Thursday, April 30, 2009

Uthaya's sedition trial can proceed without him !!

Malaysiakini - S Pathmawathy Apr 30, 09 12:14pm

An application by the lawyers for Hindraf's ISA-detained legal advisor P Uthayakumar today failed in their bid to have him present during his sedition trial at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

Justice Sabariah Othman ruled that it was not necessary for Uthayakumar to be brought from the Kamunting detention centre for the case.

She said that his lawyers could proceed with the case on his behalf.

Earlier his lawyers, led by N Surendran , asked for a postponement so that Uthayakumar could be present in the trial.

He also asked the court to ensure that Uthayakumar was brought to the court by the prison authorities and not the police special branch.

Surendran also submitted on their preliminary objection against Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail signing the prosecution order against Uthayakumar.

He claimed that Abdul Gani could have acted with bias in preferring the charge against Uthayakumar.

Sabariah fixed May 7 to decide on the objection. Deputy public prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran appeared for the prosecution.

Charged over letter to UK

Uthayakumar, 46, is charged with publishing a letter with seditious contents on the Police Watch Malaysia website at http:// at Menara Mutiara Bangsar, Bangsar between Nov 15 and Dec 8 last year.

The letter dated Nov 15 last year was from Hindraf and addressed to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at No. 10 Downing Street, London.

The charge under the Sedition Act carries a maximum RM5,000 or three years jail, or both, on conviction, with five years jail for a subsequent offence.

Uthayakumar was detained under the ISA on Dec 13, 2007 for his role in Hindraf.


Uthaya's sedition trial can proceed without him !!

Malaysiakini - S Pathmawathy Apr 30, 09 12:14pm

An application by the lawyers for Hindraf's ISA-detained legal advisor P Uthayakumar today failed in their bid to have him present during his sedition trial at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

Justice Sabariah Othman ruled that it was not necessary for Uthayakumar to be brought from the Kamunting detention centre for the case.

She said that his lawyers could proceed with the case on his behalf.

Earlier his lawyers, led by N Surendran , asked for a postponement so that Uthayakumar could be present in the trial.

He also asked the court to ensure that Uthayakumar was brought to the court by the prison authorities and not the police special branch.

Surendran also submitted on their preliminary objection against Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail signing the prosecution order against Uthayakumar.

He claimed that Abdul Gani could have acted with bias in preferring the charge against Uthayakumar.

Sabariah fixed May 7 to decide on the objection. Deputy public prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran appeared for the prosecution.

Charged over letter to UK

Uthayakumar, 46, is charged with publishing a letter with seditious contents on the Police Watch Malaysia website at http:// at Menara Mutiara Bangsar, Bangsar between Nov 15 and Dec 8 last year.

The letter dated Nov 15 last year was from Hindraf and addressed to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at No. 10 Downing Street, London.

The charge under the Sedition Act carries a maximum RM5,000 or three years jail, or both, on conviction, with five years jail for a subsequent offence.

Uthayakumar was detained under the ISA on Dec 13, 2007 for his role in Hindraf.


Voice of Hindraf - Apr 2009

1. RM 2 million for new Bukit Jalil Tamil School. The condition of the school was shocking but Deputy Prime Minister (and Education Minister) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was most impressed with the teachers and students. “I feel sad that they have to put up with this old and rundown school which has been around for 75 years. Despite the aid provided by the government, the infrastructure is not that good.” The building could pose a threat to the safety of the students and teachers it’s stuffy and uncomfortable. I am sympathetic to their plight, “Muhyiddin said after visiting SJKT Ladang Bukit Jalil, near Puchong here. The school does not have a field and it’s class rooms are cramped. Muhyiddin announced an immediate allocation of Rm 2 million for the school’s new building to be built on an adjacent 0.3 ha plot of land belonging to Kuala Lumpur city hall. He said the new classrooms and authorities would be able to cater for about 200 students when completed next year. The school now accommodates 90 students. Muhyiddin also said the school would be fully aided. Muhyiddin later visited SMK Setapak Indah. He was joined by works Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor (here) to check on the condition of the school would be relocated and would be made fully aided. But it is going to be back to square one as only Rm 2 Million is allocated to build the new school to cater for the new Parit Mara Junior college (MSRM) UMNO announces Rm 80 Million why this discrimination ? so this UMNO Deputy Prime Minister wants the already poor Indian community to go around and begging for funds to rebuild the new Tamil school like what UMNO has been doing for the last 52 years. How come the SMK Setapak Indah does not get piece meal allocations to build their school but get the full budget to build the school how many million ever it may cost. But the DPRA has the check to announce Rm 2 Million but that the school is fully aided. The DPRA still thinks that the Indians are stupid and would not question UMNO out of fear. That may have been the position before the 100,000 people Hindraf Rally on 25/11/07. On the one hand the DPRA acknowledges that the existing school does not have a school field and says the school meant for 200 students would be rebuilt on a 0.3 hectre piece of land. But doesn’t the DPM know that on a 0.3 hectre piece of land there cannot be a school field in addition to the school building. The DPM says that the classrooms in the present school are cramped. But it is not going to be very much different in the new plot of 0.3 hectre land and to cater for 200 students. We suggest the following:-

· This school is relocated to a nearby meaning within one kilometer radius ten acre land for the new school to be rebuilt, a football field, to cater for future expension and future influx of students. In this new school compound a multi purpose community hall catering for 5,000 people is to be built. This hall will be the school assembly hall cum wedding and community functions hall. The proceeds of this hall rentals can go to the Parent Teachers Association and which is to be used for the students welfare. Also a school hostel to cater for 200 pupils is built in this new school building to cater for the poor and also high achieving Tamil schools students making this the first fully Residential Tamil School in Malaysia. The present school building with its unique rubber smoke house like structure and on arch is to be preserved as the heritage and symbol of the contribution of the plantation workers in this country. It can be preserved as the first Tamil school museum in Malaysia. The above is very pertinent especially to undo the injustices to the Malaysian Indian community especially the rubber tapper and palm oil plantation Indian community in Malaysia. On a similar note all Tamil schools in Malaysia should be developed along the lines of this our proposed new Bukit Jalil Tamil School with equal status, funding, facilities, teacher and staff support. Then and only then are we on the way to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s One Malaysia come on UMNO. 52 years of bullying and cheating the Indians is enough stop all these peanuts and bread crumbs politics. The Indians want to be in the national mainstream development of Malaysia. In any event you (UMNO) are dealing with the fifth and sixth Malaysian born Indians now and no more our grand parents and great grandparents who would be frightened of UMNO, their threat of ISA, May 13 or Kampong Medan racial attacks specifically targetted at the Indians by people from outside Kampung Medan and believed to be UMNO sponsored.

2 Last year the charges for TOL for two acres of land was only RM200.00. This year it has increased to rm800.00. Says Pahang DAP Vice Chairman J. Simathiri (TN23/4/2009 page 7). With the price of vegetables having dropped, this increase of TOL rates to the government is burden some.

3. RM80 Million to built MSRM Parit. Says the ADUN Blanja Datuk Mohd Zaim Abu Hasan (UM 23/4/2009 at page 26) (Voice of Hindraf)→ But newly minted UMNO Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak immediately upon assuming the Prime Minister’s office makes a grand announcement of RM80 million for the 523 Tamil schools as opposed to UMNO’s RM80 Million for just one MSRM Mara College which is exclusively for the malay muslims only. Part of this RM80 million appears to be a repeat of an earlier RM30 million “grand announcement” by Samy Vellu about a couple of months ago. Then whether this RM80 million actually filters down is another matter all together. Tamil school headmasters, Parent Teacher Associations of Tamil schools, MIC then have to go around begging for this RM80 Million “grand announcement”. There was an occasion last year when Negeri Sembilan Exco MemberV.S. Mohan had to come out with his own money to put up electricity connection to an estate Tamil school in the outskirts of Bahau as was reported in Tamil Nesan. Still then no time limit has been imposed to ensure that his RM80 Million actually filters down to the Tamil schools as is done for the Malay schools and other Malay muslim projects. A time limit of six months must be targetted for this RM80 million to filter down (in the interim). But all this atrocities can only happen under UMNO Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s One Malaysia policy. In any event we are no longer interested in bits and pieces but Millions of allocations for Tamil schools which are peanuts and bread crumbs as you could only built one toilet with this RM80 Million if divided into all the 523 Tamil schools in Malaysia. This “Million of grand” announcement is an obsolete style of UMNO politics which may have stuck with our grandfathers and great grandfathers. UMNO must realise that they are dealing with the current fifth and six generation Malaysian born Indians and in era when the world’s most powerful nation the USA has a black and “muslim” Barack Hussein Obama as their President. When RM80 Million is approved for on MSRM Mara College, then there should be no reason why RM80 Million cannot be approved for each and every Tamil school. Education being a basic necessity and especially with former Education Minister having been appointed as a UNESCO Council Member all 523 Tamil schools should be made fully aided Tamil schools with equal facilities, financial allocation, teacher and support staff strength like any other Malay schools. After all this is in line with UMNO Prime Minister’s One Malaysia Policy. Or is it not?

4 Hope floats for 9A student Desmond Raju from Datuk Anthony Ratos, Director of Yayasan Kesenian Orang Asli and two others make offers of held or suggestions (NST 23/4/2009 at page 10) (Voice of Hindraf). But the point is it is the UMNO government’s responsibility and not the individuals who may or may not keep up their promises of help. By this news report UMNO has closed the case of Raju deserving a scholarship as of right. UMNO has also closed the cases on thousands of other bright and deserving students who ought to have been given scholarships this year.

5. Tamil news reverted to old time at 7.30 pm daily with effect from 1/5/2009 but now on TV2 instead of the earlier TV1 Information Channell says Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim after bowing to pressure from MIC and PPP. Last Saturday MIC Minister wrote to Rais expressing the community’s displeasure as they would still be traveling home from work (NST 23/4/2009 at page 2, TN 23/4/2009 head lines) (Voice of Hindraf). Classics of a political game played by UMNO for the last 52 years ie they claim credit out of nothing and think they are scoring political points by playing yo-yo with the Indians. The tamil news was originally at 7.30 pm. It was moved to 6.00 pm as soon as Rais Yatim took over as the new Information Minister after the first Cabinet Meeting. AT this first Cabinet Meeting, the MIC Minister Dr. Subra had no power to put his foot down and say it should remain at 7.30 pm. Or this MIC “mandore” Minister agreed with UMNO at the Cabinet Meeting to do a Wayang Kulit ie to change the news slot to 6.00 pm and then MIC will protest and at the end of the day UMNO bows to and reverts the said slot back to 7.30 pm. And the Indians are supposed to be thankful and grateful to UMNO. This is after having created anxiety and giving room to the MIC “mandore” to be seen to be “fighting” for the Indians. Any way it was a good show UMNO! But let us get to the point especially with the Billions announced early this year to convert RTM’s broadcasting to digital which could accommodate scores of TV Channels at least one free TV Channel could be dedicated for the poor and under privileged Indian peoples entertainment with Tamil programmes and at the same time upgrading their quality of life. The Indian Plantation worker who earns RM325.00 of basic salary a month cannot afford to pay RM80.00 per month for Astro. TV1, TV2, TV3 and 9TV caters largerly about 80% to Malay and Indonesia foreigners viewers. NTV7 and 8TV caters to with about 70% Chinese Programmes. Why not one Tamil TV station on a similar note for the poor Indians. Similarly an additional Tamil old songs Radio Channell for the poor Indians in their golden years. This would then be in line with the One Malaysia Policy which Prime Minister Najib Razak has announced. And not playing yo-yo by moving the Tamil news forward and backward as is being done by UMNO’s Rais Yatim. UMNO is still playing the obsolete politics thinking that they can fool and pull wool over the Indian eyes. No more though after the 25th November 2007 Hindraf Makkal Sakthi People Power movement and thereafter.

6. S.Karupanan (73) had his RM200.00 welfare aid cut when he was temporarily staying in a house which had Astro service. For K.Shanmugam (51) who applied for welfare assistance in 2005 on becoming paralysed, it has been a string of no’s form the department for aid. His mistake he believes was his honest reply that he had a TV set and Astro at home. The former crane driver was earning RM2,000.00 in Singapore. When a motorcycle accident left him paralysed four years ago. A relative pays his Astro bills and he only had Astro to keep him company when his children are out . The only pleasure in his life now is Astro. Another case is that of a 40 years old paralysed from the neck downwards (Indian lady) who lives with her partly paralysed mother. She decided against applying for an Astro after being warded by the Welfare Officer that they would cut aid to them is she did so. Astro was the only company she and her mother could have at home. “We cannot leave our house and we live on donations and welfare aid. What’s wrong if some people who sympathise want to get us an Astro connection? Welfare Director General Datuk Mewe Zainal Rashid could not be reached for comment (NST 22/4/2009 at page 6). Voice of Hindraf. This has been happening to thousands of Indians who either were never given welfare aid though they were qualified or their aid delayed deliberately or stopped at the smallest excuse just because they are all Indians. This has gone on for 52 years and is now continuing under the latest UMNO Prime Minister Najib Razak’s One Malaysia Policy. Ask Najib and he has to tell you that this is among the things he had in mind when he outlined his One Malaysia Policy!

7. 9As and 1B and nowhere to go for studies for Desmond Dominic Raju Petaling Jaya in his letter to the Editor – 1 sat for the SPM exam last year. My father died in 2002 when I was in year five. Since then my mother and I have been living off my mother’s Socso payments. My father always encouraged me to study hard to achieve my dreams and I did. As a result I got 5As in UPSR, 7As in PMR and 9As and 1B in SPM. I have always believed that the world is a fair and just place to live in. I applied for a number of scholarships – Yayasan TM, Yayasan TNB, Khazanah scholarship, Bank Negara scholarship and UEB scholarships. I also applied to matriculation and IPTA. To my disappointment, I was turned down by all of them. I learnt that I did not get into matriculation on my birthday. I have applied for a Public Service Department scholarship and I hope I get it for the course I applied for so that I can pursue my studies. I hope that somebody out there has the heart to give me the kind of assistance I need to make it in life by becoming a psychologist (NST 21/4/2009 at page 18). Voice of Hindraf. This is the height and the kind of UMNO’s racism and religious extremism Hindraf has been fighting against. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Thousands more every year are denied educational and scholarship opportunities just because they are Indians. If this top student is not given the opportunities, can you imagine the thousands of other average Indian students getting nowhere. But this would never happen to a malay muslim student. For a malay muslim student, the sky is the limit for him. There are no obstacles as has happened to Raju here. But all these are happening in Prime Minister Najin Tun Razak’s One Malaysia Policy! – but two systems. One for the malay muslims and another for especially the Indians. It is no wonder why the PSD Director General this year reversed PSD’s decision last year that all students scoring 9As and above will automatically get a scholarship to study overseas or locally. But this year UMNO has directed that this policy be reversed so as to create an ambiguity confusion and to exclude Indian students like Raju, UMNO will never change. We will have to change UMNO in the 2012/2013 general elections.

8. Conversion to Islam of three children by their converted father without their mother M. Indra Ghandi’s knowledge or consent case will take a while to solve says MIC Minister Dr. S Subramaniam after a meeting with two other members of the committee (formed by Prime Minister Najib’s cabinet to solve this problem) (NST 21/4/2009 at page 10). Voice of Hindraf. This is the classical delay tactic which will eventually be forgotten and never to see the light of the day strategy which UMNO has successfully employed through their “mandores” the MIC. But this poor mother will continuously live in the fear of not knowing when her three children aged between 1 to 12 will be forcibly to be taken away from her by UMNO’s Islamic Religious Department. This pain and suffering only this mother will be able to feel while the rest of the Indians can only watch helplessly. This is Prime Minister Najib’s One Malaysia Policy and no where else in any other part of thee civilized world. UMNO will never change. We will have to change UMNO in the 2012/2013 general elections. This is the one and only way forward.

9. (PKR’s) Selangor Menteri Besar presented RM2 million to 25 Chinese schools throughout the state @ about RM100,000.00 per Chinese school (NST 21/4/2009 at page 6). Voice of Hindraf. But for the 97 Tamil schools in the state of Selangor there is no history of this Tan Sri Khalid as the Menteri Besar of Selangor giving out this kind of RM100,000.00 allocation. In fact these Tamil schools need 10 times more allocation than the Chinese schools because of its 52 years of neglect by the UMNO Federal and Selangor state governments, it’s dilapidated conditions and the poor and underprivileged Indian community not being able to afford to chip into build extend and maintain their Tamil schools. The Chinese schools are backed up by the far economically superior Chinese business, entrepreneur and Industralised community. To the converse, the Selangor PKR,PR State government like the previous UMNO Selangor State government send their PKR Indian Exco “mandore” to dish out peanuts and breadcrumbs of RM20,000.00 or so per Tamil school and providing piped water, electricity and school bus fares to the poor Indian estate workers and their children. These peanut promises and promises of better housing from their existing one bedroom estate lives after 52 years of independence! And this PKR/PR state government is supposed to be our state government who would not have come to power if not for the Indian votes. How much different is this PKR/PR Selangor State government from the previous UMNO government? If after about 1 year and two months of ruling the Selangor state and they being unable to grant even a one acre land for the Taman Karupiah, Taman Rimba Jaya, Padang Jawa, hindu temple that was unlawfully demolished by the former Khir Toyo government on 8/11/2007 then do you think they are going to grant state land to all the other hindu temples, tamil schools, crematoriums, graveyards and Indian squatters in Selangor? Res Ipsa Loquiteour!
10. Prime Minister Najib says that 15% of the ASW 2020 and ASM shares up to 20,000 shares (@RM1.00 each) are reserved for Indians. ASM units reserved for any race that remain unsold after July 20th will be open for sale to others. It is however unlikely that the units won’t be snapped up especially for the non bumiputera units as these had always been sold within a day or two (NST 21/4/2009 at page 2). Voice of Hindraf. This is the very same political game UMNO and Prime Minister Najib have been collectively playing for the last 52 years ie. lumping the about 70% poor hardcore poor Indians and 90% mere daily wage and monthly wage earners together with the almost all rich and for economically superior Chinese. By doing this UMNO and Najib think they have solved also the Indian problem. At the last count the Indian equity had actually decreased from 1.5% to 1.2%. We believe this Indian equity figure is a mere 0.5% of the country’s equity and this too held by the likes of Tan Sri Ananda Krishnan and Tony Fernendez and some MIC cronies. Our estimates is 99% of the Two Million Indian population in Malaysia do not have the spare cash to buy up shares or similar investments. This has been made possible with courtesy of UMNO’s inequality and inequality policy in governing Malaysia for over the last 52 years. Thank you UMNO. We love you! Thank you Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. We love you too!.

11. The ASW 2020 introduced in 1996 had proven the government wants equal participation from the people irrespective of race or religion. The overwhelming response to ASW 2020 had brought about the introduction of ASM in 2020, PM Najib (NST 21/4/2009 at page 1 & 2). RM3.3 Billion units offer in Amanah Saham Malaysia and 2 Billion units offer for Amanah Saham Wawasan 2020. More than RM5 Billion have flowed into the funds over the past several months and RM10 Billion for last year. Voice of Hindraf. But this 5.3 Billion new units of ASM and ASW 2020 and the RM5 Billion investments have hardly benefited the Indians. Even as late as two weeks ago the Tamil Nesan reported that 13 Indian children aged between 4 and 14 years of age are forced to go to bed hungry because of poverty. And this can only happen in Prime Minister Najib’s One Malaysia (but two systems) government policy. This Indian family’s state of poverty is only the tip of the iceberg. About 70% of the two million Indians Malaysia under 52 years of UMNO rule have been kept/reduced into the poor and hardcore poor group. About 90% of the Indians are merely monthly and daily wage earners. How and where are these Indians supposed to come out with RM20,000.00 to buy the ASM and ASW 2020 shares. They are struggling even for their day to day living and are living from hand to month. In the event of an emergency serious medical situation they do not have the money to even treat their loved ones. Many are left with no choice but to let their loved ones die as they cannot afford the medical bill. You can say but there is the National Welfare and Medical State Funds. But these funds are seen to it by UMNO that it does not reach the Indians under UMNO’s racist and religious extremist policies. It would have been more credible if Najib had also announced an automatic bank loan of RM20,000.00 to each and every Indian to but these ASM and ASW 2020 shares as is done for almost each and every malay muslim. The lowest dividend PNB, ASW2020 or ASM has announced is 7% where as the current Bank interest rate s are only about 4.0%. So there is no way an individual would lose out by buying these ASW and ASM shares. Further the money invested in the most secure, blue chip and guaranteed returns company which has the full backing of the government like Perodua, CCM, Sime Darby, Island and Peninsula, May Bank, UMW, MIDF, Prolintas MMC etc. Over the last 30 years PNB by this method has redistributed wealth to about Nine Million mostly poor and underprivileged malay muslims but the Indians are specifically excluded. The least Prime Minister Najib can do now is to announce and direct at least Maybank which is controlled by PNB to in addition to the malay muslims also grant loans to all the Indians to buy these ASW 2020 and ASM shares. A list of the Indians who were able to buy these shares must be made public in the PNB Website. The Indians must be able to complain to our proposed Anti Race Discrimination and Equal Opportunities Commissions also having members form UN, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and Hindraf. Then and only then are we on Najib’s One Malaysia Policy. Anything short of this will be merely political rhetoric or in the layman’s words Najib’s cakap kosong for the Indians. There cannot be One Malaysia Policy but two systems being implemented by UMNO’s Prime Minister Najib under the Malay muslim Supremacy policy which has been in place for over the last 52 years.

12. PM Najib Razak → For example when we talk about helping the poor we must be helping the poor of all communities. And I think the poor of all communities deserve to be helped. “So our programmes, our financial allocations must reflect the need to tackle the problems of the poor across all racial and ethnic lives”. “I think every Malaysian should be able to accomplish the maximum in terms of his or her self development Najib said current systems such as the education system, scholarships, financial assistance and opportunities should reflect this and there were no limits. “The limits are not set because of your ethnic background. The limits are set because of your own personal ability” Voice of Hindraf. → Another set of profound statements never meant to be implemented or practiced by yet another UMNO Prime Minister (NST 20/4/2009 at page 2).

13. Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said has cancelled a trip to Russia and Ukraine beginning today to witness a Memorandum of Understanding signing between the state government and several higher learning institutions there. (NST 20.4.2009 at page 2). Voice of Hindraf. This Menteri Besar and the other 13 (presumably) are going out of their way to ensure malay muslim students get to study medicine and technology courses. But to the contrary zero has been done to also include the Indian students wanting to study in Russia and Ukraine even at their own parents hard earned money. Again to the contrary the aforesaid malay muslim students are granted full government scholarships Entrepreneur Minister Noh Omar did same trip. The tip of the iceberg of the malicious intent of UMNO of stopping the Indian students from graduating and practicing as medical doctors in Malaysia is when the Director General of the Health Ministry Dr. Ismail Merican saw to it that many Universities and Medical Colleges with almost all Indian students were derecognized in Russia, Ukraine, Romania, India, Indonesia etc. The foremost University was the Crimea State Medical University of Ukraine in 2004 where its medical degree was derecognized as it had almost all Malaysian Indian students. But since 2004 what has this Dr. Ismail Merican, Menteri Besar Ismail said or the Entrepreneur Minister Datuk Noh Omar done to facilitate at least these private medical students wanting to study medicine at these overseas Universities. These UMNO leaders and their agents have destroyed thousands of Indian students future and lives. But what have they built?

14. 85% literacy rate among Malaysians says DPM Muhyiddin Yassin (UM 19/4/2009 at page 18). Voice of Hindraf → An estimated 70% of the Malaysian Indian population cannot write a letter of complaint to a government department on their own in malay. Voice of Hindraf → This is the Malaysian education system for what we have under Prime Minister Najib’s One Malaysia concept. One Malaysia but two seats of standards when it comes to access to higher education especially for the Malaysian Indians.

15. Stop raising racial sentiments says UMNO leader for Penang Arif Shah Omar Shah (UM 19/4/2009 at page 19). Voice of Hindraf → The day UMNO stops their racist and religious extremist plans, policies and the implementation of the same, there would exist no room for raising “racial sentiments” in the first place. In any event opposing racial and religious discrimination, inequality and inequal opportunities especially on the Indians cannot amount to raising racial sentiments which UMNO conveniently says standing up for racial and religious equality, anti racial and religious, inequality and inequal opportunities can be “raising racial sentiments” nowhere else in the world but only in Malaysia and only under Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s One Malaysia concept.

16. Tamil news change of time from 7.30 pm to 6.00 pm, please review decision, MIC Minister Dr. Subra appeals (TM19/4/2009 at page 1).Voice of Hindraf → Just three days before on the Wednesday Cabinet Meeting this decision must have been made to take off the Tamil news from the prime time, TV slot. But it is so plain and obvious that this Minister like his boss and the worlds longest standing Minister Samy Vellu have/had no or very little say in the cabinet despite supposedly representing the Two Million Indians in Malaysia. That is why this minister is making his appeal through the Tamil media. This is Prime Minster Najib Tun Razak’s One Malaysia Concept. Another slogan by yet another UMNO Prime Minister.

17. Snatching away Tamil School land MIC would not stand by and just watch the show. Says Deputy Minister S.K.Devamany. With reference to the private developers sending an application to the Land office saying they want to take part of the school field. MIC will continue fighting. The Gombak MIC Chief has brought this up with the Gombak Land Office and the Education Department. Not knowing the outcome they are waiting for the Works Ministry’s and the Education Ministry’s Development’s further action says Devamany. He then moved on to say that in February 2008 Samy Vellu announced RM30 Million for Tamil Schools. Then in the first stimulas package and second economic package a sum of RM50 million was announced by Prime Minister Najib. One big photo with Devamany on the school field. With the PTA Members and another big photo at the school meeting in (TN 18/4/2009 at page 3). Voice of Hindraf → This Deputy Minister never solved the problem. He creates confusion and no clarify as he is pointing to the Gombak Land office, education ministry and the Works Ministry and at the same time diverts the Indian minds to the RM30 Million plus RM50 million plus RM50 million in terms of Tamil school budget which in any event is not sure of all filtering down to the Tamil Schools. UMNO has created another ambiguity by not setting a time frame for this money to be utilized and for example a monthly report on the Prime Ministers and the Education Minister’s website on the progress of this RM180 Million. Any way this Deputy Minister can only make statements that MIC will not stand by and merely watch. He is powerless to solve the real problem as the MIC has been for the last 52 years so he plays politics. Anyway we cannot take aim at MIC as they are merely the “mandores” of UMNO. UMNO is the real culprit. We have to go for UMNO who has put the Indians with the critical problems they are facing now. Under Najib’s One Malasyia concept even a Tamil Schools field problem cannot be solved. Do you think Najib is going to seriously solve the scores of critical Indian problems?

18. Small and Medium scale Entrepreneurs can get loans from banks easily say the Housing and Local Government Minister. They can get RM50,000.00 for small businesses and with a lower interest rate (TN 18/4/2009 at page 2). Voice of Hindraf → But almost all Indians who apply for these loans have their loans rejected. Last year the Malaysian Indian Business Association President P. Sivakumar had said that all 200 of his members applications for business loans had been rejected! So where do we go from here. We have repeatedly proposed on Equal Opportunities Commission and an Anti Racial and Religious Discrimination Commission to also be empanelled by at least half from the United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Hindraf. This is the only way forward. But will UMNO agree to this. The answer is no. UMNO will never change. We will have to change UMNO in the 2012/2013 general elections. The One Malaysia concept by Prime Minister Najib is just another slogan by another UMNO Prime Minister.

Friday, April 24, 2009

'Thanenthiran free to form own political party'

Malaysiakini - Athi Veeranggan Apr 23, 09 4:21pm

Hindu Rights Action Force's former national coordinator RS Thanenthiran is free to establish a political party to spearhead the struggle of marginalised Indian Malaysian community, said the movement exiled leader P Waythamoorthy.

However, London-based Waythamoorthy insisted that Hindraf would remain as a apolitical pressure group in the country's political landscape, championing the cause of marginalised Indians and other communities.

He said it was within Thanenthiran's constitutional rights to form the party and others shall not criticise him for his action.

"Thanenthiran's decision must have been based on overwhelming grassroots sentiments," said Waythamoorthy in a press statement today.

He was responding to a news local Tamil daily Makkal Osai which quoted him as saying that Thanenthiran should leave Hindraf if he wanted to form a political party.

Waythamoorthy denied issuing such a statement and insisted that he would not stop any Hindraf leaders from forming a political party to spearhead the Indian political struggle in the country.

"Just because they want to form a political party does not mean they have to withdraw from Hindraf. We will remain as a pressure group fighting for freedom, justice, equality and peace but it will continue to forge close ties with political friends," he said.

"I once again reiterate and stress that I would not be forming any political party nor would I convert Hindraf into a political party. However Hindraf supporters are free to form, join or support any political party they choose," he added.

Malaysiakini quoted Waythamoorthy in a report yesterday in which he said former coordinators and other Hindraf leaders who were interested in forming a political party would be advised to temporarily detach themselves from Hindraf.

"This is to protect Hindraf from allegations that it is converting into a political party. However we will accept them as ‘political friends' within Hindraf," he had added.

Meeting in India

Last week Waythamoorthy announced he was replacing the 10-man coordinating committee with a three-man interim committee to administer the human rights movement.

He then named two opposition parliamentarians as the movement's advisors.

The suspended 10 coordinators were appointed at the end of 2007 after Waythamoorthy left the country to seek international lobby in the face of government arrests.

The movement's public face P Uthayakumar was detained under the Internal Security Act along with four other Hindraf leaders on December of 2007.

Since then Thanenthiran and the other nine coordinators have been keeping the Hindraf movement alive and relevant, including successfully turning the Indian voters to support Pakatan Rakyat candidates in the 2008 general election.

Waythamoorthy's restructuring plan drew heavy criticisms from local Hindraf leaders, many whom felt it was timely for the movement to spearhead its struggle on political platform.

They want to form a political party while maintaining Hindraf as a human rights movement. Both however, will be interlinked.

Waythamoorthy is expected to meet Thanenthiran in India in two weeks time to deliberate and resolve many outstanding issues affecting Hindraf.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Government rules out children's conversions

KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 — The government moved today to soothe uneasiness over Islamic conversion of minors when it decided that children should be raised in the faith of their parents while they were married even if one spouse becomes a Muslim.
The Cabinet decided this yesterday amid simmering tension over a case of three Indian children converted to Islam by their father without the mother’s consent.
Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Aziz said Muslim converts still had to meet their marriage commitments in raising their children in their common religion at the time of their marriage.

“Religion should not be used as a tool to escape marital responsibilities. Conversion is not a ground for automatic dissolution of a marriage either,” he added.
K. Patmanathan, 40, now known as Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah, had converted to Islam without the knowledge of his wife, Indira Ghandi, who claimed her husband also converted their children — aged one, 11 and 12 years — without her consent.

Indira said she was now living in fear of losing her children as her husband was seeking custody through the Syariah Court.

There has been an increase in the number of cases in which Islamic conversions have been used as a tool to gain custody of children in divorces among non-Muslims couples.
The Cabinet decided yesterday that the Attorney-General will have to look at which laws need to be amended in line with the decision to stop conversions of minors without the consent of both parents.

Nazri said that Islamic enactments may also need amendments and the matter will be discussed with state Rulers.
“Civil marriages have to be resolved according to civil laws. The conversion takes effect on the day of conversion and is not retrospective.
“The convert would have to fulfil his or her marriage responsibilities according to civil laws prior to the conversion,” he said.

Hindu Sangam president A. Vaithilingam described the decision as "an excellent one" and believes this could be a new beginning for Muslim and non-Muslim relations.
"But of course the government must also look into a long-term solution to this matter but I believe this decision can make the much needed dialogue on the matter an amicable one," he told The Malaysian Insider.


Monday, April 20, 2009

PS from WMP - Govt should STOP the Nonsense and Unlawful Conversion



HINDRAF expresses its shock and utter disgust at the conduct of JAIS in allowing a forceful and unlawful conversion of three children who were born and brought up as Hindus. The father of those children has every right to convert to whatever religion he chooses but he does not have any right to forcibly convert his children who are minors to the Islamic faith unilaterally without the consent of his estranged wife.

The Federal constitution was drafted for everyone in a civil society that consist of a multi racial society but today Syariah laws practiced by fanatical JAIS with assistance from the government and sanction from the Federal Court (which has abdicated its powers) is infringing the basic right of a Malaysian citizen as it seems to supersede the desire of the multi racial society and the true spirit of the constitution.

We are totally sickened with the conduct and manner in which JAIS officers seem to have been colluding with K.Pathmanathan (now Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah) in serving “a syariah court order” on the Hindu wife. Every time a religious controversy arises it is the relevant Islamic religious bodies which colludes and protects the converting party without any regards to the civil society. JAIS continues to strain the social fabric of a multi racial nation with their “CULTURE OF ARROGANCE IN CONVERSION”.

The provisions of the Federal Constitution with regards to religious freedom are crystal clear. It is time the converting party and the Islamic authorities follow the correct logical procedure ie obtaining the necessary court order in a civil court first before attempting to convert the children. What they are doing is definitely a “backdoor method through Syariah law” to conversion and an attempt to bully the mother of those children and non muslims into submission to a syariah court order.

Malaysia is a multi racial country with a Federal constitution and religious zealots cannot usurp its function. There should be respect for universal principles of human rights and religious freedom. HINDRAF urges all democratic minded citizens, NGO’s and lawmakers to condemn this appalling act by the father, Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah and the Islamic authorities in converting the children.

Hindu Sangam which claims to represent the Malaysian Hindu community should act proactively to mount the pressure rather than putting their “faith” and “pray” on promises of setting up committees and “we will look into it” answers given by UMNO government. Many committees have come and gone but there has never been a solution to this pertinent controversial issue relating to conversion as the government continues to defy the very concept of the Federal constitution.

The 2007, Federal court judgment, that the consent of one parent is sufficient to convert a child in the case of R.Subashini is gravely flawed as it always favours the party converting to the Islamic faith rather than upholding the spirit of the constitution. What if the other non Muslim parent then initiates a civil action and provides consent to reconvert the child to its original faith-would that be sufficient consent then and will the Federal court then sanction it or the Syariah court would then declare that the minor could face criminal prosecution for apostasy.

This is a deadlock that the government and the Federal Court need to address for the well being of the multi racial society rather than being intimidated by religious zealots. Hindraf maintains the Federal Court judgment in Subhashini’s case is gravely flawed and the Federal Court should not abdicate its duties and independence to protect every litigant equally and in fairness without fear or favour.

P.Waytha Moorthy

Waytha moves to quell rift in Hindraf

Malaysiakini - K Kabilan Apr 19, 09 12:59pm

Barely 48 hours after suspending all Hindraf coordinators, the outlawed movement's exiled leader P Waythamoorthy has now been forced to defend his decision.His move to clarify the suspension came about following a deepening rift between London-based Waythamoorthy and the movement's grassroots leaders and supporters who were fighting for the cause here.It is also learnt that Waythamoorthy's clarification was as much as to assuage the bruised egos of the suspended coordinators, which included some opposition parliamentarians and well-known rights activists."A complete revamp and restructure is needed to face the new challenges (for Hindraf)," Waythamoorthy told Malaysiakini today in explaining his decision to suspend the coordinators.

He said that his original intention to suspend the coordinators has been "misinterpreted and misunderstood by certain segment of the public"."They read it as though we are replacing our coordinators. This is not the case as it is merely a restructuring exercise," he added.And he went on to further explain the need for such an exercise.

Changes needed to remain relevant
He said that the original 10-member committee was set up towards the end of 2007 to oversee the movement's campaign in fighting for the rights of the Indian community and to demand for the release of Hindraf leaders held under the Internal Security Act in December 2007.By then Waythamoorthy had also left the country to spearhead the movement from London.

However, he added, those appointed to the position of coordinators have now moved on to undertake other key responsibilities which were far more challenging with the increased needs of the society.He gave the examples of M Manoharan (Teluk Intan) and S Manikavasagam (Kapar) (right) who have since become parliamentarians for the opposition.
He said that another coordinator N Surendran had been forced to take up all legal matters involving Hindraf as all other Hindraf legal advisors were under the ISA detention.And as for the movement's national coordinator RS Thanenthiran, Waythamoorthy said the former has since indicated that he was serious about forming his own political party."As chairperson of Hindraf, I can state that the valuable and sound advice, support and contribution from the aforesaid politicians, members of parliament and legal advisor have been vital in spearheading our struggle."

The continuous support from them would only strengthen the movement's direction in fulfilling the demands of the Indian community," he added.However, he said that the expectations and aspirations of the Indian community were beyond the original demands and Hindraf needed to keep up with the needs and changes to be relevant."In these circumstances, a complete revamp and restructuring is needed to face the new challenges.

The new structure would be announced in the next few days," he said.

Grumble in the ground
On Friday, Waythamoorthy dropped a bombshell by announcing the suspension of the movement's 10 state and national coordinators with immediate effect. He replaced them with a three-person interim committee.Among those dropped from the line-up included the movement's top coordinator Thanenthiran (left) who had been helming the group locally while Waythamoorthy was in self-imposed exile.

Waythamoorthy also placed a gag order on the dropped coordinators.The coordinators, while publicly have stated that they accepted Waythamoorthy's decision, have privately expressed their disappointment with the move.It is learnt that some of them were caught unaware by their suspension, leaving them embarrassed in having to explain the situation to their supporters.

These coordinators have played a pivotal role in keeping the Hindraf movement alive and relevant, including successfully turning the Indian voters to support the opposition in the 2008 general election.However, there have been complaints recently that the movement and some of its coordinators have become politically ambitious.


PS from WMP - Hindraf rescructuring need


On the 17th April I had released a statement on the urgent need to restructure HINDRAF and the setting up of a New Committee and Working Groups. This statement has been misinterpreted and misunderstood by certain segment of the public which read it as though we are replacing our coordinators. This is not the case as it merely a restructuring exercise.

The original 10 member committee was set up to oversee the campaign and demands for the release of HINDRAF leaders and since then those appointed to the position of coordinators have moved on to undertake other key responsibilities which is far more challenging with the increased need of the society.

Manoharan and Manickavasagam have since been elected members of Parliament, which requires them to positively contribute to the country and their constituents. Surendran solely has been mounted with the uphill task of handling the burden of all legal matters which was previously handled by 3 of the HINDRAF Lawyers (Uthaya, Manoharan and Genga).

Tanendran has since indicated that he is serious about forming his own political party. With the recent change of the country’s leadership earlier this month, I am of the opinion HINDRAF have to “cave in” for a longer period to struggle for the society to pressure the Government to meet our demands as well as working together in co-operation with all opposition parties to prepare for the next General Election.

As chairman of HINDRAF, I can state that the valuable and sound advice, support and contribution from the aforesaid Politicians, Members of Parliament and Legal advisor has been vital in spearheading HINDRAF in its struggle.

The continuous support from them would only strengthen the movement’s direction in fulfilling the demands of the Indian community The expectations and aspirations of the Indian community are beyond the original demands and HINDRAF needs to keep up with the needs and changes to be relevant and “a player” in the field of Human Rights in Malaysia. In these circumstances a complete revamp and restructure is needed to face the new challenges. The new structure would be announced within the next few days.

P.Waytha Moorthy

Friday, April 17, 2009

Plan to re-brand outlawed Hindraf

Malaysiakini- Athi Veeranggan Apr 17, 09 4:08pm

The move by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) chairperson P Waythamoorthy to dismantle its 10-member coordination committee is a strategy to re-brand the movement as both a human rights activist group and a political party.Refuting claims that trouble was brewing within the Hindraf ranks, the movement's outgoing national coordinator RS Thanenthiran said the new plan was to strengthen Hindraf position in the political mainstream.He said he and London-based Waythamoorthy had deliberated and discussed lengthily over the plan when both met in Tamil Nadu, India in January this year."The new plan is being carried out by our leader Waythamoorthy in full knowledge of all local leaders."We were not dropped from Hindraf leadership, nor the movement is breaking up," he said, while rubbishing claims of fallout between local coordinators and Waythamoorthy.

He said Hindraf had originally intended to activate its new plan early this year but shelved it due to unfolding political events, such as the recent by-elections in Bukit Selambau, Bukit Gantang and Batang Ai and the transition of power in Putrajaya political corridor."It's common to hear speculations that trouble was brewing in Hindraf for some people always wanted to destroy the movement, which had emerged as an Achilles' heel to the ruling Barisan Nasional," Thanenthiran told Malaysiakini.Since the government crackdown on Hindraf in December 2007, following a mammoth rally in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 25 the same year, Waythamoorthy has been operating Hindraf in exile from United Kingdom with help of local leaders such Thanenthiran.

‘We need a lawful avenue'

Hindraf was instrumental in inspiring the political thunderbolt that change the country's political landscape in last year's general election, in which the opposition Pakatan Rakyat achieved unprecedented electoral gains.However, Hindraf activists felt their wings have been clipped when the Home Ministry banned the unregistered human rights movement in October last year."The ban has become a hindrance to our struggle for peace, justice, freedom and equality."We need a lawful avenue now to continue our struggle for the betterment of the Indian community and other underprivileged people in the country."We also need a political platform to strengthen our bargaining power with other political parties."Thus, we want to rebrand Hindraf the movement with perhaps another inspirational name and form an Indian-based multi-racial political party interlinked with each other," said Thanenthiran.He explained the movement top leaders were keen to change its name to stop several quarters from misusing and abusing the term ‘Hindraf' and its other common name, ‘Makkal Sakti' (people's power)."It has become a fashion now for many irresponsible characters to claiming as leaders of Hindraf or Makkal Sakti."We want to resolve this once for all to ensure that Hindraf stand as one for all," said the Butterworth-based Thanenthiran.

The Indian experience

Hindraf's political party and human rights movement linkage will be in the similar mould like India's Barathiya Janata Party (BJP), Rashtriya Sivam Sewak (RSS) and Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP).Most BJP political leaders are derived from the ranks of RSS and VHP leaders.With RSS and VHP as pressure groups, BJP has emerged as a disciplined, strong, dynamic and progressive political force in India.Indeed, BJP is the favourite to re-capture the federal government in on-going Indian general election.Thanenthiran said Hindraf had hatched the new plan after listening various views and opinions from politicians, social reformists and human rights activists at home and abroad.Claiming that Hindraf has some 100,000 staunch activists, he said Hindraf would hold a series of meetings with the movement grassroots leaders and supporters to explain the new plan."I would like to appeal to all Hindraf leaders and supporters to remain calm and patient, and not listen to rumours and speculations."They should only listen and act on Waythamoorthy official statements on the issue," said Thanenthiran.

Earlier today, Waythamoorthy suspended the movement's 10 state and national coordinators with immediate effect and replaced them with a three-man interim committee.Among those dropped from the line-up included Thanenthiran who had been helming the group locally while Waythamoorthy was leading from London. Waythamoorthy has also put a gag order on the dropped coordinators.

Anguished mom knocks on PM's door for answers

S Pathmawathy Apr 17, 09 2:09pm

Her three young children were forcefully converted to Islam by her estranged husband. And M Indira Ghandi is taking her plight straight to the doorstep of Sri Perdana.

Calling on newly minted Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to explain the matter, the 35-year-old kindergarten teacher said: "He talks about an united Malaysia. But what does this mean when only the Muslims have rights." "I am not anti-Islam and I am not saying that they (Muslims) are doing wrong things but why do non-Muslims have to suffer like this?" she asked as tears welled up in her eyes.Indira's marriage is now is a limbo as her husband K Patmanathan, 40, had converted without her knowledge on March 11.

She claimed that her husband, who has since assumed the name Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah, had also converted their children, aged one to 12, on April 12 without their presence and using only their birth certificates."He took my baby (their youngest child) from me and ran away... I have not seen her ever since and I don't know how she's doing," lamented Indira.

As for her marriage, the teacher, who also claimed to have been physically abused, said the couple were married for 16 years and had been facing problems for a long time. "It started so many years back that I can no longer keep track of when it started." "Recently he asked for a divorce and I thought to myself that since that was what he wanted I consented but he did not want to start the process and demanded that I do so. "So I went to a marriage tribunal and filed for counselling in Ipoh but he never attended any of the counselling sessions," she said.Indira claimed that after one particular explosive argument, which also involved her mother and sisters, her husband had fled with their youngest daughter Prasana Diksa."When we went to the police station and lodged a report, no immediate action was taken by the police although my baby was still very young and needed to be breast-fed," she said.

Since that incident, Indira has filed six police reports, with one alleging that she feared for her life because her husband had threatened her.Indira said the police managed to locate her husband later but only to discover that he had converted the children.'I don't know what to do'The couple's two other children Tevi Darsiny, 12 and Karan Dinesh, 11 are currently living with Indira, who has taken refuge with a relative fearing that Islamic officials would take the kids away."I was neither told nor asked about it (the conversion)... I don't know what to do," she lamented.According to Indira, her husband had called her last Wednesday and promised to return her youngest child."He asked me to come to the Islamic Department (Jais) in Ipoh and take my baby because he could not care for her but he didn't show up. "Instead there was a man waiting there to serve me papers from the Syariah Court granting custody of my other children to him," she said.However, she refused to accept the papers as she believed that Syariah laws had no jurisdiction over her.

As for her husband's conversion, Indira said he had spoken about his interest in Islam but she claimed this was related to monetary gains."I have no idea what his intentions are... but he mentioned once before that we will get RM5,000 each if we 'nikah' (marry according to Islamic rights) and money would also be given on a monthly basis to each of our children for education purposes."Over the past couple of days he keeps calling me and asks me to convert to Islam. He tells me that I should convert first and then we, as in the whole family, can opt out later back into Hinduism," she said, adding that she wanted to remain a Hindu.'I love my wife very much'Contacted later, her husband dismissed Indira's allegations as absurd, saying he converted because he was passionate about Islam which he had discovered during his business trips.

Denying that he had physically abused her, Mohd Ridzuan said: "I don't want to say anything but I love my wife very much... right now I only want her back."Asked why he had converted the children without informing his wife, he replied: "You see all the children must follow the father's religion no matter whether he is a Hindu, Christian or Muslim.""This is not a political issues, this is my family matter and I don't want to shame my wife," said the businessman who has filed for custody of the children with the Syariah Court.

Meanwhile, Indira has sought the help of several legal adviders, non-Muslim organisations and the public."This is not only my case, many people are suffering because of this. We are filing for the custody of my children because they don't want to go to their father, and they (the other party) are totally rejecting this."But the question is even if I can get back my children, will they be Hindu again? Why does it only take a day to convert my children but it is so difficult to return to their old religion?" she asked."Don't I have say in it, when I was the one who carried them for nine months... aren't they my children too?

So what is my right and my children's rights?"The government say this is a country where it is free to practice your own religion but what is the right of a non-Muslim in this situation?" she added.


Waytha suspends Hindraf's coordinators

K Kabilan Apr 17, 09 11:06am

Hindraf's London-based leader P Waythamoorthy has suspended the movement's 10-member coordinators with immediate effect and replaced them with a three-man interim committee.

Among those dropped from the line-up included the movement's national coordinator RS Thanendran who was helming the show for Hindraf locally while Waythamoorthy was leading from London.Waythamoorthy has also put a gag order on these dropped coordinators."All Hindraf coordinators are to refrain from issuing statements in the name of Hindraf though they are free to express their personal opinions on any matters they choose," he said.

He also said that the reason for the change was to allow the movement to move forward with its original cause and aims.The 10-member coordinators were appointed at the end of 2007 after Waythamoorthy had left the country to seek international lobby in the face of government arrests.

The movement's public face P Uthayakumar was detained under the Internal Security Act along with four other Hindraf leaders on December of 2007.Since then Thanendran (photo) and the other nine coordinators have been keeping the Hindraf movement alive and relevant, including successfully turning the Indian voters to support the opposition in the 2008 general election.

However there have been complaints recently that the movement and some of its coordinators have become politically ambitious.The final fallout was apparently the showdown the movement had with PKR's leader Anwar Ibrahim after he decided to pick someone from outside of Hindraf to contest for the Bukit Selambau state by-election early this month.Hindraf supporters had originally proposed that Thanendran was given that seat.

Thanendran accepts decision

The matter came to a close only after a phone call from Anwar to Waythamoorthy, who then instructed his coordinators to stand down and throw their support behind PKR, which eventually won the by-election.At the same time, there were other coordinators who had started acting on their own and without any coordination with the Hindraf leadership.

Waythamoorthy told Malaysiakini today that he had to make the startling changes in order to keep Hindraf in the mainstay of fighting for the community's rights."Hindraf's struggle has entered a new phase where the situation in the country has qualitatively changed since our mass protest on Nov 25, 2007," he said.He said that the needs, expectations, desire and the aspiration of the Indian community from Hindraf has developed beyond the initial demands and seeking the release of its leaders currently held under the ISA."In light of these developments and the need to restructure the working groups, Hindraf with immediate effect suspends its 10-member coordinators team including its national coordinator, event coordinator and publicity coordinators and all state and district coordinators," he added in a statement.

He also said that a new committee of volunteers and working groups would be set up nationwide to meet the need of the Indian community.He said this would be done after consultations with the grassroots supporters of Hindraf/Makkal Sakthi.

When contacted Thanendran said he accepted Waythamoorthy' decision and that he will continue to fight for Hindraf's struggles."I will continue to back the movement. This is a good strategy to ensure that Hindraf remains apolitical in its struggles," he added.


Hindraf leaders' bid for freedom rejected

Hafiz Yatim Apr 16, 09 7:22pm

Hindraf legal advisor P Uthayakumar today failed in his two separate bids to seek a release from the ISA detention in Kamuning detention centre.

In the morning, the Federal Court struck out an appeal by Uthayakumar and two other Hindraf leaders to be released from detention.And later in the day, the Kuala Lumpur High Court similarly rejected his habeas corpus application to be released from the detention-without-trial.Uthayakumar and four others - M Manoharan, K Vasantha Kumar, R Kengadharan and V Ganabatirau - were all detained on Dec 13, 2007 for their role in Hindraf in mobilising the Indian community to protest against the government over their plight.Kengadharan and Ganabatirau were however released along with 13 other ISA detainees on April 5 as part of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak first gesture after becoming the premier.

The matter in the Federal Court was an appeal against an earlier High Court decision in rejecting the application of all five to be released.At the start of the hearing this morning, the lawyer for the Hindraf detainees Karpal Singh applied for the freed duo to be removed from the appeal, which the apex court allowed.After that judges Nik Hashim Nik Ab Rahman, S Augustine Paul and Hashim Yusoff heard the appeal and dismissed it unanimously.The judges said they would be delivering their grounds of judgment at a later date, much to the disappointment of Karpal.

This appeal at the Federal Court was against a decision by the Ipoh High Court on May 30 last year to reject their leave for freedom.Their application was based in their challenge against the validity of the king's order confirming the recommendation of the ISA advisory board for extension of their detention on and after March 26 last year.

Karpal told reporters outside the court that he would file for a review of today's decision."I did not come here just to hear the appeal being dismissed and that grounds would be given later," he said."I have to apologise to the family members and Hindraf supporters who are here today to listen to the grounds but none given," he added.He said the court should have delivered the grounds of judgment today as it had ample time to prepare the judgment as the last proceedings were on March 11.

Health grounds unaccepted

Later in the afternoon, Uthayakumar's sole application to be released on the grounds of his health was similarly rejected.His application was on the grounds that he needed medical treatment for his fractured toe which he had suffered since January.Judicial Commissioner Azman Abdullah made the decision in allowing the preliminary objection made by deputy public prosecutor Najib ZakariaNajib's objection was based on the principles of res judicata (a matter already decided) as one of Uthayakumar's earlier habeas corpus applications was also rejected based on the lawyer's medical condition of being a diabetic.

Azman also accepted the second ground of preliminary objection that a person could not apply for a release from detention based on medical grounds."I allow the preliminary objection and hence dismiss the application," he said.Uthayakumar was represented by counsel N Surendran.

The 47-year-old Uthayakumar had filed his habeas corpus application due to the fractured toe which he has been suffering since January, made worse by his diabetes.Surendran said he would seek further instructions but is likely to file an appeal over the decision.All three detainees were not present in court today.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Hindraf offers Najib 100-day ceasefire

Malaysiakini - Apr 10, 09 1:33pm

Banned movement Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) will refrain from organising protests or submitting memorandums for 100 days to give new Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak (photo left) a chance to reform.And in that 100 days, Hindraf chief P Waythamoorthy said he hoped Najib would release the three leaders of the movement who had been detained under the Internal Security Act since Dec 13, 2007.Najib, as his first measure after coming into power, released 16 ISA
detainees, including two Hindraf legal advisors V Ganabatirau and R Kenghadharan.
Three other Hindraf leaders are still being held.

They are Waythamoorthy's elder brother and the public face of Hindraf Uthayakumar (photo below), Kota Alam Shah state representative M Manoharan and T Vasathakumar."The previous administration had acted unilaterally, with arrogance in a form of fascism against Hindraf although our cause was a genuine grievance that is faced by the Malaysian Indians," said Waythamoorthy in a statement from his current base in London.

He left Malaysia in November 2007 to gain international support for the movement. The Home Ministry had banned Hindraf last October for advocating extremism.Waythamoorthy (photo) said that Hindraf hoped that Najib's administration will move away from the methods of the old government and will reach out and engage."We hope Najib and his ministers will engage with us to address and solve the perpetual systematic marginalization and discrimination of the Malaysian Indians in the Malaysian society."As a gesture of goodwill and in anticipation of positive and actual reformation in addressing the plight of the Malaysian Indians, Hindraf shall for the first 100 days of the current administration restrain from activities such as street protests, or memorandums," he said.

Be a government for all

He also wished that the new administration will govern every segment of its people fairly and justly for a better Malaysia.Hindraf gained international prominence in 2007 for organising a series of protests against the government over the plight of the Indian community.In November that year, the movement organised a mass 30,000 rally in the heart of the capital to highlight its issues.The government then arrested five of its leaders under the ISA in December 2007.

With Waythamoorthy operating from London, the movement continued to hold demonstrations and protests to highlight their grievances.It is also well-known for submitting memorandums to various parties on numerous issues affecting the Indian community.


Letter from P.Waytha to Najib on 100 days performane benchmark

HINDRAF – NAJIB’S 100 days performance benchmark

HINDRAF welcomes Dato Seri Najib Razak and new incoming team of cabinet ministers for the remaining term of the current administration.

The previous administration had acted unilateral, with arrogance in a form of fascism against HINDRAF although, our cause was a genuine grievance that is faced by the Malaysian Indians.

HINDRAF sincerely hopes in contrast that the new administration will reach out and engage with us to address and solve the perpetual systematic marginalization and discrimination of the Malaysian Indians in the Malaysian society.

As a gesture of goodwill and in anticipation of positive and actual reformation in addressing the plight of the Malaysian Indians, HINDRAF shall for the first 100 days of the current administration restrain from activities such as street protest, or memorandums.

HINDRAF wishes that the new administration will govern every segment of its people fairly and justly for a better Malaysia.

Thank you.
Chairman Hindraf


Letter to New PM from Sec-Gen of Reporters without Border

Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-François Julliard wrote today to Najib Razak, who was sworn in as Malaysia’s new prime minister on 3 April, congratulating him on his appointment and urging him to improve the guarantees of “free speech and free debate in Malaysia” by amending the laws that allow bloggers and other citizens to be held without trial.

International Office
Internet Freedom desk
47 rue Vivienne - 75002
(France)Tel: 331-4483-8471 / Fax: 331-4523-1151
internet@rsf. org
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The Honourable Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Haji Tun Abdul Razak
Office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia
Blok Utama, Bangunan Perdana Putra
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan
62502 Putrajaya
No.Fax: 03‐88884333,

9 April 2009

Dear Prime Minister,

Reporters Without Borders, an international press freedom organisation, would like to congratulate you on your appointment as Malaysia’s Prime Minister.We hail your first decisions as head of government, which have been to release 13 people held under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and to lift a temporary ban on two opposition party newspapers.

These measures are an important step towards respect for free expression and civil rights in your country.However, we would like to share with you our concerns about the situation of press freedom and free expression in Malaysia.

We are worried about the danger that the ISA represents as a political tool for pressuring opposition activists and supporters. We would like to draw your attention in particular to the situation of bloggers and to the threats and harassment to which they are subjected.

Lawyer and Hindu minority rights defender P. Uthayakumar was arrested on 13 December 2007 under article 8 of the ISA for posting a letter to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown online. The conditions in which he is being held have led to a deterioration in his general state of health and his release is now a question of survival. Prime Minister Brown has told us he is determined to follow Mr. Uthayakumar’s situation closely.

We therefore hope you will decide to free him.One of Malaysia’s most famous bloggers, Malaysia Today website editor Raja Petra Kamarudin, is the target of prosecutions on various charges including sedition and criminal defamation. His freedom is also threatened by the government’s appeal against his release by a Shah Alam court on 7 November.

Also known as RPK, he has already spent 56 days in prison under the ISA. This judicial harassment violates his fundamental rights to individual freedom under article 5 (1) of the constitution, freedom of expression under article 10 (1) (a) and freedom of religion under article 11. We urge you to respect the constitution and to ensure respect for the rights and freedoms he enjoys as a Malaysian citizen.

There is an urgent need to withdraw the charges against him.We welcome your determination to press ahead with lifting the restrictions on free speech and free debate in Malaysia and ending the harassment of civil society actors, including journalists, bloggers and online activists. These actors are nowadays a significant source of information for Malaysian citizens.

This arena of debate must continue to grow as provided for by article 10 of the constitution, which guarantees free expression.The ISA’s repeal is an essential step in Malaysia’s democratisation. Your country has exceptional human and natural resources and its current economic development is an unquestionable success. However, the repeated violations of human rights and free expression are extremely damaging for Malaysia’s image abroad.

We are aware of the complexities of managing a multicultural society but the ISA is definitely no guarantee of stability, less still for maintaining social harmony.Repeal of the ISA, the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 and the Sedition Act would be a major political decision that would make you, Prime Minister, the pioneer of real democratisation in Malaysia.

We hope you will give this request your careful consideration.

Jean-François Julliard
Reporters Without Borders


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Placating Kugan's ghost and Marginalization of Malaysian Indians

Malaysiakini - Helen Ang Apr 9, 09 2:25pm

In Bukit Selambau, MIC fielded a Datuk who is party Kedah deputy chairperson and an old hand in politics. The PKR victor is a greenhorn almost 15 years younger than his rival. Yet voters placed more confidence in S Manikumar to do the job.

At a press conference on the Kugan autopsies, Dr Mohd Ismail Merican – a Tan Sri who is Health Ministry director-general – tilted to favour ‘years’. He pointed out that Serdang Hospital’s Dr Abdul Karim Tajuddin who conducted the first autopsy had 26 years of working experience as a pathologist.He also revealed Dr Prashant N Samberkar, who carried out the second autopsy, had 11 years work experience mainly in India and Fiji before serving in Malaysia in 2008. The Health DG did not allow that the younger doctor might possibly have done a more honest post-mortem.

It was Monday that he briefed reporters about the inquiry panel finding on discrepancies between the autopsies. On the same day, police seized forensic specimens, photographs, documents and other materials relating to Kugan Ananthan from Dr Prashant’s office at the University Malaya Medical Centre. Since Kugan had perished under police custody, it seems a conflict of interest for police to be raiding Dr Prashant.

The Health DG summarised, “All body injuries noted on the deceased were insufficient, either individually or collectively to cause death directly”.Dr Ismail also added, “There was no evidence that the deceased had been`branded’ or been given repeated application of heat with an instrument or object”. The inquiry instead offered that injuries on Kugan’s back resulted from repeated trauma by a blunt but flexible object, like folded rubber hose.

The authorities fail to explain (in words I can understand) just how Kugan died. Bernama, our national news agency, is no better either with its report headlined ‘Kugan died of Acute Pulmonary Oedema: Inquiry’. As a lay person, I can only surmise that for some unfathomable reason, the youth threw himself backwards against, perhaps, a coiled rubber hose. Wounds and bruises on the body hint that Kugan might have managed this feat remarkably with his limbs bound. He smashed his own back repeatedly over five days in lock-up until his 22-year-old heart gave way.

Friendly cops, and robbers

Kugan is not alive to defend his good name but the mainstream media keep calling him an “alleged car thief”. I prefer to think of him as my fellow Malaysian. Malaysians of Kugan’s skin colour are more inclined to die young, usually after an encounter with police. Following Kugan’s case in January was 20-year-old R Dilip Kumar in February.
Dilip was shot dead by police along with five other Indian men in Kulim.
According to N Naragan’s recce (who together with a human rights group visited the scene of the shootout), Dilip had seven siblings and the family live in a dilapidated little estate house. Two days before the incident, Dilip had asked one of his family members for RM20. Describing Dilip’s injuries, Naragan wrote: “He had gunshot wounds on the forehead and it looked like the back of his head was all bloodied as if from an exiting bullet. He was dressed only in a towel at the time of his death. His parents even had difficulty putting together some money to buy him a shirt and a dhoty for his burial. Thirty six ringgit was all they had.”Like Kugan, Dilip had no criminal record. Yet the media in their reports labelled the men ‘criminals’, ‘armed robbers’ and ‘thieves’ without any qualifiers. We cannot know for sure that Dilip was an armed robber as he was never brought to court, not to mention the lad was likely too poor to afford or acquire a gun. It is really the relationship between poor people and police profiling that bears our scrutiny.

Surviving on RM720

Who is poor and what is considered poor? Jayanath Appudurai writing for the Centre for Policy Initiatives quoted government statistics that in 2007, Malaysia’s poverty rate was 3.6 percent – an admirably low figure. Jaya writes that this Poverty Line Income [PLI] is determined by the government itself. Malaysia’s PLI stipulates that a household – comprising 4.6 people – in the Peninsula earning more than RM720 a month is not deemed impoverished. However if a PLI of RM1,000 were to be employed, then 8.6 percent of households would be poor instead of the 3.6 percent as claimed by the authorities. If a PLI of RM1,500 is used, then one-fifth of Malaysians are mired in poverty, or a total of 1.2 million households. Is the government baseline of RM720 a realistic figure to sustain a family of four-and-a-half persons, Jaya questions?(To sidetrack slightly, the roughly RM157 – as stated by Malaysia for each individual to minimally survive a month on – is not enough to pay for a Children one-day entry ticket to Paris Disneyland which costs RM182.)

State expenditure, for instance in Kugan’s home state of Selangor, on poverty eradication programmes might properly be asked of Disney-loving ex-Selangor menteri besar Dr Khir Toyo. While police undoubtedly have an image problem, how Joe Public reacts to the polemics should be tempered as well, Jaya writes in his other article (this one on the Kugan case). Popular depiction of the Indian community is pulled in two opposite directions.

One is that of gangsters and criminals. The Hindraf movement started both because of the Indian community’s own concern over its social problem of gangsterism, and Police Watch’s alarm over custodial deaths.But it doesn’t clarify matters when the authorities choose to ban the messenger Hindraf rather than address the root cause of their grievances, which is poverty begetting poverty and the lack of legitimate opportunities.

How now, sacred cow?The other popular depiction pushed by official media like Utusan is that Indians have nothing to complain about because many are doctors and lawyers. But even before Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar screwed the statistics, Dr Mahathir Mohamad did. “It (the number of Indian doctors) never was 40 percent until I was PM. Why didn’t they say ‘thank you, thank you, thank you’?

I get many people coming up to me to say thank you but very few Indians say thank you”, Dr M told an interviewer on the eve of the last general election. Samy Vellu rebutted saying that Mahathir did very little for the Indian community when he was prime minister. “Despite the MIC appealing again and again for help, he refused to budge.”

The BN formula has been of ethnic champions appealing to the grace of one autocrat or to Umno ‘proper channels’. Using this method to solve national problems has not proven effective. If, as Samy recently conceded, Indians were in dire need of assistance and not getting it, then it is the way the whole system operates that’s at fault.
The NEP was intended to help every Malaysian who is poor. It obviously didn’t and doesn’t. For those who feel they do not owe the Mahathir regime their gratitude, the way forward is to change the status quo. This is being slowly altered through electoral mandate. However, the more insidious canker (because unlike loud politicians they’re less obvious) is bureaucratic functions. These range from Biro Tata Negara to the Little Napoleon in Ipoh city council who ordered the Democracy Tree plague to be removed by tractor, to top civil servants in ministries and state secretariats. To further good governance, we clearly need a reform in the ruling parties; even our erstwhile premier finally admitted it in his final address as Umno president.
But at the same time, do replace some rusty cogs in the wheels of government machinery too.

Disclosure: The writer is attached to Centre for Policy Initiatives.

HRW- New Malaysian PM Should Repeal ISA and Reform Laws Used against Free Speech and Peaceful Assembly

(New York, April 6, 2009) – Malaysia’s new prime minister, Najib Abdul Razak, should follow up on his surprise release of 13 detainees by promptly acting to rescind the internal security law, Human Rights Watch said today.
On April 3, 2009, his first day in office, Prime Minister Najib ordered the release of 13 detainees and promised that the government would review the Internal Security Act (ISA) under which they were held. The ISA permits indefinite detention without charge or trial. By April 5, all 13 had been freed, including eight terrorism suspects, three alleged forgers, and two leaders of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf).

Three foreigners among them have been deported, while the 10 Malaysians remain under police supervision. “The release of 13 detainees is a welcome surprise from Prime Minister Najib, who had long supported the Internal Security Act,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “We hope that his promise to review the law is genuine and that he realizes that it is a blight on the Malaysian justice system and the country’s reputation.”

The detention of the Hindraf members exemplifies the government’s long misuse of the ISA. The release of the two Hindraf leaders, V. Ganabatirau and R. Kengadharan, leaves three Hindraf members in ISA detention for more than 15 months for their part in organizing a massive demonstration on November 25, 2007, to protest educational and economic discrimination against Malaysian Indians.

Hindraf had held the rally even though the police had refused to issue a permit. All five have been accused of threatening national security by “upsetting harmony” among Malaysia’s Malay, Chinese, and Indian communities. Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan publicly stated, without providing any supporting evidence, that the five “clearly have links with international terrorist organizations and they are involved in activities that amount to inciting racial hatred.” “The government imposed the ISA instead of charging the Hindraf activists with credible criminal offenses,” said Adams. “If it can’t promptly charge them and others still held and give them a fair trial, it should release them.”

Also on his first day in office, Prime Minister Najib lifted the ban on two opposition party newspapers, Suara Keadilan, published by Parti Keadilan Rakyats (PKR), and Harakah, published by Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS). The ban had been imposed on March 23, 2009, and was widely seen as an attempt to limit opposition parties from getting their messages to voters before by-elections on April 7. Under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, annual license renewal is mandatory for all newspapers.

The Home Affairs Ministry can restrict or ban a publication outright on several vaguely defined grounds and no legal remedy is available, as the minister’s discretion to grant, revoke, or suspend licenses is “absolute” and not subject to judicial review. Human Rights Watch said that lifting the ban was an important step and called for a revision of the printing and publications law to ensure it was consistent with the right to freedom of expression. The government also continues to use criminal defamation and other laws to undermine opposition politicians and critics of the government.

Raja Petra Kamaruddin, founder and editor of Malaysia’s most popular website, MalaysiaToday, was originally detained under ISA for demeaning Islam. He was freed on procedural grounds on October 7, 2008. The government is appealing the ruling. He also has been criminally charged with sedition under the Sedition Act 1948 and criminal defamation under the Penal Code on what Human Rights Watch considers to be a politically motivated charge of defaming a government leader.

Opposition parliamentarian and Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairperson Karpal Singh had been charged under the Sedition Act for remarks he made in relation to political changes in Perak, one of Malaysia’s 13 states. And opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is currently facing trial on politically motivated sodomy charges. “If Prime Minister Najib wants to back up his claim as a reformer, he will repeal laws empowering the government to censor the media or to engage in dirty tricks used previously against political opponents,” Adams said. Also crucial for improving freedom of expression in Malaysia is repeal of the Police Act 1967, which mandates the need for a police permit for public assemblies of three or more people.

In 2008 alone, the law was used to shut down peaceful vigils supporting the repeal of the ISA and to limit election rallies by opposition parties. “Free expression and peaceful assembly are bedrocks of a rights-respecting society,” said Adams. “Until Malaysia’s government stops carving out legal rules to attack its political opponents, it cannot claim to be a modern democratic state.”

For more information on human rights in Malaysia, please visit: For more information, please contact:
In New York, Mickey Spiegel (English): +1-212-216-1229; or +1-917-968-9937 (mobile)
In Washington, DC, Sophie Richardson (English, Mandarin): +1-202-612-4341; or +1-917-721-7473 (mobile)
In London, Brad Adams (English): +44-20-7713-2767; or +44-790-872-8333 (mobile)