Saturday, March 12, 2011

Book closed on KKB school Interlok issue

(Malaysiakini) Tensions between a faculty member and parents of students who locked horns over the novel Interlok in the Kuala Kubu Bharu school have simmered down after a meeting yesterday morning. 

At the two-hour meeting, the parents and the discipline teacher who had allegedly verbally abused the students when they tried to return their novels, was said to have agreed to bury the hatchet. 

NONE"Everything is calm and resolved. All parties have apologized to each other," said district education officer Mat Jah Roslan when contacted. 

According to Mat Jah, who was at the meeting alongside Hulu Selangor parliamentarian P Kamalanathan and representatives from state education department (JPN) and the Parent-Teacher Association, the stand-off was merely a misunderstanding. 

As such, the police report lodged by the discipline teacher and a counter-report by the parents have all been withdrawn. 

In her report, the discipline teacher alleged that one of the 17-year-old's elder brother had brought 100 thugs from Kuala Lumpur to intimidate her and her family.

The teen's brother was, however, out of town when the incident was said to have taken place. 

When questioned, Mat Jah refused to divulge details of the meeting and how the misunderstanding resulting in such allegations had occurred, preferring to close the book on the matter. 

Indirect school lesson

The three form five students involved were reportedly brought into the Kuala Kubu Bharu police station for a 10-hour questioning session, without the presence of their guardians, after they tried to return the novel to their principal. 

They were hauled in by PTA chairperson Baktiar Md Rashid, who is also a police officer, provoking the ire of a parent who questioned why her child was taken out of the school without her consent. 

According to the students, they could not to return the book to the principal as they were stopped by the discipline teacher and made to disperse. 

The teacher had 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).

Meanwhile, when contacted, Hulu Selangor police chief Norel-Azmi Yahya Affendi said that police have concluded their investigations on the matter. 

"We have now referred the matter to the legal department of the Shah Alam contingent headquarters, and are awaiting their decision," he told Malaysiakini yesterday.

UMNO’s Institutionalized racism – a curse we all need to rid this nation of.

Racism as defined by Stokely Carmichael and Charles V Hamilton in their seminal book “ Black Power” in 1967 is still very applicable 40 odd years on and here in Malaysia. Their definition of racism is “ the predication of decisions and policies on considerations of race for the purpose of subordinating a racial group and maintaining control over that group.” Racism they go on to add is both overt and covert. Acts by individuals they call individual racism is overt and acts committed collectively, they call institutionalized racism is less overt, and in most instances covert.

The first type , individual racism is the sort we see in the likes of utterances of the School Heads, Senior BTN officials and the Mufti of Perlis and the most recent case of a former police PIBG head taking 6 Indian students to the police station who were interrogated for 10 long hours because they rejected the racist book “Interlok”. This type of racism can be easily captured by reports, by the phone or other cameras and displayed in the youtube, in blogs and such other devices and generally it is brought out by acts of commission. There is generally more public condemnation of this type of racism.

The second type, institutional racism is less overt, is subtle, but systematic and many orders of magnitude more pervasive. It is less identifiable in terms of specific individuals committing the acts. This second type originates in the operation of established and respected forces in society and is far less recognizable and it generally receives little public condemnation.

When scores of Indian youth are killed in custody, there is little uproar, for after all they are the scum of society. When there is widespread statelessness among the Indian poor, too bad these stupid people do not know how to take care of themselves, that is their damned fault. When in desperation Indian individuals and families perish in suicides there is public sympathy and derision at the same time for the dead but not the acknowledgement of the impact the system has had on them. When the primary schools that Indian children go to are in shambles, well they have a choice to go the national schools don’t they. This is after all the natural order of it not, so argue the beneficiaries of the racist system.

Institutionalized racism manifests itself in oppression of multiple forms within every sphere of social relations – economic exploitation, political subordination, cultural devaluation, psychological violation,verbal abuse, police harassment, etc. These operate so so normally and naturally and are so much part of the existing institutions of our society that the common people are barely conscious of their operation. Causal racial prejudices have over time transformed into a systematized and codifies ideology and practice of racial subordination.

Najib, however in his UMNO general assembly speech on the 15th of October 2009 said, “If Malays are truly racist as alleged we would not have compromised on the cultures of other ethnic groups being practiced here……..We would also not have allowed vernacular schools to be established, …..The true meaning of racism would be like apartheid as previously practiced by South Africa..”.

So, Najib the leader of the beneficiaries of the system denies the existence of anyhting like institutionalized racism?

To answer this let us take Najib’s suggestion and compare with what existed in the Apartheid regime of South Africa which no one will argue was not a rpime example of institutionalized racism.

Here are some key features of South Africa’s Apartheid (Apartness) system:

1) A central feature of the Apartheid rule was the categorization of all the South African People into Whites, Coloreds, Indian and Blacks – their Bangsa. Everything else was built on this categorization.

2) Using this racial categorization it decided where each category of people lived, who they married, who they had sex with, where they worked and how they moved about.

3) The Group Areas Act of 1950 partitioned the country into areas allocated to different racial groups. Bantu Authorities Act of 1951 created separate government structures for blacks and was the first piece of legislation established to support the government’s plan of separate development in the Bantustans

4) They segregated education, medical care, and other public services on the basis of this racial categorisation .

5) They all had to carry Identity cards which indicated their “Bangsa” so to speak.

6) They had the apartheid laws – The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act of 1949, Immorality Act of 1950, The Population Registration Act of 1950 and so on. And they had laws of repression. Laws such as Suppression of Communism Act of 1950, The Public Safety Act of 1953 and the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1953, The Riotous Assembly Act, The Terrorism Act to name a few of the notorious ones.

7) To oversee the apartheid implementation, the bureaucracy expanded, and, by 1977, there were more than half a million white state employees.

8) Blacks were not allowed to run businesses or professional practices in those areas designated as "white South Africa" without a permit.

9) Each of the 4 categories of South Africans had their own education system.

Now let us look at comparative situations in the Malaysian rgime:

1) A central feature of our system is also our categorization into Bumiputras, Chinese, Indians and Others from birth to death.Everywhere we go we have to declare Bangsa, Ugama – at birth, at school registration, in all the applications we make, at marriage, at death and in many many more situations.

2) Large areas of most cities and towns are segregated not by law, but by practice and without the need for such segregation laws. Clear example is in Penang the Island is mainly populated by Chinese, and the Malays mostly prefer to live on the Mainland. In Shah Alam it is mainly Malays. In Seremban it is mainly Chinese in locations like Seremban Garden, and Malays in Ampangan or Paroi areas. In Kuching you have South and North Kuching for the Chinese and the Malays. In practice but not in law.

3) In several housing areas State Consent is required if one wants to sell the property especially if it is in a predominantly Malay area. It is quicker to get consent for inter Bumiputra sale than it is for a sale across the Bumiputra /Non-Bumiputra divide. Again in practice but not in law.

4) Malaysia has repressive laws like the Internal Security Act to put away who UMNO considers to be trouble makers without having to go through the court processes, the Official Secrets Act to blot out all decisions made by the UMNO controlled Administration from public view, The Printing Presses and Publications Act to control the print media from publishing too much anti UMNO news, The Seditions Act to shut people up from speaking up againts UMNO policies – to name a few of the repressive laws that helps maintain the current regime.

5) The bureaucracy is entirely made up of largely one ethnic group , Bumiputras – eight hundred thousands of them, all implementing UMNO Policy. The Police force is almost entirely Malay, the armed forces are almost entirely Malay. The judicial system is almost entirely Malay. The public Universitieis are almost entirely Malay. The GLC managements are entirely Malay. Again in practice but not in law.

6) Most Government and Government linked businesses are off limits to non- Bumiputras. There is a complete system of screening vendors that limits vendors to almost entirely Bumiputras.

Mara_Phd_Plans[1]7) Business licences are largely awarded to Bumiputras or must have mandatory minimum Bumiputra participation – Bank Licences, Educational Institutions Licences, Permits in the Transportation businesses and so many more.

8) Participation in all government development schemes are entirely for Bumiputras – MARA, FELDA, FELCRA, RISDA, PERDA, KESEDAR, KEJORA to name a few. In practice but not in law.

9) Educational opportunities in Public Educational Institutions are grossly in favour of Bumiputras.


10) Cross religious relationships between Non muslim Malaysians and Muslim Malaysians is a complicated affair, especially if a problem develops along the way.

If we consider these two sets of situations it is apparent that there are significant number of similarities between the apartheid system and the Malaysian system created, developed, finetuned by UMNO from 1957 to 2011. The key difference seems to be the lack of ambiguity in the South African expression in all its laws. In Malaysia a lot of the racism is in practice not in the law. To any right thinking person it is so obvious, the racism that underlies our daily life. Therefore it is really audacious for Najib to say UMNO is not racist – the party that is responsible for this terrible state of affairs. He is in a terrible state of denial still..

Allowing the practice of cultures of the Indians or the Chinese in Malaysia or allowing Chinese Medium and Tamil Medium schools in Malaysia, or of allowing the use of Chinese and Indian names does not in any way define the character of the regime in Malaysia. Allowing all this actually now becomes convenient argument for UMNO to take everything else away, it seems. It is the structure of the economic political system that defines the character of our system. And it is blatantly racist.

I do not say the Malay people are racists. I am saying that UMNO, the political party is. It is indeed a blue blooded racist party – the entire cause for the racism that is so rampant in Malaysia.

Racism is “the domination of one ethnic group over other ethnic groups on the basis of some claimed superiority”. In South Africa – White Supremacy, In Hitler’s Germany – the Superiority of the German race, In the British Empire – the Civilizing Burden of the White Man, in Malaysia, Ketuanan Melayu or Malay Supremacy.

Do we need to say more.

Let us all wake up and in solidarity fight this curse of institutionalized racism. We have no choice if we all Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Dusuns, Muruts, Dayaks want a vibrant prosperous and robust nation in Malaysia.


No more support for feats of hair just because remain as Hindu

GEORGE TOWN: He may be a strongman who once mesmerised the crowds with his feat – pulling vehicles with ropes tied to his hair and ears. But today G Devindiran’s hair is “clipped”.

For the 53-year-old strongman, or better known as “Sando” Dewa, no longer gets state-sponsored events and funds to show off his exploit.

He claimed the main reason he did not get to perform in government-sponsored events for the past six years was that he refused to betray his Hindu faith.

He alleged that several government officials have tried to brainwash him to abandon Hinduism and become a Muslim.

“They told me to convert so that I would be able to enjoy all the perks, sponsorships and steady supply of events to perform.

“When I declined, my association and I have lost on all these benefits for the past six years,” alleged Sando Dewa, who heads an Indian martial arts exponent club – the Selangor Sando Association (SSA).

Previously, he and SSA have received invitations to perform in at least six state-sponsored events, including funfairs, and they earned between RM8,000 and RM10,000 yearly.

“We believed there is a tacit boycott imposed on us after I rejected the idea of conversion,” he told FMT.

Martial arts

Sando Dewa from Kampung Baru, Sungai Buloh, holds four national records pulling loaded heavy vehicles with his hair and ears.

He learnt the skills in his late 20s from an Indian martial arts exponent in Gudang Estate, Rawang.

He made his public debut at age 31 in 1989 when he pulled a small three-ton lorry with 30 disabled children sitting in it with a rope tied to his hair.

But it took him nearly 10 years before he managed to get his name into the Malaysia Book of Records.

He pulled the heaviest loaded vehicle with a rope tied to his hair on New Year Day in 1998.

He pulled a 2.8-ton truck with four people sitting in it for 180 metres at the Sri Mathurai Veeran Kovil in Kuala Lumpur.

Next on April 6, 2000, he created another record by pulling a 110-ton fishing trawler for 20 metres with his hair. He achieved the feat at Pulau Pangkor jetty.

Futile attempts

Then again on Aug 8, 2002, he pulled a 1,800kg lorry for 300 metres with his hair in Seremban to grab his third national record.

His fourth remarkable record was achieved when he pulled a 1,360kg van for 58 metres with a rope tied to his ears on May Day, 2005, in Lahad Datu, Sabah.

Married to S Santhi Devi, Sando Dewa has three children – son Jagatish, 20, and two daughters Shanmuga Priya, 17, and Premalatha, 15.

All his children have followed in his footsteps by pulling heavy vehicles with their facial features.

But only Shanmuga Priya has so far created a national record.

She got herself in the Malaysia Book of Records for pulling a 1,300kg van with her hair for the longest distance of 56.7 metres.

She achieved the feat in a Merdeka Day performance in 2002 in Port Dickson when she was only nine.

Sando Dewa has pleaded and wrote numerous appeal letters to many government leaders, including former and current Prime Ministers – Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib Tun Razak, and former and current Youth and Sports Ministers Azalina Othman and Ahmad Shabery Chik.

But all his attempts were futile. There was not a single response from Putrajaya.

He has recently sought the help of Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy.

“He showed concerned about my plight and SSA financial constraints. I believe he will genuinely do his part to help us,” said Sando Dewa.

Malaysia – Continued criminalisation of Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) and the Human Rights Party

Since 1 March 2011, the Malaysian authorities have arrested some 54 members of the Hindu
Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) and its sister organisation, the Human Rights Party in what
appears to be a widespread campaign of repression and judicial harassment against the
organisations and their members. HINDRAF is a grassroots-based human rights advocacy group
working on promoting the rights of the Hindu and other marginalised communities in Malaysia.

The 54 individuals, who have all been released on bail, are charged with taking part in an “illegal organisation”, as a result of the authorities' continued refusal to process the organisation's request for registration. Furthermore, the National Secretary of HINDRAF, Mr P Ramesh, was also charged with possession of banners and documents that further the cause of HINDRAF, based on the aforementioned lack of legal recognition granted to the organisation.

HINDRAF was founded in December 2005 in order to lobby for the rights and religious freedoms of
minority non-Muslims in Malaysia. In 2006, HINDRAF extended its mandate to include other
human rights issues, including in relation to internally displaced and stateless persons, and
economic rights. The organisation submitted its first application for registration in January 2006,although this reportedly went unacknowledged by the Registrar of Societies. They submitted a second application in October 2007, which remains pending.

On 25 November 2007, HINDRAF organised a rally in Kuala Lumpur protesting against the
marginalisation of Malaysian Indians in which some 50,000 people reportedly took part.
Subsequently, the following month, a number of HINDRAF's members including Mr P Uthayakumar, HINDRAF's Legal Advisor, were arrested under the Internal Security Act, and held
without charge for 514 days, accused of having endangered national security through their role in organising the protest and having links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). HINDRAF's Chair, Mr P Waytha Moorthy, who was out of the country at the time, also had his passport revoked by the Malaysian authorities.

In October 2008, erstwhile Home Minister Mr Syed Hamid Albar announced that HINDRAF was
banned. However, no Court Order followed or accompanied this announcement and, thus,
HINDRAF continued its activities. In order to protect its volunteers, HINDRAF renamed itself
“Hindraf Makkal Sakthi” in 2008. Its legal representatives sent a letter of intent to register the organisation under this name on 2 October 2009; however, the Registrar of Societies has not
responded to this request.

Following his release from prison, P Uthayakumar founded the Human Rights Party, and submitted
the formal application for registration on 25 November 2010, which remains pending.

The most recent arrests relate to HINDRAF's attempt to organise a peaceful anti-racism
demonstration on 27 February 2011. The authorities prevented the demonstration from taking
place through widespread arrests and detentions as well as other forms of intimidation on the day of the demonstration.

Front Line believes that the continued criminalisation of members of HINDRAF and the Human
Rights Party is directly related to their legitimate and peaceful work in defence of human rights and,furthermore, constitutes a transgression of their rights of free assembly and association as 1 guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Front Line urges the authorities in Malaysia to:

1. Immediately and unconditionally drop all charges against volunteers and members of
HINDRAF and the Human Rights Party, as it is believed that these charges solely relate to
their legitimate human rights activities and the exercise of their right to free assembly;

2. Take all necessary measures to ensure the prompt legal registration of HINDRAF and the
Human Rights Party;

3. Guarantee in all circumstances that human rights defenders in Malaysia are able to carry
out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.

Front Line respectfully reminds you that the United Nations Declaration on the Right and
Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally
Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted by consensus by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1998, recognises the legitimacy of the activities of human rights
defenders, their right to freedom of association and to carry out their activities without fear of reprisals. We would particularly draw you attention to Article 5: “For the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels: (a) To meet or assemble peacefully; (b) To form, join and participate in non-governmental organizations, associations or groups; (c) To communicate with non-governmental or intergovernmental organizations.”

Yours sincerely,
Mary Lawlor

Medical students can soon take medical courses at any varsity overseas but have to sit for “doctor’s competency exams” But UMNO fails 90% of Indian students when UMNO refuses common entrance exams for all medical law and professional course students including Malay muslims.

This is in pursuance of UMNOs’ racist agenda to reduce the number of Indian doctors (and lawyers) who once in pre-independence and the first years of independence were the majority of the doctors and lawyers.

Even Dr. Mahathir in the 1960s’ named his clinic in Alor Setar as Clinic Maha to resemble an Indian name because in those days the Indian doctors were the top and most popular doctors, and formed up to 70% of the doctors and lawyers in Malaysia although they formed only 10% of the then Malaysian population.

But in these 54 years of independence UMNO has “ethnically cleansed” the number of Indian doctors and lawyers to about a mere 20% today and dipping drastically year by year with only thousands of Malay muslim students hastily qualified and allowed to do medicine, law and professional courses.

Not to mention scores of thousands of JPA, Mara, Petronas, Yayasan etc scholarships but for almost all Malay muslims only.

UMNO even restricts and/or makes it difficult for private students wanting to study or work and study overseas by imposing the racist UMNO “No Objections” certificate only in the last five years or so. It is none of UMNO’s business if Indian students want to study overseas why should UMNO object? This “No Objections” Certificate is not practiced in any part of the world and not even in the most dictatorial Zimbabwe.

UMNO similarly forces mostly Indian law students to sit for the Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) exams and fails up to 90% of them not because they are below par but just to reduce the number of Indian lawyers in Malaysia.

UMNO has refused to have a Common Entrance Exams for all lawyer Medical and Professional Courses for all local and foreign students including those from Mara and UKM. Why not? UMNOs’ Racist and religious supremacist agenda?

After all UMNO Prime Minister Najib Razak declares us as 1 Malaysia.

End UMNO Racism and religious supremacy.

Rights Not Mercy

(see NST 11/3/2011 at headlines)

Karunai Nithi @ Compassionate Justice

medical students

DBKL snubs Bukit Jalil Estate residents

Wrongful detention