Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Poor & Homeless Indians, denied DBKL flats in Sentul

Poor & Homeless Indians, denied DBKL flats in the Sentul area where they have been working. For the past four months they have been living at a community hall. (Starmetro 21/12/2009 at page M4)


Poor and working class Indians living among snakes, mosquitoes and centipedes.

Indians living among snakes, mosquitoes and centipedes - read the report below. (Refer The Star 21/12/2009 at page N 49). This is the continuing plight of the poor and working class Indians and what we see in the press and in these columns are just the tip of the iceberg of the problems of the poor and working class Indians – which is being ignored by the UMNO and PR governments. They do not have the political will to address these problems squarely. By highlighting these problems regularly we want to join the dots and show the big picture on these problems. We do not quite appreciate the true magnitude of the problem when we see them individually. As we highlight in our columns we want to continuously bring to the fore those individual problems reported here and there and build an aggregate picture - joining the dots.



It is one thing to come up with a document like the Common Policy Frame, it is another thing to realize it in practice. What really matters to the people is whether all the leaders of Pakatan Rakyat coalition really understand themselves what is contained in that document with all its implications and whether they really mean all of that.

Let me first first quote from Dato Zaid Ibrahim’s speech

“Pakatan rejects policies that allow for corruption and other financial crimes and abuse of power. In order to ensure sustainable growth, oppressive policies that had only enriched the few should be replaced with a policy that ensures that the poor are assisted regardless of race.”

And I also quote from the CPF Section (3) Social Justice, subsection (B) on religion, with a focus on para 5


B. Religion
Religion and other beliefs practiced by Malaysians should form the basis of unity that is founded on good universal values.

Malaysians have almost fallen into the boiling pot of discord and tension that was caused by manipulation of religious differences.

This should not happen in a genuinely democratic Malaysia, with Islam occupying a special position whilst the rights of other religions are guaranteed.

Pakatan vows to:



5. Ensure suitable areas for places of worship and burial grounds for all religions.

Now let me pose this situation to the leaders of PR and see what the PR leaders would like to do on the matter. This is one issue, may not be large in its scope, but it will be telling about seriousness of the PR leaders in relation to their pronouncements in the CPF. We do not expect a written response. We are interested in seeing the CPF spirit being applied in the situation. This is a test of the pudding, so to speak. Do they really mean what they say in the CPF document or are there some fine print we may all be missing out on.

In Kuala Ketil, Kedah, a Hindu Burial Ground that has been there from before independence is on the verge of being demolished by the Kedah State PR Government because the PR government there wants to build a Kolej around it now. This is development effort, we applaud it. But it is about the method they have chosen to go about this, that raises some questions in relation to the Common Policy Frame. Basically we want to see how the Common Policy Frame relates to the needs, interests and rights of the poor and the marginalized.

1) This Hindu Burial Ground was obviously not considered for preservation at the outset of the Development project by the Kedah State PR government. Otherwise we would not have a problem here now.

Now that the CPF says - ensure suitable areas for places for burial ground for all religions. Should not the State government stop and reconsider what their decision should be now or should theyproceed with the demolishment nevertheless.

Surely “suitable areas” does not mean a definition of suitability for the developer or for the state only. Surely it must mean suitability for the people as well. Therefore the unilateral decision by the PR State Government of Kedah to demolish the existing burial grounds and to merge it with pre-existing other burial grounds is inconsistent with the CPF document. So, should the State PR government pause for a while to review the situation in light of the CPF.

This is a real opportunity for the demonstration of the inclusive values espoused in the CPF. The consideration of the interests and need of all the people and involvement of all the people in decisions affecting them is concrete expression of this inclusiveness. If this not to happen, it raises the question as to what the word “Common” in the Common Policy Frame really means – common to whom, common for what. Is it Common to the poor and marginalized as well or is that common for a select few only?

2) The Kedah State PR Government instead of resolving this issue with the proper representative Association, the Kuala Ketil Tamilar Association, it now calls it haram, (even though it has had several discussions with the association previously until a deadlock happened) is now trying to get around is offering a general offer to each of the poor families RM3,000 there to dig up the graves and move the remains over to the other pre-existing burial grounds.

This is already atrocious in itself. Now with the position of Pakatan on corruption as stated by Dato Zaid Ibrahima and let me quote

“Pakatan rejects policies that allow for corruption and abuse of power. In order to ensure sustainable growth, oppressive policies that had only enriched the few should be replaced with a policy that ensures that the poor are assisted regardless of race.” it makes it all the more urgent and necessary for the Kedah State Government to stop this corrupting act immediately and sit down with the legitimate representatives of the people there and hammer out an equitable and acceptable solution.

Does not the payment of RM 3,000 to each of the poor families while circumventing the Association not amount to corruption. When such inducements are offered to the poor, the response is a given, they are poor. This is exactly the method that has been used to usurp the basic entitlements of the poor and marginalized all these years since Independence. Give them peanuts and take away their fundamental rights.

The UMNO government used exactly this method of corruption by regularly offering inducements to the MIC Mandores and had them forsake the rights and opportunities of the Indians for the last 50+ years. This is what caused the big rebellion among the Indians. This is what the Pakatan seeks to change. So, here is an opportunity. Now what will Pakatan’s position be on this matter?

Sustainable growth and policies that ensure that the poor are assisted regardless of race surely means a permanent resolution to the question of land in so many areas relating to the Indian poor – burial grounds, places of worship, squatter settlements, Tamil schools to name the major areas. In this case, sustainable growth will translate to having a Master plan for all these issues, may be now starting withburial grounds for the Hindu dead in Kedah. This is the substance of sustainable growth – a consideration of all requirements and optimization for the various requirements at planning stages so nothing valuable is compromised, everything is considered and the

right balance is achieved.

This is our request to Pakatan. Please show us that you are serious about the Common Policy Frame. Please show us it is not just a vote-getting device. Show us now, before we vote. Show us you are different from the Barisan in Truth.

Narayanan Ganesan

Pro-Tem Central Committee Member and Advisor to the Human Rights Party

Batu Gajah Kaliaman Hindu temple to be demolished

Batu Gajah Kaliaman Hindu temple to be demolished. In the one year or so of P.R. rule of Perak land was never issued to this Hindu temple or all the other Hindu temples and in particular the 138 Tamil schools in Perak (refer Malaysia Nanban 9/12/09 page 4). And now the new UMNO Perak government wants to demolish it.

P. Uthayakumar


People want MACC to catch big fish, not small fry

(The Star) - The time has come for real action from the Government to fight corruption instead of pussy-footing around, said Transparency International Malaysia president Tan Sri Dr Ramon Navaratnam.

He said if the Government continued talking without real action, people would get frustrated and disillusioned and eventually they would lash back via the ballot box.

“Don’t pussy-foot,” he said when commenting on recommendations in fighting graft at the two-day Government Transformation Pro gramme open day last week.

Many members of the public who attended the programme had questioned why the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was only interested in catching the “small fry” and did not seemed to be interested in catching the jerung (sharks).

Corruption Lab leader Datuk Hashim Nordin, who is special officer to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, in his reply had said it was a lot harder to catch the big fish as they tended to be more sophisticated and more professional in their acts.

Ramon said the programme had generated some good recommendations, including calls for the MACC to investigate politicians and businessmen and those who were living beyond their means without waiting for public complaints and for it to report directly to Parliament.

He said the law would have to be amended quickly to reflect the Government’s urgency in fighting corruption.

He said until the “big fish” were taken to court and punished, people would continue to doubt the commission’s sincerity.

Ramon, who is MACC panel of presentation and consultation chairman, said so far no top political leaders have been charged and convicted for corruption.

Citing the Port Klang Free Zone scandal as an example, he said although former Port Klang Authority general manager Datin Paduka O.C. Phang was charged in court, she was not the real “big fish” as there were people in higher levels.

Social Care Foundation chairman Tan Sri Robert Phang concurred that in the PKFZ scandal, bigwigs were named by the Public Account Committee but none of them were brought to court.

“Those implicated must be given a chance to explain in the court, not in Parliament. The rakyat want to know the whole truth.”

He said the PKFZ scandal was an acid test for the Government and there was a need for political will to be executed without fear and favour.

Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye also said that despite many Government announcements to fight corruption, the people have yet to see real results.