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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hindraf members commemorate Nov 25 rally - Malaysiakini

About two dozen Hindraf supporters gathered at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre shopping mall this morning to take part in a hunger strike to commemorate the second year anniversary of the movement's mass gathering.

Led by Hindraf activist S Jayathas, the group arrived at the KLCC entrance at about 9.10am. Sixteen of them were wearing orange coloured Hindraf t-shirt. Most of them also have anti-ISA badges on them.

They plan to observe an 18-hour hunger strike until 4pm to represent the movement's 18-point demands to the government to alleviate the plight of the Indian community in this country.

"The 18-point demands are meant to alleviate the ethnic Indians Malaysians from hardcore poverty.

"There is no guidance and opportunities for the Indians, so many turn to crime. The government knows about the problem but is not taking action," said Jayathas.

One of those participating in the hunger strike T Samy, 32, said he joined the group to highlight the "sufferings" of the Indian community.

"The government should open their ears to the Indian plight. Treat us fairly," said Samy, an engineer from Klang, Selangor.

The police - numbering about 24 - are monitoring the situation.

The KLCC management meanwhile had requested the group not to sit on the pavement as it would disrupt their business.

Memo to PM too

Although the group agreed to this request, the police had then asked the group to disperse following complaints from the property owners. The police also told the group that they were involved in an illegal gathering.

NONEJayathas refused to stop the hunger strike and split his group into smaller groups of four to continue with the hunger strike.

Later today at 1pm, a group of children will present the hunger-strikers with garlands before proceeding to Putrajaya to hand the same 18-point memorandum to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

On Nov 25, 2007, some 30,000 mobilised in the streets of Kuala Lumpur following a protest rally called by Hindraf to submit a memorandum to the British High Commission on the situation of Indians here.

The government had banned Hindraf last October.

Memo left at PM's office

They arrived at the PM's office at about 2.45pm but there was a brief stand-off between them and a representative from the premier's department over where the memorandum will be handed over.The group had wanted the premier's representative to come out to meet them while the other party had invited five representatives from the group to go in to deliver the memorandum.After waiting for about 45 minutes, the group then left their memorandum at the doorstep and dispersed. Those on the hunger-strike will break their fast at 4pm.A small team of police personnel was also on standby to monitor the situation.On Nov 25, 2007, some 30,000 mobilised in the streets of Kuala Lumpur following a protest rally called by Hindraf to submit a memorandum to the British High Commission on the situation of Indians here.The government had banned Hindraf last October.

News flash (11.30 am)

25th November 2nd Anniversary Hindraf 18 point

demands Hunger strike at KLCC today 25/11/2009. About 100 Hindraf supporters had gathered at KLCC. At 10.00 a.m. one ASP Suhaimi told our Information Chief S. Jayathas who is a Kidney patient with a knee problem not to sit down on the floor at the KLCC main entrance. S. Jayathas told the ASP that he and the others have a right to be there and assemble peacefully further to Article 10 of the Federal Constitution (freedom of assembly). There is a heavy police presence of about 100 personnell at KLCC. Most of the hunger strikers are standing nearby in groups of 4 to avoid arrest.




Ku Li will know what to do about caucus, says DPM

Muhyiddin says party is more important than state and members should respect this principle. — Picture by Choo Choy May

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 — In what appears to be confusion whether Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah will head the oil royalty caucus, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today said he believes the Umno veteran will make a correct decision on the matter.

“We will leave it to the wisdom of Tengku Razaleigh. I think he has been long in the party so he knows what decision he should make,” Muhyiddin told a press conference in Parliament.

Yesterday, Parliamentary Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced that the founding chairman of Petronas had accepted the invitation to head the caucus to be set up by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers to probe the oil royalty issue.

However, the mainstream media reported today that the Gua Musang MP had neither accepted nor declined the invitation.

The Barisan Nasional (BN) deputy chairman also urged the Kelantan prince to carefully consider before making any decision.

“I have read the news but I have not received any detailed report on his real position.

“It is better that Tengku Razaleigh carefully analyse because even though it involves the state of Kelantan, it (caucus) is sponsored by the opposition and Datuk Seri Anwar himself is behind it.

“On a common basis, it is not appropriate but I think Tengku Razaleigh understands this and we will let him to analyse before making the final decision,” Muhyiddin added.

The Umno deputy president also stressed that party is more important than state and its members should respect the principle.

“We have a principle that BN parties do not get involved in these matters. We are tied to these principles even though we know its (caucus) purpose.

“We also know the subject matter of their cause and BN members can get direct access from the ministries and state government to get the real picture,” he said.

The proposed caucus aims to draft amendments to the Petroleum Development Act to ensure that oil-producing states — including opposition-controlled Kelantan — receive royalties in line with the philosophy that constituted the Act in 1974.

Tengku Razaleigh’s involvement in the opposition campaign to get oil royalty for Kelantan formally started last Wednesday when he said that the state had the right to receive profit from its oil.

The former finance minister was involved in the drafting of the Act and the opposition has argued that the law was drafted to ensure that oil-producing states receive 5 per cent royalty.

He said that it was Kelantan’s “constitutional right” to receive royalty.

But Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has said that Kelantan was not entitled to it as the oil is extracted beyond state waters or beyond three nautical miles from the shore.

This argument was again used as the government’s defence in not giving Kelantan royalty by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Nazri Aziz when pressed by the Opposition in Parliament last week.

Kelantan, which is under PAS control, will instead receive “goodwill payment” for its oil, said Najib.

The announcement sparked an uproar among PR lawmakers, particularly those from PAS, who have been fighting to get oil royalty since 2001. The campaign was led by Kelantan state exco Datuk Husam Musa.

The Bala Interview Part 2 of 3

Two years on, Hindraf a spent force

Hindraf supporters stage a hunger strike in front of KLCC in Kuala Lumpur this morning to mark the second anniversary of the massive Hindraf protest in the city. — Picture by Jack Ooi

By Baradan Kuppusamy- The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 — Two years ago on this day in 2007 Hindraf organised a protest that saw thousands of working-class Indians take to the streets here, but little remains of its influence today.

The way the rival Hindraf factions are marking the 2nd anniversary of the protest today is indicative of the bleak future of the movement founded by brothers P. Waythamoorthy and Uthayakumar, both lawyers.

While several of the original six Hindraf leaders, including the five who were held under the ISA, are apathetic, many of its members have moved on by joining political parties like the DAP or PKR.

Leaders like Uthayakumar and the former national co-ordinator R.S. Thanenthiran have set up their own political parties and others like former Hindraf treasurer Vasantha Kumar have set up their own NGOs.

All are one way or the other using the Hindraf or Makkal Sakthi name to keep the Indian protest fire alive and hope to ride the wave to political victory in the next general election.

Vasantha Kumar is organising a large-scale Hindraf 2nd anniversary gathering in Klang tonight where he is also expected to formally join the PKR.

A VVIP, believed to be PKR supremo Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, is expected to attend, a key organiser of the function told The Malaysian Insider.

He said however that Anwar’s attendance would depend on the size of the crowd and whether the police permit is cancelled at the last minute.

“We are keeping our fingers crossed,” said the organiser who declined to be named.

“Police had shut down a gathering in Johor last week just before Anwar spoke… the same can happen here.”

“We expect at least 5,000 people,” he said.

Text messages are also circulating claiming that Uthayakumar would attend Vasantha Kumar's rally but Uthayakumar when contacted denied he would attend.

"We are marking the Hindraf anniversary in a grand way with protests, fast, prayers and other events," he said.

Uthayakumar and Vasantha Kumar were once close but have since fallen out, accusing each other of pilfering money or working for the police.

A rival Hindraf gathering is also being organised in Klang and probably targeted to draw the crowd away from Vasantha Kumar’s event.

Hindraf insiders say the rival event is organised by supporters of Uthayakumar, who is pro-tem president of the Human Rights Party Malaysia.

Uthayakumar's aides say it is all right for Hindraf supporters to organise functions to mark Hindraf’s 2nd anniversary anywhere in the country.

"We have a strong support base in Klang," the aide said, declining to comment on Vasantha Kumar's rally. "He has betrayed the Hindraf aims and mission."

Vasantha Kumar could not be reached for comment.

To mark the day Uthayakumar is organising several events under the title of “neo-democratic revolution” against the “totalitarian government led by Umno.”

The event involves a protest fast by 18 supporters outside KLCC, a memorandum to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and prayers at “more than 100 locations” in the country followed by a Ruthra Yagam or fire ritual prayers at the Agora Veerabathrar Sanggili Karuppar temple at 17½ mile Kampung. Benggali, Rawang, on Nov 29.

Unlike 2007, Hindraf is increasingly giving up on direct political action and relying more on religion through fasting and prayers as tools to organise and win over the Indian working class.

At the other end of the spectrum is the newly-formed pro-Barisan Nasional Makkal Sakthi party which is well funded. It is using a direct house-to-house approach to meet and persuade Indians to join up and support BN.

Its weapon of persuasion is the measures taken by the government under Najib to resolve longstanding woes like getting citizenship and identity cards.

"We are finally recognised and our demands are gradually met... this is the time for us to reap the benefits for our community," said a state leader of the Makkal Sakthi Party. "Pakatan promised but failed to deliver, Barisan is delivering without even promising."

Makkal Sakthi party is particularly active in Perak where the balance of power between Pakatan Rakyat and BN is almost even and Indian voters can make or break either coalition.

The MIC too is rebuilding itself from defeat and with long-time president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu expected to exit by May 2010; the party will have a new leader and probably a new mission — to reunite Indians under its wings.

With its ranks woefully split and challenged from outside by new players and a re-energised MIC, Hindraf is fast losing its influence.

It also lacks a creative and imaginative leadership to pull it out of the rut and turn it into a united and national political force.

Beware of ‘terrorists’ within

It cannot be possible for non-Muslims to be unaffected if there are people who are spreading an “Islamic” ideology where you should not interact with people of other faiths, where they are to be viewed as lesser beings and where they constantly have to be made to respect Muslims without any commiserate respect in return.

By Marina Mahathir (The Star)

OVER dinner in the past week, the conversations have taken a worried turn. “Where are we heading?” was the predominant question.

Even if our habit is to continually complain, there was a more plaintive note this time. Optimism was not in abundance.

I’ve found a lot of despondency lately among the thinking citizens of this country about the state we’ve found ourselves in.

There is an economic crisis going on and that’s bad enough. But why does everything else seem to be going crazy as well?

People don’t feel safe and they don’t feel they can trust the police. Friends of mine who got robbed and received no help from the police complained publicly about it.

When I checked recently with them if anything had improved, they said no, and they were preparing to move to another area. So are many of their neighbours.

Feeling safe in one’s own home and neighbourhood is a basic expectation of any citizen. So is the expectation that some of society’s other ills are being eradicated.

Corruption is one but yet we have dropped significantly in Transparency International’s corruption index. Shouldn’t we be embarrassed?

Or is it abnormal to expect that we don’t have to grease anyone’s palm to get anything done or to be given the opportunity to do any work?

What I found was disquiet among the people about the growing conservatism in this country.

It seems that there are people who are insisting that this country must prove its Islamic credentials by being more repressive, more punitive, more unforgiving of human transgressions.

These people insist that to be truly Islamic is to be harsh. Any-thing progressive is deemed not Islamic enough, if not outright un-Islamic.

As Islam and racial identity are so intertwined, we now have a situation where it looks as if this conservatism, which on the surface looks as if it would affect only Muslims, will actually impact on non-Muslims as well.

It cannot be possible for non-Muslims to be unaffected if there are people who are spreading an “Islamic” ideology where you should not interact with people of other faiths, where they are to be viewed as lesser beings and where they constantly have to be made to respect Muslims without any commiserate respect in return.

This conservatism should properly be called extremism and all ignore it at their peril. The oft-used tactic is to insist that nobody with a different viewpoint be allowed to speak for fear that it will cause “confusion”.

Yet for many Muslims raised on a benign gentle Islam, this aggressive and harsh Islam is the one that is confusing.

Another tactic is to insist on “credentials”. Previously, there was an insistence on academic credentials. But of late, even these are not enough.

As we have seen with (former Perlis mufti) Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, anyone who has the slightest inclination towards a more progressive interpretation of Islam is targeted.

Given the Government’s seeming paralysis on these extremists, we can understand why there are worries.

Issues that could have been handled and solved quickly are allowed to fester, so much so that they attract international attention. Where are our leaders on these issues? Are they hoping these will just disappear?

Concerned citizens are wondering if our leaders are too busy politicking that they can’t see what is happening under their noses.

It will not matter eventually who gets into office because if these extremists get their way, there will be no politicians nor a democracy, only a theocracy.

Already a politician has suggested that the best person to lead a coalition is in fact a religious leader, one who can hardly be called progressive. I can think of no worse scenario for our country.

In our neighbouring countries, voters have summarily dismissed any extremist parties as well as politicians who are using religion to gain points.

Over here we seem to think that putting on a religious face is the way to go. That would be fine if it was a progressive religious face, one that puts justice, equality and inclusiveness at its core.

While not explicitly endorsing the most backward interpretations, our politicians’ lack of criticism can easily be interpreted as support. Silent complicity is all the extremists need.

Meanwhile, those who are warning against these dangers are being demonised and persecuted. These acts terrorise others into silence as well.

As a result, otherwise decent people who are worried say nothing out of fear of what would happen to them and their families. If that continues, one day we will wake up to find the Malaysia we love irrevocably changed.

A public policy re-think in KL on the cards?

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 — A growing controversy over a RM628 million project awarded to the Naza Group without open tender could put pressure on the government to rethink public policy, given previous failed developments such as the Port Klang Free Zone.

Naza clinched the deal last week to build a RM628 million convention centre for the Malaysian External Development Corporation, an agency under the Ministry of International Trade, in exchange for 2.8 million square feet of prime land owned by the government in Kuala Lumpur.

Analysts have estimated the gross development value of the land at RM15 billion. The award has raised disquiet with at least one business paper asking searching questions in an editorial over the weekend and with the Opposition up in arms.

On Monday, DAP lawmaker Tony Pua asked for the minutes of the privatisation to be tabled in Parliament. He said that the whole exercise should be re-tendered.

“Failing which, we demand that all ministerial papers relating to the project be declassified and tabled in Parliament to prove that all necessary due diligence has been conducted with no inflated cost to the government and no inflated profits to the concessionaire,” he told reporters.

Such scrutiny — especially from the local media — would have been unthinkable during, say, the tenure of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. But the results of the general election last year have seen a resurgent Opposition.

In addition, the revelation of the Port Klang Free Zone fiasco, where a development budgeted for RM2.5 billion escalated to over RM10 billion, has left the public angry over the sheer waste of the project.

More to the point, some analysts actually question the viability of the convention centre project, pointing out that the site does not have the critical mass — hotels, restaurants, etc — to sustain such a development.

The convention centre in Putrajaya, for example, has proved to be a colossal failure. Oppositionists have estimated that the project, built for close to RM700 million, would take 300 years, assuming zero maintenance cost, for the project to break even.

The most successful convention centre is the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre which was built by Petronas near the site of the twin towers. It is booked solid for the next nine years but, even so, it took Petronas 10 years to go ahead because it felt that it would be difficult to get back its investment. — Business Times Singapore

Defending Nik Aziz

By Hafidz Baharom

Nik Aziz
I'M not a fan of Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat or his party, PAS. In fact, I am personally downright against PAS ever winning the federal or any state government. This is because what PAS stands for is not in line with my own liberal beliefs in terms of religious freedoms and social issues.

I think most of them are hypocrites, except for Tok Guru Nik Aziz. I mean, who else in PAS would call for an investigation into Selangor PAS for its antics?

Personally, I reckon the state's branch has gone power crazy, it being led by an ex-Umno leader and all. Even former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said about Selangor PAS chief Datuk Dr Hasan Ali: "No, not Hasan Ali. We can't reaccept him into Umno. I have had some bad experiences with this guy."

"Saint Nik", while far from being perfect, has been nothing but honest and critical, even calling for "problematic" leaders like Hasan to be removed from PAS. He has been similarly candid about other issues of national interest.

I'm guessing this is why he is being targeted by Kelantan Umno Youth. They have reported Tok Guru to the MACC, along with his son-in-law, for accepting an RM65,000 VVIP package to perform the haj (holy pilgrimage) as a gift.

In keeping with his style of governance, Nik Aziz dropped the haj from his schedule and said he would go next year. Seeing photos of a 78-year-old man crying after making such an announcement was heart-wrenching. And the fact that multiple members of the political fraternity on the Barisan Nasional (BN) side accept bigger "gifts" without similar media coverage makes my blood boil.

Umno's hypocrisy

Badruddin (Wiki commons)
Take former Jerai BN MP, Datuk Paduka Badruddin Amiruldin. After losing his seat, perhaps as a consequence of his sexism and also his remark that Karpal Singh was in a wheelchair as a punishment from God, guess what happened to him? He was made chairperson of the Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority (Fama).

How about what was given to the previous Selangor government's executive councillors? What would you call the RM40 million exco housing area in Shah Alam?

Some have called for Nik Aziz to resign as Kelantan menteri besar (MB) for having accepted the gift. Well, sure. If Tok Guru has to resign as MB for accepting this gift, then why is Datuk Seri Ali Rustam still Malacca chief minister after being found guilty of money politics in the Umno party elections? Why is Khairy Jamaluddin still head of Umno Youth after being issued a warning for being guilty of the same charge?

Kelantan Umno Youth also had the cheek to say that Nik Aziz accepting such a gift was "morally" wrong. Is it not also "morally wrong" to field a by-election candidate found guilty of money politics? Isn't it also morally wrong to deny state royalty payments for oil, and simply labelling it wang ehsan? Isn't it also morally wrong to be sexist?

What about leaders who spend the state's money to go off to Disneyland? Is this not morally wrong? How about asking civil servants to "close one eye" for one's personal timber shipment so one can make a quick buck? Is this not also morally wrong? And weren't all of these perpetrated by either individual Umno leaders or an Umno-led government?

(Pic by John Takai / Dreamstime)
In trying to look virtuous, Kelantan Umno Youth is akin to a soot-covered pot calling a slightly smudged kettle black.

Tok Guru no angel

Like I said, I'm no fan of Tok Guru. Far from it, I sometimes hate his guts due to some of his rather harsh statements. For example, when he said smokers are no better than defecating cows. In the last general election, allegedly all candidates from PAS were non-smokers. Yet, I understand that there are still closeted "cows" within PAS's ranks of elected representatives.

I also took offence when he likened Umno members to orang hutan.

He even said you see the "moon" (PAS) all the time, while nobody uses "weighing scales" (BN) anymore. Personally, I think both symbols are outmoded. Weighing scales make me think of the Libra sign in the Zodiac, and nobody uses the lunar calendar except for religious reasons.

No, I'm not a Tok Guru apologist. I just hate people living in a pigsty complaining over a speck of dust in another person's household.

HRC Responds: The rights of the elderly

Contributed by the Human Rights Committee

Ageing is an inevitable process for each and everyone. Have you ever pictured your old days? Imagine spending your remaining days homeless, with no proper income and savings, without proper access to food, sanitation, clothing and health, being perceived as a burden and marginalised by society.

Human rights are for everyone, including the elderly. All senior citizens should be equally entitled to the enjoyment of the full range of human rights without discrimination of any kind by virtue of their age. There are numerous international norms like the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (“ICESCR”) (and in particular the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights’ General Comment 6) and the United Nations International Plan of Action on Ageing that make reference to and set out standards concerning the rights of the elderly. Despite this, a national-level human rights framework focusing on respecting, protecting and fulfilling the rights of the elderly has however yet to emerged in Malaysia. Regrettably, direct and indirect discrimination and societal attitudes towards the elderly have impeded them from fully participating in all aspects of the political, economic, social and cultural life of our society.

Because of the lack of recognition of the rights of the elderly to an adequate standard of living, the highest attainable standard of health, economic independence, self fulfillment and dignity, full participation in community life remains a struggle and a distant reality for some. Elderly women specifically suffer double discrimination because of both their age and gender. The principles of equality and non-discrimination are enshrined in our Federal Constitution. However, our government is still striving to take these provisions beyond mere rhetoric through effective implementation of legislation, administrative programmes, policies and financial measures to properly cater for and realise the needs of the elderly and to offer redress in cases of violations of their rights.

Discrimination targeted at older employees has the potential of narrowing the economic opportunities for this vulnerable group in society. Some may be forced to accept odd jobs at low remuneration. Compared with other jurisdictions which have enacted anti-age-discrimination legislation, the economically-disadvantaged elderly in our country simply do not have appropriate complaint and remedy-pursuing avenues in cases where they face discrimination by virtue of their advancing age. In this regard, apart from the need to enact laws to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of age and gender, to capture any possible violations of elderly rights and properly accord them the right of redress, the government should also consider increasing the retirement age at the option of employees. An acceptable retirement age should take into account the nature of the job, and the general working ability and health-care conditions available today to the working population. Public and private sectors should be encouraged to continue hiring older employees by way of tax relief policy for instance. Similarly, older employees within the low income range should be given higher personal tax relief to enable them to have more disposable income.

Older persons are also more susceptible to old age diseases such as sight or hearing deterioration that would restrict their ability to work and this unavoidably also weakens their employability due to the medical costs associated with such conditions. The ill health of an older family member and ongoing financial concerns would inevitably result in immense stress and emotional strain on family members in providing care to older persons. As such, having an accessible, affordable and high-quality health care facilities and services specially catered for the elderly would promote the fulfillment of elderly rights to the highest attainable standard of health under Article 12 of the ICESCR. Further, there should be wide dissemination and access to information to create awareness and enable early detection of old age diseases especially in rural areas. As for the nursing homes, merely taking into care those elderly who are homeless or being placed there by their family members are insufficient. The type and nature of care being extended to older persons should always take into cognisance human rights principles. Caretakers should respect the private life, dignity and autonomy of older persons and not subject them to what could constitute torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

In addition, a lot of these vulnerable groups in society are actually unable or lack the ability to realise the rights themselves. For instance, many elderly with consistently low income simply would not have been able to afford the premium for health insurance or to contribute towards any kind of old-age benefits when they were young. Article 9 of the ICESCR dealing with "the right of everyone to social security, including social insurance" implicitly recognises the right to old-age benefits. The government should therefore undertake appropriate measures by way of legislation and to allocate sufficient resources to establish social security schemes that provide benefits and social services to older persons, starting at a specific age. This should nonetheless include non-contributory type of health care schemes.

With their age, social interaction of older persons with others in society may decrease due to limitations in their mobility and society’s unenthusiastic attitudes towards older persons. With the fast pace at which society is moving now, the pictures of older persons telling stories, sharing their life experience and skills with youngsters, playing chess, and exercise taichi in the parks have slowly faded. To repaint these pictures, it is critical to have a national education campaign to raise public awareness about age discrimination, understanding of needs and rights of the elderly and to promote the creation of a caring society towards elderly. In short, we have to actively include the elderly in our social activities. To achieve this, we also need to dismantle the barriers which hinder the elderly from fully participating in community life. There has to be studies and research made on the public transport system to determine the needs of the elderly and to make the public transport system more accessible and elderly-friendly. Lifts, handrails, lower buttons, signboards with large enough words and better lighting, reservation of seats for the elderly and announcements in various languages and dialects are necessary in public transport stations. Senior citizens should be given discounts on usage of public transport and social and recreational activities. More sponsored senior citizens associations should also be established and more gatherings and group excursions involving senior citizens should be actively organised by civil society to fulfil their emotional needs.

To target the issues of ageing, there is an immediate need for the government to not only ratify the ICESCR and implement it by way of domestic legislation, but to also incorporate ageing issues into the government’s plans of action. This has to be done by maximising the available resources for the elderly. On the other hand, society should shift from the adoption of a welfare-oriented approach to that of a rights-based framework in respect of the elderly. Perceptions of the elderly as victims, objects of pity or burden ought to be changed. Instead, we should recognise that the elderly have rights too. We must demand that the government be sensitive and accountable in fulfilling its minimum core obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of the elderly to which they are entitled. No doubt ageing is expected, but if the government and each and every one of us in society are willing to put in a little bit of effort towards creating an enabling environment where the elderly would be able to fully claim and enjoy their rights, we could make a positive difference to the lives of the elderly and improve what we can to better look forward to in our own golden days in the future.

Dated this 25th day of November 2009
Human Rights Committee
Bar Council

Proposal to let converts file for divorce in civil court

The Sun
By Karen Arukesamy

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 24, 2009) : A spouse who converts to Islam may be able to file for divorce in the civil courts instead of waiting for the non-Muslim partner to do so, according to several proposed amendments by the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

This will help avoid complications in dissolving civil marriages in these cases, said a representative from the AG’s Chamber DPP Mohamad Naser Disa.

Speaking at a briefing session at Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan here yesterday, Mohamad Naser said currently, a Muslim convert who has a civil marriage under subsection 51(1) of Law Reform (Marriage & Divorce) 1976 (Act 164), will have to wait for the non-Muslim partner to file for divorce in the civil court to dissolve the marriage.

The Act deals with matters related to civil marriages and divorce cases of non-Muslims and amending it will allow it cover persons married under the civil law but who later on converts to Islam.

Mohamad Naser said the amendment for subsection 3(3), if approved will enable the Muslim convert to file a petition to divorce the spouse at the Civil Court on religious conversion ground because the Syariah Court is only for those who profess Islam.

"If the non-Muslim spouse refuses to divorce his or her converted spouse, the civil marriage will not be dissolved under the law," he said.

He added that this means the Muslim spouse would not be able to remarry or have a new Muslim family.

Thus amending the Act to allow both the parties to be able to file a divorce would do justice to the Muslim spouse, Mohamad Naser said, adding however, under the amendment the divorce can only be filed three months after conversion.

On child custody, a new provision under section 88B prohibits any parent or guardian from registering the change in religion for the child below 18 years old without obtaining the other parent’s or guardian’s permission.

"Another proposed amendment will enable the Muslim spouse to only pay alimony for three months after conversion date or come up with a limited period of time as the Muslim individual is no longer bound by the civil law," he said, adding that presently, alimony has to be paid for life or until the former partner remarries.

Other amendments in Act 164 also include that converted spouse do not necessarily have to inform the family of the conversion.

"It is the responsibility of the registrar of the converts to inform the family and it need not be the parents of the convert but any member of the family, like even the in-laws," he said, adding that the proposals are open for debate.

Proposal To Extend MCA CC Fresh Elections To All Levels

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 (Bernama) -- MCA Central Committee member Datuk Ti Lian Ker on Wednesday suggested that the proposed fresh elections being considered by the three warring factions encompass all levels of the party.

He said the elections should start at the branch level and move up to the divisions and the central committee (CC) and include both the youth and women's wings.

Ti, who is a member of the party's presidential council, said the term of the present office bearers would end in April 2011 but fresh elections for the CC would extend its term to 2012 or 2013.

The proposed fresh elections at the CC level would result in misalignment in the term of office of the CC with that of the branch, division and youth and women's wings, he explained in a statement.

"To overcome the discrepancy in the term of office and to resolve the political conflict at every level, the fresh elections for the CC should also cover all levels including the youth and women's wings," said Ti, who heads the MCA non-governmental organisations bureau.

Hindraf 2nd Anniversary


International/Nation wide Prayer- Temple List


1. Highgate Murugan Temple London
2. Vinayagar Temple Wimbledon
3. Sri Thurgai Amman Temple Ealing
4.Sri Krishna Mandir Pales Straat Belgium
5. Sri Murugan Temple Brisbane Australia
6. Sri Sitti Vinayagar Temple New York


Location Lead Contact #

1. Muniandy Temple, Jalan Baru, Perai Kumar 012-5390250

2. Muthalaaman Kovil, Bukit Tambun, Anna Turai 017-4107244

Simpang Empat, Batu Kawan

3. Sunderasa Meenachiamman Temple, Waterfall Maran 012-5557522


4. Queen Street Mariamman Temple, Penang Selvam 016-4827974

5. Vinayagar Temple, Fettes Park, Penang Raju 019-4574855

6. Muniandy Temple, Tanjong Court, Farlim, Penang Shankar 016-5656917

7. Sri Gada Muniswara Temple, Island Park, Penang Kumar 013-4745451

8. Krishnan Temple, Sungai Dua, Penang Rajan 012-4589835

9. Mariamman Temple Bukit Tengah Sundar 016-4907650

10. Kaliamman Temple , Gelugor, Penang Maran 012-5557522

11. Poomarthaman Temple , Gelugor, Penang Kalay 012-5637614

12. Sri Maha Mariamman Alayam,Simpang Est, Babu

Simpang Ampat,Penang

13. Sri Argasiamman Alayam,Jawi,N.tebal Letchumanan 012-25585758

14. Sri sithi Vinayar Temple,N.Tebal Letchumanan 012-25585758

15. Sri Maha Mariamman temple,Kalidonia,N.Tebal Letchumanan 012-25585758

16. Sri Maha Kaliamman Temple,Ldg Krian,N.Tebal Letchumanan 012-25585758

17. Sri Maha mariamman Alayam,Transkrian,N.tebal Letchumanan 012-25585758


1. Murugan Alayam ,Lobak Siva 019-6944693

2. Sri Balathandayuthabani Alayam,Seremban Murugayah 016-2478830

3. Subramaniar Alayam,Nilai Mohan Rao 019-6211103

4. Sri Murugan Alayam,Mambau Mrs.Nayagi 019-2762511

5. Sri Selva Vinayagar Alayam,Temiang Param 013-2787176

6. Sri Muniswarar Alayam,Bt.5,Jln.Tampin Kannis 012-6323843

7. Sri Ambal Alayam,Lukut,PD Sivam 019-6621948

8. Sri Maha Mariamman Kovil Ragavan 016-2764859

9. Sri Karumariamman Alayam,Bt.6,Jln.PD komalam 012-3877352

10. Sri Mariamman Alayam,Bt.3 Jln.Labu uthayakumar 012-3749427

11. Sri Kaliamman Alayam,Bt.5,Kuala Sawah. Ramesh 019-6929984

12. Sri Mariamman Alayam,Jln.Rasah Navalan 016-6025269

13. Sri Muthumariamman Alayam,S’Ban Est Philomeena 014-3268114

14. Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, Bandar PD Krishnamoorthy 014-9331219

15. Balathandayutha Bani alayam,Rantau Chandrasegaran 019-6509159

16. Sri Maha Mariamman Alayam,Ldg.Linsum,Rantau S.P Nyana velan 016-6340659

17. Arulmigu Agilandakodi Bhrammana Nayagi

Sri Maha Mariammbigai,Kuala Sawah,Rantau Ragu Duraijaya 016-6511393

18. Sri Maha Mariamman Alayam,Ldg Atherton. Selvaraju 013-2550835

19. Sri Maha Mariamman Lukut,Dat.Segar,PD Veerapan 019-6220549

20. Sri Raja Rajeswarar,Tmn.Tuanku Jaafar,Swang. Bala 014-3247140

JOHOR -Murugesan (012-7792503) / Mohan (019-7102895)

1. Murugan Kovil (Skudai) JB.

2. Muniswaran Kovil (Tampoi) JB.

3. Murugan Kovil (Jalan wadiana) JB.

4. Maha mariayaman Kovil (JB Town)

5. Aman Kovil (Kulai Besar) Kulai JB.

6. Aman Kovil (Dato chelam) Ulu Tiram JB.

7. Murugan Kovil (Jalan Kolam Air) JB.

8. Mariayaman Kovil (Sutra Moll) Skudai JB.

9. Kaliyaman Kovil (Masai) JB.

10. Muniswaran Kovil (Pasir Gudang Hiway) JB.

11. Mariyaman Kovil Paloh (Kluang) JB.

12. Murugan Kovil (Masai) JB.

13. Muniswaran Kovil (Plentong) JB.

14. Raja Kaliyaman Kovil (JB)

15. Murugan Kovil (Taman Kota Yong Peng) JB.

16. Murugan Kovil (Segamat) JB.

17. Mariyaman Kovil (Chaah) Segamat JB.

18. Mariyaman Kovil (Jalan Hospital Kluang) JB.

19. Sri Sangili Karuppar Alayam,Tmn Skudai,JB (Karthik 016-7558457)

KEDAH Ramu (016-4919956)

1.St.Micheal Church, Alor Setar - Daniel

2.Karumariamman Temple, Alor Setar -Kanasingam

3.Sri Mariamman Temple,Alor Setar -kumaraguru

PERAK Ramesh (019-5235528)

1.Sri Sithi Vinayagar Devasthanam - Sitiawan

2.Maha Mariamman Alayam - Ladang Belham

3.Maha Mariamman Alayam - Ladang Sogomana

4.Sri Krishnar Alayam - Ayer Tawar

5.Maha Mariamman Alayam - Kg.Columbia

6.Kallumalai Sri Subramaniam Temple, Ipoh

7.Sri Mariamman Temple, Buntong

8.Sri Muniswarar temple, Buntong

9.Sri Nagambal Temple, Tmn.Rifah, Ipoh

10.Kanthan Kallumalai Temple, Chemor

11.Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, Kg.Chikkidi, Buntong

12.Vella Vinayagar Temple, Jln.Changkot Jong, Teluk Intan

13.Maha Mariamman Temple, Jln.Changkat Jong, Teluk Intan

14.Seethambal Mariamman Temple, Teluk Intan

15.Sri Naagama Temple,jln Sittambaram Pillai,Teluk Intan

16.Sri Mariamman Temple, Jln Kekabu,Teluk Intan

17.Sri Subramaniar Alayam, Batu Gajah,Perak (Bala)

18.Sri Kaliamman Alayam,Batu Gajah,Perak (Bala)

19.Sri Maha Mariamman Temple,Bidor,Teluk Intan,Perak (Arumugam)

20.Sri Sithi Vinayagar Alayam,Kubu Gajah,Perak (Nathan)

21.Sri Muniswarar Alayam,Hutan Melintang,Perak (Murthi)

22.Sri Maha Mariamman Alayam,Hutan Melintang Perak (Murthi)

23.Sri Maha Mariamman alayam,Bt.9,Bagan Datoh,Perak (Murthi)

24.Sri Maha Mariamman Alayam,Ladang Biji,Bagan Datoh,Perak (Murthi)

25.Sri Sivamuni Alayam,Ldg Gula Division 55,Bagan Serai,Perak (Muniandy,Ravi)

26.Sri Ramar Alayam,Ee Seng Est.Sg.Gedong,Bagan Serai,Perak (Muniandy,Ravi)

27.Sri Maha Mariamman Alayam,Semmangol,Bagan Serai Perak (Muniandy,Ravi)

28.Sri Subramaniar Alayam,Sg.Siput,Perak (Rachagan)

29.Sri Maha Mariamman Alayam,Kemunting,Sg.Siput,Perak (Rachagan)

30.Sri Maha Mariamman Alayam,Kampar Est,Kampar,Perak (Jega)

31.Sri Naga Muniswarar Alayam,Temoh,Kampar,Perak (Jega)

32.Sri Muniswarar Alayam,Batu Putih,Kampar,Perak (Jega)

33.Sri Maha Muthu Mariamman Alayam,Trb Est,Trong,Perak (Jega)

34.Sri Maha Mariamman Alayam,Beruas,Perak (Maniam)

35.Sri Maha Mariamman Alayam,Laurdardale Est,Bkt.Gantang,Perak (Thanarajan)

36.Sri Subramaniar Alayam,Selama,Perak (Siva)

37.Sri Maha Mariamman Alayam,Padang Rengas,Perak (Siva)

38.Sri Kaliamman Alayam,Kati Est,Kuala Kangsar,Perak (Sivasingam)

39.Sri Maha Mariamman Alayam,Senggang Est,Kuala Kangsar,Perak (Sivasingam)

40.Om Sri Sadamuniswarar Alayam,Simpang Halt,Taiping,Perak (Jeya Mohan)

41.Sri Subramaniar Alayam,Grik,Perak (Muniandy)

42.Sri Maha mariamman Temple,Parit Buntar,Perak (Sivakumar)

43.Sri Subramaniar Temple.Parit Buntar,Perak (Sivakumar)

44.Sri Muniswarar temple,Tg.Piandang,Parit Buntar,Perak (Sokalingam)

45.Sri Subramaniar Alayam,Kuala Kurau,Perak (Sokalingam)

46.Sri Tilai Kaliaman Temple,Bagan Serai,perak (Jeeva)

47.Sri Sivan Alayam,Bagan Serai,Perak (Jeeva)

48.Sri Vinayagar Alayam,Simpang Lima,Parit Buntar,Perak (Sundram)


1. Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Tanjung Sepat ( Mani /Raja 017-8857619 )

2. Sri Kaligambal Temple ,Taman Sentosa ( Raja 017-8857619 )

3. Bala Subramaniam Temple , Port Klang ( Raja 017-8857619 )

4. Sri Rajamariamman Temple , Sentul ( Nava 016-6446885 )

5. Sri Thurgai Amman Temple , B.B Sentul ( Nava 016-6446885 )

6. Muniswarar Alayam , Sentul Jln Tanah Lapang ( Nava 016-6446885 )

7. Arulmigu Sri Thurgai Amman Temple, Selayang ( Siva 019-3418620 )

8. Sri Mahamariamman Temple , Midlands ( Thiagu 012-6195862 )

9. Sri Vada Bathrakali Amman ,Rawang ( Balan 012-2640478 )

10. Sri Maha Mariamman Temple , Rawang ( Hari 016-3197018 )

11. Sri Kanchi Kamathchi Amman Temple, Rawang ( Vicky 017-3032808)

12.Sri Veerapathy Vinayagar Temple, Rawang ( Sathish 014-6649730 )

13. Sri Subramaniam Temple, Ulu Yam Baru ( Kumar 016-9075657 )

14. Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Ladang Bukit Jalil ( Capt Bala 019-2166205 )

15. Sri Thandayuthabani Temple , Kapar ( Saamy 017-3469650)

16. Sri Agilandeswari Temple, Kapar ( Saamy 017-3469650 )

17. Sangali Karupan Temple, Rawang ( Selvam 016-3137840 )

18. Subramaniam Temple, Batu Caves ( Nava 016-6446885 )

19.Sivan Temple,Klang (R.Mohan 012 3122267)

20.Sri Maha Mariamman,Kg.Muhibah,Rawang (Kala 014-3318235)

21.Sri Vayuputra Alayam,Rawang ( Pugan 017-2785635)

22.Sri Muniswarar Alayam,Rawang (Saras 017-2554048)

23.Sri Kaliamman Alayam,Rawang (Nathan 017-3800596)

24.Sri Madurai Veeran Alayam,Rawang (Sundar 019-3733541)

25.Sri Sangili Karuppar Alayam,Tmn Awana,Cheras (Mani 013-6092699)

26.Sri Balathandayuthabani Temple,Kapar (Samy 017-3469650)

27.Sri Nagakanni Temple,Sementa,Kapar (Param 017-3469650)

28.Sri Maha Mariamman Alayam,Bt.Ampat,Klg (Mani 019-2463181)

29.Sri Sanggili Karuppar Alayam,Bkt.Jalil. (Shanti 012-3766433)

30.Sri Karumariamman Alayam,Banting (KM Raj 019-2295445)

31.Sri Mariamman Alayam.Golconda Est,Meru (Samy 017-3469650)

32.Sri Karpaga Vinayagar Kovil,Kg,Jawa,Klg (Mani 103-6092699)

33.St.Joseph Church,Sentul (Shanti 012-3766433)

34.Sri Maha Mariamman temple,Tmn.Sentosa,Kapar (Samy 017-3469650)

35.Sri Veerabatharar Kaliamman Temple,Tmn.Medan,PJ (Sree 012-2587345)


1. Sri Subramaniar Alayam,Tanah Rata,Cameron (Simattri)

2. Sri Murugan Alayam,Kuala Terlah,Cameron (Simattri)


1. Sri Sivasubramaniar Alayam,Kota Bahru,Kelantan (Tharman)

2. Sri Maha Mariamman Alayam,Kuala Kerla Est,Kelantan (Tharman)