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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nazri: DPM’s ‘small fry’ to protect, not insult inter-faith panel

[Muhyiddin (left) shaking hands with supporters at Sungai Buaya yesterday. - Bernama pic]

Muhyiddin (left) shaking hands with supporters at Sungai Buaya yesterday. - Bernama pic
By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani

KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 – Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz defended Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s “small fry” remark when describing the Cabinet’s inter-faith panel, saying the deputy prime minister was protecting it from religious groups rather than reducing its role.

Muhyiddin had caused an uproar with his statement yesterday prompting an umbrella body for non-Muslim faiths to threaten a boycott of the inter-faith committee until he explains his remarks.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department explained that the “small fry” statement must be seen in the context of Mufti of Perak’s objection to the committee. Malay right-wing group Perkasa had also made similar objections.

“I think we should look at DPM’s reply in the context of the objection from the Mufti of Perak because Mufti of Perak objected. What the DPM is trying to say is that don’t make it into a big deal. That is all,” Nazri told The Malaysian Insider last night.

The Perak Fatwa Committee led by influential state mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria yesterday announced its objection to the committee, dealing a further blow to prime minister’s Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s efforts to repair inter-religious ties.

It is to be headed by former Kota Bharu MP Datuk Ilani Isahak and will comprise religious leaders — the panel will discuss various issues and provide advice to the Cabinet via Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon.

Harussani had said other religions could not be placed on equal footing with Islam, which he explained had a higher position by Allah’s side.

“We have to address the objection of the Mufti of Perak. So we have to look at the DPM’s comment at the context of telling the Mufti of Perak that it is not such a big deal. It is only a committee for the beginning so if anything happens, we will try to solve it here first then we will bring to the cabinet,” Nazri added.

Muhyiddin’s had explained the inter-faith committee set up by the Cabinet consisted only of “small-fry,” as he sought t calm fears expressed by right-wing Malay groups that it would threaten the sanctity of Islam.

The lack of any legal powers in the committee, said Muhyiddin, meant it will not have any influence over the nation’s official religion.

Malaysian Consultative Council on Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) president Reverend Dr Thomas Philips told The Malaysian Insider last night they will boycott the inter-faith panel if Muhyiddin does not provide an explanation for his “small-fry” remark.

Nazri stressed that the inter-faith committee will not collapse even if certain groups decide to boycott it, adding the Cabinet had agreed to form the committee and would not retract it due to the objections.

“Don’t be too sensitive about this. I know what the DPM is trying to say. He was trying to say in the context of the objection of the Mufti.

“The cabinet has made the decision and its decision will prevail. Only the cabinet can repeal the decision, not the inter-faith committee, not the Mufti of Perak, not anybody. They (MCCBCHST) boycotting will not affect the committee,” he said.

The idea for an inter-faith panel was first mooted in the early 1980s but was shot down after objections from Muslim groups such as the Islamic Development Department, better known by its Malay acronym Jakim.

According to sources, the objection was because an inter-faith council would place Islam, the nation’s official religion, on equal footing with the other religions.

The Malay rights group Perkasa made the same objections on Sunday, demanding the Najib administration place the new inter-faith panel under Jakim or it would reject the entity in its current form.

Perkasa says it would tolerate the committee only if it fell under the guidance of Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom, the Islamic Affairs Minister under the Prime Minister’s Department and not Koh.

But Nazri believed that committee should remain independent and not be placed under Jakim.

“It should be independent because if it is under Jakim then it is a recognition already from the Islamic authority that this committee should belong to them. At the moment is has nothing to do with them.

“It is just a committee to look into issues which could be avoided at the preliminary stage. Don’t be too sensitive that is all. Look at the positive side at the DPM’s statement,” he said.

He also reiterated that relevant parties should not be “too sensitive” to Muhyiddin’s comment.

“Everybody don’t be too sensitive, the DPM was only trying to defend the committee to ensure that this small step can be defended. He was only in the context of the objection of the mufti,” he said.

Khalid: We’re taking BN lead on funds for elected reps


By FMT STAFF

SHAH ALAM: In a tit-for-tat measure, Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim said the Pakatan Rakyat-led state government will give allocations to all assemblymen irrespective of party affiliations if the federal government did likewise with its parliamentarians.

He said the state opted to be selective as well because the Barisan Nasional-led federal government only gave allocations to BN members of parliament.

“We’re just followers… using the example set by the Federal Government. The state only channels funds through the Pakatan assemblymen,” he said.

Speaking to the media after the opening ceremony of the 12th State Assembly sitting yesterday, Khalid said: “If the federal government is prepared to act fairly in its distribution of allocations to MPs then we will do the same.

“Let them announce it today and we will follow suit tomorrow,” he said.

Khalid was responding to angry rumblings from BN assemblymen that they were not given allocations.

Selangor, with its nine districts has 56 seats in the state assembly. Each seat represents a constituency.

The ruling Pakatan Rakyat coalition – comprising DAP, PAS and PKR - collectively hold 36 state seats compared to BN’s 20.

Commenting on calls to increase allocations to state assemblymen, Khalid said there were currently no plans to do so.

He, however, warned that all existing allocations to the constituencies must be used carefully.

“The state assembly has set up a special committee to monitor the use of the allocations.

“The special committee has been given certain powers. It will monitor the way the allocations are spent and will fundamentally be the check and balance,” he said.

Touching on federal government allocations, Khalid said he was informed by the grapevine that each parliamentary constituency was allocated RM1 million.

“But the funds will only be channelled to BN parliamentarians. Teresa Kok and I are MPs for Seputeh and Bandar Tun Razak but we did not get any allocations.

“Unfortunately the allocations for my constituency was channelled to the Bandar Tun Razak Umno division chairman.

“At state level we are giving assemblymen RM450,000 to RM500,000 for each constituency.

“Constituencies that do not have a Pakatan assemblymen, such as Sungai Panjang, we have appointed a Pakatan Exco to handle the allocation and oversee their needs much like what BN has done, “ Khalid quipped.

Selangor gives RM522,000 to Tamil schools


By FMT STAFF

KUALA KUBU BARU: Taking its queue from Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s strategy in Felda two weeks ago, Selangor brought out its bag of goodies yesterday aimed at wooing Hulu Selangor's Indian community.

The Pakatan Rakyat state government, which has come under fire from the Human Rights Party for its lack of affirmative action towards Indians, distributed RM522,000 to aid infrastructure development in 97 Tamil schools in the Selangor.

Nineteen percent of Hulu Selangor’s 64,500 registered voters are Indians.

Health, Estate Workers and Poverty Eradication portfolio chairman Dr Xavier Jayakumar said the allocations were part of RM4 million set aside for upgrading Tamil schools in the state for the year 2010.

“On the average each school received RM5,000 to RM10,000 each. It for essential repairs and upgrading works. The funds were donated to the respective PTAs," Xavier said.

He said seven Tamil schools in Hulu Selangor received additional funding.

The additional funds were for infrastructure improvements including the upgrade and repair of toilets and the building of reading huts.

The seven schools were SRK(T) Ladang Nigel Gardner, SRK(T) Lima Belas, SRK(T)Ladang Kerling, SRK (T) Changkat Asa, SRK (T) Bukit Beruntung SRK (T) Batang Kali and SRK (T) Sungai Choh,

“Five schools received RM25,000 each while SRKT Batang Kali received RM31,000 and SRKT Sungai Choh received RM49,000.

“This is a record. BN has administrated the Selangor for 50 years and this has never happened," he said after the cheque presentation ceremony here.

The ceremony also saw 160 excellent students from the Hulu Selangor parliamentary constituency receive RM100 each for their success in the UPSR, PMR, SPM and STPM respectively.

MIC hoodwinked community

Meanwhile on the issue of MIC, Xavier said the party had failed the Indian community and its leaders had long since ignored issues facing rural Tamil schools and those in estates.

“They’ve hoodwinked the community into thinking MIC is the only saviour …but their views are changing and many are switching their support to the Pakatan,” he said..

He added that the Indian community had punished MIC in the March 2008 general elections when it almost wiped itself out.

Hulu Selangor, with its 64,500 registered voters, was one of MIC’s strongholds which fell to PKR in the March 2008 political tsunami.

The recent death of Hulu Selangor PKR MP, Dr Zainal Abidin paved the way for a by-election on April 25. Nomination of candidates is set for April 17.

Until the March 2008 election, the seat was held by MIC deputy president G Palanivel. Palanivel, who held the seat from 1990 to early 2008, lost to Zainal by 198 votes.

While MIC is set on fielding him again, factions within its coalition partner Umno is dead against the idea.

As of now it is still a tumultuous state in the BN camp as to who the candidate will be.

PKR however is set to announce its candidate later today.

Hulu Selangor: PKR confirms Zaid as candidate

By FMT Staff

FMT ALERT KUALA LUMPUR: PKR this morning formally decided to pick supreme council member Zaid Ibrahim as its candidate for the Hulu Selangor parliamentary seat by-election on April 25.
Zaid will be officially introduced as the candidate at a ceramah in Serandah tonight.

The decision to pick Zaid was made at the party's political bureau meeting chaired by party head Anwar Ibrahim at his house in Bukit Segambut.
"It was a unanimous decision to select Zaid," said a party insider.
The Hulu Selangor seat fell vacant following the death of PKR's Zainal Abidin Ahmad on March 25. Nominations for the by-election will be held on April 17.

Although Zaid's name was only approved by the party leaders today, his candidacy was however known to selected party leaders since the beginning.

“Immediately after Zainal's death, Anwar had informed Zaid that he will be the candidate,” added the party insider.

This was also known to some in Anwar's inner circle, he said.

Principles vs personalities

thenutgraph.com
MATTHIAS Chang seems to have a way with people. Bear in mind that Chang's greatest claim to fame, in the public's eye, is to have been political secretary to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for a brief period. Now ask yourself, how many political secretaries have been so publicly scorned by others?
Additionally, Chang has gone on to outdo himself by riling up a presiding judge, resulting in the present predicament he finds himself in. I don't know what happened in the courtroom, but from Chang's account, it seemed like Chang felt he was being bullied. He therefore stood up against the bullying by stepping out of the witness stand and informing the judge that he would appeal against her conduct. He thereafter refused to apologise, resulting in the finding of contempt against him.
Now, I am no fan of Chang and his convoluted conspiracy theories. However, I respect his right to believe as he does, and to propagate his beliefs through as many blog posts or self-published books as he may so wish. Having said that, Chang most definitely does not fit the image of a pitiable "victim" of the system. This is not least by virtue of his long association with the fourth prime minister. For the record, I am no fan of the fourth prime minister, either.
Herein lies the dilemma. Can we disagree with, or even despise, Chang — which I don't, but evidently many readers in blogosphere do — yet support his stance to stand up against bullying in the courtroom?

(Pic by Cory Thoman / Dreamstime)
Principles vs personalities
Was Chang bullied? I don't know. Does bullying happen in the courtroom? At times, yes. Hence, notwithstanding the personality of Matthias Chang, can we still stand in solidarity with him to say that bullying in the courtrooms must stop?
Perhaps Chang is not someone who many would feel compassion for. True, the nation is facing bigger issues than Chang's incarceration. But this question as to whether we can accept a principle — despite less-than-savoury personalities being involved — is a question that can be extrapolated to a bigger context and platform.
For example, can I embrace 1Malaysia, yet be opposed to the Barisan Nasional (BN)? Or can I affirm the need for a strong opposition even if I am fully persuaded that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is an unfit character?
These questions pit principles against personalities, and too often we get caught up with specific personalities and forget the principles involved.
Larger political issues
Anybody recall the now-distant claim by Anwar that he could procure sufficient Members of Parliament (MPs) to jump ship to effect a change of government? There was not much protest from opposition-minded citizens at that time. For better or for worse, there were MPs and elected members of state assemblies who subsequently jumped ship, but not in the direction intended.

(Pic by Leonardo Barbosa
/ sxc.hu)
Now, everybody is raising a hue and cry over the issue of the "frogs". Are people against the principle of changing camps, or merely against the personalities or political parties involved?
How about the constant calls to royalty to get involved in various affairs of state? "Daulat Tuanku," the citizenry shouts, hoping to receive a decree that would put an end to dirty politics or lop-sided elections, or even commercial contracts entered with Apco.
But these very citizens are scathing in their criticism of the BN for apparently not upholding democracy. Now, how can self-proclaimed democrats resort to the feudalistic practice of appealing to a sovereign ruler to resolve issues of state? Isn't that an inherent contradiction? Is the principle of democracy or the personalities involved more important?
Ideally, principles should always trump personalities. After all, we have observed how even a ruler as wise and learned as Sultan Azlan Shah can make decisions that may not necessarily reflect the rakyat's aspirations.
The principles that govern the BN are apparent, notwithstanding the fact that some of us may disagree with a whole load of them. Across the divide, the opposition has thus far cobbled together a collection of impressive personalities. But personalities aside, what kind of principles underscore the Pakatan Rakyat (PR)'s words and actions?
There are some who aspire for the 13th general election to finally be the moment when the BN is no longer in power. But unless we want more of the same principles at work in government, it might be best for citizens not to be so beguiled by our like or dislike of the personalities on offer.

Critical Book on Mahathir Still Held Up

Image
(Asia Sentinel) Despite a demand by the former prime minister that it be released in Malaysia, the government refuses to release it

Malaysia's Home Affairs Ministry is continuing to dither over the release of 800 copies of a critical book by former Asian Wall Street Journal Editor Barry Wain, Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times.
Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussain Friday told the Dewan Rakyat, or national parliament, that the book "was found to have insulted the national leadership and the institution of Malay rulers," according to local media in Kuala Lumpur. 

The 800 copies have been sitting on a loading dock in Port Klang since November. In the meantime, bookstores in Singapore have been doing a land office business in the book, which has since gone through several more printings, as Malaysian visitors from across the Causeway buy what they can't get at home. It has since sold 12,500 copies in hardback at S$49.90, 11,000 of them in Singapore, and was on the Singapore Sunday Times' best-seller list for 11 weeks, dropping out only last week.

"This is pretty extraordinary considering that it is a serious, political book selling in Singapore for S$49.90, while most of the other big selling non-fiction books are feel-good or lifestyle tracts. "Have a Little Faith" by Mitch Albom, for example," said a Singapore source.

The book was reviewed in Asia Sentinel on Dec. 4. Although it remains on the loading dock, it is also available through Amazon and other online booksellers.  Also, for readers who buy Kindle or another electronic reader, it's easy to get.

The book is a critical but fair account of Mahathir's 22 years in power although it postulates that as much as RM$100 billion (US$40 billion at exchange rates at the time) was lost to the country through corruption or grandiose schemes that came to nothing during Mahathir's reign.

Mahathir, Wain wrote, "relentlessly badgered, berated and browbeat Malaysians, especially Malays, to shape up and convert his dreams into reality. If necessary, he would crucify opponents, sacrifice allies and tolerate monumental institutional and social abuses to advance his project."

Like Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore and Indonesia's Suharto, "Dr Mahathir integrated his country deeply with the Western economies and achieved an enviable development record."

Wain wrote that during a visit to Washington DC in which Mahathir met President Ronald Reagan, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and others, he secretly launched an innocuous sounding Bilateral Training and Consultation Treaty, which Wain described as a series of working groups for exercises, intelligence sharing, logistical support and general security issues. In the meantime, Mahathir continued display a public antipathy on general principles at the Americans while his jungle was crawling with US troops quietly training for jungle warfare.

Mahathir responded with several references to Wain in his blog, Che Det, including one agreeing to the establishment of a Royal Commission to see if Wain's charges were true.  "Barry Wain must provide documentary proof of any sum that he alleged I had burned," he said. "I will co-operate fully with the commission. Depending upon the result of the commission, I reserve the right to sue Barry Wain, (Opposition leader) Lim Kit Siang and Malaysiakini.com for libel for a sum to be disclosed later. If the Government is withholding the book... I would request that the book be released forthwith. I am not in need of Government protection.

"If it is found that the book does not go against the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, there is no reason for the government to prevent the book to be allowed into the country," Hishammuddin told the parliament Friday. After the initial period of 60 days expired, the Home Ministry on Jan. 28 decided to extend its investigation of the book by another two months.

Foreign published books air-freighted into Malaysia often go through customs without being checked, or with only a cursory check at the airport. Books sent by ship or by land from Singapore are often stopped for inspection, however, which can mean customs officers spending weeks reading the material. Sometimes they just sit on the book, leaving the publisher with little option but to withdraw it or be faced with being hit with storage charges, leaving the book effectively banned without the government having to face criticism for formally banning it.

Bar Council to educate Malaysians on Federal Constitution

The Star

THE Bar Council of Malaysia has taken the initiative to educate Sarawakians and Malaysians as a whole about the supreme legislation of the country with the launching of the MyConstitution Campaign.

They hope to simplify the message of the Federal Constitution, which sets down how the country is run and how Malaysians can live in it.

As part of the campaign, a series of “Rakyat Service Advertisements” on the nine themes of the Constitution would be produced, nine pocket-sized layman’s guide will be published and a series of forums and workshops will be held to raise awareness.

Advocates Association of Sarawak (AAS) president Frank Tang said at the launching of the campaign in Kuching that there was much disconnect between what is in the Constitution and how it was defined, interpreted and implemented by the executive and even by the Highest Court in the country.

“The average Malaysian citizen relies on what he reads in the newspapers or what he sees and hears on the electronic media, what he hears politicians say and what he sees the government and the courts do, to try to make sense of events and issues that touch the Constitution.

“Sadly, we cannot say confidently that all that has been reported, said and done have been true of what’s actually in our Constitution,” he said.

In this respect, he said the campaign aimed at bridging that disconnect by bringing about positive changes through better awareness and understanding of the Constitution.

He emphasised that the campaign empowered the people by educating them on the importance of their role as citizens and the freedom, rights and privileges guaranteed to them under the Federal Constitution.

“Hopefully, this will bring about positive changes to our society and realise our aspirations and hopes for a truly 1Malaysia nation,” said Tang.

The campaign was launched by Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and Chief Judge of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum. At the launching, Taib announced a grant of RM50,000 to AAS to fund the campaign in Sarawak.

Nazri belies belief again, insults Malaysian intelligence / Greedy Muhyiddin

By Nathaniel Tan,

Sometimes, it’s like Nazri is trying to win a prize, or do a scientific experiment: just how stupid a thing can I say?

Not long ago, on the APCO issue:

Nazri said that the “Umno APCO” chants were serious allegation because it implied that the Malay ruling party was involved in corruption.

“APCO, UMNO APCO is a serious allegation. Umno is a member of the Barisan Nasional who employs APCO and is paying APCO RM28 million. To say that Umno is APCO and APCO is Umno that is to say that we are using government money to put into the coffers of Umno. Because if Umno is APCO it means that government knowingly employs APCO to pay APCO RM28 million when APCO belongs to Umno. It is a very serious allegation.

O.O

That is his reasoning? He was afraid YB Mahfuz would make people think APCO is owned by UMNO and thus the recipient of inappropriate funding from the government?? :| :|

I mean seriously. What kind of idiots does he take us for?

If you ask me, the fact that Nazri had to make up bogus attacks so he could come up with such a ‘brilliant’ defence speaks once against to the clear guilt of the government with regards to the APCO issue.

And today?

Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz defended Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s “small fry” remark when describing the Cabinet’s inter-faith panel, saying the deputy prime minister was protecting it from religious groups rather than reducing its role.

Haihz.

Only a moron would think that the ’small fry’ remark was a sincere attempt at ‘protection’.

Muhyiddin has once again clearly shown his colours and exposed his agenda: to play his protector of Melayu/Islam versus Najib’s more ‘liberal’ 1Malaysia. He never seems to miss an opportunity – that greedy, ambitious fella.

Just a short post for this morning, hopefully more on Hulu Selangor later!

Last respect for 2 Indian Brother

State of the Indians - Mandore politics

Perkasa outraged over interfaith body

Nazri to face contempt proceedings?

Pua: Mindef must explain 'shoe shopping spree'

1)Opposition Leader’s Emergency Motion on police shoot to kill 2) Royal Commission of Inquiry 3) Two eye witnesses saw police sharp shooters in baclava and bullet

HUMAN RIGHTS PARTY MALAYSIA
NO.6, Jalan Abdullah, Off Jalan Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 03-2282 5241 Fax: 03-2282 5245

URL ANWAR 
Y. B Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim,
Opposition Leader,
Opposition Leader’s Office,                      
Parliament of Malaysia,                              Fax No: 03-78850531
Kuala Lumpur.

12th April 2010

Dear Sirs,

Re :   1)Opposition Leader’s Emergency Motion on police shoot to kill    
              policy of Indian suspects.
          2) Royal Commission of Inquiry
           3) Two eye witnesses saw police sharp shooters in baclava and bullet  

               proof vests executing Indians victims


We refer to the above matter and to our letter to the Honourable Prime Minister and Home Minister dated 9th of April 2010 which is self explanatory (copy enclosed).

Although the Indians make up only about 8% of the Malaysian population we estimate 95% of these local victims to be the Malaysian Indians.

For the first time there are three eye witnesses who had witnessed this police sharp shooters in baclava (face mask) and bullet proof vests executing these two Indian victims in Taiping on 8/4/2010.
From our personal examining of the deceased and photographs all the bullet marks were on the heads of both victims and on one victim on his right side ribs indicating that he had carried up his hands and surrendering to the police when he was shot dead.

During a Hindraf and HRP protest procession carrying the coffins in front of the Taiping police headquarters on 11/4/10 the Taiping police OCPD had even refused to apologise to the bereaved family when specifically demanded to do so by our P. Uthayakumar. This only indicates that the police do not regret their actions and would do it again at the appropriate time.

In the circumstances we hereby call upon your goodselves to move an emergency motion in Parliament within the next two (2) days and also call upon the government to forthwith and in any event within two(2) weeks from the date hereof to form a Royal Commission of Inquiry on this police special action forces shoot to kill policy of mere Indian suspects further to unofficial shooting orders. Also to inquire into whether the police were themselves “partners” in the crimes as they had allowed 18 alleged crimes to be continuously committed in a short space of time. Why weren’t they apprehended and prosecuted on the second or third crime itself. Why did the police have to wait for 18 crimes and finally gunning them down by playing the singular role of Judge, Jury, Prosecutor and Executioner. This is not only not the law in Malaysia but in any part of the world and which is bordering barbarism and no where near a civil society.

Thus our non racist agenda.

Kindly revert to us accordingly.

Thank you,

Yours faithfully,

……………………
Anwar 1
Anwar 2
Anwar 3
Anwar 4
Anwar 5

THE GREAT HINDRAF DEBATE – A RESPONSE

Naragan

RPK, let me join in the debate.
I applaud you for your open and venturesome persona. You add a lot of color to our political scene. You have a lot of connections within the system –you do get more information than most of us can. You are articulate. You are bold, very bold. I must concede all of this to you.

But one thing we must all be clear about is that no one has monopoly over perceptions of the truth, for that is just an impossibility. You cannot think the truth you have is any more true than the truth I or any body else have. All we have is our perception of the truth which truth is a distorted version of reality fitting in with our need for self preservation.

So, please pardon me, if I accuse you of being too self assured in your version of the truth. In your version of the truth, it is the leaders of Hindraf that are a problem not the Hindraf grassroots.

This is always the case isn’t it, when you want something and a leader group does not allow you beyond them to the common group. Then what do you say, these leaders are the problem, these outsiders are the problem, only a few of them are the problem, the rest are OK and so on. Didn’t the Brits say that about all those fellows who opposed them when they ran this country. Didn’t the whites say that about Mandela and his gang of ANC leaders in South Africa. Didn’t the white establishment say that about Malcolm X in the United States of America. What is the difference between all of that and what you are now saying.

From your writings of the last two days, this is what I can conclude – you are exasperated at the fact that the Hindraf leaders are turning away from supporting PR in the Hulu Selangor by elections. PR needs all the Indian votes to have a clear win and the Hindraf leaders do no want to intervene for PR. And you know exactly which Hindraf Leaders do not want to intervene –you are not acting dumb here, I must say.
Actually if you can listen simply to what the Hindraf leaders are saying, it actually is not that complicated to get their support and the support of the people they lead. They will not be a problem any more. And the leaders of Hindraf know exactly what they are talking about, so it is all very simple.

All this while we had conniving leaders or corrupt leaders who would go along with the Tuans and the Towkays. In Hindraf lexicon we call such “disempowered” leaders Mandores. They cannot and do not represent – the poor and dispossessed. The Hindraf leaders that you call a problem will not be corrupted no more, not with seats, not with concessions, not with the spoils of power. They seek nothing short of equal rights, equal treatment and equal opportunities. They want some things more fundamental. That, is the problem you see.

There is a mismatch in paradigms.

You call us racists – yet Hindraf is totally committed to article 8 of the constitution which provides for equality for all citizens. You equate us with Perkasa, their position is a complete reverse of ours on Article 8, and yet you in all your wisdom equate us with them. How about you and Anwar, can both of you come in the open and say you are committed to Article 8 and openly declare that you would dismantle any race based policies that benefit any particular race. If you both can say this openly then the first step to closing the gap in our paradigms would have been taken.

How can you call us racists when we have such a clear position on Article 8. Racists are those that subscribe to the belief that one race is superior to all others. RPK, can you quote one time when Hindraf has asserted that, just one time. I can recount numerous instances in the past where Anwar has been guiltyof that.
And you RPK are a racist not by commission but by omission. What specific issue have you championed of the marginalized Indians per se. Don’t want to hear about the lobbying you did for representatives in the last GE. We are talking here about representation not representatives. Three days ago two Indians were shot dead in cold blood by the police – do you know or do you care, where is the outrage? Where, man?
You call us racists on that basis, because of our narrow focus on Indian issues, what about your total non focus on these same issues. And this is not a lament. We have gone past that. We will take care of all that ourselves even if you call us racists.

But now if you want for things to thaw and towards alignment of paradigms then the first thing is to stop playing games and get real. Stop denying knowledge of who the true Hindraf leaders are. As long as you play this game we can only have a stalemate. In playing your games you lose valuable time. The Hindraf leaders may raise hard issues,but these are real issues, ask any man on the road and you do know a lot of them, just ask them and you will get a earful

Get your dear friend Anwar Ibrahim to sit down and talk with us. As long as we do not talk in forthright fashion we will not go past this stalemate and we in Hindraf/HRP have resolved that we will go our own way no matter. And by the way, we do not see a dead end, we see new possibilities ahead. We are not in a hurry. We are set for the long haul.

So instead of just getting exasperated and resorting to Hindraf bashing, maybe you should become constructive and see how your good friend Anwar Ibrahim can concede to some of the demands of Hindraf that is now within the 4 States’ authority. The ball has been in Anwar’s court for some time now already. See if you can move it.

Malaysia: US should press Najib to scrap policy of racial discrimination – AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC STATEMENT

When Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak visits the United States this week, US government officials should press him to end Malaysia’s institutionalised system of discrimination against non-ethnicMalaysians.

As a first step, Malaysia should agree to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), a UN treaty already ratified by 173 countries.

In Washington, the Malaysian prime minister is scheduled to meet with US President Barack Obama, administration officials and members of Congress.

The current insitutionalized system of discrimination originated with the 1970 “New Economic Plan”, which established wide-ranging policies in favour of Bumiputeras, or "sons of the soil". This category encompasses ethnic Malays and certain groups of Indigenous people, who together comprise the majority of the country’s population.

In a 30 March speech unveiling a new economic plan, Prime Minister Najib himself acknowledged the need to reform these policies, stating: “For too long, the implementation of our affirmative action policies has not reached those who needed them the most.” He announced reforms to the policy favouring Bumiputeras over other ethnic groups, saying it would be market-friendly, merit-based, transparent and needs-based.

The UN Human Rights Committee has established that countries have the prerogative to take affirmative action against conditions that cause discrimination. However, it also said that this action is legitimate only “as long as such action is needed to correct discrimination in fact”.

But Malaysia’s current policies favouring Bumiputeras institutionalise racial discrimination across a number of key areas, including education and employment.

In education, for example, non-Malay students are banned from attending the state-owned University Teknologi Mara (UiTM), which has a student body of 120,000. In 2008 the government rejected a proposal to reverse this policy.

In employment, preferential quotas in the civil service privilege the Malay majority. For example, in early 2010, Malays accounted for 98.47% of civil service jobs in Johor state, according to its Chief Minister. Meanwhile, around 54% of the state’s population is Malay.

Issues of racial discrimination cannot be discussed publicly in Malaysia without running the risk of prosecution under criminal law. After it published a letter criticising Malay “special rights”, the website Malaysiakini was raided by police in 2003 and closed down temporarily under the Sedition Act.

In 2008 the group HINDRAF, advocating for equal rights for Malaysian Indians, was banned under the Societies Act. Five of its leaders were detained without charge for several months under the Internal Security Act, although they were all subsequently released.

As Malaysia is currently seeking a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, it should ratify CERD without delay, to demonstrate to UN members that it is serious about ending racial discrimination.

Sajak HRP- Kini India Sudah Sedar …

1 (78)
Sajak HRP
Kini India Sudah Sedar …
Kini India sudah sedar
kini India telah besar
musuh sebenar bukan Samy
punca sebenar bukan Rajni.
Kini India sudah sedar
kini India tahu benar
musuh kita hanya satu
polisi perkauman yang jitu.
Kini India sudah sedar
kami ada hero sebenar
tidak perlu tunduk lagi
tidak perlu mabuk lagi.
Kini India sudah sedar
perhitungan undi yang wajar
bertahun-tahun India minoriti
bersama cari jalan majoriti.
Kini India sudah sedar
suara India untuk India
undi India untuk India
tiada pembela, tiada sesiapa.
Kini India sudah sedar
tiada lagi jalan keluar
kami bukan rasis
kami mangsa rasisme.
Kini India sudah sedar
kini India mampu gegar
tradisi berdekad-dekad
tradisi mandur mundur.
Kini India sudah sedar
tapi kau buat-buat tak sedar
kau mahu padam api
api yang kau cetus sendiri.
Kini India sudah sedar
HRP ini api sebenar
api ini api di dalam
bukan api di luar
yang kau bisa padam !
CikguParu
Human Rights Party Malaysia
11.04.2010
Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur

Coffins of brothers killed in police shootout paraded

By FMT staff

TAIPING: Similar to a scene in Palestine, scores of people paraded the coffins of two brothers killed in a shootout with the police along the streets of Taiping on Saturday.
Led by Human Rights Party leader P Uthayakumar, the crowd demanded that a royal commission of inquiry be set up to probe the matter.

Over the years, Uthayakumar, who is also the force behind Hindraf, has accused the police of carrying out summary executions of suspected criminals, especially Indian Malaysians.

In the latest shootout which happened last Thursday, R Logeswaran, 38, and his younger brother Satchithananthan, 25, were blamed for a spate of armed robberies.

The funeral procession started from their house at around 2pm, where the hearses were led by a mall lorry fitted with a banner which read 'Police bunuh masyarakat India' and 'We want royal commission into the shoot to kill policy'.

According to Uthayakumar, some 200 people comprising friends, family and the public, took part in the procession.

“We wanted to take the coffins to the Taiping district police headquarters, but the police blocked us twice. After we passed through the first blockade, they parked police vehicles to prevent us from pressing on.

“I gave them two minutes to clear the vehicles. When they did not, we carried the conffins by hand. The police then cordonned off the road leading to the headquarters, but we managed to make our point,” he told FMT.

One of them was shot in the ribs

Uthayakumar said he also became embroiled in a heated argument with the police officers, when they attemped to stop the procession.

“I told the police officers that their IGP (inspector-general of police) is a fool, this is because with 100,000 men and women at his disposal, he failed to arrest two suspects,” he added.

Uthayakumar also claimed that there were two eyewitness who reportedly told him that the brothers were 'executed'.

“They said the brothers' car was sandwiched by two unmarked cars. Following this, several plainclothes policemen alighted and opened fire.

“When we examined the bodies, we found that one of them was hit in the ribs. This indicates that he had raised his hands to surrender, but was still shot,” he alleged.

Meanwhile, Uthayakumar said he will send a letter to Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim to table an emergency motion on the police's 'shoot-to-kill' policy in Parliament.

Last week, HRP had sent a letter to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein demanding that a royal commission of inquiry be set up.

Obama to question Najib on marginalisation of Indians in Malaysia?

Obama

Buzz over Najib-Obama talks (NST 12/4/2010 at page 4)
We have vide our letter to President Obama dated 6/4/2010 (see below) requested the President to raise with Malay-sian Prime Minister Najib Razak the plight of the state sponsored acts of UMNOs’ racism, religious extremism and supremacy against the ethnic minority Indians in Malaysia.

P.Uthayakumar

Najib 1 NAJIB 2
 
clip_image002
NO.6, Jalan Abdullah, Off Jalan Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 03-2282 5241 Fax: 03-2282 5245
E-Mail: info@humanrightspartymalaysia.com Website: www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com

His Excellency Mr. Barrack Obama
President of the United States of America 7th April 2010
The White House By Fax :0012024562461
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW By E-Mail
Washigton DC 20500
United States of America
Dear Mr. President,
Re : SOS ethnic minority Malaysian Indians.
You have been an inspiration to all the world. You have become the President of the most powerful country in the world against significant odds with your message of change for a system of governance based on the needs of the common people. This message is something the world over needs very badly.
It was in 1965 that the United States of America granted to its citizens impartial and universal suffrage, through the passage of the National Voting Rights Act 1965. At this time Malaysia was already 8 years independent and with a democratic system based on universal suffrage, surprisingly ahead of the United States of America in this fundamental area.
In the ensuing 45 years, the United States of America has gone from that position to an extremely forward position where a first generation son of an immigrant and a member of a minority ethnic community can become its President and Chief Executive. That is tremendous social and political progress, for any nation, in any period of history. And you Sir, have contributed to that with your eloquence and clarity on your message of change.
However the situation here in Malaysia has not shown anywhere near that progress. Au contraire, the situation has regressed steeply from the sound position of universal suffrage and Equal Rights in 1965 to one where several fundamental rights enshrined in the Malaysian Federal Constitution has steadily eroded for the minority communities in particular for the ethnic minority Malaysian Indians who suffer the worst forums of state sponsored violations of human rights but who unfortunately receive the least attention at home and in the international fronts. These ethnic minority Indians have no or very little political or economic power unlike the other minority Chinese community who control the economy and have some political power. That has caused a fractured society in Malaysia – into an ethnocentric Malaysia. This is directly the handiwork of the ruling UMNO party – the leading and also the same majority community political party over the last 52 years.
The following fundamental rights have been violated :
1) Equal rights as citizens as enshrined in Article 8 of the Malaysian Federal Constitution has been replaced with a two tiered rights system – one for the majority Malay-Muslim Native (Bumiputra) community and another for the minority non-Malay, non-Muslim, non native (Bumiputra) communities. This has been facilitated by the distorted interpretation of Article 153 of the Malaysian Federal Constitution.
The non-Malay, non Muslim communities continue to be classified by the UMNO led Malaysian government theoreticians as immigrant communities, even though we have been domiciled in Malaysia for 5 or 6 generations or maybe even more. The result today is an institutionalised ethocentric two tiered socio-political system.
2) Resulting from the above two tiered system, especially the minority Indians populace of the country which number about 8% of the total population has been denied equal opportunities in social development, in land redistribution, in distribution of the country’s wealth in education – from primary level all the way to the tertiary level , in job opportunities in the entire Government apparatus and in all the front end of the socio-economic development efforts of the Government and also in the private sector, to name just a few of the areas of discrimination.
Another associated erosion of rights is in cases where there is a crossover between Islam, the religion of the majority community, and one of the other religions of the minorities, as in cases of forced religious conversions, marriages, divorces, inheritance rights, choice and freedom of religion, statehood, to name the major areas. In many cases the rulings of the Sharia court has been applied in violation of the provisions of the Federal Constitution. The minority non-Muslims are guaranteed that the Federal Constitution is the Supreme law of the land. The Sharia court has steadily encroached upon this right of the minority non-Muslims supported by the state apparatus, resulting in non Muslim citizens being deprived of what the Fedral Constitution has guaranteed.
3) In area of practice of Religion, the Malaysian Federal Constitution guarantees freedom to the practice of religion in Article 11. However in practice we experience a steady erosion of this right. Places of worship of the Hindus and Christians have been destroyed and /or desecrated. Most of these demolitions are state supported. Specifically in the last 5 years in excess of 200 Hindu places of worship is estimated to have been demolished. This is in direct violation of the provisions for equal rights in the practice of religion. There are other associated impediments the minorities of the country face in the practice of their respective religions and associated traditional practices.
4) In the area of citizenship, there are a significant number of Indian minority citizens who have been denied their due right as citizens of this country in direct violation of especially Article 14 the Federal Constitution. It is estimated that there could be anywhere up to 150,000 stateless children and another 300,000 such stateless adults even fifth and sixth generation Malaysian born Indians. This is directly an outcome of the operation of the ethnocentric political system of Malaysia through its state apparatus.
There are many more areas of violations of our Fundamental rights in the ethnocentric system that has developed in Malaysia more particularly as per our “Human Rights Violations Against the Ethnic Minority Malaysian Indians. HRP Briefing for foreign and diplomatic missions in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia on 26/3/2010.
http://www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com/2010/03/26/hrp-briefing-for-foreign-and-diplomatic-missions-in-kuala-lumpur-malaysia-2/. For your information Sir, on this occasion the United States Ambassador to our country had sent two of their representatives, whose attendance we greatly appreciated.
In the interest of brevity, I shall not delve into them all. I think my point is abundantly made here, that the rights of minorities in particular of the Malaysian Indians in various respects has been and continues to be reduced in Malaysia in direct violation of the guarantees in the Malaysian Federal Constitution.
There is a significant need for the application of modern modes of thinking into the area of governance in our country, so we can turn this rather bleak and retrogressive position around. Significant political will has to be created for the introduction of such modern modes of thought, as inertia is great in all these areas. We seek your help Mr. President in this respect.
We understand our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak will be visiting you shortly. We request you Sir, to raise these significant issues of the violation of fundamental rights of minority communities in Malaysia in particular the ethnic minority Malaysian Indians to help us gain some leverage. We are sure that with your reference to these matters on the basis of their fundamental nature, you will be able to contribute to change here in Malaysia. We look forward to the same.
Thank you Mr.President.
Yours faithfully,
P.Uthayakumar
Secretary general (pro tem)
c.c His Excellency Mr. James R. Keith
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Embassy Of The United States Of America
376, Jalan Tun Razak, By Fax : 03-21422207
50400 Kuala Lumpur E-mail: ravinm@state.gov

No state land for 98 Tamil schools but more peanuts from Hulu Selangor now. PR refuses to answer why they will not give state land to the Taml Schools, inspite of hundreds and thousands of requests from us almost on a daily basis.

PKR_HULU_SELANGOR
We understand that out of the Selangor 2010 Budget of RM 1.9 Billion only RM 4 Million or approximately 0.2% is the allocation is for the half a million or so Indians in Selangor. Tuans Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Tan Sri Khalid then get their Exco and other Indian mandores to give out these peanuts a la MIC (refer MO 12/4/10 pg 8), plus maybe a little more, exactly as what MIC has done all these 52+ years.
The Mandores give out the peanuts on a day to day basis and fill up the pages of the local Tamil Dailies. This helps maintain the illusion of State benevelonce and keeps the Mandores looking good and afloat.
But PKRs’ Anwar Ibrahim and Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim have refused to grant Selangor State government land to all the partially aided Tamil schools in Selangor which would make them eligible for full financial aided status by the Federal UMNO government. This will be substantive and will go towards consolidating the foundation of education for the Indian poor. Instead PKRs’ Anwar Ibrahim and Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim give out peanuts, through their Mandores, wearing garlands, holding mock cheques and creating an illusion of a responsive government, inspite of the hundreds and thousands of requests we put out on a daily basis to give state land to these schools.
To date they have refused to answer why they do not give land to the Tamil Schools. We believe it is because they will lose Malay votes.
So, now please tell us who has a racist agenda! Anwar Ibrahim or Hindraf. If what we say is not true then we want an answer that is true to this question – “ Why does the PR government in the 4 states,  not give land to the Tamil Schools.”

nanaban hulu selangorMakkal osai report

UMNO government Selayang hospital demands full payment from Indian poor before knee operation

Url umno governmentUMNO government Selayang hospital demands full payment from Indian poor before knee operation

The doctor who examined him told him to pay RM5,000 to a private company operating in the hospital for the medicine and equipment.

He initially raised RM 2,500 from friends and relatives and paid the money but was informed that the operation could not proceed unless the balance was settled.

Alagesan said the operation commenced only after he paid the balance. He said it was surprising as they were supposed to help the poor but were demanding full payment before treatment, and that a private company was operating in a government hospital and collecting payments and issuing receipts. (The Star 8/4/2010 at page N 50).

This is how racist and religious extremist UMNO can be to the Indian poor. In the RM 191.5 Billion 2010 national budget millions have been allocated for healthcare but which does not reach the Indian poor. This case is just the tip of the iceberg of such blatant discrimination to the Indians. We have received scores of similar complaints.

At worst UMNO gets their Jakim, Pusat Urus Zakat, Baitulmal, Yayasan Islam, etc., to help out such deserving Malay muslim cases.

But the Indians are maliciously left to suffer and silently suffer.

P. Uthayakumar
Umno government

UMNO Bureaucracy: 84% or 1,100 Kajang Tamil school pupils forced to study in 3 neighboring schools


digg icon delicious icon

Url umno beurocracyUMNO Bureaucracy: 84% or 1,100 Kajang Tamil school pupils forced to study in 3 neighboring schools

The Kajang Tamil school has 1,300 pupils (UM 7/4/10 at page 27). Because of a deliberate delay by the UMNO bureaucracy some 84% or 1,100 pupils from standard 1 to 5 have to be sent away to three different nearby (malay) schools as there is a shortage of classrooms in their school.

The new school building has been delayed because of the UMNO led government bureaucracy. Presumably by some of the 1,016,799 Biro Tatanegara racist “graduates” in their attempt to “ethnically cleanse” these Tamil schools.

We have never heard or read newsreports of these set of facts happening to any Malay school.

Why? Why is it always the Tamil schools?

This school should have been ready by December 2009 so that the pupils could start afresh in January 2010.

Can u imagine the logistics hardships in administering 1,100 young and many “hyper” pupils in three different nearby schools.

Even the local Kajang PKR Assemblyman does not care. And PKR’s 78 MPs’ and their leaders too do not care as the victims are merely Indian pupils. But they are all supposed to be multi-racial raising issues of all communities. We have not heard of Malay or Chinese PR MPs raising these issues. But for HRP raising these injustices their leader accuse it as Hindraf’s “racist agenda”.



If and only if this and the scores of the other critical Indian problems had been appropriately taken up by these especially 78 PKR, DAP and PAS MPs, Hindraf and HRP would not have existed and neither would the 100,000 Indians have taken to the streets on the 25th of November 2007.

umno bureaucary


Inter-faith committee faces collapse

Non-Muslim groups have felt slighted by Muhyiddin’s put-down on the inter-faith body. — file pic
By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani - The Malaysian Insider
 
KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — The Malaysian Consultative Council on Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) will boycott the Cabinet-endorsed inter-faith committee, unless the deputy prime minister provides an explanation for his “small-fry” remark today.
Earlier today Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had said the inter-faith committee set up by the Cabinet consisted only of “small-fry,” in a bid to calm fears expressed by right-wing Malay groups that it would threaten the sanctity of Islam.
The lack of any legal powers in the committee, said Muhyiddin, means it will not have any influence over the nation’s official religion.
However, non-Muslim groups have taken offence at the DPM’s remarks and are now threatening a boycott of the panel.
MCCBCHST president, Reverend Dr Thomas Philips, said that they will not attend the sub-committee meeting scheduled tomorrow if there is no explanation for the remark.
“We want clarification before tomorrow’s meeting before we proceed. So until there is a clarification then there will be no meeting. We feel that if we are ‘small fry’ or have no influence, then there is no point to the committee.
“Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon must get the clarification from the deputy prime minister. He was the one that made the statement,” he told The Malaysian Insider tonight.
The Cabinet agreed recently to form an inter-faith committee to foster religious understanding and harmony, damaged in the past few months by religious differences such as the controversial “Allah” ruling.
It had earlier this year appointed Datuk Ilani Isahak to chair the committee and green-lighted five sub-committees to draw up proposals on how best to deal with the inter-religious conflicts.
The sub-committees will be jointly-chaired by a Muslim and a non-Muslim, and include five religious representatives from both communities.
The MCCBCHST president went on to express discontent over the label given by Muhyiddin, and pressed for the latter to specifically identify those he was referring to.
“It was a bit offensive to everybody but who do you mean when you called a ‘small fry’? You know religious heads are not ‘small fry’. If you call the committee as ‘small fry’ then I do not think so because [the] head of Jakim, Ikim, all were there. Even the head of the Fatwa Council was there. It was very insulting.
“We want a clarification on what he meant in the light of what Perkasa has said in a lot of statements,” he said.
Nevertheless, Philips remained optimistic but cautiously so given the national leader’s slur on the inter-faith committee.
“We say that we want to engage in the inter-faith issues because it is important for the country and is about the people’s interests. Even though they call it a small committee but it is a good start and beginning. We still have a long way to go. If any other person had said it, it would not have mattered but the deputy prime minister who is the acting prime minister has said this,” he said, referring to the fact that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is currently overseas.
Meanwhile, the Perak Fatwa Committee, led by influential state Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria, also announced its objection to the panel, dealing a further blow to Najib’s efforts to repair inter-religious ties.
Harussani said other religions could not be placed on equal footing with Islam, which he said had a higher position by Allah’s side.
The idea for an inter-faith panel was first mooted in the early 1980s but was shot down following objections from Muslim groups such as the Islamic Development Department, better known by its Malay acronym Jakim.
According to sources, the objection was because an inter-faith council would place Islam, the nation’s official religion, on equal footing with the other religions.
This was the same objection put forward by Malay rights group Perkasa yesterday. Perkasa has demanded the Najib administration places its new inter-faith panel under the national Islamic Affairs Department, saying it rejected the entity in its current form.
Perkasa says it would tolerate the committee only if it fell under the guidance of Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom, the Islamic Affairs Minister under the Prime Minister’s Department and not Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, who is currently the minister in charge.

The great Hindraf debate



R. Shan sent a letter to the editor lambasting me on my yesterday’s article on Hindraf (I’m part Orang Asli and proud of it). Instead of publishing it in the letters section I have decided to publish this letter in this column so that I can reply to it. This is my rebuttal to R. Shan’s rebuttal. I have not edited the letter to avoid being accused of changing anything -- so forgive me for the typos.


NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Dear Shan, first of all, in all sincerity, thank you for responding to my article. Most people post comments in this Blog praising me and while I appreciate the gesture it leaves me very little room to sharpen my debating skills -- which I am most proud of seeing that I debated teams of six or seven Special Branch officers during my ISA detentions in 2001 and 2008 and won each time. I even sent the so-called religious scholars from JAKIM packing during our debate on Islam. So I need the training in the event I, again, need to face my jailors in a debate.

Sorry about praising myself in that first paragraph but, as I said, I speak in all sincerity and this is, after all, a no holds barred column.

Okay, now let us get down to your points. Maybe I should have added “according to the point of view of most or many Malays” and then make my observations as I did.

You see, when I write, I do not always just give my point of view but the point of view of the man on the street. Malaysia Today is a sounding board of public opinion. For example, I whack Anwar Ibrahim and the Selangor Menteri Besar, Khalid Ibrahim, but when I meet them face-to-face I hug them.

I whack Anwar and Khalid because the people who voted for Pakatan Rakyat in the last general election are unhappy about certain things and they express this unhappiness to me. It is my duty, therefore, to raise these concerns so that Anwar and Khalid can get the feel of the pulse of the nation about how they have performed since 8 March 2008.

So, what I write may not always be what I personally feel but what the majority perceive. You can say I sort of play the Devil’s Advocate when I express my views.

When I said that Hindraf should invite us to participate in or join their cause, I did not mean they should send me an official letter or a printed invitation card. But if word is sent out rest assured we would be there.

For example, the Hindraf supporters once did prayers at a Hindu temple in Batang Kali. We were told about it and Sam Haris and a few of the Bloggers/activists, some Malay, attended that event. P.I. Bala’s nephew was also there and we spent some time talking so he can testify to our presence that night.

Being Malay and therefore Muslim it was certainly a sensitive issue. I mean, attending prayers at a Hindu temple would be frowned upon and Umno would have whacked us good and proper had they found out. Nevertheless, we went anyway although when they conducted the prayers we did not also pray but stood in the background to just watch.

There was one Indian Special Branch officer there and his presence was clearly meant to intimidate those who came for the prayers since it was a Hindraf organised event. I went up to the Special Branch officer to ask him whether he was a Hindu and he said yes. I then asked him whether he is not ashamed of himself. He is Hindu and yet he is trying to disrupt the prayers while Muslims like us support the effort. He walked off after that, probably quite embarrassed that a Muslim was telling a Hindu not to disturb the Hindus trying to pray.

The reason I and those other Malay activists attended the prayers at the Hindu temple was because it was organised by Hindraf and we support the Hindraf cause, even if it involved attending prayers in a Hindu temple. Unfortunately, other than that prayer event in the Hindu temple in Batang Kali (and another in Jalan Bandar in KL), we were not invited to any other Hindraf event, which was quite disappointing.

I know that Hindraf is not a registered organisation so there is no way we can fill in a form and pay RM1 to become an official member. But there are ways we can ‘join’ Hindraf, if you know what I mean.

In the run-up to the 8 March 2008 general election, YB Ronnie Liu, Bala of Bangsar, my wife, and I, went to Manoharan’s house in Puchong to meet his wife. The purpose of the visit was to send a message to the five Hindraf ISA detainees in Kamunting (Hindraf 5) and convince them to contest the general election. Of course, there was no way we would have been allowed to visit the Hindraf 5 in Kamunting so we had to ‘speak’ to them through Manoharan’s wife.

Our idea was that we would help get five parliament seats for all the Hindraf 5 to contest. In the meantime, we spoke to PKR, DAP and PAS asking them for five seats. If DAP can give Hindraf just two seats then PKR can give them another two and maybe one from PAS. I also spoke to Dr Zul of PAS and asked him whether PAS was prepared to give them five seats in the event DAP and PKR does not have spare seats seeing that it was a bit late in the day and all the seats were already taken.

PAS was quite prepared to shuffle their candidates around and try to accommodate the Hindraf 5 in the event DAP and PKR had no spare slots. Dr Zul actually found it quite exciting that an Islamic party will be opening its doors to Hindu activists. Imagine an Islamic party that had always been portrayed as extremist fields five Hindu activists under its banner.

If you can remember, PAS did, in fact, field one Indian candidate in Johor. And it was a woman on top of that. She was a lawyer and Hindu of course. That was Ustaz Mahfuz’s handiwork and I thought it was a great move although, unfortunately, she did not win mainly because Johor was a tough state to win. Now, if she had contested further North instead, she would most likely have won.

I told Ronnie that I had spoken to Dr Zul and most likely PAS will accommodate all five Hindraf detainees in Kamunting. At the DAP convention in Penang that same weekend, Ronnie made a press statement and announced that DAP is going to offer seats to all five Hindraf detainees in Kamunting. Bala of Bangsar was also there and he was beaming from ear to ear.

Even Lim Kit Siang was taken off-guard because the party had yet to discuss the matter and come to an agreement on offering the Hindraf 5 seats to contest.

Anyway, the press announcement had been made and there was no turning back (very naughty of Ronnie). Ronnie said he was prepared to offer his Pandamaran state seat to Charles Santiago if Charles was prepared to give his Kelang parliament seat to Hindraf. Ronnie would therefore not contest the general election if need be. He was prepared to make a personal sacrifice for Hindraf (and today he would not be a Selangor EXCO Member).

Manoharan’s wife came back from Kamunting and told us that only one, Manoharan himself, wanted to contest the election. The other four were not interested. Furthermore, Manoharan wanted to contest a state seat, not a parliament seat.

We were devastated. We had hoped all five would contest the general election and that they would contest parliament seats, not state seats. The Indian cause is a national issue and Parliament would have been a better platform to further their cause. What can one do in the State Assembly, especially if the state was under Barisan Nasional and you are merely an opposition State Assemblyman (of course we did not know then that Pakatan Rakyat would win Selangor)?

My wife then spoke to Manoharan’s wife to try to organise a support group for the wives of the Hindraf detainees. This was what they did in 2001 when the Reformasi activists were detained under the ISA and sent to Kamunting. This wives support group was later extended to the wives of the JI, KMM, etc., detainees.

Wives of ISA detainees suffer as much as their husbands under detention. They need not only financial support but also counselling as well because of the mental trauma they have to endure. And my wife wanted to see how the women can help the wives of the Hindraf 5 (or 4 wives as one is not married).

The sad thing is my wife was told that the Hindraf wives do not talk to each other. It seems their husbands in Kamunting had quarrelled and no longer talk to each other. So the quarrel in Kamunting spilled over to their wives.

When I was sent to Kamunting in September 2008 I kept in touch with the Hindraf 5. I also wrote an official letter to the prison authorities requesting to be transferred to the Hindraf block. The camp commander called me to his office and asked me which Hindraf group I wanted to move in with. There are three groups, he told me.

I then spoke to one of the guards who I had befriended and asked him about what was going on in the Hindraf block and he told me that the five are now split into three groups and have in fact requested to be transferred to separate blocks. I was quite disturbed. Nevertheless, I kept in touch with all five and did not take sides in the quarrel. Uthaya actually helped smuggle paper and pen to my cell so that I could continue writing my articles.

On the Anwar Ibrahim EDM that you mentioned, it is very true that Moorthy was the person who initiated it. The EDM was actually my idea and I thought that since Moorthy is in London and had all the right contacts then maybe he could help. So I got in touch with Moorthy, as a person and not as Hindraf, and requested his help. It was more a personal thing.

Somehow Hindraf’s name emerged as the initiator of the EDM but this was not a problem as what is important is the success of the exercise and not whose idea it was or whose effort made it possible. And certainly we must thank Moorthy for this.

So you see, Shan, behind the scenes we have been making all sorts of attempts to work with Hindraf and support the Indian cause. Though things did not quite work out as what we had hoped, nevertheless it was not because of lack of trying. We understood that Hindraf may be new at this activist game and is still feeling its way around. If the Hindraf 5 had all accepted our offer to contest the general election as parliamentary candidates they would have won because they would have been given safe and sure-win seats. And, today, we would have five Hindraf leaders in parliament where they could pursue their cause further at national level.

In spite of there being no card-bearing members of Hindraf, I still would like to be part of Hindraf so that the perception amongst the Malays that Hindraf is a racist organisation can be dispelled. How can Hindraf be racist when Malays too join them? And there would be many Malays who would ‘sign up’ as a Hindraf member.

This is also a good measurement of Hindraf’s support. If Hindraf can sign up one million members then this proves it is relevant. If it gets only a handful of members then Hindraf would understand that it does not really have that support it thinks it has.

Maybe it is time that Hindraf register itself and if it cannot get registered in Malaysia, as it most likely can’t, then Hindraf should register offshore like in the UK. What’s to stop Hindraf from registering the organisation in the UK? And since Moorthy is in the UK he could easily do that. Then those from Malaysia who want to sign up as a card-bearing member of Hindraf can do so as a ‘Hindraf International’ member, legally registered in the UK.

You must understand, Shan, politicians only understand and respect peoples’ power. If the majority of the people are seen to be with you then politicians will sit up and listen. But if you were perceived as not that significant then politicians would be very slow in reacting. Hindraf has to show that it has mass support. And to do this you need everyone to stand up to be counted. This is not currently happening in Hindraf. Can you prove how many ‘members’ Hindraf has?

True, the Indian vote was a factor in the 8 March 2008 general election. But 8 March 2008 was a political Tsunami involving all races. It was not just about the Indian vote. Even if 100% of the Indian voters had voted opposition on 8 March 2008 but the Malays and Chinese had voted ruling party we would not have seen what we saw. Therefore, it was a unity of Malays, Chinese and Indians that made 8 March 2008 possible.

Therefore, while we applaud the Indian swing, we must not forget the Malay and Chinese swing as well. To talk as if only the Indians gave the opposition the 8 March 2008 win is downplaying the role of the other races. It was a combined effort and all races need to be applauded.

I personally saw Hindraf members in Kelang wearing PAS T-shirts and carrying PAS flags. They escorted me to a DAP ceramah in a temple while shouting “Makhal Sakhti” and “Allahuakhbar”. It was not even a PAS ceramah and the candidates were Chinese and Indians from DAP. I must admit that I cried when I saw this. When I got out of the car the Hindraf boys surrounded me and hugged me. How does one not cry when something like this happens?

There is much unhappiness at the top. The Indian leaders in Pakatan Rakyat moan and grumble. But lower down at the grassroots level the Indians from Hindraf are very united with their Malay and Chinese brothers and sisters. Whenever I attend ceramahs there are dozens of Hindraf activists surrounding me. They make sure that nothing happens to me.

At times I had to request my Hindraf ‘bodyguards’ to be not too overzealous and to allow the Indian supporters who want to hug me and shake my hand to come forward. My Hindraf bodyguards were of course worried that someone in the crowd might stab me with a knife or something like that. I told my Hindraf bodyguards that God will protect me and they responded with “Allahuakhbar!”

Shan, rest assured that I love my Hindraf brothers and sisters. Those who acted as my bodyguards placed themselves at great risk in their effort to protect me from any possible knife attack. One chap told me he had been instructed not to leave my side and in the event something happens he is to stop the knife with his body.

Shan, do you know that in some places where I went even the 08 boys came out to protect me? Yes, the 08 gangsters. I had Indian gangsters with long criminal records who wanted to make sure that I remained safe when I went round shaking the hands of the Indian supporters. And when I told them that I too used to ‘run’ with the 08 boys in Brickfields back in the 1960s they carried me on the shoulders. I felt quite embarrassed at being given this ‘royal’ treatment.

When the Indian port workers in Kelang celebrated Merdeka Day they asked me to grace the event by raising the Malaysian flag. I asked them why not give the honour to the Selangor Sultan or to one of the political leaders instead. After all, I am only a Blogger and of no significance. They replied that I am considered one of the Hindraf leaders so they wanted me to honour them by raising the Malaysian flag and give a speech to the Indians.

No, Shan, I do not wish to take over as the Hindraf leader. But the manner in which the Hindraf grassroots treat me can’t but make me feel I am one of them. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with the Hindraf grassroots. It is the leadership that is messing things up.

That is my view.

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RPK – Are you factual or delusional on HINDRAF?

It is rather perturbing that someone of RPK’s statute is unable to distinguish between the true goals of HINDRAF and what it is made out to be.

Nobody questions your integrity nor your battle for Malaysians per say but however I feel that you maybe delusional in portraying HINDRAF as a racist organization.

In your recent writing, there was not an ounce of factual factor to prove HINDRAF racist except what subjectively that you have concluded. Such sweeping statement such HINDRAF and PERKASA are the same side the opposite coin only reflects, the illusion that is seldom observed in your writing unless you have your own agenda to state so in mere desperation for the opposition party.

HINDRAF does not have membership nor does it fail to engage other Malaysians, but whether other would join them is the question with such bigoted views. If they are such hard heads, then why should they take the trouble to organize the briefing in house of Common for the natives from East Malaysia as well as initiating the EDM for Anwar Ibrahim? You see, this is factual not illusion.

You further state that they must declare all non-Indians are not the enemy. Frankly if that was the case, the above would not have happened? Again, I feel you are delusional on the objectivity of HINDRAF. They never declared this, but that is a perception that you write on on you’re your own subjective notion.

Pre-election of 2008, HINDRAF supporters and rallied for the opposition even became PAS supporter to ensure the demise of UMNO and they supported even hapless donkeys that were put up by the opposition with an intention of hoping that they will be treated equally and fairly in a so called Malaysia and escape from the clutches of marginalization and discrimination that they had faced for the last 53 years. They vote for Malaysian not Indian. This is factual and not illusion.

Dear RPK, I don’t think HINDRAF has a problem with other Malaysians, but they are are more attuned towards the Malaysian Indian dilemma to bring the balance for the Indians who for far too long have been neglected and marginalized from the mainstream development of Malaysia. This is factual. Look around you, highest suicidal rate, highest crime rate, lowest literacy, business opportunity in form of percentage of the population, so who was the racist in sidelining this segment of the society if it is Malaysian that you clamour about? Where were all these Malaysians all this while until HINDRAF came?

Let’s not even look further, look at your newspaper advertisement for job opportunities, even there is racism as they is always what is the preferred race, so much for your illusional racism of HINDRAF.

Presently at least in your site, the grouses against HINDRAF seems to be directed because they are questioning the opposition on what has been done to protect and enhance the rights of the Malaysian Indians at least in their four states. Now do you think this is something unfair or just racist?

Look man, be practical, economically the Chinese are in power and politically and vote count basis, the Malays are in power, and that is very transparent if you see what happened in the pig abattoir issue in Kedah, as well as the 349 planned villages and 134 new villages with 110,000 and 102,000 titles respectively are to be given out irrespective of the National Land Council’s order, involving almost all Malay and Chinese owners and land recipients. Freehold titles were given for just RM63 to 110,000 planned villages (almost 99% Malay) and 102,000 (estimated to almost 99% Chinese) Chinese new villagers in Perak. The then PKR, DAP and PAS state government also allocated 1,000ha (about 2,500 acres) of land to nine Chinese schools.

Now, what happened to the Malaysian Indians at least in Perak, are you telling me they don’t have land issue for schools, crematorium, temples and squatters in Perak? What happened to them, aren’t they as much as Malaysian as those who have benefited with opposition? This is factual, not your figment of imagination that HINDRAF is racist.

The Malaysian Indians have also been the scapegoat and bashing boy, no matter who is in power, and presently have reached a tolerance level for those who despair. Someone have to battle for them genuinely and that is what HINDRAF have been doing without choosing or picking sides as long as the Malaysian Indians are given a fair share of what is just in reality not just some paper chase for the encapsulated opinion that your have in your illusion of HINDRAF.

So you want to join HINDRAF, why, you don’t even need an invitation, you can just pick the phone and call the relevant person and you know who they are. Talk to them see and understand their aspiration, then tell us your tale why do you think they are racist based on your own deduction of rationality from the horse’s mouth rather that one deluded for the political will under the current circumstances.

It is funny though, how easily you make calculation and write off the HINDRAF factor, but life is not all about calculation, but what is real and humane to deal with. Many times you repeat yourself that you are ready to support HINDRAF cause, yet contradict yourself in branding them as racist with an adulterated subjective layman synopsis without an objective. This conviction itself may prove to be a bridge to abridge your opinion if your see what is factual as oppose to what is delusional in your perception of HINDRAF as a racist.

Let me leave you with a quote – ‘Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools speak because they have to say something – Plato

R. Shan (Human Being)