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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

'Shocked' Samy: No room for same mistake - Malaysiakini

MIC president S Samy Vellu has expressed shock and dismay over Universiti Malaya's decision to appoint a non-Indian to head its Indian Studies Department.

The move to replace Dr S Kumaran with a non-Indian had sparked an uproar.

samy vellu exclusive on tamil schools 080708 06In a statement today, Samy Vellu said Indians in the then Malaya and Singapore had struggled to set up the department.

"Today, the department is considered the Indian community's cultural heritage and part of our history in this country," he said.

"It reflects our prestige and as such, it does not make sense for a non-Indian to head the department."

In view of this, MIC wants a commitment from the university that an Indian will head its Indian Studies Department and the 'same mistake' will not be repeated in future.

Samy Vellu said he would raise the matter with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak should there be no solution to the problem.

Work together to ensure survival

He also urged the Indians in the department, especially academicians and lecturers to work together and ensure the survival of the department.

He noted that part of the problem was due to lack of cooperation among them.

Samy Vellu was however pleased that Universiti Malaya vice-chancellor Ghauth Jasmon had assured Human Resources Minister and MIC secretary-general S Subramaniam yesterday that the matter would be resolved amicably.

"However, we want an assurance that the Indian Studies Department will continue to be headed by an Indian," he reiterated.

Following the appointment of a non-Indian to the post, several leaders of non-governmental organisations called on the university to rescind the appointment.

Yesterday, Subramaniam said Ghauth informed him that Kumaran's replacement was an administrative issue but he promised to look into my request seriously.

Reexamining the Hindraf Memorandum

By Hakim Joe

On the 18th of August 2008, Hindraf leaders presented an 18-point Memorandum to the PM. This was a time when militancy has yet to seep into the rank and file of this group of people, but no matter how one look at the demands, it still emanates racism.

Point Number 3 - Call for affirmative action plans for all poor Malaysians especially the ethnic minority Indians.

Point Number 4 – All 523 Tamil schools in Malaysia to be made fully aided government schools … and a grant amounting to RM100 billion to be allocated (over 5 years) for refurbishing the existing 523 Tamil schools and the rebuilding of 300 Tamil schools demolished over the past 50 years.

Point Number 8 – 20% of the Government top most level postings (Secretary Generals), middle level management (Directors) and Management level (Managers) postings, and the same for the Private Sectors and positions of District Officers, Foreign and Diplomatic Service positions, civil service positions are reserved for Indians for the next 15 years.

Point Number 10(b) – Compensation at RM10 million per temple be paid by UMNO controlled Malaysian Government for the 15,000 Hindu temples demolished up to date over the last 50 years.

Point Number 12 – The UMNO controlled government forms with immediate effect a Royal Commission of Enquiry into the Kampung Medan mini Genocide, condemns the violence thereto, apologizes to the Indian community on this mini genocide, undertakes not to repeat the same in future and pay a compensation of RM1,000,000 for each and every citizen killed, permanently maimed, maimed or injured in this tragedy.

Point Number 13 – Each and every Indian especially the Indian poor in the aforesaid 70% poor and hardcore poor category is paid compensation which is to be adjudicated and determined by the United Nations Secretary General for the aforesaid 50 years of Constitutional violations by the UMNO controlled government.

Point Number 15 – A Royal Commission of Inquiry is initiated to report on the aforesaid constitutional violations by the UMNO controlled government and appropriate recommendations for amongst others further affirmative action plans for especially the 70% Indian poor and hardcore poor category.

Point Number 16 – All forms of religious discrimination, oppression and suppression of the Indians/Hindu in both the public and private sectors are stopped with immediate effect and a Race Relations Commission Act 2007, an Equal Opportunities Commission Act 2007 and a Freedom of Religion Commissions Act 2007 be passed and powerful Commission thereto be put into force to give effect to anti racism, anti Islamic extremism and anti direct discrimination practices by the UMNO controlled government in both the public and private sectors.

Point Number 17 – The UMNO controlled government passes specific laws to give effect to the Independence of the Judiciary, the Attorney General’s Chambers, Civil service, Police Force, Army, the Malaysian Human Rights Commission and the Malaysian media and for the opposition parties, NGOs’ Civil Society groups, Bar Council and the media not to discriminate and side step Indian issues but instead to voice out the same without fear or favour. The Malaysian media is also to be legislated to report the real happenings especially on the 70% Indian poor and hardcore poor without fear or favor.

Point Number 18 – A minimum of 20 Opposition members of Parliament are elected exclusively by the Indian community to represent their interest at the highest political level and also as a Parliamentary Democracy check and balance and the same is safeguarded and entrenched into the federal Constitution and which is to be increased proportionally with the increase in parliamentary seats.

How many MT readers can stand up and truthfully say that the above does not smell of pure racism?

Point Number 3, why use the “especially” word? Are there no poor and hardcore poor Chinese and Malays or Ibans or Kadazans? Why must the entire Malaysian people give special preference to the poor and hardcore poor Indians?

Point Number 4, are all Chinese schools fully government aided? Same as above, why must all Malaysians cater to the needs of one race? Isn’t it bad already now with the NEP? Why specifically RM100 billion? Look, even the economic stimulus packages are not allocated such budgets. So tell me, should the country bankrupt itself merely to satisfy the minority Indians?

Point Number 8, 20% to be allocated especially to Indians for the next 15 years. Come on, you have got to be kidding. Firstly, the ratio of Indians as compared to the other races are but a mere 8%. Secondly, ever heard of the word “meritocracy”? Thirdly, who makes the final decision as to which Indian is allocated which position? Hindraf perhaps?

Point Number 10, Compensation of RM10 million per temple for 15,000 temples equals RM150 billion. First you want RM100 billion, now you want another RM150 billion. And who gets to pocket the “compensations”?

Point Number 12, if I am not mistaken, it was an Indian fella who started it first by kicking the chairs and tables. Just mere misinformation from UMNO again? Tell you what, I happen to know the family whose chairs and tables were kicked around. Nice Malay chap. Okay, he might have told me lies (or not) but Hindraf wants a Royal Commission and an apology and an undertaking and compensation. Tell me something, what is the purpose of a Royal Commission? To investigate the matter, right? How can you force an apology, undertaking and compensation when the Royal Commission you seek has not revealed its investigation findings? Jumping the gun a wee bit, right? An another RM 1 million compensation for each and every individual involved in the fracas? So, if one Indian hits a Malay and the Malay retaliates and hits the Indian, both get compensated RM 1 million for their sakes, right?

Point Number 13, what gives these poor and hardcore poor Indians the right to make such claims? Malaysia is a land of opportunity. For those who are determined to get an education and to work their butts off, there will be rewards. It is only those that bum around hoping for charity that remains in the “ghetto”. Get that right!

Point Number 15, affirmative action plan? Isn’t that akin to NEP? So, instead of doing away with any such plans, the Malaysians owe it to the Indians to have an affirmative action plan for them. If this were to happen (which I sincerely doubt), Malaysia will now possess two affirmative action plans, one for Bumiputeras and one for Indians.

Point Number 16, same as Point Number 3. Why the special treatment for Indians only? Aren’t we all Malaysians? Hindraf speaks of anti racism but attempts to garner special treatment for Indians only.

Point Number 17, one “favor” is spelt the Americanized way without the “u” and the other is the British way with the “u”. (Gosh, I sure am pedantic!) Anyway, the last sentence smacks of racism again. Why, oh why, the Indians only?

Point Number 18, that a minimum of 20 parliamentarians must be of Indian ancestry. Hello, this nation supports a democratic system and in a democratic system, parliamentarians are elected by the masses, not appointed. If Hindraf supposes that the Indian community supports them through and through, let them appoint a representative to contest in the elections and if the voters thi

Dr M not happy with liberalisation policy

(Bernama) PUTRAJAYA: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has admitted he is not happy with the liberalisation policy introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak as it will erode bumiputera interests.

He said while the New Economic Policy would not in any way hamper Malaysia’s development vis-a-vis other developing countries, the liberalisation process would stifle the progress of bumiputeras in the country.

“The fact is that the bumiputera quota has not been met, while that of non-bumiputeras has been increasing, and the new policy introduced will only worsen the situation,” he said yesterday when asked to comment on Najib’s administration.

Dr Mahathir, however, admitted that there were some good policies under Najib’s administration, for instance, the key performance indicators aimed at improving the performance of government leaders.
“This (current administration) is better than the previous administration,” he further said.

Dr Mahathir had earlier received a visit from a delegation of the Malaysia and Singapore Vintage Car Register (MSVCR) at the Perdana Leadership Foundation office.

The MSCVR was formed in 1955 by a group of vintage car buffs in Melaka and is still active throughout the country.

Pakatan rep calls Khir Toyo’s bluff

By Neville Spykerman - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 – The controversy over Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo’s brand-new palatial mansion in Shah Alam threatened to descend into farce today when Sekinchan assemblyman Ng Swee Lim offered to become the former Selangor mentri besar’s real estate agent to prove the property was worth RM24 million.

Ng had taken reporters yesterday to the site of Dr Mohd Khir’s new home — a Balinese-style resort-like home on two plots of land measuring over 50,000 sq ft or 1.17acres — and claimed the total cost of the property was estimated at RM24 million.

The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) man suggested that the former Barisan Nasional (BN) MB could not have been able to afford the home on his political income, and called for an investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

But Dr Mohd Khir denied any improprieties yesterday, and claimed he bought the house — which dwarfs the infamous Istana Zakaria built by the late Port Klang assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Md Deros — for only RM3.5 million.

Dr Mohd Khir also mocked Ng, and offered the PR man to be his real estate agent to sell the house for that amount, adding that he would give the latter half the money.

Today, Ng took up the challenge in an attempt to continue putting the spotlight on his political rival, who is currently the state opposition leader.

The PR man even asked Dr Mohd Khir to hand over the keys to the house.

Ng also continued to focus his attacks on Dr Mohd Khir’s finances, and argued that it was also not possible for the BN man to afford the RM3.5 million loan he claimed to have taken from HSBC to buy the mansion.

He alleged that Dr Mohd Khir would have to pay RM16,000 a month to service the loan, while his allowance as opposition leader was just over RM8,000 a month.

Police Escort for Wedding Car?

Letters
by Ganesh

It would be good for you to investigate an incident I saw. I was in Suabng Jaya, next to Taylor’s college roundabout this weekend, when I saw a wedding car pass by. What was ironic is that it had police escorts. They stopped traffic to let the wedding car pass by. In another car, there was a cameraman who was filming the wedding car.

I am quite shocked at this. The police got time to escort and give VIP treatment to a wedding car?

I do not know whose wedding it was but I am very sure it was not a Royal wedding, which is the only wedding that deserves a Police escort.

Here I am worried about my personal safety and my house getting robbed and suddenly I see several police outriders escorting a wedding car instead of patrolling my neighbourhood.

Whose wedding was this to deserve special police escort?

Who's afraid of sodomy?

By Farish Noor
thenutgraph.com

MASS hypocrisy season comes and goes in Malaysia with the regularity of the monsoon or the haze. While we entertain the polite fiction of being a semi-civilised nation with a few shopping malls, we conveniently forget that ours is a political culture mired in the mores and norms of hypocrisy.

The public display of normative religiosity on the part of our politicians is pedestrian at best. Often this gets reduced to the level of amateur theatrics, where dressing up in the role of a person of God is good enough to get you elected.

Yet, look at how we deal with the issues that touch upon the most intimate and private aspects of our lives, and we will see this hypocrisy laid bare.

Despite the efforts of the country's liberal intellectuals, activists and non-governmental organisations, it cannot be denied that the private sphere is slowly but surely shrinking. Issues that should otherwise remain private — be they citizens' dietary habits or their private sex lives — have been brought into the public domain to be discussed, monitored and ultimately policed.

As we all know, we are about to witness a second round of sordid revelations, speculation, gossip and disinformation about one particular politician, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Thanks to the allegations of sodomy that have been made against him yet again, we need to brace ourselves for the tide of unsolicited information and private details that would otherwise be dismissed as trivia and nonsense in many other countries.

It has been argued by some that the Malaysian public ought to be spared yet another spectacle of public enquiry and tabloid humiliation that would further compromise the standards of public decency in the country. (To which I would add, what standards of public decency do we have left?)


Anwar
Those of us who remember the details of Anwar's first sodomy-related trial may recall the embarrassing and lurid details. It was also a case of unsolicited sexual education for many young Malaysians then who perhaps learnt of words like "liwat" and "sodomy" for the first time. Those who have since forgotten what sodomy is will soon be given a refresher course. No doubt by the end of this second spectacle, our public knowledge of the details of anal intercourse would have improved tremendously.

What irks me, though, is that in the midst of this hullabaloo, the very subject that is to be discussed in excruciating detail remains stigmatised and cast in terms of liminality. It is as if it is so repulsive that it can only be referred to in the most oblique of terms.

The real problem

The politicians have, understandably, their own stated ambitions and agendas, and that is clear for all to see. A man has been accused (maliciously, some maintain) of committing an act that is deemed unnatural and illegal, for the sake of crippling his political career and removing him from the political landscape. The aim, therefore, is to save him from these accusations and rescue his political career.

Whatever the outcome of the trial that is now set to be heard in the High Court, it would seem that most parties involved are primarily concerned about Anwar's political fate, rather than the act itself and its standing vis-à-vis the law.

Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that Anwar will be found innocent and let off the hook, however likely or unlikely that may be. What would happen immediately after the final judgment has been passed? A victory celebration and a sigh of collective relief? By whom and on what grounds?

Political necessity dictates that a politician who has been framed must be helped, and given all the support he or she needs to extricate himself or herself from such a situation. But ethical consistency also dictates that we look beyond the particularities of such a singular case, and understand the full impact of a law that affects the lives and loves of thousands of other citizens, too.

Contest the law

Apart from civil society groups that have struggled for gender equality, hardly any of the country's mainstream political parties have ever bothered to highlight that some laws in Malaysia governing sexual difference and activities are antiquated. They do not, and perhaps never did, reflect the reality of sexual life in Malaysia.


(Pic by hisks / sxc.hu)
It was not too long ago that another politician — this time from the Barisan Nasional — was not only scandalised through videos of his private sex life, but also threatened with laws and regulations that see oral sex as being unnatural.

Then again, the politicians among us were more inclined to help their friend get off the hook rather than to state the obvious: that the laws against oral sex date back to the British colonial era. Similar laws have been discarded in many of the former colonies. And where they are still kept, they are used only when it serves the interests of certain political party groups.

So, while Anwar supporters come to his defence, no politician of note has had the courage to state bluntly that Malaysia has outdated laws in a country where a healthy degree of oral and anal sex is taking place, and has always taken place.

Are we to accept this prevalent attitude among our politicians who can cry "sodomy!" only when it suits their interests, but who would otherwise be quite content to allow the prevailing status quo to remain unchallenged?

And if the thrust of the campaign in Anwar's second sodomy trial is merely to save the reputation of one politician, then what of the thousands of gays and other sexual minorities? Will our fellow citizens have to forever live with the constant threat of such laws being brought to bear upon them in their private lives?

As a political historian, I understand the vicissitudes of politics and why politicians behave the way they do out of necessity and survival. But let us not forget that saving the career of one politician should not distract us from the equally pressing need to highlight the weakness and redundancy of laws that have rendered the lives of others miserable, too. And that includes the closet gay members of Umno, PAS, Parti Keadilan Rakyat et. al. who should know better than to keep silent now.

The two struggles are not mutually exclusive, but instead complementary. Saving someone from an accusation of sodomy should never mean relegating the act of sodomy to a negative register.

Police

By The Nut Graph team
thenutgraph.com

Image of a police barrier in Dataran Merdeka

A PICTURE paints a thousand words, but how can one paint an accurate picture of the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM)? After all, none other than Inspector General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Musa Hassan has been a regular headline grabber over the past year.

When he came into power in 2004, then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi saw to the setting up of the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysian Police.

In May 2005, the commission came up with 125 recommendations to improve PDRM. One of the recommendations was for an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to be set up.

Fast forward exactly one year later. With the IPCMC still unimplemented, PDRM in its internal bulletin Berita Bukit Aman alleged that the IPCMC was "unconstitutional, prejudicial to national security and public order, [could] cause a state of anarchy and [undermine] the ruling coalition's power." Its views were echoed by de facto law minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz in Parliament on 30 June 2009.

Things have pretty much gone downhill if police actions are any indicator. In the run-up to the March 2008 general election, PDRM gained notoriety for clamping down on all manner of peaceful public assemblies — whether on electoral reforms, the plight of Indian Malaysians, or for human rights in general.

And since the March 2008 elections, PDRM started to appear even more in the news, but for all the wrong reasons. A brief chronology is in order:

13 Nov 2008: The IGP warns non-Muslims to stop challenging the National Fatwa Council's ruling that tomboyism was haram. He says the police "will take stern action as it involves national security."

16 Dec 2008: Thirty people are arrested in the "Cycling for Change" campaign, organised by the Oppressed People's Network (Jerit). Among others, the campaign called for a minimum wage act to be introduced, and for the Internal Security Act (ISA) to be abolished.

20 Jan 2009: A Kugan, 22, who was arrested on 15 Jan 2009 on suspicion of being involved in the theft of luxury cars, dies in police custody. An initial autopsy report states that the death was due to fluid accumulation in the lungs. Three days later, Attorney-General (AG) Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail classifies Kugan's death in police custody as murder. A second autopsy finds that Kugan was beaten to death.

28 Feb 2009: Police use water cannons to disperse a crowd of about 300 people who had gathered to lodge a mass report against the alleged mistreatment of former ISA detainee P Uthayakumar.

7 Mar 2009: Riot police fire teargas at hundreds of people who try to march towards Istana Negara, protesting the policy of using English to teach Science and Mathematics.


Police at the 7 March protest

11 Mar 2009: The government tables the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) Bill that promises a beefed-up body to probe complaints against enforcement agencies, including the police. This is despite criticisms that the EAIC will have no teeth, and more calls for the IPCMC Bill to be tabled instead.

5 May 2009: Political scientist Wong Chin Huat is arrested for sedition for writing several articles, including on the 1BLACKMalaysia campaign. Wong's arrest is the first of what amounts to a crackdown on more than 100 activists, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders and lawyers in less than 72 hours, including those gathered in front of the Perak state assembly on 7 May.

27 May 2009: Deputy IGP Tan Sri Ismail Omar says the ISA is still relevant to curb threats to the country's security and economy but is not meant to oppress anyone.

15 June 2009: A suspected thief is found dead in a lock-up in Damansara police station after a guard noticed the 53-year-old man lying flat beside the toilet.

21 June 2009: Police withdraw a permit for a dinner-cum-ceramah by the DAP in Klang at the very last minute. On the same day, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein says he will revisit the 125 recommendations made by the royal commission in 2005, hinting that this is because the recommendations have not been implemented properly. Two days later, Hishammuddin backtracks, and says that instead of revisiting the 125 recommendations, the ministry will instead think of a "new strategy" to "boost public confidence" in PDRM.

24 June 2009: Nazri says the AG's Chambers will not take any action against the perpetrators of A Kugan's death before 21 Aug 2009. On the same day, police in Selangor deny the DAP a permit, yet again, to hold a dinner gathering with speeches at Taman Sri Sungai Pelek Community Hall on 25 June.

What? Nothing about snatch thieves, rapists, wife-beaters and actual, real-life criminals? But there it is — the headlines speak for themselves. It does seem, though, that reducing all of this to Six Words on the police is not going to be easy.

Well, "Nut" is not The Nut Graph's middle name for nothing — we believe it can be done. Paint your picture of the Royal Malaysia Police in only six words. Here are some of The Nut Graph's humble attempts:

Cindy Tham:

Moto polis: "Tegas, Adil, dan Berhemah."

Deborah Loh:

Childhood ambition. Then I grew up.

Pay them higher salaries, less corruption?

Police need diversity and gender training.

Gan Pei Ling:

Children's hero. People's fear. Politicians' puppet.

Double standards for powerful and powerless.

When is Musa going to resign?

Jacqueline Ann Surin:

Snatch thieves rule! Where's the police?

We need a new police force.

Reform, reform, reform, reform, reform, reform.

Arrest candlelight vigilers. Water cannon dinners.

Beat them to death in detention.

Would you trust a police officer?

Lainie Yeoh:

Police behave like raja di Malaysia.

Nick Choo:

Placing Our Lives In Corrupt Enforcers.

Uniforms do not equate absolute authority.

Focus on vehicular congestion, not human.

May the force be with you.

Shanon Shah:

Easier to arrest than reform democracy.

Arrest now, ask questions later. Understand?

1Malaysia, many laws, no IPCMC, 1PDRM.

Who needs a military coup anyway?

Aktivis lebih bahaya daripada perogol bersiri!

I see dead people ... in detention.

Desperate politicians call for desperate enforcement.

BN's biggest public relations disaster yet.

The good ones need positive support.

Zedeck Siew:

"Maaf encik. Can buy you tea?"

Manek Urai showdown


Scenes from nomination day yesterday for the Manek Urai by-election in Kelantan.

This looks as if it’s going to be closely contested campaign.

MIC Wants An Indian To Head Indian Studies Department

KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 (Bernama) -- MIC president Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu said on Tuesday the party wants a commitment from Universiti Malaya that an Indian will head its Indian Studies Department following the uproar over the decision to appoint a non-Indian.

Expressing shock and dismay over the university's decision to replace Dr S. Kumaran with a non-Indian in the post, he said the party wanted an assurance from the university that it would not "make the same mistake" in the future.

He was, however, pleased that Vice-Chancellor Datuk Ghauth Jasmon had assured Human Resources Minister and MIC secretary-general Datuk Dr S.Subramaniam that the matter would be resolved amicably.

Following the appointment of a non-Indian to the post, several leaders of non-governmental organisations had called on the university to rescind the appointment.

Samy Vellu said in a statement that the Indians in the then Malaya and Singapore had struggled to set up the department.

"Today, the department is considered the Indian community's cultural heritage and part of our history in this country.

"It reflects our prestige and as such, it does not make sense for a non-Indian to head the department."

Samy Vellu said he would raise the matter with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak should there be no solution to the problem.

Noting that part of the problem was due to non-cooperation among Indians in the department, he urged them, especially academicians and lecturers, to work together and ensure its survival.

Khir's new 'Bali-theme palace'

Straight fight in Manek Urai

K Sujatha Death Inquest

Title: K Sujatha Death Inquest
Location: Magistrate Court 2 Jalan Duta Kuala Lumpur
Description: YB S Manikavasagam , MP Kapar Vs Samy Velu Son. Please come and show your moral support.
Start Date: 2009-07-09
Start Time: 9:30
End Date: 2009-07-10

The Kampung Buah Pala Controversy

Uthayakumar is proficient in manipulating issues and provoking emotions. This time, he could take advantage of the Kampung Buah Pala controversy to promote his new party. It is like a gift falling from the sky!

By TAY TIAN YAN/ Translate by SOONG PHUI JEE/ Sin Chew Daily

The Kampung Buah Pala dispute is a typical example of urban development contradictions. However, it may turn into a racial issue if it is not carefully handled.

There has been a rumour spreading around the village and even the Indian community: “The Chinese state government and the Malay developer are seizing the Indians’ land.”

Of course it is nonsense. But such simple and sensational logic would easily incite the people.

Kampung Buah Pala is a historical village as it was built 150 years ago when the British East India companies brought in Indian workers. Its villagers were plantation workers and cattlemen.

From the cultural perspective, it is a microcosm of the Indian immigrant community, which has a certain historical value.

However, just like other places, it is facing the development problem. The former state government has given permission to the developer to build apartments here. But the project was opposed by the residents and Indian associations.

The then opposition DAP supported the residents and pleaded to retain the village.

The hardest part of commitments would be how to fulfill them. Perhaps, DAP had never thought of how to fulfil it when they made the commitment.

Several months ago, the developer obtained a court order and the controversy broke out when the developer officials came to the village.

The situation turned tenser when the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) stepped in. Perhaps, Hindraf has its own agenda. Its spiritual leader P. Uthayakumar is soon going to form a political party.

Uthayakumar is proficient in manipulating issues and provoking emotions. This time, he could take advantage of the Kampung Buah Pala controversy to promote his new party. It is like a gift falling from the sky!

It launched a protest asking the state government to forcibly acquire the land for public purpose under the Land Acquisition Act and compensate the developer to get back Kampung Buah Pala for the villagers.

It is imposing a difficult task on the state government. Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said that such a move will bankrupt the state government.

Lim asked the federal government to acquire the land from the cooperative and the developer as it was the former state government that started the issue.

We can imagine that the federal government will say: “What is it to do with me?”

Lim will have to face the reality and find out a feasible way to resolve the problem. Otherwise, he will have to face a counterattack from the Indian community.

In order to resolve the dispute, they should first prevent the issue being racialised and prepare for a balanced plan in terms of the development prospective, the rights and interests of the residents, as well cultural preservation.

For example, as they have to respect the developer’s legal status, they may give the residents reasonable compensations and build a cultural relic. Perhaps, it is an approach acceptable to all the parties.

Mohan Singh given Islamic burial

KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 – After over a month-long tussle for his remains, Mohan Singh, 41, was accorded an Islamic burial today.

Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) public relations officer Rohana Hassan said the body of Mohan, whose Muslim name was Mohammad Hazzery Shah Mohan Abdullah, was brought out of the Sungai Buloh Hospital mortuary at 6pm and taken to his mother's house in Selayang Jaya to give an opportunity to his family members to pay their last respects.

His remains were then buried at the Taman Batu Muda Muslim Cemetry in Batu Caves near here at 9pm, she said when contacted by Bernama.

Mohan, an art director, had converted to Islam on Aug 11, 1992, without the knowledge of his family, leading to a tussle between his family and Mais for his remains after he died on May 25 of a heart attack at his home in Damansara Damai, Petaling Jaya.

The Shah Alam Civil High Court today determined that he had indeed converted to Islam and rejected his family’s application to allow him a funeral according to Sikh rites.

The family was allowed to spend 30 minutes with his remains.

The press was barred from the house and security was tight throughout. – Bernama

Najib washes federal hands of Buah Pala case

KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today the Kampung Buah Pala land tussle must be settled by the Penang state government, passing the buck back to the DAP-led Pakatan Rakyat (PR) administration in what is turning into a racial powder keg.

The Penang state government said yesterday it would be writing to Najib to seek assistance from the federal government to take over the piece of prime land.

A small number of families in Kampung Buah Pala, in the Glugor area of Penang, are facing eviction after a private developer won outright ownership of the land recently.

But a number of Hindu Rights Action Front (Hindraf) activists have seized on the residents’ predicament, and turned the dispute into a racial issue.

Today, Najib said the residents’ predicament was a state matter and should be settled at the state government level. The prime minister’s remarks shut the door on the possibility of any federal intervention.

He said the federal government wanted to avoid involving itself in the issue of helping the residents of Kampung Buah Pala as it considers land a state matter and intervention would also open the door for many other similar cases to seek federal government help.

“Land is a state matter and if we intervene, it would create a precedent and we would be asked to intervene in many other cases,” Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak told reporters today.

The Penang state government has already said it would be too costly to acquire the land, and let the residents – mostly Indian cowherds – continue staying there.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state government could not afford the high cost of taking over the land to enable 23 families to continue occupying the area.

He had hoped the federal government could assist in acquiring the land from Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang and pay compensation to developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd.

No quick resolution to the controversy is now in sight, with certain Hindraf leaders ratcheting up the rhetoric against the Penang government with plans to use the issue as a cause célèbre to revive the group’s own flagging fortunes.

Conflicting reports from residents say the disputed land had been held in trust for their use. The trust was apparently set up by the previous colonial-era owners of the land.

The nature and conditions of the trust has not been disclosed, but legal experts say such documents cannot be enforced in perpetuity.

But it has also been reported that the property had been converted into Temporary Occupation License (TOL) land after independence.

The land was eventually sold and alienated to the new owners during the tenure of the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

It was reported that, following a lawsuit, the Federal Court had declared the residents had no locus standi, or legal standing, to lay claim to the land.

But since the involvement of Hindraf, the controversy has taken on emotional and racial overtones.

It is unclear if residents want to continue staying on the land or if they want better compensation than what has been offered by the developers.

Manek Urai: Nomination Day on Telephoto - Kickdefella

Nomination Day_0024

Nomination Day_0055Daddy Bernard a.k.a Zorro

Nomination Day_0117

Nomination Day_0187

Nomination Day_0041

Kepong MP YB Dr. Tan of DAP and Kelantan State Exco, YB Fatah

Nomination Day_0061Prayers From The Top

Nomination Day_0110

Nomination Day_0070

Nomination Day_0132The Commander in Chief

Nomination Day_0154Man of The Moment, The candidate for PAS

Nomination Day_0155

Hehehe…. Who let the dog out!

Nomination Day_0181

Brother M

For more photos of Manek Urai, please visit my flickr site here

The joker in the pack : Koh Tsu Koon

By Haris Ibrahim,

If Tsu Koon ever got tired of politics, the race-based kind or otherwise, and wanted to move on to something else, I always thought he would do well as a stand-up comedian.

In fact, quite a few in BN would do extremely well.

Koh Tsu KhoonI don’t mean to make fun of a person’s looks, but don’t you think that if he was slightly worked over in the studion, he could very well stand in as Malaysia’s own Mr. Bean?

Anyway, NSTonline today amply confirmed that Tsu Koon is definitely ‘funny man’ material.

In relation to the ongoing Kampung Lorong Buah Pala land dispute, Tsu Koon is reported to have rebuked Guan Eng for trying to pass the buck and said that the present CM of Penang should just get on with the job.

“When they (the current Penang state government) can’t do something, they will blame either the previous state or Federal Government. That is the trick of their trade”, Tsu Koon said.

Good one, Tsu Koon!

Can’t stop laughing!

A challenge to Uthayakumar : Come together as one and secure justice and equality for all


By Haris Ibrahim

The following are excerpts from a post here on 28th November, 2007 :

“… in substance, both Hindraf and the ‘One People, One Nation’ initiative desire the same thing.

We are, therefore, not opponents.

BN and its ‘divide and rule’ blueprint is our common enemy.

….The Hindraf leadership, I hope, will forgive me for this observation, and that is, that Hindraf has thus far taken an isolationist approach in pursuing its cause.

Perhaps, until Sunday, circumstances made it necessary.

The danger that we face now is that, if we pursue our respective strategies and methods independent of each other rather than working together on a common strategy, neither will get anywhere and the current status quo will remain.

In all humility, I say that if Hindraf is to take the cause that it now champions to its desired end, it must now change course.

I ask the Hindraf leadership to reflect upon this with an open heart.

My friends and I would welcome with open arms the Hindraf leadership to come together as one and secure justice and equality for all”.

News reports have it that Uthaya has been very critical of both DAP and PKR in that they are said to have done little for the marginalised Indians post the 12th GE.

It is also reported that Uthaya is in the process of applying to register a new political party called PAHAM.

Here, then, is the challenge to Uthaya.

Register PAHAM as a multi-racial party.

Make the stated objectives of PAHAM, not the championing of merely the marginalised Indians, but every marginalised anak Bangsa Malaysia.

Do that, Uthaya, and then join the political fray and teach Pakatan Rakyat the A to Z of how to rid this country of race-based politics.

Do that, Uthaya, and you and HINDRAF would have taken a huge leap from 25/11/2007.

Non-Indian heading Indian Studies Research in University Malaya

Monday, July 06, 2009
University Malaya Indian studies research department head Dr. Kumaran was removed from his position before the expiry of his contract and a non-Indian has taken over his position, according to Makkal Osai report today.


MIC deputy president hopeful S Subramaniam has expressed shock and condemned the UM authorities for their move in appointing a non-Indian to head Indian studies.

“UM ought to explain the entire Indian community for their decision”, said Subra.

After a long struggle by a renowned Tamil patriot, K Sarangapani , Indian studies was established in UM, much to the chagrin of Neelakanda Sasthri who proposed Sanskrit.

The Indian community is boiling over Kampong Buah Pala.

Now, another explosive issue which will certainly be a rallying point for Hindraf brothers: Uthayakumar and Waythamoorthy

 um
makkal osai 060709

Kg Buah Pala a state not federal issue: Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, 6 July 2009: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the federal government will not intervene in the Kampung Buah Pala issue as it was a matter that had to be dealt with by the Penang government.

Asked to comment on reports that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng would write a letter to seek assistance from the federal government to resolve the issue, Najib said that since land was a state matter, the Kampung Buah Pala issue would be under the purview of state authorities.

"If we are to intervene, it would create a major precedent and we will be asked to intervene in other cases as well," he told reporters after the groundbreaking ceremony for the 50-storey Naza Group office tower here.

Lim reportedly said the assistance Penang was seeking from the federal government concerned the acquisition of a piece of land from Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang, and the payment of compensation to developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd to enable the 23 families to continue staying in Kampung Buah Pala.

Kampung Buah Pala residents would have to vacate the land after the Federal Court dismissed their appeal to remain in the area, which they have been occupying for a long time. They refused to move out, and had asked the Penang state government to intervene to resolve the problem. — Bernama

Investigate allegations on temple demolitions: Kedah Gerakan Youth

ALOR STAR, 6 July 2009: Kedah Gerakan Youth today called on Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak to set up an independent body to investigate the DAP's allegation that the state government would demolish some Hindu and Chinese temples in the state.


Tan (File pic)
Its head, Tan Keng Liang, said Azizan should do this immediately to prove whether the allegation was true or not.

"This is a serious allegation, and the outcome of the investigation should be announced to the public," he told Bernama here today.

He said Azizan should not delay by saying he himself did not know of the alleged state government's decision to demolish Hindu and Chinese temples.

Azizan was also reported to have said the DAP was trying to incite racial hatred towards the PAS-led state government.

Recently, Kedah/Perlis DAP chairperson Thomas Su repeated his claim that he had proof of the government's decision to demolish some Hindu and Chinese temples.

He said the menteri besar should take the matter seriously and not accuse the DAP of inciting racial hatred by raising the issue.

The Kedah DAP also recently made a shocking announcement of wanting to withdraw from the Pakatan Rakyat state government over alleged unfair treatment of the DAP in the alliance, and the demolishment of a pig abattoir in Taman Berjaya here by the Alor Star City Council. — Bernama

Opinion sharply split on Pg govt’s hill-slope management

By Anil Netto

It looks as if you are sharply divided on how well the Penang government has handled the issue of property development projects on steep hill-slopes, if the opinion poll (now closed) on this blog is any indication.

Are you satisfied with how the present Penang administration has handled steep hill-slope projects?

  • Very dissatisfied (28.0%, 89 Votes)
  • Very satisfied (28.0%, 88 Votes)
  • Somewhat satisfied (19.0%, 62 Votes)
  • Somewhat dissatisfied (16.0%, 50 Votes)
  • Not sure (10.0%, 31 Votes)

Total Voters: 320

Loading ... Loading ...

It is interesting to see public opinion polarised between “very satisfied” and “very dissatisfied”.

The Penang state government should take note of the sizeable discontentment and act accordingly.

THE MODERN MIDDLE KINGDOM II


1. I am gratified that so many Singaporeans know minute details regarding the price of water (raw and treated) and the negotiations that took place.

2. True, I did not negotiate successfully the increase of the 3 sen per 1000 gallons of raw water. You know why? If we demand an increase to 6 sen (100%), Singapore would increase the treated water price to RM1.00 (100%). Of course if we increase to RM6.00 Singapore would demand an increase to 50 x 2000% = RM100.00.

3. Yes, Malaysia profited by buying treated water at 50 sen. Malaysia's entitlement was only 12% of the raw water it sold to Singapore. The cost of treatment is not RM2.40 as alleged. It was only RM1.20. However, since the Singapore dollar has appreciated against the Malaysian Ringgit from being at par to RM2.40, the same cost to Singapore would now be about 2.4 times the original RM1.20.

4. By the same token, when Singapore pays 3 sen to Malaysians, in Singapore dollars it is only 0.42 sen (less than 1 sen for 1000 gallons).

5. At the original cost agreed upon Malaysia benefited by 70 sen per 1000 gallons of treated water but only on 12% of the raw water sold.

6. Assuming that Malaysia sells 100 million gallons to Singapore, it would pay RM3,000. Malaysia's purchase of 12,000,000 gallons would be RM6,000. Despite the discount, Malaysia would have to pay Singapore RM6,000 while Singapore would pay Malaysia RM3,000. It looks like Singapore would pay Malaysia with the money it earns from selling water to Malaysia and still have money to spare.

7. The negotiations failed because Singapore wanted more water beyond 2060. We could not agree to commit the future generations of Malaysians to something that could be to their disadvantage.

8. The price of treated water to the citizens of Singapore is very high compared to the 0.42 of one sen paid by Singapore for 1000 gallons plus the cost of treatment.

9. It is clear that for every day the water agreement remains in place, the Singapore Government stands to gain a huge sum of money from selling water to the people of Singapore.

10. By 2011 the first agreement would lapse. But the second agreement would lapse only in 2060. Singapore can enjoy 0.42 of one cent per 1000 gallons for another 51 years.

11. Since the present Malaysian Government has generously decided to stop discussions with Singapore on all outstanding issues, Singapore would continue to benefit from all the outstanding issues with Malaysia. Yet Malaysia willingly gave up its naval base at Woodlands without asking for any compensation for the facilities owned by Malaysia there.

12. Lee Kuan Yew is right. By Malaysian Government's consent Malaysia is Singapore's hinterland and subject to Singapore Government's largesse. Singaporeans need not worry. You will continue to pay 0.42% of 1 sen for 1000 gallons of raw water until 2060. It is Malaysia's gift to Singapore.

Subra Pleased Over UM's Vice-Chancellor's Assurance

KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 (Bernama) -- Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said he was pleased that the Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Malaya, Datuk Ghauth Jasmon, had assured him that a matter involving the appointment of the university's Head of the Indian Studies Department would be resolved quickly.

In a statement Monday, the minister, who is also the Secretary-General of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), said he had spoken to Ghauth to request that a suitable Indian lecturer be appointed to the post.

In response to news reports that the department's former head, Dr S. Kumaran, had been replaced by a non-Indian from the same university, Dr Subramaniam said the appointment of a non-Indian to the post had created uneasiness and unhappiness among the Indian community.

The minister said Ghauth had agreed to resolve the matter as soon as possible.

Dr Subramaniam said Ghauth had told him that Dr Kumaran's replacement was an administrative issue but promised to look into the minister's request seriously.

The minister said he attributed the problem to the lack of co-operation among the teaching faculty of the department concerned.

The reality of political involvement

An intresting write up by By Baradan Kuppusamy
KARAK, July 5 — While many of her compatriots in DAP celebrated their party's best ever electoral results last March, Kamache Dorai Rajoo counted the cost of her 145-vote loss in the Sabai state seat, and made a life-changing decision.

decided to leave her husband behind in Kuantan and uprooted the rest of her family — her mother and two children — to this small town at the foothills of Genting Highlands. The 39-year-old would stay back to fight for a chance to be elected by the people of this small town.
More than a year later — she now has a permanent service centre she mans with party volunteers — many locals are behaving like her constituents and flock to her office for help.
With the help of her 68-year-old mother Mariyamal, whom she sees as her biggest inspiration in life, Kamache continues her campaign to get elected.

Although a one street town, Kamache's new home has a Chinese new village, a KFC and MacDonald’s outlet and two police stations one at each end of the town, reminiscence of the days when it was a communist hotbed.

Her husband is putting up in Kuantan where he works as a senior supervisor with an oil palm mill belonging to Sime Darby and although he has applied for a transfer to Karak he has little chance of getting it, says Kamache.

She is determined to stay in Karak despite the odds.
“In Kuantan only my husband needs me but here in Karak the many people need me,” she said.
“They face numerous problems and see me as their Wakil Rakyat and come to me for help even though I lost,” Kamache said. “I can’t let them down.”

“I intend to stay here for good even though it is a struggle to stay afloat,” said Kamache in fluent English.

The 10th in a family of 11 children, Kamache studied in a Tamil school, picked up English working as a receptionist, was a ground staff for a German airline and is currently doing a masters in English with the Open University.

But it has all been downhill since she uprooted from Kuantan and set up camp in Karak in the Sabai constituency with about 10,000 voters.
She gave up a lucrative job teaching English that paid about RM8, 000 a month when she moved to Karak.

“I persuaded my husband to let me go as I was determined. After drifting in life I have found my vocation in life. Politics, serving the people, fighting for justice...these are what I want to do,” she said.

“One day I would want to take a seat in Parliament. This is my dream,” she said. For the moment it is a uphill battle.

After landing in Karak she looked for a job and has yet to land one.
She rents a house in Karak for RM500 a month and her service centre cost RM350 a month.
Unlike in Kuantan where she taught tuition for a handsome fee, in Karak she is teaching English for free as part of the DAP's service to the constituents.
Without a steady job or business Kamache is finding it tough to pay the rent. Her savings is fast depleting.

Her mother is helping out from her pension along with her husband who earns about RM4,000 a month.He also pays the monthly instalment for their house in Kuantan and for a Chevrolet 1.8 Optra that was bought during the good times in Kuantan.

“I can last another month or two but after that only a miracle can save us,” she said.
To make ends meet the family drastically scaled down their lifestyles.
Her daughter Venosha, 15, has given up on school tuition and Indian classical dance lessons. Before they were chauffeured to school now they take the school bus.
The credit cards have been shelved and a upcoming trip to Budapest, on July 14, for a eight-day political training stint has also been cancelled.

"I tried to raise money for the trip but there’s just not enough,” Kamache said with a trace of regret.On the personal front, her health is not balmy. Her asthma has started to act up with the cooler and wetter weather in Karak and in addition she suffers from a live long battle with psoriasis, a skin disease which is suppressed by taking steroids. “Why do you think I always wear longs sleaves,” she joked adding “I have spent over RM200,000 in my life for a permanent cure but without success.”

The amazing thing is that it never crossed her mind to give it all up and go back to the secure and comfortable life she had in Kuantan. “I am not a quitter and besides I am needed here. There are so many issues and problems I have taken up. I cannot just walk away,” Kamache said.“I have fought all my life. I have survived one personal crisis after another. I don’t plan to give up,” Kamache said. “I can’t abandon the people here.” It was not always like this with her.
Although the family started poor on her father’s small income as a civil servant, she managed to get educated up to A-levels first in Ipoh and later in Jelapang where they moved on her father’s retirement in 1989.

They lived in a squatter settlement outside town.
“I worked in numerous places — at a hotel in Langkawi, as ground stewardess and as receptionist in Klang,” she said.

Her political initiation came one day in 1990 when she attended a forum on the plight of the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Meru, near Klang.
“That forum changed my outlook about myself and the world,” she said.
“That’s when I realised one had to look beyond self and one had to speak up against injustice.”
That realisation made her take an active interest in human rights issues and get involved in the struggle for freedom of minorities.

It was during this period that she got involved in the setting of the Tamil Foundation, an NGO that promoted Tamil education and culture.
Through this activity Kamache met activists lawyers like P. Pasupathy, M. Manoharan (currently Tamil Foundation chairman and Teluk Intan MP) and M. Kulasegaran (MP Ipoh Barat).

In the run up to the March 8 general election the DAP was keen to promote Indian women to stand for election as the party had never fielded one before.
Naturally Kamache, with her speaking talents and experience with grassroots rights activities was a natural choice.

“I was reluctant but was persuaded to take the plunge by YB Kula,” Kamache said. She was presented to the DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang and secretary general Lim Guan Eng and they were agreeable for Kamache to contest in the Sabai state seat.
“I arrived with my two children and my mother one day before parliament was dissolved (on Feb 13, 2008),” she said. “This was the first time I had stepped foot in Karak.”
The four of them slept on the floor of the DAP office in Karak for the next 25 days running a chaotic campaign with the help of the local DAP leaders against the well oiled campaign by BN candidate Datuk M Davendran.

On polling day she swept the urban votes but lost the bulk of the votes in Felda Serting. Overall she lost by a narrow 145 votes. “I cried for days, my mother cried, by children cried, DAP party workers cried. We were so close and yet we were defeated,” Kamache said recalling the agony of defeat.

Three days after the defeat she met her husband and told him she had made up her mind to return to Karak, set up office and serve the people and fight on.
Her husband agreed.Her financial woes are just one of the many battles she faces.
She fights the bureaucracy, headquartered in Bentong about 30 minutes from Karak, for everything — health services to garbage collection, problems with birth certificates and provision of basic amenities.

“I don’t have time even to read the newspapers,” she said adding she is “vaguely” aware about the issues in Buah Pala village in Penang. “I have my hands full here.”
“Unlike before the DAP has to fight on several fronts now. We fight for all Malaysians. We are not perfect but we stay the course,” she said.

Email Rozmal : India P.Pinang jauh lebih bertuah dari Melayu Rembau

Berikut ialah petikan email dari seorang teman , email ini bagi che'GuBard agak tidak setuju kerana mengambil kira perbezaan berdasarkan kaum. Namun ingin dikongsi di sini untuk tatapan semua dan untuk difikirkan semula.

Untung betul jadi orang India di Malaysia ni. Malang sungguh jadi orang Melayu di Malaysia ini. Lebih malang lagi Melayu di Negeri Sembilan, lagi lagi malang Melayu di Rembau.

Melayu di Rembau juga akan kehilangan tanah tempat tinggal mereka. Bukan tanah haram, bukan tanah kerajaan , tapi tanah adat yang diwarisi sejak berates-ratus tahun.

Namun nasib Melayu Rembau tidak mendapat liputan media seperti nasib India di Kg Buah Pala , Pulau Pinang.

Lebih malang lagi Surau yang akan dirobohkan di Rembau kerana memberi laluan kepada pembangunan juga tidak diberi perhatian media. Bukan media asing , bukan CNN , bukan Al Jazeera , tapi Utusan, Berita, TV3, TV1 dan sewaktu dengannya seolah-olah meminggirkan nasib Melayu N.Sembilan.

Wajarkah Korbankan DEB Kerana Undi Minoriti?

A Kadir Jasin

[Komen menggunakan pengenalan anonymous TIDAK AKAN DILAYAN. Sila gunakan nama sebenar atau nama samaran. Jikalau menggunakan anonymous, sila nyatakan nama di penghujung komen. Ulasan yang mengandungi unsur fitnah, hasutan, perkauman dan bahasa kesat tidak akan disiarkan. Ulasan yang terkeluar daripada tajuk tidak akan diberi keutamaan.]

TERIMA kasih kepada pembahas dan pembaca yang menghayati puisi mudah saya dalam posting lalu. Saya tidak pandai bermadah dan berbahasa tinggi dan indah. Itulah yang mampu saya luahkan untuk melepaskan sebak di dada dan berkongsi rasa.

Terima kasih kepada yang turut berpuisi dan berpantun seloka. Khazanah bahasa ini jangan kita lupa. Madah pujangga dan tunjuk ajar pendeta jangan dipersia-senda.

Ekoran daripada reaksi yang membina kepada posting itu, izinkan saya meneruskan perbincangan mengenai Dasar Ekonomi Baru atau saki bakinya yang nampaknya amat tidak disenangi oleh sesetengah pihak. Mohon maaf jika tampalan kali ini lebih panjang daripada biasa.

Saya hendak mulakan dengan bertanya: Selama 30 tahun Dasar Ekonomi Baru berkuat kuasa, adakah ia menyekat perkembangan ekonomi negara?

Jawabnya tidak. Malah kerana pelaksanaan matlamat-matlamat dan program-program DEBlah, ekonomi Malaysia berkembang pesat.

Keluaran Dalam Negara Kasar (GDP) meningkat daripada RM12 bilion pada tahun 1970 kepada RM120 bilion 1995 dan RM357.9 bilion 2007, menjadikan ekonomi Malaysia ke-29 terbesar di dunia.

Adakah ia menyekat kemajuan kaum-kaum bukan Bumiputera dan membantutkan kemasukan modal asing seperti yang didakwa oleh begitu banyak pihak sehingga membuatkan sesetengah pembesar Umno berasa bersalah dan defensif?

Pun tidak. Kadar kemiskinan dikurangkan dan pendapatan semua kaum meningkat. Tetapi pendapatan kaum-kaum bukan Bumiputera, khasnya Cina meningkat dengan lebih pantas kerana mereka menguasai dunia perdagangan dan profesionalisme.

Jurang Miskin-Kaya Meluas

Malah jurang pendapatan antara yang miskin dan kaya menjadi luas semula sejak beberapa tahun kebelakangan ini apabila kemunculan kegiatan baru ekonomi seperti perkhidmatan (services) dan teknologi maklumat dan telekomunikasi (ICT) lebih menguntungkan sesetengah kaum dan golongan pekerja.

Laporan Rancangan Pembangunan Manusia Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (UNHDP) tahun 2004 mendapati 10 peratus rakyat Malaysia yang paling kaya menguasai 38.4 peratus daripada pendapatan ekonomi berbanding 10 peratus paling miskin menguasai hanya 1.7 peratus.

Kita semua tahu siapa dan kaum mana paling kaya di Malaysia dan siapa pula yang paling miskin di negara kita ini. Malah jurang antara yang kaya dengan yang miskin dalam kaum yang sama turut meningkat.

Bumiputera tidak mencapai matlamat 30 peratus pemilikan kekayaan korporat. Mengikut perangkaan rasmi, pada tahun 2006, pemilikan Bumiputera pada nilai pasaran dalam syarikat-syarikat yang tersenarai di Bursa Malaysia dianggarkan RM88.4 bilion atau 15.1 peratus.

Tetapi bukan Bumiputera yang berupa 34 peratus daripada warganegara memiliki RM251.1 bilion (42.8 peratus) manakala pemodal asing memiliki RM234.7 bilion (40 peratus).

Majoriti aset Bumiputera dipegang oleh institusi amanah dan beberapa kerat ahli perniagaan Melayu yang berjaya.

Lebih Buruk Tanpa DEB

Hatta pada nisbah yang rendah dan berat sebelah ini pun, kita boleh berkata DEB telah berhasil mengurangkan kemiskinan dan ketidakseimbangan kaum.

Misalnya, apabila DEB dilancarkan pada tahun 1971, pemilikan korporat Bumiputera dianggarkan hanya dua peratus.

Jadi apalah salahnya kita meneruskan pelaksanaan sesetengah matlamat dan kaedah DEB yang baik dan berkesan itu?

Mengapakah sesetengah orang Melayu dan parti-parti politik Melayu begitu takut untuk mempertahankan sesuatu yang terbukti baik dan menguntungkan semua kaum?

Kalau ada perkara yang hendak ditentang dan dikritik dalam dasar itu adalah kegagalan mencapai sepenuhnya matlamat membasmi kemiskinan dan 30 peratus pemilikan Bumiputera.

Dalam apa bentuk sekalipun, matlamat membasmi kemiskinan tanpa mengira kaum dan menambah ekuiti Bumiputera wajib diteruskan.

Tetapi dasar-dasar berkaitan pemilikan ekuiti bukan Bumiputera boleh diliberalisasikan kerana mereka bukan sahaja sudah mencapai matlamat itu malah atas dasar meritokrasi sudah boleh bersaing dengan orang asing.

Inilah masanya bagi badan-badan amanah dan tabung-tabung pelaburan rasmi, termasuk Ekuiti Nasional Berhad yang baru ditubuhkan, menambah modal dalam syarikat-syarikat bukan Bumiputera dan asing yang berdaya maju kerana harga saham di Bursa Saham berada pada paras yang menarik.

DEB Punca Bukan Melayu Tolak BN?

Apakah pengundi bukan Melayu menolak Umno dan Barisan Nasional pada pilihan raya umum tahun lalu kerana DEB?

Kalau begitu, kenapa mereka sokong BN sebelum ini, khasnya pada tahun 2004?

DEB hanyalah alasan! Mereka menolak Umno dan BN kerana imej BN yang tidak baik dan kerana mungkir janji. Banyak janji dan ikrar era Abdullah Ahmad Badawi seperti keterbukaan, kebebasan dan liberalisasi tidak dilaksanakan seperti difahami oleh pengundi.

Selain merakamkan protes, pengundi bukan Melayu tahu bahawa dengan menghukum BN mereka boleh membuat tuntutan baru.

Dilema Umno dan BN adalah memastikan agar tolak-ansur dengan bukan Melayu ini tidak akan menambahkan kemarahan orang Melayu dan memastikan orang bukan Melayu mengundi BN.

Yang dikhuatiri adalah apa yang disebut oleh ungkapan Inggeris iaitu pengundi bukan Melayu mungkin “have the cake and eat it at the same time.” Dalam erti kata yang lain, mereka terima apa yang diberi, tetapi tetap tidak mengundi BN.

Ada Bumiputera Tak Sedar Untung Nasib

Bumiputera yang menolak DEB atau berasa bersalah mendapat bantuan DEB sebenarnya tidak kenang budi dan tidak sedar diri.

Apatah lagi kalau mereka membuta tuli bercakap mengenai meritokrasi dan liberalisasi yang mereka sendiri tidak faham implikasinya.

Kalau tidak kerana sekolah asrama penuh, MRSM, biasiswa dan pinjaman pelajaran, adakah mampu bilangan profesional Bumiputera dinaikkan ke tahap sekarang?

Pada tahun 1970, ada hanya 6.8 peratus akauntan adalah Bumiputera, 4.3 peratus arkitek, 3.7 peratus doktor dan 7.3 peratus jurutera. Yang agak banyak adalah doktor haiwan (40 peratus) sebab pada waktu itu Melayu pelihara haiwan. Tetapi pada tahun lalu, 24.5 peratus akauntan adalah Bumiputera, arkitek 38.2 peratus, doktor 52.9 peratus dan jurutera 52.4 peratus.

Apakah Melayu dan Bumiputera profesional ini boleh berada di mana mereka sekarang jika bergantung nasib semata-mata kepada pembiayaan ibu bapa mereka yang mengerjakan bendang, dusun dan huma untuk mendapat pelajaran tinggi?

Sekalipun mereka sudah berdikari dan tidak perlu tongkat lagi, tetapi ingatlah banyak lagi orang Melayu, Iban, Kadazan dan Orang Asli yang miskin dan melarat.

Dan bagi setiap rumah besar yang doktor atau jurutera Melayu miliki, orang Cina miliki lebih banyak dan lebih besar.

Jangan berbangga sangat dengan aset-aset Permodalan Nasional Berhad, Tabung Haji, Felda dan Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera. Hari ini semakin banyak kawasan bandar seperti Seri Kembangan, Petaling Street dan Bukit Bintang, hampir-hampir tidak ada penyertaan Bumiputera malah India pun hampir-hampir tidak ada.

Jadi, apakah yang buruk sangat dengan DEB sehingga begitu ramai orang, termasuk orang Melayu, berasa ia merugikan dan wajib dihapuskan?

Meritokrasi Bila Tembolok Terisi

Orang bukan Melayu dan sesetengah orang Melayu kini asyik bercakap mengenai keadilan sosial dan meritokrasi.

Bukankah kerana keadilan sosial dan meritokrasi di bawah DEB maka begitu ramai orang bukan Melayu mampu ke universiti-universiti ternama di dunia atas pembiayaan sendiri mengatasi bilangan Bumiputera yang dibiayai oleh Kerajaan?

Mengapakah apabila Kerajaan memberi biasiswa atau bantuan kepada Bumiputera, ia dituduh memberi tongkat, tetapi apabila bukan Bumiputera mendapat hak yang sama, ia dikatakan hak dan meritokrasi?

Apabila Bumiputera berjaya dalam perniagaan dia dituduh kroni. Tetapi apabila korporat Cina dan India menjadi raksasa kerana kontrak, francais dan lesen kerajaan ia dikatakan meritokrasi?

Siapa yang memegang monopoli gula sampai hari ini atau menjadi kaya raya kerana lesen judi, lesen TV satelit, lesen IPP dan kontrak berbilion ringgit membina hospital, kereta api laju dan sekolah?

Dan berapa kerat tahu atau masih ingat bagaimana Tun Abdul Razak Hussein terpaksa “menyelamatkan” Malayan Banking pada tahun 1965 apabila pengasasnya, mendiang Khoo Teck Puat, disingkirkan atas tuduhan melencongkan wang bank itu kepada syarikat persendiriannya di Singapura?

Begitulah juga dengan pengambilan oleh IPTA. Apabila keutamaan diberikan kepada Bumiputera, bukan Melayu merungut. Tetapi apabila Kerajaan membenarkan penubuhan IPTS yang majoriti pelajarnya bukan Melayu, tiada siapa pun mengucapkan terima kasih atau bersungut?

Hari ini, ada 20 Institut Pengajian Tinggi Awam (IPTA) yang tersenarai dalam laman web rasmi Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi, tidak termasuk 24 politeknik. Bilangan IPT swasta yang disenaraikan berjumlah 450 – ya, 450.

Dengan pengambilan bukan Bumiputera yang semakin ramai ke IPTA dan kemasukan ke IPTS yang terus dimonopoli oleh bukan Bumiputera, adalah tidak mustahil dalam masa yang singkat pengajian di IPT akan didominasi oleh bukan Bumiputera.

Soal pokoknya adakah situasi berat sebelah yang memihak kepada kaum-kaum minoriti ini menyokong pemulihan Umno dan pembentukan 1Malaysia yang sejahtera, aman dan makmur?

Sudah lupa yang sejahtera, aman dan makmur itu adalah cogan kata manifesto BN tahun lalu?

Dan apakah sudah dikaji dan difahami implikasi sistem biasiswa dua tingkat (two-tier) kepada nisbah kemasukan dan prestasi pelajar Bumiputera dan bukan Bumiputera ke IPT?

Sumbangan bukan Bumiputera Tidak Dinafikan

Tiada siapa yang menafikan bahawa bukan Bumiputera juga menyumbang kepada perkembangan dan kematangan ekonomi negara, tetapi ia berasaskan kepada prinsip keuntungan.

Mereka menyumbang kepada perkembangan ekonomi kerana suasana politik yang stabil sejak 1969 membolehkan mereka meraih keuntungan yang besar daripada apa yang mereka laburkan.

It is not altruism -- bukan sumbangan percuma yang tidak mengharapkan sebarang alasan!

Mari kita hadapi realiti. Selain Singapura yang berupa negara kecil dan majoriti penduduknya Cina, tidak ada tempat lain di dunia di mana orang Cina mempunyai kuasa politik yang begitu luas serta memonopoli ekonomi selain daripada di bumi Malaysia ini.

Tetapi, pilihan raya demi pilihan raya membuktikan bahawa yang menjadi tonggak BN adalah orang Melayu dan Bumiputera lain.

Malah majoriti calon bukan Melayu BN yang menang pilihan raya menang di kawasan majoriti Melayu.

Tetapi akibat kelemahan Umno, orang bukan Melayu bulat-bulat menolak BN pada pilihan raya 2008 manakala ramai orang Melayu memihak kepada Pas.

Perimbangan kuasa antara Umno dan Pas sudah berubah. Tidak mustahil Pas akan menjadi parti utama Melayu yang terpaksa berpakat dengan parti-parti bukan Melayu untuk memerintah.

Itulah yang akan terjadi apabila peranan Umno sebagai parti induk politik Malaysia tidak dapat dipulihkan lagi.

Dan harapan memulihkan Umno sehingga boleh diterima kembali oleh majoriti orang Melayu dan dihormati oleh bukan Melayu tidak akan berjaya jika kepemimpinannya terus dicurigai dan dipertikaikan.

Tindakan tidak menyingkirkan anasir-anasir rasuah daripada kepemimpinan Umno, malah melantik mereka semula, tidak membantu proses pemulihan Umno.

Ironinya, masyarakat perniagaan yang didominasi oleh bukan Melayu boleh hidup makmur sama ada dalam suasana bebas rasuah atau penuh rasuah!

Apabila orang Umno sendiri mendapati sukar mempertahankan parti mereka, adalah sukar bagi Umno mendapat sokongan orang lain, terutamanya sokongan bukan Melayu. Orang bukan Melayu mempunyai banyak pilihan.

Kesimpulannya, janganlah sewenang-wenangnya ditolak kebaikan DEB semata-mata untuk memancing undi atau kerana ia tidak berjaya sepenuhnya.

Itu bukan salah DEB. Itu adalah pengkhianatan oleh pelaksana yang dangkal, lemah, malas dan korup.

Terima kasih.