Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hindraf Rally Eve 2011

Interlok rally: Police must respect right to peaceful assembly, says Kula

Interlok rally: Police must respect right to peaceful assembly, says KulaAccording to media reports, the Dang Wangi police has rejected the Human Rights Party's (HRP) application for a permit to carry out a peaceful march against the novel Interlok on Sunday.

The party has on Feb 11 submitted the necessary application to the police for a permit. I call on the police to respect the people’s constitutional right to peaceful assembly and approve the application to protest the Interlok novel.

The Interlok issue hurt the Indian community yet the Government has not shown the political will to quickly resolve the issue.

The Education Minister’s announcement on Jan 27 that the novel would remain as the textbook for Form Five, but with amendments to those parts deemed offensive by the Indian community is not an acceptable solution.

It is puzzling how a book that is so controversial and hurtful to the Indian community could not be withdrawn.

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.

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. It is most unfair that the government has not done what should be done – to withdraw the book as a school text book.

As for me, it will be doubly unfair if people who exercise their constitutional right of peaceful assembly to protest against the novel are denied such rights.

- M Kulasegaran is the DAP MP for Ipoh Barat

HRP rally to proceed tomorrow despite no permit

The Human Rights Party-planned rally will still continue tomorrow despite the red light from the police and the government.

NONE“It's still on. There are no changes,” said information chief S Jayathas.

When speaking to Malaysiakini, he said that the government had repeatedly rejected their applications for a police permit.

Jayathas said that letters have been sent to the inspector-general of police, the Home Ministry as well as the Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak himself.

“There is no response from any of them,” he said.

Undeterred, HRP is taking to the streets of Kuala Lumpur tomorrow morning in a battle which they had hoped to be a repeat of the November 2007 Hindraf rally which saw 30,000 protestors.

Back then, the Hindu Rights Action Force had organised one of the biggest demonstrations in the nation's capital in recent times, a culmination of long-standing Indian dissatisfaction over marginalisation.

Hindraf was subsequently banned with five of its leaders detained under the Internal Security Act. They have all since been released and some have gone on to rebrand themselves as HRP.

brickfields uthayakumar hindraf 280209 water cannonBut conceding that tomorrow's event may not attract as much participation as the historic 2007 rally, organisers are more conservative with their expectation.

Jayathas said that they hoping that “two or three thousand” would come out to protest against what they claim, “institutionalised racism in Malaysia for the past 56 years”.

“The Indians are systematically denied minority rights. Malaysia is the most racist country in the world. Apartheid has already ended in South Africa but we still have it in Malaysia.

“We're not asking for special rights but we just want equal opportunity,” he said.

Police: Protest at your own peril

Despite much build-up to the rally, the police have repeatedly issued stern warnings against the party and would-be protestors.

hindraf march of roses parliament 160208 tear gas furyThe Kuala Lumpur police chief Zulkefli Abdullah also insisted that no permit will be issued for the public gathering.

“I think I have made myself very clear in my statement (sent two days ago),” he said when contacted by Malaysiakini.

On Thursday, he had said legal action would be taken against anyone involved in the gathering, but the police would consider issuing a permit if the HRP were to move their rally indoors where there is no “likelihood of a situation being created that would jeopardise public order”.

HRP plans to march tomorrow from Jalan Sultan Ismail to the KL city centre, where they will lodge a police report at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters against Umno over the party's 'racism'.

Another 1 day for the rally


Emergency Contact Detail On 27 Feb 2011

waytha_solo_speech Dear friends
These are the do’s and don’ts for the 27th Feb March against UMNO Racism
  • Bring your digital camera with back up batteries
  • Bring a 2-litre bottle of water at least
  • Bring a towel to cover your face in event of tear gas
  • Bring a small packet of salt
Look out for suspicious agent provocateurs. They may be Malays or even Indian mandores who are thugs hired by UMNO to disrupt our peaceful March
Should you see someone behaving/acting/ uttering words which are provocative; make sure you take a photograph or video of him/her. This would be evidence, which we may use to show the international community of how UMNO operates.
Similarly if you see Police or plain clothes Policemen attacking our fellow brothers and sisters, make sure you take photographs and videos. Be careful as the UMNO thugs ie the 3line and Pekida thugs may pose as plain-clothes policemen. Do not near them. Keep away and alert others on the presence of these suspicious characters. Remember we want your photos/videos.
If you subscribe to broadband on your phone then send your photos, short videos to Hindraf3@gmail .com and we would immediately upload the photos/ videos. Keep sending the photos as we would be constantly uploading them. Let us know what is happening on the ground as we would update in our sites. Hindraf and HRP would cover the event LIVE on our websites.
If you witness an incident that needs to be recorded and disseminated to others, then sms your message to or call 0102733644 or 0163507189
Our Hindraf reps would give the necessary guides on the march or any other further directions as situation may deem fit.
In the event of the main Hindraf leaders arrested immediately before or during the rally, do not worry and do not be mislead by Political opportunists/Mandores both from BN or PR who may hijack and divert you. We have sufficient back up leaders who would give the necessary instructions.
Be wary of Police SB and their agents who may create confusion and divert the true intentions of our March.
There would also be a 24-hour command centre both in KL and London to answer your calls.
Please disseminate this information to as many people that you know.
P.Waytha Moorthy


My dear learned Minister of Education! You have made a grave mistake by deciding to retain Interlok as the compulsory reading for Form Five Malay literature! I can bet my last Ringgit Malaysia that you had not read the book thus far nor have you sufficient knowledge on literary analysis. I am also without a trace of doubt in my mind believe that your decision to retain Interlok in the national curriculum was purely driven by the deeply rooted racism and selfishness in you as a true UMNO beneficiary of the NEP system that seems to have fattened you up quite generously! You have failed miserably to feel the pulse of the nation, especially that of the Indians whom you have insulted, denigrated, and caused to grieve just to satisfy your lust for a false sense of UMNO Supremacy by retaining Interlok! How dare you call us “PARIAH!” Mr Deputy Prime Minister, take a hard look in the mirror and note the blemishes within you and your UMNO Masters! Pause for a second and think of the greed, lust, cravings, arrogance, racism, bigotism and hatred you and your UMNO Masters have developed in the minds of the innocent public against the Indians (and Chinese) to the detriments of this multiracial nation!

Indians have spoken at great length, engaged in dialogues, written in volumes, burnt the novel, and politely requested … your UMNO government to drop the book from the school curriculum! And yet, your UMNO Malay supremacy and religious bigotry-infected sadist and atrocious mind has decided to keep the novel in order for your RACISTS UMNOputras to continue to denigrate, dishonor and disgrace the Indians and finally kill their self-esteem and have their dignity destroyed! All that so that you can have a continuous supply of cheap slavery to do the most menial jobs in future, lower than what the illegal-made-legal Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indonesian laborers do! You hope that through your 54 years of socially engineered strategies to severely marginalise and finally massacre the Indians on this land, those who could not withstand the agony would finally leave the country just as your UMNOputras constantly remind us to “Balik… somewhere” or for survival will succumb to your Islamisation and convert and submissively bow to you in servitude!

You and your UMNOputras are dead wrong! We are here! We will neither bow nor submit to your RACISM AND BIGOTISM! We will not flee this country leaving behind the vulnerable ones to be made your preys! We will BATTLE THIS WAR OF RACISM TILL THE LAST DROP OF OUR BLOOD!

You can exploit the equally contaminated police force to instill fear, intimidate, arrest and imprison us! Your stone walls do not make a prison nor iron bars a cage! You can silence our dissent, but not our spirit! We will fight! We have no arms, artilleries or weapons like you! We will battle it with our soul and spirit, with human conscience! Ours is a non-violent battle purely driven by our earnest quest to seek fairness, equality and justice against your UMNO RACISM of 54 years!

Like The Salt March, March on Washington, Long Walk to Freedom and Freedom March, the People’s March will unfold a new dawn in the lives of those who have been denied justice and their rights as lawful citizens in this country by UMNO RACISM! Gandhi’s Salt March may have taken 17 years to gain independence for India, Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom may have taken 20 year of his life, the Freedom Marches may have endured extreme pain threading 966 kilometers from Glasgow to London, and the March on Washington may have taken place 100 years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation…. but the people’s power won the battles in the end! So will we! So will we!

The People’s March, Solidarity Against UMNO Racism will bury UMNO’s RACISM! 27 March 2011, KLCC, 9.00 am! The people will march for THE PEOPLE’S MARCH!

Allow anti-racism march, US group tells Hisham

The government's decision to deny Hindraf the right to peaceful assembly has made a mockery of Malaysia's place at the UN Human Rights Council.

KOTA KINABALU: New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has asked Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to respect Malaysia’s international and legal obligations and allow Sunday’s Solidarity March Against Racism to proceed.

HRW’s deputy Asia director, Phil Robertson, called on Hishammuddin to overturn a decision by the police to deny a permit for the march in Kuala Lumpur, saying that the organisers on their part should ensure that the walk is carried out in an orderly and peaceful manner.

“The Malaysian government’s opposition to peaceful marches results in three big losers: the rights to free expression, freedom of association, and peaceful assembly.

“The Malaysian government’s commitment to diversity and development is betrayed when it refuses to permit peaceful criticism of its policies and programmes.

“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,” Robertson said in press statement.

The march is being organised by two ethnic Indian rights groups, the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) and the Human Rights Party (HRP).

On Feb 24, the Dang Wangi police rejected a formal request made by W Sambulingam, national coordinator of Hindraf.

The Sundary march is in reaction to a government’s decision to assign the novel Interlok as a literature textbook for Form Five students.

The novel by national laureate Abdullah Hussain, which was first published in 1971 and revised in 2010, involves relations among ethnic Malays, Chinese, and Indians from the early 1900s through 1957.

The Malaysian Indian community contends that the book disparages Indians and contributes to ethnic tensions and discrimination in educational and employment opportunities for ethnic Indian Malaysians.

No permit

Meanwhile, the anticipated route for the Sunday march is from Kuala Lumpur’s iconic Petronas Towers to the Dang Wangi police station, where participants will attempt to lodge complaints against the government.

Hishammuddin had earlier said that Hindraf would not get a police permit to march.

“It is a banned movement… It doesn’t have locus standi to ask for a permit,” he said.

The government banned the group after it staged a massive demonstration in Kuala Lumpur in 2007.

HRP has applied for registration; however, its application is still pending.

The government has already cracked down on the HRP’s right to peaceful assembly.

On Feb 13, two weeks before the scheduled march, HRP initiated a grassroots information and recruitment drive in several 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, however, 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.

Police clampdown

On Feb 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. Eventually 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 and detained hours before the local meeting was to begin.

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-organised demonstration.

The then prime minister Abdullah Ahmad 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 difficulties because of its association with Hindraf.

Physically disable people all geared up for the Historical “People’s March against UMNO’s RACISM” in Malaysia.

MALAYSIAN be united regardless race to fight racism implanted and sowed by the authoritarian UMNO led Malaysian government to enhance race segregation and racism in the educational curriculum. Be there…

‘Najib’s Makkal Sakti to hijack rally’

Hindraf claims that RS Thanenthiran's party has been given the green light to hold a rally at the same venue on Sunday.

GEORGE TOWN: Hindraf Makkal Sakti has accused the police of conspiring with Umno to hijack its anti-racism rally on Sunday.

The movement claimed that the police had issued a permit to RS Thanenthiran’s Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party (MMSP) to hold a separate rally at the same venue, the Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

In a posting on its website, Hindraf labelled MMSP as Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s “Makkal Sakti” and published a photograph of Thanenthiran tying a sash bearing the words “Wira Makkal Sakti” around Najib.

On Feb 9, Hindraf said that it had submitted an application for a police permit to the Dang Wangi district police headquarters.

“When a policeman arrived at our headquarters to serve the letter of rejection on the application, we saw Najib’s MMSP letterhead in his file. But we did not enquire about it,” it stated.

However, Hindraf claimed that it received information from reliable sources two hours later that MMSP was granted the permit instead.

“Obviously the police, its intelligence unit, Najib and Umno have conspired to pit one Indian organisation against another.

“They are plotting to arrest the real Hindraf leaders, and hand over the initiative to MMSP to hijack Hindraf’s rally and confuse the public,” the movement alleged.

Reminiscent of 2007

Contacted later, Hindraf chairman P Waytha Moorthy claimed that it was reminiscent of Hindraf’s mammoth rally in 2007.

He alleged that the police planted a “special branch E3M officer with the rank of ASP” in the movement’s leadership before the Nov 25 rally that year.

Waytha Moorthy claimed that the move was part of an operation known as “Ops Padam Hindraf” to divide the movement.

In the follow-up action, he claimed that some Hindraf newcomers were “turned over” by the authorities to form and lead MMSP.

“Backed by unlimited government funds, they used the print and electronic media, including mainstream Tamil dailies, to execute their political ploy,” he said.

“Back then, we were not prepared with our second line of leadership. But today we are,” he added.

Meanwhile, some local professionals had formed an ad-hoc 10-member group called “Friends of Hindraf” to deal with several issues, such as possible arrests on Sunday.

The legal team is headed by Hindraf lawyer and DAP’s Kota Alam Shah assemblyman M Manoharan.

In Hindraf march, fears of Middle East contagion

Hindraf’s 2007 protest was widely believed to have contributed to BN’s Election 2008 reversal. — Reuters pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — As protests in the Middle East topple regimes and spark violence, the government is taking no chances and has warned it will come down hard on the planned gathering by Indian rights group Hindraf here this Sunday.

Although the group’s influence appears to have waned after being plagued by internal bickering and claims of infiltration by the Special Branch, police have refused to grant Hindraf a permit to hold the demonstration to voice Indian outrage over the use of the “Interlok” novel in schools.

The wave of protests that ousted the presidents of Tunisia and Egypt, has also spread to India where tens of thousands gathered to protest against rising food prices earlier this week.

With Libya now facing a bloody showdown between its ruler Muammar Gaddafi and opposition figures, Barisan Nasional (BN) has both political and security reasons to clamp down on any public gathering, which may escalate if left unchecked.

The Malaysian Insider understands that the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar will meet with leaders of Indian NGOs and MIC this evening to discuss security issues ahead of Sunday’s rally.

Sources said that MIC, who will have to justify any police action to its political constituents, will ask the police chief not to “come down hard as it will only make matters worse.”

Uthayakumar (left) said authorities feared this Sunday’s protest. — Reuters pic
“They fear that we could be the light that sparks the prairie fire,” Hindraf founder and legal advisor P. Uthayakumar told The Malaysian Insider.
Both Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin have stressed repeatedly that the political upheavals in the Arab world have no bearing on Malaysia.

“Those that lead these illegal actions must be dealt with sternly and I will leave it to the police to act,” Muhyiddin had told the press yesterday, when asked about Hindraf’s “anti-racism” march this weekend.
But just as it did in 2007 — prior to the March 2008 general election — Hindraf will defy police orders and gather at KLCC on Sunday. National polls are also expected to be called later this year.
Uthayakumar does not expect this weekend’s gathering to match the claimed crowd of 30,000 in 2007.

But he said that as Hindraf has “stepped up a notch from just fighting against being marginalised to attacking Umno’s racism,” the dominant Malay party will feel just as threatened as four years ago.
Political analyst Agus Yusoff said the timing of the rally, in what will likely be an election year, was akin to “political blackmail.”

“They did the same in 2007, so the strategy is that if the authorities clamp down hard, it will fuel more anger but if they don’t then it will encourage further protests,” he said.
The Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia professor said even though the issue of “Interlok” being used as part of the Malay literature syllabus concerns one race, in the context of large-scale demonstrations elsewhere, there was a risk of escalating tensions.

“What if Malay groups like Perkasa retaliate, and so on and so forth?” he asked The Malaysian Insider.
PKR’s Selangor executive councillor Xavier Jeyakumar said that with Najib having just promoted Malaysia as a model Muslim country, he cannot afford for a popular uprising to occur now.
“There is a lot of unhappiness across all communities that is just not being expressed openly. But Hindraf may trigger it and cause a chain reaction so Najib will be keen to nip it in the bud,” he added.