An NGO say they will use all means to prevent Mahinda Rajapaksa, whom they deem have committed genocide against the the Sri lankan Tamil minority, from entering the country.
KUALA LUMPUR: A PKR-linked NGO leader has vowed to use force if necessary to prevent the Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa from entering Malaysia for an international Islamic forum from Dec 4 to 6.
The People Welfare and Rights Organisation (Power) president S. Gobi Krisnan issued the threats after lodging a police report against Rajapaksa’s arrival with other NGOs leaders today.
The NGOs were upset that the government has planned for a red carpet welcome for Rajapaksa, whom they deem have committed genocide against the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka.
“The government has been hurting the Indians’ feeling in this country, and now the invitation is an insult to Indians .
“We will use all means, including force if necessary, to stop him from coming,” he said.
The group would stage a protest outside of the parliament building on Tuesday, and have planned for similar rallies at the forum’s venue in JB.
The 26-year civil war in Sri Lanka ended in 2009 with the government army’s quashing Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and re-established control of the northern part of the country.
It was reported that some 100,000 civilians including 40,000 of Tamils were killed while more than 300,000 people were displaced during the long-standing conflict.
The United Nations Human Right Council had on March adopted a resolution to urge the Sri Lankan government to take all steps necessary to ensure accountability for alleged serious violations committed during the final stages of the country’s civil war.
However, Malaysia was among the eight countries that abstained in a vote that saw 24 in favour and 15 against the resolution.
AP Raja Retinam, member of the NGOs umbrella group Sri Lanka War Victim Concerned Team (Api), has taken Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to task for the abstention.
“He is a real hypocrite. When the Israelis launched attacks against the Palestine, he tabled a motion to condemn the violence.
“But when it is about Sri Lanka war crimes, he abstained, despite knowing very well that there was a great pressure on him to vote against Sri Lanka,” he said.
He urged the government to stop its double standard and prevent Rajapaksa from entering the country.
“Rajapaksa and (Israeli Prime Minister) Benjamin Netanyahu are the same people. If you say no to Benjamin, then you must also say no to Rajapaksa.
“If they say the forum was meant for business discussions, then I challenge them to invite the Jews to attend, they are the richest people in the world,” he said.
The NGOs held a protest at the Sri Lanka embassy in Ampang this afternoon while MIC Youth has also lodged a police report against Rajapaksa’s arrival.
Najib (centre) said allocations for Indians have gone up since he became prime minister. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak tonight urged the country’s Indian community to re-evaluate the Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s contribution and assistance to the community throughout the past four years.
The government had resolved many of the community’s pending problems, including providing large allocations to upgrade their education and economic status, he said.
“Since becoming prime minister, the allocations for Indians increased significantly. Assistance for Tamil schools between 2009 and 2012 touched RM300 million, with an additional RM100 million in the 2013 Budget,” he said at the launch of Tamil books by local authors, at the Dewan Tunku Chancellor, Universiti Malaya here.
He said the government had also resolved other problems they had faced, such as identity card and birth certificate applications and citizenship status.
“Under the 1 Malaysia concept, we want to ensure all government policies benefit every ethnic group, big or small,” he added.
He cautioned the people to not believe the opposition coalition who seemed to be confused with their separate views.
“They’re sleeping on the same pillow but having different dreams. We cannot gamble our future. Our future and that of our children is too valuable for that,” he said.
In relation to the Tamil books, Najib requested the Malaysian Institute of Translation and Books to assist more such publications in order to preserve the Indian community’s cultural and literary heritage for future generations.
He said although the Indian community was no different from other ethnic groups in wanting to preserve its own identity, they still contributed towards the nation’s unity and the Malaysian society.
“I’m here to support Makkal Sakti Party and Universiti Malaya’s efforts because I understand it is close to the Tamil community’s heart.
“I believe this programme can give ‘Puthiya Nambikkai’ (new hope) for Tamil authors in Malaysia,” he said while launching 10 Tamil books by local authors, at the event.
Also present were Sakti Foundation president Datuk RS Thananthiran and Cherish & Share Programme director, Prof Dr M.Rajantheran. — Bernama
"If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you
can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving
forward." - Martin Luther King Jr.
following is the last of a three-part interview with Human Rights Party
leader P Uthayakumar. The first and second parts are here and here.
of land is perhaps the biggest issue when it comes to the marginalised
section of the Indian community. Could you describe the inequalities
that Hindraf has discovered that continues to be perpetuated when it
comes to this issue?
Malaysia is a huge 329,758 square
kilometers with tens of thousands of poor Malay, Kadazan, Iban, and
Orang Asli villages with customary land as their social safety net.
the Chinese poor have 508 Chinese new villages nationwide. However,
there are no more of the hundreds of Indian villages and Indian
settlements. Their social safety net is non-existent because they have
been denied land titles.
Muniandy, Kg Ghandi, Kg Ratnapillai and Kg Ramasamy which are left are
being wiped out or have been deemed as squatters and are slated to be
systematically demolished in a matter of time. Now is Pakatan Rakyat
undoing these Umno injustices? The answer is obviously a big ‘no'.
In addition to these villages, the Umno government has granted some
1,121,346 poor Malays and to a far lesser extent the Orang Asli, Kadazan
and Iban the 10-acre land ownership schemes in Felda, Felcra, Risda,
Fama, Agropolitan, Kesedar, Ketengah, instantly bringing them out of
For show and that too only in the 1950s and early
1960s, some token 0.1 percent or so Indians (and that too for Malaysia
to qualify for the World Bank loans) had been granted land and that too
only restricted to the Felda scheme.
Even the pre-existing
Indian poor plantation workers of the Merdeka era have been segregated
and excluded from these land schemes. Today we no longer hear about the
then 40 percent Malay and Chinese daily paid rubber tappers.
we still have Indian poor rubber tappers and plantation workers earning
as low as RM13 daily. They are excluded from the hundreds of thousands
of self-employed entrepreneurial opportunities offered by the tens of
billions of ringgit budget allocated to the Agriculture and Agro-based
Industry Ministry and Rural and Regional Development Ministry.
As displaced plantation workers, most of them end up as casual and
unskilled factory workers, general workers, toilet cleaners, garbage
collectors, Alam Flora workers, lorry drivers, security guards, office
boys, dish washers, etc, earning as low as RM20 per day contract
workers, on par if not lower than the foreign workers.
appears that the Indian poor are only wanted for the 3D jobs - dirty,
dangerous and difficult jobs - but never the self-employed, small
entrepreneurs or petty trading jobs, and provided the opportunities that
have been made available to the poor Malays by the Umno government
policies and the Chinese with their community support.
years of independence nearly all the 523 Tamil schools still remain in
dilapidated and near cow-shed conditions in steel shipping containers,
upstairs in a shop house, in basements, because they are denied
government land titles, unlike other Malay schools.
Similarly, almost all the thousands of Hindu temples and Hindu crematoriums unlike any other mosque, surau
or Muslim cemetery are denied land titles by the Umno and Pakatan state
governments. Because most of them are sitting on prime land, Umno, and
Pakatan only see the ringgit sign when they see these last vestiges of
the vulnerable and easily bullied Indian basic social institutions.
Within months of coming to power in Perak and Selangor, Pakatan granted
land titles to 110,000 Malays in Rancangan Kampong Tersusun, 102,000
Chinese new villagers granted land titles (Utusan Malaysia, April 5, 2008), nine Perak Chinese Independent schools granted 2,500 acres of land (New Straits Times,
Aug 31, 2008), 10 acres each to Perak Orang Asli, etc. Moreover, even
RM1 million and 1,700 acres of land for pig farming in Sepang (New Straits Times, April 11, 2008).
almost zero land for the Indian poor. At the first (and last) meeting
Hindraf had with the top PAS leadership at the PAS headquarters early
this year, the ex-Perak menteri besar Nizar Jamaluddin (right) had no answer to this. Wonder, why?
Ninety percent, or 282 acres out of the 316 acres of land approved for
the non-Muslim places of worship in Selangor was granted to the Chinese
community when they have not asked for it. Only 6 percent, or 19 acres,
were granted for the thousands of Indian poor Hindu temples in Selangor.
(New Straits Times, May 31, 2011)
In any event, the
rich Chinese business community can afford to buy the same. Going by the
needs basis, which Pakatan says it practices, the Hindu temples that
have a history of one Hindu temple being demolished in every 10 days in
Selangor in 2007 under the Umno regime are obviously more deserving. So
where is the much-touted ‘Ubah'?
The fact remains that there are
zero provisions in Pakatan's Buku Jingga to undo these Umno
institutional racism and injustices victimising the Indian poor. Why? To
continue the racist Umno tradition when they get to Putrajaya?
do you hope to achieve by standing for election and why take on a
Pakatan candidate? Would not a BN candidate be more appropriate as
conventional partisan wisdom goes?
Hindraf has named me
as the candidate for the Kota Raja parliament and DUN Sri Andalas
constituencies for the simple reason that Kota Raja has the highest
number of Indian voters in Malaysia. For obvious reasons, this would be
our best bet. Why can't Pakatan make way for us here for a one-to-one
contest with Umno-BN?
Why the greed in denying even in this one
seat to Hindraf when there are 222 parliamentary and 576 DUN seats
nationwide? Even now, we are prepared not to contest at all if Pakatan
delivers at least even one of the Hindraf 18-point demand, for example
land titles ‘all in one go' for all Tamil schools, Hindu temples and
crematoriums and Indian villages in the Pakatan states.
Why not? After all, Pakatan is multi-racial, or so we are told!
If you could debate any Malaysian public official, who would you debate and what would the topic be?
I would like a debate with the prime minister and the shadow prime
minister as only they can deliver on the Hindraf 18-point demand. Then
let the Indian poor decide on whom to vote. The debate topic proposed
would be ‘Are the Malaysian Indian poor the most vulnerable victims in
the world's most racist country'.
Will you meet PM Najib and if so why?
No, because it has been a long five years and three months since the
Hindraf 18-point demand, dated Aug 12, 2012, was put forward to the Umno
for some temporary, piecemeal handouts, there has been almost zero
delivery. Hindraf has asked for the delivery of at least five of the 18
demands on or before Nov 1, 2013 as a pre-condition so that we can meet
the prime minister to discuss the delivery of the remaining Hindraf
We have waited for 55 long years and have no
more patience to start discussions afresh, for paper pushing studies to
be done, blueprint, white paper, political games or gimmicks for that
matter. Hindraf gets to the point - delivery to the Indian poor.
Moreover, we are serious be it Umno or Pakatan.
Biro Tatanegara government staff has thus far been trained to implement
these racist Umno government policies at all levels.
Hindraf and the Human Rights Party are now two separate entities. What was the reasoning behind the move?
Because Pakatan also refused to deliver on the Hindraf 18-point demand
in the Pakatan-ruled states after GE13, Hindraf formed the Human Rights
Party as the political wing of Hindraf with the view to stand on its own
feet politically. Otherwise, Hindraf is HRP and HRP is Hindraf. We are
the same entity.
There have been vitriolic objections to
the ‘quota' demands of Hindraf/Human Rights Party. What is your
rational for these demands? No, Hindraf has never demanded
quotas. As aforementioned, Hindraf has always demanded equal rights,
equal opportunities and equal upward mobility opportunities for the
Indian poor on a needs basis.
What are your views on government handouts for Tamil schools and Hindu temples at the expense of the marginalised Indian poor?
Giving handouts to Tamil schools and Hindu temples is just wayang kulit ‘delivery' to the Indian poor by Umno and Pakatan. It is a very cheap shot.
are no Tamil Nadu or Bangladesh. Prosperous Malaysia has the world's
tallest Twin Tower. Especially in the era when Barack Obama has already
become president for a second term in the United States, this is a
national if not international shame.
Do you think that
affirmative action programmes, which have been disastrous to the Malay
community, will cultivate a culture of entitlement in the Indian
No, I beg to differ. The Umno affirmative
action policies (read: racist policies) being disastrous to the Malay
community is a very shrewd Umno political strategy to continue with
their racist agenda with impunity.
The Umno affirmative action
policies have taken almost all the poor Malays out of the clutches of
poverty, created tens of thousands of successful Malay entrepreneurs,
graduates, professionals, businessmen, banks, GLCs (government-linked
companies), millionaires and billionaires within a short span of a mere
20 odd years.
What cultural traits of the Chinese community do you think are worth emulating in the Indian community?
The Chinese work hard. They may work smarter and have the benefit of
their Chinese networks, rich clans, business associations and banks.
They have been very successful.
had a head start beginning as the earliest business people and
suppliers to the British and gradually controlling some 60 percent of
the country's economy. The Chinese have emerged a successful
self-sustaining business, banking, corporate and development community.
Umno and Pakatan need this Chinese community to prosper the Malays in
what we call the bi-racial 1Malay-sia, but of course segregating the
Like the Chinese, the Indians are also hardworking,
many even taking up two jobs, working double shifts even up to seven
days a week. They have never asked anything free.
All they ask
for is for an end to all Umno and Pakatan government institutionalised,
state-sponsored and private sector racist policies that have reduced the
Indian poor to the vicious stereotype of the ‘Negros' of Malaysia.
Visit www.humanrightspartymalaysia.comfor the truth.
how successful do you think Hindraf has been in creating awareness in
the plight of a certain section of the marginalised Indian community? As
the very public face of Hindraf, do you think that the movement has
lost its way?
Almost on a daily basis, we get Hindraf
supporters calling and complimenting us on Hindraf having created
awareness on the Indian poor rights. Almost on a daily basis, the five
Tamil dailies and the other media to a lesser extent carry news reports
on some protest or other against the Umno and Pakatan governments.
As the de facto leader
of Hindraf, my only hope forward is the realisation of Indian majority
seats as aforementioned for a voice at the highest political level - the
Parliament. Otherwise we will continue being at the mercy of Umno and
Pakatan. Incidentally, the Hindraf motto is rights, not mercy.
What troubles me the most is when Pakatan partisans libel Uthayakumar
as a turncoat Umno stooge or worse, a racist agent provocateur. Here is a
man who is sacrificing everything to confront a system that has divided
along racial lines.
The fact that we in Pakatan continue to
play our race cards and do so behind a multiracial/cultural veil, points
more to our failings than his.
Pakatan apparatchiks continue to whinge that Uthayakumar is "racist"
all the while PKR and PAS is reassuring a divided Malay community that
they will benefit the most from this so-called need-based affirmative
action programme and the supposedly "multiracial" DAP continue to joust
with the MCA over the Chinese vote, Hindraf hopefully will continue
pursuing its agenda which is far more inclusive that the crypo racists
within Pakatan would have you believe.
Understand now, that I
disagree (and I have told Uthayakumar) with many of his ideas but the
reality he and Hindraf shine a light on, is far too devastating to
ignore merely because one disagrees with some of the polemics of the
Perhaps in another piece, I will elaborate on how
Pakatan's "multiculturalism" has become the new fascism propagated by
DAP kool-aid drinkers and how this could be the fault line that finally
swings the Malay vote back to Umno.
In the end if we (and by we, I
mean Pakatan) win this election and the marginalised Indian poor are
overlooked for a variety of reasons, those poor unfortunate souls can
rest assured, that Uthayakumar, will never forget them, and will never
stop fighting for them, no matter who the opponent is.
THAYAPARAN is Commander (rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy. Hindraf will
be celebrating the fifth anniversary of its historic 2007 rally