Thursday 31 July 2008

Anwar makes his move

First it was speculated that Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim will contest in Bandar Tun Razak, then it was Bandar Baru Kulim. Now, he has finally announced that he will contest in his old seat, Permatang Pauh, which was held by his wife until her resignation today.

Well, looks like it's going to be election fever again soon. The Election Commission has to announce a by-election in the constituency within 60 days.

Stay tuned folks.

Wednesday 30 July 2008

UMNO, Please don't betray Barisan Nasional!

First, I must thank Malaysiakini for including my last post in their 'Malaysiakini in Blogs' section. A quarter of the total visitors to this blog as of now, visited yesterday.

I want to say my piece on the recent PAS-UMNO discussions. Initially, it was reported that the discussions were regarding 'Malay issues'. Then it became 'Malay unity'. Now there seem to be outright political negotiations.

Let's get one thing straight. UMNO is the main party in Barisan Nasional. UMNO is NOT Barisan Nasional. The BN's very backbone is multi-racial representation. BN simply MUST move in the direction of Malaysian unity, not Malay unity. Forming an alliance with PAS in the interest of 'keeping control in the hands of the Malays' is unacceptable.

When 100,000 Indians took to the streets, our hearts were with them. They voiced out on the streets in one day, what the MIC has been fighting for within closed doors for the last 50 years. We could have easily done that. It would not have taken the MIC too long to mobilize 100,000 people on the streets. But we did not. Because we respected the BN spirit. We even tried in futility to defend the BN against those people. We paid dearly for it.

Now some people claim the MIC did nothing at all for the last 50 years. We may have not done enough, but we definitely tried. Unfortunately, we tried within closed doors. We tried within the BN framework. We did not get all that we asked for. Within the give and take spirit of the BN, we did our best. We worked quietly.

After ALL this, after all that the other partners in the BN have sacrificed in the last election, in the name of Barisan Nasional, if UMNO tries to team up with PAS, there will be no bigger act of betrayal to the Barisan Nasional spirit. There will be no greater damper to the quest for Malaysian unity.

There are simply no short cuts to unity. There can only be unity when there is equality. There can only be unity when there is respect. There can only be unity when UMNO does not go out of its way to enforce 'Ketuanan Melayu'!

Tuesday 29 July 2008

Indians Fed Up Says Malaysiakini

Malaysiakini has run an article quoting Hindraf alligned groups stating their frustration at the Pakatan Rakyat run governments. Well, I expected this sooner or later. In fact, I expect more of such statements in the not too distant future. the Anwar Ibrahim led opposition election campaign was quick to make full use of the genuine frustration felt by Indians and being the shrewd manipulator Anwar is, he made the most out of the Indians. But now, after winning unprecedented support from the Indian community, they are left to rot. Of course, opposition supporters would be quick to point out that we have a first Indian Deputy Chief Minister and Speaker, but this is eyewash. The average Indian out there gains nothing. The Indian community has been taken for a ride.
I reproduce here, the article from Malaysiakini...

Indian groups fed up with Pakatan gov'ts

Athi Veeranggan Jul 29, 08 4:12pm

Several Indian civil movements are fed up with the indifferent attitude of Pakatan Rakyat governments.

Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), Penang Makkal Sakti Welfare Association (Pemaswa) and newly formed Hindu Action Network (Han) want the new Pakatan governments to form state Indian councils led by the menteri besar or chief minister.

The suggested councils will plan and implement beneficial programmes for the Indian community, with short, medium and long term goals.

According to Hindraf national coordinator TS Thanenthiran, the Pakatan governments have failed to fulfill their promises.

He said during the elections, Pakatan used the Hindraf tagline Makkal Sakti but since winning they have not unveiled any policy to benefit the community.

"Pakatan Rakyat ruling parties, be it DAP in Penang, PAS in Kedah and Perak and PKR in Selangor, seemed to have made empty electoral promises to the Indians," he added.

He stressed Hindraf would continue to fight along the movement’s 18-point memorandum submitted to the federal government last year.

Temple demolitions, non-existence of kindergartens in Tamil schools, private and public sector marginalisation and high suicide rates, are some of the issues the memorandum covers.
'Reps betrayed the community'

Meanwhile, Pemaswa president G Asoghan claimed that Indian leaders in the Pakatan government have "betrayed the Indian community’s trust in them" to deliver the goods.

"Until today, the state governments, particularly Indian leaders, are resting on their laurels," he said.

He claimed that more from MIC, PPP and IPF have benefited from the DAP government in Penang than genuine Hindraf supporters.

Han coordinator G Mugunthan (left) criticised Penang’s elected Indian assemblypersons of protecting their chronic self-interests when they rejected a previous DAP proposal for a state council.

Though DAP members were keen for a one-stop council, the DAP Indian assemblypersons rejected it as "it will put undue pressure on them to deliver."

"Now they are freely doing anything according to their whims and fancies," he said, adding that the appointment of an Indian as Penang deputy chief minister has been more "a curse than a blessing" to the community.

"It has only helped some chronic characters from BN."

Hindraf, Han and Pemaswa plan to organise a joint dialogue session with all relevant Pakatan Rakyat heads of state governments over the issue.

Monday 28 July 2008

Camerons Tea, Anyone?

The last week has been a very active one. At work, there seems to be so much to do, and never enough time to get things done. Despite having loads of tender related work to do, I had to be out of office for two days, to attend a work-related conference, held for the first time in KL. As soon as that ended, it was off to Cameron Highlands for a workshop held for Pemuda MIC and Putera MIC leaders. I guess balancing work and politics is something that I am going to have to master. It is definitely not easy, as my job requires a lot of travelling.

'Bengkel Anjakan Paradigma Kepimpinan Pemuda MIC' turned out to be an experience to be cherished. The ideas and opinions put forward were truly constructive, and the entire event was conducted professionally. I have attended many a seminar and workshop that are held just for the sake of holding one. But this time, one could sense that the leaders were truly keen to listen to what the other state, bureau and Putera leaders had to say. I left Camerons with two things. First, I made many new friends, friends who are determined to do their part for the community. Second, I found a rejuvenated sense of hope and pride in being a part of the young leaders of the MIC. Hope, because I know that things are really being put in place for Pemuda MIC to bounce back stronger than ever. Pride because I am a part of this dedicated team.

On our way back from Camerons, we stopped at a roadside stall selling fresh farm produce. As some of us were still wearing our MIC uniforms, the stall owner smiled, pointed to the logo on our shirt, and told us "If not for YB Devamani (MIC-BN MP for Cameron Highlands, Deputy Minister) my son would be a drug addict today. He has helped my family so much. I will never forget his help. He helped my son overcome his problem, got him into a college and today my son is an engineer."

It is the small things like this that motivates one to carry on and serve the community in whatever way we can, at a time when just about everyone seems to have forgotten all the things the MIC has done. One can't help feeling a sense of pride when a party leader is spoken about with so much affection by the people who elected him as their representative. YB Devamani, my former teacher, is definitely one of the more spirited leaders in the MIC, and his energy and enthusiasm is not only motivating, it is addictive.

Camerons aside, with my new appointment as the Putera Chief of Selangor, in addition to my National posts, I will be shouldering a fair bit of new responsibilities. It will be a lot of work, but I will definitely give it all that I have. I know I have a good team with me, and together, we will rebuild Putera MIC Selangor and return it to the shining state that it once was. In the meantime, I welcome suggestions from all, on what kind of things they would like to see from Putera MIC Selangor. Talk to me, give me ideas, tell me what you want, and in return, I will work hard for you.

Tuesday 22 July 2008

Tabung Sivasakthi

The MIC Youth's Social and Welfare Bureau, headed by Youth Chief T. Mohan is trying to raise funds for Madam Sivasakthi, who urgently needs a kidney operation. Putera MIC's Social and Welfare Bureau, headed by me, also intends to help our Youth brothers achieve their aim of raising RM 70,000 for the family in three months. While we will be launching a collection drive soon, I would sincerely appreciate if you could all pass the word around. Please bank in your contributions directly, at the account number given below.
Reproduced here is an article in the New Straits Times highlighting the fund collection initative.
MIC fund for kidney patient

KUALA LUMPUR: MIC Youth Social and Welfare Bureau is setting up a fund for kidney patient P. Sivasakthi, 54, to undergo an operation in India.

The Sivasakthi Fund was launched yesterday by wing head, T. Mohan, who wants to collect the RM70,000 for the operation within three months.
The operation is being done in India because of the shorter waiting period there. Sivasakthi's husband N. Jeyapragasam, 57, said he had used his Employees' Provident Fund for his own medical bills, which come up to RM800 a month. The couple need RM3,000 a month for their medical bills.

Their two sons are supporting the couple but with a total income of RM2,400, it is difficult for them to continue doing so.
Those who wish to help can donate through Alliance Bank account number 120880020084551 under the name "Tabung Sivasakthi".

Thursday 17 July 2008

How about a meeting of all Indian wakil rakyat?

Recently there have been news reports of a meeting between UMNO and PAS leaders, to 'discuss the issues affecting Malays'. Of course, there have been rumours that PAS is being courted to dump Pakatan Rakyat for Barisan Nasional. I really don't see that happening anytime soon, but one can't be too certain in today's political scenario. Anyway, let's just take the meeting at face value. We have Malay interest parties from the ruling coalition and the opposition, meeting to discuss matters pertaining to the race they represent.

Why don't the Indians do the same? Why not Indian MPs and Assemblymen from the MIC, DAP and PKR have a similar roundtable session to discuss issues pertaining to the Indian community? Fine, we may have our difference in political ideologies and what not. But the underlying fact is, each and every Indian elected representative out there was elected based on a promise to help the Indian community. By sitting together, indentifying issues and charting solutions, we will be able to ensure that the interest of the Indian community will be taken care of, no matter who is in power. We will be able to get a guarantee from both BN and the PR that our problems will be dealt with. We will be seen as speaking with one voice. One determined, united voice. Apa kata YB sekalian?

Wednesday 16 July 2008

Who won the debate? I say all Malaysians!

Malaysiakini says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim won the debate. It quotes a readers' survey where 95% of the readers picked Anwar as the winner. I'm not surprised. I've always admired Anwar's oratory skills. He's a captivating speaker and a master at crowd manipulation. But I must say, I was pretty impressed with our Information Minister Datuk Shabery Cheek for being able to handle the situation. I half-expected him to be trashed. He was after all, fighting an uphill battle against the populist sentiment.

What I see from this whole debate is more transparency. For the first time ever, an opposition figurehead, and a government minister faced off, live on television. I think that's a great start. I would certainly like to see more of such debates, on various issues affecting Malaysia and Malaysians. That would keep the BN leaders in check, and the people well informed. Let's go a step further. The opposition should form a shadow cabinet, and on all matters of prime national importance, the shadow minister and the ruling minister should put their views forward, live on tv. That way, Malaysians will certainly stand to win.

Friday 11 July 2008

Order in the House!

I think it is about time Barisan Nasional conducts etiquette classes for all our elected representatives. Although not all need such grooming, some certainly do! And among the few who do, one or two seem to go out of their way to prove their lack of decorum.

When will these people understand that it takes just one member of parliament to misbehave for the whole Barisan Nasional to be cast in bad light? Why can't these people get it into their heads that the rakyat are watching what their representatives do and say, in and out of parliament? How can we explain to such people that when your actions have been recorded on camera and uploaded on youtube, no amount of denying and explaining, complete with demonstration, is going to do you any good? Sigh...

Thursday 3 July 2008

Snake this!

Putera MIC is deeply insulted, saddened and angered by the recent conduct ofBarisan Nasional’s Sungai Rapat assemblywoman, YB Hamidah Osman who used aracial slur against Indians. This act has severely upset the Malaysian Indian community.

All though YB Hamidah Osman has apologized, we believe this act should not be let off with a mere apology. Barisan Nasional must take severe action against her, as a lesson to her, and to others within and outside Barisan Nasional, that such irresponsible behaviour will not be tolerated.

We strongly urge the Perak Barisan Nasional chief Datuk Seri Mohamad Tajol Rosli Ghazali to punish Hamidah Osman with 80 hours of community service with any Indian based NGO or Charity Home in Perak for her unpatriotic behaviour in the august house. We trust this will enable her to get to know the Indian community better.

We also urge all Barisan Nasional leaders, elected representatives and members alike to unite in condemning YB Hamidah’s actions. We must uphold the Barisan Nasional principal of representing all communities equally.

Members of the public can leave their comments at:
These online signatures will be handed over to the Chairman of Barisan Nasional Perak on 15th of July 2008.

Tuesday 1 July 2008

Transition Amid Testing Times

The chain of events of the last few days, leading to the resignation of Mr. S.A. Vigneswaran as the chief of MIC Youth, has got many people talking. As always the case during such a situation, there are more rumours and hints of scandals then actually the case.

Whatever said about him, Vicky was instrumental in getting MIC Youth to be what it is today. He may have had his flaws, but his contributions should not be overlooked, and his departure is certainly a loss, one way or another.

The appointment of T. Mohan as the interim coordinator, and S. Murugesan as his deputy, is in my opinion, a silver lining amid the storm. I have had the pleasure of getting to know both these gentlemen, and they both earned my respect from the first day.

I am sure that neither of them wanted to inherit the reins of the Youth movement in such dramatic circumstances. They are simply not the type of people who would clamour for position and glory. But position and responsibility has been thrust upon them, and I know of no better people who can now captain the ship through the storm ahead.

I am confident that MIC youth will rise above the challenges under their leadership, and foresee a whole new chapter of cooperation between Putera MIC and Pemuda MIC.

Brothers Mohan and Muru, to borrow Bro Muru's words, 'Soldier on brothers!'