Re :1)Opposition Leader’s Emergency Motion on police shoot to kill
policy of Indian suspects.
2) Royal Commission of Inquiry
3) Two eye witnesses saw police sharp shooters in baclava and bullet
proof vests executing Indians victims
We refer to the above matter and to our letter to the Honourable Prime Minister and Home Minister dated 9th of April 2010 which is self explanatory (copy enclosed).
Although the Indians make up only about 8% of the Malaysian population we estimate 95% of these local victims to be the Malaysian Indians.
For the first time there are three eye witnesses who had witnessed this police sharp shooters in baclava (face mask) and bullet proof vests executing these two Indian victims in Taiping on 8/4/2010.
From our personal examining of the deceased and photographs all the bullet marks were on the heads of both victims and on one victim on his right side ribs indicating that he had carried up his hands and surrendering to the police when he was shot dead.
During a Hindraf and HRP protest procession carrying the coffins in front of the Taiping police headquarters on 11/4/10 the Taiping police OCPD had even refused to apologise to the bereaved family when specifically demanded to do so by our P. Uthayakumar. This only indicates that the police do not regret their actions and would do it again at the appropriate time.
In the circumstances we hereby call upon your goodselves to move an emergency motion in Parliament within the next two (2) days and also call upon the government to forthwith and in any event within two(2) weeks from the date hereof to form a Royal Commission of Inquiry on this police special action forces shoot to kill policy of mere Indian suspects further to unofficial shooting orders. Also to inquire into whether the police were themselves “partners” in the crimes as they had allowed 18 alleged crimes to be continuously committed in a short space of time. Why weren’t they apprehended and prosecuted on the second or third crime itself. Why did the police have to wait for 18 crimes and finally gunning them down by playing the singular role of Judge, Jury, Prosecutor and Executioner. This is not only not the law in Malaysia but in any part of the world and which is bordering barbarism and no where near a civil society.
RPK, let me join in the debate.
I applaud you for your open and venturesome persona. You add a lot of color to our political scene. You have a lot of connections within the system –you do get more information than most of us can. You are articulate. You are bold, very bold. I must concede all of this to you.
But one thing we must all be clear about is that no one has monopoly over perceptions of the truth, for that is just an impossibility. You cannot think the truth you have is any more true than the truth I or any body else have. All we have is our perception of the truth which truth is a distorted version of reality fitting in with our need for self preservation.
So, please pardon me, if I accuse you of being too self assured in your version of the truth. In your version of the truth, it is the leaders of Hindraf that are a problem not the Hindraf grassroots.
This is always the case isn’t it, when you want something and a leader group does not allow you beyond them to the common group. Then what do you say, these leaders are the problem, these outsiders are the problem, only a few of them are the problem, the rest are OK and so on. Didn’t the Brits say that about all those fellows who opposed them when they ran this country. Didn’t the whites say that about Mandela and his gang of ANC leaders in South Africa. Didn’t the white establishment say that about Malcolm X in the United States of America. What is the difference between all of that and what you are now saying.
From your writings of the last two days, this is what I can conclude – you are exasperated at the fact that the Hindraf leaders are turning away from supporting PR in the Hulu Selangor by elections. PR needs all the Indian votes to have a clear win and the Hindraf leaders do no want to intervene for PR. And you know exactly which Hindraf Leaders do not want to intervene –you are not acting dumb here, I must say.
Actually if you can listen simply to what the Hindraf leaders are saying, it actually is not that complicated to get their support and the support of the people they lead. They will not be a problem any more. And the leaders of Hindraf know exactly what they are talking about, so it is all very simple.
All this while we had conniving leaders or corrupt leaders who would go along with the Tuans and the Towkays. In Hindraf lexicon we call such “disempowered” leaders Mandores. They cannot and do not represent – the poor and dispossessed. The Hindraf leaders that you call a problem will not be corrupted no more, not with seats, not with concessions, not with the spoils of power. They seek nothing short of equal rights, equal treatment and equal opportunities. They want some things more fundamental. That, is the problem you see.
There is a mismatch in paradigms.
You call us racists – yet Hindraf is totally committed to article 8 of the constitution which provides for equality for all citizens. You equate us with Perkasa, their position is a complete reverse of ours on Article 8, and yet you in all your wisdom equate us with them. How about you and Anwar, can both of you come in the open and say you are committed to Article 8 and openly declare that you would dismantle any race based policies that benefit any particular race. If you both can say this openly then the first step to closing the gap in our paradigms would have been taken.
How can you call us racists when we have such a clear position on Article 8. Racists are those that subscribe to the belief that one race is superior to all others. RPK, can you quote one time when Hindraf has asserted that, just one time. I can recount numerous instances in the past where Anwar has been guiltyof that.
And you RPK are a racist not by commission but by omission. What specific issue have you championed of the marginalized Indians per se. Don’t want to hear about the lobbying you did for representatives in the last GE. We are talking here about representation not representatives. Three days ago two Indians were shot dead in cold blood by the police – do you know or do you care, where is the outrage? Where, man?
You call us racists on that basis, because of our narrow focus on Indian issues, what about your total non focus on these same issues. And this is not a lament. We have gone past that. We will take care of all that ourselves even if you call us racists.
But now if you want for things to thaw and towards alignment of paradigms then the first thing is to stop playing games and get real. Stop denying knowledge of who the true Hindraf leaders are. As long as you play this game we can only have a stalemate. In playing your games you lose valuable time. The Hindraf leaders may raise hard issues,but these are real issues, ask any man on the road and you do know a lot of them, just ask them and you will get a earful
Get your dear friend Anwar Ibrahim to sit down and talk with us. As long as we do not talk in forthright fashion we will not go past this stalemate and we in Hindraf/HRP have resolved that we will go our own way no matter. And by the way, we do not see a dead end, we see new possibilities ahead. We are not in a hurry. We are set for the long haul.
So instead of just getting exasperated and resorting to Hindraf bashing, maybe you should become constructive and see how your good friend Anwar Ibrahim can concede to some of the demands of Hindraf that is now within the 4 States’ authority. The ball has been in Anwar’s court for some time now already. See if you can move it.
When Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak visits the United States this week, US government officials should press him to end Malaysia’s institutionalised system of discrimination against non-ethnicMalaysians.
When Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak visits the United States this week, US government officials should press him to end Malaysia’s institutionalised system of discrimination against non-ethnicMalaysians.
As a first step, Malaysia should agree to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), a UN treaty already ratified by 173 countries.
In Washington, the Malaysian prime minister is scheduled to meet with US President Barack Obama, administration officials and members of Congress.
The current insitutionalized system of discrimination originated with the 1970 “New Economic Plan”, which established wide-ranging policies in favour of Bumiputeras, or "sons of the soil". This category encompasses ethnic Malays and certain groups of Indigenous people, who together comprise the majority of the country’s population.
In a 30 March speech unveiling a new economic plan, Prime Minister Najib himself acknowledged the need to reform these policies, stating: “For too long, the implementation of our affirmative action policies has not reached those who needed them the most.” He announced reforms to the policy favouring Bumiputeras over other ethnic groups, saying it would be market-friendly, merit-based, transparent and needs-based.
The UN Human Rights Committee has established that countries have the prerogative to take affirmative action against conditions that cause discrimination. However, it also said that this action is legitimate only “as long as such action is needed to correct discrimination in fact”.
But Malaysia’s current policies favouring Bumiputeras institutionalise racial discrimination across a number of key areas, including education and employment.
In education, for example, non-Malay students are banned from attending the state-owned University Teknologi Mara (UiTM), which has a student body of 120,000. In 2008 the government rejected a proposal to reverse this policy.
In employment, preferential quotas in the civil service privilege the Malay majority. For example, in early 2010, Malays accounted for 98.47% of civil service jobs in Johor state, according to its Chief Minister. Meanwhile, around 54% of the state’s population is Malay.
Issues of racial discrimination cannot be discussed publicly in Malaysia without running the risk of prosecution under criminal law. After it published a letter criticising Malay “special rights”, the website Malaysiakini was raided by police in 2003 and closed down temporarily under the Sedition Act.
In 2008 the group HINDRAF, advocating for equal rights for Malaysian Indians, was banned under the Societies Act. Five of its leaders were detained without charge for several months under the Internal Security Act, although they were all subsequently released.
As Malaysia is currently seeking a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, it should ratify CERD without delay, to demonstrate to UN members that it is serious about ending racial discrimination.
TAIPING: Similar to a scene in Palestine, scores of people paraded the coffins of two brothers killed in a shootout with the police along the streets of Taiping on Saturday.
Led by Human Rights Party leader P Uthayakumar, the crowd demanded that a royal commission of inquiry be set up to probe the matter.
Over the years, Uthayakumar, who is also the force behind Hindraf, has accused the police of carrying out summary executions of suspected criminals, especially Indian Malaysians.
In the latest shootout which happened last Thursday, R Logeswaran, 38, and his younger brother Satchithananthan, 25, were blamed for a spate of armed robberies.
The funeral procession started from their house at around 2pm, where the hearses were led by a mall lorry fitted with a banner which read 'Police bunuh masyarakat India' and 'We want royal commission into the shoot to kill policy'.
According to Uthayakumar, some 200 people comprising friends, family and the public, took part in the procession.
“We wanted to take the coffins to the Taiping district police headquarters, but the police blocked us twice. After we passed through the first blockade, they parked police vehicles to prevent us from pressing on.
“I gave them two minutes to clear the vehicles. When they did not, we carried the conffins by hand. The police then cordonned off the road leading to the headquarters, but we managed to make our point,” he told FMT.
One of them was shot in the ribs
Uthayakumar said he also became embroiled in a heated argument with the police officers, when they attemped to stop the procession.
“I told the police officers that their IGP (inspector-general of police) is a fool, this is because with 100,000 men and women at his disposal, he failed to arrest two suspects,” he added.
Uthayakumar also claimed that there were two eyewitness who reportedly told him that the brothers were 'executed'.
“They said the brothers' car was sandwiched by two unmarked cars. Following this, several plainclothes policemen alighted and opened fire.
“When we examined the bodies, we found that one of them was hit in the ribs. This indicates that he had raised his hands to surrender, but was still shot,” he alleged.
Meanwhile, Uthayakumar said he will send a letter to Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim to table an emergency motion on the police's 'shoot-to-kill' policy in Parliament.
Last week, HRP had sent a letter to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein demanding that a royal commission of inquiry be set up.
Buzz over Najib-Obama talks (NST 12/4/2010 at page 4)
We have vide our letter to President Obama dated 6/4/2010 (see below) requested the President to raise with Malay-sian Prime Minister Najib Razak the plight of the state sponsored acts of UMNOs’ racism, religious extremism and supremacy against the ethnic minority Indians in Malaysia.
His Excellency Mr. Barrack Obama
President of the United States of America 7th April 2010
The White House By Fax :0012024562461
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW By E-Mail
Washigton DC 20500
United States of America
Dear Mr. President, Re : SOS ethnic minority Malaysian Indians.
You have been an inspiration to all the world. You have become the President of the most powerful country in the world against significant odds with your message of change for a system of governance based on the needs of the common people. This message is something the world over needs very badly.
It was in 1965 that the United States of America granted to its citizens impartial and universal suffrage, through the passage of the National Voting Rights Act 1965. At this time Malaysia was already 8 years independent and with a democratic system based on universal suffrage, surprisingly ahead of the United States of America in this fundamental area.
In the ensuing 45 years, the United States of America has gone from that position to an extremely forward position where a first generation son of an immigrant and a member of a minority ethnic community can become its President and Chief Executive. That is tremendous social and political progress, for any nation, in any period of history. And you Sir, have contributed to that with your eloquence and clarity on your message of change.
However the situation here in Malaysia has not shown anywhere near that progress. Au contraire, the situation has regressed steeply from the sound position of universal suffrage and Equal Rights in 1965 to one where several fundamental rights enshrined in the Malaysian Federal Constitution has steadily eroded for the minority communities in particular for the ethnic minority Malaysian Indians who suffer the worst forums of state sponsored violations of human rights but who unfortunately receive the least attention at home and in the international fronts. These ethnic minority Indians have no or very little political or economic power unlike the other minority Chinese community who control the economy and have some political power. That has caused a fractured society in Malaysia – into an ethnocentric Malaysia. This is directly the handiwork of the ruling UMNO party – the leading and also the same majority community political party over the last 52 years.
The following fundamental rights have been violated :
1) Equal rights as citizens as enshrined in Article 8 of the Malaysian Federal Constitution has been replaced with a two tiered rights system – one for the majority Malay-Muslim Native (Bumiputra) community and another for the minority non-Malay, non-Muslim, non native (Bumiputra) communities. This has been facilitated by the distorted interpretation of Article 153 of the Malaysian Federal Constitution.
The non-Malay, non Muslim communities continue to be classified by the UMNO led Malaysian government theoreticians as immigrant communities, even though we have been domiciled in Malaysia for 5 or 6 generations or maybe even more. The result today is an institutionalised ethocentric two tiered socio-political system.
2) Resulting from the above two tiered system, especially the minority Indians populace of the country which number about 8% of the total population has been denied equal opportunities in social development, in land redistribution, in distribution of the country’s wealth in education – from primary level all the way to the tertiary level , in job opportunities in the entire Government apparatus and in all the front end of the socio-economic development efforts of the Government and also in the private sector, to name just a few of the areas of discrimination.
Another associated erosion of rights is in cases where there is a crossover between Islam, the religion of the majority community, and one of the other religions of the minorities, as in cases of forced religious conversions, marriages, divorces, inheritance rights, choice and freedom of religion, statehood, to name the major areas. In many cases the rulings of the Sharia court has been applied in violation of the provisions of the Federal Constitution. The minority non-Muslims are guaranteed that the Federal Constitution is the Supreme law of the land. The Sharia court has steadily encroached upon this right of the minority non-Muslims supported by the state apparatus, resulting in non Muslim citizens being deprived of what the Fedral Constitution has guaranteed.
3) In area of practice of Religion, the Malaysian Federal Constitution guarantees freedom to the practice of religion in Article 11. However in practice we experience a steady erosion of this right. Places of worship of the Hindus and Christians have been destroyed and /or desecrated. Most of these demolitions are state supported. Specifically in the last 5 years in excess of 200 Hindu places of worship is estimated to have been demolished. This is in direct violation of the provisions for equal rights in the practice of religion. There are other associated impediments the minorities of the country face in the practice of their respective religions and associated traditional practices.
4) In the area of citizenship, there are a significant number of Indian minority citizens who have been denied their due right as citizens of this country in direct violation of especially Article 14 the Federal Constitution. It is estimated that there could be anywhere up to 150,000 stateless children and another 300,000 such stateless adults even fifth and sixth generation Malaysian born Indians. This is directly an outcome of the operation of the ethnocentric political system of Malaysia through its state apparatus.
There are many more areas of violations of our Fundamental rights in the ethnocentric system that has developed in Malaysia more particularly as per our “Human Rights Violations Against the Ethnic Minority Malaysian Indians. HRP Briefing for foreign and diplomatic missions in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia on 26/3/2010. http://www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com/2010/03/26/hrp-briefing-for-foreign-and-diplomatic-missions-in-kuala-lumpur-malaysia-2/. For your information Sir, on this occasion the United States Ambassador to our country had sent two of their representatives, whose attendance we greatly appreciated.
In the interest of brevity, I shall not delve into them all. I think my point is abundantly made here, that the rights of minorities in particular of the Malaysian Indians in various respects has been and continues to be reduced in Malaysia in direct violation of the guarantees in the Malaysian Federal Constitution.
There is a significant need for the application of modern modes of thinking into the area of governance in our country, so we can turn this rather bleak and retrogressive position around. Significant political will has to be created for the introduction of such modern modes of thought, as inertia is great in all these areas. We seek your help Mr. President in this respect.
We understand our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak will be visiting you shortly. We request you Sir, to raise these significant issues of the violation of fundamental rights of minority communities in Malaysia in particular the ethnic minority Malaysian Indians to help us gain some leverage. We are sure that with your reference to these matters on the basis of their fundamental nature, you will be able to contribute to change here in Malaysia. We look forward to the same.
Thank you Mr.President.
Secretary general (pro tem)
c.c His Excellency Mr. James R. Keith
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Embassy Of The United States Of America
376, Jalan Tun Razak, By Fax : 03-21422207
50400 Kuala Lumpur E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
We understand that out of the Selangor 2010 Budget of RM 1.9 Billion only RM 4 Million or approximately 0.2% is the allocation is for the half a million or so Indians in Selangor. Tuans Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Tan Sri Khalid then get their Exco and other Indian mandores to give out these peanuts a la MIC (refer MO 12/4/10 pg 8), plus maybe a little more, exactly as what MIC has done all these 52+ years.
The Mandores give out the peanuts on a day to day basis and fill up the pages of the local Tamil Dailies. This helps maintain the illusion of State benevelonce and keeps the Mandores looking good and afloat.
But PKRs’ Anwar Ibrahim and Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim have refused to grant Selangor State government land to all the partially aided Tamil schools in Selangor which would make them eligible for full financial aided status by the Federal UMNO government. This will be substantive and will go towards consolidating the foundation of education for the Indian poor. Instead PKRs’ Anwar Ibrahim and Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim give out peanuts, through their Mandores, wearing garlands, holding mock cheques and creating an illusion of a responsive government, inspite of the hundreds and thousands of requests we put out on a daily basis to give state land to these schools.
To date they have refused to answer why they do not give land to the Tamil Schools. We believe it is because they will lose Malay votes.
So, now please tell us who has a racist agenda! Anwar Ibrahim or Hindraf. If what we say is not true then we want an answer that is true to this question – “ Why does the PR government in the 4 states, not give land to the Tamil Schools.”
UMNO government Selayang hospital demands full payment from Indian poor before knee operation
The doctor who examined him told him to pay RM5,000 to a private company operating in the hospital for the medicine and equipment.
He initially raised RM 2,500 from friends and relatives and paid the money but was informed that the operation could not proceed unless the balance was settled.
Alagesan said the operation commenced only after he paid the balance. He said it was surprising as they were supposed to help the poor but were demanding full payment before treatment, and that a private company was operating in a government hospital and collecting payments and issuing receipts. (The Star 8/4/2010 at page N 50).
This is how racist and religious extremist UMNO can be to the Indian poor. In the RM 191.5 Billion 2010 national budget millions have been allocated for healthcare but which does not reach the Indian poor. This case is just the tip of the iceberg of such blatant discrimination to the Indians. We have received scores of similar complaints.
At worst UMNO gets their Jakim, Pusat Urus Zakat, Baitulmal, Yayasan Islam, etc., to help out such deserving Malay muslim cases.
But the Indians are maliciously left to suffer and silently suffer.
UMNO Bureaucracy: 84% or 1,100 Kajang Tamil school pupils forced to study in 3 neighboring schools
The Kajang Tamil school has 1,300 pupils (UM 7/4/10 at page 27). Because of a deliberate delay by the UMNO bureaucracy some 84% or 1,100 pupils from standard 1 to 5 have to be sent away to three different nearby (malay) schools as there is a shortage of classrooms in their school.
The new school building has been delayed because of the UMNO led government bureaucracy. Presumably by some of the 1,016,799 Biro Tatanegara racist “graduates” in their attempt to “ethnically cleanse” these Tamil schools.
We have never heard or read newsreports of these set of facts happening to any Malay school.
Why? Why is it always the Tamil schools?
This school should have been ready by December 2009 so that the pupils could start afresh in January 2010.
Can u imagine the logistics hardships in administering 1,100 young and many “hyper” pupils in three different nearby schools.
Even the local Kajang PKR Assemblyman does not care. And PKR’s 78 MPs’ and their leaders too do not care as the victims are merely Indian pupils. But they are all supposed to be multi-racial raising issues of all communities. We have not heard of Malay or Chinese PR MPs raising these issues. But for HRP raising these injustices their leader accuse it as Hindraf’s “racist agenda”.
If and only if this and the scores of the other critical Indian problems had been appropriately taken up by these especially 78 PKR, DAP and PAS MPs, Hindraf and HRP would not have existed and neither would the 100,000 Indians have taken to the streets on the 25th of November 2007.
R. Shan sent a letter to the editor lambasting me on my yesterday’s article on Hindraf (I’m part Orang Asli and proud of it). Instead of publishing it in the letters section I have decided to publish this letter in this column so that I can reply to it. This is my rebuttal to R. Shan’s rebuttal. I have not edited the letter to avoid being accused of changing anything -- so forgive me for the typos.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Dear Shan, first of all, in all sincerity, thank you for responding to my article. Most people post comments in this Blog praising me and while I appreciate the gesture it leaves me very little room to sharpen my debating skills -- which I am most proud of seeing that I debated teams of six or seven Special Branch officers during my ISA detentions in 2001 and 2008 and won each time. I even sent the so-called religious scholars from JAKIM packing during our debate on Islam. So I need the training in the event I, again, need to face my jailors in a debate.
Sorry about praising myself in that first paragraph but, as I said, I speak in all sincerity and this is, after all, a no holds barred column.
Okay, now let us get down to your points. Maybe I should have added “according to the point of view of most or many Malays” and then make my observations as I did.
You see, when I write, I do not always just give my point of view but the point of view of the man on the street. Malaysia Today is a sounding board of public opinion. For example, I whack Anwar Ibrahim and the Selangor Menteri Besar, Khalid Ibrahim, but when I meet them face-to-face I hug them.
I whack Anwar and Khalid because the people who voted for Pakatan Rakyat in the last general election are unhappy about certain things and they express this unhappiness to me. It is my duty, therefore, to raise these concerns so that Anwar and Khalid can get the feel of the pulse of the nation about how they have performed since 8 March 2008.
So, what I write may not always be what I personally feel but what the majority perceive. You can say I sort of play the Devil’s Advocate when I express my views.
When I said that Hindraf should invite us to participate in or join their cause, I did not mean they should send me an official letter or a printed invitation card. But if word is sent out rest assured we would be there.
For example, the Hindraf supporters once did prayers at a Hindu temple in Batang Kali. We were told about it and Sam Haris and a few of the Bloggers/activists, some Malay, attended that event. P.I. Bala’s nephew was also there and we spent some time talking so he can testify to our presence that night.
Being Malay and therefore Muslim it was certainly a sensitive issue. I mean, attending prayers at a Hindu temple would be frowned upon and Umno would have whacked us good and proper had they found out. Nevertheless, we went anyway although when they conducted the prayers we did not also pray but stood in the background to just watch.
There was one Indian Special Branch officer there and his presence was clearly meant to intimidate those who came for the prayers since it was a Hindraf organised event. I went up to the Special Branch officer to ask him whether he was a Hindu and he said yes. I then asked him whether he is not ashamed of himself. He is Hindu and yet he is trying to disrupt the prayers while Muslims like us support the effort. He walked off after that, probably quite embarrassed that a Muslim was telling a Hindu not to disturb the Hindus trying to pray.
The reason I and those other Malay activists attended the prayers at the Hindu temple was because it was organised by Hindraf and we support the Hindraf cause, even if it involved attending prayers in a Hindu temple. Unfortunately, other than that prayer event in the Hindu temple in Batang Kali (and another in Jalan Bandar in KL), we were not invited to any other Hindraf event, which was quite disappointing.
I know that Hindraf is not a registered organisation so there is no way we can fill in a form and pay RM1 to become an official member. But there are ways we can ‘join’ Hindraf, if you know what I mean.
In the run-up to the 8 March 2008 general election, YB Ronnie Liu, Bala of Bangsar, my wife, and I, went to Manoharan’s house in Puchong to meet his wife. The purpose of the visit was to send a message to the five Hindraf ISA detainees in Kamunting (Hindraf 5) and convince them to contest the general election. Of course, there was no way we would have been allowed to visit the Hindraf 5 in Kamunting so we had to ‘speak’ to them through Manoharan’s wife.
Our idea was that we would help get five parliament seats for all the Hindraf 5 to contest. In the meantime, we spoke to PKR, DAP and PAS asking them for five seats. If DAP can give Hindraf just two seats then PKR can give them another two and maybe one from PAS. I also spoke to Dr Zul of PAS and asked him whether PAS was prepared to give them five seats in the event DAP and PKR does not have spare seats seeing that it was a bit late in the day and all the seats were already taken.
PAS was quite prepared to shuffle their candidates around and try to accommodate the Hindraf 5 in the event DAP and PKR had no spare slots. Dr Zul actually found it quite exciting that an Islamic party will be opening its doors to Hindu activists. Imagine an Islamic party that had always been portrayed as extremist fields five Hindu activists under its banner.
If you can remember, PAS did, in fact, field one Indian candidate in Johor. And it was a woman on top of that. She was a lawyer and Hindu of course. That was Ustaz Mahfuz’s handiwork and I thought it was a great move although, unfortunately, she did not win mainly because Johor was a tough state to win. Now, if she had contested further North instead, she would most likely have won.
I told Ronnie that I had spoken to Dr Zul and most likely PAS will accommodate all five Hindraf detainees in Kamunting. At the DAP convention in Penang that same weekend, Ronnie made a press statement and announced that DAP is going to offer seats to all five Hindraf detainees in Kamunting. Bala of Bangsar was also there and he was beaming from ear to ear.
Even Lim Kit Siang was taken off-guard because the party had yet to discuss the matter and come to an agreement on offering the Hindraf 5 seats to contest.
Anyway, the press announcement had been made and there was no turning back (very naughty of Ronnie). Ronnie said he was prepared to offer his Pandamaran state seat to Charles Santiago if Charles was prepared to give his Kelang parliament seat to Hindraf. Ronnie would therefore not contest the general election if need be. He was prepared to make a personal sacrifice for Hindraf (and today he would not be a Selangor EXCO Member).
Manoharan’s wife came back from Kamunting and told us that only one, Manoharan himself, wanted to contest the election. The other four were not interested. Furthermore, Manoharan wanted to contest a state seat, not a parliament seat.
We were devastated. We had hoped all five would contest the general election and that they would contest parliament seats, not state seats. The Indian cause is a national issue and Parliament would have been a better platform to further their cause. What can one do in the State Assembly, especially if the state was under Barisan Nasional and you are merely an opposition State Assemblyman (of course we did not know then that Pakatan Rakyat would win Selangor)?
My wife then spoke to Manoharan’s wife to try to organise a support group for the wives of the Hindraf detainees. This was what they did in 2001 when the Reformasi activists were detained under the ISA and sent to Kamunting. This wives support group was later extended to the wives of the JI, KMM, etc., detainees.
Wives of ISA detainees suffer as much as their husbands under detention. They need not only financial support but also counselling as well because of the mental trauma they have to endure. And my wife wanted to see how the women can help the wives of the Hindraf 5 (or 4 wives as one is not married).
The sad thing is my wife was told that the Hindraf wives do not talk to each other. It seems their husbands in Kamunting had quarrelled and no longer talk to each other. So the quarrel in Kamunting spilled over to their wives.
When I was sent to Kamunting in September 2008 I kept in touch with the Hindraf 5. I also wrote an official letter to the prison authorities requesting to be transferred to the Hindraf block. The camp commander called me to his office and asked me which Hindraf group I wanted to move in with. There are three groups, he told me.
I then spoke to one of the guards who I had befriended and asked him about what was going on in the Hindraf block and he told me that the five are now split into three groups and have in fact requested to be transferred to separate blocks. I was quite disturbed. Nevertheless, I kept in touch with all five and did not take sides in the quarrel. Uthaya actually helped smuggle paper and pen to my cell so that I could continue writing my articles.
On the Anwar Ibrahim EDM that you mentioned, it is very true that Moorthy was the person who initiated it. The EDM was actually my idea and I thought that since Moorthy is in London and had all the right contacts then maybe he could help. So I got in touch with Moorthy, as a person and not as Hindraf, and requested his help. It was more a personal thing.
Somehow Hindraf’s name emerged as the initiator of the EDM but this was not a problem as what is important is the success of the exercise and not whose idea it was or whose effort made it possible. And certainly we must thank Moorthy for this.
So you see, Shan, behind the scenes we have been making all sorts of attempts to work with Hindraf and support the Indian cause. Though things did not quite work out as what we had hoped, nevertheless it was not because of lack of trying. We understood that Hindraf may be new at this activist game and is still feeling its way around. If the Hindraf 5 had all accepted our offer to contest the general election as parliamentary candidates they would have won because they would have been given safe and sure-win seats. And, today, we would have five Hindraf leaders in parliament where they could pursue their cause further at national level.
In spite of there being no card-bearing members of Hindraf, I still would like to be part of Hindraf so that the perception amongst the Malays that Hindraf is a racist organisation can be dispelled. How can Hindraf be racist when Malays too join them? And there would be many Malays who would ‘sign up’ as a Hindraf member.
This is also a good measurement of Hindraf’s support. If Hindraf can sign up one million members then this proves it is relevant. If it gets only a handful of members then Hindraf would understand that it does not really have that support it thinks it has.
Maybe it is time that Hindraf register itself and if it cannot get registered in Malaysia, as it most likely can’t, then Hindraf should register offshore like in the UK. What’s to stop Hindraf from registering the organisation in the UK? And since Moorthy is in the UK he could easily do that. Then those from Malaysia who want to sign up as a card-bearing member of Hindraf can do so as a ‘Hindraf International’ member, legally registered in the UK.
You must understand, Shan, politicians only understand and respect peoples’ power. If the majority of the people are seen to be with you then politicians will sit up and listen. But if you were perceived as not that significant then politicians would be very slow in reacting. Hindraf has to show that it has mass support. And to do this you need everyone to stand up to be counted. This is not currently happening in Hindraf. Can you prove how many ‘members’ Hindraf has?
True, the Indian vote was a factor in the 8 March 2008 general election. But 8 March 2008 was a political Tsunami involving all races. It was not just about the Indian vote. Even if 100% of the Indian voters had voted opposition on 8 March 2008 but the Malays and Chinese had voted ruling party we would not have seen what we saw. Therefore, it was a unity of Malays, Chinese and Indians that made 8 March 2008 possible.
Therefore, while we applaud the Indian swing, we must not forget the Malay and Chinese swing as well. To talk as if only the Indians gave the opposition the 8 March 2008 win is downplaying the role of the other races. It was a combined effort and all races need to be applauded.
I personally saw Hindraf members in Kelang wearing PAS T-shirts and carrying PAS flags. They escorted me to a DAP ceramah in a temple while shouting “Makhal Sakhti” and “Allahuakhbar”. It was not even a PAS ceramah and the candidates were Chinese and Indians from DAP. I must admit that I cried when I saw this. When I got out of the car the Hindraf boys surrounded me and hugged me. How does one not cry when something like this happens?
There is much unhappiness at the top. The Indian leaders in Pakatan Rakyat moan and grumble. But lower down at the grassroots level the Indians from Hindraf are very united with their Malay and Chinese brothers and sisters. Whenever I attend ceramahs there are dozens of Hindraf activists surrounding me. They make sure that nothing happens to me.
At times I had to request my Hindraf ‘bodyguards’ to be not too overzealous and to allow the Indian supporters who want to hug me and shake my hand to come forward. My Hindraf bodyguards were of course worried that someone in the crowd might stab me with a knife or something like that. I told my Hindraf bodyguards that God will protect me and they responded with “Allahuakhbar!”
Shan, rest assured that I love my Hindraf brothers and sisters. Those who acted as my bodyguards placed themselves at great risk in their effort to protect me from any possible knife attack. One chap told me he had been instructed not to leave my side and in the event something happens he is to stop the knife with his body.
Shan, do you know that in some places where I went even the 08 boys came out to protect me? Yes, the 08 gangsters. I had Indian gangsters with long criminal records who wanted to make sure that I remained safe when I went round shaking the hands of the Indian supporters. And when I told them that I too used to ‘run’ with the 08 boys in Brickfields back in the 1960s they carried me on the shoulders. I felt quite embarrassed at being given this ‘royal’ treatment.
When the Indian port workers in Kelang celebrated Merdeka Day they asked me to grace the event by raising the Malaysian flag. I asked them why not give the honour to the Selangor Sultan or to one of the political leaders instead. After all, I am only a Blogger and of no significance. They replied that I am considered one of the Hindraf leaders so they wanted me to honour them by raising the Malaysian flag and give a speech to the Indians.
No, Shan, I do not wish to take over as the Hindraf leader. But the manner in which the Hindraf grassroots treat me can’t but make me feel I am one of them. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with the Hindraf grassroots. It is the leadership that is messing things up.
That is my view.
RPK – Are you factual or delusional on HINDRAF?
It is rather perturbing that someone of RPK’s statute is unable to distinguish between the true goals of HINDRAF and what it is made out to be.
Nobody questions your integrity nor your battle for Malaysians per say but however I feel that you maybe delusional in portraying HINDRAF as a racist organization.
In your recent writing, there was not an ounce of factual factor to prove HINDRAF racist except what subjectively that you have concluded. Such sweeping statement such HINDRAF and PERKASA are the same side the opposite coin only reflects, the illusion that is seldom observed in your writing unless you have your own agenda to state so in mere desperation for the opposition party.
HINDRAF does not have membership nor does it fail to engage other Malaysians, but whether other would join them is the question with such bigoted views. If they are such hard heads, then why should they take the trouble to organize the briefing in house of Common for the natives from East Malaysia as well as initiating the EDM for Anwar Ibrahim? You see, this is factual not illusion.
You further state that they must declare all non-Indians are not the enemy. Frankly if that was the case, the above would not have happened? Again, I feel you are delusional on the objectivity of HINDRAF. They never declared this, but that is a perception that you write on on you’re your own subjective notion.
Pre-election of 2008, HINDRAF supporters and rallied for the opposition even became PAS supporter to ensure the demise of UMNO and they supported even hapless donkeys that were put up by the opposition with an intention of hoping that they will be treated equally and fairly in a so called Malaysia and escape from the clutches of marginalization and discrimination that they had faced for the last 53 years. They vote for Malaysian not Indian. This is factual and not illusion.
Dear RPK, I don’t think HINDRAF has a problem with other Malaysians, but they are are more attuned towards the Malaysian Indian dilemma to bring the balance for the Indians who for far too long have been neglected and marginalized from the mainstream development of Malaysia. This is factual. Look around you, highest suicidal rate, highest crime rate, lowest literacy, business opportunity in form of percentage of the population, so who was the racist in sidelining this segment of the society if it is Malaysian that you clamour about? Where were all these Malaysians all this while until HINDRAF came?
Let’s not even look further, look at your newspaper advertisement for job opportunities, even there is racism as they is always what is the preferred race, so much for your illusional racism of HINDRAF.
Presently at least in your site, the grouses against HINDRAF seems to be directed because they are questioning the opposition on what has been done to protect and enhance the rights of the Malaysian Indians at least in their four states. Now do you think this is something unfair or just racist?
Look man, be practical, economically the Chinese are in power and politically and vote count basis, the Malays are in power, and that is very transparent if you see what happened in the pig abattoir issue in Kedah, as well as the 349 planned villages and 134 new villages with 110,000 and 102,000 titles respectively are to be given out irrespective of the National Land Council’s order, involving almost all Malay and Chinese owners and land recipients. Freehold titles were given for just RM63 to 110,000 planned villages (almost 99% Malay) and 102,000 (estimated to almost 99% Chinese) Chinese new villagers in Perak. The then PKR, DAP and PAS state government also allocated 1,000ha (about 2,500 acres) of land to nine Chinese schools.
Now, what happened to the Malaysian Indians at least in Perak, are you telling me they don’t have land issue for schools, crematorium, temples and squatters in Perak? What happened to them, aren’t they as much as Malaysian as those who have benefited with opposition? This is factual, not your figment of imagination that HINDRAF is racist.
The Malaysian Indians have also been the scapegoat and bashing boy, no matter who is in power, and presently have reached a tolerance level for those who despair. Someone have to battle for them genuinely and that is what HINDRAF have been doing without choosing or picking sides as long as the Malaysian Indians are given a fair share of what is just in reality not just some paper chase for the encapsulated opinion that your have in your illusion of HINDRAF.
So you want to join HINDRAF, why, you don’t even need an invitation, you can just pick the phone and call the relevant person and you know who they are. Talk to them see and understand their aspiration, then tell us your tale why do you think they are racist based on your own deduction of rationality from the horse’s mouth rather that one deluded for the political will under the current circumstances.
It is funny though, how easily you make calculation and write off the HINDRAF factor, but life is not all about calculation, but what is real and humane to deal with. Many times you repeat yourself that you are ready to support HINDRAF cause, yet contradict yourself in branding them as racist with an adulterated subjective layman synopsis without an objective. This conviction itself may prove to be a bridge to abridge your opinion if your see what is factual as oppose to what is delusional in your perception of HINDRAF as a racist.
Let me leave you with a quote – ‘Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools speak because they have to say something – Plato
The rally's estimated to be 100 000 people gathered outside the Petronas Twin Towers at midnight, early Sunday morning.At least 240 people were detained, but half of them were later released. One day before the rally, police arrested three HINDRAF lawyers, P. Uthayakumar, P. Waytha Moorthy and V. Ganabatirau for sedition charges. Uthayakumar and Ganabatirau posted bail of 800 Malaysian ringgits each, but Waytha Moorthy refused bail as a sign of protest.