Saturday, September 5, 2009

16 arrested at Hindraf candlelight march in KL

Sixteen people, including former Internal Security Act detainee P Uthayakumar, were arrested at a candlelight vigil near Dataran Merdeka tonight.

The vigil, organised by rights group Hindraf, began with a march of a 100-strong crowd from nearby Masjid Jamek.

The participants, who were singing songs and carrying red and white roses and candles, called for Malaysians to respect one another's rights.

However, before they could reach Dataran Merdeka, the crowd was confronted by two dozens police officers.

The cops, who stopped the marchers at the junction of Jalan Parliament and Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, ordered the crowd to disperse.

The cops then began counting from one to 10 (right), and launched the arrests soon after.

Among those arrested were Hindraf leader S Jayathas and Uthayakumar's fiancee, S Indradevi.

Uthaya held on all fours

Uthayakumar, were among the last few individuals to be arrested. He was nabbed together with Indradevi while walking away from Dataran Merdeka.

Several police personnel pounced on Uthayakumar until fell to the ground. Once on the ground, he was held on all fours and rushed to an awaiting police truck.

In the wake of the arrests, participants began leaving the area at about 8pm, barely 15 minutes after the vigil started.

But some 30 minutes later, two more were arrested - Shanti Waytha Moorthy and Waytha Nayagi - some distance away from Dataran Merdeka while sending out alert SMSes.

Though never stated explicitly, it is understood that the vigil tonight was a reaction to the 'cow-head' demonstration last Friday by a group of Shah Alam residents opposing the relocation of a Hindu temple to their neighbourhood.

In contrast to the heavy-handed dispersal of vigil participants tonight, no action was taken against the 'cow-head' protestors.

Police double standards

According to Hindraf leader in exile P Waythamoorthy, the aim of the vigil was to “repair the damage to the centuries-long brotherly Hindu-Muslim relations in the wake of the cow-head protest in Shah Alam”.

In an immediate reaction, he condemned the arrest and accused the police of practising double standards in view of the 'cow-head' demonstration, which has caused public outrage, especially among Hindus.

“It is ridiculous that the Muslim extremist 'cow-head' protesters who were behaving in a violent manner, delivered fiery speeches promoting racial hatred and insulted Hindus were given full police protection.

“Whilst the Hindraf supporters who were armed with unlit candles and roses were violently arrested, bundled and taken into police lock-ups,” said Waythamoorthy in a statement late this evening.

Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur police chief Muhammad Sabtu Osman said that 13 men and three women were detained.

Hindu temple & religious co-existence in 99.99% PAS ruled Kelantan -by P.Uthayakumar

NO.6, Jalan Abdullah,
Off Jalan Bangsar,
59000 Kuala Lumpur,
Tel: 03-2282 5241
Fax: 03-2282 5245

04th September 2009

Media Statement

RE : Hindu temple & religious co-existence in 99.99% PAS ruled
Kelantan -by P.Uthayakumar

Since a two month old baby right up to my Form five, I was brought up
in Tumpat, Kelantan. As teenagers, we prayed and played at the Sri
Maha Mariaman Hindu Temple in Tumpat, Kelantan which was built by the
then colonial days Railway working class Indians. This Hindu temple is
in a 99.99% Malay Muslim dominated population and ruled by PAS. During
my last visit to this temple two years ago I was told that there are
only two Indian families left in Tumpat. But our Hinldu temple stands
right up to this day on the very main road leading into Tumpat town. I
nostalgically showed my wife and children the Hindu temple which I
grew up with. It is still the history and heritage of Kelantan right
up to this date. This our Hindu temple could now be demolished or
asked to be relocated as it is in a 99.99% Malay Muslim area or to be
moved out of the state of Kelantan as it is in a “Serambi Mekah”
State. I believe it would not even have crossed PAS’ Kelantan Menteri
Besar Nik Aziz’s mind. This is religious co-existence in practice in
99% Malay Muslim PAS ruled Kelantan. The biggest sleeping Buddha in
the world is not in Thailand, Cambodia Sri Lanka or India where
Buddhism originated from but it is in Kg. Neting, Tumpat Kelantan.

In multi racial and multi religious Malaysia it should be religious
coexistence as opposed to religious tolerance. Then we wont get the
case of the UMNO majority and dominant area like in Section 19 and 22
of Shah Alam objecting to hindu temple because it is a Malay Muslim
dominated area and the cow head protest by the religious extremist who
were never arrested on sight and who would never be seriously
prosecuted by the Attorney General in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s One
Malaysia. And so the racism and religious extremism continues in
Malaysia. In fact they had the support of even UMNO’s Home Minister
Hishamuddin Hussein who had justified their actions. To both the UMNO
controlled Federal government and the PKR controlled Selangor state
government and the other P.R ruled West Coast states you both have
something to learn from PAS ruled Kelantan.

By the stroke of the pen vide a circular by Prime Minister Najib
Razak, the PKR Selangor Menteri Besar the other P.R ruled Menteri
Besars and Chief Minister, all existing Hindu temples could be issued
with land titles and gazetted as Hindu temple reserves as is the case
even in the 99% Malay reserve land State of Kelantan. This would put a
stop and a finality to this new, unprecedented and unnecessary racial
and religious division and tension in Malaysian.

Similarly this should also be done for all Hindu crematoriums Tamil
Schools and Indian settlements like Kg. Buah Pala. This would actually
solve half the Indian working class problems once and for all.

But in both the aforesaid UMNO, PKR in Selangor and the other West
coast P.R ruled states, they are merely playing puppet shadow play
(wayang kulit) politics using their Indian “mandores” via the print
and electronic media by empty (kosong) announcements of the odd land
for Hindu Temples, Tamil Schools and Crematoriums here and there and
amplifying them as in the Malay proverb “Ayam telur sebiji rioh
sekampong”. These State governments who wield almost absolute powers
where it concerns their State land also do not issue a State
government letter on the aforesaid odd land that they announce, issue
land titles or gazette these Hindu temples, Tamil schools and Hindu
crematoriums accordingly. Thus the current predicament of the working
class Indians, the latest being in Kg. Buah Pala and Section 19 and
22, Shah Alam which is merely the tip of the iceberg of the Malaysian
Indian working class critical problems.

Only in Malaysia and especially in the name of development, the first
targets are Hindu temples, Hindu crematoriums Tamil schools and the
poor Indian land settlers. We have recorded thousands of such cases.
These problems hardly happens in the Malay, Chinese, Orang Asli, Iban
or Kadazan communities in Malaysia. It happens almost only to the
working class Indians. Why? But BN, PKR, DAP, PAS, NGOs’ and the
Malaysian civil society all proclaim to be “multi-racial and

All because the working class Indians have neither the political power
or the economic clout and what follows is there are no takers for
these critical Indian problems by almost all UMNO, PKR, DAP and PAS
(except in Kelantan) NGOs’ and the Malaysian civil society.

Thank you.

Your faithfully,



Secretary General (pro-tem)

Human Rights Party (HRP)

What Position Should the Indian Voters of Bagan Pinang Take?

A thought provoking article by Subramaniam Bharathy:

What Position Should the Indian Voters of Bagan Pinang Take?

Indians have not got what they wanted with their votes after the last GE. This is the Post 12th GE theme.

The marginalization continues apace in the 4 states of PR. Umno continues with its racial antics. The many faceted grievances of the Indians in the country see no light of day. In Penang we have got this lying DAP Chief Minister and a bunch of Indian Mandores in DAP and a string of broken promises by DAP. DAP washed its hands off a key Indian issue at Kampung Buah Pala. In PKR we have a bunch of wimps for MPs and Aduns. They are nowhere to be seen on Indian issues. In Perak and Selangor there has been significant land allocations to the Chinese by the Pakatan Rakyat Government but none whatsoever for the Indians. Temple demolitions go on in all the PR States. UMNO’s Hishamuddin the Home Minister says it is alright to slight the Indians in the country by desecrating their religious symbol. The Federal Government has done nothing on the Indian issues using the PR Government in the 4 States as their cover to continue to marginalize the Indians with their unchanging racist policies.

Why does all of this continue. PKR, DAP, MIC, UMNO, just want our votes – that’s all. They only return crumbs, like some minor funding for the schools or some land for the schools or some such token after the elections because they have to be seen to be doing something. They all reckon we are not significant enough to matter for more than that. That’s it they reckon we are not significant enough to matter for more than that.

We need a holistic approach to the Indian issues in the country. This is our demand. Then maybe we can consider other things, but bread and butter issues first. Look at the crime rates, the suicide rates, the alcoholism , the drug abuse situation, the unemployment rate, the limited opportunities for Indian businessmen and the drying up of educational and training opportunities in government institutes and public universities for Indians. The BN government and the PR governments are not taking us seriously enough to approach the problem in this holistic way. The 18 point memorandum of Hindraf clearly lays out what the Indians seek. They are not doing anything about the issues as we have raised them.

The only option we have now is to hit them where it will hurt. We must use our votes wisely to get them to reckon that we are significant enough in their political calculations.

As a test of this hypothesis we need to use our votes to make a difference for us in Bagan Pinang. Whatever the outcome in Bagan Pinang, it is not going to change anything significant. One more or less seat in the Negri DUN does not change anything for PR or BN. But it can help us make a point to whoever is interested in our vote that our votes come with a price.

There are 14192 voters. Let us assume an 80% turnout. That will make it 11,345 voters on voting day. Of this 66% are Malay voters –about 7500, 19.9% Indian voters –about 2270 voters, 10.5% Chinese voters – about 1135 voters. In the last election UMNO candidate got 6430 votes and won with a majority of 2,333 votes. In that election the PAS candidate won 39% of the votes or 4097 votes.This was at the height of the anti BN mood among the Indians and Chinese. That already stacks the cards against PR for this by-elections.

We must get all the Indian voters to abstain from voting this time in Bagan Pinang. Both BN and PR is no good for us up to now. Let PR suffer as a result of this. We will make a difference with our votes. If PR continues to ignore the significance of this point let them pay a price. If PR thinks it is important that they need the Indian votes, then show it in action and policy don’t just talk and make empty promises. We prefer you to UMNO, but only if you act and reflect it in your government policies. We can make you the difference – both ways.

We must make this point. This is our only way to make our point. This is our opportunity.

Subramaniam Bharathy