Friday, February 25, 2011

Malaysia: Allow Anti-Racism March

End Harassment of Peaceful Demonstrators

(New York, February 25, 2011) – Malaysia’s home affairs minister should overturn a decision by local police to deny a permit for the Solidarity March Against Racism sponsored by two ethnic Indian rights groups, Human Rights Watch said today. On February 24, 2011, the Dang Wangi police  rejected a formal request made on February 11 by W. Sambulingam, national coordinator of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), to permit the march.

“Malaysian government opposition to peaceful marches results in three big losers: the rights to free expression, freedom of association, and peaceful assembly,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The home affairs minister should respect Malaysia’s international legal obligations and permit the march to proceed, and the organizers should ensure that the march is orderly and peaceful.”

The February 27 march is in reaction to a government decision to assign the novel Interlok as a literature textbook for fifth form students, most in their late teens, in some public schools. The novel by Abdullah Hussain, first published in 1971 and revised in 2010, involves relations among ethnic Malays, Chinese, and Indians from the early 1900s through 1957. Members of the Indian community contend that the book disparages Indians and contributes to ethnic tensions and discrimination in educational and employment opportunities for ethnic Indian Malaysians.

The anticipated route for the march is from Kuala Lumpur’s iconic Petronas Towers to the Dang Wangi police station, where participants will attempt to lodge complaints against the prime minister and the government. Home Affairs Minister Hishammuddin Husseinearlier had said that Hindraf would not get a police permit to march.

“They are an illegal and banned movement,” he said. “They don’t have locus standi [legal standing] in asking for a permit.”

The government banned the group after a demonstration in 2007. The Hindu Rights Party (HRP) has applied for registration, which is pending.

The government has already cracked down on the HRP's right to peaceful assembly. On February 13, two weeks before the scheduled march, HRP initiated a grassroots information and recruitment drive in several Malaysian states, dispatching convoys of cars loaded with activists wearing the group’s distinctive orange T-shirts and carrying posters, banners,and assorted promotional materials to various locales. Police stopped the convoys at roadblocks and diverted participants to police stations, where many were detained.

The police arrested at least 59 people on various grounds. In one instance, participants were held for driving in a convoy without a permit. In other instances, police charged the activists with illegal assembly, interference with on-duty officers, obstructing traffic, and moving in a large group in a busy area. Some participants, held overnight, were offered their freedom if they gave up their orange T-shirts, but when it became clear they would not do so, they were released on bail.

On February 20, police in three locations broke up HRP forums designed to explain the group’s concerns about certain issues and to continue membership recruitment. The police claimed that permission to hold the forums had been denied. HRP leaders were among some 59 arrested. Ultimately all were released on bail. In a further pre-emptive move, M. Gobalakrishnan, the person named on fliers as the contact for further information in Hulu Selangor, was picked up at his home by six plainclothes officers hours before the local meeting was to begin and arrested. Police also sealed off the forum site. Gobalakrishnan has since been released.

In November 2007, between 10,000 and 30,000 people participated in the first Hindraf-organized demonstration. The prime minister at that time, Abdullah Badawi, reportedly said that Hindraf leaders undermined national security by threatening racial and religious harmony. Following the protest, the government detained five Hindraf leaders under the Internal Security Act (ISA), and banned Hindraf. The HRP’s application for registration, though pending with the Registrar of Societies, will likely face significant difficulties because of its association with Hindraf.

“The Malaysian government’s commitment to diversity and development is betrayed when it refuses to permit peaceful criticism of its policies and programs,” Robertson said. “Banning this march makes a mockery of the principles the government pledged to uphold when it assumed its seat on the United Nation’s Human Rights Council.”

To read the December 2007 Human Rights Watch news release, “Malaysia: Hindu Rights Activists Detained,” please visit:

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Malaysia, please visit:

For more information, please contact:
In London, Brad Adams (English): +44-20-7713-2767; or +44-7908-728-333 (mobile)
In New York, Mickey Spiegel (English): +1-212-216-1229; or +1-917-968-9937 (mobile)
In Bangkok, Phil Robertson (English, Thai): +66-85-060-8406 (mobile)
In Washington, DC, Sophie Richardson (English, Mandarin): +1-202-612-4341; or +1-917-721-7473 (mobile)

PM: Don’t use violence in Libya (NST headlines 24/2/2011) Similarly Najib Razak must order non violence on Hindraf/HRP peaceful Rally on 27/2/2011 @ KLCC at 9.00a.m.

No.6, Jalan Abdullah, Off Jalan Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur. Tel : 03-2282 5241 Fax: 03-2282 5245
Website: E-mail:
Media Statement (24/2/2011)
PM: Don’t use violence in Libya (NST headlines 24/2/2011) Similarly Najib Razak must order non violence on Hindraf/HRP peaceful Rally on 27/2/2011 @ KLCC at 9.00a.m.
Hindraf and HRP after 50 years of independence and just before the 25th November 2007 Rally forwarded their Hindraf 18 point demands with particular regards to the Indian poor. But save and except for some cosmetic or wayang kulit showtime mainstream media especially in the three Tamil dailies propaganda, very little has been done to alleviate the 70% of the Malaysian Indians who are living in poverty , hardcore poor and poor Malaysian Indian pain sufferings and the mysery inflicted on them on a day to day basis from womb to tomb by the racist UMNO regime of One Malay-sia.
The latest wayang kulit by UMNO is the UMNO media propaganda last week of supposedly registering thousands from the estimated 450,000 stateless even fifth and sixth generation Malaysian born ethnic Indians. Our question is this supposed registration exercise has been ongoing scores of times in over the last 54 years. But where is the hard results published in the Tamil dailies and the website of the racist UMNO Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara and the Home Ministry of the thousands of these Indian poor being “granted” their Birth Certificates, Identity Cards and Citizenship. Because these thousands were rejected simply because the victims are the defenseless Indian poor.
This example is just the tip of the iceberg of the UMNO regime’s racism and religious supremacy targetted against especially the Indian poor.
Today we have moved beyond the Interlok issue and are up against UMNO racism in the supposed One Malay-sia, the world’s most racist regime by way of our peaceful and non violent Hindraf/HRP Rally on the 27th February 2011.
We hereby call upon Prime Minister Najib Razak to similarly order police not to use force or violence at this peaceful rally as per the Prime Minister’s call to the Libyan President Ghaddafi as reported in today’s headlines in the New Straits Times!! ‘Don’t use violence’ Gaddafi should heed people’s aspirations, says Najib. (NST 24/2/2011 headlines).
Thank You.
Yours Faithfully,
Secretary General (pro tem)

New Scan-20110224135428-00001

Anti-lnterlok Rally application rejected

‘Interlok a classic work of Malaysian racism’

Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI) director Lim Teck Ghee has added his voice to calls for the novel Interlok to be removed from the Form Five Malay literature syllabus due to its perpetuation of “offensive stereotyping” of minorities.

dap economy forum 260906 lim teck gheeThis, while the controversial novel celebrates the virtues of the Malay race, culture and value system. 

As such, Lim noted, it has led some quarters to see the novel as “the classic Malaysian racist book”. 

In remarks e-mailed to Malaysiakinitoday, the former academician-turned-social activist said some may be tempted to invoke freedom of expression to justify maintaining the book as required reading in secondary schools.

That same “freedom to offend” would not, however, be granted if the offence were against Malays, he noted.

There is concern, furthermore, with the prospect of predominantly Malay literature teachers teaching students the novel and its racially-slanted messages. 

azlanWhile anger has been expressed mainly by Indian groups and politicians against the negative portrayal of the community in the novel – including the use of the term ‘pariah’ – ire has also been raised on the perpetuation of stereotypes relating to ethnic Chinese.

Stressing against the call for the book to be banned “in the same way in which the government has banned so many other books”, Lim said Interlok should not be in the prescribed literature curriculum and “certainly not let loose on young and impressionistic minds”.

It should be not made an exam text, furthermore, whereby students are liable to be coerced into giving the “officially correct” reading of the novel in their answer papers, and whose correctness is determined by the authorities marking the exam papers.

interlok gapena crowd“This will poison young minds and bring unintended harmful consequences to race relations in the country,” he said.

Lim also questioned why the novel was now being made compulsory and enjoying “political patronage” when it had failed to impress the literati when it was first published in 1971 – four years after the manuscript had languished in obscurity, claimed Lim. 

“It is not unreasonable to deduce that the book’s publication in 1971 was agenda-driven. The political scenario at that time, that is, the 1969 race riots and the introduction of the NEP in the following year, was rapidly evolving and veering to outright Malay nationalism.

NONE“The decision – made only last year – to include Interlok in the reading list, is equally suspect as the 40-year-old book had in the past not got any rave reviews from either the reading public or the writing fraternity,” he added.

Expressing surprise that members of the government panel tasked with reviewing the book for its “offensive bits” had agreed to working under such a limited scope, Lim said the transparency of the exercise was suspect, given that the government had reportedly succumbed to Malay pressure groups in other issues.
“It was not paragraphs or sections of the book that were in question, although there were innumerable instances of racial stereotyping, historical errors and misrepresentation of Chinese and Indian culture and society.

“Instead, it is the sum total of the book that needs to be rejected,” he added.

Although the rejection of the book on grounds of its unsuitability as a school textbook is not part of the terms of reference, he hoped the review panel would have the courage to arrive at this decision in view of the overwhelming evidence presented on the racially offensive overall thrust of the book. 

Whatever the outcome of the review process, Lim challenged cabinet members to read the book – or the translation of the book – and “decide for themselves whether they would permit their own children to be exposed to it.”

Hindraf Rally: Appeal to CPO Kuala Lumpur on UMNO police rejection of Hindrafs’ police permit.

Upon receiving the rejection letter from ACP Mohamad Zulkarnain Bin Abdul Rahman, Ketua Polis Daerah (OCPD), Dang Wangi, Hindraf coordinator W. Sambulingam has instructed Hindraf lawyers to appeal to the Chief Police Officer of Kuala Lumpur for the approval of the police permit for the Hindraf Rally at KLCC on 27/2/2011 at 9.00 am.
S. Jayathas

permit rejection letter

Hindraf Rally planned to be hijacked by Najib Makkal Sakthi Party, UMNO and Police Special Branch.

The Police Special Branch &UMNO plot grants police permit to Najib Makkal Sakthi Party MMSP- to confuse and hijack this Hindraf Rally after arresting the real Hindraf & HRP leaders.

This morning we received a phone call that the Najib Makkal Sakthi Party or MMSP has applied for a permit also for the 27th Feb 2011 Hindraf Rally at KLCC at

When Lans Constable Mohammad arrived at our HRP HQ at 12.00p.m. to serve the Letter of rejection of police permit on HRP CEC Member S.Thiagarajan we saw the Najib MMSP letterhead in his file but did not ask why.

At about 2.00p.m. we received a phone call from one of our supporters that the Hindraf Rally police permit has been issued to Najib’s MMSP and not to the real applicants ie Hindraf and HRP.

If true, we believe that this is a top Police Special Branch and UMNO conspiracy to arrest the real Hindraf and HRP leaders way before the 27th Feb Hindraf Rally, create confusion and allow the Najib Makkal Sakthi UMNO Indian mandores hijack the 27th Feb 2011 Hindraf Rally.

Just as they did in the post 25th November 2007 Hindraf Rally by planting even a police Special Branch E3M ASP to emerge as one of the five Hindraf leaders under Ops Padam Hindraf especially to confuse and divide Hindraf. And then turning over the then Hindraf newcomers to lead the Najib Makkal Sakthi Party which was hastily approved within two weeks. We then were not ready with our second line leadership. But today we are.

With unlimited government funds, the Police top special Branch brains and the full UMNO government machinery, UMNO succeeded to a great extent in creating confusion, dividing and weakening Hindraf using their print and electronic media and the three Tamil dailies.

But today we can see through UMNO, their Special Branch planners and plotters and the UMNO Indian mandores. All what we can say at this juncture is today we are far better prepared.

‘Pisang tidak akan berbuah dua kali”.

And 100% of the blame should any untoward incident happen on 27th Feb 2011 Hindraf Rally would squarely be on UMNO and their police Special Branch Operatives, Perkasa, Pekida, UMNOs’ underworld Tiga Line and UMNOs’ Indian mandore gangsters.

Rights Not Mercy.

Karunai Nithi @ Compassionate Justice


Video: UMNO’s CPO must allow HINDRAF Solidarity March