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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

MIC apologists provide out for Umno on matriculation

By S.Ramakrishnan
MIC president G Palanivel had announced on June 16 that those who were rejected for matriculation would be given seats in AIMST University.

This announcement was to calm down the 400 plus students who got more than 7As but were rejected by the Education Ministry.

But MIC/BN must explain why despite making a public announcement that 1,500 seats were allocated for Indian students, only about 780 seats are given?

Palanivel said 700 seats were given. MIC sec-gen S Murugesan said 800 seats were given. Prime Minister's Special Officer Ravin Poniah's secretary said 500 over seats were given in the first intake.

So what is the real figure?

But the education minister couldn't be bothered about the broken promise of the prime minister.

Indians are only needed for votes and nothing more than that.

During the appeal period for those students who were rejected in the first application where assuming only 700 were taken in, both Human Resources Minister S Subramaniam and Palanivel had announced that the balance of 800 seats would be filled.
But in the appeal, only 81 students were taken in.

Instead of demanding that the PM fulfill his promise, MIC leaders gave him an escape route by announcing that those who were rejected for matriculation would be given places in AIMST University.

With MIC around it is so easy for Umno to just ignore Indians. Umno keeps MIC to act as its apologist to Indian community. MIC has compromised our rights to education many times over.

Can MIC offer scholarships to all these 400 over students? They owe an explanation to the Indian community how they are going to support and sponsor the education of these students from pre-university and university level.

MIC vice-president SK Devamany said that the intake of students for matriculation consists of 90 percent bumiputera and 10 percent non-bumiputera.

Why should it be so? What is the entry requirement for Malay students? Aren't we citizens of this country and contribute to the coffers and economy of this country?

It is the racial discrimination that makes Indian students have low expectations and have low self-esteem. With MIC/PPP around we don't need enemies.

The BN government has systematically alienated the non-Malays from the education system.

These 400 over students will not be able to go back to the government education institutions, and its scholarships and other support.

Umno can rob us in daylight despite openly promising in front of a large ponggal gathering in Kapar in February this year.

The excuse is that the Education Ministry did not receive any circulars stating that an extra 1,000 seats were to be offered to Indian students.

As long as the Indian community is naïve, ignorant and forgiving, Umno and their MIC/PPP dispatch boys will keep us begging for a pittance.

Be the change agent for the change we want to see.

It's now or never.

Our Pranam – Bowed Salutation and Gratitude to all the Gurus in this auspicious Guru Purnima!

Holy Message of H.H. Dr. Jayant Balaji Athavale, Sanatan Sanstha in the event of Sri Guru Purnima.

O Hindus ! Become the immortal flame in the historical chapter on establishment of the Hindu Rashtra and preserve the heritage of Guru-disciple tradition !

Gurupournima is the day of offering gratitude unto the Guru ! The real mission of the Guru is to guide the society (that is lost in materialism) towards Spirituality and take the true disciples towards Moksha (Final Liberation). The true disciples too follow this path and participate in the samashti (for the sake of the society) mission throughout their life. Offering the self physically, psychologically and economically to the samashti mission of the Guru is true gratitude unto the Guru ! Contribution of the Guru-disciple tradition to the samashti has been immense. This glorious tradition has emancipated the life of the Hindu society on moral, cultural and spiritual fronts.History is testimony to the fact that whenever there has been a decline of Hindu Dharma, the Guru-disciple tradition has directly participated in the mission of reinstatement of Dharma.Today, there is a decline of Hindu Dharma. The rise of Raja-Tama-predominant forces is causing decline in sattvikta (Sattva-predominance). Since the society is indulging in adharmik (Unrighteous) practices, the spiritual strength of the Nation is weakening. This has given rise to deceit and hypocrisy in the society. Corruption and immorality are on the ascent everywhere. There is rise in wrongdoings in the name of religion. In short, the very soul of Sanatan Dharma has disappeared, and what remains is its lifeless shell. This is the single reason why reinstating of Dharma has now become necessary. Under the prevailing circumstances, reinstatement of Dharma means establishing a Hindu Rashtra on the foundation of Dharma. This Nation will then have an ideal system of governance. This system will be the true alternative to the present day corrupt democratic system, which has caused deterioration of Bharat in every field and has led to decline of Hindu Dharma.Brahmatej (Radiance of Brahman) and Kshatratej (Radiance of warrior) are two aspects essential for the reinstatement of the Dharma. Most Saints and spiritual organisations such as Sanatan Sanstha are striving hard for enhancing the spiritual power (nurturing Brahmatej) of the Nation on the strength of their sadhana. While many Nation and Dharma loving organisations, periodicals and intellectuals are involved in nurturing Kshatratej at the physical, psychological and intellectual levels to change the dire state of the Nation, the mission needs to progress as outlined ahead.A. Physical : This involves physical participation for the reinstatement of Dharma. For example, preventing harm to Dharma, organising protests, retaliatory action etc. This is 10% important as per the times.B. Psychological : Educating Hindus about the mission and motivating them towards action as per the principle, ‘There can be no action unless emotion for the Nation and Dharma is awakened’. This can be achieved through educative writings in newspapers etc., through discourses etc. This also has 10% importance as per the times.C. Intellectual : Giving direction to the Hindu society for reinstatement of Dharma. For example, conducting a detailed analysis of calamities affecting the Hindus, providing intellectual strength to Hindu organisations etc. This too has 10% importance as per the times.D. Spiritual : This involves spiritual practice performed for bestowing spiritual strength to the physical, psychological and intellectual activities carried out for reinstatement of Dharma. For example, chanting or performing Yadnya (Sacrificial fires) to accomplish a task. This has importance of 70% as per the times.

As per the times, with the Guru-disciple tradition and spiritual sects, every Hindu participating in the task involving Kshatratej (of the physical, psychological and intellectual level) and Brahmatej (of the spiritual level) as per the ability and sadhana, amounts to preserving the Guru-disciple tradition ! O Hindus ! Be active and contribute to the reinstatement of Dharma from this year’s Gurupournima and become the immortal flame in the historical chapter on establishment of the Hindu Rashtra !

- H. H. Dr. Jayant Balaji Athavale, Sanatan Sanstha.
Important highlights of Goa Hindu Rashtra Adhiveshan:
हिंदू राष्ट्रकी स्थापनाकी समय-सूची Schedule of the establishment of Hindu Rashtra

  वर्ष Year कार्य Work
अ. A २०१२ से २०१५  (४ वर्ष)  2012-2015  (4 years) हिंदू राष्ट्रकी स्थापना हेतु हिंदू-संगठन To build up strong Organisation to establish a Hindu Nation
आ.  B २०१६ से २०१९  (४ वर्ष)  2016-2019  (4 years) संगठित हिंदुओंकी सहायतासे समग्र धर्मक्रांति Total dhram revolution with the help of organized strength
इ.  C २०२० से २०२२  (३ वर्ष) 2020-2022  (3 years)  धर्माधारित राज्यकारोबारका प्रशिक्षण Intensive training for operation of Dharma based Nation
ई. D २०२३ से २०२५  (३ वर्ष) 2023-2025  (3 years) हिंदू राष्ट्रकी प्रत्यक्ष स्थापना Direct establishment of Hindu Rashtra 

Sikh man deported to Afghanistan returned to UK

Baljit Singh was jailed in Kabul, accused of falsely claiming to be Afghan, and says he was tricked into converting to Islam

An Afghan Sikh worships at a temple in Kabul
An Afghan Sikh worships at a temple in Kabul. The Sikh community in the country has dwindled to a few hundred. Photograph: Ahmad Masood/Reuters

A Sikh man who was jailed in Kabul for "falsely claiming" to be an Afghan when he was deported from the UK, and says he was bullied and tricked into making a televised conversion to Islam, has been flown back to Birmingham by the British government.

The case of 23 year-old Baljit Singh highlights concerns about the justice system and the status of religious minorities in Afghanistan as the withdrawal of western troops gathers pace.

Singh was deported from the UK nearly two years ago and was spotted by Afghan government officials as soon as he stepped off the chartered aeroplane that carried the failed asylum seekers, marked out by his distinctive Sikh turban.

He was taken aside for questioning and then was put in prison for 18 months during which he never received a charge sheet, let alone a conviction. Prosecutors told him informally that his crime was falsely claiming to be Afghan.

"The only thing in his file was a note saying 'this is the day he was arrested'," said Kimberley Motley, a Kabul-based lawyer who took on his case pro bono and helped secure his release and his return to Britain.

"I wrote to the attorney general's office saying he is being held without charge, which is illegal. You can't just keep him indeterminately locked up for no reason."

But although illegal, his fate was not unusual in Afghanistan, activists say. The country is still struggling to build up its justice system and hundreds of people are jailed without a valid criminal charge.

"There are lots of people in prison in Afghanistan without legal cause, some of whom have completed their prison sentences but not been released, others charged for things that are not a crime under the penal code," said Heather Barr, Afghanistan researcher for Human Rights Watch.

"His case is unusual, but unfortunately the pattern of being put in prison without anyone finding a section of the law that you violated is not that unusual."

As well as the prospect of an indefinite spell in prison, in a country he had left when only five years old and where he no longer had friends or close relatives, Singh said he was being harassed for his religion and pressured to convert.

He was verbally and physically abused in prison. One inmate threw boiling water over him, Singh said, pulling out a picture of his bandaged face shortly after the assault.

He was also ordered to sleep in a corner of an outdoor courtyard, next to the toilet, he said. Men had to step over him on their way to relieve themselves, and as they did so, some kicked the turban that marked him out as a Sikh.

"Basically they were trying to say 'be like us'," he said of the beatings prior to his conversion, which he described as a superficial change he was tricked and harassed into.

"They said 'you should say these words', it was just an accident thing, and they lifted me up and said 'you are a Muslim'."

TV cameras were called in to record the moment and despite promises his face would be obscured, it was broadcast along with his name. "They played it on national television. They were very proud that a Sikh converted."

Singh said the conversion angered the country's already beleaguered Sikh community, which has dwindled from thousands of families to just a few hundred over 30 years of war and persecution.

"It makes me very sad, now we Sikhs only own four houses round here, most people have sold up," said Narander Singh, a fortune teller and herbalist who took his own family to India over a decade ago but could not find work so returned to Kabul to support them from a distance.

Many other men were in a similar situation, he said, with Afghan objections to the Sikh tradition of burning their dead a particular irritant. "Day by day, they are trying to leave," added Singh, who is not related to Baljit.

Baljit, who never lived in Kabul, was part of the wider exodus. He was born in the eastern town of Jalalabad. His father died when he was young and the rest of the family left Afghanistan soon after.

He was separated from his family during a journey through Pakistan, the Middle East and Europe, and ended up in England in 2007.

His first request for asylum was refused, but he remained in the UK pending an appeal, until he was abruptly arrested when he tried to register for marriage in 2010. Shortly afterwards, he was deported following what both he and Motley describe as mistakes by careless lawyers.

"It's extremely difficult to get asylum in the UK, especially if you are not physically in the country," said Motley.

"I think by them taking him back to the UK it is a recognition that there was a legal error that took place and that they are trying to correct."

Barr said the UK government's decision to deport a Sikh to Afghanistan was "shocking" given the country's limited religious freedom.

"Religious minorities are a very small portion of the population in Afghanistan, and are sometimes tolerated and sometimes not tolerated. So for the UK to send him back in the first place without carefully considering the situation of Sikhs in Afghanistan and the treatment that would await him is shocking," she said.

Singh told the Guardian by phone from Birmingham, where he is now seeking asylum, that being there felt "unbelievable". He had asked that his case not be publicised until he was back on British soil, because of worries it could complicate his departure.

"I never thought I would see the UK again … So many people are still stuck in jail [in Afghanistan]. I am so lucky," he added.

The British embassy declined to comment on the details of Singh's case, but suggested that it was convinced he is Afghan, and he was returned to the UK only because that could not be proved.

"Individuals are only returned to a country when there is substantial evidence that it is their country of origin," an embassy spokeswoman said.

"We have agreements in place with certain countries that mean we will re-admit individuals unable to prove their nationality to the satisfaction of the receiving country's authorities."

The Afghan justice ministry said it was not aware of the case, and the attorney general's office did not respond to requests for comment.

Our constitution a ‘document of convenience’

Hindraf Makkal Sakthi says that the constitution was drafted to protect British economic and defence interests.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malayan constitution drafted by the British was a “document of convenience” to protect the colonial government’s economic and defence interests in Malaya.

This was one of the arguments put forth by Hindraf Makkal Sakthi in the class action suit, registered yesterday evening, at the United Kingdom High Court in London.

The suit was filed by Hindraf chairman P Waythamoorthy.

The lawsuit against the British government also claims that the colonial government failed to provide adequate safety to the Indian community under the rule of Malay-Muslim majority when independence was granted to the former colony.

London-based Waythamoorthy claims that the then British Harold MacMillian’s government failed to provide protection to Indian Malaysians when independence was granted to the former colony in 1957.

Speaking at a press conference today, Hindraf advisor N Ganesan said,”The civil action will be the first of its kind to hold the former colonial empire responsible for its atrocities.”

Also present by his side were national coordinators W Sambulingam and K Balakrishnan.

Ganesan claimed that the current suffering by the Malaysian Indian community was a result of the British government’s move to enact a constitution which was “fundamentally flawed”.

Elaborating, Ganesan said that the United Nations charter, which was enacted in 1945, protects human rights

and guarantees equal rights to all.
“But our constitution has no mention on equal rights. Article 8 of the Federal Constitution only mentions ‘equality before the law’ which is flawed,” he said.

Ganesan added that even in the Reid Commission, there were no Malayans present in the committee to bring forth ideas to protect the rights of the Indian community.

“They may argue that the Alliance government was consulted but at that point of time, the British were still in charge of the country and they came up with the terms of reference,” claimed Ganesan.

As a result, Ganesan said various means were devised in the constitution to impose difficulties to the Indian community, even to obtain citizenship.

“Now we have about 350,000 stateless Indians in the country and despite being promised land settlements, the community were left with nothing after the British departed from Malaya,” he claimed.

Woman conned RM24,000 for UK work permit

A credit manager says she was made to believe that the payment was necessary for visa and other documentation applications.

PETALING JAYA: A 41-year-old credit manager, A Freda Anthonymary, who wanted to make a living in the United Kingdom, lodged a police report this morning after being conned RM24,860 by an ‘envoy’.

“In order to work in the UK, I was told to deposit the money into private bank accounts of individuals by one Simon Featherstone who claimed to be the UK envoy,” said Anthonymary.

Speaking to FMT after lodging the police report at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters, Anthonymary said that she was instructed to make payments for her visa, work permit application, insurance and tax clearance.

She also made payment to open an overseas bank account, bank saving capacity, permanent stay in United Kingdom and document collection. The payments were however deposited into individual local bank accounts.

She had made payments to one Stella Rani Francis Selvaraj and Faini Juhim @ Jeniffer on June 22, 25, 26, 27 and 28.

She had also communicated with three others aligned to Featherstone. She added that all her correspondence for her visa was done via email –

“I began to feel suspicious about them when they started to demand more money. I then asked to meet Featherstone but he made up excuses and declined to meet me,” she said in the presence of Kapar MP S Manikavasagam at the police station.

Manikavasagam said that he too had attempted to meet the envoy named Featherstone but was not given the chance at all.

“This is clearly a conman’s scandal and I urge (Selangor deputy police chief, Senior Assistant Commissioner) A Thaiveegan to look into the matter,” said Manikavasagam

He also confirmed that the British High Commission did not employ anyone by the name of Featherstone.

‘Implement hudud and MCA will quit BN’

If Umno tries to enforce the Islamic penal law in Johor, then MCA will pull out of the coalition, says Labis MP and deputy minister Chua Tee Yong.

KUALA LUMPUR: MCA would leave the Barisan Nasional coalition if Umno tries to implement hudud, said Chua Tee Yong, the head of MCA’s Young Professionals Bureau

“MCA’s stand is very clear. If hudud is implemented then MCA will come out from BN,” the Labis MP and deputy minister told reporters here.

Chua was responding to a call by Umno’s Kemelah state assemblyman Ayub Rahmat for hudud to be implemented in Johor to cover all, including non Muslims.

Ayub Rahmat said that he wished to see Johor become the first state to implement “true hudud law”, which he claimed would differ from PAS’ version.

Ayub said his version of hudud law would be non-discriminatory as the adherents of all religions would be subjected to it in Johor.

“Kelantan’s Syariah Criminal Code (II) 1993 does not reflect the true requirements of Islam. It creates discrimination in execution (among Muslims and non-Muslims),” Ayub had said.

Chua said that Ayub’s statement carried no weight.

“He’s just an Umno state assemblyman. Not the menteri besar, not even PM, or deputy PM. So, I don’t place any weight on his statement,” said Chua.

Chua also wanted the media to ask DAP’s stance on the matter as PAS’ leaders have mentioned on numerous occasions that they will implement hudud.

“Nik Aziz and Hadi Awang have mentioned on numerous occasions that they will implement hudud but DAP is still working closely with PAS,” said Chua.

“Plus, this is not from PAS Youth, but this is from their president and spiritual leader,” he added.

Chua also questioned DAP’s stand on PAS’ wish to appoint a Malay Muslim to be the premier if the opposition pact won the 13th general election.

“What is DAP’s stand on this? They only talk about Anwar, and PAS answered that they have the qualification.

“They are only helping PAS to realise their dreams. Therefore, one vote for DAP also equals to a vote for PAS.”

Chua’s father and MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek last night also tweeted his objection to the Umno man’s hudud call.

“The Johor Umno Adun must have run out of ideas and out of his mind to propose hudud in Johor for all. MCA will definitely object to it,” he posted on Twitter.

BN’s Indian support at risk after ‘Hang Ambiga’ calls

With elections just round the corner, BN leaders have been trying to regain the support of the country’s 1.8 million-strong Indian community. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 — The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) risks losing Indian support, seen crucial to winning the next general elections, after the recent spate of attacks against Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan reached boiling point last week when Umno MP Datuk Mohamad Aziz suggested she be hanged for treason, MIC leaders told The Malaysian Insider.

The country’s Tamil newspapers splashed the news as well as analysis of the Sri Gading MP’s outburst in parliament, reflecting the popularity of the electoral movement Bersih’s leader, much to the dismay of BN leaders who have been trying to regain the support of the country’s 1.8 million-strong Indian community, who form seven per cent of the population and electorate.

MIC pointed out that party president Datuk G. Palanivel had to move immediately into damage control mode the moment the issue hit media headlines by assuring the community that BN’s leading Indian party does not endorse the Sri Gading MP’s stand.

Party president Datuk G. Palanivel has moved to assure the Indian community that MIC does not endorse Umno MP Datuk Mohamad Aziz’s stand. — file pic
“Such remarks will affect Indian voters, who are turning towards the BN now,” Palanivel had warned last Wednesday, even as the community’s newspapers went to town with the news.

In a heated moment during debates in the Dewan Rakyat last Tuesday, Mohamad had suggested that Ambiga be hanged for treason over her role in the Bersih 3.0 rally, which saw chaos reign the city’s streets on April 28.

The Umno leader’s remarks earned him front-page recognition in many local Tamil dailies and article upon article was filled with hard-hitting responses from community leaders, similar to the months before Election 2008 when opinion leaders from the Indian community amassed a crowd of over 30,000 to march against the allegedly unfair policies of the BN government.

The Indian community has long been seen as a “fixed deposit” vote bank for BN but the march, organised by the now outlawed Hindraf movement, was believed to be what blew the lid on the group’s simmering frustration over being left out of development for decades.

The tumultuous event, together with Bersih’s first march for free and fair elections in late 2007, have been credited for the staggering losses suffered by the ruling coalition during the March 8, 2008, general election.
Following the Bersih rally, anti-Bersih proponents held numerous protests in front of Ambiga’s home. During one protest, traders set up burger stalls just beyond the vegetarian Hindu’s main gate while in another incident, veteran soldiers performed “butt exercises”.

Most MIC leaders interviewed said that Ambiga was being made a “scapegoat” for the chaos on April 28. — file pic
“We are concerned... because the PM has been doing a lot and we have been working very hard too. And sometimes, when statements like these are uttered, of course it would touch the sensitivities of the Indian voters,” MIC secretary-general Datuk S. Murugesan told The Malaysian Insider.

“I do not think that the Indian community was in support of the Bersih rally... but because (Mohamad’s) the attack was personal, the community’s sympathy for Ambiga only grew,” he said.
But MIC, BN’s Indian-based component party, believes that the Najib administration has also done well to woo the community back into the ruling coalition’s fold.

“The Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Razak), through all his policies, has come forward and dealt directly with the Indian community, whether through NGOs, groups or the temples.

“So the Indians are coming back. But these kind of statements... issued by no less than a BN man at that, can do much damage to Najib’s good work,” MIC leader Senator Datuk Daljit Singh told The Malaysian Insider.

“The sentences he (Mohamad) used were not logical at all. At least he could have used words like ‘fine her (Ambiga)’ or ‘punish her’... after all, DBKL (KL City Hall) is already claiming damages from Bersih,” he said.

He pointed out that despite the widespread anger against Bersih and Ambiga, many in the Indian community view the former Bar Council chairman as a “brave person”.

MIC leader Senator Datuk Daljit Singh said many in the Indian community view Ambiga as a “brave person”. — file pic
“She is not fighting for anything out of the way; she is not asking for compensation from the government or anything — she is asking for free and fair elections, something which even BN and the Election Commission (EC) are fighting for,” Daljit said.

He echoed the sentiments of fellow party members that Ambiga, despite being the co-chairman of Bersih 2.0, the coalition that organised the Bersih rally, was not the only person to blame for the chaos on April 28.

“Why did he (Mohamad) not target (Opposition Leader Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim) instead? He was there too.
“Ambiga has gone through enough,” he said.

Palanivel, in his statement last week, had also urged Najib and BN leaders to call for an end to the widespread attacks against Ambiga and like Daljit, had also pointed out that the leader was not the sole organiser of the Bersih rally.

“Why is Ambiga made a scapegoat?” he had asked. “Why didn’t these people demonstrate or put up burger stalls in front of other Bersih leaders’ (homes)?”

MIC central working committee (CWC) member S. Vell Paari had even said it was Mohamad who should be hanged for his lack of general knowledge.

The son of MIC’s longest serving president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu was quoted as saying in Tamil Nesan last Thursday that, “I guess that when he (Mohamad) was young, someone must have dropped him in such a way that he hit his head.”

MIC leaders said last week’s developments have only served to damage the PM’s efforts at courting the Indian community ahead of elections. — file pic
The following day, the same daily quoted Malaysian Hindu Sangam president R.S. Mohan Shan as demanding that Mohamad issue a public apology for his remarks, saying it could cause racial tension.

“Did Datuk Ambiga commit the crime of murder that she should be hanged? This is a matter that deserves serious censure,” Pahang MIC communication head R. Gunasekaran was quoted as saying.

Other media reports quoted National Indian Rights Action Team (Niat) chairman Datuk Thasleem Mohamed Ibrahim as challenging Mohamad to repeat his remarks outside the Dewan Rakyat, where the latter would no longer enjoy parliamentary immunity.

“If he doesn’t repeat his remarks outside, it will show that he was only abusing his privileges to abuse respected NGO leaders who champion civil rights issues,” he was quoted as saying on news portal Free Malaysia Today.

The embattled Mohamad has since retracted his statement after he was censured by Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, but it is believed that the incident may have reopened old wounds within the Indian community that the Najib administration has been struggling to heal.

Assange Episode 11: Corruption & Islamophobia

The Police Must Act Against Perkasa

Such gangster behavior, such violence should not be allowed to be repeated. But because the police have been so tolerant of Perkasa, the NGO has become all the more bold, all the more brash in flexing its muscles.

Kee Thuan Chye

Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa) is getting out of control. Its latest brush with Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng that resulted in a scuffle is testimony to its growing tendency towards verbal and physical violence. More than that, it seems to be presuming that it is above the law and can say and do what it likes with impunity.

It was reportedly holding a demonstration in Telok Bahang at the same place where Guan Eng was visiting the local residents. The scuffle broke out when the group of 50 Perkasa members threw anti-Guan Eng posters at him and his delegation, and then one of them reportedly charged at him.

Penang Perkasa leader Mohd Rizuad Mohd Azudin claims that the fracas was orchestrated by Guan Eng’s people to make Perkasa look bad to the Telok Bahang residents. But in the first place, why did Perkasa choose to hold the demonstration where Guan Eng would be? Why did they come armed with anti-Guan Eng posters and even paste them all over at least one of the shops there? Who was orchestrating what?

According to Penang Chief Police Officer Ayub Yaakop, the police were not informed ahead by Perkasa about their intent to hold a demonstration. This therefore transgressed the Peaceful Assembly Act, which requires any party wishing to hold a public gathering to inform the police 10 days before the event.

That being so, why did the police not break up the gathering? When at other times, especially at pro-rakyat rallies, the police have been more than enthusiastic in dispersing the crowds, why were they so accommodating with the Perkasa group?
Anti-Lim Guan Eng posters were plastered on walls at Teluk Bahang market.
It is only after the fact that the Penang CPO comes out to say, “I am not happy with the way Perkasa carries out its activities.” This is like ticking off the class bully after he has broken his victim’s nose, but the damage has been done, the victim has suffered, and the bully is allowed to go free.

No action has been taken against Perkasa for breaking the law in not informing the police about its gathering. Guan Eng has complained that the police did not even arrest the Perkasa member who charged at him and threatened his safety. It’s all hot air from the Penang CPO.

This, sadly, has been the story of how the police have been dealing with Perkasa over the last two years of the NGO’s existence.

Earlier, in February, Perkasa and Umno Youth members disrupted a peaceful anti-Lynas gathering at Speakers’ Corner, Penang, created mayhem and injured two reporters. On that occasion, too, the police just stood and watched.

Guan Eng was there to address the anti-Lynas crowd, but the Perkasa and Umno Youth members shouted profanities at him. When he left, they surrounded his car and blocked it from leaving. This was abusive, aggressive behavior but the police took no action. It seemed then and it still seems now that not even the Penang Chief Minister is safe from verbal and physical violence. It is unheard-of that someone holding such a high position is not protected from thuggish behavior.

The question also needs to be asked: Why was Perkasa involved in going against an anti-Lynas protest? In fact, on that day, its members and those of Umno Youth were chanting support for Lynas – apart from shouting profanities.

It’s understandable if Umno Youth is pro-Lynas since it is affiliated to the ruling party, which has agreed to the setting-up of the Lynas rare earth plant in Gebeng, but Perkasa is an NGO that was set up to defend Malay rights. Lynas has nothing to do with Malay rights.

Perkasa seems to have morphed into something else. This became evident when it startlingly went against the Bersih 2.0 rally last year. It announced it would hold a counter-rally to the Bersih 2.0 one – for reasons it wasn’t even sure of. How did Bersih 2.0’s call for free and fair elections impinge on Malay rights? So what was Perkasa’s real agenda in wanting to stage a counter-rally?

Has Perkasa become an eccentric body that does things for no good reasons? Is it an organization of nuts who run around with more than one screw loose? Or is it really an Umno proxy that pretends to be unaffiliated?

More and more, it seems likely that Perkasa is an Umno proxy. In its joining up with Umno and its associates to threaten anti-government groups, like they did in Merlimau, Melaka, in May, an event that also resulted in violence, Perkasa is probably the stormtrooper outfit of Umno.

Besides, let’s not forget that its patron is none other than Mahathir Mohamad. This fact alone should give some credence to the speculation.

Is that why our apparently partisan police have their ears closed when Perkasa issues statements that could, in the words of the Sedition Act, incite “feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races”? Mahathir has on occasion done that too.

Is that why the police do nothing when Perkasa members behave like gangsters – in Penang, in Merlimau, in Seremban last September at a protest against PAS leader Mat Sabu?

Such gangster behavior, such violence should not be allowed to be repeated. But because the police have been so tolerant of Perkasa, the NGO has become all the more bold, all the more brash in flexing its muscles.

Perkasa is already proving to be a menace to society; how long more will it be allowed to throw its weight around before something disastrous happens? Who knows what big mischief it might conspire to do if it is not pulled up for what it has done?

Our prime minister is too feeble to rein in Perkasa – he is afraid of losing the Malay right-wing votes – so it is up to the police to do the right thing. The police must admit that it is because they have been lax with Perkasa that the rate of violence has increased. They must recognize that stemming such violence will be for the good of the country.

It’s surprising that no government leader has yet to come out and say that gangsterism is not part of our culture when they have been quick to say that street protests are certainly not. But then it suits their purpose well that such gangsterism is inflicted on their political foes. And they no doubt hope it will help them win the next general election.

But this is not the purpose of the police. Their job is to protect the peace. Their job is to be non-partisan. If they cannot carry out this job, they will be letting down Malaysia.

* Kee Thuan Chye is the author of the bestselling book No More Bullshit, Please, We’re All Malaysians, available in major bookstores.

A leader worth listening to ignore the backbone of civic-mindedness like MIC politician Senator V. Subramaniam, who provides important feedback on the state of the Indian community, at our peril.

Karim Raslan (The Star)

SENATOR V. Subramaniam is a 57-year-old Selangor MIC grassroots politician. He’s a tall, imposing and well-built man with a slightly incongruous head of neatly coiffed hair reminiscent of a Tamil movie star from the 70s.

When you meet him, it’s not difficult to understand why the Seremban-born leader and former insurance claims investigation executive was kicked out of the MIC three times – apparently, a record – by then party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.

Dubbed Bharat Maniam by his seniors because there were already too many Subramaniams in the party, he was named instead after his Petaling Jaya Barat division, though the nickname has added resonance because Bharat also means India in Sanskrit.

Subramaniam’s manner is direct and forthright as befits a community leader: “I believe it’s important to speak your mind. That’s why people should be in politics. If you don’t speak your mind it will be a one-way street.

“We cannot hide the truth. The more we hide the more we end up hurting ourselves. We have to be frank.”

When I first met him in January, he was extremely upbeat about Barisan’s chances of winning back Indian voters. He argued – and very persuasively – that a combination of the newly-appointed MIC president Datuk G. Palanivel coupled with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is firmly committed to improving conditions within the community, would restore Indian support.

Even now, five months later, he still holds to his earlier views: “From the day Samy Vellu stepped down, things have changed and improved.”

So far, so good. However, when I met him again last week at his spartan, if well-organised, first floor division office in Petaling Jaya’s Taman Sri Manja, I noticed a slightly less ebullient manner.

Recent events had rattled the senator. As he explained: “From the start, Bersih 3.0 had very limited traction with the Indian community. Of course, we all want open, fair elections but the Bersih movement didn’t connect with our members.”

Things quickly changed after the actual demonstration as the co-chair Datuk S. Ambiga was targeted personally by various NGOs.

“The beef burger stand and the butt exercises upset many in the community. Datuk Ambiga is a respectable person. In fact, I would argue that these people helped make her a heroine.

“You can go anywhere now and ask people who is an Indian leader and they’ll say Ambiga.”

Understandably, then, the calls for the co-chair of Bersih to be hanged for treason (albeit since retracted) have only deepened the overwhelming sense of dismay, frustration and indeed anger.

Further compounding the senator’s concerns are problems linked to university matriculation.

As he explains: “Najib really understands how important education is for the community. At the Ponggal celebrations in February in Kapar, he announced that there would be 1,500 matriculation places for Indians.

“This was very well received. Now we have to ensure all the places are allocated in a transparent and fair manner.”

Perturbed by the senator’s prognosis (the Indian vote is an integral part of Barisan’s electoral strategy) and determined to get a better measure of the man, I joined him on Sunday at a Selangor state badminton youth tournament in the city.

I observed the Senator – who’s also the president of the state badminton association – as he cajoled, entreated and encouraged the many players, family members, officials and sponsors during the day, culminating in a spontaneous if slightly haphazard awards ceremony in which the tukang cerita played an unexpected role.

Grassroots leaders and activists like Subramaniam are the backbone of Barisan and indeed Malaysian civic-mindedness. They are quiet pillars of decency, dignity and professionalism.

They are also a great way of checking on the success (or failure) of Government initiatives, providing us with all-important feedback. We ignore these people at our peril.

Subramaniam’s less than rosy current assessment of Indian support for the BN is an important wake-up call.

Please don’t turn a battle between the haves and the have nots into a battle of the races! Has not s/o Mohamed Kutty done enough?

“Actually, it is the Chinese and Indians who are to be blamed. They are the real traitors. Malaysia could have been saved a long time ago if not because of the Chinese and Indians. And now, cakap banyak! What a load of bullshit these Chinese and Indians. They know they are to be blamed but they pretend as if they are innocent victims of Umno’s injustice. I don’t mind if Umno wins the next election just so that the Chinese and Indians can face a few more years of punishment for the sins they have committed in keeping Umno in power for so long” – RPK, in his post, “Dosa Cina dan India kepada Malaysia”
If this was RPK’s way of castigating some of his commentators who he perceives to be racist in their comments, I’ll say no more on the matter.
If, however, it was intended as a statement of fact of general application, I will state my case here as to why I do not agree with my friend.
My late father was Malay.
In fact, more Malay than RPK.
He was never a card-carrying member of any political party nor was he ever a Malay nationalist.
Whilst in the civil service, he was referred to as the ‘Walking Webster’, such was his command of the English language.
At home, I don’t recall us ever buying the Utusan Malaysia.
It was always the Star and the New Straits Times.
Until he passed away in 2004, to the best of my knowledge, he always voted BN.
Mum, a Sri Lankan, as far as I know, always voted BN.
Now, if I were to take RPK’s postulation as the truth, it must follow that Mum must be included amongst those who must bear the burden and blame for the present state of the nation, whilst Dad is completely faultless.
To fully appreciate why my parents and, I dare say, a great many of their generation, were inclined to vote BN again and again, three dark episodes in our short national history need be re-visited.
First, May 13, 1969.
If, to this day, we are still in the dark as to what precisely triggered the inter-racial killings then, imagine how the adult generation then would have coped with the seeming prospect of a nation barely 12 years old on the verge of being torn apart through racial strife?
One can well understand the preoccupation of a citizenry, then, irregardless of faith or ethnicity, to see peace and stability restored.
It was against this national aspiration that the second dark episode took place : the tripartite Alliance coalition was dissolved, to be replaced by the Barisan Nasional, which effectively co-opted nearly all of the opposition parties into its fold, each component ostensibly entrusted to oversee the interests of their respect ethnic community.
In one foul swoop, the opposition was near decimated.
More importantly, the formation of BN then saw the seed of race-based, ethnic politics sown at national level, extended now to beyond Malaya, into Sabah and Sarawak, by the entry of political parties from the last two named into BN.
In his post, RPK opines that “…For almost 40 years the Chinese continued to vote for Gerakan in spite of the fact that it sold out the voters and joined the ruling government”.
I think the leaders of those parties that joined BN when it was first formed then sincerely believed that this was the right move to restore the stability and peace that the general populace desired.
I think this overall objective in the formation of BN to restore peace and stability continued right through the tenure of both Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn, but things started to go wrong soon after Mahathir took office. How and why this happened, if it needs to be stated, will have to wait for another day.
The third dark episode that had a tremendous effect on how my parents generation and the generations immediately after voted was Ops Lalang in 1987.
Firstly, Mahathir’s use of the ISA to cast the detention net far and wide, beyond his political foes to include civil society leaders, instilled a culture of fear amongst the people.
Secondly and, in my view, more pertinent to the issue at hand, many of the print media then, initially suspended, when allowed to publish again, were never the same. Where once they were known to be critical of the government when such criticism was warranted, they were now no more than government mouthpieces to spew pro-BN propaganda.
I would as such opine that for a long time, the desire for peace and stability, a culture of fear instilled in the people and a mainstream media-driven belief that only BN could ensure that stability caused many people, my parents included, to vote in BN again and again.
RPK tries to make out a case that  ‘back in 1990, the Malays were already voting opposition while the Chinese, Indians and minorities of East Malaysia were still voting Barisan Nasional. It is only of late, four years ago in 2008, that the Chinese and Indians (not yet the minorities of East Malaysia) started voting opposition. But they talk as if the fight for change was a purely Chinese and Indian effort since the beginning of time’.
Well, the truth is that back in 1990, the original UMNO of 1946 had been declared illegal, Mahathir had gone on to form UMNO Baru, which is in fact the present day UMNO, the Baru having been conveniently dropped, whilst Tengku Razaleigh went on to form Semangat 46. The ex-UMNO members, now in Semangat 46 and then working with DAP through the then Gagasan Rakyat, would certainly have accounted for an increased Malay vote for the opposition.
Speaking of the increased Malay vote for the opposition in 1990, my friend, Khoo Khay Peng, makes an interesting observation in his post, ‘Gerakan wanted out too in 1990′, where he notes :
“During the 1990 elections, Razaleigh and Lim Kit Siang flew to Sabah to receive Pairin into the Gagasan Rakyat fold..The PBS under Pairin had agreed to leave BN and join Gagasan Rakyat bringing along the state of Sabah. This defection was kept in secrecy, nobody knew about it, not even the BN.
After this, Razaleigh was supposed to fly to Johor to meet up with leaders of another major party from the Peninsular Malaysia who had shown interest in defecting to the Gagasan Rakyat. That party was Gerakan.
All things were running smoothly until Pairin made public the PBS’s defection and everything fell apart with the meeting with the Gerakan was called off. If Pairin had withheld the announcement, Gagasan Rakyat would have two states in its pouch before the polling day.
The strategy was that Razaleigh would announce the defections on polling day and hoped to catch the BN with its pants down. But the early announcement gave the BN ample time to muster its propaganda machine to attack Razaleigh with fraudulent claims that Gagasan was Christian-ising the Malays.
In the end, the Malays left Gagasan in droves .
As I recall, there is truth in the last sentence.
In 1991 or 1992, Perkasa’s Ibrahim Ali, then Semangat 46 youth chief, went back into the UMNO fold.
And in October, 1996, Tengku Razaleigh disbanded Semangat 46 and with most of the members, went back to UMNO.
The 1990 elections also saw Mahathir’s trademark spill over from the party elections into the general elections that year : money politics.
As 1 of 6 lawyers policing the polling stations in Kota Baru that year, I and several others witnessed first hand attempts to bribe some of the poorest Kelantanese who were coming out to vote.
And Aliran reports that the problem of phantom voters and an unreliable electoral roll is not a recent phenomena but even plagued the 1990 GE.
Kit Siang, speaking in Parliament on 15th March, 1991, categorised the 1990 GE as the dirtiest ever.
In that election, UMNO won 71 seats, MCA 18 seats whilst MIC won 6 seats.
On the opposition side, DAP won 20 seats, Semangat 46 won 8 and PAS won 7.
If one were to take a simplistic analysis of this figures by assuming only Malays voted UMNO and the opposition parties of Semangat 46 and PAS, the Chinese only voted for MCA and DAP whilst the Indians only voted for MIC, it could be argued that the Chinese were the main contributors to the opposition whilst the Malays largely contributed to the BN win that year.
RPK’s proposition does not hold water.
RPK also asks in his post whether ‘the Malays, Muslims and royals really to be blamed for all the ills facing Malaysia? Why are the Malays, Muslims and royals being vilified for the country going to the dogs? Is it really their fault? Is Umno solely to blame for everything that is wrong with the country?” .
Again, if this is RPK taking a swipe at commentators he perceives to be racist, I’ll say no more on this.
If, however, he is suggesting that these are allegations generally made by a great many out there, again, I disagree.
No one in their right mind blames the Malays or the Muslims.
They are as much victims as the rest of the citizenry.
Yes, UMNO is not solely to blame.
UMNO and the rest of the component parties in BN are responsible for the country going to the dogs.
Not so, according to RPK.
The country is in a mess because of the Chinese, according to him.
Another whack at perceived racist commentators? - Haris Ibrahim

Newly registered Malaysian voters should unanimously reject the return to ‘Mahathirism’ and end 55 years of cronyism, corruption and abuse of power under the BN

Tun Dr. Mahathir’s recent statements that the ‘Chinese are the kingmakers’ in GE13 and that ‘GE13 will be about race’ shows that he and the BN are increasingly afraid that a majority of the 3 million newly registered voters will cast a decisive vote against the BN and end 55 years of cronyism, corruption and abuse of power under the BN.

Increasingly, we are seeing a new generation of Malaysians who are rising up to reject the old style politics of the Mahathir era. We saw this in the Reformasi movement in 1998. We saw this in the GE 2008 political tsunami which swept away the BN governments in the states of Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor as well as 2/3rds control of the parliament.

We saw this in the first Bersih public rally on the 10th of November, 2007. We saw this in Bersih 2.0 on the 9th of July, 2011. And we saw this most recently on the 28th of April 2012 when hundreds of thousands of Malaysians of all races, backgrounds and age groups flooded the streets around Dataran Merdeka to demand for free and fair elections.

The success of the Bersih 3.0 rally coupled with the disgraceful acts of police brutality on the participants has shaken Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s confidence in calling for an election before July despite his supposed confidence that the BN would win in all 13 states and in the Federal Territories.

This historic demonstration has also no doubt caused Dr. Mahathir some discomfort in fearing that the BN would lose control of Putrajaya in the next general election. This would explain his recent attempts at trying to revive the old style divide and conquer politics of ‘Mahathirism’ in evoking old , tired and irrelevant images of racial conflict while the political reality is that all Malaysians – young and old; male and female; Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans and Kadazans; Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and Sikhs – are uniting on various fronts and for various causes – for free and fair elections, against corruption, to promote public safety, to protect and safeguard the environment.

There are almost three million newly registered voters on the electoral roll since the 2008 general elections. Many of these voters have been motivated to register because of the possibility of political change in the next general election. They comprise almost a quarter of the 13 million voters in the current electoral roll. Approximately 60% of these voters are below the age of 60.

If 60% of these newly registered voters cast a vote against the BN government, Pakatan Rakyat would win as many as 100 parliament seats, assuming that 2008 voting patterns prevail. If 65% of these newly registered voters cast a vote against the BN government, PR would win as many as 110 seats, just 2 short of an overall majority. If 70% of these voters cast a vote against the BN, it would deliver 123 parliament seats to PR, enough to form a new government in Putrajaya.

This is the nightmare scenario for Dr. Mahathir and the BN – that the newly-registered and newly-mobilized voters will swing their support towards Pakatan Rakyat because they want to end 55 years of corruption, cronyism and abuse of power under the BN.

The role of these newly-registered in the next general election is even more significant because of presence of the many phantom voters which have been put on the electoral roll in what is expected to be the dirtiest elections in Malaysian history.

I call upon these three million voters to lead the charge on behalf of all Malaysians to cast their vote for a free and fair election, to cast a vote against the old divide-and-rule politics of ‘Mahathirism’, to cast a vote for change and for a brighter future in and for Malaysia, and to end 55 years of cronyism, corruption and abuse of power under the BN.

Largest land fraud?

The Sun 
by R. Nadeswaran

PETALING JAYA (July 2, 2012): The changes seemed minor – some colours and shades switched, and a few words altered. But the implications to the PJ Draft Local Plan Two (RTPJ 2) were staggering as the value of land was increased by several hundred million ringgit, making millionaires of those engaged in such malpractice.

In what has been described as the largest land fraud in the country, Petaling Jaya City Councillor Derek Fernandez charged that irresponsible people within the council changed the plan to cause substantial increase in the land value.

Using the controversial change in status of the PKNS field in Kelana Jaya in the RTPJ2 as an example, he said as recreational land, it would fetch about RM20 per square foot but as commercial land, it can go as much as RM500 psf – a 25-fold increase.

The local plan, he said, was amended unlawfully twice, with some 220 unauthorised and illegal amendments involving 40 plots of land including the PKNS field.

Most of the amendments had been done in complete violation of the law and hidden from the councillors who were “fed a steady diet of lies” at every meeting of the council’s One-Stop Centre which scrutinises applications for development.

In a lengthy submission to the Selangor Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) on Friday, Fernandez said there were three different versions of the local plans in existence which are purported to be legal and which carry the government gazette notification number.

“These amendments were done by people who knew about the procedures involved but yet chose to ignore them. The only valid local plan is the one assented to by the (Selangor) State Assembly and the law requires the MBPJ (PJ City Council) to publish (in the gazette) the assent and make it available for public inspection.

This means the other two plans ‘pretending’ that they have been assented by the State Assembly are false, deceptive and the perpetrators have committed a (criminal) offence,” Fernandez said.

He also raised four questions which he said Selcat – which had hearings for two days last week, and is set for another one on Thursday – should investigate:

 Who ordered MBPJ officers to go to the Selangor Valuation Department to carry out the illegal amendments with the intention of enhancing the value of the land for certain interests?

 How did the persons involved know how to amend the zoning of 40 plots of land unless the land owners or those who had interests in the said plots contacted the officers?

 Who gave the list of 220 amendments to be made?

 How did these owners get the land and how was the land converted and the titles issued which are inconsistent with the zoning under the local plan?

Outlining the methodology prescribed in the legislation, Fernandez in his submissions, said planning aims to provide sustainable development irrespective of the status of the land use.

In the event a proposal for re-zoning is made which is different from the title, the affected person can object and if his or her objections are dismissed by the state hearing committee and the local plan is assented to by the state authority, he can seek compensation. If, however he does not object, he is taken as having agreed with the zoning change.

This has a direct relation to the issue, yet, there were no objections before the local plan was gazetted.

Requesting Selcat to carry out further investigations, Fernandez said: “You will find that many plots of land are stolen from public open spaces, recreational land and land meant to be surrendered to the local authority for public purposes.

“Even land surrendered for public purposes by developers and not used for the purpose were stolen and later alienated to cronies, avoiding public hearings.

Magically, titles later appear for these plots and that is how the public is robbed. That is why the planning records are different for those lands.”

RTPJ2 became mired in controversy when documents referred to by the Selangor Town and Country Planning found the public field owned by PKNS was zoned as a recreational area, whilst the documents referred to by MBPJ indicated it was a commercial zone.

Malaysia-US Relations On Right Track

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 (Bernama) -- Malaysia and the United States (US) are on the right track towards ever stronger business, political, security and cultural relations, notes US Ambassador to Malaysia Datuk Paul W. Jones.

He said, even young people learning from each other had a better understanding in culture, strengthening English and building friendship that would endure for decades to come.

"When I see how engaged our people are, when I meet the younger generation of Malaysians and Americans, I can't help but be optimistic for our future.

"In short, our ties are warm, close and dynamic, which contribute to prosperity and security for our peoples," he said in his speech during the 236th anniversary celebrations of the Independence of the United States here Tuesday.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok was among 1,000 guests who attended the event.

Jones also commended both Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and US President Barack Obama who always continued to meet and exchange views in a variety of fields such as entrepreneurship, science and technology, arts, strengthening English and building friendships.

"Efforts by our leaders will continue to add chapters to our story, developing business parternerships between US and Malaysian companies, finding new avenues for collaboration between our governments, thus enjoying the mutual benefits of trade prosperity, and creating new educational exchanges for our youth.

"Looking ahead, there is so much we can do, and are already doing, to deepen our ties and benefit our peoples," he said.

RM1182 monthly per capita household income

The average per capita income for Malaysia derived from the Household Income Survey 2009 came up to RM1168 per month, only a slight increase from the figure of RM1028 in 2007.

For Sarawak, the figure was RM974 per month in 2009 compared to RM899 in 2007. That would translate to RM11688 for the whole of 2009. (Compare that to Sarawak’s GDP per person amounting to RM30318 in 2009, based on Department of Statistics reports, making it the ‘richest’ state in the country in terms of the production of goods and services.)

In 2009, the average per capita monthly income for Malaysia was as follows (Sarawak figures in brackets):
Bottom 40 per cent of households – RM404 (RM312)
Middle 40 per cent of households – RM1056 (RM822)
Top 20 per cent of households – RM3124 (RM2600)

These figures are from a written response to a question raised in Parliament on 12 June 2012 by Chong Chieng Jen, the MP for Kuching.

The figures for the top bracket are probably distorted by the astonishing amounts ‘earned’ by the corrupt and their cronies, which are in all likelihood under-reported. Then there are the huge leakages out of the country.