Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cops question students for 10 hours over 'Interlok'

(Malaysiakini) Three Form Five students were yesterday taken to the Kuala Kubu Baru district police headquarters and traumatised by being questioned for 10 hours - all for wanting to return the novel 'Interlok' to their principal last Friday.

Initially, seven SMK Kuala Kubu Baru students, who wanted to return the book because they were not happy with its contents, were stopped by a discipline teacher who allegedly abused them verbally.

NONE“All seven of us were walking calmly towards the headmaster's room when our discipline teacher stopped us and started making comments which hurt our feelings,” said one of the students, who was with four others at the Human Rights Party headquarters today.

According to the student, the discipline teacher said the students were purposely creating problems because of their race.

The teacher reportedly said, “Kenapa orang India garang? India memang suka rosakkan nama sekolah. Keling memang dasar pariah sejak sejarah lagi” (Why are the Indians so fierce? Indians really like to tarnish the school's name. The keling have been pariahs since historical times).

The 17-year-old students were not able to return the novel as the teacher told them to disperse immediately.

Yesterday, while the students were in school, Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) head Baktiar Md Rashid, who is a police officer, took three of the teens to the police station for questioning, without the consent of their parents.

NONEA parent, P Gomathi, 42 (left), said she was angry that her son had been taken to the station without her presence or permission.

“My son did not commit any crime. He just wanted to return a book that he didn't enjoy reading.
"Instead he was humiliated and taken to the balai like some kind of hardcore criminal, in a patrol car,” she said, adding that the school authorities did not inform her about this.

Gomathi was informed of her son's whereabouts at 10.30am by a classmate. When she reached the station, she said, she was told that her elder son A Sanjeevkumar, 19, had also been called in for questioning as the discipline teacher had made a police report against him.

“She (the discipline teacher) said in her police report that my elder son had brought 100 Indians from Kuala Lumpur, from the Gang 36, to threaten her and her family,” Gomathi added.

NONEShe sees this as a desperate move by the teacher because Sanjeevkumar was away in Kuala Lumpur the whole week when this issue started. 

Sanjeevkumar said: “I was a student in this school two years ago, and I have never been involved in any problem. No problem with the teachers or other students. 

“Therefore, it is not fair for the teacher to pin it on me on the ground that I was a former student who 'turned' into a gangster to influence my younger brother.”

Gomathi yesterday lodged police reports against Baktiar and the teacher.

“I am not happy with what has happened. It was a school drama that should have ended there. Baktiar was misusing his authority.
"He should have had his PTA hat on, as the matter concerned school children in the school compound... not putting on his 'DSP police hat' and arresting the children and taking them to the balai for questioning. After all it's just (about) a book."
'A night in jail' threat

Asked what took place at the police station, the teary-eyed student said the police threatened that he and older brother Sanjeevkumar would be spending a night in jail.

“I asked for permission to call my parents but they (the police) wouldn't let me, saying I was in only there for questioning, and that they were not going to arrest me. The other two of my friends were also not able to call their parents.”

Asked what he wants from the authorities, he said: “I want to go back to school macam biasa (as usual). Jumpa semua kawan (see all my friends).

Sebab hari Jumaat, banyak cikgu lain yang dengar cerita ini, semuanya cakap sorry dekat kita. (Last Friday, most of the other teachers who heard of this issue, came and said sorry to us).

NONE“So, all I want is the discipline teacher to apologise to us. That's it.”

HRP president W Sambulingam (left), who was present at the press conference, said it was unfair to put the students through such an ordeal at a tender age.

“This is what I say, harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi. The police are supposed to educate and keep the people from harm. Instead, they lock up students. And for what? For trying to return the novel.

“As we have been saying since the beginning, 'Interlok' must be removed immediately. Look at it today, see for yourself what it has done to this particular school.
“Malaysia is a beautiful country, with beautiful people, so please do not make it ugly with hidden racial agendas. Don't ever victimise the nation.”
'Interlok', written by national laureate Abdullah Hussein, made headlines recently as critics have argued that it portrays the Indian and Chinese communities in a negative light.

There have been protests since the Education Ministry's decision to usit as a literature textbook in secondary schools. This is the first case of students being taken to a police station and questioned over the book.
Statements taken
When contacted by Malaysiakini, Hulu Selangor district police chief Norel-Azmi Yahya Affendi confirmed the incident.

"Since last night, we have been taking statements from all parties, including our police officer, Baktiar," Norel said.
Norel also noted that the three students were taken from school to the police station solely for questioning and they were not being charged.

"This is all just a big misunderstanding and a miscommunication between the teacher and students. My understanding is, the teacher was just explaining the meaning and history of that word (pariah). There was no name calling whatsoever," Norel added.

He gave assurance that the police are taking this case seriously, as the students' parents are not happy with the teacher and Baktiar, adding that the 10-hour questioning the minors underwent was standard procedure.
"The students were at the police station for about 10 hours because we spent about three hours on each student questioning and getting clarification from them on what had happen.

"Apart from the parents, the teacher also lodged a report against one of the students elder brother for threatening her," he said adding that if found guilty, Sanjeevkumar would be charged under Section 506 of the Penal Code, which includes a maximum jail sentence of seven years or pay a fine or both.

Norel said those involved in this matter had tackled this issue wrongly.

Any form of questioning regarding 'Interlok' should be done by school authorities, in the school compound and not elsewhere, he said.

Norel also hoped that no third parties who make this issue into a racial matter.

Hindraf, not Pakatan is the real threat to Umno

In February, Malaysians witnessed a total shut down of Kuala Lumpur, and the arrests of over 300 people with the current 53 charged in the rally against racism in Malaysia.

It is surprising that the Umno government has gone to such an extent to silence the Hindraf movement when even the opposition did not face such treatment other than those 106 arrested in Operasi Lalang in 1987 under Mahathir's regime.

In hindsight, the government feels that the grass roots movement of Hindraf is more potent that the politicking of the opposition. Maybe they realise the opposition like them is an endless trail of bickering of who does what and how it has to be done, but how it gets dissipated to the grassroots is a major stumbling block for either the ruling government or the opposition.

The government probably realised that Hindraf is still alive and kicking because they are the voice of the poor, deprived and marginalised who form about 70 percent of the population.

Why and how Hindraf can be the voice for the poor, deprived and marginalised? Naturally if you look at their leaders, they are not people of material substance, no datuks, tan sris, people with connections, and so on, but a movement of people who are genuinely interested in uplifting the society with their own sacrifices for the people within the society.

If you take the trouble to notice, you will realise that this group does not have any support either from the opposition or the NGOs and works solely in their belief with their followers that their path cannot be compromised for political and personal agenda, but what is the best for the community on the long run.

Even now in the by-elections, their arrest for the anti racism forums were well circulated by the opposition to optimise on the sentiment for vote count, yet none has lent a hand for their cause against racialism on February 27, 2011.

Similar to Suqiu, I think we have a genuine movement in Hindraf and their leaders without fear or favour who fight a cause for the voiceless poor, deprived and marginalised in society although they have been branded from hero in 2008 to villains these days.

Those who doubt or feel insecure behind their cyber world will always feel that way, and that is a choice that they make but truth is not with choice but what it is, no manoeuvring around it.

And in Hindraf I realised that is what they stand for with their struggle on their own to ensure truth survives without fear or favour.

The funny thing about the whole thing is, we talk about racism and what not, but never individually take the trouble to find out what it is, other than listening and commenting to the endless preaching of politicians on how it should be done.

Frankly, as an adult, I am sure you are also mature enough to understand that it is not a perfect world, but by sitting on the sidelines and commenting to vent our frustration on cyberspace is not going to solve the problem that the community faces, as they are a part of us one way or another.

As a human first, I respect these Hindraf followers who fight tooth and nail with all the adversity that is thrown against them by Umno, by the opposition and us know-all cyber commentators.

Media Event March 8, 2011 Interlok: 6 students arrested for returning book.

New Scan-20110308103036-00001

No.6, Jalan Abdullah, Off Jalan Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 
Tel: 03-2282 5241 Fax: 03-2282 5245 Website: www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com

Media Event March 8, 2011
Re: SMK Kuala Kubu Bharu teacher made racist remark (keling memang paria) against form 5 students for returning Interlok Novel. Despite making police report against the teacher, 5 of the Indian students and another ex student who are the victims were from school arrested (see Tamil Nesan Headlines today – 8/3/11). Inspector Hamsani bin Abu Hassan of IPD KKB of Hal Ehwal Awam (public relations) of IPD KKB used the word pun _ _k on these students.

The 6 Students and parents would attend.
Date: 8th March 2011 (Tuesday)
Time: 12.30pm
Venue: HRP. HQ, Jalan Abdulah, (Off Jalan Bangsar), Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-22825241
Thank you.
Yours truly,
Information Chief
012 6362287

INTERLOK : UMNO police Bully have started arresting even small boys

photos1_thumb[1]This morning, we received information from the Human Rights Party Vice President Tamil Selvam that, on 7th March 2011, three school boys were arrested by the police at SMK Kuala Kubu Baru secondary school. These three students namely Satish a/l Arumugan, Pustanathan and Suresh are 17 years old form 5 students.

The occurrence had happened on last Friday on 4th March 2011 at their school, whereby a group of 6 students had gone to see Cikgu Zarina bt Jaffar to return the racist Interlok book. However, their teacher Cikgu Zarina bt Jaffar had scolded them claiming they were ‘Orang Pariah’. Therefore, because of the discontent, they went to meet the Penolong Kanan of the school to report, however the Penolong Kanan told that ‘jangan membesarkan issue ini’ and had apologized on behalf of Cikgu Zarina bt Jaffar. Also, the Penolong Kanan of the school gave Rm 10 to the students and said ‘ guna duit ini sebagai tambang bas dan jangan report anything’ The students refused to take the money and requested the Penolong Kanan of the school to let them meet Cikgu Zarina bt Jaffar for explanation of such harsh words. However, Cikgu Zarina bte Jaffar had refused to meet them.

The next day, when the students went to school as usual, they were arrested at school. Therefore, at 1.20 pm, Mr Ganeson representing the legal firm of Kumar Hashimah and Co Human Rights Party had called the IPD Kuala Kubu Baru Police Station to found out that the OCPD, Senior Investigation officer, but was told all had gone off for lunch. Though Ganeson could get the investigation officer Puan Zazadillah on the line, still she was not co-operative. Then a call was made to Malaysian Control Country (MCC), at 03-22662222, Bukit Aman Police Headquarters where the duty Police Commander on duty DSP Roslan had slammed down the phone on Ganeson. Ganeson had contacted the OCPD who in turn asked to refer to ASP Yatim bin Hj Osman. ASP Yatim bin Hj Osman had explained that these three students had been arrested on the grounds of threatening Cikgu Zarina to which we protested as the students were the victims. When Mr Ganeson had asked when these 3 three students would be released, ASP Yatim Hj Osman had replied that they will only be released after the investigation is over, and he is not sure about the exact time of their release.

This is the classical police answer and abuse of powers. How can the police arrest these three school boys from school and take them to the police station without notifying their parents. This is the typical racist UMNO police mindset.

School boys Satish Kumar a/l Arumugam, Pustanathan & Suresh released. Now going to lodge police report against the racist UMNO teacher & Inspector Hamsani bin Abu Hassan of IPD KKB of Hal Ehwal Awam for using word pun _ _ k on these Form Five school boys them .

Sanjay Kumar and five others lodge police reports against racist UMNO teacher. Victim Sanjay now locked up at KKB police station

This is the latest and the tip of the iceberg of the UMNO and their police racism against the minority Indian poor.

UMNO directs MIC President mandore to tell Indian poor to go back and work in plantations for RM 700 p.m. But 442,000 Malay muslims made 10 acre plantation land owners and earning RM 3,000 p.m

Today there are no more Malay plantation workers. They have all become landowners.

The neo colonialist UMNO replaced the British after sucking the blood, sweat and tears of the Indian poor for 54 long years.

This level of UMNO state sponsored racism does not happen in any part of the world.

And when the estates were made way for development, these poor Indian plantation workers were forced by UMNO to become homeless, urban squatters, security guards, toilet cleaners, office boys, home cleaners, road sweepers, general workers, lorry, taxi and van drivers and other unskilled workers.

Why not the 10 acre land ownership for at least the remaining estimated 86,678 (Indian) plantation workers nationwide?

But 244,187 registered foreign workers are imported to avoid making these defenceless 86,678 Indian poor and landless the Felda like landowners (see SH 18/2/11 at page S28).

UMNO directs this MIC President Indian mandore to tell the Indian poor that they at least get RM 700 now as opposed to the RM 300 previously.

The prime Minister announced that an income of RM 687 per month is the Poverty Line Index.

The Malay muslim poverty rate was reduced from 50% in 1957 to 1.8% last year. Absolute poverty was reduced to 1.8% last year in 2008 under NEP (NST 3/3/09 at page 17).

(see NST 7/3/2011 at page 7 and UM 7/3/2011 at page 24)

Karunai Nithi @ Compassionate Justice

UMNO directs 1
UMNO directs 2

Hindraf five reunion in the making?

A move is afoot to bring together the key masterminds behind the Hindu Rights Action Force movement.

KUALA LUMPUR: A reunion of five key masterminds behind Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) who were detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) is in the making.

The move has been undertaken by an Indian NGO, Malaysian Indian-Voice (MI-Voice).

Its chairman, V Raidu, said the reunion was scheduled to take place on April 30 at Dewan Hamzah, Klang, and was expected to draw 10,000 people.

The five masterminds are V Ganabatirao, K Vasantha Kumar, R Kenghadharan, M Manoharan and P Uthayakumar. They were largely responsible for mobilising more than 60,000 Indians under the Hindraf banner for a demonstration in Kuala Lumpur in 2007 to highlight the plight of the Indian poor.

In a police crackdown on the protest all five were detained under ISA. During the detention, there was a fallout between Uthayakumar and Vasantha Kumar.

Shortly after their release, Manoharan was elected DAP Kota Alam Shah assemblyman in the 2008 general election and Uthayakumar went on to form the Human Rights Party.

Vasantha Kumar joined PKR while Kenghadharan and Ganabatirao are MI-Voice advisers.

Said Raidu: “I am hoping all five would join hands for the sake of the Indian community.”

Added Ganabatirao: “This will be the last attempt for a reunion.”

Ganabatirao, who is a DAP member, confirmed that DAP secretary-general, Lim Guan Eng, would be attending the function.

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and PAS spiritual adviser Nik Aziz Nik Mat are also expected to be present.

Hindraf and freedom of assembly

“We don’t want to use force, but they are hoping we will do so as they want to exploit the situation by painting a bad picture of Malaysia through the international television channels.”
“We do not want to be hard on them but they are hoping the police will use violence against them and it will be good stuff for the international media to exploit.”
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) rally in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 27 Feb 2011. The march was themed Solidarity against Umno’s racism. The planned march was in protest against the government’s decision to ignore the Indian Malaysian community’s objections over the contents of Interlok, a novel which is part of the Form Five syllabus for Malay-language literature.
The prime minister claimed Hindraf was deliberately creating bad publicity for the country through the international media by holding the demonstration at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) grounds. He said the government had already resolved many of the Indian Malaysian community’s issues, so “why the need for a demonstration? And why at KLCC?” (Sources: Najib: Hindraf has “malicious intent”, theSun, 27 Feb 2011; Hindraf demonstrators deliberately pushing for bad publicity, says Najib, The Star, 28 Feb 2011)
“If they act outside the law and disregard regulations, holding rallies and the like … stern action should be taken.”
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on 24 Feb 2011 calling for police to take stern action against the rally’s organisers. Later, the deputy prime minister commented on the low turnout at the protest, saying this indicated that the Indian Malaysian community trusted the Barisan Nasional government to protect their rights. (Source: DPM wants firm action against Hindraf’s Sunday rally, The Malaysian Insider, 24 Feb 2011)
“The public must realise that certain parties will try to manipulate this issue and equate the Hindraf rally with the uprisings in Libya and Egypt.
“This is not true and, in fact, the number of people detained at the rally is significantly smaller than expected, indicating that support is not as strong as it used to be.”
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, commenting on the arrests of 109 protesters during the 27 Feb 2011 rally. Hishammuddin said the rally was against the law because Hindraf had not obtained a permit to hold the gathering. He added that the protesters were a “nuisance to public order”, and that police were only doing their job by detaining them. According to police estimates, fewer than 500 people took part in the rally. (Source: Hisham: Protesters are a nuisance, New Straits Times, 28 Feb 2011)
“Certain parties are willing to do anything just to sensationalise issues.”
“My congratulations to the Inspector-General of Police and the force for derailing plans by those out to create chaos and that we rough them up.”
Hishammuddin again. On allegations that the detained Hindraf members were mistreated, he said the accusations were just an attempt to tarnish the image of the police. (Source: Police have video footage to prove Hindraf members not mistreated, mysinchew.com, 1 March 2011)
“But as some anti-Interlok activists have not been averse to burning books in the tradition of the Nazis, they are closer to being closet fascists rather than the proponents of free speech that they are imagined to be. Indeed, removing the novel from the classroom in the name of anti-racism seems to be a pretext to insist that others conform to their narrow worldview and parochial prejudices.”
Op-ed in the New Straits Times. The newspaper said while the arrests of the Hindraf protesters might be viewed as further proof that freedom of expression was denied, those who sought to ban the novel Interlok “are at liberty to make highbrow political pronouncements, assume the moral high ground and portray themselves as heroic dissidents against repressive rule”, and were “aggravating racial tensions by finding racism where there is none”.
The newspaper also claimed the word “pariah” in the book was not used in a derogatory way. It suggested that such controversial material remained in the classroom so that students could engage in critical inquiry and real-world issues. (Source: Misguided protests, New Straits Times, 28 Feb 2011)
“Although the number of protesters is not big, it will create an impression to tourists that there is a lot of conflict in the country.
“If we’re a civil society, then we should learn to air our problems in a civil manner.”
Chan Su Ling, 22, a student from Subang Jaya, commenting on the Hindraf protest in a report on the “inconvenience” caused by the rally. (Source: Roadblocks, traffic jams spoil weekend for KL folk, New Straits Times, 28 Feb 2011)
“We’ve had so many rallies in the city and they’ve done nothing but create traffic jams. It’s bad enough that we have to brave jams on weekdays. Please don’t do this on weekends, too.”
Lydia Teh, 26, from Ampang when asked to comment about the Hindraf rally. She told the New Straits Times that she had to take a train into the city rather than drive. “I had planned to shop for things for my new house and it will be impossible to carry them all by myself on the train. So I will have to take a taxi later, which is also a hassle in itself,” she added. (Source: Roadblocks, traffic jams spoil weekend for KL folk, New Straits Times, 28 Feb 2011)
“(a) every citizen has the right to freedom of speech and expression;
(b) all citizens have the right to assemble peaceably and without arms”
Article 10 of Malaysia’s Federal Constitution. (Source: Federal Constitution of Malaysia)
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
“Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.”
Articles 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

1.45p.m News Flash: Interlok; Three Form Five students arrested from SMK Kuala Kubu Baru when complained that they were called keling paria by Malay muslim teacher when returning Interlok Book.

1.45p.m News Flash: Interlok; Three Form Five students arrested from SMK Kuala Kubu Baru when complained that they were called keling paria by Malay muslim teacher when returning Interlok Book.