Saturday, January 30, 2010

Perumaa’l temple consecrated in Myanmar

Tamils in Myanmar impressively consecrated a renovated Perumaa’l temple in Yangoon on Wednesday morning. Several thousands of Tamils participated in the ceremonies. A 13th century Tamil inscription in Myanmar records that a Perumaa’l temple patronized by Tamils existed at the earlier capital at Pagan.

Myanmar Perumaa'l temple
Consecration of the entrance tower [Photo courtesy: Solai Thiyagarajan from Myanmar]

The temple for Kalyaa’na Vengkadeasap Perumaa’l (Thirumaal or Vishnu in his form found at Thiruppathi), accompanied by Alarmeal Mangkai (the lady on the flower: Thirumaka’l or Lakshmi), is situated 10 km from Yangoon at a place called Thirukkampai, which is known as ‘Little Tamil Nadu.’

Seven Paddaachchaariyaars, who came from Tamil Nadu performed the ceremonies, according to Solai Thiyagarajan, who sent news and images of the consecration to media.

Myanmar Perumaa'l temple
Thousands participated the consecration of Perumaa'l temple at Thirukkampai in Yangon, Myanmar [Photo courtesy: Solai Thiyagarajan from Myanmar]
Myanmar Perumaa'l temple
A view of the interior [Photo courtesy: Solai Thiyagarajan from Myanmar]
Myanmar Perumaa'l temple
A Tamil folkdance as part of the procession [Photo courtesy: Solai Thiyagarajan from Myanmar]
Myanmar Perumaa'l temple
The practice of ceremonial 'temple dance' in front of the deity still surviving in Burma is of cultural anthropological significance. [Photo courtesy: Solai Thiyagarajan from Myanmar]
Paddaachchaariyaars are authorities in performing consecration of Vaishnava temples of the Dravidian style in the Agamic way of South India (it is Sivaachchaariyaars in the case of Saiva temples).

Venkatasamy Nayakkar, an industrialist from Tamil Nadu, originally built the temple in 1904.

The interaction between Myanmar and Tamils go back to the times of the advent of maritime activities in the Bay of Bengal, as trade winds and currents were particularly conducive for swift and direct communication between Myanmar which was known in Sanskrit as Swarna Bhumi (the land of gold) and the ancient Tamil country.

The presence of Tamil traders or artisans of gold in the region, during the early centuries of the Common Era, is attested to by a Tamil Brahmi inscription found in neighbouring Thailand. The legend in Tamil, ‘Perum Paththan Kal’ (the stone of the great goldsmith), seen on a whetstone, happens to be the earliest writing found in Thailand.

The Burmese alphabet of today, which is a continuity of the script of the Mon, an early ethnicity of Myanmar, is considered to have come from South Indian writing system, especially the Tamil-Grantha writing.

A 13th century inscription, found at Myinpagan, in Pagan in Myanmar, beginning with Sanskrit invocation and then records the subject matter in Tamil, tells us the existence of a Perumaa’l temple, belonging to the Tamil trade-guild of ‘Naanaatheasi’, at Pagan. (E. Hultzsch, Epigraphia Indica 7, 1902-1903, pp197-98)

The inscription names the temple as Naanaatheasi Vi’n’nkar Aazhvaar at Pukkam (Pagan), alias Arivaththanapuram (ceremonial ancient name of the capital), and says that a person Eeraayiran seeriyaan alias Kulaseakara Nampi coming from Makoathayar Paddanam (a town of the Cheras; Maak-koathai is a title of the Cheras), of Malai Ma’ndalam (Malaiyaa’lam: Kerala), made a gift of a hall, a sacred door and a fixed lamp to perpetually light the hall in the temple.

British colonial conquest of Burma in the 19th century witnessed a new spurt of migration of traders, contractors and workers from the Tamil region of British India.

It is said that the massive teakwood used in the construction of the palace of the Chettiyars of Kaanaadukaaththaan and other such palatial households in the Sivagangai district of Tamil Nadu were floated at the delta of Irawathy River in Burma and were received in the country of Chettiyars near the Paampan Channel, just carried by the currents of the Bay of Bengal.

Burma became separated from British India in 1936.

Anti-Indian sentiments after the independence of Burma in 1948 and diplomatic failure of Nehru’s India saw a large number of Tamils coming to Tamil Nadu as Burma refugees, when General Newin became the military dictator in the early 1960s.



HINDRAF Makkal Sakthi will be organizing “A Special Candle Light Vigil Procession ” accompanied with 18 pots of milk offerings (PAAL KUDAM) to Lord Muruga in conjunction with the auspicious Thaipusam Festival together with the fulfillment of the HINDRAF Makkal Sakthi 18 points demands and for the save return of HINDRAF- Makkal Sakthi’s Chairman,

Mr.P. Waythamoorthy to Malaysia .

Starting Venue : Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthaanam Buntong, Ipoh

Ending Venue : Kallumalai Sri Subramaniar Devasthaanam, Ipoh.

Date : 30th January 2010

Time : 6.00 pm

In accordance to this special festival, we invite all devotees to join us hand in hand . We encourage devotees to wear dhoti (vesthi) with safron/orange colour shirt (Kaavi colour).

Lets all pray together “ VALGA HINDRAF MAKKAL SAKTHI”

For more details, please s contact:

P.Ramesh : 019-5235528

N.Subra : 012-4826957

S.Siva : 016-5347834

P.Bala : 016-2109545

D.Nagen : 012-2065424

Mr Mohan : 016-5548426


Please forward to all.

This will be the 3rd consecutive year HINDRAF – MAKKAL SAKTHI is having such a candle light vigil in Ipoh

We need volunteers or individuals who are keen to do their part for our community. We can team up and make a big change for the sake of our community. We should not neglect our own community. Our community

is our responsibility.

Please come forward to make the changes. The famous quote,

“When you want to see changes you must be part of that changes”

~ Mahatma Ghandi.

Thank you,


HINDRAF Makkal Sakthi

Perak Chief


Event 30/1/2010: Batu Caves Thaipusam ” HINDRAF Makkal Sakthi Special Chariot Procession “


HINDRAF Makkal Sakthi will be organizing ” A Special Chariot Procession ” accompanied with milk offerings & Kavadi’s to Lord Muruga with conjunction of the auspicious Thaipusam Festival together with the fulfillment of the HINDRAF Makkal Sakthi 18 points demands and the save return of HINDRAF Makkal Sakthi’s Chairman, Mr Waythamoorthy to Malaysia .

Venue : Batu Caves Temple
Chariot Starting point at Riverbed ( Attangarai )

Date : 30th January 2010

Time : 5.00pm

In accordance to this special festival, we invite all devotees to join us hand in hand . We encourage devotees to wear safron / orange colour . ( Kaavi colour ) .

‘ Lets all pray together ” VALGA HINDRAF MAKKAL SAKTHI

For more details , pls contact :

Capt Bala: 019-2166205

Mr Saamy : 017-3469650

Mr Ravi : 010-2939824

Mr Nava: 016-6446885

Mr Mohan : 012-2065424

Mr Raja : 017-8857679


Please forward to all.

Thank you,


Information Cheif

Photos: 29/1/2010 Eve of Thaipusam Batu Caves




UMNO’s FRU at peaceful Thaipusam. Paranoid of Najib not welcome at Batu Caves website postings?




Special Branch was taking our photo and we took his photo he turn away


HINDRAF Activist




To Malaysian Indians, Najib is just another actor

Prime Minister Najib Razak can try all he wants to win over the Indian community but it is not going to work because they can sense that to him and his Umno party, Malaysian Indians are just swing voters and not really the equal-status citizens of the country that they are entitled to be, community leaders said.

By Wong Choon Mei (Harakah)

“To the Indians, Najib is just another actor in a long line of actors and actresses from the Umno-BN,” N Gobalakrishnan, a prominent Indian activist and the Padang Serai MP, told Harakahdaily.

“What’s the point of going to Chennai and Batu Caves when all you need to do to convince the Malaysian Indians is to act on the grouses that they have brought up time and again?”

Indeed Najib does appear to be the edge of desperation to win over the community. Snubbed by the Chinese for orchestrating an unpopular power grab in Perak, he is now chasing the Indian vote to bolster his party's traditional 50 percent share of the Malay votes to win at the next general election, due latest in March 2013.

In fact, many political watchers expect him to call for elections by the middle of next year and are unsurprised at his unabashed overtures to the community. Indians form about 8 percent of Malaysia’s 27 million-odd population. Malays predominate at 60 percent, Chinese 26 percent, whilst indigenous and other races form about 6 percent.

In front of God Murugan

At Batu Caves on Friday night, the eve of Thaipusam, the PM resorted to using the full force of his federal machinery to grab center stage. His police force unceremoniously pushed the more popular Pakatan Rakyat politicians, who were also there, to a far-off and inconvenient spot so that they would not steal his thunder.

Nevertheless, it did not stop the Pakatan team led by Selangor Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim from winning the greater applause and empathy from the million-odd devotees who thronged the grounds of the sacred temple of the God Murugan.

“The lights you see among the crowd, the railings were all contributions by the government,” Najib had boasted to the crowd. “Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi told me he believes Indians are fairly treated in Malaysia.”

He was referring to his recent trip to Chennai, made in the midst of a spate of attacks against places of worship in the country. Amid criticism that he was not at hand when his own nation was in need of leadership, his controlled media has been painting Karunanidhi as an ultimate icon revered almost like a saint by Tamils throughout the world.

And their purpose: to justify his absence at a time of crisis and to impress upon the Indian community here of how important and beneficial his trip was to them.

“He must think the Tamils in Malaysia are all uneducated fools. Karunanidhi is a well-respected politician but there are so many well-respected politicians in India. It is a vast country with a huge history and culture,” a prominent analyst at a government think-thank told Harakahdaily on the condition of anonymity.

“Why go to Chennai and then a week later, appear at Batu Caves in front of God Murugan with whole Umno-BN gang? Do they not think that the Indians here are capable of putting together such a simplistic jigsaw puzzle? It is insulting.

“The Indians know full well he is only after their votes because the Chinese will no longer bother with him. But the Indian community is not dumb. They won’t vote for Umno-BN until they can feel tangible improvement or until they can see their grouses being genuinely addressed.

“After all Mahathir was in power for 22 years and Badawi for 4 years but the Indians sank even further into poverty. Now Najib comes along with all this fancy public relations and expects us believe that change has finally arrived. Sad to say, I think he probably has a bigger budget for his public relations team than for the community’s development.

What do Indians want

Most of the Indians who emigrated and grew roots in Malaysia came from Southern India during the colonial days to work in the rubber estates. Initially, they settled mostly in Selangor but have since fanned out into other states such as Penang, Perak and Negri Sembilan.

According to statistics compiled by the community, Malaysian Indians lag by far behind the other ethnic groups. Apart from not having received their due share of the economic pie, they believe they have been marginalized in terms of education and job opportunities.

“There are many things that the Indians here have asked from the federal government that directly relates to their living conditions and lifestyle. But there are other issues on social justice and good governance that are also important to us," said Gobalakrishnan.

“We are not kampung folk who cannot see further than our own village interest. There are also a lot of savvy Malaysian Indians who want to live in a modern and civil society, where there is fair play not just among the races but also among the political groups.

“We also care about democracy. What’s the point of getting a bit of subsidy here and there but Malaysia is turned into a police state where all citizens including the Indians cannot live in dignity and peace. What is the point when Indian youths cannot get jobs because of discrimination and end up getting beaten to death in police jails because of corruption in all the government institutions?

Among the core issues that Malaysian Indians have been fighting for is an increase to 3 percent from 1 percent of the country’s economic equity, raising the usage of the Tamil language, greater education and job opportunities.

“A good example is the grants given for building schools. A typical national-type school would cost the Umno-BN government between RM15 to 20 million. But they are only willing to allocate RM2 to 3 million for a Tamil-type vernacular school,” said Gobalakrishnan.

“This is how we end up with dirty, lousy facilities. Parents are not keen to send their children to such poor quality places, even teachers are not keen to work there. This is how they are indirectly phasing out our vernacular schools.

“So don’t come to Thaipusam and talk hot gas. Walk the talk and show the way. Then no one can say you are just another big ‘tin kosong’ (empty vessel).”

Walk your talk. End racial profiling. Say “No more”.

By Haris Ibrahim

I received an e-mail from a lady teacher. She attached the two-paged document that I have reproduced below.

This is what she said in her mail :

“After all the talk of 1Malaysia, we are still asked to mark ourselves as Malay or non-Malay, bumi or non-bumi, Muslim or non-Muslim.

Does my race or religion have any relevance whether I am a good teacher?

Are we not all Malaysians?

I hate this, Haris.

Can I just ignore those irritating questions?

What should I do?”

I replied her :

“Take a red pen and a ruler. Draw a line right through ‘Status Bumiputra’, ‘Bangsa’, ‘Etnik’ and ‘Agama’ and then write over that line you have just drawn, “TIDAK RELEVAN. SAYA ANAK BANGSA MALAYSIA”.

If you do not agree with this sort of profiling, condemn it by refusing to go along with it.

The reason this sort of profiling still goes on is because even as we recognise how wrong it is, we take the easy way out and comply.

In reality, it is we who give life to this profiling.

If we collectively refuse to legitimise thiss policy of profiling by refusing to comply, it will one day surely go away.”


I’m going to reproduce below parts of an earlier posting.


RPK, almost tongue-in-cheek, offered a simple definition of ‘civil disobedience’ in a POST at MT sometime back :

“It’s actually quite simple. You defy the powers-that-be, but you do it in a passive, not active, manner. You do not resist. You just do nothing. And is this not what Malaysians are good at, doing nothing?”

Of late, notwithstanding the PM’s talk about 1Malaysia, we still see a lot of racist, divide-and-rule crap coming out from Utusan, which is an UMNO mouthpiece, from the DPM, from other ministers and a whole array of NGOs which, if you bothered to check, again lead back to UMNO.

UMNO continues to play the race card because this is the only politics they understand.

The other BN component parties, most times, don’t have the courage to stand up to UMNO and say ‘Cut out this race crap. We are all Malaysians, so stop this divide-and-rule game’.

In response to UMNO’s ketuanan Melayu, Pakatan Rakyat has been heard to espouse ketuanan rakyat but, sadly, sometimes even the PR politicians appear afraid to walk the full distance needed to truly see this nation on the way to being that of a single people.

For some time now, I’ve believed that if we are to see the aspiration of ‘One People, One Nation’ become a reality, it has to be people-driven.

What say we start a little civil disobedience now to send out our own little message, in our own little way, to the government , that we are no longer going to countenance their divide-and-rule tactics?

We could simply call this initiative Project Irrelevant.

Project Irrelevant is not new.

It was launched at the first Bangsa Malaysia Merdeka forum and get-together on 25th August, 2007 at the then Blog House. You can read about that HERE.

I’ve also written about Project Irrelevant HERE.

Let me just reproduce my closing lines in the Project Irrelevant post :

“If you are one of those who has written with comments to this blog supportive of the many initiatives to one day see this as a nation of one people, I ask you to now support this initiative.

Please walk your talk.

If you proclaim yourself as anak Bangsa Malaysia in cyberspace, have the courage and conviction to do the same on paper.




Kugan's samples returned in untenable condition: lawyers

The Sun

PETALING JAYA (Jan 29, 2010): Lawyers for the family of V. Kugan, the man who died in police custody, today took the police to task for returning samples taken from his body to the hospital in an incomplete and untenable condition.

The samples of blood and fluid specimens taken by Dr Prashant Samberkar of Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) in a privately-commissioned post-mortem were to be flown out to Australia for a second stage of a post-mortem when they were seized by police in April last year.

On Oct 9 that year, the magistrate's court in Petaling Jaya ordered the police to return them to UMMC. Police complied a few days later.

N. Surendran, one of the lawyers representing Kugan's family, told a press conference today: "In particular, an entire bottle of specimen was never returned."

Of the rest of the samples, he said: "I was told by Dr Prashant that they were unlikely to be of any use, as they were no longer in a frozen state."

Another lawyer, Teluk Intan MP M. Manogaran, accusing the police of being in contempt of a court order, said they were also worried the samples may have been tampered with by the police, in which case the toxicology tests would not bear any fruit.

Kugan, 23, was detained on suspicion of stealing luxury cars, but died in a police lock-up at 11am on Jan 20 last year. His family suspected foul play, and commissioned a second post-mortem at UMMC after the first at the Serdang Hospital yielded a report that they were unhappy with.

Prashant had made a provisional report stating Kugan had died of kidney failure due to severe beatings. The first post-mortem stated Kugan died due to fluid accumulation in the lungs.

The samples taken by Prashant were ready to be flown out for a second stage of the post mortem when they were seized by police on the instruction of the attorney-general.

Surendran said they believed the police were well aware of their intention to carry out a toxicology test, as they had copies of the post mortem report and their own experts. "We intended to send the samples to a lab in Australia for toxicological tests as University Hospital could not do it."

Surendran had sent a letter to director of the Criminal Investigations Department Datuk Bakri Zinin on Oct 28 asking for the full set of samples to be returned but there has been no reply.

"This is a deliberate attempt to cover up the truth," said Surendran.

Manogaran, who is also representing the family, said they were ready to proceed with contempt of court charges if Kugan’s mother agreed to it.

Surendran said they suspected Kugan may have been poisoned or something may have been administered to him whilst he was under detention.

Pointing to a picture taken during Kugan’s second post-mortem, Surendran said: "You can see amongst the fatty tissue on his wrist, there is a red circular dot, the experts we have consulted believe this is the mark of a syringe entering the body."

Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam said they would submit a memorandum to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan regarding Kugan's and another case next Wednesday. - theSun

Thaipusam day Kedah PAS MB demolish hindu cemetary.

Media Statement (29/01/2010)

This morning Mr.Manigan Raj, the Chairmain of the Ladang Batu Pekaka, Kuala Ketil, Kedah Hindu Cemetary telephoned and informed us that the Kedah Menteri Besar Dato Seri Azizan has ordered that the rest of the said Ladang Batu Pekaka hindu cemetery be destroyed today ie on the eve of the Thaipusam day or on Thaipusam day tomorrow.

This Kedah PAS MB has “franchised” this job to an Indian mandore. Mr.Raj and his family in particular are standing put and have refused to remove his ancestor’s remains.

They stand by their constitutional right to freedom of religion which is enshrined in and guaranteed for by Article 11 of the Federal Constitution. Why doesn’t this Kedah PAS MB try demolishing a Chinese Christian or Muslim graveyard. He would not dare. The Indians are the soft targets as they have no or very little political or economic power.

Mr Raj will be making his 13th police report today. But then even after twelve (12) previous police reports, thus far the tripitrade UMNO, PAS and Malay-sian police axis still insist in committing the crime of defiling a place of burial in violation of Section 297 of the Penal Code and read with Article 11 of the Federal Constitution. This is PAS, UMNO and the Malay-sian police crime with impunity. This kind of atrocities are just the tip of the iceberg.

Just last week the PKR Selangor Menteri Besar demolished a hindu cemetery in Rawang so much so that the human bones were indiscriminately strewn around the area.

But then who cares as the graves and bones are that of merely the poor and underprivileged Indians anyway. (Refer to the newsreport in Sinar posted here previously). UMNO has similarly had had a free hand in also committing this atrocity over the last 52 years.

This kind of atrocities does not happen to any minority community in any other part of the world except in UMNO Prime Minister Najib Razak’s One- Malaysia.

Thank You.

Your Faithfully,



Secretary General (pro-tem)



Dato’ Seri Uztaz Haji Azizan bin Abdul Razak

Menteri Besar Kedah

Pejabat Menteri Besar,
Aras 3, Blok A Wisma Darul Aman,

05503 Alor Setar, Fax: 04-7339088 Kedah Darul Aman. E-Mail:

1, 410 Thaipusam stalls. Indians scrambling to do business but excluded outside Batu Caves.

Each time the Indian community complains that they have been denied business opportunities, UMNO and their MIC mandores are quick to give excuses that the Indians are not interested in doing business.

Just see for yourself the Indian business enthusiasm especially in Batu Caves, Ipoh and Penang on this Thaipusam festival.

But where do these thousands of Indian petty traders go to do business.

UMNO would rather these Indian petty traders rot after Thaipusam than they actually actively contributing to the nation’s economy. This is how racist, religious extremist and supremacist UMNO can be.

P. Uthayakumar


1)Grant all hindu temples state land, 2) Build overhead railway bridge to preserve historical walk path to Batu Caves.

NO.6, Jalan Abdullah, Off Jalan Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tel: 03-2282 5241 Fax: 03-2282 5245 Website:

Your Reference :

In Reply : HRP/ Jan/ 10

Date : 29/01/2010

YAB. Dato Seri Najib Razak

Prime Minister of Malaysia

Blok Utama Bangunan Perdana Putra,

Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan, Fax: 03-88883444

62502 Putrajaya E-Mail:

Thaipusam wish:- 1) Grant all hindu temples state land,

2) Build overhead railway bridge to preserve historical walk path to Batu Caves.

In conjunction with your goodselves maiden visit to Batu Caves on the occasion of Thaipusam this evening, we call upon your goodeself to announce, make public, distribute and post on the Prime Minister’s website the government’s written policy decision in an official circular on the letterhead of the Prime Minister’s office that :-

1) All hindu temples in Malaysia are forthwith granted government land in situ that is where the said hindu temples are situated presently.

2) Also that from this year’s Thaipusam (2010) onwards your goodselves direct that there shall be no more hindu temple demolishments in Malaysia.

With the above, the government would be seen to be abiding by Article 11 of the Federal Constitution and not committing any further and future offence of defiling a place of worship in contravention of Section 295 of the Penal Code which offence is in any event punishable with two years jail but which the UMNO Attorney General consciously does not prosecute and so the offence continuing with impunity.

We have received numerous complaints this year about the congestion, inconvenience and in fact obstruction to Freedom of Religion in contravention of Article 11 of the Federal Constitution arising out of the new railway line works which has blocked off the original and historical Thaipusam walkway to Batu Caves. “New rail tracks pose a problem for devotees” (Star Metro 29/01/2010 at page M3).

The government knows of the pre existing especially the annual week long Thaipusam celebrations with some two (2) Million people congregating at Batu Caves an Thaipusam day, Batu Caves being the leading tourist attraction site in Malaysia and a potential World Heritage Site.

Your goodself should not be seen to be coming to Batu Caves empty handed to merely fish for the crucial and critical Indian votes!.

We hereby call upon your goodself at this evening’s Thaipusam visit to also announce the building of an Elevated Railway Bridge to the Batu Caves Railway Station and thereby preserving the original and historical walk path to the Batu Caves hindu temple as has been the tradition in over the last 200 years.

We could off hand remember at least two recent precedents of this being done ie the elevated overhead highway next to the Ar Rahim Mosque in Pantai and the elevated highway next to the Rasah Railway gate to preserve the local Rasah Mosque.

Mr Prime Minister, the same can certainly be done for Batu Caves what more when it is soon anticipated to be recognized as a United Nations World Heritage Site.

Thank You.

Your Faithfully,



Secretary General (pro-tem)



Thaipusam: Selangor MB’s stage upstaged by Najib’s stage

Having denied all hindu temples in Selangor state government land, this PKR Selangor Menteri Besar is so desperate for the crucial and critical Indian votes that he is prepared to erect a stage at Batu Caves just to fish for Indian votes. Justice Party? (Refer The Star 29/1/2010 at page N 18)

However this Selangor MB’s stage was upstaged by Najib’s stage. To us it does not matter whether Rama or Rawana rules as neither UMNO nor PKR, DAP or PAS offers a permanent and lasting solution in giving all hindu temples in Malaysia state government land and to put to an end to the indiscriminate hindu temple demolishments in Malaysia.

Our Indian minority and human rights struggle will continue irrespective of Najib or Anwar Ibrahim..

P. Uthayakumar


Batu Caves: Selangor MB speaks from lorry - Anil Netto

Barred from setting up a stage, Selangor Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim nonetheless addressed a large Thaipusam crowd at Batu Caves late last night – from the back of a lorry, just like in the old days.

The view of the huge crowd from the lorry - Photo by an eyewitness

Selangor state government leaders took to the stage – actually, they were barred from setting up a stage – after Prime Minister Najib had left at around 11.15pm. (The PM, accompanied by his wife Rosmah and Cabinet members had arrived at 9.10pm and immediately launched into a charm offensive. Malaysian Insider report here.)

Not to be outdone, Khalid, his state exco members, and the Adun for Batu Caves, Amir Sari, then clambered onto a truck and spoke before a crowd of thousands near the viaduct not far from the main entrance to Batu Caves.

“When we got there this evening, we heard that the police had issued a warning that they would arrest us for illegal assembly if the planned stage was put up,” said a Selangor state exco member, when contacted. “But the local council came to our rescue and improvised with their enforcement truck.”

About 15 police personnel arrived while Khalid was addressing the crowd from the lorry but they were somewhat hindered by the crowd, according to the exco member. Selangor state exco member Dr Xavier Jayakumar then jumped down and negotiated with the police for “15 minutes more”.

This is the first time the Selangor state government is taking part in the celebration, with a tent at the site serving almost like a state government ‘open house’.

Kugan press conference, Woman shot 5 times, Gunasegaran

by Nathaniel Tan

I attended a press conference with Kugan’s family and their lawyers this morning, and since there were so few press, I felt I should report a little on the proceedings.

By way of quick background, the family had some time ago successfully filed for a court order directing the police to return the samples taken from Kugan’s post-mortem.

The police eventually did, BUT it turns out that they

a) failed to return one particular sample, and

b) failed to freeze another sample accordingly, rendering it useless.

The lawyers are basically now saying that the police are in contempt of court, having possibly tampered with and destroyed evidence.

The situation really is getting out of hand. At another press conference yesterday, there was an attempt to publicise the case of an innocent woman who was shot five times by the police :P Apparently no press picked it up (more on that to come).

I also talked to another gentleman about the Gunasegaran death in custody, and I’m hoping to receive more info on the inquest proceedings that passed (and beginning again on March 8th :P ).

He spoke about how both Gunasegaran and Teoh Beng Hock died, but how there was almost no one at the former’s inquest except his sister.

On a slightly more positive note, he said that this was perhaps the first time in a death in custody case that there were eyewitnesses to the crime. Perhaps there may be the faint glimmer of hope for justice.