Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dr Kua- Flinging the racist Label at Hindraf

Dr Kua Kia Soong, Director of SUARAM,

Listen all you people who have been flinging the ‘Racist’ label at Hindraf – if the 25 November 2007 uprising organized by Hindraf had not happened, we would not have had a political tsunami on 8 March 2008!

We can flail our arms and criticize the Hindraf leadership all we want but let us be “politically correct” about racism and who the racists are in Malaysia. Yes! It’s important to be politically correct on this issue because otherwise our political analysis becomes erroneous, leading to incorrect practice and more importantly, we let off the real villains!

Indians a Specially Oppressed Section
Hindraf happened because the marginalized Indians in this country are a specially oppressed section of the working class. It is an oppression that has taken on a racist character through the years, so much so that even middle class Indians; especially the youth have also become the victims of police brutality.

The Indian working class is among the poorest in the country and they do not have the benefit of affirmative action because they have been classified as “Non-bumiputera” . Indians are a minority in this country but they form the majority when it comes to statistics on deaths in police custody or police killings.

We should be glad the Hindraf uprising happened and the political ripple it created after the 2008 general elections. Credit should be given to their leaders for achieving this feat and for breaking the decades of MIC patronage and pacifism.

The uprising certainly did not happen through the MIC nor did it happen through the other political parties in this country no matter what they say now. It is pointless being wise after the event or to advertise your pristine party – the fact is, HINDRAF succeeded where the other political parties failed to do, namely, to mobilize the Indian masses to come out in revolt on 25 November 2007.

Right to Separate Organisation
Being a specially oppressed and marginalized section of the masses, it is the right of the Indian masses to organize separately just as the Black Movement developed in the West during the sixties. Similarly, women have the right to organize separately through their special circumstances as an oppressed section of the population.

But to then say that Indians or Blacks are “racist” or that feminists are “sexist” is to expose your own shortcoming and more importantly, to let off the culprits who cause racial oppression and gender oppression in our society.

Racism and Racial Discrimination in Malaysia
Racism or more specifically, “Bumiputeraism” has been the dominant ideology of the Malay capitalist class ever since May 13, 1969. It has been practiced under the guise of the “New Economic Policy” and that racism has been covertly disseminated through state institutions such as the Biro TataNegara all these years. It is a marvel that it has taken so long for this racist garbage perpetrated through the BTN to be exposed! Before long, we will hear of racist propaganda in other state institutions especially schools and hostels since the seventies.

In 1986, this racism was flagrantly espoused by Abdullah Ahmad in his infamous “Malay Dominance” speech in Singapore but the cat was let out of the bag when Mahathir had a spat with Nazri recently and they were calling each other ‘Racist’…

More recently, we have seen the formation of Perkasa, which is none other than UMNO’s alter-ego. It has been delegated the role of the racist lobbyist traditionally played by UMNO Youth while UMNO tries desperately to change its spots to win over the Nons after the 2008 debacle.

The stereotypes created by this “Bumiputraist” racism to justify the New Economic Policy remain in circulation: We recently heard Perkasa shouting the old refrain that “the Chinese” still dominate the Malaysian economy. It was a cue for UMNO to continue the NEP in another guise, the New Economic Model. While this has populist appeal to win over the Malay voters, the main beneficiaries are the well-connected capitalists of diverse ethnicities under UMNO hegemony.

The marginalized Indians who make up some of the poorest and most oppressed sections among West Malaysians have been portrayed in a racist light. Thus Indians have been the main victims of racial killings such as at Kampong Medan in 2001, deaths in police custody as well as trigger happy police shootings. (See Policing the Malaysian Police, SUARAM 2005)

Our indigenous peoples and migrant workers have also been portrayed in a racist light and the recent historic uprising by our Orang Asli community was truly uplifting.

Having a separate organization does not of course guarantee that its leadership will be necessarily progressive. Since 2008, we have seen the Hindraf leadership split into various factions.

It is in the common interest of all communities to fight racism on a class basis. In this day and age, affirmative action is not justifiable for any ethnic community which has undergone class differentiation. Thus, I would think that neither the Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazanmurut nor Iban communities can justify any affirmative action. However, communities that are not yet class differentiated such as the Orang Asli and Penan communities may justify affirmative action as a particular community.

The best non-racist approach to progress is still affirmative action based on class or sector.

All progressive Malaysians must unite around their struggles and stop flinging the ‘racist’ label about. The racists are the Umnoputras who control the Malaysian state.

We hope that the true Hindraf leaders will stay faithful to their just cause and correctly identify the primary role of capitalism and the state in causing racial oppression suffered by the Indian masses. The struggle against the Malaysian state can only succeed if it is anti-racist.

At the same time, Hindraf must also work alongside other campaigns for justice, democracy and human rights. We can only mobilize the whole masses if we fight on all fronts, against all oppressions and against the divisions within the masses. As the Black Panthers said in the sixties:

“We do not fight racism with racism…
We fight racism with solidarity”.

Malaysian Police Shoot to Kill Policy- 2 Ethnic Indian youth shot dead-HINDRAF HRP

The beauty and history of over 20 local Hindu temples But never included Malaysian annals, history books & heritage.

statue batu caves The beauty and history of over 20 local Hindu temples But never included Malaysian annals, history books & heritage.
Why have these historical Hindu temples never made it into the annals and history books of Malaysia? Despite it’s rich history, these Hindu temples have never been made a heritage of this country.
But will all these Hindu temples still be preserved under this UMNO racist, religious extremist 53 year old rule?
Is UMNO waiting for the right moment to also “ethnically cleanse” these Hindu temples?
Karunai Nithi @ Compassionate Justice

temple 1 temple 2

ISA “freedom” first Tamil New Year

1 Today is the first Tamil New Year my colleagues the Hindraf lawyers and myself are celebrating with our families and loved ones since our release from ISA arrest, detention and “conviction” without trial for 514 days from 13/12/2007 to 9/5/2009.
Even though at work, I had the pleasure of receiving all day telephone calls and SMSes wishing me a Happy Tamil New Year.
At about 2.30 p.m I had chance to rush home to join my family for the first “freedom” Tamil New Year vegetarian lunch. It meant a lot especially after having missed it for two years.
Observing Tamil New Year behind bars at Kamunting Prison@ Malaysia’s Guantanamo Bay is in itself a form of torture that UMNO intended us to suffer and labour from.
My wife Indra recollected the last two years of our separated Tamil New Year and tears were rolling down her cheeks.
I never had and will never have any regrets for this, was, and is part and parcel of the Hindraf Makkal Sakthi people power struggle.
On this day I also recognise that had it not been because of the continuous and persistent Hindraf people power forces campaigning for our release, the nationwide Hindu temple prayers, people praying for us at home, we would all still be languishing in jail.
Irrespective by 3.45p.m. I am back in the office writing this piece.

Hulu S’gor: 1,977.428 acres for Malay Yayasan Basmi Kemiskinan Selangor. Zero land for 98 Tamil schools.

Hulu S’gor: 1,977.428 acres for Malay Yayasan Basmi Kemiskinan Selangor. Zero land for 98 Tamil schools.
khalid selangor mb “Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khlid Ibrahim berkata, berdasarkan laporan itu, Kerajaan Negeri menganugerhkan tanah seluas 1,977.428 ekar di beberapa daerah di Selangor” (Sinar Harian 14/4/2010 at page 2 (Sentral).
But despite our specific open and sincere pledge to help Zaid Ibrahim in the Hulu Selangor by-elections if Anwar Ibrahim and Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim can give us in black and white that they will alienate land for all 98 Tamil Schools in Selangor (which would in turn qualify them to receive full financial aid from the UMNO Federal government) they have refused to do so and refused our help!
Assuming the PKR Selangor state government approves ten acres per Tamil school it would only amount to 980 acres. But there is a precedent that for the poor Malay muslims Yayasan Basmi Kemiskinan Selangor was, without any fuss, alienated 1,977.428 acres of land that is about 2000% higher than the 980 acres we had requested for 98 Tamil schools in Selangor.
Is there any difference between PKR and the previous UMNO regime?
HRPs’ Project 15/38 is our only way forward.

Hulu sngor land 1Hulu Sngor land 2

The last post master: UMNO today denies Indians even this postmasters job

The last post master: UMNO today denies Indians even this postmasters job
umno logo In the United States of America the blacks succeeded in getting their voting rights pursuant to the Voting Rights Act 1965, ie., eight years after Malaysia’s independence when we got our first right to vote. But within 44 years USA has had a quantum leap by having it’s first black and ‘muslim’ President and Chief Executive of the USA in the person of Barack Husein Obama duly elected by the civil society, 90% of whom are white caucasian Americans.
Going by PKR’s Anwar Ibrahim’s standards there can never even be a single Indian MP or State Assemblyman as their sole criteria is Malay only candidates, as we see in Teluk Kemang, Lunas, Ijok and Hulu Selangor.
Similarly under the 53 year old UMNO regime rule, UMNO would not even give about the lowest level chief administrative job, ie., a post masters job to an Indian.
Today we get to hear about Indian postmasters only in the back obituary pages of the newspapers (see The Star 14/4/2010 at page N54).

today denies Indians even this post masters job

Hulu S’gor: Raw deal in BN. No deal in PR. 4th time in by-elections Indians are “played out”.

Hulu S’gor: Raw deal in BN. No deal in PR. 4th time in by-elections Indians are “played out”.
(The Sun 14/4/10 at page 6).
zaid ibrahim Even the racist and tyrant UMNO at every general elections gives the very least 9 Parliament seats and 20 state seats in Peninsula Malaysia to make sure that the Indians get their representatives.
But in so far as PKR is corcerned and going by the choice of latest Hulu Selangor precedent in the choice of only a Malay candidate in a traditional Indian seat, soon there would be no more Indian MPs’ and ADUNs’ in Malaysia as there is not a single Indian majority Parliament or State seats.
This PKR’s racist stand was first taken in the year 2000, in the Teluk Kemang by-election, then 2001 in Lunas by-election, in the 2006 Ijok by-election and now the 2010 Hulu Selangor by-election.
This is the fourth consecutive by-election that PKR has “played out” the Indians. Traditional Indians seats have been handed over to malay candidates. And at the same time promoting further racism in Malaysia as if UMNO’s racism is not enough.
Are PKR and Anwar Ibrahim going to bring about changes?
Are PKR and Anwar Ibrahim going to save the Indians when he gets to Putrajaya?
HRP’s 15/38 strategy is the only way forward.

Hulu Sngor Zaid