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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Six charged with sedition over cow-head protests

By Neville Spykerman - The Malaysian Insider,

SHAH ALAM, Sept 9 – Six men were charged under the Sedition Act this morning for being part of the cow head protest against the construction of a Hindu temple, in a case that has taken on wider political ramifications and provoked debate about the state of race relations in Malaysia.

They were also charged with another six men for taking part in an illegal assembly.

Officials said five of the six men charged for sedition were residents of the Section 23 neighbourhood. Of the six others facing illegal assembly charges, only one of them is a Section 23 resident.

On Aug 28, more than 50 people claiming to be residents of Section 23 here marched from the state mosque to the state secretariat to protest the relocation of a 150-year old temple to their neighbourhood.

They threatened bloodshed, and kicked and spat at a cow’s head, drawing widespread public condemnation because the animal is considered sacred by Hindus.

Federal leaders had initially sought to play down the issue, with Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein even meeting the protestors and speaking up for them.

Many of the residents who opposed the temple could come up with little justification for their opposition, except to say that it offended their Muslim sensitivities.

But the situation came to a head when a group of Malay-Muslim men disrupted a town hall meeting with residents organised by the state government.

The pandemonium that erupted at the town hall meeting saw heated arguments between Malay and Indian neighbours.

This week the government bowed to pressure and decided to prosecute some of the protestors.

The six charged for sedition this morning pleaded not guilty, and bail was set at RM4,000 each.

They will next appear in court on Oct 21 for their cases to be mentioned.

Among the six are Mohd Azmir Mohd Zin, 35, Ahmad Suhairi Zakaria, 30, Mohd Hilmi Ni, 40, all three whom were alleged to have carrying the cow’s head and stepping on it.

Eyzra Ezhar Ramlz, 31, is alleged to have helped bring the cow’s head.

Ibrahim Sabri, 42, and Ahmad Mahayuddhn Abd Manaf, 36, are alleged to have stepped on the cow’s head.

These six men were later charged together with six other men for participating in an illegal assembly.

All 12 men claimed trial, and bail was set at RM300 each for those were also facing sedition charges, and RM500 each for those only answering illegal assembly charges.

The six who were only charged for illegal assembly are Mohd Jurit Ramli, 39, Mohammad Nordin Zakaria, 46, Rahimuddin Md Harun, 39, Jamil Mohamad Isa, 40 Azari Shaari, 39, and Jainuddin @ Zainuddin Md Yusuff, 67.

Fast for the Nation… Peace for Malaysia.

A few friends met up two nights ago and came up with this.

______________________________________

Malaysia is a peaceful country and it should remain that way forever. Acts of Violence and inciting hatred must have no place in our public life.

Unfortunately, too many cruelties and injustices have happened since the nation’s last birthday.

It is tempting to slip into despair or become revengeful. Let us turn our anger and sadness into a positive force for change.

This September 16, let us all combine our efforts to present a meaningful gift for Malaysia on her 46th birthday.

Let us be united in one single action. Let us all fast from dawn to dusk for peace in this blessed land. Let the Muslims amongst us fast with a specific prayer for peace for the nation. Let the Bahais, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Taoists, followers of other spiritual traditions and atheists amongst us fast in solidarity and the same determination for peace.

Let our common experience of hunger and human weakness humble, strengthen and unite us.

Let us offer a hospitable smile to people we know and especially to those we don’t.

Let us perform one extra act of kindness while fasting on this Malaysia day.

Let us show our love and compassion for each other.

Let Malaysia be a better country on her 46th birthday and every day after.

Let Malaysia be truly happy and peaceful this September 16.

And so we fast.

. . . . . . to make room for peace!

How do you join?

Here are the standard recommendations which you may modify according to your preferences, medical conditions and other circumstances.

  1. Get a group of at least three people.
  2. Have your pre-fast meal together before dawn (e.g. before 5.35am for Muslims*). The meal is preferably vegetarian to be inclusive to all.
  3. Carry out your daily duties and tasks as usual.
  4. Smile and do an extra act of kindness to people around you or afar.
  5. Share your message of peace with every curious person.
  6. Break your fast together after dusk(e.g. after 7.25 pm for Muslims*). The meal is preferably vegetarian to be inclusive to all.
  7. Share your experience, feeling and thought in this national fasting exercise with more people, in every possible way.

Bagan Pinang by-election : Be the eyes and ears on the ground

Accredited election watchdog MAFREL has issued a call for volunteers to help out in the Bagan Pinang by-election.

I don’t quite know what the task entails, but if you would like to give your time and energy to try and ensure that this by-election is free and fair, why not give it a shot?

Interested?

Get in touch with MAFREL by going HERE.

Shah Alam Temple: Cow head rally 12 in court today

NST,

2009/09/09

By V. Anbalagan

SHAH ALAM: At least 12 people who took part in the cow's head demonstration will be charged today for uttering seditious words and participating in an illegal assembly.

State police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said the suspects would be produced in the Shah Alam lower court where they were expected to be charged under the Sedition Act and Police Act.

 samy
makkal osai 080909


The protesters were expected to be charged yesterday but it was learnt that police could not serve the summons to all of them.

Head of prosecution in the Attorney-General's Chambers Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah said they would charge the suspects only after all of them had been informed.


"The suspects were not held in remand by the police to produce them in court immediately."

On Monday, Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said those who carried the cow's head, and later addressed the illegal gathering while stepping on the head, had been identified.

He decided to charge some of the suspects with uttering seditious words, an offence under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act .

Those found guilty could be jailed for up to three years and fined up to RM5,000 or both.

The suspects also face a substitute charge under Section 298 of the Penal Code for uttering words with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of another person.

Those convicted face a maximum one year jail sentence, a fine or both.

Gani said all the demonstrators would also be charged with taking part in an illegal assembly, an offence under the Police Act.

On Aug 28, some 50 residents of Section 23 in Shah Alam protested outside the state secretariat building about the relocation of a 150-year-old Hindu temple from Section 19 to their neighbourhood.

The incident sparked a nationwide outrage as the protesters were seen stepping and spitting on the cow's head.

The cow is deemed sacred by Hindus.

********

The Malay Mail

Sedition charge unfair, says lawyer

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009 03:06:00
Kamarul

Kamarul: My clients didn't bring cow head

WEB LATEST

THE 12 people to be charged in court this morning for the controversial 'cow-head' incident on Aug 26 are expected to plead that their intentions to conduct the protest that day had been misconstrued and had been unfairly turned into a religious issue.

Kamarul Irzuan, one of the lawyers representing the 12 to be charged, also said that his clients had told him that they don't know who even brought the cow head in the first place as it was never part of their plans.

"None of my clients brought the cow head as it had nothing to do with the main messages they wanted to send in their memorandum to the Selangor State government."

Kamarul said the main grouse was that the Section 23 Shah Alam residents felt aggrieved the State government had decided to locate a Hindu temple within the mainly Muslim community without even consulting them first.

"There isn't anything religious or racial about such a concern because there are hardly any Hindus here in the first place and why would anyone want to inconvenience them to come to a strange new place? The residents wanted the State government to explain this rationale."

Kamarul further said that the Section 23 residents also wanted to know why the Hindu temple was being relocated in the first place since there didn't seem to be any real reason for it to be moved.

"The residents felt it was an arbitrary decision that was unfair to both Hindus and Muslims, and wanted the State government to reconsider as the decision seemed very high-handed."

He spoke to Malay Mail after the 12 were summoned to the Shah Alam district police headquarters at 9pm yesterday. After being questioned, all 12 were released on personal bonds at 12.30am and were instructed to appear at the Shah Alam Sessions Court at 9am today.

Kamarul said the 12 had yet to be told what charges they would be facing, but he expected all to be charged for illegal assembly under Section 27 of the Police Act.

He also expected six of them to be charged under Section 1 and Section 4 of the Sedition Act, and felt that it would be unfair for this charge to be made.

Kamarul also drew a comparison to the recent case of a pig head that was dumped at the Universiti Malaya surau in January. The carcass had been placed in a Pas flag in a surau located in the Islamic studies academy.

"What happened in that case?" he asked.

"Why was there no big legal controversy like what is happening now? Furthermore, my clients had no religious extremism in mind when they did what they did. Is it fair then that they are persecuted for something they had never intended?"

******

'What new location?' ask Section 23 residents

Section 23 residents in the dark over site proposed for the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Shah Alam
Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 07:42:00
SHAREL

SHAREL: Not aware of the new proposed site

THE representative for the residents of Section 23 Shah Alam does not know anything about the new relocation site proposed for the Sri Maha Mariamman Hindu temple, an issue that has generated much controversy recently.

“The residents here and those from the action committee are not aware about the new proposal,” said Section 23 representative, Sharel Mohd Nor, when contacted last night.

The new location is in Section 23, just 100m away from the disputed site proposed earlier, and 400m from any house in the area.

“We thought it was just a rumour. We will have to wait for the official proposal and see if it is okay,” he said.

Sharel added if the Selangor State government was still firm with its decision to relocate the temple to their area, the committee would meet with Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim to find a better solution for the issue.

On Aug 28, more than 100 people gathered in an illegal demonstration to protest the relocation of the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Section 19 to Section 23, Shah Alam.

During the assembly, a group of Muslim protesters trampled on a severed cow’s head in protest at the building of the Hindu temple.

Addicted to violence

By Wong Chin Huat
thenutgraph.com


(Syringe image by Yosia Urip; pills by Richard Dunstan / sxc.hu)

WE have celebrated Merdeka Day and will usher in Malaysia Day, the real national day, just a week from now. But why are we celebrating the birth of our nation? Indeed, why celebrate the birth of any nation?

This is not another article lamenting that Malaysia has not treated some of its citizens fairly. It is not your "I love my country, does my country love me?" kind of thing. Many have complained about ethno-religious discrimination and exclusion in this country already. The ugly cow-head protest, which enjoyed inaction from the federal government and managed to subdue the Selangor state government, certainly did not stop many Malaysians from feeling like migrating to other countries.

So, why should we have this nation called Malaysia if we cannot love each other, you may ask. This is actually the romanticised myth behind the nation state: that it is supposed to let us love each other.

All states exist first and foremost not to promote love, but to stop violence. Love is the business of society, not government. In the words of Enlightenment thinker Thomas Paine: "Society is produced by our wants and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the later negatively by restraining our vices ... The first is a patron, the last a punisher."

We need a government to monopolise legitimate means of violence so that no individuals or groups can use violence to reign on others. Without this elimination of violence, no civilised life is possible. In this sense, the government must have enough coercive power to put down any private means of violence, but this coercive power must not be any greater than is necessary.

"Now the drugs don't work..."

A government is like a drug — you consume a dosage that's just enough to beat off the virus, not to get addicted. People who believe in authoritarianism and unconstrained coercive means like the Internal Security Act (ISA) or police brutality are like drug addicts. They are driven from one form of harm (private violence) to another (state violence).

Why must we minimise violence? The commonly understood reason is that it causes harm and misery to others. But the mere absence of violence does not guarantee well-being. After all, what is the point of non-violently and lovingly dying of famine? In reality, when humans are driven by famine or shortage of resources, they rarely remain kind to each other.

Thus, the often ignored but equally, if not more, important reason to oppose violence is that it prevents the use of reason. Violence is in fact the opposite of reason and in this sense is anti-evolutionary. Violence encourages us to win an argument by killing off our opponents rather than debunking their flaws or winning them over.

Hence, if society believes in violence, we will need to have stronger fists rather than bigger brains. We will develop only martial arts skills and abandon or even ban music and literature, except when they serve the purpose of war. We will develop technologies in weaponry rather than in agriculture, manufacturing or communications.

Minimising violence, on the other hand, means that we need to compete with reason in peaceful co-existence. Furthermore, our faith in reason would mean that we can be trusted with freedom.

In this utilitarian sense, the victory of reason over violence is socially and economically more productive. The end of the Cold War, which transformed battlefields into marketplaces, is the best proof.

Celebrating reason

So, why should we celebrate the nation-state?

The answer to me is simple: it minimises violence, not just to attain peace, but to allow us to use reason and enjoy freedom in peace. In this sense, a nation state is only as good as its facilitation of the use of reason and the exercise of freedom.

This does not mean that the nation-state cannot or should not have other goals. We can pursue equality, justice, fraternity, spirituality, morality, welfare, sustainability of the environment, and all other goals. But all these goals must be pursued on the basis of reason and freedom, not violence.

It is only when citizens are free from violence — not only from foreign powers and domestic non-state players, but also from their own governments, except where necessary to counter foreign or non-state violence — is a nation free. A nation-state that is free from foreign domination but lives under a domestic despot, such as North Korea, is still an enslaved country.

So, can we celebrate Malaysia? Is Malaysia really free for us to employ reason and exercise freedom in peace?

The cow-head protest and the disruption of the subsequent town hall meeting, when elected representatives were threatened with violence, suggests a big no. How can public policy be changed by a show of brutality?

Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein's refusal to resign as home minister after sabotaging law and order and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's refusal to sack him suggest that peace in Malaysia may necessitate the end of Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) rule.

But can we trust the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) when they can so easily give in to violence? Is Malaysia safe if some Umno hardliners threaten violence in a similar fashion were they to lose the next general election? Are we then condemned between a coalition that justifies violence and another that stomachs it?

The danger is greater than this. It is beyond Umno, the BN or the PR. It is in the Malaysian psyche. Perhaps haunted by the mystifying "incident" of 13 May 1969, we lack a thorough understanding of and resistance towards political violence.

Liberating the state

We mistake ethno-religious disharmony as the real threat.

Now, would you get angry if a madman or madwoman declared himself or herself God? Would you kill him or her for insulting your faith? If not, why can't we take every bigot — so long as they are peaceful — as madmen or madwomen and condemn them with public shaming and "excommunication"? Are the right-thinking members of society too few to overcome them?

On the other hand, even if not driven by communalism, was political violence in the Perak state assembly acceptable? Was the death of Teoh Beng Hock and thousands of others in custody, and the mass arrest of 589 anti-ISA protesters acceptable? Was the threat to bloodshed, murder and — according a report from a Malaysian Socialist Party member — rape to change a town-planning decision in Shah Alam acceptable?

If not, why do we continue seeing religious leaders getting riled up about insults towards religions rather than incitement to violence? Why don't we see more civil society groups condemning violence? Why should we allow the Attorney-General's Chambers to trick us into accepting the sedition and illegal assembly — and not incitement to violence — charges against the cow-head protesters?

So, should we despair because we have lost our nation-state to the cult of political violence? No, it's time we reclaim our country. Society must liberate the state from being possessed by violence. How?

By overcoming our irrational sense of communal insecurity and distrust of freedom.

By overcoming our addiction to authoritarianism.

By rejecting political violence, embracing peace, and believing in reason.

Malaysia’s Global Competitiveness Drops Three Notches

From Bernama

Malaysia’s global competitiveness ranking dropped three positions to 24, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report for 2009-2010 released Tuesday.

The drop essentially was the result of a much poorer assessment of its institutional framework, said the report, which was released ahead of WEF’s annual meeting of the New Champions 2009 in Dalian, China.

The report said every indicator in the area had been exhibiting a downward trend since 2007, causing Malaysia to tumble from 17th to 43rd position in this dimension in just two years.

Switzerland topped the overall ranking of 133 economies, with the US fell one place to second position, and Asia continued to feature prominently with Singapore at third and Japan at eighth, and Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan all in the top 20.

The report also said security was of particular concern in Malaysia with its ranking dropped 25 levels to 85th.

According to the business community, the potential of terrorism (ranked 97th) and crime (ranked 95th) both imposed significant business costs.

Also of concern was the budget deficit, which increased in 2008, amounting to almost five percent of Malaysia’s gross domestic product, it said.

However, Malaysia scored high in most other dimensions particularly in those factors at the top end of the value chain, namely business sophistication (ranked 24th) and innovation (also ranked 24th).

The report said expectations were high for Malaysia that averaged an impressive seven percent growth per year between 1990 and 2000 and a healthy five per cent since then.

Mirroring this economic success, Malaysia had featured prominently in the competitiveness rankings ever since its first inclusion in 1994, it said.

“Indeed, it remains the most competitive Stage 2 (efficiency-driven) Country,” it said.

It pointed that in order to maintain its competitive edge, Malaysia now needed to prepare its conversion into a knowledge-based, innovation-driven economy.

“Improving both the quantity and quality of higher education (ranked 41st) and boosting technological readiness (ranked 37th), particularly information and communication technology penetration, would serve this effort well,” it said.

NEW CURRENCY NEEDED, SAYS UN - BLOOMBERG


1. For a long time now Malaysians have been questioning why we must use the United States' Dollar for international trade, why we cannot use a dinar or any other currency. But Malaysians are not supposed to know anything about money, about finance. So nobody listens.

2. Now it is the United Nations which is saying that its member countries should agree on the creation of a global reserve bank to issue a new currency and to monitor the national exchange rates of its members, according to Bloomberg reporting on the Geneva-based UN Conference on Trade and Development.

3. The report said that China, Brazil and Russia this year called for a replacement of the Dollar as the main reserve currency after the financial crisis sparked by the collapse of the mortgage market led to the worst global recession since World War II.

4. The United States as the whole world knows is existing on unlimited loans by the rest of the world. US Dollar bonds are bought by every country in the belief that they would represent their reserves. Such bonds seem to be available all the time, unlike bonds issued by other countries which are for specific amounts.

5. If the US Dollar is not used for trade payments and loans, then there would be no demand for it. Obviously this would cause the US Dollar to be devalued. When it is devalued all the countries holding Dollar bonds would lose their reserves very substantially. So the countries with huge Dollar reserves would resist any move that would reduce the value of their reserves.

6. The US itself would resist as devaluation of the US Dollar would make it a very poor country. It cannot then remain the imperial power that it is now.

7. If the US Dollar is not to be used for trade and reserves, what currency should replace it? The Euro and the Yen seems suitable but it is doubtful if either Europe or Japan would want their currencies to be used the way we use the Dollar now.

8. The suggestion that a new currency be issued by a new global reserve bank is very attractive. Some people would like to use gold dinars.

9. The actual name of the currency is not important but backing by gold is important. If the new currency is used only for trade settlements (just as the US Dollar is now used) the proposal would be quite feasible.

10. Whatever, the world needs to discuss this proposal seriously. As the report says, a new currency would help to protect the emerging market from "confidence game" of financial speculation. And Malaysia falls into the category of emerging markets.

11. Maybe Malaysia might embolden itself to champion this proposal. Maybe!

'Cow-head' protesters to be charged tomorrow - Malaysiakini

Twelve people who allegedly took part in the cow-head protest at the Selangor state secretariat in Shah Alam on Aug 28 will be charged tomorrow.

They will be charged with sedition and illegal assembly, said Selangor police chief Abdul Khalid Abu Bakar (left) when contacted today.

“Now, the police are looking for them and once we locate them, we will record their statement once again before they are brought to court. Only 12 of them will be charged,” Abdul Khalid said.

By 11.25pm, Khalid confirmed that all 12 have been rounded up and their statements were being taken.Head of prosecution unit in the Attorney-General's Chambers, Abdul Majid Hamzah, said the protesters were not charged today as they could not be located.

"Once the police locate them, they will be brought to court and we will charge them with sedition and illegal assembly," he said.

Scores of journalists from various media organisations had camped at the Shah Alam court complex this morning in anticipation of legal action.

Attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail's had said yesterday that charges would be brought against those who had taken part in the protest, mounted against the proposed relocation of a Hindu temple to Section 23.

He also said he was satisfied that those who carried the cow-head and spoke while stepping on the cow-head would be charged under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act or under Section 298 of the Penal Code.


They will face a second charge under Section 27(5) of the Police Act for illegal assembly.

Malaysiakini staff questioned

Some 50 residents from Section 23 had taken part in the protest against the Selangor government's decision to relocate a 150-year-old temple from Section 19.

The manner in which the protest was conducted has sparked outrage among Malaysians, who have called for action be taken against them. Selangor exco member Dr Xavier Jeyakumar lodged a police report.

Malaysiakini, meanwhile, has fallen foul of the authorities for posting a video recording of the protest and of a press conference held by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.

The Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission, said to be acting on a complaint, directed that the two videos be removed, but news portal has refused to do so.

Its officers have spent today questioning 12 staff members including chief executive officer Premesh Chandran at the Malaysiakini office in Bangsar Utama, Kuala Lumpur.

Subra: Fight for No 2 a presidential battle

Did he or didn't he? Let the third man speak

Image

Did the MCA president, Ong Tee Keat, receive RM10 million in cash from Kuala Dimensi's Tiong King Sing? Ong says no and Tiong says yes. That means we need a third person to tell us which of the two is telling the truth. And that third person should be the one who packed the money and acted as the courier between the two.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

RPK Speaks His Mind Trailer 2


NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Shooting the messenger

Image

In ancient times, messages were delivered in person by a human envoy. Sometimes, as in war, for example, the messenger was sent from the enemy camp. An easily provoked combatant receiving such an overture could more easily vent anger (or otherwise retaliate) on the deliverer of the unpopular message than on its author, thus literally killing the messenger.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

"Shooting the messenger" is a metaphoric phrase used to describe the act of lashing out at the (blameless) bearer of bad news.

In ancient times, messages were delivered in person by a human envoy. Sometimes, as in war, for example, the messenger was sent from the enemy camp. An easily provoked combatant receiving such an overture could more easily vent anger (or otherwise retaliate) on the deliverer of the unpopular message than on its author -- thus literally killing the messenger.

In modern usage, the expression still refers to any kind of punishment meted out to the person bringing bad news, but has taken on an ironic dimension as well.

"Attacking the messenger" is a subdivision of the ad hominem logical fallacy.

The advice "Don't shoot the messenger" was first expressed by Shakespeare in Henry IV, part 2 (1598) and in Anthony and Cleopatra (1606-07). Prior to that, a related sentiment was expressed in Antigone by Sophocles as "No one loves the messenger who brings bad news."

An analogy of the phrase can come from the breaching of an invisible code of conduct in war, where a commanding officer was expected to receive and send back emissaries or diplomatic envoys sent by the enemy unharmed. During the early Warring States period of China, the concept of chivalry and virtue prevented the executions of messengers sent by opposing sides.

A modern version of attacking the messenger can be seen when persons blame the media for presenting bad news about a favoured cause, person, organisation, etc. - Wikipedia

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Malaysiakini videos: 12 questioned by MCMC

The Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) today (8 Sep) continued its investigations on Malaysiakini by holding a marathon questioning session involving the online daily's 12 staff members.

The eight-hour session began at 10.30am at Malaysiakini's office in Bangsar Utama, Kuala Lumpur, and ended at about 6.30pm.

Among those questioned were Malaysiakini chief executive officer Premesh Chandran, editors, journalists, video team members and one technical staff.

About eight MCMC officers were involved in the questioning process, who split into three teams to record statements from Malaysiakini staff simultaneously.

Except for Chandran and the technical staff, all the others were involved in the process of news gathering, editing and publishing two stories and videos related to the cow-head protest in Shah Alam on Aug 28 and a press conference by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein on Sept 2.

They were journalists Rahmah Ghazali, Jimadie Shah Othman, Andrew Ong, cameraperson Amir Abdullah, editors K Kabilan, Nasharuddin Rahman, Fathi Aris Omar, video editors Shufiyan Shukur, Ng Kok Foong and Lydia Azizan.

The investigation by MCMC centres on two video clips published by Malaysiakini - one on the protest and the other on Hishammuddin's press conference - which were deemed offensive.

The videos cited were the 'Temple demo: Residents march with cow's head' and 'Hisham: Don't blame cow-head protesters'. – Malaysiakini, 8 September 2009

READ MORE ON MALAYSIAKINI HERE

It should be understanding, not tolerance

Subra to face charges after MIC polls

By Baradan Kuppusamy - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8 — Thee ugly side of the MIC elections has surfaced — death threats, burning cars as well as disciplinary action. The latest candidate to face charges is Datuk S.Subramaniam, the contender for the deputy president’s post.

The MIC Central Working Committee meeting decided today to ask Subramaniam to show cause for allegedly tarnishing the party’s image.

But the show cause letter would only be sent after the elections, the CWC decided.

The announcement comes as a shock to supporters of Subramaniam who say this is another way to threaten delegates from voting for him.

Subramaniam is facing a three-way contest for the post with incumbent Datuk G.Palanivel and newcomer challenger Datuk S.Sothinathan.

Earlier this week Subramaniam’s strong supporter, K.P.Samy, who is also contesting for a CWC post, received threatening telephone calls to his house.

“My wife picked up the call and the caller was abusive and threatened me to stop speaking up for Subramaniam,” Samy said.

The car of another strong Subramaniam supporter, Senthamil Sekhar, who is also contesting for a CWC post, was burnt down yesterday.

Both leaders have lodged police reports but said they are not cowed.

“We will fight for democracy and freedom in the MIC,” Senthamil said adding delegates would not be cowed by such “underhand tactics”.

But the threat to take disciplinary action against Subramaniam is more serious and could lead to expulsion.

Former MIC vice-president Datuk V. Govinderaj is also expected to be sacked from the MIC, sources said.

The action stems from a claim made by Govinderaj in a newspaper recently that in 1977 he had “pocketed” 30 votes during a deputy president’s contest between Samy Vellu and Subramaniam.

Samy Vellu who won the contest by 26 votes has issued a statement rubbishing the claim.

Subramaniam had expressed sadness and shock saying nothing could be done then and now to correct the injustice.

Govinderaj, who is supporting Subramaniam in the Sept 12 contest and on a war path with Samy Vellu, voluntarily admits now that he had done the “dirty thing” to help Samy Vellu win.

Two years later Samy Vellu became acting president after incumbent Tan Sri V. Manicavasagam died of a heart attack.

“The disciplinary action against them would be taken after the election,” Samy Vellu told reporters today.

Samy Vellu also explained that in the 1977 contest he received 553 of the 1,080 votes while Subramaniam garnered 527.

“There were a lot of people in the counting hall…Subramaniam was also there smoking cigarettes. In such a crowded situation how can the vote cheating happen?” Samy Vellu said.

“This allegation is the best comedy of the year,” Samy Vellu said to laughter.

Bagan Pinang - HRP and Hindraf to take a stand - Malaysiakini

Bagan Pinang.jpg

Bagan Pinang by-election could well be the turning point for the future direction of Indian voters in the country's electoral process.

The electoral stand to be taken by the Human Rights Party and Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) this weekend is set to have a major impact on it.

The community balloting preference and both the Indian based movements' joint stand are set to be a major determining factor on the outcome of the contest, which could see another Umno versus PAS electoral bout.

Supporters of both inter-linked movements would meet this weekend at an undisclosed venue to decide on their official stand on the Bagan Pinang by-election.

Based on the current political scenario, it would not be surprising if supporters of both movements decide not to support any of the contesting parties.

No plans to field a candidate

They may decide to campaign for Bagan Pinang Indian voters to abstain from voting.

Recently formed HRP does not plan to field any candidate to contest as an independent in the forthcoming Bagan Pinang state by-election in Negeri Sembilan.

Although Indians voters encompassed 20.4 per cent of the constituency's 14,192 voters, HRP secretary-general P Uthayakumar (left) said it would not be ideal for the party to contest the election.

The constituency's Malay voters make up 64 %; Chinese, 10.8 % and others, 4.9 %. There are 5,000 postal votes.

"We are still at the organisational stage . . . in the structural and operations of the party.

"We are not ready yet to contest," Uthayakumar, who is also Hindraf legal advisor, told Malaysiakini today.

However, this may not be a reprieve to both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat after all.

Indians taken for a ride

Based on his own observations and undercurrent sentiments, Uthayakumar said Indians were caught in between two feuding political blocks striving for power.

He said both blocks were using Indians 'for a mere piggy ride' to win electoral battles, neglecting them after that.

"BN rule for the past 52 years and PR governments in Kedah, Selangor and Penang over the past 17 months showed no difference in the style of governance.

"Both governments treat Indians the same because they believe Indian votes were insignificant.

"Both BN and PR ignore and neglect Indians due the community's lack of political power," stressed the human rights activist.

In the country's 12th general election in March last year, Hindraf had called on and campaigned for Indians to vote for the opposition parties of PKR, PAS and DAP.

The perceived marginalisation of Indians for five decades in the country was the single major communal-based issue in the last general election.

As a result the majority of Indians, who were traditionally BN loyalists, voted for the opposition pack.

However, since then, Indian grassroots sentiments were slowly and surely turning away from Pakatan and taking a middle path as most of them are reluctant to go back to BN, which they perceived as the 'greater evil.'

This weekend, top brass and grassroots leadersv and main HRP and Hindraf activists are expected to deliberate and pass resolutions on the performance of both the Pakatan and Barisan governments.

Contentious issues such as Penang's Kampung Buah Pala crisis and Selangor's Shah Alam temple relocation and cow head protest controversy are expected to dominate the proceedings.

The activists would also touch on the threat of continued demolition of Hindu temples and crematoriums, and the deplorable conditions of Tamil schools, even in Pakatan-controlled states.

Prefer to work with Pakatan

HRP and Hindraf leaders prefer to work with Pakatan, especially PKR and PAS, as opposed to working with BN.

Thus, their decisions would affect Pakatan more than BN.

"Both BN and Pakatan states can gazette the temple, crematorium and Tamil schools as state lands.

"But both didn't because Indians were politically insignificant for both," said Uthayakumar.

The by-election is being held following the death of BN's state representative Azman Mohd Noor, on Sept 4.

Azman's passing paves the way for the ninth by-election since the 2008 general election.

In the last general election, Azman polled 6,430 votes to defeat PAS candidate Ramli Ismail, with a majority of 2,333 votes.

Bagan Pinang is one of the five state seats under the Teluk Kemang parliamentary seat, currently held by PKR's Kamarul Baharin Abbas.

The Election Commission will meet on Monday, Sept 14, to fix the nomination and polling dates for Bagan Pinang.

Emails are already circulating widely online calling on Bagan Pinang Indians to abstain from voting.

While the portal postings condemned Umno for its continued racial antics, the writers of these postings also expressed their reservations on the performance of the Pakatan state governments, especially in the handling of the Kampung Buah Pala (also known as Tamil High Chaparral) crisis in Penang.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and DAP's government Indian leaders were all at the receiving end of their brick bats.

PKR parliamentarians and assembly persons were also dismissed for not helping the community.

PAS elected representatives were also not spared from their criticisms.

"Tell me an incident where a PAS leader stopped a temple demolition.

"Pakatan parliamentarians have yet to voice out any issues affecting Indians neither have they sought permanent solutions in Pakatan states to resolve Indian problems," said Uthayakumar.

The portal postings also highlighted that while Pakatan governments in Selangor and, previously then in Perak, allocated lands for the Chinese community, none was set aside for Indians.

Indian votes come with a price

One particular writer, Subramaniam Bharathy, called on Indians to hit both BN and PR where it hurts most - the ballot box.

He said the country needed a holistic approach to tackle Indian issues such as the bread and butter issues, crime rates, suicide rates, alcoholism and drug abuse and unemployment.

"But both BN and PR governments are not doing anything to seriously tackle these issues raised before them in a holistic way".

"Indians in Bagan Pinang must vote wisely to get both BN and PR to reckon Indians were significant political calculations," said the writer.

Although the by-election would not make any drastic changes to the state political landscape, he stressed that at least a political point be made that "Indian votes come with a price".

"Indian voters shall abstain from voting this time," he said in widely circulated online posting.

BN controlled Negeri Sembilan state assembly with 20 out of 36 state seats, while Pakatan has the remaining 15, which includes DAP 10, PKR 4 and PAS one.

MIC aims to deliver all the Indian votes to BN to ensure victory for BN and break the eight straight by-election defeats suffered previously at the hands of Pakatan in Peninsular.

But HRP and Hindraf are set to have a final say on which direction Indian voters would swing to this time

Candlelight 16 Hindraf arrested but not Cow Head protesters, policeman in towel in Police Station.

07th September 2009
YAB. Dato Seri Najib Razak
Prime Minister of Malaysia,
Block Utama Bangunan Perdana Putra,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,
Fax: 03-8888 3444
62502 Putrajaya. E-Mail : ppm@pmo.gov.my

Y.B Dato Seri Hishamuddin Hussein
Home Minister,
Aras 12 Block D 1,
Complex Kerajaan Fasa D,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan, Fax : 03-8888 4913
62546 Putrajaya. E-Mail : hishammuddin@moha.gov.my

Re : 1) Police use excessive force and unlawfully break up and arrest 16 Hindraf MakkalSakthi peaceful assemblers on 5/09/09.

2) But the cow head protesters never arrested, Attorney General won’t prosecute them.

3) Theft of hand phone (and cash) in Tun H.S.Lee police station.

4) Policeman clad in towel while conducting investigations of a lady.

We refer to the abovematter. On 5/9/09 at about 7.45p.m. about 100 peaceful assemblers exercising their right further to Article 10 of the Federal Constitution gathered along Jalan Tun Perak carrying candles, roses and singing.

Based on the video in Malaysiakini which had hit a record 207,000 over hits within 24 hours, the police gave a mere two minutes to disperse but counted ten and started arresting the said assemblers. In almost all other peaceful assemblies we know the police had given at least ten to fifteen minutes for people to disperse. Why a different standard for the working class Indians?

In the UMNO or UMNO sponsored assemblies, the cow head protest being the latest the police instead give them protection let alone having arrested or prosecuting them. Worst still no other than the Home Minister himself protects their act of inciting racial and religious hatred, Sedition and threats of committing violence if the Section 19 Hindu temple is relocated to Section 23. Based on A.Kugan’s brutal murder by the police in police custody case and the Kampong Medan racial attacks case killing five Indians and grievously injuring 100 over other Indians in March 2001 and a host of other UMNO sponsored crimes over the last ten years or so we have no confidence in the present Inspector General of Police and also in the present Attorney General seriously prosecuting the real criminals. Thus no equal protection under the law for especially the working class Indians under Article 8 of the Federal Constitution. We hereby call for the removal of the Attorney General and the Inspector General of Police.

Why one rule for the 50 Hindraf Makkal Saklthi peaceful assemblers and another for the 50 religious extremist cow head protestors. One Malaysia but two rules? Article 8 of the Federal constitution which provides for Equality and equal protection before the law was never upheld here as in almost all other cases of discrimination involving especially the working class Indians.

There was no necessity for our Mr.P.Uthayakumar’s to have been manhandled by carrying him by all four of his limbs and later literally throwing his wife into the police black maria and causing her to have a suspected fracture her left foot middle toe. She is today on medical leave and presently waiting to have her x-ray done at Pantai Medical Centre, Bangsar. Our Mr.S.Jayathas and many others were also manhandled.

Our Mr.P.Uthayakumar’s family is was specifically targeted by the arrest of also his sister P.Waytha Nayagi and his sister in law and Hindraf Chairman P.Waytha Moorthy’s wife K.Nageswary some 30 minutes later when they were standing by the roadside and using their telephone. The third lady with them was never arrested. In any even only a group of more than four would constitute an unlawful assembly.

The police mala fide was again shown when the Investigating Officer Inspector Mutalib told our Mr.P.Uthayakumar that the Officer in charge of criminal Investigations (OCCI) had directed him to release the said assemblers only when “cerah” ie upon daylight when all the investigations had been completed by 5.00a.m. and only waiting to be released on police bail. They were then all unnecessarily hearded back to another room while waiting for “cerah”. Why did it take almost twelve hours to release the 16 of them. Every minute of their liberty and freedom is guaranteed for by Article 5 of the Federal Constitution. This was so despite our lawyer Mr.N.Surendran making repeated phone calls to the Senior Investigating Officer from about 5.00a.m. onwards.

To add insult to injury a police officer on the 6th floor was clad merely in a towel while on duty and while taking their intelligence statements. The three ladies in detention were never accompanied by female police personnel.

Worst off all one of the detainee Mr.Uthayakumar Subramaniam’s handphone was stolen by a man he believed to be a policeman right in the heart of the Jalan Tun H.S.Lee police station! Assuming he was not a policeman, why was the intruder allowed to reign supreme in the said police station which is a security area especially so in the wee hours of the morning (6.50a.m.). A police report was lodged but the criminal was never arrested. The police did not immediately cordon off the police station and refused to even search for the criminal despite we specifically asking for the same. Then using this hand stolen handphone, this “policeman” telephoned Mr.Uthayakumar Subramaniam’s sister, demanded RM500.00 for his release or he would be remanded for 14 days. His sister said she only had RM350.00 and banked in the same into his account. We believe this criminal works hand in glove with the police and has been in “business” for sometime. A copy of the police report and the banking in slip is enclosed herewith for your further action.

All these can happen only in Malaysia and no other part of the world. We regret to note that our police force had hardly progressed in terms of efficiency, reducing crime rate and professionalism in these 52 years since independence. And yet the present Inspector General of Police’s tenure was extended by one year for the second time in two years.

Thank you.

Your faithfully,

_______________________

P.Uthayakumar
Secretary General (pro-tem)
HUMAN RIGHTS PARTY

Indian Studies Department, UM, historical documents from London revealed. MIC Minister’s misrepresentation.

08th September 2009

YAB. Dato Seri Najib Razak,
Prime Minister of Malaysia,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan, By Fax No : 03-8888 3444
62502 Putrajaya. E-Mail : najib@pmo.gov.my

Y.B Dato Seri Mohd Khaled Bin Nordin
Minister of Higher Education Malaysia,
Aras 7, Block E3, Complex E,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan, By Fax No : 03-8889 1952
62505 Putrajaya. E-Mail : minister@mohe.gov.my

Y.A.B,

RE : 1) The unconstitutional downgrading of the Indian Studies Department at University of Malaya and the misrepresentation by the MIC Minister that all is well (The Star 3/9/9/ page N10)

2) Historical document by Malayan-born Indian Association Penang dated 11/7/1956 on the wishes and sentiments of the then Malayan Indian Citizens that led to the setting up of the Indian Studies Department, University of Malaya

3) Indian Studies Department acts as the guardian and custodian of the 105,618 Tamil School pupils in the 523 Tamil schools nationwide and to train the 7,126 Tamil school teachers (as at 2008)

We refer to the above matter and to the Indian Studies Department (ISD) at University Malaya being downgraded (Malaysia Nanban 28/8/09, headlines, Tamil Nesan 28/8/09, front page and Makkal Osai front page) It is plain and obvious that this is done with mala fide and against the letter and spirit of the Federal Constitution and regretfully executed under the leadership of the UMNO controlled One Malaysian government.

If at all, Prime Minister Najib Razak’s One Malaysia should build on what we already have in the ISD and not downgrade the same let alone being seen to be heading in the direction of putting the ISD to extinction as had been done for many other Indian symbols in Malaysia.

In the circumstances we urge your goodselves to restore the ISD at University of Malaya as it was and approve a further grant of RM52 Million per annum from this year onwards for the further expansion and development of this said Department signifying 52 years for this department being neglected.

Further Article 12 of the Federal Constitution provides for “no discrimination against any citizen on the grounds only of race, religion, descent or place of birth. Article 12 may not specifically state about the ISD aforesaid. However the travaux preparotaries (official records of the negotiations which help clarify the intentions of a document) as is in the historically documented letter by the Malayan born Indian Association, Penang dated the 11th day of July 1956 to The Secretary, Office of the Constitutional Commission, Lake View Road, Kuala Lumpur, Federation of Malaya (copy enclosed) proves the wishes sentiments and the legitimate expectations of the then Malayan Indian citizens, the historical origins, setting up, developments and existence of the Indian Studies Department at University Malaya.

May we quote Paragraph 10 of the said letter “We submit as the majority of Indians are of Tamils, a Tamil Chair should be set up in the University of Malaya and every facility should be given to Tamils who wish to learn the language and imbibe the culture. Please take note that it was primarily on this basis that the Indian Studies Department was established at the University of Malaya. We urge your goodselves to maintain and preserve this historical Department which is also the History and Heritage of this country. The Head of this Department should be maintained from amongst University Malaya’s or other Universities’ academics who are scholars in the Tamil language.

This ISD as the one and only specialist Institution of Higher Learning in Tamil in Malaysia which would go a long way in also providing training, learning and upward mobility opportunities for Tamil school Headmasters, Senior Assistants and graduate teachers who could in turn churn out quality future human resources for the country. This Indian Studies Department should be expended and made to train all 7,126 Tamil School Headmaster, Senior Assistants and Teachers to secure their Phd, all Tamil School Senior Assistants to have at least a Masters and all Tamil School Teachers to have at least a Degree, which is to be implemented within the next six years from next year ie 2010. This would effectively mean that all the 105,618 Tamil School pupils as at 2008(NST 25/11/08 at page 7) in all the 523 Tamil Schools nationwide would all be taught by at least graduate teachers by the year 2015

This progressive step would definitely go a long way and would be on course and in tandem with Prime Minister Najib’s One Malaysia policy in actual practice as opposed to be seen as mere media propaganda as it stands today.

The sole MIC Minister but who is the Human Resources Minister and not the Higher Education Minister however has made a statement like his predecessor that the Cabinet has decided that the Indian Studies Department (ISD) of University Malaya will remain and is to be headed by a qualified Malaysian Indian “The Cabinet decided on this yesterday” (The Star 3/9/09 at page N10). He further states so in the New Straits Times on 3/9/09 at page 20. This supposed Cabinet decision is in effect yet another UMNO style political gimmick and holds no water. Why was this statement not made by the Minister of Higher Education himself but as usual done by UMNO’s Mandore.

However the New Straits Times had earlier on 29/8/2009 at page 18 reported MIC President Dato Seri S.Samy Vellu as having said that he was “informed by Human Resources Minister Dr.S.Subramaniam that the cabinet has agreed to maintain the name of the ISD after Dr.Subramaniam had raised the matter at a recent cabinet meeting. However it was after and despite this supposed cabinet decision that the Vice Chancellor of University of Malaya had decided to rename the Department to Indian and South Asian Studies Department. This violation of the cabinet decision would not have arisen had this cabinet decision been announced by the Minister of Education himself. To add to this ambiguity the Makkal Osai on 7/9/09, front page has reported that the retention of the ISD is only temporary.

It is yet again very obvious that the sole malaysian Indian representative in the Malaysian Cabinet is powerless in addressing this issue as in almost all other issues in over all these 52 years. We therefore urge that all future announcements affecting the Indian community is made by the respective Ministers and not UMNO’s mandore MIC Cabinet Minister or MIC, PPP or Gerakan Indian leaders as it most often turns out to be mere empty talk and puppet shadow play “wayang kulit” and not followed by the Universities or the government departments.

May we bring to your goodselves attention that not only has the Indian Studies Department produced top Tamil scholars in over the last 52 years since Independence but has amongst others also produced the present top most Indian police officer in the country in the person of P/Senior Assistant Commissioner 1 Dato’ A Thaiveegan.

We hereby call upon the Prime Minister and the Higher Education Minister to raise this matter at tomorrows Cabinet Meeting(9/9/09), make a Cabinet Decision and thereafter on the same day make a public announcement by either the Prime Minister or the Higher Education Minister that the ISD would be maintained as it was all these 52 years, the RM52 Million additional grant to the ISD and that the ISD would always be headed by a scholar in the Tamil language.

Kindly also issue the Education Ministry’s circular to this effect to the Vice Chancellor of University of Malaya and forward a copy of the same to us. The least that could be done by UMNO is to direct the Vice Chancellor to make a written public statement on the aforesaid proposed cabinet decision.

As the Prime Minister for all One Malaysians kindly address this unnecessary, backward moving, racially divisive and tension creating issue with immediate effect and revert to us accordingly.

Thank you.

P.Uthayakumar
Secretary General (pro tem)
Human Rights Party (HRP)


Indian born malayan association letter-1.jpg

Malayan born iNDIAN 2.jpg

Indian born malayan association letter-3.jpg

From cow-headed to level-headed education

By Azly Rahman

How must we re-educate those who protested in such a style against the relocation of a Hindu temple? What gross deficiencies in our educational system contributed to the creation of beings that displayed such hatred?

What then must we do to reverse the evolution of hate groups sponsored by those who wish to sustain the dying ideology of ethnic politics?

These are the difficult questions Malaysian children will inherit. In the cow-head protest there were children involved; those tender young minds who will hopefully understand what respect for race, ethnicity, and religion means. Hopefully they will be strong enough to release themselves from the shackles of hatred, after 52 years of Malaysia’s independence.

We must blame the continuing survival of communal politics for the creation of hate-based groups. Because our Independence is an illusion and Malaysia is an imagined community that is thriving on rhetoric and slogans, we have a fragile system of in-breeding of hyper-modernised politics of hate.

Because the insatiable urge for wealth and power necessitates the maintenance of ‘politics of divide-and conquer and rule through racial annihilations’, we are heading towards a brink of destruction. We will see more ‘cow-head’ antics orchestrated form time to time in order for organized chaos to reign.

We must blame the contradictions and the hypocrisy in the translation of our national educational philosophy for the display of the cow-head politics we are witnessing.

Though the philosophy, mission, and vision of our educational system is elegantly worded and loudly trumpeted, we have hidden hands orchestrating the game of divide and rule and segregation. Underneath the canopy of the elegance of the rhetoric lie structural violence; a base and superstructure of politics of race that has come to a breaking point.

The way Malaysians school their children – from pre-kindergarten to post-graduate levels – is characterised by the insistence that race-politics must be propagated by all means necessary. Narratives on what Malaysia is – drawn from kampong folks to retired professors – oftentimes reflect the same theme: maintain race-politics and let this or that race dominates.

We must blame the mainstream media as agents of race-based and racist socialisation for shaping race and class consciousness in a Malaysia badly in need of a way out of racial intolerance; a path charted wrongly for the sake of glorifying greed over virtue, wants over needs, and indoctrination over education guised in the name of blind patriotism.

The media as an extension of the state now has life of its own profiting from the manufacture of chaos and the production of conflict. In time of economic troubles when the masses are suffering while the elite are still conspicuously consuming, the media will have a ball of a time translating repressed emotion into a reason to project mass anger against this or that race.

The British colonials did a wonderful job in perception management – divide and conquer the natives and create perceptions of this or that superiority amongst them so that they will not see the bigger picture. Hitler did a good job at this too. Stir up emotions during that time of economic depression, tell repeated lies, and create an enemy of the state, and next get those millions of young Germans to join the Nazi party.

‘Indoctrinated nation’

We must also blame ourselves for not educating our children enough in matters of racial and religious tolerance. We have failed to tell our children that the Malay, Chinese, Indian, Sikh, Kadazan, Iban, and hybridised groups they see in their classrooms and in the neighborhood are fellow-Malaysians and part of what our country has evolved into.

How could our children be taught to hate this or that group when their teachers – the managers and transmitters of virtue – are of this or that race?

The cow-head politics we saw in Selangor last week is a grim picture of how our educational institution is failing to create a citizenry that celebrates diversity and willing to learn about each other’s religious belief. In essence, we have become an ‘indoctrinated’ rather than an educated nation, a furious 52-year- old rather than a forgiving one ready to meet its Maker.

As a nation we are drowning in dangerous waters; from a flash flood we created. Bahtera Merdeka is sinking. How do we save ourselves? How do we evolve out of this cow-head politics we are witnessing.

Again, we must turn to education and the radical restructuring of it. Education as a gentle profession and a powerful enterprise for social and personal progress must be restructured. Its philosophy must be recaptured.

But what philosophical orientation must we embrace? Social reconstructionism and education for spiritual capitalism perhaps. For too long we have been trumpeting ‘human capital’, ‘educational for national development’, ‘education for nation-building’ and all those fancy words we blindly borrow from the pages of work of modernisation theorists and post-industrialist theorists.

These have become meaningless. We are living with the contradictions of the manifestations of these words that have been translated into policies.

What we need is not a better educational philosophy that will make our children more sophisticated racist and aspiring robber barons. We have a generation of these already. What we need is a philosophy sound enough to create a powerful generation that will care for fellow human beings and ones that understands that the Earth’s resources are enough for one’s need and not for one’s greed, as Gandhi said.

Ah, we have made a wrong turn in history. But education is still about hope and love. Evolve we must – from cow headed to level-headed education.

MIC Elections 2009: Nothing but lies, says MIC chief

The Malay Mail,

I defeated Subra fair and square in 1977, says MIC chief
Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 09:14:00

Samy Vellu
“DATUK V. Govindaraj and Datuk S. Subramaniam are pathological liars”.

That is MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu's reaction to our front-page report yesterday that former MIC strongman Datuk V. Govindaraj rigged the party’s 1977 polls to favour Samy Vellu.

In a letter to Malay Mail, Samy Vellu said there was no way Govindaraj could have pocketed 30 votes to allow him to defeat Subramaniam by 26 votes in the race to be MIC deputy president that year. He said he defeated Subramaniam fair and square.



 samy
Tamil Nesan 0080909

Samy Vellu said it was mathematically impossible, considering the number of votes cast in the election and the certainty that Subramaniam would have challenged the election result had he really known of the alleged fraud.

“A total of 1,080 votes were cast by delegates in the 1977 election. There were 553 votes cast in my favour and 527 votes for Datuk S. Subramaniam. I won by 26 votes.

“If Govindaraj had stolen 30 votes, it would have amounted to a total of 1,110 votes cast, which was not the case,” said Samy Vellu, adding that Subramaniam had endorsed Govindaraj’s lie in suggesting that he (Subramaniam) knew of Govindaraj’s misdeed during the 1977 election.

He said it was also simply unthinkable that Subramaniam did not challenge the election result, if it was true that the latter was aware of the alleged fraud. Samy Vellu said Govindaraj first brought up these claims in 2006, when he was sacked from MIC.

“At about the same time, the MIC elections were under way. At those elections, Datuk G. Palanivel stood against and defeated Subramaniam for the deputy presidency. These lies have now resurfaced at the current elections for the same post. I'm sure the same lies will be repeated as long as I am party president.”

He said it was also interesting to note that in 2006, Govindaraj had claimed that he had stolen and “eaten” the ballot slips during the 1977 ballot count, but has now reverted to saying that he placed the ballots in his pocket instead.

“The 1977 elections were supervised by then MIC president Tan Sri V. Manickavasagam. The people counting the votes were all appointed by the Central Working Committee. Like me, Govindaraj was just an observer and had no access to the table where the counting was done. He merely stood away from the table, watching the proceedings with me.”

Samy Vellu said it was odd that while Govindaraj had confessed his alleged wrongdoing to Subramaniam, he had not suggested that he (Samy Vellu) was a party to the alleged misdeed or that Subramaniam had informed him of the same.

He also said it was sad that Govindaraj and Subramaniam had tried to give their statements credibility by dragging the late Datuk K. Pathmanaban into the fray .

“I’m sure Pathmanaban would never have endorsed this lie. Pathmanaban and I simply parted ways because due to a momentary lapse in judgment, I picked Subramaniam over Pathmanaban for the post of Deputy Agriculture Minister after the 1990 elections.”

In the letter, Samy Vellu also lashed out at Malay Mail, saying that “it has become habitual for the author of these articles and for this particular newspaper to deride me, my community and the MIC at every given opportunity.”

He singled out Malay Mail editor-at-large Frankie D’Cruz for being responsible for taking on this role.
In our front-page report yesterday, we quoted 76-year-old Govindaraj saying that he had pocketed 30 votes meant for Subramaniam in the contest for the deputy president's post against Samy Vellu 31 years ago.

Govindaraj claimed he stole three bundles of 10 votes each from the scrutineers’ table when they were distracted by a commotion and put them in the pocket of his batik shirt.

Subramaniam ended up losing to Samy Vellu by a mere 26 votes and the latter became president when the then president Tan Sri V. Manickavasagam died in 1979.

Govindaraj, who is a former MIC vice-president, said his misdeed was done “on the spur of the moment” and was “not instigated by anyone”.

He also said he had apologised to Subramaniam and the late Datuk K. Pathmanaban the same day and that “both of them forgave me”.

In the report, Subramaniam said Govindaraj had confessed to himself and Pathmanaban about stealing the votes and that he (Subramaniam) chose not to wallow over the misfortune he suffered.

 samy

makkal osai 080909

******

MIC division slighted to see minister 'humiliated'

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 09:06:00
chandran

Chandran: Samy Vellu treats the minister like a schoolboy

A LONG-time supporter of MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has hit out at the party leadership for what he describes as “demeaning” treatment accorded to the sole MIC representative in the Cabinet.

K.S. Chandran, former MIC Hulu Selangor division chairman, said although Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam, the Human Resources Minister, was party secretary-general, the MIC leadership was not giving him the due respect he deserved.

“At almost every State MIC function the minister is sidelined and not given the limelight by the party leadership,” Chandran, who is the current Bandar Utama Batang Kali branch chairman, said.

“Whenever the party president is present at any function, he hogs the limelight and the minister has to take the cue from the president to either speak or do anything,” said Chandran, who has sent a memorandum to that effect to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“When I see the minister being given the back seat, I feel very hurt because he is our only full minister in the Cabinet and the party leadership ought to treat him with more respect, not just suck up to the president.”

At the recent Selangor State MIC delegates convention, he said, the State liaison congress committees gave Subramaniam a very poor reception.

“They did not even garland him. The president, whenever he is present, treats the minister like a schoolboy who can only open his mouth when called upon by the president to answer questions from the floor or delegates.”

Chandran, who came to Malay Mail office with several members from his branch, said he had received feedback from many Indians, both inside and outside the party, expressing their disappointment at seeing Dr Subramaniam being treated like an ordinary member.

Former MIC Deputy President Subramaniam To Face MIC Diciplinary Committee

Ex-MIED chief takes her fight to IRD

But her fate now in the hands of Human Resources Minister, who is also MIC secretary-general
Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 , The Malay Mail
chitrakala Vasu
FIERY P. Chitrakala Vasu, the former chief executive of Maju Institute of Educational Development (MIED), the jewel in the crown of the MIC, has renewed her war with Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.


The 38-year-old mother of four, who has been accused by Samy Vellu of misappropriating MIED money, has lodged a report about her constructive dismissal as CEO with the Industrial Relations Department.

Chitrakala, a one-time confidante of the MIC president, who is also MIED chairman, has claimed in her report that she had been unlawfully removed as the CEO.

Samy Vellu had pinned allegations and financial improprieties connected with MIED on Chitrakala who was subsequently issued with five show-cause letters.

Chitrakala’s complaint was heard last Thursday after being postponed twice earlier.

However, since no agreement could be reached between her and MIED, the matter has now been referred to the Minister of Human Resources, Datuk S. Subramaniam.

It is learnt that Tan Sri G. Vadiveloo and Datuk Dr T. Marimuthu turned up representing MIED.

The latest development in the slug fest between Samy Vellu and Chitrakala has begun to take prominence
in the run-up to the MIC elections on Sept 12, particularly the construction cost of AIMST university that had reportedly ballooned to RM500 million from RM230 million.

MIED, the MIC’s education arm that operates the Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology (AIMST) in Kedah and other colleges, is reportedly worth RM1 billion.

MIED runs AIMST, which was officially opened last year, through MIED Capital Sdn Bhd.

Chitrakala said in her report to the Industrial Relations Department that she had replied to all the five show-cause letters issued to her late last year, supported with documentary evidence.

However, she did not receive any response from MIED on her explanations.

A domestic inquiry panel comprising Tan Sri K.S. Nijhar, Vadiveloo and Datuk G. Palanivel was formed early this year to inquire into the allegations against Chitrakala.

The panel was dissolved soon after and was replaced with a new three-member panel. However, it is not known whether this panel did meet.

Chitrakala alleged that, initially, when she enquired about her salary arrears, she was informed by MIED that it could not credit her salary because the police had frozen her accounts pending investigations.

It is learnt that the freeze on Chitrakala’s accounts was lifted recently. She wrote to MIED notifying it of the development and requested for arrears salary.

MIED replied that her salary would only be paid upon completion of the internal investigations.

Aggrieved by MIED’s refusal to pay her salary for more than five months with no explanation on her employment status and its refusal to furnish documents requested by her, Chitrakala deemed herself as constructively dismissed and reported the matter to the Industrial Relations Department in July.

When contacted, Chitrakala confirmed that she had lodged a complaint with IRD.

“The matter is now in the hands of the Human Resources Minister who I hope will handle my complaint
with conscience,” she said.

Subramaniam, who is secretary-general of MIC, is in Samy Vellu’s “official” line-up as one of three vice- presidents in the party elections on Saturday.

Chitrakala said she is carrying on with her battle quietly as undue publicity causes agony to her aged parents and family members and that their safety is also a concern.

“I have filed this action mainly to fight the gross injustice and embarrassment brought to me by Samy Vellu.”

Though she is combating this battle alone, the daughter of a retired police clerk said she is doing it right using the available legal avenues.

Samy Vellu, 73, himself made Chitrakala chief executive of MIED. He has since accused her of misappropriating MIED money.

She is accusing him of hijacking MIED and tsunami relief funds and betraying the trust of the Indian community.

From great friends to sworn enemies

THEY were great friends, now they are mean enemies accusing each other of thievery, immorality and betrayal.

To P.Chitrakala Vasu, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu was more than a friend or a benefactor. He was the man who financed her education, launched her career and stood by her for over 20 years.

Chitrakala, 38, is now involved in an increasingly venomous spat that began after the March 8 general election when, according to her, he became suspicious of everybody around him.

She once told the media: “He (Samy Vellu) felt very insecure after losing in Sungai Siput and losing as minister. Not being a minister anymore and without it he was a nobody. He knew his days were numbered and he would be challenged for the president’s post. So he got very insecure and saw enemies everywhere.”

Then the accusations rolled:
• Chitrakala claimed Samy Vellu saw MIED as a different entity that should have nothing to do with MIC or the Indian community.
• One of the first moves Samy Vellu made, and over which Chitrakala recoiled, was the removal of former MIC deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam as a director of MIED.
• The crunch came when Chitrakala alleged that Samy Vellu tried to force her to make payments to AIMST University contractors without proper documentation.
• She alleged Samy Vellu also asked her to make advance payment to contractors.
• Samy Vellu, on the other hand, has accused her of misappropriating MIED money.
• On Samy Vellu’s instruction, MIED lodged several police reports against her. She retaliated, lodging two reports against Samy Vellu in the tit-for-tat war. Police interviewed both of them.
• The claws soon came out with both publicly calling each other a thief. Samy described her as being a “thief devoid of any morals”.
• Chitrakala then laid bare the murky financial dealings of MIC, implicating Samy Vellu in mismanagement of party funds and misappropriation of government money.
• She alleged that up to RM2 million raised for tsunami victims in 2004 was transferred from government accounts to a party foundation controlled by the MIC president.
• She also alleged that lorry-loads of files were removed from the office of MIED.
• The furious slug fest gripped the attention of the nation and then went quiet, leading many to think Chitrakala had given up her fight.
• That was not to be. Last Thursday’s Industrial Relations Department hearing has resumed the war.