Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sensitive – what is sensitive. Is Hindraf’s articulation of violation of the Federal Constitution sensitive?

najib perkasaLet me begin by quoting two articles of the Malaysian Federal Constitution as I elaborate and explain Hindraf’s position about the recent Sultan of Johore’s statement – what seems to be a veiled support to encourage the neo-fascist movement PERKASA.
8. (1) All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law.
(2) Except as expressly authorized by this Constitution, there shall be no discrimination against citizens on the ground only of religion, race, descent, place of birth or gender in any law or in the appointment to any office or employment under a public authority
Reservation of quotas in respect of services, permits, etc., for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak
153. (1) It shall be the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
Safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and to ensure the reservation for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak of such proportion as he may deem reasonable
1) of positions in the public service
2) of scholarships
3) of educational or training privileges
4) of permits and licenses.

Here are my comments :
Employment in Government services today is overwhelmingly Malay.
Scholarships are provided almost entirely to Malays
Places in Public Universities are disproportionately for Malays
Permits and licences are awarded almost entirely to Malays.

What about the legitimate interests of the other communities in all these areas? Is this not an issue in this country?

What is the Monarch’s role here? The Federal Constitution is abundantly clear that the Monarch has an equal role in taking care of the legitimate interests of the “others” as he has in safeguarding the special position of the Malays and the people of Sabah and Sarawak. These are the two limbs to Article 153. Two parts to the question of allocation of the national resources. The second limb seems now not to matter.

Is it Ok to say that questioning this ignoring of the second limb is a sensitive matter just because it involves the Monarch.

Is it Ok to say you cannot draw attention on the involvement of the Monarch to safeguard the provisions in the supreme document of the country, that’s a sensitive matter.

The implicit thinking within UMNO circles is that everything in this country is Malay property and it is out of the goodwill of the Malays that the non-Malays get anything at all here in Malaysia. This is a totally unconstitutional position.

But UMNO chooses not to care, they have stolen the whole show and want to keep it that way, by threatening that this is sensitive or that is sensitive and therefore you should not touch it. The constitution has laid out a basis for the allocation of the national resource (vague as it is – still a basis) but nowhere does it say, take it all. UMNO has chosen to ignore this provision and has in the last 40 years taken it all.… However the current day politics prevents UMNO from continuing to mouth this position of “it is our right to take it all” any more, so enter PERKASA as their outsourced mouthpiece.

Then the Sultan of Johore comes out in defence of this outsourced UMNO mouthpiece PERKASA.

Do we just take all this. This convoluted logic of PERKASA has to be eliminated once and for all. Hindraf is just speaking up for all of us who do not subscribe to UMNO’s version of Article 153. So, what has to be said is said. The cat needs to be belled.

let the rakyat decide the truth of the matter.

To continue with this story as there has been an innocuous extension – a few days later Najib in the MCA conference says that the Chinese cannot be described as “pendatang’ and his erstwhile de facto Law Minister Nazri echoes it “"The mothers of Indians born in Malaysia have spilled their blood on the soil of the nation when they delivered them into this world , hence they are the sons of the Malaysian soil, as sung in our national anthem negara ku, tanah tumpahnya darahku. It is the Indonesians who come to our country (legally or illegally) who are the immigrants and not you Indians who were born here."

They have just abandoned the Johore Sultan’s position themselves and are by extension questioning the support of the Johore Sultan for PERKASA. Najib and Nazri are saying the nons are not pendatangs any more, which means now they are all equal to the Pribumis and then there is no more the issue of “this is all ours, why do we need to give it to them” – an intrinsic position of PERKASA that the Sultan supported . Ask Ibrahim Ali – he will tell you more.

Should not UMNO Johor have a demonstration against them as well?

But we know Najib’s and Nazri’ statements are nothing more than useless rhetoric. And we also know that UMNO Johore will not be heard from again on this issue. And we also know this kind of antic has to go and wisdom has to prevail for our nation to emerge as a great nation – trapped in by this syndrome “of us and the pendatangs”.

For our part we will continue to lay out on the table for discussion all those things which maintain this undesirable status quo that keep us in this trap. We will continue to raise those issues which have been considered taboo or “sensitive” for discussion, for it is past due to review and to re-evaluate.


Waytha Moorthy of HINDRAF vs. Sultan Ibrahim of Johor: who makes sense?

The Malaysian government is considering asking the police to investigate a statement by the chairman of the HINDRAF movement, P. Waytha Moorthy, which was made in response to a speech by the Sultan of Johor.

It is claimed that the HINDRAF chairman's statement was sensitive and that it questioned the position of the Malays and the Malay Rulers. The Home Minister, who will consult about this matter with the Sultan of Johor (but who should also consult Waytha Moorthy for fairness), claims that Waytha Moorthy's statement was intended "to create hatred towards the rulers and to dupe the people's thinking".

But let's decide on the propriety and validity of Waytha Moorthy's statement ourselves. We shall also consider who is "duping" who (if there is any such thing going on), who is more sensible, factual and reasoned, and whose statement speaks more strongly for true harmony and understanding.

To help us do this, I reproduce below both Waytha Moorthy's and the Sultan of Johor's statements.

Waytha's statement ('Is the Sultan of Johor promoting further annihilation of minority rights?', 6 October 2010):

The recent statement by the Sultan of Johor in relation to the constitution has thrown to light for what seems to be a veiled support to encourage the neo-fascist movement PERKASA with their antics based on the purported Federal constitution.

The failure by the Sultan to recognize and acknowledge the second limb of Article 153 that provides for legitimate interest of the non-Muslim will only provide credence to PERKASA to continue their shenanigans hand in hand with UMNO against the non Muslims.   

Malaysia is a secular country and in their representation to Reid Commission in 1956, the Rulers have specifically agreed that Islam should be for ceremonial purpose and that they did not intend to make Malaysia an Islamic state.    

This was further echoed by Tunku Abdul Rahman, at the 80th birthday celebrations organized by the Barisan Nasional in his honour on 8th February 1983, where Tunku pointedly said Malaysia should not be turned into an Islamic state, that Malaysia was set up as a secular State with Islam as the official religion which was enshrined in the Constitution. This is the true spirit of the constitution.

The constitution had been pristine clear in its objective, yet UMNO & the government had diluted the true spirit of the original document with more than 650 amendments since 1957 where now the original Federal constitution only bear a biased mirror of its original model against the minorities.    

The very notion that it is amended just to favour a certain parties seems all too obvious as what had been observed over the last 50 years with such dilution of basic rights for the minorities on the basis of religion including the East Malaysians.  

The devolution of the Rulers power in the constitution was itself emanated by their own weakness as what had been observed in during the Mahathir era in 1983 and 1993 as Mahathir was able to obtain the obedience of the rulers for reasons known best to them. Therefore any issue of any amendments to the Sultan & Agong rights stated in the constitution was a downfall of their own doing not the public at large for the excessive manipulated power UMNO possessed during the Mahathir era.      

In relation to judiciary and its independence, as a rule of thumb, constitutional monarchy needs to understand and grasp the separation of power between judiciary, legislators & executives. The weakness of the rulers to ensure that the legislators toe the line was obvious during the spill over of the UMNO general election of 1987 that created the Malaysian Constitutional crises in 1988 with the suspension of Tun Salleh Abbas for opposing the subordination of the judiciary to the legislators and executives during the era where the Sultan of Johor was the Agong. This was a clear breach of the Federal constitution, yet it was succumbed to for the Mahathir legislators & executives to absorb the functions of the independent judiciary for judiical powers.

If you look further to East Malaysia, the monarchy is a non issue as they were never part of the 1957 constitution nor are they neither subject to such monarchy nor what the monarchy states or intimidates against the minorities based assertion for basic rights.     

Bearing the above facts, and as the bearer of a constitutional monarchy for all Malaysians irrespective of race, religion or creed, the Sultan should make attempts to ensure the sanctity of the Federal constitution in its true sense in upholding it rather than making veiled threats to minorities against questioning the malay rights and acting  as spokesperson to Perkasa. Citing lessons to be learned from the May 1969 racial riots are most distasteful and insulting the intelligence of Non Malays who no longer live with the idea of subjection.

As the Ruler for  all communities, the Sultan should remind the government and Umno of the second limb of article 153 which provides for the legitimate interests of non Muslims and Article 8 which provides for equality for all citizens.

Thank you.

Sultan Ibrahim's statement ('Jangan bahas isu sensitive', 5 October 2010):

Sebagaimana yang kita ketahui, Perlembagaan Persekutuan adalah undang-undang yang paling utama di Malaysia. Ia merupakan sebuah Perlembagaan yang lengkap dan telah mengambil kira kepentingan semua rakyat dan latar belakang sejarah negara ini.

Perlembagaan ini telah digubal dengan begitu teliti oleh Suruhanjaya Reid yang dianggotai oleh pakar-pakar undang-undang dari luar negara. Ia telah melalui pelbagai proses yang rumit, termasuklah meneliti 131 memorandum dari semua pihak dan mengadakan 118 persidangan dalam masa lima bulan.

Seterusnya, Rang Perlembagaan Persekutuan Tanah Melayu telah melalui proses maklum balas, kajian semula, pindaan dan akhirnya barulah diluluskan oleh Majlis Undangan Persekutuan pada 15 Ogos 1957 dan seterusnya berkuat kuasa pada 27 Ogos 1957.

Kita mesti faham bahawa Perlembagaan ini telah digubal bersandarkan kepada semangat toleransi oleh semua pihak untuk mencapai kemerdekaan. Oleh yang demikian, semua aspek agama, bangsa, budaya dan bahasa telah diambil kira dengan adil dan saksama untuk mewujudkan sebuah negara Malaysia yang aman dan damai.

Yang paling jelas adalah semangat toleransi dalam Parti Perikatan di mana MCA dan MIC telah bersetuju menerima kedudukan “hak istimewa orang Melayu’’ dan Bahasa Melayu sebagai Bahasa Kebangsaan. Manakala pihak UMNO pula telah bersetuju menerima pemberian taraf kerakyatan kepada orang-orang asing secara jus soli.

Kita perlu ingat bahawa Perlembagaan Persekutuan ini bukan digubal dengan sewenang-wenangnya. Orang dahulu telah berfikir dengan mendalam dan berpandangan jauh tentang masa hadapan.

Oleh itu pada masa kini janganlah mudah sangat demi untuk kepentingan sesuatu pihak, Perlembagaan ini dipinda sesuka hati. Kerana akhirnya nanti Perlembagaan ini akan menjadi tidak bermakna dan mungkin tinggal sekeping kertas sahaja.

Di dalam seminar ini nanti, saudara saudari telitilah berapa banyak pindaan yang telah dibuat terhadap Perlembagaan ini dan sebab-sebab mengapa pindaan itu dibuat.

Dokumen asas kepada Perlembagaan Persekutuan adalah Perjanjian Persekutuan Tanah Melayu 1948 yang ditandatangani oleh pihak British dengan Raja-Raja Melayu. Di mana Raja-Raja Melayu telah bersetuju melepaskan sedikit kuasa pemerintahannya di negeri-negeri. Namun begitu kuasa Raja-Raja terhadap agama dan adat istiadat Melayu masih dikekalkan dan dinyatakan dengan jelas.

Begitu juga di dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan, kuasa Yang di-Pertuan Agong dan Raja-Raja juga dinyatakan dengan jelas sebagai payung kepada negara dan negeri. Namun begitu ada juga pihak yang semasa senang, lupa akan pentingnya Institusi Diraja dan cuba menghapuskan kuasa Raja-Raja.

Tetapi malangnya, apabila timbul masalah di kemudian hari, mulalah mencari Raja untuk meminta bantuan dan perlindungan. Inilah sikap manusia yang lupa diri. Semasa hari redup, payung dicampak dan dibuang, tetapi bila hujan turun, masing-masing berlari mencari payung untuk berlindung.

Negeri Johor merupakan Negeri Tanah Melayu yang pertama mempunyai Undang-Undang Tubuh Kerajaannya sendiri iaitu pada tahun 1895. Undang-undang ini mengambil masa 10 tahun untuk dibuat dan menjadi asas kepada undang-undang tubuh negeri lain dan juga Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Di dalam Perjanjian Persekutuan juga, Raja-Raja Melayu telah berkorban dan bersetuju untuk menyerahkan sebahagian kuasa mutlaknya terhadap negeri bagi membentuk persekutuan yang merdeka. Ini bermakna, jika tidak ada negeri, tidak akan ada persekutuan.

Sehubungan dengan itu, pihak Persekutuan mestilah peka dengan apa yang hendak dilaksanakan di negeri-negeri. Walaupun hubungan hal ehwal luar negara adalah di bawah kuasa Persekutuan, tetapi sekiranya perjanjian yang hendak dibuat melibatkan tanah dan kepentingan negeri, rujuklah dahulu perkara tersebut kepada Raja negeri yang berkenaan.

Keharmonian rakyat Malaysia yang berbilang bangsa dan agama telah menjadi contoh kepada negara-negara lain. Ini semua telah dapat dicapai dengan adanya semangat bertolak ansur dan hormat-menghormati antara semua bangsa dan agama di negara ini.

Namun begitu akhir-akhir ini, ada pihak yang begitu ghairah memperjuangkan kaumnya dan mempertikaikan hak dan keistimewaan orang Melayu yang telah diperuntukkan sekian lama di dalam Perlembagaan.

Mereka ini adalah golongan yang cetek akal dan hanya bercakap mengikut selera sendiri tanpa meneliti sejarah pembentukan Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Tindakan ini akan hanya merosakkan keharmonian hubungan kaum dan kesejahteraan hidup masyarakat negara ini.

Kita perlu ingat, keistimewaan yang diberikan kepada orang Melayu tidak menghalang hak kaum lain, malah kaum lain juga diberi hak dan jaminan di dalam Perlembagaan. Ini semua terbentuk hasil dari sikap toleransi yang tinggi pemimpin-pemimpin kita dahulu.

Keharmonian negara ini mestilah dijaga dengan baik dan janganlah dibahaskan isu-isu sensitif yang boleh menggugat kesejahteraan negara. Jangan dipersoalkan kuasa Raja di dalam Perlembagaan atau Enakmen Negeri kerana itu bukanlah hak untuk dibahaskan.

Jangan tafsir Perlembagaan mengikut selera dan kepentingan sendiri dan tidak perlu mengajar Raja mengenai undang-undang dan kuasa kerana Raja telah dididik tentang kuasa sejak kecil lagi.

Belajarlah daripada peristiwa 13 Mei 1969, yang mana kedamaian negara tergadai akibat daripada hilangnya sikap toleransi dan wujudnya golongan pelampau atau extremist.

Di mana-mana juga, golongan extremist inilah yang menjadi dalang merosakkan kedamaian sesebuah negara. Oleh itu, kita harus bersikap sederhana dan bertolak ansur jika kita ingin hidup makmur dalam negara yang berbilang bangsa ini.

Apa yang lebih penting sekarang adalah untuk kita sama-sama berganding bahu, bersatu padu dan berusaha bersungguh-sungguh untuk membangunkan negara kita untuk menjadi sebuah negara yang maju.

Di sini juga, suka saya ingatkan kepada semua pelaksana dan pengamal undang-undang supaya mengambil tindakan selaras dengan Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Pihak mahkamah atau badan kehakiman juga perlu lebih berhati-hati apabila menerima sesuatu kes untuk diadili.

Kes-kes sensitif yang tidak sesuai untuk dibicarakan hendaklah ditolak kerana jika mahkamah mendengar kes tersebut dan membuat keputusan, sudah pasti ada pihak yang tidak berpuas hati. Oleh itu, adalah lebih baik jangan dilayan atau ditolak kes-kes yang sensitif terutamanya yang melibatkan kuasa Raja-Raja.

Sebarang bentuk perbahasan dan pertelingkahan mengenai isu-isu sensitif juga hendaklah dielakkan kerana ia hanya akan menambahkan lagi jurang perselisihan terutama antara agama dan bangsa.

Segala kekeliruan yang timbul pula perlu diperjelaskan dengan teliti supaya semua rakyat dalam negara ini dapat hidup dengan harmoni, aman damai, dan saling hormat menghormati bagi menjamin ketenteraman dan kesejahteraan hidup semua.

Penganjuran seminar seperti ini hendaklah dilakukan secara berterusan dan diperluaskan ke segenap lapisan masyarakat, terutama kepada generasi muda masa kini.

Saya percaya, sekiranya mereka faham dengan maksud-maksud yang terkandung di dalam Perlembagaan ini dan memahami asas dan sejarahnya, sudah pasti mereka akan sedar betapa beruntungnya mereka hidup di zaman kemerdekaan.

Kepada pembuat dan pelaksana dasar, gunakanlah kesempatan ini untuk mendapatkan kefahaman yang jelas agar segala keputusan dan tindakan yang diambil selari dengan peruntukan-peruntukan yang terdapat di dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Saya juga berharap agar saudara saudari yang menghadiri seminar ini dapat mendalami dan memahami Perlembagaan yang ada seterusnya menjelaskan mengenainya kepada masyarakat umum. Berpeganglah kepada Perlembagaan yang ada dan yang paling mudah ingatlah Rukun Negara yang sering kita ikrarkan.

Akhir kata dengan lafaz Bismillahir Rahmanirrahim, saya dengan sukacitanya merasmikan Seminar Perlembagaan Malaysia Peringkat Negeri Johor pada hari yang mulia ini.

In UMNO’s 1Malaysia, it is not “SENSITIVE” to insult Hinduism. Did UMNO Johor demonstrate when the rascal in this video insulted Hinduism??

In UMNO’s 1Malaysia it is not “sensitive” to insult Hinduism. But it is “sensitive” to request the Monarch for equanimity on the two limbs of Article 153 of the Federal Constitution. Did UMNO Johor demonstrate when the rascal in these videos insulted Hinduism. Worse , this event happened with State sanction.
The word “sensitive” in 1Malaysia has lost its meaning. I guess “sensitive” in 1Malaysia means that you do not speak up against the big burly guys because they have the force of might behind them – plain and simple. It is not what you do that defines “sensitivity”, it is who you speak up against, that defines “sensitivity”.
That interpretation of what is “sensitive”  and that often reminder of that thing that is “sensitive” is nothing but bullying behaviour of the big burly  supremacists. The supremacists completely turn a blind eye to that which is really "’sensitive”, not out of ignorance, but out of impunity.
Watch the 2 videos and you decide if what this rascal is saying is sensitive and if the reactions to it (which is zero from the authorities, anyway) is out of ignorance or out of impunity . Video 1 shows the setting of the ceramah. Video 2 shows the rascal spewing bigoted inanities about Hinduism and Hindus.

Lecture on Hindraf @ Monash University by Dr. Vijay Devadas, Senior Lecturer, University of Otago New Zealand.

url hindraf lecture The speaker had lived and researched on the Indian poor plantation workers in Kajang. Sees the demolishment of Hindu temples, forced syariah laws on Hindus, racism as the cause of the Indian poor uprising against the racist Malay-sian semi democratic regime.

Hindraf Adviser Pathmarajah, P. Uthayakumar and W. Sambulingam attended this research findings lecture at 12.00 p.m today 12/10/10.

The talk covered the Hindraf Rally arising out of lack of progress of the Malaysian Indians on 25/11/07 but strategically at the KLCC Petronas Twin Towers the symbol of Malaysia’s prosperity.

Among the main points were:-

The carrying of the banner of Queen Elizabeth and Gandhi was deemed an astute move politically.PA120013

How the peaceful rally was treated with brutal and oppressive force in semi democratic Malaysia.

How the Sedition Act and ISA was used on the Hindraf lawyers.

How the said Hindraf Rally led to BN losing their 2/3 majority in Parliament.

The Hindraf Rally marks the failure of the state in managing the Indian poor problem.

The speakers theoretical sampling, border production and cross border production was outlined.

One of the most powerful dissatisfaction used by Hindraf supporters in the blogosphere was they being the “anak tiri” (step child) in Malaysia.

That the Indians did not choose themselves to (born) non bumis in Malaysia and why this racism.

The presence of common solidarity, examining the gap of institutional structures and corresponding racism.

There was a question and answer also by a number of foreign students on the Hindraf uprising and it’s cause and effect.

The Hindraf uprising becoming world news as it was extensively covered worldwide media including, BBC, CNN, ABC and Al Jazeera.

After the talk P. Uthayakumar met for another 1 ½ hours and conveyed P. Waytha Moorthy’s request for an independent study on the Malaysian Indian poor by the speaker and another doctorate student researching on Hindraf for submissions to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and the European Parliament in Brussells vis a vis the European Convention on Human Rights, European Communities, The Worlds Court and the International Criminal Courts.

P. Uthayakumar

The School of Arts & Social Sciences cordially invites you to SASS Seminar Series 18 /10 :
Speaker: Dr Vijay Devadas

Title: The Unfinished Business of Postcolonialism in Malaysia: Hindraf, New Media & a Future Cosmopolitanism

Date: 12th October 2010, Tuesday

Time: 12.00noon – 1.00pm

Venue: Communication Lab 9508, Level 5, Building 9, Monash University, Sunway Campus

Speaker’s Profile:

Vijay Devadas is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media, Film & Communication, University of Otago, New Zealand. His research focuses on media, culture & society, drawing from political economy, textual analysis, archival research, & ethnography. His most recent work has been on media & the war on terror, new media & democracy, & Tamil cinema. He is co-editor of the international journal borderlands and recently co-edited Cultural Transformations: Perspectives on Translocation in a Global Age (Rodopi, 2010). He is currently a Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the Cultural Studies Cluster at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore.


This paper explores the emergence of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), the formation of a solidarity around the notion of makkal sakthi (people’s power in Tamil) and its impact on political life in Malaysia. This is the name given to a solidarity that has made significant inroads in the 2008 elections in the country. While the election results are undoubtedly a manifestation of a complex network of concerns and allegiances, the paper will focus on the Hindraf effect and the use of digital networks and networking to intervene into the democratic texture of Malaysia.

See you there!

Warmest Regards,

Cynthia Ng

Executive Secretary

School of Arts & Social Sciences

Monash University

Sunway Campus, Malaysia

Tel: +603-5514 6054 (46054)

Fax:+603-5514 6365