awaited and I am confident that the institution of the Malay Rulers as the sovereign of the country, not only protects the Malays but also the people as a whole.
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed has called on Umno to discard “Abdullah toadies” entirely from the party leadership or face the prospect of losing hold of federal government.
“If the Government of Najib is to be different from that of Abdullah, then Abdullah toadies must not be in,” the former party president said in reference to Datuk Seri Najib Razak's expected victory and appointment as prime minister after the March 2009 party polls.
Umno President Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi had promised to handover power to Najib in a mid-2010 transition plan but it has been fast-forwarded to March after intense pressure for him to step down as soon as possible.
Malaysia's longest-serving premier explained that if the wrong leadership was picked, then it would finish off Umno.
“If this were to happen then the incoming leadership of Umno will go down in history as the betrayers of this once glorious and powerful political machine.”
Mahathir, who has been criticising his successor Abdullah for years now, wrote in his blog that it was still unclear whether delegates would back those opposed to Abdullah or otherwise.
With nominations by divisions still ongoing, he reasoned that the lead in the deputy presidency and Wanita chief race by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin - who has been the most vocal in pushing for Abdullah to step down as soon as possible - and Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz seemed to signal that the grassroots will back those who have been critical of Abdullah.
“This could end the ambitions of Datuk Azalina Othman Said, one of Abdullah's and Khairy Jamaluddin's most ardent supporters,” he said, referring to Abdullah's son-in-law who is running for Umno Youth chief against Mahathir's son Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir.
Mahathir also noted that Datuk Shafie Apdal was a strident voice urging Abdullah to step down and is likely to win enough nominations for vice-president.
He warned however, against counting chickens before they hatched as “important though the nomination by divisions to qualify” may be, the final say “lies with the delegates attending the AGM.”
He cited as an example, when his presidency was challenged by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in 1987.
“I had more than three-fourths of the division nominations. But I won by only 43 votes.”
“Lots of things can happen when the AGM is held in Kuala Lumpur. I will not be surprised to see a lot of money flow, and a lot of minds changed,” he added, claiming that in 1987, a break for Friday prayers was used to persuade delegates “by one means or another to ignore the decisions of their divisions and to vote for someone else.”
He asserted that it is important that Umno avoids money politics as “the country is watching this
Umno elections with bated breath.”
“If the delegates allow their greed to overcome their better judgement then it will be the last time they are the king-makers in Malaysia.”
He explained that under Abdullah's administration, tactics such as “dishing out lucrative jobs and titles, abusing the authority conferred on them, threats of all kinds” were used to safeguard the positions of a few “pretenders.”
“But their assumption was wrong. The division and branch leaders may kowtow to them but the rank and file and the non-member supporters decided to vote for the opposition,” he claimed.
He claimed as proof, the losses suffered in the March 8 general elections and the opposition's increased majority in the Permatang Pauh by-election which allowed Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim back into Parliament after a 10 year absence.-themalaysianinsider
(Limkitsiangblog)The Conference of Rulers issued a special joint press statement at its 215th meeting in Kuala Terengganu on the social contract as the bedrock of the formation of Malaysia, in particular “on the role of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Malay rulers regarding the special privileges, position, eminence or greatness of the Malay rulers, Islam, Malay as the national language, the special position of the Malays, and genuine interests of the other communities in accordance with the Federal Constitution”.
This is an unprecedented document and is testimony of Malaysian nation-building facing a crisis of confidence after half-a-century of nationhood – in particular after the March 8 “political tsunami” seven months ago.
This was the theme of my 2009 budget speech in Parliament on Tuesday and Wednesday, where I raised many issues on the tsunami of crisis of confidence afflicting Malaysia - affecting the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister-in-waiting, the Attorney-General, the Inspector-General, the judiciary and on a whole spectrum of issues whether on anti-corruption, human rights or nation-building.
The special press statement of the Conference of Rulers should be seriously studied by all Malaysians, whether political parties, civic organizations or ordinary citizens for the unity, harmony, prosperity and greatness of the Malaysian nation must be regarded as the responsibility and challenge of every Malaysian citizen, regardless of race, religion or territory so that we can enhance our national competitiveness in the borderless era of information technology and globalization.
Following is the special press statement of the Conference of Rulers on several matters enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
“Press statement issued by the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal on the role of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Malay rulers regarding the special privileges, position, eminence or greatness of the Malay rulers, Islam, Malay as the national language, the special position of the Malays, and genuine interests of the other communities in accordance with the Federal Constitution.
“The Malay rulers who attended the meeting of the Conference of Rulers conferred on the issuing of this special joint press statement.
“The Malay rulers hold the constitutional role to safeguard the special privileges, position, eminence and greatness of the Malay rulers, safeguard Islam, Malay as the national language, and the genuine interests of the other communities in Malaysia.
“The actions of certain quarters in disputing and questioning these matters, which formed the primary basis for the formation of Malaysia and are enshrined in the Federal Constitution, had caused provocation and uneasiness among the people.
“In retaliation, several quarters particularly Malay leaders whether in the government or non-governmental organisations as well as individuals had expressed their dissatisfaction and anger against those who had made the statements and reports and organised the forums.
“Among the reasons identified for these to have occurred is the cursory knowledge of those concerned regarding the historical background as to why these provisions were enshrined in the Federal Constitution and the influence of their attempts to implicate the principles of impartiality and justice without regard for the historical background and social condition of this country. Narrow political interests are also a cause.
“Unless this phenomenon is arrested immediately, it can lead to disunity and racial strife that can undermine the peace and harmony which has all this while brought progress, development and success to the nation.
“As such, it is necessary for the Conference of Rulers to emphasise and remind all quarters of these constitutional provisions besides giving emphasis to the assurance of safeguarding the genuine rights of other communities.
“It has to be emphasised that each provision in the Federal Constitution has undergone the process of discussion, consideration, consultation, sacrifice and compromise of the highest degree for what has been championed, discussed, considered, benefited from as well as agreed to by all quarters concerned, until the realisation of the provisions in the Federal Constitution which are known as the Social Contract.
“It is not proper to dispute and question this Social Contract and more so to subject it to a review or change because it is the primary basis of the formation of Malaysia. Therefore, it is appropriate for the Malay rulers to remind that there should never be any attempt ever to test and challenge issues related to the Social Contract.
“Truly, the leaders of the pre-independence era were insightful, far-sighted. They brought along with them the Malay rulers for the negotiations to claim independence. The institution of the rulers was retained and legally enshrined in the Constitution of an independent Malaysia.
“The institution of the Rulers was accorded eminence, was positioned at the apex of government, as the head of the country and the states, as a protective umbrella, ensuring impartiality among the citizens. The institution of rulers takes on the role of being a check-and-balance to untangle complications, if any.
“The Conference of Rulers also calls on the Malays to be united to safeguard the privileges, position, eminence and greatness of the Malay rulers, safeguard Islam, Malay as the national language, and the genuine interests of the other communities in Malaysia as enshrined in the Federal Constitution. It has to be emphasised that this agenda is more important and foremost than political or factional interests.
“Non-Malays should not harbour any apprehension or worry over their genuine rights because these rights are guaranteed under the Federal Constitution and provisions of the state constitutions of Malaysia contained in Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.
“It is hoped that with this emphasis, all confusion among the people regarding these matters can be contained and an atmosphere of peace, harmony and mutual respect can continue to exist among the people for the maintenance of order in the country.”
(Anilnetto) Here’s something our politicians can learn from Kelantan Mentri Besar Niz Aziz, who lives in a simple wooden house.
Farish Noor describes his encounter with the simple politician who still uses the same type of ballpoint that he saw him using when they met in 1999.
Blog reader Zack adds:
Nik Aziz was once ask why he did not press the BIC ballpoint pen hard on to the paper when signing documents. His simple answer was that it was to save ink! This man is a rare breed and one in a million.
We all know what most of the Barisan leaders are like, but I wonder to what extent the other Pakatan leaders will change their life-styles if and when they come to power.
In this respect, they can’t go wrong if they emulate the simple life-style of Nik Aziz.
I will let blog-reader Karma have the final say:
A great man, he is. Tok Guru reminds me of Gandhi. Both have spiritual strength and it is this strength that has coloured their personalities. Gandhi left no material wealth when he died, but he left spiritual wealth to the people of this world. Tok Guru would always remind us of the importance of spiritual values rather than forms in life. He believes in moderation. He also believes in simplicity.
His soft spot for all races and religions is because of his spiritual richness. When a person is spiritually strong, he will not waver when it comes to principles in life. Friendship to him is genuine. To forgive for him is divine. Hopefully, with his spiritual strength, Malaysians would be guided to the right path.
I remember in one of his religious talks he said, “Every Malaysian and every human being has the right to live peacefully in this world. Hate not each other, but help each other. Don’t make greed a way of life, as this will lead to selfishness. We are all children of God, seek in us the similarities and not the differences and this will lead us to a true bond among all. It is only when your heart is spiritually cleansed would you appreciate the beauty of creation and discover the truth.
“This is only a temporary world, remember. No one will live forever, strong or weak. So, nurture in you pleasantness to achieve the best in life. Rich or poor, you will one day leave this world. So, be kind to all when you are in this world.”
KUALA LUMPUR: MIC's love-hate relationship with the Hindu Rights Action Force continues with the party maintaining that it is the sole voice of the Indian community.
KUALA TERENGGANU: Hindraf had been likened to a secret society whose members are now on the police radar.
KUALA LUMPUR: A defiant Hindraf chairman, P. Waythamoorthy, said their spirit would not be broken despite the movement being declared illegal and outlawed by the government.
KUALA LUMPUR: While not really being surprised, Hindraf leaders, however, expressed regret that their hopes to continue fighting for Indians community have been dashed.
"Our struggle has brought some good to the community."
He said during his recent visit to the Kamunting detention centre, he was told by the Hindraf 5 that there was a move to outlaw their movement.
"Vasantha Kumar told me that there were some within the movement who had used Hindraf for their own ends."
He was referring to the gathering at the cabinet ministers' Hari Raya open house on Oct 1 where some 300 Hindraf members caused a stir when they turned up, clad in orange T-shirts.
Hindraf national coordinator, R.S. Thanenthiran did not want to comment on the ban. He said their leader, London-based P. Waythamoorthy would be issuing a full statement today.
The following are more reactions:
* Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim, Historian: “It’s a difficult situation. In the first place, they are not legal and as such, shouldn’t be making so much noise. Secondly, they are not clear what they are fighting for. When historians study them in the future, they will be able to better judge the truth behind Hindraf’s many statements.”
* Ragunath Kesavan, Bar Council Malaysia vice-chairman: “Making them illegal will not make the problem go away. It’s important to address the issues raised by Hindraf, not Hindraf itself. Hindraf only became prominent because it championed the issues facing Indians. The MIC has been registered for over 50 years and Hindraf has been around for only two, but they took up the Indians’ problems.”
* Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam, Transparency International Malaysia president: “You can ban an organisation but not an idea. It’s a step backwards for the country because it will discourage thinking and open debate, both of which are crucial to sustainable democracy. This strikes at the heart of the increased democracy the government has championed over the last few years.”
* Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang, President Council of Former People’s Representatives: “Their activities all this while have not been in accordance with the rule of law. They should not take the law into their own hands as it is not good for harmony in the country. “I’m afraid for our future generations and just want to see everybody living in peace and tolerance. Let’s look at things with more wisdom and not so narrow an angle. Live and let live.”
KUALA LUMPUR: Labelled a threat to national security, the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) has been banned by the government.
The declaration, he said, was a result of monitoring and investigations by the Registrar of Societies (RoS) since Hindraf was formed.
"As a result of the investigations, the Home Ministry, as per its authority under sections 3 and 5 of the Societies Act 1966, has declared Hindraf unlawful and detrimental to peace, public order, security and the moral values of Malaysia," he said in the statement.
"I feel that if we don't rein in their activities, they will continue to jeopardise security and public order, and our country's sovereignty, as well as upset the harmony among races."
Syed Hamid said the decision to ban the movement was not made based on only one or two misdemeanours committed by Hindraf, but covered the entire gamut of activities the group had been involved in since its organisation.
"Hindraf submitted a registration application to the RoS on October 16 last year.
"The application had not been approved, but it went ahead and organised several public gatherings and demonstrations without a permit," he said.
"They exploited racial issues which caused an uprising against the government and created hatred between them and the Malays."
He added that Hindraf had also tried to get international support in their attempts to get the government to bow to their demands, an action which tarnished the country's image.
"Considering all the facts and evidence we have, I am satisfied that Hindraf was and is being used in a manner detrimental to public order and national security.
"We advise the public not to involve themselves in any way with the activities of this unlawful organisation."
July 28, 2007: The movement begin to register on the police’s radar after some of their leaders held talks and gatherings in several states.
Aug 30, 2007: Hindraf files a class-action suit against the British government for allegedly bringing Indians to Malaysia as indentured labourers and exploiting them for 150 years and thereafter failing to protect their rights in the Federal Constitution when independence was granted. Seeks US$1 million for every Indian currently residing in Malaysia. Announces that 10,000 Indians are expected to go to British High Commission on Nov 25 to petition the Queen of England to support their suit.
Nov 25, 2007: Thousands of Indians gather at Jalan Ampang and Jalan Tun Razak. Police fire water cannons and tear gas to disperse crowds. Four officers are injured in the fracas, one sustaining a severe head wound. 136 supporters are arrested while another 105 detained. Damage to public amenities estimated at RM100,000.
Nov 28, 2007: Hindraf denies links to political parties.
Dec 3, 2007: Hindraf legal adviser P. Uthayakumar tells Singapore’s The New Paper violence is a possibility that the Indian community would consider in order to push their agenda. The movement also previously sent an email to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown alleging “ethnic cleansing” of Indians in Malaysia.
Dec 4, 2007: Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail claims he has proof that Hindraf is linked to Sri Lankan terrorist movement Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) during a court proceeding. The statement is, however, expunged from the court recordings.
Dec 9, 2007: Hindraf denies links to terrorist movements. Uthayakumar says claims were a ploy to prevent them from seeking help from foreign governments and NGOs. Dec 11, 2007: Prominent members, V. Ganabatirau and M. Manoharan, are confirmed to be DAP members. This despite the movement earlier stating that they are not linked to any political party.
Dec 13, 2007: Described as a threat to national security and public order, five Hindraf leaders are detained under the Internal Security Act. The five are lawyers P. Uthayakumar, R. Kengadharan, V. Ganabatirau, M. Manoharan and a senior executive with Malaysia Building Society Bhd, K. Vasantha Kumar. The detainees are subsequently dubbed the Hindraf 5. Leader P. Waytha Moorthy flees to London.
Dec 16, 2007: Accompanied by about 2,000 supporters, the families of the Hindraf leaders detained under the ISA hold a prayer ceremony amid tight security at a temple in Kamunting.
Feb 16, 2008: Police use tear gas and water cannons to disperse several hundred Hindraf supporters who defy orders to hold an illegal rally at Parliament house to deliver roses to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and a petition for the release of the Hindraf 5.
Feb 26, 2008: High court dismisses Hindraf 5’s habeas corpus application, ruling their detention lawful. Dismissal later affirmed by Federal Court.
May 20, 2008: Hindraf 5 apply for a judicial review of the Federal Court decision which rejected their habeas corpus appeal.
Aug 25, 2008: In-fighting within the movement. Hindraf chairman P. Waytha Moorthy accuses K. Vasantha Kumar of being a government plant, alleging he was planted by the Special Branch to infiltrate Hindraf. Vasantha Kumar’s wife K. Vickneswary dismisses allegations as “nonsense”.
Oct 1, 2008: More than 100 Hindraf supporters turn up at Abdullah’s Hari Raya open house seeking the release of the Hindraf 5. Refusing to eat, they submit a teddy bear and Hari Raya card with their request to Abdullah. They subsequently come under fire from several government leaders for their “disrespect”.
Oct 7, 2008: Home Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof calls for the movement to be banned.
Oct 15, 2008: Hindraf is banned.