Wednesday, September 22, 2010

'Indian youths engineered into gangsterism'

(Malaysiakini) The Human Rights Party Malaysia (HRP) claims that Umno's social engineering has denied Indian youths the right to education, jobs, business mobility, loans and contract opportunities that has resulted in many of them turning to gangsterism and violent crime.

NONEProtem secretary general P Uthayakumar (right) alleged this has resulted in the emergence of a new Indian criminal underclass at levels disproportionate to the Indian community's 8 percent of the nation's population.

He says detaining such youths without trial under the Emergency Ordinance (EO) will not do; Indian gangsterism must be tackled at its roots.

He also hit out at the MIC who instead of addressing the root causes, blamed Tamil movies, lack of parental care, and lack of guidance by Indian NGOs and the Indian community.

Uthayakumar said this in an open letter to Premier Najib Abdul Razak and Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein dated Monday, copied to Malaysiakini today.

He was responding to an Utusan Malaysia report yesterday that called on the police to curtail increasing Indian gangsterism in light of the Sosilawati murder case.

Utusan Malaysia had also reported that 300 Indian youths were detained under the EO within four months in the Selangor alone.

'Overlooking root causes'

“We are against all forms of crime and violence, and are for appropriate action and punishment,” said the former ISA detainee.

jerit tamil school parliament protest 290307 ill“However, the government has to implement policies to solve the root causes of gangsterism and violent crimes by giving opportunities to higher education and business mobility, education scholarships, jobs, loans and contracts opportunities,” he said.

He said no Indian youth would want to become a gangster, if he was not denied educational opportunities.

That 523 Tamil schools are not fully aided and unable to function at optimum level contributes to the problem.

Scholarships from the government and GLCs for Indians are also limited, he said.
gemencheh tamil school 230107 schoolHe said Indian youths were also denied skills training such as that provided by Giat Mara Colleges for bumiputeras.
He lamented that the Indian community is also denied land ownership schemes such as what the Felda settlers receive, as well as equal higher education opportunities in public universities.

Denied business opportunities

Uthayakumar also claimed that the community has been denied business opportunities, licences, permits and APs to do business and participate in contracts and projects, and denied government and bank loans to assist in business.

hindraf batu cave 261107 demand dialogueHe quoted the Kuala Lumpur police chief from 10 years ago, Syed Abdul Rahman Syed Abd Kadir, who was reported to have said that having decent jobs and business opportunities would keep Indians out of gangs.

The reality however, said Uthayakumar, is that Indian youths are even denied licences to operate scrap metal shops, car washes, food, flower and fruit stalls and denied even garbage collection, security guard and car park contracts.

He said Indians were denied a host of other basic opportunities such as to run petrol stations, Ayamas outlets, Proton outlets and service centres, KFC and McDonald's outlets, low rental highway rest stop shops and local council stalls, and so on.

Stataless Indians- an epidemic?

Human Rights Part Sec-Gen P. Uthayakumar describes about the fate of 35-year-old Malaysian citizen Thayalan, who was not issued an Identity Card until last week. His ordeal had also affected his entire family, where most of them had to wait a long time to attain their birth certificates or ICs. He also speaks at length about the statelessness problem that is plaguing the Indian community in Malaysia as alleges the government as ‘denying’ the poor illiterate Indians their basic documents. Video by {Sunny Lim}, Citizen Journalist

Malaysia: Barbarian, Jackass, or Racist?

by Dinesweri Puspanadan,

When a young Malaysian bashed racist principals through his vulgar yet anti racist video clip, he ended up in the police station for 8 hours while the 'non racist' principals still wandering freely as 'investigation is under process'. Are they Barbarian, Jackass, or Racist? I do not know. You tell me!

When a 14-year old kid who sped off as police chased him ended up with bullets smashing his head while 'real murder; of a Mongolion model is still walking freely on the street. What we call people for this injustice? Barbarian, Jackass, or Racist? I do not know. You tell me.

When 4 undergraduates campaigned for opposition during a by election, they were charged while students who campaigned for the ruling party walked out with full of pride(Siap berani update kat Twitter and Facebook lagi ). What we call people who corrupt the judiciary? Barbarian, Jackass, Racist? I do not know. You tell me
When Malaysians called for equality, 'some vocal leaders' rose and argued 'brilliantly' that these 'ungrateful demanding people' were racists while a 'genius' and 'non racist' columnist warned Non Malays to not challenge and suggested the Indians and Chinese to 'migrate' to India and China, ironically failed miserably to be 'Hero Melayu'. Denying root someone? Barbarian, Jackass, or Racist? I do not know. You tell me.

When a 'charismatic' Malay leader delivered 'the most memorable speech' ; 'Shit Shit Shit' in Al Jazeera criticizing and insulting non Malays, people who supposedly champion 1Malaysia kept mum while the mentor of a successful nation who admonished Malaysia for its discriminating policies which marginalized people according their race, bashed by some Malaysians 'kononnya' he was trying to 'disrupt Malaysians' unity'. Are they Barbarian, Jackass, or Racist? I do not know. You tell me.

When Malaysians stood and performed peaceful protest to seek justice for an innocent man one year ago who died mysteriously, they were dispersed brutally whereas some 'extremists' who behaved like morons in the name 'protest to seek justice' at US embassy(Bersihkanlah daki di bahu sendiri dulu) were graced and showered with praises(not forgetting the 'Jalur Gemilang' on their shoulder). Are they Barbarian, Jackass, or Racist? I do not know. You tell me.

When an outspoken lady spoke the truth about Malaysia in an interview with Indonesia, she was stamped as a 'traitor' while when '1Malaysian' twisted his policies and continued to keep mum while his team busy bashing other races and spreading racial slurs, his component cronies shamelessly channeled their support to this '1Malaysian team'. Are they Barbarian, Jackass, or Racist? I do not know. You tell me.

When '40 percent truths and 60 percent lies' news portal released documents proving corruption at high level in the government, 'computer genius' blocked the website whereas when blogs like 'India membunuh Melayu' arised as two Indian lawyers arrested as suspects for Datuk Sosilawati's gruesome murder, 'computer genius' experienced 'short term memory lost' and forgot about blocking the Internet sites. (What a pity) .Are they Barbarian, Jackass, or Racist? I do not know. You tell me.

When a lady MP went into the 'surau' to give some donations to renovate the surau, she was slammed in the media and labeled as 'dirty' and interestingly many Al Quran illiterate strongly warned the Non Muslims that they should not enter Muslim's prayer space(Which Al Quran are they referring to? Their own version?) whereas when a group of 'extremists' protested the building of temple next to mosque by throwing cow heads into the temple, a 'non extremist' defended them and claimed that it was not wrong as they only voicing up their rights.Are they Barbarian, Jackass, or Racist? I do not know. You tell me.

When a group of constitutional literate people were campaigning to educate people on our constituency, a group of 'well educated graduates' twisted the issue and blamed that this campaign was giving a wrong impression about constituency (This happens if we do not have meritocracy where all Tom and Hardy become graduates). Are they Barbarian, Jackass, or Racist? I do not know. You tell me.

Why so many of complaints you wonder? All these to justify an act of some 'responsible and civilized Councilors' who put sleep 9 'uncivilized and aggressive dogs' which belong to the 2 suspect lawyers in Datuk Sosilawati's case. Since, some of our basic human rights are not recognized, it is ridiculous to expect them to hear the 'voices of these innocent animals'. Why punish these animals? You cant tell they belong to murderers so should be killed as those lawyers are suspects. in Malaysia, 'Seseorang tidak bersalah sehingga dibuktikan kesalahannya'.

Well, what else can we say about this nation and its ' idiotic dejavu' system where your own sperm could end up in your anus, a dead man writes suicide note after strangling himself, big jets could disappear out of sudden blue moon and submarine does not sink. What we call these people?Barbarian, Jackass, or Racist? I do not know. You tell me. Interestingly, there is still a big chunk of Malaysians refuse to see truths. Those speak up will be offered with ISA 'membership' while those tech savvy who 'pandai kipas' will be paid cyber troopers. Naive or dumb?

Sudah malas mau cerita. Lu pikir la sendiri!!!!!!

PS: May the 9 dogs which are also created by God who created you and me rest in peace. No religion in this world teaches racism and cruelty. No one has the rights to grab another person's rights. God made world and men are turning wrong. So how could man made religion and law would able to sustain its relevancy. Food for thought;wit tweet for twat.

Marginalisation, not Tamil movies, the cause of violence

M Nadarajah (Malaysiakini)

Another opinion, based on a selective use of mostly American studies on the relationship between media and violence, institutionalised by Consumers Association of Penang (CAP), suggests that the central agency causing the
problems within the Tamil community, in particular gangsterism, stems from the Tamils watching Tamil cinema.

Apparently, the Tamil cinema from Madras, India is the cause of Tamil Malaysians straying away from the path of expected positive community development. Solution: Get rid of Tamil films.

CAP has without doubt made major contributions to protecting the interest of the Malaysian consumers. But certainly it has done an unforgivable disservice to the Tamil/Indian community. Possessing a huge cultural capital and capable of influencing popular opinion, CAP seems to have been able to promote an argument that many, including the Malaysian government, like to

Tamil films are the cause of Tamil anti-social behaviour. A recent New Straits Times editorial (Sept 12, 2000) offers a view that is contrary to what CAP likes to believe. The NST correctly observed that the characters in the films that CAP, and others like CAP, love to attack - films like Thalapathi and Nayagan by a sensitive and creative Tamil filmmaker Mani Ratnam -
are really about poor people who have been forced into situations that have led them to resort to violence. CAP seems either completely ignorant or evasive of complex Indian realities.

CAP has also the habit, at least in this case, to offer selective support studies as evidence of the connection between media and violence. It mentions some American studies, for instance, while carefully avoiding others that throw doubt about these studies or tries to explain the relationship between the media and violence in a more complex fashion, what I believe to be more realistic. In any case, CAP does not have last word on this matter. The relationship CAP is trying hard to establish is really a contested one. There is simply no agreement on it.

To American reports such as "Children, Violence and the Media" by the Senate Committee of the Judiciary brought in September 1999 that relates violence in America to the media, there are many more studies that simply throw doubts about a simplistic connection. CAP seems to make a moralistic analysis, a claim that implies that all violence spring from similar causes or that all violence has same characteristics. That is a rather naïve understanding about violence or aggression in society.

Murder rate lower

A 1998 Unesco global study on media violence suggest that "depending on the personality characteristics of the children, and depending on their everyday-life experiences, media violence satisfies different needs: It 'compensates' own frustrations and deficits in problem-areas. It offers 'thrills' for children in a less problematic environment."

In the discussion on solutions to media violence, the same report suggests, "What are possible solutions? Probably more important than the media are the social and economic conditions in which children grow up", an expert in the field has this say: "Children in Canada and the United States watch virtually the same television. Yet, the murder rate in Canada, and the rate of
violence in general, is much lower than in the United States. Children in Japan watch probably the most violent, the most lurid and graphic television in the world, and the rate of violent crime there is minuscule compared to Canada and the United States."

In a 1996 article, the same scholar, Jonathan Freedman, observed that "Television is an easy target for the concern about violence in our society but a misleading one. We should no longer waste time worrying about this subject. Instead let us turn our attention to the obvious major causes of violence, which include poverty, racial conflict, drug abuse, and poor parenting."

Melanie Brown, an Australian academic, in a 1996 article makes the following observation: "Numerous research studies identify an association between exposure to violence in entertainment and violent behaviour, but do not prove that exposure causes violent behaviour. Rather, there is a risk that exposure to media violence will increase the likelihood of subsequent
aggressive behaviour. This risk can be increased or decreased by a large number of other factors." Counter studies can be quoted at length.

The more serious problem with CAP's attack on Tamil cinema involves the logic of their mode of argument. CAP's argument - and those who look up to CAP - starts from the media not the individual and group or society s/he belongs. This reversal is
really the problem with the "media effects" model of explanation.

Essentially, the tendency is to start an explanation from the media and make a flat and unsustainable connection to the individual. This kind of explanation is also highly psychological in nature, losing touch with the social environment. If an explanation starts from the individual-in-community, then the tendency will be to look at the social background, identity issues,
race/ethnicity issues, gender issues, etc. In this cluster of effects, media would just be one contributory factor.

It is time CAP stopped attacking Tamil cinema as a central cause of the Tamils/Indians social problems such as gangsterism and address the more critical issues faced by the community. Of course, media is not innocent. But it needs to be critically addressed and not causally over-valued.

Minority community

A third group of people likes to believe that the Tamil/Indian peoples' problems are really a result of socio-economic and political marginalisation. Assigning causal status to Tamil schools or Tamil cinema for problems within the Tamil community is really confusing issues and blurring the focus and diluting the seriousness of socio-economic and political marginalisation.

The Tamils are a working-class minority community, a community that has been, as a result of the developments in Malaysia, pushed from rural to urban poverty, from plantation worker to factory hand, from living in an estate environment to living in a squatter area. Serious problems within the community stem from the state of socio-economic powerlessness it faces.

The Tamils/Indians are a poor minority community and poverty has become an inter-generational problem, poverty reproducing poverty. Economic powerlessness, the size of its population and poor political foresight of the Indian leadership have also led to political powerlessness.

Consequently, within the national community, the Tamils do not have much bargaining power. The Tamil community and its problems are hardly addressed seriously and systematically in the national context. Perhaps the only problem that constantly gets national attention at present is the problem of gangsterism. Even this is addressed as a punitive strategy rather than a preventive one. As part the preventive strategy if there was one, one cannot overlook the importance of upgrading the Tamil school system.

Powerlessness in the community has led to many difficulties. For instance, the young Tamil Malaysian youths educational and career options are severely limited in comparison to the other communities. Tamil schools are faced with serious  problems affecting education of a poor minority community. The presence or use of Tamil in the marketplace or public places is confined or limited to Tamil/Indian areas. Tamil Malaysians who have brought fame to Malaysia are hardly treated as
"national heroes" and have found difficulties being recognised or rewarded as one. A few millionaires like Anantha Krishnan produced by the system do not really solve the problems related to the general marginalisation of the community. Ordinary Tamils/Indians Malaysians have an uphill task to deal with in relation to their poverty and marginalised status.

Serious implications

The assignment of Tamil cinema and/or Tamil schools as main causes of Tamil Malaysians community problems is not only limited and careless but also dilutes the focus on more serious preventive measures addressing the community's socio-economic and political marginalisation. The focus on Tamil cinema and Tamil schools carry a number of serious implications.

One, Tamils/Indians who are critics of Tamil school system or Tamil cinema seem to suggest that there is something wrong with the Tamil culture or the way it articulates. Indirectly their suggestions imply severe limitation of, if not the complete removal of, certain popular Tamil cultural forms/institutions.

While cultural criticism is important for societal re-learning, corrective actions and creative cultural intervention and evelopment, they have to be part of a strategy that takes into consideration the "larger picture".

Two, such a tendency, in the context of socio-economic and political powerlessness, directly contributes to a subtle assimilation
agenda. Thus, for instance, without the proper institutionalisation of Tamil education or the promotion of an active educational system promoting multiculturalism and multicultural competencies or the production of popular Tamil entertainment forms, including Tamil cinema, the unfortunate direction of change would be the progressive loss of Tamil identity. In this context, we can see for instance a new phenomenon in Malaysia - dark brown-skinned Tamils taking on the behaviour of or, portrayed as, "blacks"!

Three, we need to re-think our strategy of building a national Malaysian community. Is it by an assimilation agenda or by actively promoting mother tongue education and/or multi-culturalism? The global society, for instance, is concerned of many languages and many linguistic communities on the brink of extinction. According to a recent study, the National Geographic Magazine observes, "half of the world's 6,000 languages will become extinct in the next century [and] 2,000 of the remaining languages will be threatened during the century after that."

In this context, it should be our effort to preserve and actively promote cultural diversity, not in terms "muzeumising" it for the purpose of selling it to tourist but in terms living it actively. Mother tongue education is not really anti-national if we can work out practically how our children, in their respective cultural stream, also go through national social and cultural socialisation.

Four, there seem to be a careful avoidance of the issues of governance in a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society. Critics instead turn their attention on the consequences of bad and unsustainable governance instead of addressing the issues of bad or ineffective governance. Thus, the suggestion is "get rid of Tamil schools" not "Why it has failed or not doing well enough?"
This is really punishing the victim.

The debate over the problem of the Tamil/Indian Malaysian community will go on. I only hope that those in power to influence public opinion and popular action evaluate the situation carefully and propose a line of thinking and action that will help to deal with the cause of the problems faced by the Tamil/Indian Malaysian community rather than the symptoms.