Tuesday 8 December 2009

Get your facts right before protesting

I really wonder if the inability of some Malaysians to differentiate between Hak-hak Keistimewaan orang Melayu, Ketuanan Melayu and Dasar Ekonomi Baru, is intentional, or are they honestly confused?

I write this in response to the protest by an NGO, against DAP MP M. Kulasegaran. Yes, he's from the DAP, I'm from the MIC. We may be on different sides of the political divide, but I think the man deserves a little breathing space, rather than the unjust hounding he is receiving of late with regards to his questioning the Ketuanan Melayu slogan. The NGO has promised to 'look for him no matter which corner of the world he is in, unless he apologizes'. Why apologize?

First, let us look at the three issues. Hak-hak Keistimewaan orang Melayu, or the Special Rights of the Malay community, as enshrined in the constitution, states that Islam is the official religion of the state, but non-Muslims are allowed to practise their religion without fear or favour. It also states that Malay is the official language of the state. THAT is it. Religion, language. THAT is also what our forefathers agreed during the Social Contract.

Ketuanan Melayu on the other hand, is a slogan. It has no official bearing on the nation. It is more of a battle cry, something without a proper legal definition. Instead, it literally means Malay Supremacy, which as its name suggest, is inherently racist. It is NOT something in the constitution, neither is it anywhere in the policy of the nation or government. In fact, it is well against the concept of 1Malaysia, which is exactly what YB Kula has said. So what is there to apologize?

Dasar Ekonomi Baru or New Economic Policy, is a national economic framework, espousing economic benefits, originally meant to give a helping hand to the Malay community to get a slice of the economic pie. It originally came with an expiry date, which is now conveniently forgotten, and has since been extended with every 5-year Malaysia Plan. Again, it is NOT something in the constitution. It is just an economic plan, which by the admission of no less than our Second Finance Minister himself, is crippling the nation's competitive edge.

Nowhere in the constitution does it say that a Bumiputera must receive a discount when he buys a house. It is just something part of a governmental policy, and again, it need not be forever, and is certainly not beyond question or review. Nowhere does it say, also, Bumiputera students should get an easier ride into places of higher education, or should be given priority for scholarship. All that is government policy, done for a certain reason, good or bad, and is certainly not beyond question or review. It is certainly wrong for me, or anyone else, to ask that these policies be reviewed to better suit current times, and a globally changing competitive climate.

The non-Bumiputeras, the majority at least, have no problems with the Special Rights of the Malays, as enshrined by the constitution. That's the Social Contract. We respect that. No problem. Let Islam be the official religion. But don't force it upon us. Because THAT violates OUR constitutional rights. Let Malay be the official language of the Federation. But don't rob us of our rights to speak, read, write and be educated in our mother languages. Because THAT is our constitutional right.

What we ARE asking, and questioning, is merely the OTHER two. Get rid of Ketuanan Melayu. It's racist. Instead, let us embrace 1Malaysia. Get rid of DEB. It has outlived its usefullness. Replace it instead with a system that helps the poor across all race and religious boundaries. Again, that is 1Malaysia.

Just because someone questions something well within their rights to question, doesn't mean you can claim that the person 'should not say anything that can jeopardize the harmony among the races'. In the first place, if I, or anyone else, asks a LEGITIMATE question, and someone gets upset unnecessarily, arrest him instead! Of course, if someone DOES question the Special Rights of the Malays as enshrined in the constitution, then one can at least justify condemning him. But to confuse Ketuanan Melayu and DEB with the Special Rights, is not only wrong, it is downright cunning.

So the next time you want to come out on the streets and protest, and ask for our blood, get your facts right first!

Tuesday 1 December 2009

10 Subject Ceiling for SPM - What's the big deal?

Well, it IS a big deal. Here's why. Let us take a typical Science stream SPM students. Now, seven subjects are compulsory. They are Bahasa Malaysia, English, Mathematics, Moral Studies (or Islamic studies for Muslims), History and two Science Subjects out of the main three, i.e. Physics, Chemistry and Biology. (For Arts stream, it's six, i.e. the five core subjects, and Basic Science). Most schools plan their time table in such a way, that it is pretty much a 'package deal' that a pure science student would take all the three science subjects, and Additional Maths. So that makes it nine subjects. Which means, the student has only one extra subject to take, and more often than not, it would be Accounts, or another subject that is already being taught in the school. There you go, ten. Maximum. Which also means, the student is pretty much prevented from taking Tamil, Tamil Literature and/or Chinese, Chinese Literature.

The Director-General of Education released a nonsensical statement today defending the ten subject rule, saying a student can always drop an elective subject, say Physics, to accommodate a vernacular subject, if the student was interested in pursuing a career in medicine. He went on to even suggest that schools may offer vernacular subjects as 'certificate courses', with school-level assessment. Third, he had the audacity to suggest that vernacular subjects were not that important, since "education is continuous, so the students can always study vernacular subjects later". Downright idiotic!

I can't speak for my Chinese friends, but I know for a fact that Tamil language is facing extinction, within Malaysian Indians. Many can't even speak proper Tamil, let alone read and/or write. We have an uphill battle keeping Tamil alive, as it is, without the Education Ministry further frustrating efforts with their new ruling.

Besides, how many students are willing to sacrifice subjects taught in school, just to take Tamil and/or Tamil Literature. How can we expect a student, at four four, barely sixteen, to drop Physics since he is planning to do medicine, and take Tamil instead? I think that's a rather heavy decision to force on a student, considering dropping Physics would put him/her at a disadvantage in pursuing many career paths!

Even if a student is really keen in taking Tamil as an SPM subject, at the heavy cost of another subject, how many schools even have proper teachers teaching Tamil? The Ministry actually has a ruling that a school must have a minimum of fifteen students taking the subject, to even offer classes. This conveniently allows many schools to forget the subject even exists, or even discourage students taking an extra subject. Students who take Tamil at SPM level today, already do so at a great disadvantage, and put in individual effort. To do so after the new ruling, and pay such a high price, even I would not dare to encourage someone to take Tamil! Even if somehow, the student finds a way to squeeze in Tamil, you can sure as anything, forget about Tamil Literature in addition to that!

We're not asking for much. Just increase the maximum to 12 subjects. It shouldn't be that great a deal, considering only last year we had students boasting up to 21 A's in the newspapers. So if we could have students taking that many subjects previously, I don't see any considerable reason why we need to be so stringent all of a sudden. Unless of course, as some claim, and I sure hope not, there IS a planned, secret agenda to rid the country of vernacular education. I for one, and the MIC that I represent, will simply NOT LET THAT HAPPEN!

Wednesday 18 November 2009

Polis Raja di Malaysia v2.0

The same headlines are back. Indian youth(s) shot by police. As usual, it is always 'a case self defense', and the dead are 'known to have a criminal history'. The usual miracle of course, not one cop has a scratch, not one suspect is spared. Just how does one define 'criminal history' by the way? Did those arrested have a record of past convictions? Does that amount to criminal history? Or did they merely have their name jotted down in some detective's diary as suspects in some yet unsolved case?

To make matters worse, the sister of one of the accused, in a fit of madness after hearing of her brother's demise, decides to end her own life with paraquat. But not before feeding her four children with it! She just died this afternoon, while her children are still warded. Sad. Stupid, but sad.

Whatever it is, extrajudicial killing is murder. Nothing less and nothing more. It is something that cannot be tolerated. The police are paid with taxpayer's money. We, the rakyat, pay you, the police, to serve us! Not shoot us. If someone does something wrong, arrest them, charge them!

Within days of the Famous Five, another guy gets killed. Deva gang's leader they say. Fancy that. I always thought Deva Gang's leader would be a guy called Deva. Anyway, whatever his name, he's dead now. No questions, no answers. Dead.

That's not all. In Johor, we have a case of a mentally unstable man, who allegedly killed his own mom, dead in police custody, hanging himself with a pillowcase. Why was a mentally unstable murder suspect given a pillow case which he can use to hang himself, apart from many other things, in the first place? I didn't know that was a luxury we provided in our lockups!

The sad truth is, this is not the first time we hear such stories, and it will not be the last, unless something concrete is done. Let's put an end to this once and for all. Bring the IPCMC. Enough delaying. Install cameras in all police patrol cars. It will cost peanuts compared the other rubbish we waste government money on!

Friday 23 October 2009

The PM presented the governments budget for 2010 in parliament a few minutes ago. Below are some of the key items he has announced. They items below are a compilation of my status updates in Facebook, as the PM was giving his budget speech.
  • PM has finished presenting the budget, ended his speech with spirited promises of 1Malaysia for all.
  • RM 500 one-off payments for civil servants and pensioners, up to grade 58.
  • Public Transport to be given priority. New Komuter trains, LRTs, stations to be improved.
  • EPF increased to 11% voluntary, special scheme for self-employed, tax rebate increased to 7k from current 6k.
  • 3 billion units of Sukuk 1Malaysia announced.
  • 1Malaysia clinics to be introduced in housing areas, 50 clinics to begin with, manned by MAs, to improve public healthcare. Clinics to be open until 10pm daily.
  • Federal Territories Ministry renamed Federal Territory and Public Welfare Ministry, measures announced to curb urban poverty.
  • Various measures announced to eradicate hardcore poverty, women empowerment.
  • Crime prevention to be given top priority, especially snatch thefts. Various measures announced to beef up police and other agencies.
  • Income tax reduced from 27% to 26%, personal relief increased from 8k to 9k per person.
  • New system to ensure only those who are needy receive gov subsidies, including discounted petrol price, using Mykad, to be introduced early 2010.
  • RM 50 per year service tax per credit card, RM 25 per supplementary card. This is to reign in credit expenditure.
  • In battle against corruption, Gov to introduce Whistle-blower Act, 14 new Sessions Court, MACC to be beefed up.
  • Gov to review laws, take stern action to curb Ah Long menace.
  • Gov universities to be given greater autonomy in HR and student matters, allowed to form companies to generate income.
  • PM announces Netbooks with broadband for 100,000 uni students, at discounted price, by TM, MCMC.
  • 30 National Scholarships for top achievers, purely on merit, to study in top unis around the world. P
  • Preschool to be absorbed into school curriculum, to increase entrance percentage from 67% to 87% by 2012, 20 schools to be made 'Prestige Schools', autonomy in school administration.
  • PM has announced tax rebate up to RM500 per year for broadband subscription.

Sunday 18 October 2009

Deepavali Nalvazhtukkal

Happy Deepavali to all Hindus, and happy holidays to all! Hope you have a blessed celebration. Let us not forget the less fortunate during these festive times, and let us build greater bonds with family and friends as we all celebrate together.

Wednesday 30 September 2009

Bagan Pinang

Yet another by-election, this time in Negeri Sembilan. The candidate for Barisan Nasional is none other than Tan Sri Isa Samad, the former Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar and one-time UMNO strongman.

The opposition will no doubt harp on the fact that Tan Sri Isa was suspended from UMNO for three years for money politics. In fact, it is probably the only local issue they can harp on, in addition to the usual bunch of standard issues they bring up all the time.

Yes, he was found guity of money politics. Yes, he was suspended from UMNO. Yes, he is a 'tainted' candidate if one wishes to say so. Yet why him? Because the people of Bagan Pinang want him. They simply love him. No, it is not just me saying that, it is not even BN, this was the result of a survey done by PAS themselves! Why? Because he is a man who goes down to the ground, who mixes with the people, who genuinely helps the people.

According to one local voter who came to the candidacy announcement event, Tan Sri Isa is apparently good with names. He makes an extra effort to remember the names of people, some of whom he has only met once!

The opposition know they cannot beat this man. Not in Bagan Pinang. You can engineer a thousand by-elections in your strong areas, and claim that the 'tide is shifting' against BN, but we'll put a stop to your 'shifting tide' here. Once and for all.

The ONLY thing Pakatan Rakyat hopes to get from this election, is to publicize the fact that a 'tainted' candidate was fielded by UMNO. 'BN endorses corruption' they will say. Well, say what you want. That's about all PR seems to do. Talk. We've seen it in Kampung Buah Pala, and just about everywhere else. Just one thing, don't forget your supreme leader is an ex-convict, your Penang Chief Minister is an ex-convict, many of your MPs have spent time in prison and paid fines. So look at yourself first before talking about 'tainted' candidates.

Tuesday 1 September 2009

Merdeka and True Patriotism

The nation celebrated its 52nd birthday yesterday. Many people sent Merdeka wishes to each other. Many more posted Merdeka greetings on blogs, Facebook etc. A select few, very few I might add, paraded flags on their cars, houses etc. To the majority of Malaysians, Merdeka simply meant a public holiday, a long weekend. In fact, if you had not tuned in to local tv stations, or read the mainstream newspapers, you might have just missed it entirely, and you are hardly to blame. The simple truth is many Malaysians simply do not have a patriotic sense of love and belonging to the nation.

Many of my friends ridiculed the Merdeka Day itself, saying it there is no true Merdeka until Indians are treated equally in this country. Several pointed to the cow head incident in Shah Alam, saying the incident overshadowed the entire meaning of Merdeka. I am just as disturbed by you over the incident, and cannot wait for justice to be done. Quite frankly, I do not blame you for thinking along those lines. I cannot say I do not agree with you either. It is a fact that the Indians in this country are treated like third class citizens. I do feel things are on the positive rise, but nevertheless, until we see concrete changes, I really cannot expect the majority to feel a sense of belonging overnight. The one thing that I can point out it, let us not mistake loyalty to the government, support for any political party, and love for the country. Let us not blame the country for our misgivings. The country never discriminated against anyone. People did. People in goverment, people who want to be in government, people.

Like it or not, we are Malaysians. We were born Malaysians, live our lives as Malaysians, and we will die Malaysians. Non-Malay Malaysians are mere tourists in India or China. We do not belong there, neither do they want us there. Many migrate to the US, Europe, Australia, but they will never cease to be Malaysians. They may have new passports, but in their hearts, there is always Malaysia.

Things are not rosy here in Malaysia. But things will change. We will change. First, we must BE that change. We must believe in the change. One cannot sit and whine and complain, but not do your part for a better Malaysia. My message for my fellow Malaysians, BE Malaysian. Do not think of yourself as Malay, Chinese of Indian. Think of yourself as Malaysian first. Others may continue to look at you through the racial lense. But if you yourself continue to look at yourself as Malay or Chinese or Indian, you lose the right to complain, in my opinion.

I have hope on the Prime Minister's 1Malaysia concept. It is a fundamentally good concept. The vision is there. It is the implementation that is needed. Many dismiss it as political slogan spinning. Well, wether it is 1Malaysia or Malaysian Malaysia, it is all a slogan until we see something happening on the ground. Nothing can happen if we don't embrace that concept and work towards it. Many sit and wait for the effects of 1Malaysia to come knocking on their doors. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. If you want to see it happen, you have to play your part to MAKE it happen. The least we can give is hope. Salam 1Malaysia my dear Malaysians!

Thursday 27 August 2009

Nammavarum vendam, Avargalum vendam, Matram mattum vendum!

The MIC elections due on the 12th of September appears to have taken a rather ugly twist, at least in the eyes of the media. Several newspapers have mentioned the existence of campaigning along caste lines, with the emergence of an alleged pressure group of supposedly lower castes, calling themselves Nammavar or 'Our People'. This group claims to have the support of hundreds of delegates, and has declared support for Datuk S. Subramaniam, former MIC Deputy President, to regain the post. They then refer to Dato' Seri Samy Vellu's team as Avargal or 'Them'. Ironically, this very group that seems to mobilize support along caste lines, claim they are trying to remove caste politics in the MIC. Their logic is beyond me.

In my relatively short time being associated with the MIC, I can tell you this much. I don't know what is in the minds of the party seniors, many of whom belong to a generation that is well past its sell-by date, but in the minds of the youth, the future leaders, there is no room for caste. Many among us do not even know what caste we belong to, let alone associate others along caste lines. We crave for one thing in the party. Change. We want to see the MIC rise again to be a force to be reckoned with, to be the voice of the Indian community. So to my beloved party seniors, if you can't improve the party, at least know when to stop burying it further!

The Malay Mail, two of its reporters at least, had a field day reporting on caste politics in the MIC. Both these individuals are no strangers to controversial reports and suspect ethics. Unfortunately, we can't blame them alone. MIC politics has given them that room to run us down.

I am not a voting delegate. However many people I know are. I will be there on the 12th, hoping that the results will signal a positive change. If it does not, I fear the MIC may drown beyond rescue. The party president may have given a list of his preferred candidates. I have the utmost respect for him. I understand his reason of wanting people he can work with. Ultimately the decision is in the hands of the delegates. In the race for deputy president, whether they vote the president's choice, his opponent's choice, or a neutral candidate promising genuine change, is up to them, and up to them only. I trust the delegates know the urgency of the situation. If they still do not, than all is lost before it even begins! Believe in Change, Vote for Change!

P.S. The title, in Romanized Tamil, can be translated as 'No to Our People, No to Them, Yes to Change!'

Saturday 8 August 2009

MIC Election Season

It's election time in the MIC. A time of heightened anxiety and activity, not to mention politicking and campaigning. The nominations for the Youth, Wanita and Puteri wings were concluded successfully this morning. I wish all the contestants the best, and hope you will all maintain a sense of decorum throughout the campaign period. Let us not forget that the MIC is one big family. While we can compete and contest, within the frame of democracy, the unity of the party members must always be of paramount importance.

I shall focus on the youth wing in this post, one that I have the most familiarity with, among the three. T. Mohan, the current youth coordinator is going for the National Youth Chief post. He is being challenged by one SP Muthuveloo, a lawyer. Having known Mohan for some time, and knowing of him even longer, he has my undivided support. Without taking anything away from Mr. Muthuveloo, in my opinion, T. Mohan has done way more than any other youth leader for the community, especially during his stint as the head of the Social Welfare Bureau. He has raised millions for worthy causes, and has touched the lives of thousands who were in dire need of assistance. I sincerely hope the delegates feel the same way, vote for him, and give him a strong mandate to steer the youth wing forward. I am confident he will make an excellent youth leader, perhaps the best in recent times!

The AGM for the Youth, Wanita, Puteri and Putera will be on next Sunday, and we will all know the results then. The excitement however, is only set to increase several notches from then on, as the nominations for the main MIC posts will be on the 22nd. Many leaders have expressed their intentions to go for various posts, so let's wait and see what comes. Whatever it is, exciting times ahead for the MIC.

Friday 31 July 2009

Pakatan's sudden interest in Maika shares, a ruse

I'm just wondering after all this years, suddenly everyone in the opposition is ready to take on the Maika shares issues that has been lingering around for 20 over years.

Do I smell a ruse to deviate from the Kg Buah Pala issue? Yes. As more facts are being uncovered on the shady transaction of Kg Buah Pala, the DAP led opposition in Penang needs a diversion.

As usual the Indian MP mandores need to play their part to bury the current Penang government's fault in the Kg Buah Pala issue with a diversion.

Why the diversion, I can give you many reasons. No action was initiated on the fraudulent land transfer; no assistance was rendered to the residents in their fight against the developer when the latter is not even the legal owner of the land.

No state authority had raised the issue on the transfer of the trust land to the state land nor do documents exist to prove it. So what about this rule of law? Close an eye for the poor and defenceless.

Then what about the premium that was paid way after when it should be paid? It does not matter.

How plausible that development plan is approved when it subjected to a premium being paid within time or even without the land having been transferred.

Yes KSK did it, but what did the LGE government do to question all this to safeguard the residents and question the fraudulent transaction or invalidate it.

There are many legal nitty gritty that LGE could have pursued to expose the fraudulent land transfer if he was serious in saving Kg Buah Pala.

The icing on the cake, now since it is public, one lawyer comes out states that "The temporary title document (Borang 11AK), registered with the registrar of land titles and issued on March 27, 2008, contains a clause "Sekatan-sekatan kepentingan", which states:

"Tanah yang diberi milik tidak boleh dipindah milik, cagar, pajak, pajakan kecil atau sebarang bentuk urusniaga"

So, what happened Guan Eng, all your propaganda with your Indian kuncu-kuncu that the state government needs to fork out RM150 million to the developer.

The game is up Guan Eng, we are not so stupid anymore as we have citizen vigilantes to question the fair and just moves rather than playing politics.

The truth is there is no RM150 million to pay, nor was there any real attempt by the present Penang government to actually safeguard the interest of the residents in Kg Buah Pala. It was all an eye wash for the public.

By raising the Maika isues, it is very clear that it is but a camouflage to hide the inherent flaws that is so obvious in the Penang government which is supposed safeguard the interest of the poor and defenceless.

Since when in history have the opposition been interested in the Maika battle that has always been internal. You walk on a thin line in misinterpreting the judgment of the public with your actions.

Don't insult our intelligence and what we can grasp when more truth is exposed on the shaddy deal around Kg Buah Pala and your government's inaction.

Sure, I don't want an Umno-led BN to rule Penang, but expect you to be truthful in your dealing with residents in Kg Buah Pala rather than diverting the attention with your load of hocus pocus.

It is still not too late Guan Eng, do the right thing for the residents and we will respect you for it, for we will appreciate that you stood by them even in your time of despair for political survival.

The above is a letter originally written by Wong Mun Chee, in Malaysiakini.

Saturday 11 July 2009

Prime Minister YAB Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak marked his 100th day in office with a whole bunch of goodies, aimed at helping Malaysians during this time of economic uncertainties. Thank you Datuk Seri, especially for the 15 million specifically allocated to Indian entrepreneurs. We look forward to more reforms and progress under your Prime Ministership, and I am confident that the BN will shine once again under your stewardship.

A 100-day birthday gift from Najib
Jul 11, 09 1:23pm

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today announced 11 populist measures in the bid to win back support from voters after the ruling coalition suffered an unprecedented electoral setback last year.

Speaking before a large crowd at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre this morning, the sixth prime minister marked his 100 days in office by announcing a 20-percent discount for frequent toll users and up to 70 percent reduction for driver's licence fees for motorbikes.

Najib hinted that more new measures would be introduced as these latest announcements were just “a beginning” for his three-month-old government.

The 11 measures are:

1) From Sept 1, motorists who use tolls 80 times or more in one month will enjoy a 20-percent discount.

2) Tenants in the Federal Territory will be given the opportunity to buy their own houses from the 44,000 units offered by the government.

3) Small traders and vendors in the Federal Territory will be given a 50-percent discount for their licence renewal fees. Meanwhile, the government will also allocate RM150 million to Tabung Ekonomi Kumpulan Usaha Niaga (Tekun) and RM15 million to Indian young entrepreneurs.

4) The government will add more taxi permits. As of now, 70,000 individual taxi permits have been offered and 3,000 more permits will be approved in the next three months.

5) The government will take some drastic measures to fight crime and corruption, the details of which will be revealed at the end of this month.

6) The government is also in the midst of overcoming the birth certificates issue in Sabah and Sarawak. Since 2005, Sabah has 36,000 applications and 92 percent of which have been approved. At the same time, Sarawak has 19,000 applications and 80 percent of which have also been approved. The rest will be resolved in the near future.

7) As of June 2009, the government has also resolved 46 percent of 34,000 delayed citizenship applications. The rest of it will be settled at the end of the year.

8) The government will build more roads in Sabah and Sarawak - from 750km to 1,500km - and this will be addressed in the 10th Malaysian Plan.

9) Water and electric supply in Sabah and Sarawak will also be improved, the details of which will be revealed at the end of the month.

10) Driving license fees for motorcyclists will be reduced from the existing RM500-RM700 to RM211.

11) 20,000 family members of hardcore poverty in urban area will be given 10,000 houses under the trust fund, Skim Amanah Saham Wawasan. In addition to this scheme, a new '1Malaysia' trust fund will be set up and is open to Malaysians aged 18 years and above.

Tuesday 7 July 2009

Is the Kedah government planning to demolish temples?

Ever since the internal political trouble between DAP and its partners PKR and PAS started to boil out in the open, several accusations have been traded. We all know the Tamil High Chapparal issue. A conclusion is nowhere in sight, instead we have Lim Guan Eng blaming all and sundry, when it was his DAP party who promised the villagers that their problems would be solved if his party came to power. Well, it is always easy to promise the world when you are not in power. Perhaps he never expected to come to power.

Anyway, another issue is now slowly leaking out. The DAP in Kedah is alleging that the PAS government running the state now, was quietly planning to demolish several temples. The denials came swiftly. But the DAP insisted again.

Today, a rather 'interesting' article appeared in the Star. The article, quoted a 'devotee' giving a statement denying that there are any plans to demolish any temple. Instead he refers to one particular temple, the Devi Sri Karumariamman Temple in Jalan Pegawai, Alor Setar. This 'devotee' further puts the blame on the temple committee for enroaching into private land, and further seems to question why the temple is not following agamic rules pertaining to various devotees in the temple. He also 'assures' others that only the temple hall is at risk of demolition, which he further adds will be carried out by the temple itself. Then we hear that the hall is currently being used as a makeshift temple, as the main temple is under renovation.

This seems like a blatant attempt at public relations, to quickly sweep the problem under the carpet. First, why is this 'devotee' issuing statements? Who is he? Where are the Municipal Council representatives? I note with concern that THEY have not denied there are plans to demolish temples! This 'devotee' seems to have access to notices issued by the authorities. He seems to know details as to whom the land belongs to. Is this devotee another eyewash? Is this similar to the case where a PKR division women leader, also a resident of Kg. Buah Pala, tried to hold a press conference praising the Penang State Government?

Second, where are the temple committee members? If all is well, why did THEY not release a statement that everything is ok? Have they been asked to remain silent while some third party defends the PAS government and issues denials? This entire article stinks of last minute damage control by the PAS government, and their PKR bedfellows. Will the DAP dare expose the minutes of the Municipal Council meetings where the decision to demolish temples were made? I mean, they do claim to be 'Competent, Accountable and Transparent'!

The 'Pakatan Rakyat' is a marriage of convenience. A partnership between three organizations at odds with each other. A coalition glued together by one man, who wants to be prime minister, at any cost! Now, we are slowly seeing the coalition tumble. Many predicted the downfall of the Barisan Nasional after the last GE. Internal conflicts, they claimed. "The BN is imploding" they cried! Well, look who's stuggling to keep their coalition afloat now!

Sunday 28 June 2009

Resign Now Rayer!

Residents of Penang's High Chapparal, or Kampung Buah Pala, have demanded the resignation of their state representative, RSN Rayer, for his inability to save their village, after promising to do so during the general elections.

It appears Hindraf has finally ended its silence on the matter, with Waythamoorthy issuing a stern statement warning the Penang governent and Pakatan Rakyat as a whole, that it will withdraw its support for them if the village is demolished.

Pakatan Rakyat rose to power with a so-called promise to bring 'justice' to the people. They championed the issues of the day, promising the moon and the sky. Now, when they ARE in power, they are struggling to deliver. I hope they now know that it is always easy to stand and shout. It is actions that count.

I attach below two articles from Malaysiakini on the matter.

Hindraf warns Penang gov't over 'High Chaparral'
Athi Veeranggan | Jun 28, 09 3:26pm
The Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) today called on the Penang Pakatan Rakyat government to end the predicament of some 300 ‘Tamil High Chaparral’ Kampung Buah Pala residents.

Or else the influential movement would withdraw support for the coalition in future electoral battles, warned its London-based leader, P Waythamoorthy.

He urged Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to heed to the call made by villagers and civil societies to gazette the ‘Tamil High Chaparral’ as a living cultural heritage urban village.

p waythamoorthyAccording to Waythamoorthy, the DAP-led state government should not push Indian Malaysians to a corner, like what Barisan Nasional had done all these years.

“Otherwise, Pakatan Rakyat and Penang government would face Hindraf’s wrath in the next election,” he told Malaysiakini today.

Waythamoorthy slammed Lim’s administration of not fulfilling its responsibilities to end the impasse and for its unwillingness to resolve the villagers’ quandary.

He chided the state government for not showing any interest to preserve the last remaining Indian traditional village in Penang.

“It’s a clear attitude of arrogance ... forgetting the plight of the poor and defenceless after winning the general election.

“The DAP-dominated state government has betrayed the people’s trust. It has failed to protect the weak and the marginalised,” said Waythamoorthy.

penang kampung buah pala 110609 04He said Hindraf could not comprehend the state government’s nonchalant attitude on the issue, especially when the state government had acknowledged existence of possible wrongdoing in the village land deals.

The Penang government has set up an investigating team headed by Deputy Chief Minister 1 Mansor Othman to probe into the land deals.

Waythamoorthy smacked the Pakatan coalition of falsely portraying itself as champions of justice, fairness and equality when the villagers’ unresolved dilemma proved that the Penang government had failed to “walk its talk.”

“What’s happening in Penang is pathetic. The state government has deliberately refused to exercise its executive powers to protect the village as a heritage,” said the self-exiled human rights leader, who plans to return Malaysia by next month.

Land taken over by BN state gov’t

The current residents and their ancestors have lived in Kampung Buah Pala in Bukit Gelugor, for nearly 200 years, which originally was a housing trust under the Housing Trust Act of 1950.

The original owner of the once coconut plantation area, David Brown, had gifted the land to the current villagers' forefathers.

However, after independence, the Barisan Nasional state government took over the village as the land trustee and collected temporary occupational licence (TOL) rents until 2005.

In that year, the land office alienated the land to the state government before it was subsequently sold for some RM3.21 million to a civil servants cooperative society, the Koperasi Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang.

penang kampung buah pala condominium project  macc report  090609 05The cooperative has subsequently engaged Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd to develop a lucrative housing project, the Oasis.

Early this month, the village residents' association lodged a report to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission alleging fraud in the land alienation and transfer carried out by the northeast district land office.

The villagers now face eviction on July 2 after their appeal to annul the land deals and stop the Oasis project was dismissed by the Federal Court.

Waythamoorthy said Hindraf would hold DAP and its allies accountable for their inaction.

He said Hindraf faced difficulties in explaining to the Indian masses on the deliberate inaction of the state government to exercise the powers conferred upon it by National Land Code and Land Acquisition Act.

The Hindraf chief rebuked claims that the Kampung Buah Pala residents were arrogant for not accepting the compensation initially proposed by the developer.

uthayakumar in kampung buah pala penang 150609 01He said the villagers have only asked for the authorities to protect their constitutional rights to live in their ancestral village.

“Is this too much to ask from a state government which portrays itself as a people’s government?” asked Waythamoorthy.

Waythamoorthy’s elder brother, P Uthayakumar, who is legal advisor to Hindraf, paid a visit to the embattled village early this month. (photo)

Villagers vent their anger against DAP rep
Athi Veeranggan | Jun 28, 09 2:50pm
Facing a forced eviction in five days, despaired ‘Tamil High Chaparral’ Kampung Buah Pala residents demanded their elected representative, RSN Rayer, to quit his Seri Delima seat in Penang.

kampung buah pala penang demo protest adun delima house 270609 03The residents are angry that Rayer had failed to keep his electoral pledge to protect their interests and stop a controversial but lucrative condominium project in Kampung Buah Pala.

“At last year’s general election campaign, Rayer vowed to save our village. Now he is hiding from us ... scared to face us because he had betrayed us,” said the villagers during a protest in front of Rayer’s home in Island Park, Georgetown, last night.

kampung buah pala penang demo protest adun delima house 270609 04Some 100 villagers, led by Kampung Buah Pala Residents Association chairperson M Sugumaran, expressed their dissatisfaction over Rayer’s lukewarm attitude in the matter.

They also want Rayer to explain on why he failed to inform them about the July 2 writ of possession obtained by the developer.

Indeed, it was Georgetown city OCPD Assistant Commissioner Azam Abdul Hamid who informed the villagers about the writ at a meeting yesterday, which was also attended by the developer’s representatives.

kampung buah pala 110609The police chief has warned the villagers not to cause trouble when the developer’s demolition team arrives to flatten the village on Thursday.

“The authorities want us to just sit and watch our homes being destroyed,” lamented Sugumaran.

The villagers claim that Rayer was “hiding” inside his house instead of coming out to face them during their protest which kicked off at about 9pm.

“If this is the attitude of our elected representative, then he should resign and pave way for a by-election. We can elect a better leader,” said the association secretary J Steven.

Villagers lost final court battle

Last Thursday, the villagers lost their final appeal at the Federal Court to overturn last month’s Court of Appeal decision favouring the developer Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd and its cooperative landowner, Koperasi Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang.

kampung buah pala penang 250609 03The villagers and their legal team have argued that the land alienation and the subsequent sale to the cooperative by the previous state administration were tainted by fraud.

The three-member Federal Court bench however, dismissed their appeal and ruled that the villagers have no locus standi over the village land - part of a housing trust in which the current residents and their ancestors have occupied for nearly 200 years.

The villagers slammed the judgment as being against natural and social justice.

“If our nation’s judges were to be Brazilian judiciary, the whole Amazon tropical forest would be turned into a concrete jungle within a decade,” said the association assistant secretary C Tharmaraj.

Expect stiff resistance on demolition day

The villagers also criticised the DAP-led Pakatan Rakyat government, a self-proclaimed people's government, of betraying them by washing its hand over the controversial issue.

kampung buah pala penang 250609 01“We voted for a change in the last polls because we wanted to rectify the wrongdoings done by the previous Barisan Nasional government. But the DAP government has not shown any difference,” said Sugumaran.

“It seems more interested with dollar and cents than the plight of working class like us.”

The villagers lamented that except for the two deputy chief ministers - Mansor Othman and Dr P Ramasamy - the other state executive councillors in the 11-member state cabinet are not interested in helping them.

The villagers want the state government to preserve their village as a human cultural heritage, echoing a call made by two Unesco officials to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s administration early this year.

penang kampung buah pala condominium project  macc report  090609 05In the next four days, the villagers consisting of some 65 families from 24 homes will have to evacuate the village - the last remaining Indian traditional urban village in the state - to pave way for the Oasis development project.

Kampung Buah Pala is known among locals as ‘Tamil High Chaparral’ because of its population of cowherds, cattles, goats and Tamil traditional cultural features.

Judging by their mood, it is clear that the villagers would not surrender their homes without a stiff resistance come Thursday.

Saturday 27 June 2009

Penang Indians have been betrayed!

The Penang High Chapparal, otherwise known as Kampung Buah Pala, the last Indian cultural village in the island of Penang, is set to be demolished. The power to rescue this village from demilition rests with one man. The Chief Minister of Penang. Sadly, it appears he has forsaken the Indians who voted for him almost en bloc.

It must be noted, that while the option to save this village may be at the behest of the Pakatan Government, the problem was created by the former BN government led by Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon. Let's call a spade a spade. It was the BN government that sold the land at half the price, adding insult to injury, to an UMNO backed consortium. Yes, I dare say they had complete disregard for the Indians living there. But, they have paid for it. They have lost the elections.

What about YB Lim Guan Eng? Didn't you, and your entire Pakatan government, rise to power promising the Indians the sky? Now the Indians don't mean anything to you? It was arrogance that shook the pillars of BN last March, and it is this arrogance that will shake the Indian support for you too, sir.

Deputy Chief Minister II Ramasamy seems completely powerless to solve the matter. So much so, the residents are more interested in asking the newly appointed DCM I to help them. But both DCMs seem to have little say in the DAP dominated State Exco.

How is it that the CM who famously declared that 'his doors are always open' is too busy to even meet the residents?

I'm sure LGE will be more than eager to point out that it was BN's doing to begin with. I accept that. It was. But instead of correcting that mistake, in the interest of the people, the state government ha the cheek to try and make more money out of the Indian resident's misery by simply asking for more money from the developer!

Why the complete silence from Hindraf et al? Did you not rally hard, asking for the Indians to vote Lim Guan Eng and Anwar and DAP and PKR and PAS? Isn't your silence now a betrayal to the Indians in Penang?

Attached below is an article from Malaysiakini, regarding the above.

Villagers pin last hopes on state gov't
Athi Veeranggan | Jun 27, 09 12:17pm
The Penang government seems unwilling to end the predicament of the 'Tamil High Chaparral' Kampung Buah Pala residents in Bukit Gelugor.

If proceedings in yesterday's executive council meeting were anything to go by, the state government is not keen to deliberate on the pressing issue, let alone safeguard and preserve the urban village as an Indian living cultural heritage.

kampung buah pala penang 250609 04The state executive councillors, except for the two deputy chief ministers, are said to be happy to leave the fate of the villagers in the hands of the demolition team to be hired by the developer.

Only DCM 1 Mansor Othman and DCM 2 Dr P Ramasamy seem interested to help the villagers and save the village from the imminent rampaging demolition team.

Other state executive councillors are learnt to have hardly talked about it.

Indeed, one executive councillor has even chided the villagers as “big heads” for not agreeing to receive a handsome compensation in the first place and vacate their village for good.

On Thursday, the villagers lost their appeal to the Federal Court to overturn last month’s Court of Appeal decision favouring the developer and its cooperative landowner, Koperasi Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang.

Round-the-clock high alert

Some 300 Indian Malaysians living in the urban village have pinned their hopes on Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to save their village from being bulldozed and flattened by the developer – Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd.

kampung buah pala penang 250609 07The villagers are already on a round-the-clock high alert to stop any demolition work and forced eviction.

During the exco meeting, it is learnt that the state government was keen to act on the technical advice from its legal adviser about its constraints, rather than exercising its executive powers to end the impasse.

The villagers are urging Lim to use his executive powers. Legally, the villagers position now is at its best doomed.

kampung buah pala 110609The villagers consisting of some 65 families living in 24 houses will have to evacuate the village that they and their ancestors have resided for nearly 200 years.

Kampung Buah Pala is known among locals as 'Tamil High Chaparral' because of its population of cowherds, cattles, goats and Tamil traditional cultural features.

It is the last remaining Indian traditional urban village in the state.

The villagers wanted Lim to exercise his chief ministerial power under Section 76 of the National Land Code to save their village from the developers.

They have also wanted Lim to caveat the land pending a state investigation, headed by Mansor, on the land deals carried out by the previous Barisan Nasional state government.

Villagers asked to explore other means

The villagers, their legal team and civil societies have all along argued that the land alienation and subsequent sales to the cooperative by the previous state administration were botched deals tainted by fraud.

kampung buah pala penang 250609 03Yesterday evening the area’s elected representative, R Sanisvara Nethaji Rayer, has indicated to the villagers that the state government may have “washed its hands” over the issue.

Rayer’s phone conversations with village residents’ association chairperson M Sugumaran and secretary J Steven were heard by some 20 residents through the mobile loudspeaker.

Steven claimed that according to Rayer, the state government may not want to preserve the village as a heritage.

He said Rayer also wanted the villagers to explore other means, notably a reasonable compensation, to resolve the controversy amicably.

Steven said Rayer had turned down his suggestion to arrange a meeting with Lim.

The Seri Delima assemblyperson has apparently told him that the chief minister may not have the time to meet the villagers.

However, if the villagers were to succeed to arrange an appointment to meet Lim, Rayer informed Steven that he would be willing to attend the meeting.

Acquire land for us, say villagers

Sugumaran said the villagers wanted the state government to use Section 116 of the National Land Code to stop the developer from entering the village to demolish their homes.

buah pala high chaparral vigil 200609 03The section states that the developer needed a permit from the state authorities to demolish the village.

Secondly, he said the villagers wanted the state government to acquire the land for them.

The land was sold by the BN government to the cooperative for a mere RM3.21 million, a 50 percent discount from its original price of RM6.42 million.

According to Sugumaran, the discounted sale price - estimated at RM11.33 per sq ft - was far below market value.

penang kampung buah pala condominium project  macc report  090609 05Umno-linked developer Nusmetro Venture is set to develop the area dubbed the Oasis, consisting four blocks of medium and medium low-cost apartments.

It is learnt that the current state government planned to nullify the price cut and reclaim the discounted sum from the developer.

The villagers argue that if the state government can nullify the cut-rate deal and ask for a refund, why can’t Lim’s administration annul the whole land deal?

“If there is a political will, there is an administrative way to cancel it,” said Sugumaran.

Tuesday 9 June 2009

Ban Sisters in Islam?

I admire Sisters in Islam. They are living proof that there can be moderation within Islamic groups. They are testament of women's rights within Islam.

I do not understand why PAS has called for their ban. Then again, what can you expect from Parti SE-ISLAM Malaysia? Aren't these the very extremist who have threatened racial stability in Malaysia every now and then? Just because they have put on a show in recent times, with 'Non-Muslim Supporters Clubs' and what not, will that change the essence of a group that is built solely on fanaticsm?

DAP? PKR? What say you? Do you support this demand or not? YES? Or NO? Malaysians want to know!

Monday 1 June 2009

Ref Malaysiakini: Zaid Ibrahim is spot on!

Former minister and ex-UMNO leader Zaid Ibrahim lashed at Utusan Malaysia for being a racist paper. I cannot agree more. Utusan IS more racist, and more deserving of suspension, than perhaps any other publication in this country. Zaid went on to correct the misconception that non-Malays in this country should be treated as ingrates for demanding for what is constitutionally and rightly theirs.

I feel now, more than ever, that Zaid's exit from BN is a great loss to the coalition. I reproduce below the Malaysiakini article on the story.

Zaid torches Utusan for stoking racial flames
Jun 1, 09 7:00pm
Former Umno leader and minister Zaid Ibrahim has lashed out at Malay daily Utusan Malaysia for playing up racial sentiments.

He said the articles which appeared in the daily's Sunday edition reminded him of how far removed the paper is from the reality of life in Malaysia.

zaid ibrahim pc umno sacking 041208 07"This is probably the reason why its readership is on the decline. It's theme and main plot is race, race and race," he added in a blog posting.

Zaid cited a particular article with the heading 'Melayu dikhianati?' (Malays betrayed) penned by Awang Selamat.

In the article, the former Umno leader said, the writer lamented that he is hurt by the demands, which reek of racism, of the non-Malays since the last general election.

"In other words, Malaysians must not hurt the feelings of Awang Selamat because when Awang Selamat is hurt, Umno is hurt and when Umno is hurt, the Malays are hurt.

"This is the logic of Awang Selamat," he added.

Zaid said the writer made no mention of the 'extreme' demands made by the non-Malays in his article.

"If they (the non-Malays) are asking about scholarships, land allocation and employment opportunities, can't these questions be addressed rationally and based on facts?

"Why get hurt so easily?" he asked. 

Are all their demands baseless?

The former de facto law minister also questioned if all the demands of the non-Malays, whose rights are enshrined under the Federal Constitution, were baseless?

According to Awang Selamat, he said, this appears to be the case because "50 years ago Umno and the Malays were generous enough to offer citizenship to their (non-Malays) ancestors."

"Since Umno had been gracious in according them citizenship, their descendants should never make any demands because they must always be grateful to Umno," he added.

Zaid pointed out that this is the exact mindset which is no longer viable and has been rejected by all races.

When a citizen, be it a Malay, Chinese or Indian, asks for something, he said it is the duty of the government and the media to evaluate it in order to grant the request.

"If the demand is excessive, explain but don't raise history to cover up shortcomings. Do not get angry always, threaten and dish out pieces of incomplete history for political mileage," he said.

Zaid also reminded that the country obtained independence because the British agreed with the alliance on the terms. "When we agree, we must honour the agreement," he said.

In view of this, he said there was no reason to state that "we were being generous in granting citizenship to the Chinese and Indians."

"The fact is, that is the term we agreed to. At the time, it was impossible for the British to relinquish Malaya if the issue of citizenship for Chinese and Indians was not resolved.

"The British were strict on this issue and Umno agreed. That is the price which the Alliance accepted with an open heart. Does Utusanhave different historical facts?" he added.

Zaid said even if one went by the perception that Umno was generous in giving citizenship to non-Malays, there is still no room for Awang Selamat's 'feudalist mindset' in a modern nation.

Those with 'blind hearts' 

Meanwhile, he said another article by senior writer Zulkiflee Bakar had advised Utusan readers not to be 'historically blind'.

"I suppose Malays like myself are historically blind. But history is not difficult to learn and I am interested in knowing more.

"However, the most unfortunate people are those whose hearts are blind. When our hearts are blind, no amount of facts or knowledge can fill the void," he added.

Zaid said instead of stoking racial sentiments, Utusan should help the prime minister find ways to develop the economy via pragmatic and just policies.

"To Utusan, the Malays fail because of the Chinese and Indians. Wake up Utusan, non-Malays and Malays themselves can tell the difference between the Malay race and Umno, they know that when an Umno policy is criticised, it is not challenging the Malays but Umno.

"Much effort is being put into creating friction between the Malays and Chinese. Believe me, racial flames will not burn as brightly as before," he said.

"The Malay mindset has changed. They know the challenges that lie ahead in the world and the changes which they must make. OnlyUtusan has not realised this," he added.

Thursday 14 May 2009

It has been awhile!

Sorry for the rather long absence. Work has been a little hectic of late, with me spending a considerable amount of time outstation, with poor internet access. I hope to get back to my regular blogging pace from now onwards.

So many things have happened in the last weeks, and enough has already been said about those events, so I shall not add to that which is already stale. Frankly, I'm beginning to get bored with some of the political mess in this country. I can only imagine what the man on the street is feeling, with all this politicking, while the country is in serious need of stewarding as it hits the waves of a global financial meltdown.

Well, I shall not rant too much for now. Back with a proper article soon.

Monday 6 April 2009

Let's give Najib a chance

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Malaysia's newly appointed Prime Minister, is certainly doing the right things, if his first 48 hours in office is anything to go by. His order to release 13 ISA detainees, including 2 from Hindraf is most welcome. More comforting is his promise to re-evaluate the entire ISA. I sincerely hope the ISA will be repealed, and all detainees either released, or charged in court.

Najib's 'walkabout' session in Petaling Street, Kampung Kerinchi and Brickfields, areas entrenched in Chinese, Malay and Indian stereotypes respectively, is also a good move. It portrays a PM willing to 'turun padang', willing to get the views of the man in the street.

It is without doubt that Najib's rise to the highest office in the country is somewhat marred with scandals linking him to a murder trial, and corruption. He has repeatedly gone to great extent to deny any involvement. It must be noted that there is no credible evidence linking him to the alleged crimes. Just rumours. But then, in politics, especially Malaysian politics, rumours tend to have more weight than the truth.

Najib is further dogged by a certain anti-BN sentiment present among some Malaysians. No doubt fanned by Anwar Ibrahim, some Malaysians, perhaps more prevalent among non-Malays, adopt the attitude that the BN can do no right, and the PR can do no wrong. Everything is blamed on the BN. Even slips by the PR are attributed to the BN, reality cast aside! Let's not be emotional about politics. Be rational. Both BN and PR have their fair share of flaws. People keep asking what the BN has done for 50 years. Come on! Look around. Don't tell me you don't see any progress achieved for the last fifty years. Did all this progress not come under a BN government?

Najib certainly seems to be on the right direction. I look forward to a more efficient cabinet, to more just policies and to equal treatment of all Malaysians under his One Malaysia tagline. Let us Malaysians give our Prime Minister a chance. I think he deserves our cooperation. Everyone is entitled to their political affiliations. But let us not live by these affiliations. We must close ranks and unite in order to face the problems affecting our nation, and the more global financial crisis. If Najib and the BN still fail to live up to your expectations come the next elections, vote as you please. For now, let us support Najib and offer him a chance. It is the least we can do.

I also appeal to the voters of Bukit Gantang, Bukit Selambau and Batang Ai. In the last General Elections, Malaysian voters have given us at BN a reality check. You have voiced out. And you know what? We hear you! Barisan Nasional IS taking the efforts to correct our mistakes. The very chairman of BN has accepted responsibility and resigned. We have a new BN chairman and PM. We WILL continue to make the changes you ask of us. In the meantime, show us that YOU recognize these steps. Give BN the support and encouragement to continue in this new, brave direction of One Malaysia for all Malaysians. Vote Barisan Nasional.

Friday 3 April 2009

Malaysiakini TV : Kalaivanar exposes Anwar's bluff!

I have always maintained that Anwar Ibrahim is nothing but a master manipulator. A great drama actor who tells everyone what they want to hear, but will stop at nothing to get what he wants. He rode the waves of 'Makkal Sakthi' like he was a brother to all Indians, then dumped them right after the GE '08.

Kalaivanar tells all about the real Anwar. Fine, some may say he is just upset about not being picked to contest Bukit Selambau. Fair enough. But that doesn't change the facts he put forward in the video. Watch it!

See former PKR Jerai Division Chief Kalaivanar's revelation here.

More at Dr. Punithan's Indians Malaysia blog.

Tuesday 31 March 2009

More rhetoric, or a new dawn in the horizon?

After the recently concluded UMNO elections, UMNO president and incoming prime minister Datuk Seri Najib pledged that he will make the necessary changes to the NEP to bring it back to its original objectives, eradicating poverty among Malaysians. A few days later, UMNO deputy president and potentially the next deputy prime minister, Datuk Seri Muhyiddin has vowed to end economic discrimination against ethnic Chinese and Indian Malaysians.

This is definitely a step forward, and is more than welcome. However, let this result in some serious action, and not fizzle down as mere rhetoric meant to bolster support for the tri-elections. I urge the MIC leadership (and the MCA, Gerakan etc) to work closely with Najib and Muhyiddin with regards to this liberalization of the NEP and to ensure that there is a sense of equality for all Malaysians.

I personally feel Najib has had people trying to undermine him even before he takes over the country's reins. There have been many allegations. Some with so much 'supporting facts' that they are very believeable indeed. However, fact is, absolutely nothing has been proven to date. Allegations remain as allegations. Rumours remain as rumours. What is certain is, there will be a leadership change. That too, in a period of global economic uncertainty. Let's at least give him a chance. A clean slate.

Muhyiddin brings a fresh set of ideas and a new perspective. His clean image is also something welcome. He has vowed to be a good deputy to Najib. Let us give this tag team the chance they deserve.

Sunday 29 March 2009


Nominations have closed successfully for the tri-elections in Bukit Selambau, Batang Ai and Bukit Gantang. It is undeniable that the Barisan Nasional is facing an uphill battle in all three constituencies. The MIC is the chosen BN component party to contest the Bukit Selambau seat, where a record 15 candidates have filed their nominations, 13 of them independents. The seat, which was previously held by an independent-turned-PKR assemblyman, obviously has led many to think they fare good chances as an independent. Of course, it must be noted that in the previous elections, the PKR candidate has his nomination disqualified, resulting in the then independent candidate benefitting tremendously from the 'tsunami'.

The PKR led state government has declared that only if their candidate wins, will he be appointed state exco. Meaning, if an independent wins, they will not appoint him/her to an exco post should the person pledge support and/or join PKR. Well, that is one way of ensuring support for their candidate, though it remains to be seen if they will keep to this condition. One news source actually quoted the Kedah Menteri Besar actually threatening to dissolve the entire state assembly should BN win the election. PAS leaders do have a tendency of releasing somewhat ridiculous statements every now and then, so let's not read too much into that. At least he didn't say men and women have to vote in separate centres. :)

The MIC candidate for Bukit Selambau, is confident that he will be able to pull off an upset. The decision by PKR to nominate a rookie, who seems to be unliked by his own party members, is of course, in favour of the BN candidate. It remains to be seen how the independents will act as spoilers. The Chinese voters are said to be solidly behind PKR. The Malays, split 50-50. the Indian votes seem tough to call, with somewhat softening, yet still present underlying resentment for BN and unhapiness over PKR's choice of candidate cancelling each other out. The presence of Malay and Chinese independents will also deflect ethnic votes somewhat.

Well, I guess we will have an interesting week or so until the elections. Let's wait and see. All the best to the BN candidates in all three elections.

Sunday 22 March 2009

JPA, Don't rob deserving students of scholarships!

Year after year, once the SPM and STPM results are out, there is one problem that never fails to crop up. JPA or PSD scholarships. Nobody seems to know for sure how these prized scholarships are dished out. What we DO know, for a fact, is that year in, year out, deserving students with sterling examination results are left out. It is of course, no surprise that most of these students are non-Malays, a fairly large portion of them Indians. Below is a press release on behalf of Putera MIC on this matter.


The recent announcement by PSD Director General Tan Sri Ismail Adam is something that has caused a lot of uneasiness among 2008 SPM students and their respective parents. This issue is very close to the heart of the people and much thought should be given before a decision is reached. The previous year, when there was a public outcry when students with flying results were denied scholarships, the honorable Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi diffused the situation by announcing that any student who achieved 9 straight A1s would be allocated scholarships. This intervention by the prime minister was timely and very well received by the rakyat.

Tan Sri Adam has categorically stated that not all straight As students will be eligible for scholarships. This is definitely a step backward for the country's education system and overall aim of increasing and enhancing the human resource capability of the nation. Those who are have worked hard and attained excellence should be rewarded and no less then the Prime Minister has agreed to this. Putera MIC strongly objects to the PSD Director General's statement which implies this practice will be stopped. We strongly urge Tan Sri Adam to carefully rethink the decision and make a decision that is in the best interest of the students and their futures.

When the Prime Minister made the decision last year there was overwhelming support for it. Has the Prime Minister agreed to the new decision? How come he didn’t state that the scholarships were only for the year it was announced and not for the future too? What has changed so drastically that such a well received decision has to be reversed? The people are watching this issue very closely and they need to be reassured that the government has the interests of the people at heart when making a decision. Students should be confident that when they study hard and do well, the government will reward their efforts and this will encourage them to work harder.

Another point we would like to raise is the fact that by Tan Sri Adam’s own calculation there are 2000 overseas scholarships and there are 1676 student with straight A1s. This being the scenario shouldn’t all those who got straight A1s be entitled to scholarships. Even if all those who got straight A1s were given scholarships, there would be about 300 and more available for others. As for those who got straight As the local 10 000 scholarships will be available to them.

As a country striving to become more competitive and first-world in all ways, educational policies are of paramount importance. Taking this into consideration we urge all those involved to re-think their decision and do what is best for the students and the country. The people await a positive decision, for them and not against them. 

Thursday 12 March 2009

Guidance for SPM and STPM Leavers

Putera MIC has launched our annual SPM and STPM Hotline. We have been doing this program for several years now, refining it every year. SPM and STPM leavers can contact the Putera MIC Hotline via sms and email. Within 24 hours, they will receive a list of courses that they can apply for in government universities based on their results. Students with other queries with regards to their education path can also contact the hotline for advice.

SMS to 012 - 6711 634
email SPM@puteramic.net or STPM@puteramic.net

Also, the MIC, via the Yayasan Pemulihan Sosial, YPS, is organizing nationwide Career and Shcolarship Guidance Seminars called 'Vetripadigal'. This initiative headed by Datuk S.K. Devamany, is to help guide students apply for courses relevant and suitable for their qualification by providing comprehensive information on courses, institutions, fees, etc. 

The Selangor and KL Seminar is on Saturday, 14th March, 8am to 1pm, Kompleks Perdana Siswa, Universiti Malaya. 

Thursday 26 February 2009

Utter disgrace to the sanctity of parliament!

Yesterday's mob incident against YB Karpal Singh was a disgrace. It was an insult to the very system of parliamentary democracy. A complete disregard to the sanctity of parliament.

Yes, I am an MIC person. A BN person. Yet, I am ashamed that some of my BN counterpart could stoop to such low levels. When I first read what happened in Malayskini, I just couldn't believe what I was reading! What were they thinking?!?

It doesn't help the least that some quarters are reporting that parliament security did absolutely nothing to stop the mob, and protect an MP. Where is the protection? Where is the security?

Even if Karpal was wrong in accusing UMNO Youth for the bullet incident, he is protected by parliamentary immunity. This is not the way to deal with the issue! For goodness sake, does it really take 22 grown men to 'demand an apology' from a man on a wheelchair?

Sigh, I am disgusted! With people like this in our midst, no matter what good some of us in the BN try to do, it will all just go down the political drain.

Friday 20 February 2009

Anjing keling? Yet again!!!

Malaysiakini reports that a student in Selayang has lodged a police report after his teacher physically and verbally abused him. In his police report filed at the Selayang Baru police station last night, A Kuganeshwaran, a form two student at SMK Darul Ehsan, said: "The teacher called me 'anjing' (dog) and 'keling'." The teacher had apparently also punched him.

This is not the first time. This won't be the last, either. Dato' Seri Hishamuddin, I, we, DEMAND that you take severe action. No more transferring the teacher. If the alleged incident took place as reported, SACK the teacher.

The police should investigate this incident thoroughly. If the act was committed, CHARGE the teacher in court.

The Malaysiakini article is below.

'Anjing, keling': Student files report

Syed Jaymal Zahiid Feb 20, 09 2:19pm

A school is where the seeds of racial unity are supposed to be sowed but there have been cases suggesting otherwise, with the guilty party being none other than the teachers themselves.

Now a new allegation has surfaced from a school in Selayang Baru, where a 14-year-old student claims that he was physically assaulted and verbally abused by a teacher.

In his police report filed at the Selayang Baru police station last night, A Kuganeshwaran, a form two student at SMK Darul Ehsan, said: "The teacher called me 'anjing' (dog) and 'keling'."

He also claimed that the teacher had punched him on the back and arm.

According to Kuganeshwaran, the incident happened during the living skills lesson yesterday.

"There was an announcement made on the class speaker so I stood up to listen to it. My teacher told me to sit but I told him that I wanted to listen to the announcement.

"The teacher then took a wooden stick and approached me. He looked like he wanted to hit me. I pleaded with him not to hit me. Then he placed the stick on the table and punched me," read the report.

The student subsequently informed the headmistress, discipline teacher and class teacher regarding the incident.Kuganeshwaran also stated in his report that his class teacher had pleaded with him not to relate this incident to his parents.

Father sees red

His father K Anchutan, who accompanied his son to file the police report, told Malaysiakini that he was 'very angry' over the incident.

The 38-year-old security guard said a school is a place where children are supposed to be safe from harm.

"I send my kids to school so that they can get the best education and be successful. I did not put them in school to be racially abused and hit by teachers," he added.

Contacted later, SMK Darul Ehsan headmistress Siti Aishah Ismail said a meeting will be convened to discuss the matter today.

"We will investigate first. We want to get all the details and we will speak to the parents as well. We wish to conclude this matter as soon as possible, possibly by next week," she added.

Siti Aishah said once the school completes its investigation, it will submit the findings to the district education department and Education Ministry.

Last July, a teacher from SMK Telok Panglima Garang in Kuala Langat was transferred after she uttered racial slurs and derogatory remarks at several Indian students.

The 35-year-old history teacher had on two occasions called Indian students in a Form Four and Form Five class 'black monkeys', 'negroes' and 'keling pariah'.

Hypocrites Aplenty!

Oh what a week it has been. From Elizabeth Wong to the Perak impasse, Bukit Selambau to Khalid Ibrahim's Lexus.

First, Elizabeth Wong. I think what happened to her was a cheap attempt to smear her. Nothing more, nothing less. It is very disturbing that a woman's reputation, career and peace of mind can be brought crumbling down in such a despicable act. She was a good assemblyperson. She did her job well. She fought hard for human rights issues. She did not deserve this.

But at the same time, Pakatan Rakyat's Standard Operating Procedures needs a little updating. Stop pointing fingers at Barisan Nasional all the time. Her photos was allegedly taken by her ex-boyfriend. He was PKR, not BN. Everytime something happens, it is always "BN this, BN that"! "BN paid him, BN bought that assemblyman, BN threatened him"! What, Anwar? Are ALL your people for sale, or just MOST of them? Oh, and a friendly reminder to Eli... next time please don't wear your specs when you sleep.

The Perak impasse. Well, what can I say? The honourable thing to do would be to go back to the people. It would not be the best for Barisan, but sometimes, honour is more important than power. I rather lose with honour then win without. Now we have a bunch of court cases, suspensions, police reports, talk of emergency. All this at a time when there are bigger issues that need attention.

Bukit Selambau. Ah... another one. MIC did this, MIC this that, BN did this, BN did that. Kidnapping, threats, blah blah blah. Everyone must have missed the report in Malaysiakini that clearly stated V. Arumugam was in the bad books of the Hindraf / Makkal Sakthi boys. The Malaysiakini report clearly stated that is was THEM who wanted him out. But of course, Arumugam was probably following his exit instructions when he made a report insinuating that it was BN that threatened him. Please lah...

Oh, and speaking of Bukit Selambau, we had some UMNO heroes demanding that the seat be contested by UMNO. Apparently MIC has lost the Indian votes. You know what, maybe we have! In the last elections, we obviously lost our Indian voter base. Denying that is stupidity. But hey, we in the MIC have been telling you for donkey years that the Indians are left behind. We demanded so many things. But you wouldn't listen. Our only mistake, we did it behind closed doors, within the BN structure. That made many Indians think we did nothing, and only guys who go out shouting in the the streets were doing something. Well, I don't blame them. How would they know? So now you want the seats? Because we lost the last time? What about all the times we won there? What about the 1999 elections when UMNO performed poorly, but the other BN component parties stood firmly beside you in support? What about all the seats UMNO lost in the last election? Can we redesignate them to other parties since you lost? Think before you talk lah Datuk Mukhriz! Don't shoot us to score brownie points for your UMNO elections!

Finally, there was the cow issue, now the Lexus issue. Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is suing Dato Seri Khir Toyo claiming defamation, but now MACC says there is enough evidence to charge the former. Apparently he used government money to sponsor cattle for his KL constituency. Apparently he used government money to maintain his personal Lexus. Let the courts decide. But the irony is, we get all these people coming and saying "Oh, this is only small money. So and so took billions, you know!" Right, and you saw him take billions? Or you just read it in some blog, and decided it is the gospel truth? And a small bribe is ok? A few hundred thousand is forgivable? Corruption is corruption! Period. If there is evidence that ANYONE misused government funds, charge them! BN or PR, doesn't matter. Don't be hypocrites.