Monday, November 26, 2007

Considering The HINDRAF Campaign

Dr Kumar of Persatuan Sosialis Malaysia has written a well thought through comment on the HINDRAF Campaign. I believe that it sets out the primary issues that should be given consideration when we consider the campaign and the events of 25th November 2007.

MIS


The Hindraf Campaign: A Critique – Dr. Kumar


Thousands of Malaysian Indians from all over the country are responding to Hindraf’s campaign. SMS messages are being amplified and sent out by the hundreds, petition forms are being signed, funds have been collected, and there is a massive mobilization to present a memorandum to the British High Commission on Sunday 25th November 2007. All this highlights the extent to which Malaysian Indians have been neglected and marginalized by the policies of the Barisan Nasional government. It shows the level of frustration and resentment within the community.

Many friends and contacts have been asking what is the Parti Sosialis Malaysia’s stand on the Hindraf Campaign? Why is the PSM not organizing buses to support the program on the 25/11/07? The main points of the PSM stand are outlined below –

1. It is undeniable that Indians in Malaysia face racial discrimination.

- difficulty in getting government jobs;

- lack of special programs for Indian students from poor backgrounds;

- the poor state of many Tamil Primary Schools;

- absence of laws to protect the estate community when they are evicted in the name of development; Ditto for the peneroka bandar;

- insensitive handling of Hindu Temples which are demolished to make way for “development”;

- extremely insensitive handling of cases of Indian individuals caught in “inter-faith” situations for example Moorthy, Subashini, and others;

- the negative profiling of Indian youth by the police and other authorities as “gangsters” and the harsh treatment of these youth when caught by police;

These are just some aspects of the reality of Indians in Malaysia. Indians are made to feel that they are second-class citizens, and after 50 years of Merdeka they are beginning to resent it more and more!


2. Ethnic based mobilization is relatively easy to do. Malaysian society has been tutored in racial politics by the BN parties (as well as by some opposition parties also) for the past 5 decades. The vast majority of Malaysians think in ethnic terms. However ethnic based mobilization of Indians will not be able to overcome the racial discrimination that Indians face. At this point Hindraf is asking for

- Cessation of the Bumiputra policy

- Institution of affirmative policies for Malaysian Indians

- Monetary compensation from the British Government for “leaving us in this mess”!

These are emotive issues, and it is obvious that many Malaysian Indians have responded to them. But is even remotely possible that they can be attained by ethnic based mobilization of the Indians who make up only 7% of the population?

3. We should not forget that apart from racial discrimination, the majority of Indians face economic discrimination because they are workers in a system that favours the businessmen and the capitalists. About 70% of Malaysian Indians are workers. The problem they face as workers include

- low wages. In many factories the basic pay in RM 18 per day, which works out to RM 468 per month.

- There is no job security. Outsourcing, the widespread use of contract workers, and the easy availability of migrant workers all weaken the bargaining position of Malaysian labour.

- Labour laws are being tightened and being made more pro management;

- Low cost adequate housing is difficult to find.

- Prices of goods is rising faster than wages! Petrol, toll and now flour.

- Basic services – health care, education, roads, water - which used to be heavily subsidized are now becoming increasingly expensive;

The problems listed above are also experienced by workers of all races in Malaysia – even the Malays, who are the beneficiaries of the Bumiputra policies. Only about 20% of Malay workers have jobs in government. The remainder have to work in the private sector where they too experience economic discrimination as workers in a capitalist economy. Malays workers are not exempted from the problems of low wages, job insecurity, rising costs of basic services, etc.

4. It appears that that some sections of working class Malays are beginning to question the Bumiputra policy which has benefited the UMNO-putra and their cronies far far more than the average Malay worker. Consider the following -

- the Mat Rempit phenomena. Isn’t this, in part, an expression of the frustration and resentment of ordinary Malay youth who are having difficulties finding and holding jobs because of the low-wage and migrant labour policies of the BN government;

- more than 50% of the 40,000 Bersih demonstration on 10/11/07 was made of Malay youth who were not from PAS or KeAdilan. They turned up because they are fed-up with the government which is only helping a small sector of Malay elite.

- Anwar Ibrahim has been openly calling for the ending of the Bumiputra Policy which he claims only helps the rich UMNO politicians. He wants a new policy – the Agenda Baru - that is based on economic need and not on race. All poor Malaysians should get government help.

- PAS spearheaded the Protes Coalition which opposed the hikes in Petrol and Diesel prices. They are also active in the Coalitions against Health and Water privatization.

Anwar is an astute politican, and PAS does have close contact with the Malay community. Their articulation of such issues must mean that in their assessment, ordinary Malays are resentful of government policies that favour the rich.


5. The political choice facing Malaysian Indians is simple. Do we

1. mobilize ourselves as Indians to fight the Bumiputra policy and ask for affirmative action for Indians?

OR

2. Work towards a working class coalition that fights for a better deal for all ordinary Malaysians irrespective of race?

In other words, do we use ethnic based mobilization or class based mobilisation to fight the present state of ethnic discrimination of Indians?


6. Obviously 1000’s of Indians have jumped into the Hindraf bandwagon of ethnic mobilization. But the support of large numbers does not necessarily mean that that campaign is in the long term interest of the Indians in Malaysia. Nor does it mean that it is likely to succeed!

The PSM salutes all those who have thrown off their apathy to stand up for their rights despite the threats being made by the BN government in the media. However, action for action’s sake is never enough. Action must be guided by the correct analysis, and this is where we differ with Hindraf. Though Hindraf leaders have made sacrifices, and have shown courage, we believe that they are inadvertently playing into the hands of the “enemy”. Why?


7. Who are the major beneficiaries of the Bumiputra policy? Surely people like Najib, Hishamuddin, Khairi and other top UMNO leaders must be very uncomfortable with growing perception among the ordinary Malays that the Bumiputra Policy has been abused to make a small group of Malays filthy rich – all in the name of uplifting all Malays. These UMNO leaders are also worried about the coming elections for the people are frustrated with price hikes and corruption. Ethnic mobilization on the part of Hindraf would provide them with the perfect opportunity to

- resurrect the “Ketuanan Melayu” issue. They could use Hindraf’s demands to abolish the NEP as an example of how “lebih” the Indians have become, and of the importance to band together under UMNO for race and country!!

- Use some of the gangster groups associated with UMNO to provoke a racial incident that will come very useful for BN in the election campaign period. The old BN argument that we have to vote BN to avoid another May 13!


8. This does not mean that the PSM is advocating not fighting back when Indians are evicted or when houses and temples are torn down. Not at all. The PSM track record on this is clear – we have gone to stand with the people facing eviction and bullying by developers or the government in many estates and Peneroka Bandar kampungs. But we never have generalized this into an ethnic issue for all the reasons listed above.

This local fight-backs must continue whenever any community is faced with bullying by developers or government. But national level mobilization should be of all ordinary Malaysians (from all races) and not of Indians only!

We hope these brief explanations make sense to you. Do not retire from the struggle! Just reorient it to make it multi-racial and fight for the justice of all the ordinary people of Malaysia!

Salam Berjuangan!!

Written on 24 November 2007


38 comments:

Mr. Z said...

I find myself in an internal struggle about my support for the HINDRAF movement. I do sincerely believe that we should look beyond parochial racial delineations and unite under a civic umbrella.

Granted, in a perfect world, men would mobilise around broad ideals such as the alleviation of poverty or the fair treatment of all citizens. However there are practical barriers to effective organisation around such lofty hopes.

More importantly though, aiming at such broad ideals may gloss over the reality. The facts can not be disputed - the portion of the Malaysian population that either self-identifies or is identified by the government machinery as 'Indian' contains the greatest number of the impoverished and has been ignored for decades.

Perhaps instead of criticising the use of race as a mobilising force, we should work to ensure that the solution remains untainted by issues of race.

So really, there should be nothing wrong with drawing attention to the fact that the Indian minority is more deprived than other groups. This is a true and fair representation of the current state of affairs.

However, the solution to this deprivation should not be assistance directed at the Indian poor, as this would perpetuate the problem of institutional racism. Instead, it should be directed at all those who are in need. Those providing the assistance must work to ensure that race, ethnicity or any other such artificial typecasts do not hinder the fair distribution of aid.

In this manner, the solution can begin to address not only the symptoms (poverty, a lack of education and the like) but also the deep-seated racial discrimination which underlies these.

Anonymous said...

Lets look at the core of the issue:

"Indians are marginalized as result of the quota system and there has has been no solid remedy to rectify nor even reciprocate."

Assistance in our country has and always has been directed to the poor of other races, using racial flags.
How is it that when solitary assistance to the Indian poor is requested, it suddenly becomes institutional racism?

I am surprised that the Petition is meant for the Queen...via the High Comm....against the Brit gov....but shooed away by the local authority?....big mis-match.

Anonymous said...

HINDRAF should have their own 'Unit Amal' during the rally.
To protect the marchers from the police and to protect them from themselves.

Saravanan said...

The article was really really good. The author is being realistic here. Just the other day, when the protest/rally was going on in Malaysia, the thought came to me. The HINDRAF members are fighting for the rights of Indians... Hmm.. Fine but why can't they just fight for the rights of "Equality", or "Discrimination on racial grounds". Well their cause is certainly correct and whole hearted and all, but the government is of course on all fours when it comes to fighting back with ample amounts of "LIES" and "FORCE". If the protest was more of a general topic, like "Discrimination/opression of other races but the bumiputera" and if their protest included other races among them, then it would have seemed more righteous, for that action would have shown what sort of biasness the government is actually having all of us on.

(no pun intended on anyone when or after i wrote this ;))

Umran Kadir said...

Dr Kumar's thoughts on the HINDRAF Rally are lucidly written. I certainly see his point about how the HINDRAF rally could be used for political mileage by those would seek to perpetuate racial segregation. To be honest, I have no doubt that this will be the case. The only question, I believe, is one of degree.

On another of his comments, I am eager to know where Dr Kumar gleaned the figure that 50% of those involved in the BERSIH Rally were Malays who were not affiliated with either PKR or PAS.

Though I was not present at the KL Rally I understand that all the marshalls were from PAS and I am also under the impression that a large proportion of those who actually made it to the rally were supporters of PAS.

I'd be most pleasantly surprised if my impression is incorrect and Dr Kumar's assertion proves to be true! If Dr Kumar is correct, then it's excellent news for accountability and democracy in Malaysia.

Might you have any thoughts on this latter point, Imtiaz? Am also posting a similar comment with the same query on the PSM website where this piece is also posted: http://www.parti-sosialis.org/?p=31

Please keep up with the insightful posts!

Lee Wee Tak said...

Isn't that not too long ago a certain mister lee from further south mentioned chinese and indians are being marginalised in Malaysia? I remember he got a little chat back from our politicians.


Read from the papers that the Hindraf chaps are being racist and arguing for the benefit of one race only. In other countries, this sounds wrong. In Malaysia there is nothing wrong with that.

We have been hearing talks about Malays problems, more action to help Malays, need to strengthen Ketuan Melayu and all that from the UMNO AGM during Deepavali.

Does rephasing the above as "Indian problems, more action to help Indians sounds" more racists and divisive to you?

The answer is yes to a Johnny foreigner but to Malaysians, it sounds normal.

Such is the reality of the racial politics in Malaysia.

The next question is, are Malaysians ready to leave racial bigotry behind and unite to turn our focus towards external competition rather than indulge in more in-fighting?

Are we ready to really, I mean really, celebrate our diversity; accept we have different ways of life and allocate our resources equitably?

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said...

Umran,

thanks for dropping by. That's a good question. Not sure where he got the figure from. Will try to find out.

MIS

hawaiichee said...

Let's not react with anger. Rather lets demand transparency so we can all sleep soundly that Malaysia still upholds justice. LETS DEMAND TRANSPARENCY. If anyone has err, lets put it behind and correct the current policies or abuses before it numbs us to accept them as part of our culture of being corrupt and unjust.

1. A public inquiry to any killings done and official figures of dead bodies if any and the emphasis of the need for security and impartiality by the police.

2. Official figures of how many mosque, churches, temples are demolished, the official count and how many permits allowed from Independence to now.

3. Official figures of the NEP, the capital held, what contracts are given to who at how much and if this is getting worse by the day with certain groups of people getting more impatient and greedy.

4. Official figures of government spending - how it is spend and how to get the abuse of funds to be paid back.

5. Royal inquiry into judiciary, police, ACA, Election Commission if proper procedures are followed and if there are independence from the executive (government admin) and parliment.

6. Emphasis on the continuation of affirmative action towards the Bumiputera for training and education and careful scrutiny of how money is spent to those deserving - not to those who could afford holidays around the world. Emphasis that the culture is to reward hard work and efforts and no race is above another. All this is enshrined in the Constitution where no race is treated at the expense of another.

7. This can all be done methodically and peacefully if done early. It will then be the greatest example of reform wanted by the RAKYAT in a peaceful manner and hopefully agreed by the government.

WE ARE AN UPRIGHT CULTURE. LETS STICK TO IT. DO NOT LET GREED EAT INTO IT TOO MUCH.

Greed is very common. And we can only nod that we all learn from mistakes. Yet, we need to make right what is wrong before it gets way to difficult to redress it when we have been numbed by evil.

ITS OK TO BE CORRUPT and UNJUST. (mentioned by many in better wording)

Should not be in the minds of the future generation. LETS START WITH THIS GENERATION.

LETS DEMAND TRANSPARENCY.

Forward this to as many blogs as possible and print it out. We need greater awareness to want change in a peaceful manner.

Mr. Smith said...

I have always been against race based parties and raced based policies. -but unfortunately, "race is the language of the government".
How could one do away with race when UMNO brings out the keris, talks about Ketuanan Melayu, Agenda Melayu, etc.
Why is it OK when UMNO uses the race card but not OK when Indians take to the street as Indians.
They were merely speaking the government's language.

Anonymous said...

Chanakya niti sastra "Never place trust in an animal with claws, a river, an animal with horns, a man bearing weapons, a woman or politician"

So instead of posting critique of a politician, post comments by someone who is apolitical .

Why you need to post a critique by an indian, is it just to prove that your stance on HINDRAF rally is justified since even an indian find it difficult to accept.


Bersih rally never went to the grass roots of every race. If not for PAS the rally would have been a major failure. Go and ask chinese and indians in the streets how many of them knew about bersih rally. As for indians only those hooked to the net knew and they would make up to how many percentage of the community do you think, when majority are struggling just to get a decent meal for the day.

So instead of just being so critical, all those bloggers who are championing "bangsa malaysia" and critizing Hindraf should go and support the people in the street whenever they are in dire help.

So the next time a temple is about to be abolished be there just like how hindraf guys did it. Remember a friend in need is a friend in deed. If you could do that then the bangsa malaysia can be formed otherwise not in this life time. Why life time not even in your dreams.

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said...

Anonymous at 1.05 pm,

I did not post the critique by Dr Kumar because I support his political views but because it was a considered view which, I thought, brought out the issues very well.

It was not my intention to endorse PSM.

I do not question the right of those who supported the issues raised by HNDRAF. I personally prefer causes that champion a broader agenda.

The temples are an important issue, I agree. There are other equally important issue - Subashini, Kaliammah (Moorthy's widow), Shamala, for instance. They received our help, we are still fighting for them and people like them in court.

MIS

Old Fart said...

I cannot but feel that HINDRAF's 25Nov rally or something equivalent might have been what the Indian community needed to wake up. If they have woken up, then the risks would have been worth it. But if they now go back to wait on Uthayakumar and associates for the next thing to happen, then all they would have accomplished is swapping Samy Velu for Uthayakumar, MIC for HINDRAF!.

It has been the culture of waiting on their leader, their party, MIC, to deliver that has left the Indians who marched so far behind. The rally, if at all, hopefully finally puts it into their heads that MIC has failed them.

Now that they they know it is hoped that they will also recognise that their own fate is really in their own hands. When they were brought into this country from India so long ago, they relied on the Colonial masters to provide them a roof over their heads and their daily stipend. When they left, the new estate owners took over that responsibility. But then until maybe the 1970s, the estate may have been a way of life. But fact is today the estate is no more than a resource. As a resource the owners have really no time looking into human affairs especially when politicians came into the picture to become the go between between the workers and the employers.

The sense of comfort and security despite the poverty is now no more. Homes that have passed on from granfather to father to son is no more as well. Development means everything they called home just goes. Of course the owners of the land are right. But then again surely these people too have some rights here. There is something seriously wrong when development overtakes a way of life.

HINDRAF has made a point. Everyone is now aware of what it was all about. O.k. Thank you. Now can HINDRAF move on? Embrace the broader population. The problem you have is not with the Malays. It is with UMNO and their ketuanan Melayu mentality.

Finally, it is once again for you to help yourselves. To suggest that your present status in teh socio-economic ladder has been contributed by the government would be easy enough to say and to pass the buck. But I would rather that you admit that you were seduced into procrastination and doing nothing having been told to wait on your great MIC leaders to deliver.

Anonymous said...

yes, hindraf may be narrow in their approach but then it strikes ahcord in the hearts of the downtrodden. what next, instead of condemning them as by many. can we bring inclusiveness to them, malik? their cries are real.

mr. z said...

Our noble pursuit of a raceless, civic nation should NOT lead us to deliberately overlook the proverbial elephant in the room.

The fact is that those identified as 'Indians' by either themselves or the government are the most disenfranchised grouping of individuals in the country.

Are we in danger of overlooking this truth in our path to some sort of 'politically correct' perspective?

Shuxian said...

A friend who attended the HINDRAF rally debated for days whether she should or shouldn't walk.

Whatever it is, the walk last Sunday gave the Indian community a voice. In the coming election, winning their votes will be a lot harder than it was in the last election.

Do google up on 'Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs'. It shows that we are all responding to calls for different needs. If a voter is still struggling to meet her children's school fees for the year, how then do you convince her that she shouldn't take the education scholarship (school fees, uniform and books for the year for all her 4 children) that is offered to her, in exchange for her (ONE) vote?

HINDRAF is a wake up call for us all - the production manager when deciding to reduce overtime expenses, a businessman who tries to bargain the worker's wages down by RM50, political strategists and civil society leaders. We now recognise that in the broader perspective, the details may not necessarily be aligned. Where do we go from here, how do we now bridge this gap?

BERSIH. HINDRAF. What's next?

adam said...

MIS, may I request that you post Uthayakumar's memo to the queen in full for all to see? Thank you

adam said...

I meant the letter addressed to gordon brown

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said...

Adam,

the letter can be viewed in its entirety at Rockybru (http://rockybru.blogspot.com) under the posting "Why I didn't walk yesterday".

MIS

gangeticus said...

Sorry, but this Dr Kumar fellow is an idiot. I suppose there are various excuses for not joining the rally, but this, I suppose, beats them all!

multidimid said...

Dr Kumar has outlined the stance of PSM with reference to HINDRAF. Many have forgotten about the 18-Point Allegations Memo & Marginalization of Indians that was submitted to the PM Office - 50th year Merdeka (Independence) demands by the two (2) million ethnic minority Indians in Malaysia to Y.A.B. Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Prime Minister of Malaysia on Sunday the 12th day of August 2007 at 10.00a.m at Seri Perdana, Putrajaya Malaysia
The MIC President being spurned by the Hindraf leaders could say he was “sad but not angry”. He further claimed that PM Abdullah has “never shut his eyes or ears to their plight “then what happened to the 18-point Memo that was submitted more than 3 months ago?. Shredded and thrown in the waste paper basket?
And for the first time when an MIC MP (Cameron Highlands) opened his mouth to express his concerns on the Indian Plight in the country (that was so glaringly highlighted in the Sunday Rally protester” he was told curtly to resign from the MIC by an UMNO Minister. So what hope is there through legitimate means except by “streets demo” to draw the attention to their plight?
For a read of the Hindraf 18-point Memo
Go H E R E

Kohila said...

The stand by PSm is a fair stand. and for people who do not know about Dr Kumar, he is an activist who have been working with the people for more than 20 years, with the poor and downtrodden especially in Perak. so don't simply throw yr words and accuse people if you do not know anything. he has been arrested by police many times for fighting for the people's cause and PSM have been going to the streets to fight for the rights of the poor people long before we even started thinking about it. Just because you have gone to the Hindraf rally does not make you an activist. people like Kumar who have sacrificed so much for the poor and downtrodden and still is doing so , are real activists and people's leaders that the country needs. we do no neet stunt masters , we need l;eaders like Dr kumar. Salute to PSm and Dr Kumar for the brave stand taken by them in these challenging times.

Anonymous said...

being indian, i have been torn very much about the whole hindraf issue. as much as I understand the value of what Hindra was fighting for, i also understand that the situation indians are in make it a little more difficult to define.

unlike in the united states, where blacks were at one time systematically discrimiated against, in malaysia the indians' discrimination has been based on different factors - like the article pointed out, they are predominantly mostly economic. yet, one of the richest men in Malaysia is an Indian, a supreme court judge is indian - the list goes on, outlining several exceptions to the rule.

thank you for bringing out the core of what this fight is about - protecting the rights against the poor because they are poor, not because they are indian. in a indirect way, Hindraf's argument may eventually backfire and condone institutionalised racism even more.

enough of this fight to mobilise and empower INDIANS. can someone please think about mobilising and empowering the poor and the needy instead?

Kavitha said...

I believe ethnic Indians in Malaysia still enjoy more rights than Indian citizens who is living in their own country. India accounts for 40 per cent of the world’s poor and its fiscal deficit is one of the highest in the world. Almost half of Indian women are still illiterate; about 40 million primary school-age children are not in school.

Indian workers form the third largest foreign work force in Malaysia, with 140,000 of them seeking out a living there.

According to the Indian census of 2001, the total population was 1.028 billion. Hindus numbered 827 million or 80.5 %. About 25 per cent, or 24 million, of those Hindus belong to Scheduled Castes and Tribes. About 40 per cent, or 400 million, are “Other Backward Castes”. 15 per cent belonging to the three upper castes. Dominant group of Hindu nationalists come from the three upper castes who constitute about 10 per cent of the total Indian population but controle the civil service and economy. And thus the caste system virtually leaves lower caste Hindus to an oppressed minority.

About 20 per cent, or 200 million, are religious minorities. Muslims constitutes 138 million or 13.4 per cent, Christians 24 million or 2.3 per cent, Sikhs 19 million or 2 per cent, Buddhists 8 million or 0.8 per cent and Jains 4 million or 0.4 per cent. “Others” numbered 6.6 million or 0.6 per cent. Christians provided education at all levels to other religious groups without prosyletisation. According to Tahir Mahmoud, an Indian Muslim journalist, “The 2.3 per cent Christians in the Indian population cater to 20 per cent of all primary education in India, 10 per cent of all the literacy and community health care, 25 per cent of all existing care of destitutes and orphans, 30 per cent of all the handicapped, lepers and AIDS patients etc”.

1.38 billion.Muslims across India are severely under-represented in government employment, including PSUs. Ironically, West Bengal, a communist ruled state reported 0 (zero) percent of Muslims in higher positions in its PSUs. A Muslim child attends school for three years and four months, compared to the national average of four years. Less than two percent of the students at the elite Indian Institutes of Technology comprise of the Muslim community. ( Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee)

According to the National Human Rights Commission, as on 30th June 2004, there were 3,32,112 prisoners in Indian jails out of which 2,39,146 were under trial prisoners. That’s more than 70 per cent. India’s jails hold a disproportionate number of the country’s minority Muslims, a sign of discrimination and alienation from the Hindu majority.

Hindu upper caste men, who constitute just eight per cent of the total population of India, hold over 70 per cent of the key posts across newsrooms in the country. The so-called twice-born Hindu castes dominate 85 per cent key posts despite constituting just 16 per cent of the total population, while the intermediary castes a represent meagre three per cent.

The Hindu Other Backward Class groups, who are 34 per cent of the total population, have a share of just four per cent in the Indian newsrooms. Muslims, who constitute about 13 per cent of the population, control just 4 per cent top posts while Christians and Sikhs have a slightly better representation. But the worst scenario emerges in the case of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) : Based on CSDS study, 2006

India’s subordinate courts have a backlog of over 22 million cases while the 21 high courts and the Supreme Court have 3.5 million and 32,000 pending cases (2006) There were 13 judges for every million people. Merely 7.8% Muslim employees working in Judicial sector of 12 high-Muslim population states surveyed by Sachar Panel.

According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, India has the highest number of street children in the world. There are no exact numbers, but conservative estimates suggest that about 18 million children live and labor in the streets of India’s urban centers. Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta each have an estimated street-children population of over 100,000.

The level of child malnutrition in India is among the highest in the world, higher even than some countries in sub-Saharan Africa, says the report ‘Extent of Chronic Hunger and Malnutrition in India’ by the UN’s special rapporteur on the right to food (2006)

When it comes to Human Rights issues in India, it is not ratified the Convention against Torture, its citizens do not have the opportunity to find recourse in remedies that are available under international law. The victims are trapped with the local Hindu caste system, which in every aspect militates against their rights. Many victims conclude that a justice system accessible to the poor of the land does not exist at all.

RSS is the Hindu-supremacist organization that has fueled a rise in anti-Dalit, anti-Muslim, anti-Christian and anti-Sikh violence. . The former ruling party, the BJP is the political arm of the RSS and helped fascism to spread across civil, defence and educational steams of the society. The caste system and the fact that the government machinery is basically controlled by this Hindu-centric group means that violence against vicitims largely goes unpunished.

I believe HINDRAF and Uthay Kumar is closely associated with RSS, a Hindu Taliban who spoil India’s social fabric with fascist ideas. Let us not forget that, Malaysia’s ethnic Indians are mostly from Indian state of Tamil Nadu, an impoverished land lagging with illiteracy and feudalism. The poverty in Tamil Nadu, compelled them to move Sri Lanka, where they are now in war with their hosts, Sinhalese.

Do the ethnic Indians in Malaysia want to come back to India? I bet none of them want to come back to India. Instead of asking for more rights they should try to learn to respect their hosts, the Malaysian people. Only such an attitude will bring them prosperity. Let them not forget the poor and impoverished indian citizens living in their own country.

Anonymous said...

Consolidation of lessons, Thoughts, Targets and the blocks (diagrams)
===================================
Constitution to Human Rights be Right!
EC be on fair light!
So fair election can work Right!

Transparency on procedures on websites!
Accountability with AG with more Rights!
Cut Authority or Public Servant Protection Rights!
ACA must work bright
Complaint bureau with Penal Codes on the Right!

Rights to be Taught!
Abuses to be Mopped!
Professionals without ethics no hope!

At the end, where are the Courts and the lawyers be enforced?

Someone to knit the Topics
with cause and effects
and so the efforts
to be spread!
Consolidating Problems
with solutions to be shared!

Need a website/Centre to collect
some good guys to head and netted.
The Problem List to start
to group them in topic
for group to react
to suggest!
How about that?

Dr Kumar, Uncle Lim, Malik, Harris, Hindraf and who's next?
(not in specific order!!)

sharing said...

Toll Concessionaire - A Topic
Lawyers with Pupil - A Logic
============================
Human Rights to be rooted
for any lawyer to talk fairness en route!

NO toll can be raised
with terms and conditions under OSA
BIAS or illogic for any business contract
without accounts agreeable by AG!

Raise a "Walk to Court Fund"
a RM10 to a special account
with direct deposit or transfer
with same display on blog
to cast a kind of vote!

Injunction to get transparency
and accountability
with straightening of any contradictory
before any tariff be talked!

Parliament works not
but will this work?

Anonymous said...

While I respect his perspective, I don't know if his writing was useful. He is a socialist and argue from a socialist point of view.

To fundamentally change our capitalist structure of Malaysia would be disastrous. True, we could use less foreign workers IF the NEP and corruption is not part of the equation.

Singapore has an even more capitalist economic structure and you don't see Indians and Malays taking to the street or really even criticize much at all. You see ordinarty Chinese Singaporean gripping about foreigners and high cost of living more..

No the issue is not socialism vs. capitalism but rather a capitalism abused in the name of socialism. Like any good tool, if you don't use it properly, you end up messing everything up.

MG said...

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN,


I am a Malaysian citizen, and I am a subscriber of ASTRO Satellite TV Broadcast here in Malaysia. Recently I have subscribed to the ASTRO News Package which contains Al Jazeera and other foreign news media.


I was highly looking forward for the international news broadcast on all of the stations provided by the package when I had shocking news from our local news station claiming that the foreign news broadcasters are lying and making stories without properly acquiring the real facts and they are very good actors !!! Furthermore these claims were also made by our government's politicians.


Now, this is rather disturbing and disappointing for me as I have only subscribed for the service for just a few days and I'm being bombarded with such claims. This eventually made me to think:


Am I an IDIOT to subscribe, pay and end up watching acts and lies

OR

Is there is any conspiracy going on here????


I clearly understand the fact that Al Jazeera has a strong principal called the Code of Ethics and you strictly follow it. But the claims by the politicians and local media here make me to think otherwise.


The claims below were broadcasted on 27-November-2007 in TV3 news station. Similar claims were also made in other local newscasters. This is just a few of the claims.


1. TV3 news station claimed that the foreign media cannot be trusted as they do not report the actual news.


2. YAB Datuk Sri Samy Velu claims that there were only 4,600 demonstrators on 25-November-2007 and NOT 50,000 or any other number as claimed by the foreign media.


3. TV3 news station said that the questions thrown at the Information Minister of Malaysia by Al Jazeera (Al Jazeera's name was mentioned) was to purposely create a scene to show that Malaysia is in kiosk situation and Al Jazeera purposely built up the story from the real one. They also mentioned the criticism made by the Information Minister to Al Jazeera.


(Prior to sending the mail, I did some research on the net and actually found the video clip of the above Interview in Youtube. And I actually laughed myself out listening to the reply given by our Minister. Pity him for his language. But in the Malaysian news channel TV3, they only provided the "CLEAN" version of the transcript and the actual call was not aired. This makes me even more confused!!! Who is telling the truth here???)


Now, if Al Jazeera is telling lies,


It is high time for Al Jazeera to review back their Code of Ethics and provide the truth for the people. If you can't do it then don't cheat the entire world. And don't broadcast your news at all. I am not a fool to keep paying for acts and lies.


And if Al Jazeera is NOT lying,


Well, what the heck. The damage has already been done. No one in Malaysia is going to listen to your news anyway due to the "VERY GOOD" publicity done by the Malaysian politicians and the local media. By the way, did I mention that our local media could also be received by our neighboring countries like Singapore and Thailand?



FINAL CONCLUSION


It is not my intension to insult Al Jazeera, other foreign media, our local media or the politicians. If you feel offended by this email, I sincerely apologize to you. Whatever the scenario is, all that I want (and the rest of Malaysian citizens who are in my situation want) is the truth. Since Al Jazeera's and other foreign media's names have been badly damaged here in Malaysia, Al Jazeera and the other foreign media's SHOULD do something to fix it back or you may start loosing your viewer in Malaysia.(and its surrounding countries too)


I hope you could keep my details confidential and properly investigate on this issue (just incase if you don't trust me) and find out the real truth behind such a drastic claims by our local media. That is if you still follow your Code of Ethics.



Yours truly,

A concerned viewer.


PS:

1. i am also forwarding this mail to other foreign media for their response.

2. i will be posting this transcript in the internet via blogs so that the viewers around the world will be aware that this matter has been brought to your attension and for them to express their views.

MG said...

TechFun has left a new comment on the post "Al-Jazeera":

MG: First, have you ever seen unbiased evidence of Al Jazeera falsifying reports? I have not. Second, have your politicians ever lied to you before? In my case in the USA, I cannot say yes.

So far for me, Al Jazeera has a better track record for honesty than the US Government.

MG has left a new comment on the post "Al-Jazeera":

dear Techfun,

thank you for your comment. i wish to state that I am not claiming Al Jazeera is falsifying news.

All i want is the truth.

Now, let me give you a sample of what i mean.

This is what Al Jazeera has claimed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glaXc34K3bY&feature=related

and now, this is what malaysian media says(watch till the end)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wcG0QT1TUc&feature=related

Clearly someone is telling lies here.

If Al Jazeera is not liying, they better start defending their point. else i would be forced to sue Al Jazeera to get the real truth out of everyone.

please note that i still have faith that Al Jazeera follows their Code of Ethics. But the whole country of malaysia has declared them as liers.

so tell me, how am i to accept, trust or use any information from Al Jazeera if my country declared them as liers ?

TechFun has left a new comment on the post "Al-Jazeera":

MG: i watched both videos and I don't see any conflict. I did notice that on the second one, BEFORE the English portion, the footage was all of cheerful peaceful protesters with no evidence of the people sprayed with water or soap or whatever that was. And the person from the government kept contradicting himself about allowing protest and the protest being illegal. He seemed to refuse to give a clear answer.

Not speaking whatever language was being spoken on the early part of the video its hard for me to judge, but nothing in the Al Jazeera coverage seemed to be at odds with the video footage shown on both videos. The second video just seemed to stay away from that whole part of the protest where the police intervened.

MG has left a new comment on the post "Al-Jazeera":

good, now have a look at this news.

http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/11/13/nation/19453633&sec=nation

quote :

Describing the coverage as biased, unfair and confusing to people living overseas, he said he would write to the station stating that the Government was aware of what the station was trying to do.

now thats what i call as a hard slam impact right on the face of Al Jazeera.

And being a fan of Al Jazeera you are now marked as a fan of Al Jazeera, the satellite television station that is biased, unfair and confusing the people.

MG has left a new comment on the post "Al-Jazeera":

they make use of Al Jazeera, took their video, edited it (with or without authorization), made the demonstration to look calm, and finally claim Al Jazeera to be a big lier and actors.

Kudos.

Mlle Linie.. said...

i hate unjust greedy leaders, malay or not.. corruption and cronism must end. everyone should be rewarded on effort, not because i-happen-to-know-the-minister's-son-in-law's-cousin's-daughter-so-i-get-multi-million-RM-contracts-by-not-tendering-fairly..

Harry said...

Although I fully support freedom of expression, I think HINDRAF is not aiding the cause of a progressive and non-racial agenda and reform for Malaysia. Consorted action is affective action. Splintering for narrow interests will not do anyone and everyone any good.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Kavitha,

Im truly suprised with these words of yours...

Respect our host & wait for the prosperity?

We have waited, respected & what not for the past 50 years!! and what are we at??

The voices have been planted & channeled to a path & now lets wait to be heard and responded!!

May all end well!

Crankshaft said...

I think it's a shock when the Indians suddenly stand up and say, "Enough!" because we have become accustomed to taking racial abuse from the politicians.

It is an accepted thing that the citizens refrain from voicing out their opinion for fear of being arrested under the ISA.

My Response To The HINDRAF Campaign

Arieff said...

A quote by Anonymous on November 27 2007 1:05:00 PM MYT...

"Chanakya niti sastra "Never place trust in an animal with claws, a river, an animal with horns, a man bearing weapons, a woman or politician""

Never place a trust in a woman? Well, that's sexist. My mother is indeed a woman, and God trusted her to carry me in her womb for more than 9 months and she delivered me healthy and safe to the world. Now, if God can trust a woman, why couldn't we?
By the way, are you related to the Jerai MP in any way??

Lawrence said...

Hi All,

HINDRAF is a lousy organisation with lots of errors and there is no proper logic in

their arguments. Lets say after the government gives in to Hindraf demands, ten

years later, we will still see the poor becoming poorer and the rich becoming

richer... why because of the inept greed of man to pursue wealth at the expense of

others to show off and to rely on status and power. This not because of race... but

because of gap between the rich & poor... things will not change if the rich dont

make space for the poor. Ghandi once said "There is enough for everybody in the

world but not enough for one man's greed"

Hindraf, dont mislead the people... there is no ethnic cleansing here... look at the

streets here.. do u see darfur, do u see sri lanka, do u see Northern Ireland, do u

see bosnia... do u see Westbank & Gaza strip, do u see kosovo ???

Maybe the leaders of Hindraf should stay for a year in the above countries and then

come back to Malaysia. Then will be grateful to God for all the blessings that God

have given us in this beautiful country.

Use your head, dont use your emotion. Look all around you, does anyone really come

forward to help the poor... NO.. because everybody is concerned about themselves..

There will always be poor oppressed marginalised indian, malay and chinese people

for as long as the rich continues to ignore the plight of the poor. This is

happening in every community in every country of the world.

OPEN YOUR EYES WIDE.

suaramalaysia said...

If sciologists were to evaluate the Barisan controlled-media's turnspeak on Hidraf, it would be entitled "the lust to demonize." It is almost impossible to conduct a meaningful dialogue with a media bound by a Printing Act leash dangling around its neck.

I am reminded of the statesman Dr Tan Chee khoon, he was one of the few who had the capacity to speak for the downtroden without fear or favor, and that was in an era where the media was not emasculated. Umno putras and their agents have conveniently camoflouged the whole March and dissent as an incidious racial issue, a volatile attempt to stir unrest in the country.

It is a winding road often travelled, yet Malaysians are not as gullible as the establishment envisions it to be. All government newspapers are tools of state propaganda. Even a first-year Universiti Sains Malaysia student of journalism can tell us that. Even a padi farmer in Arau can preach that pertinent point to his children. Those who buy and read government-owned newspapers are news junkies subjecting themselves to Official Knowledge crafted to suit the need of the owners of the means of producing propaganda.

All government newspapers are used to skillfully silence and kill opposing viewpoints, albeit couched in some proclamation of free speech. It has been used to engineer risings, uprisings and downfalls. It has been bought and sold by those who have the means to buy and sell politicians.The same goes for the government-owned television stations. They are shapers of consciousness and they will condition those unwilling to unplug themselves from the propaganda of the regime to become part of the establishment agenda of racial and religous subjugation.

As you have rightly pointed out the Indians have been crushed for decades. The tarred roads they laboured over have almost become a reflection of their marginalisation, while others have long passed that road to acheive their dreams. For decades the community, their children and peoples continue to face the same cycle of poverty, discrimination and disenfranchisement.

The Indians have often stood with others in the cause of fighting against injustices, often to the point of losing the little fincances they have. They have often walked championing the cause of emancipation for other minorities while they lost their own priveleges, often at the expsense of their own lives. Invariably, when Indians stand up for their own plight, they stand alone.This predicament after five decades of oppression will not get them any standing ovation, other than continued “Police prison lock up mystery deaths” and a stoic establishment silence and refusal to prosecute those who perpetrated brutal killings of their families in slums such as Kampong Medan.

Selective journalism has been with us long before the oldest profession. And it does exhibit its “assets” for maximum appeal. It amuses me to varying degrees of hilarity and sorrow as to how far some would go to legitamize their prejudice and religous bigotry against Indians. Feeding off the crumbs of Umno Printing Press Act table can have an adverse effect on institutionalised loyalty and allegiance. Rice bowl journalism however does create a dependence that is hard to disenggage.

It is interesting to observe that none of the goverment-controlled media has dared to break ranks from the establishment leash to feature an independent non-biased interviewwith Uthayakumar. His view or version of the Hindraf march has instead been portrayed as one that is seditious and militant. The issue of multiple deaths of Indians in prison or the Kampong Medan killings has been deliberately concealed.

I have yet to see Rocky or any of the BN concubine media take Umno Youth keris waving jihadists to task for inciting racial or religous sentiment. The simple fact is that threats of ethnic cleansing by keris waving politician according to these media concubines are to be condoned, the less influential minorities with little economic clout must be coerced to apologize for using their voices, in other words, the marginalised Malaysian Indians is only qualified to be the nation's top candidate for the heaviest possible crush.

After all, are not the marginalised Malaysian Indians and other minorities not to smile and politely nod and sing praises to the goverment's ketuanan Melayu concept? We are being constantly lectured about the "intrinsic value" of ketuanan Melayu to the point any protest may result a quick confrontation from the boys at Kamunting. Perhaps it is a silencing we will ulitmately get used to? Umno Youth hopes and doa is that non-bumis embrace ketuanan Melayu just like a keris bathed in blood. Daulat bumi!

The legitimate issues brought up by Hindraf should not be eclipsed by selective journalism, nor Umno jihadist propaganda. As Malaysians witnessed, none of the goverment-controlled media dared to state how the Police and FRU bulldozed the Batu Caves temple and shot chemical-laced water jets and tear gas into captive crowds. After all, as far as the goverment-controlled media is concerned, the BBC and other foreign media are all united against Umno putras and on a conspisary to "fabricate" news of what happened on the Sunday March. How dare any institution challenge the almighty Barisan controlled-media!

The local Press went on a rampage to feature a tirade of fabricated “scoops” like the allegation that Hindraf members allegedly attacked an Indian restaurant in Brickfields(Paandi). Even in their retraction (when the restaurant owner himself exposed the blatant lies), the Star failed to print a retraction. Sri Paandi Restaurant boss Mr Thomas and Mr Kumar denies making any allegation against Hindraf or to indicate that they were responsible for an attack by thugs at his restaurant. Nevertheless, Tv1, Tv2, Tv3 or NTV7, Bernama and The Malay Mail quoted that he did. Such media control and manuevering by the Umno-controlled goverment rivals any coup de tat.

In my opinion, Indians of various religous background and persuasions will stand with Hindraf for the following reasons:

Firstly, Hindraf has a legitimate right to speak out against the systematic ethnic cleansing of poor and marginalised Indians that has manifested over the past three decades. There is irrefutable evidence of this in the aspect of multiple deaths or “Police related lock-up deaths” and the involment of goverment in carrying out such dastardly attacks. Uthayakumar himself has documented death threats against him and the destruction to his car and property in retaliation to his determination to defend Indians from these injustices.

Secondly, Indians of other religous and ethnic persuasions have witnessed similar violations against them, the destruction of churches and property including the demolition of crosses and statues in Christian schools and Convents and to the Orang Asli in the interior has been carried out systematically. There is documented evidence of these and other violations and the goverment must demonstrate sincerity in its claim to openess to executing justice for these oppressed groups.

Thirdly, the current MIC leadership has failed to bring economic, social or cultural emancipation to the community. There needs to be a new impetus and reformation in seeking development and breakthrough for the community. Investigate and make public the real culprits who attacked and killed the 5 Indians and injured over 100 others in the Kg Medan racial attacks tragedy from March 8th 2001 to to March 22nd March 2001

Malaysians owe themselves the duty to investigate the 1,000 over police reports against the various UMNO leaders and Malaysian authorities for the shoot to kill of hundreds of suspects and the mysterious deaths of hundreds in police custody (60% estimated to be Indians who only from 8% of the population). Hundreds of Indian “suspects unlawfully arrested, detained, beaten-up and tortured, hundreds of hindu temples demolished at the rate of one hindu temple in every three weeks and scores of hindu temples forced to relocate next to sewerage tanks.

Investigate the concealed information on Hindraf's letters,(over one thousand), memorandums, appeals protest notes scores of Civil Suits to the Prime Minister Ministers, Attorney General, Inspector General of Police, Chief Ministers and the other Malaysian authorities. Detailed reports on racism, marginalization and captive colonialism of the Indians in Malaysia.

Hindraf’s track record of legal and peaceful struggle is irrefutable and the campaign to mislead the Malaysian public that it has links to terrorits groups is a pernicious political ploy to divert attention of these continued injustices and violations.

This continued media campaign of malice, propaganda and demonization of Hindraf is counterproductive and serves only to promote the narrow racist policies of Umno and its Barisan agents. Fear and intimidation had been a characteristic of this and previous goverments and Malaysian must not be afraid to expose its stranglehold.

When media control becomes interlocked with political parties and business interests, the selling of lies and half-truths become more savvy, sophisticated and salivating. The story of poverty and why people become poor will not be told - the truth will hurt and bring governments down.

We are all, in our own way, turning into journalists telling our own truth. In my definition truth is an objective verifiable criteria independent of viewpoint or consensus. Why independent of media that is enslaved by a Printing Press Act? Because true non-selective journalism conforms to the constitution of reality, and a knowledge of things as they are.

We will soon no longer need "The Staid Times or The Fallen Star" to tell us half-truths. We need our cell-phone cameras, our blogs, and our will to speak truth without apology. The fast rate of Internet penetration in Malaysia will see the proliferation of ‘citizen journalists and commentators’ who will continue to exercise their rights to free speech.

Nothing can stop the bloggers from providing alternative truths or truths that matter. It is pivotal that other communities stand with Hindraf in their struggle to liberate the Indian community from its captive status.

When one chooses to remains silent when a minority is being crushed, it may reap silence when if falls on them.

MG said...

Dear lawrence,

i think you should see for yourself the scene when they demolish a temple.

the blow the temple with bombs. they burn it down with petrol. anyone questioning them will be assulted with metal rods, slashed with knives, beaten with rocks.

you want evidence ? goto malaysiakini and see the clips there.

if you dont call this ethnic cleansing, wat do you call it as ???

gunasegar said...

To kavitha, are you an Indian? Atleast do you know your father or fathers? Are you a Malaysian or Indian citizen...I'm a Malaysian...I'm a citizen...question of host country does not arise...as a citizen i need to be treated as such..i'm not a begger like you or MIC..If some enemy were attack this this country, I shall be in forefront to defent this country...What host country are you talking about...Your rational sound very appaling that of Nazri..Why are you comparing with that of India...You must be MIC member I suppose..
To Mr lawrence, what do you call the 100 Indians killed in Kampong Medan..Why the Police never gave protection to the poor Indians...Are you an Indian or a bastard? If your sister or mother would have killed in this incident then you shall feel the pain? sorry for my harsh words...

Anonymous said...

To Kavitha, are you Malaysian or an Indian citizen. Your logic sounds irrational and very appaling too. Your line of reasoning, respect the host country. What host country are you talking about. I'm a citizen of Malaysia and I shall be treated as with dignity and respect. I'm not talking about India and there is no reason for me to compare my self with India. Reason bein very simple. I was born as a Malaysian and I shall die as a Malaysian. I shall be in the fore front if enemies were to attack Malaysia. I'm asking my rights as Malaysian and need to be treated in a dignified manner. No more or less. So question of India should not arise and neither you or Nazri has no rights requesting the Malaysian Indian Ethnic race to leave Malaysia and go back to India. This is outrageous. I think you must be an MIC member so the beggers mentality.The Hindraf supporters are true Malaysians and we were deprived of our rights as Malaysians.
Hello Lawrence, I presume you are not an Indian. It appears to me that you are a real bastard.
What do you call of the incident at Kg Medan killing and severely injuring about 100 innocent Indians. What were the police doing then? Who were this mysterious killers. Who were the real sponsors of this hired killers. Why does the government refuse to take action against them.
Can you tell the actual number of PTD and PTA officers recruited each year. Everybody knows Indiand are being marginalised how come you don't seem to understand our sensitivities. Are you aware of the christians predicament in Shah Alam. They have the land but cannot built a church. What do you call that? Please do understand our resentment. Don't talk through your ass