Monday, May 11, 2009

PS from WMP : Waytha shall retun to Msia


RE: Waytha Moorthy to return to Malaysia with or without any Government assurance or condition I have decided to return to Malaysia now since the HINDRAF lawyers have been released.

When the tsunami of November 25, 2007 took place, HINDRAF was still in its infancy in addressing the plight of the Malaysian Indians. The arrest of the HINDRAF leaders was meant to curtail its legitimate concerns for the Malaysian Indians and allow it to be a lost cause for them. As the chairman of HINDRAF, at that juncture, I decided that somehow, HINDRAF concerns needs to be brought in light in the international arena since the local government had used oppression towards the public and the operation of the ISA to stifle and vilify the voice of HINDRAF.

As such I had left to UK to continue its struggle and keep the movement alive and bearing the international support that HINDRAF was getting from various international bodies and governments, the Malaysian government subsequently revoked my passport and forced me to seek asylum which the British government granted bearing the fear of persecution faced by me from the authorities in Malaysia for upholding truth and just cause for the Malaysian Indians. Now that my comrades have been released, I have decided that I shall return to Malaysia to continue and forge ahead with the objectives and goals of HINDRAF in seeking what it had originally set out to even at the risk of me being arrested under ISA or any other repressive Laws. I shall return knowing the risks involved, as I honestly believe that HINDRAF cause was just and fair. I had sought the advise of many grass root supporters and they are in the opinion that I should not return as I would be arrested and incarcerated. This does not fear me anymore as the objective to obtain the release of the HINDRAF lawyers had been achieved and now it is the time to press forward with the objectives for the community that has been systematically discriminated, marginalized and sidelined for 52 years.

HINDRAF is now a strong mass movement and can never be suppressed any further. If the government arrests me or detains me, there will be many others within the community with conscience who will spearhead the struggle for the betterment of the society and the nation. The spirit of HINDRAF invoked within the Malaysian community is inerasable, and I can only hope for the betterment of the nation and a fast evolving universe in its struggle for equality, fairness and justice will prevail over selfishness and ignorance. I rest my faith in DESTINY and its people, as HINDRAF is an organization that dared to be different, dared to go right to the core problem to tackle the issues rather than appeasing institutions for piecemeal offers for the betterment of the nation.




Malaysia racial ties fragile 40 years after riots

By SEAN YOONG Associated Press Writer

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—The last time Lee Hung Poh walked unassisted was 40 years ago, before a bullet fired in the heat of Malaysia's worst race riots sliced through her spine and shattered her future.
Neither the 57-year-old Lee nor her country has ever completely recovered.
To be sure, Malaysia, a Southeast Asian nation of 27 million people, has been remarkably stable since the weeklong mayhem that began May 13, 1969. But as the country marks the 40th anniversary of the riots, its uneasy racial detente is coming under stress.
Ethnic Chinese and Indians, the two largest minorities, have become more vocal in demanding racial equality in part because of growing economic hardships, and Indians staged unprecedented public protests in November 2007. Mindful of the mounting disenchantment, a new prime minister is proposing a partial rollback of a main legacy of the riots, an affirmative action program for the majority Malays.
If change goes smoothly, it may be for the better. As Malaysians have grown wealthier and better educated, they have demanded a more open discussion of race, and the government has acquiesced to a degree. But the shift is also stirring old passions—the Malays and Chinese in particular don't fully trust each other—and therein lies a risk.
Several Malay ruling party officials have pledged to defend affirmative action "to the last drop of blood," and a top Malay newspaper urged Malays last month to "rise and unite."
"All of us want peaceful lives, nobody wants to fight each other. But you read the newspaper and keep seeing problems with racial issues," said Lee, who locks herself at home every May 13 for fear of breaking down in public if the memories overwhelm her.
The bloodshed of 1969, which took at least 200 lives, erupted when Malaysia was still emerging from the legacy of colonial rule, only a dozen years after attaining independence from Britain.
Racial divisions ran deep. The Malays held political power but were largely poor. The Chinese, many of whose ancestors immigrated in the 18th century, had prospered through trade and tin mining. Indians, mostly laborers, had little say in politics or business.
The riots were sparked by politics. Chinese opposition supporters, whose parties made sweeping election gains, held a victory march in Kuala Lumpur and jeered at residents in Malay neighborhoods. The Malays staged their own rally, and in ensuing clashes, mobs armed with pistols and knives roamed the streets, killed people of other races and torched their homes.
The carnage changed Malaysia's course.
Seeking to curb economic disparities, the government launched an affirmative action program in 1971 that enabled Malays to get into universities more easily, buy homes at reduced prices and enter business through rules requiring many companies to be partly Malay-owned. The main government-funded schools teach in the Malay language, while schools that use Chinese and Tamil get less aid.
Many Malays prospered. Their share of corporate wealth surged from 2.4 percent in 1970 to about 20 percent today, and they make up nearly two-thirds of the population.
The minorities say it is time to wind up the program. Chinese make up a quarter of the population and own about 40 percent of corporate equity. Indians are about 8 percent of the population and have a stake of less than 2 percent, while the remainder is mostly foreign ownership.
Complaints about affirmative action and religious disputes—such as the demolition of Indian Hindu temples on illegal sites by Malay authorities—became more apparent during the tenure of former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who governed for five years from October 2003. He is credited with allowing more space for discussions of long-sensitive issues in the government-controlled media and on independent Internet forums.
"There has been a maturing of Malaysian democracy in trying to resolve disputes," said Denison Jayasooria, a researcher at the Institute of Ethnic Studies at the National University of Malaysia. "What people want is more public openness and intellectual discussion on race."
The wider freedoms led to clearer expressions of dissent, such as a street protest in Kuala Lumpur two years ago where tens of thousands of Indians demanded economic fairness. Police quelled the protest with tear gas, and five organizers were jailed under a security act that allows indefinite detention without trial. Two were freed recently.
Minorities also voiced their discontent through the ballot box. In the March 2008 general elections, Chinese and Indians overwhelmingly voted against the long-ruling National Front coalition, which now governs with its lowest parliamentary majority in more than 50 years. Abdullah took the blame for the loss and stepped down, handing power to his deputy Najib Razak.
Many high-profile disputes are religious in nature. Minorities have complained that Islamic courts—not secular courts—are given jurisdiction in family disputes that involve both Muslims and non-Muslims. Some Malay Muslims consider these complaints as a threat to the status of Islam, the country's official religion.
Nonetheless, even some Malays agree that it is time to at least review affirmative action so that it benefits all the poor. Advocates of this include Nazir Razak, the prominent banker brother of new prime minister.
Najib, who took power in early April, says affirmative action is still needed but can be diluted. Last month, he scrapped a requirement for 30 percent Malay ownership in several sectors, such as health and transport, to lure foreign investment to the floundering economy.
He also mounted a massive publicity campaign called "1 Malaysia" to promote racial solidarity and made several surprise appearances at religious festivities of Indians.
"No one should assume that they are second-class citizens in this country," Najib said.
In a bid to display fairness to all religious groups, Najib's Cabinet announced last month it would forbid religious conversion of minors without the consent of both parents. This followed high-profile legal spats in which people who embraced Islam changed their children's religion despite protests from non-Muslim spouses.
Najib's administration has shown "some kind of intention to break with the past," said Ibrahim Suffian, director of the independent Merdeka Center research firm. "People will be watching to see if it is backed up by effective implementation."
The recent disputes about race have raised concerns about upsetting what has long been a delicate balance. As Ibrahim puts it: "On a people-to-people level, the relationships feel quite positive. There is the sentiment that everyone has a shared fate. Agitating the situation would only ruin it for everyone."
In the capital of Kuala Lumpur, office workers from all races work together relatively amicably. Lunch crowds include Chinese women in skirts and Malay women draped in multicolored, loose-flowing dresses. Very often, they can be seen tucking into "dosa" rice pancake and curry, an Indian favorite.
Though most people still have friends predominantly of their own race, there is interethnic interaction and respect. For example, many Chinese avoid eating pork in the presence of Malay companions.
"There are still racial and religious differences, but there's no widespread chaotic situation," said Jayasooria, the National University of Malaysia researcher. "It's a live-and-let-live situation, where nobody will be shouting at other races on the street."
History textbooks, referring to the May 13 riots, warn that racial harmony must be nurtured. The last deadly clash—between Malays and Indians—was in 2001 when six people were killed.
Lee, the Chinese woman shot in the riots and paralyzed from the waist down, believes that if she can shed the bitterness that once consumed her, others can too.
"I used to hate (the Malays) because of what happened to me," she said in a wheelchair behind the counter of a tiny grocery store that she opened several years ago.
"Time hasn't made me well again. I never got the chance to get married. I'm lonely and I live by myself. So of course I'm sad but I'm not angry with anybody anymore."

Mat Sabu supports Uthaya's 'no thanks' stance

Malaysiakini - Athi Veeranggan May 10, 09 5:46pm
PAS vice-president Mohamad Sabu supported P Uthayakumar stance not to thank the government for releasing him yesterday from ISA detention.

"Uthayakumar was right in not thanking the government for his release because firstly he should not have been detained under the ISA at all," said the Penang-born PAS leader, who was himself a former ISA detainee.

Mohamad, who is commonly known as Mat Sabu, said Uthayakumar, like other detainees, was not a criminal nor was he detained for any alleged infringement of the country's laws."He was detained without trial for political dissidence, not for crime, under a draconian law, which should be abolished."There was no necessity to arrest Uthayakumar and the others in the first place."Why should the detainees thank the government for violating human rights and individual liberties?"Uthayakumar was spot on not to thank the government," he told newsmen when opening the PAS Supporters Club, Penang branch convention in Sungai Dua on the mainland this afternoon.Also present were PAS national unity bureau chairperson and Parit Buntar parliamentarian Mujahid Yusof Rawa, the club national chairperson Hu Pang Chaw and Penang branch chairperson Dr Ooi Vellautham.

Uthayakumar and two other Hindraf men, lawyer and Kota Alam Shah assemblyperson M Manoharan and T Vasanthakumar were released together with 10 other detainees from the Kamunting Detention Camp yesterday afternoon.

ISA can be misused by government

Uthayakumar, the most famous Hindraf face, refused to thank the government for his release. Instead, he accused the government for taking away his liberty for 514 days.Hours after taking the reins in April, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had also ordered the release of two Hindraf leaders - V Ganabatirau and R Kengadharan, together with 10 other detainees.

Mat Sabu, who was twice held under ISA, each time for a two-year period between 1984 and 1986 and, 1987 and 1989, is for the abolition of ISA, pointing out that Malaysia aside, only Israel and Singapore were still enforcing the draconian law.He pointed out that all other countries, including the United States, have abolished their respective internal security laws, adding that it was timely to get rid of ISA, which can always become a current government's weapon to clamp down on political dissent."So long as ISA exists, the possibility is high for the government to misuse and abuse the law," he said, alleging that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had released all the Hindraf leaders not as a "genuine kind gesture", but a merely to avoid another by-election in Kota Alam Shah.Manoharan had threatened all week long to quit as state representative to allow Kota Alam Shah voters to vote someone who can better serve them."I don't think Najib can divert the public attention on the Perak crisis by releasing ISA detainees.

Umno wants to avoid another by-election
"He, Umno and Barisan Nasional don't want another by-election," he said, pointing out that BN was still undecided on whether to contest this month's Penanti by-election in Penang.On the Perak crisis, he said Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kader would have no choice but to dissolve the assembly and call for fresh state election."Perak and Malaysia can ill-afford another chaotic assembly session, which is sure to happen the next time," he stressed, adding that last week ugly incidents in Ipoh last Thursday had tarnished the country's image and undermined democracy. He likened the action by plainclothes policemen to haul out legitimate Perak Speaker Sivakumar as a disgrace and violation of the parliamentary democratic system and the rule of law.Mat Sabu was indeed arrested a day before while having breakfast with friends in Jalan Pahang in Kuala Lumpur apparently for inviting Muslims to join in the prayers seeking divine intervention to avert chaos in the Perak assembly sitting.He said the crisis had shaken investors' confidence and raised a big question mark on the legitimacy of BN Perak government."Investors want a legitimate and stable government, be it Pakatan or BN."The usurpation of power by BN has shook their confidence which can only be restored with a fresh state election," he said.

PAS Supporters Club has some 20,000 members across the country and the number is growing, which Mat Sabu said was a good sign that the party was being well-received by all Malaysians.He said the PAS top leadership was conducting a series of discussions now to upgrade and strengthen the role of club members within the party.He also brushed aside claims there was a conflict among the professionals and religious scholars (ulamas) in the party, blaming it on the Umno-owned media playing up the issue in the run-up to the PAS national election next month."It's not a surprise that the media play up this non-issue during each PAS election. PAS will accept any leader, whether professionals or ulamas so long as the person has the ability and capability to lead the party," said Mat Sabu.