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Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Personal Dignity Of HINDRAF Supporters

Judging by the report by Malaysiakini “Tear gas fired at defiant protesters”), it seems as if the attempt to impede the HINDRAF Rally has descended into chaos. The police have come down hard, its treatment ‘heavy handed’. Bar Council monitors have declared their unhappiness with the way the police are handling the matter.

From the report it would seem that even before 7.40 am, tear gas was fired into crowds at Jalan Ampang, KLCC and Batu Caves. At 9.30 am, tear gas was still being fired. It appears also that participants are being beaten, women and children not being spared.

The question is why. The police obtained an order allowing officers to arrest on sight (see Malaysiakini report “Cops obtain rare court order against HINDRAF”). If there are persons breaching the order then arrests should be made and, in fact, it appears that arrests have been made already.

The order DOES NOT authorize the use of force. I would go further, the order, in allowing for preemptive measures, lends against the use of force.

And, of course, the question that begs an answer is why stop the rally in the first place. The question of a permit, or the lack of one, is a convenient and self-serving one.

How does this rally, planned for a Sunday morning, differ from the one organized by UMNO Youth during Condoleeza Rice’s visit to Kuala Lumpur on a Friday afternoon? That demonstration took place in the same vicinity, also had fiery and inflammatory speeches and was directed to a person or organisation other than the Malaysian government. That demonstration was aggrandized by the local media, with photographs of a defiant Khairy Jamaluddin, in arm sling to boot, gracing the leading pages (if not the front pages) of the mainstream print media.

It is readily obvious to all that despite the great show, there was never any intention on the part of the police to use force where the UMNO Youth demonstration was concerned. None was in fact used. The contrast with action taken where the HINDRAF Rally is concerned is manifest.

The UMNO Youth demonstration was as much about personal dignity as the HINDRAF Rally is. For, at the heart of the HINDRAF cause is a serious complaint about the marginalizing of the Hindhu community and a plea for recognition of the plight of this particular marginalized community.

I do not necessarily agree with the manner in which HINDRAF has decided to espouse its cause. Though I recognize the point HINDRAF is making, I believe that we should be fighting for the cause of all underprivileged and marginalized Malaysians. Having said that, the apparently inconsistent stance of the Police and the Government where rallies are concerned can only lead one to a conclusion that there may be some truth to what HINDRAF is saying.

I offer a prayer for those on the ground now and brace myself for the possibility of great violence.

The police should have known better than to use force to turn away people who have risen to claim what little dignity circumstance has left them with. Being at the point where one is compelled by sheer force to make a choice between standing firm on one’s principles, and in one’s beliefs, or turning away is not an easy one. Having made the decision to march this morning, many, if not all, would have made the decision that life was not worth living unless one could stand with dignity.

This is a decision that no one, not even the Police, is in any position to challenge.



Anonymous said...

Good read. But pls don't send link to Malaysiakini - wasting my time. Need to pay to read!

Anonymous said...

WHo do you pray to? Everyone pray to God, in whatever way they do.

You claim yourself as Muslim.

Does your act and activities shows your belief and commitment to believe in Allah, prophet Muhammad, Quran and kitabs, Angels, Qiamah, and Qada & Qadar?

Does your belief reflected in your practices to pronounce shahadah till performing haj? Have you shun from God's prohibition? How much have you done to safeguard the akidah of fellow Muslims and fought for the sanctity and integrity of Islam?

Unless we obey God, avoid God's prohibitions, and uphold God's true religion (thats Islam to us Muslim), we have not truly blief in God beyond mere oral pronouncement.

To whom do one pray for the safety of the Hindraf marchers?

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir MIS

I have no words to describe your stand on this matter except SALUTIONS!

If Malaysia have more people of your level of fairness, we were already in first world category.

Thanks for voicing for the discriminated.

A Chinese Malaysian

Anonymous said...

Red Herrings?
Rulers thought HINDRAF was to spot
Forgetting CONSTITUTION is the spot
taking JUDICIARY to go over
forgetting FORCE WITH TEARGAS never

Cutting Hindraf Dignity?
But forgetting Rulers CREDIBILITY!
Mirroring with last Two Rallies
Bias amount to hilly!

They spot ONE
but miss many on the ground!
UK needs not Answer
but rulers NOW support Hindraf
They are Right for an Answer!

Hindraf could loss blood and tears
but Wisdoms of Rulers disappear!
So disgraced at least!

Anonymous said...

malaysia aisyalam gone!

Anonymous said...

I am a Cinapek, and I do sympatize with the HINDRAF cause, though as many has pointed out that it should reflect all underpriviledge Malaysians rather than just the Indians.

I see it as a victory for HINDRAF as heavy securities and the fear of Indian hoodligans to create chaos has not stop more than 30,000 Malaysians to show their support for fellow Malaysians and displeasure at how the government, MIC has handle the Indians plight.

This walk shows the increase awareness of the Indian plight not only to fellow Malaysians but also the international community.

This walk also show the displesure at how the MIC has handled the Indian affairs.

This walk demonstrate a need for change, an awakening, a demand to be heard.

Welldone HINDRAF.

Anonymous said...

Superb writing. The police are so busy with peaceful protests while in the same time letting, murderers, robbers, rapers, crimininals go away. Hah, 200 years old Malaysian Police, now an UMNO lap dog.

Anonymous said...

I am in total agreement with your views and comments.Other than what Hinraf is demonstating for,the other important question is, the goverment's reaction to it. The refusal to provide a permit for the demonstation clearly shows the authority's bias and d-standards in the implementation of authorities.UMNO Youth do not seem to have any problem carrying out their demonstration; and they were definitely not peaceful ones.Threats were made against other races.The discriminatory policies of the governmentis, I think, one of the obvious grouses that the citizens of this lovely country faces, Everyday.There is much to change in this country. As a start, the citizens must decide how they want it done.

Anonymous said...

Dignity in life is everything. Without dignity how can we explain to our children why they were brought into this world?

In the struggle for dignity, as in this case of the HINDRAF rally, we can only perceive the government's heavy-handed action to deny dignity to those who feel marginalized. If indeed the government is a government for all the citizens, no one should feel marginalized for the want of dignity in a land they are supposed to belong.

Anonymous said...

my heart bleeds for these brave people. yes, in death, there must be at least dignity and they have found that by their presence in this historic gathering.
may god bless and protect them.

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said...

Dear Tempias,

who do you pray to? Do your actions show your belief? Do you stand up against injustice for all of God's creations? Do you look at yourself with the same self-righteousness that you appear to look upon others? How much have YOU done to safeguard the aqidah and integrity of Islam? I would like to know. Really.


Anonymous said...

i have nothin but respect for you my friend.....

Anonymous said...

Dear Malik Imtiaz,

All Malaysians must thank you for giving us an articulated and morally forceful voice in these days of massive and heavy-handed government. You speak so freely, free from your racial, cultural and political attachments. It is only when we stay true to a "universal man's" point of view that we can get to the truth.

Tempias, on the other hand, is a good example of a person who sees through clouded eyes.

Keep up the great work, Malik Imtiaz and (zealots, brace yourselves) may God bless you!


Anonymous said...

I salute and respect Malik Imtiaz Sarwar . I think he gives fair comments particularly for this issue. He is definitely better than those UMNO youth leaders(Khairy,Nazri...) in terms of leadership quality. But somehow our government are more keen on gooming those Samseng leader rather than noble and good quality young leader. What a shame to the Malaysia.

Anonymous said...

When UMNO youth demonstrates it is ok..when bersih demonstrates it is not ok..when hidraf demonstsrates it is not ok...






Anonymous said...

I'm a Malay and i'm sorry if my comment below hurts anybody who's reading this. Comment below is my own personal opinion.

I have been comparing HINDRAF and Bersih rallies that happened last week. What are the differences? Both want a better government, treat every single citizen as the same without anybody being left out. The only difference between those 2 rallies is that HINDRAF is looking for RM 14 Trillion in compensation. Is that necessary? Why can't we have 1 single big rally instead and go for the same goal? Its not only Indians who are being marginalized here in Malaysia. The only way to get the 'treatment' from the government is to support them. Thats all. Indians are not the poorest race in Malaysia. I think Malays is a lot poorer than Indians (if we compare to the success and total population of the race). But, the point here is not to give the 'feel good' feeling towards the Indians community but UNITE. Thats the word. HINDRAF rally today wont make much difference to today's government for sure. Unite and give out ideas for better government and that will help. I cant see any progress if every race in Malaysia want to organize their own rally and by the end of the day, it's the same result that we see after each election. Lets do something new this time.

Religion is out of this discussion i think. Lets stick to the main point.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tempias ,

Pray to whom u pray ...GOD does not differentiate anyone...GOD loves everyone .... whatever religion THE ALMIGHTY belongs to...


WY said...

here here to MIS.

Anonymous said...

Playing the race card is the best and quickest way to ruin this country, no ifs or buts, this is why the BN policy of closed door negotiations has held us together for 50 years... Indians should kick Samy ot if they feel he has not been doing a good job, but sadly I think they will give him one more chance, they always do...
If you are not afraid of the law and FRU, why are you so afraid of Samy??

weareallmalaysians said...

I reside in Singapore. I attended the Bersih rally but was unable to attend the Hindraf one. I am Malaysian of Indian ethnicity.

I have to congratulate all my fellow brothers & sisters who support this common cause of marginalisation. Not only Indians are marginalised but in very different ways all races who are not linked directly with the BN component parties are marginalised.

Its not a racial issue but using race and religion based matters is the best way to make the common man on the road relate to marginalisation.From a macro point of view both rallies had a common purpose so we should not take pride of being the more brave race or whatever and let our egos get the better of us.

Then we are doing exactly what the BN government wants, divide and rule.

Its great to see we Malaysians united as one demanding for justice as One Voice.

I think the time has come for:

1) Hindraf and Bersih organisers to combine and organise simultenous rallies in all major capitals in Malaysia.Do it so as not to inconvenience the public. Let their voices be heard at their own home state. Do it simultenously so the police will not be able to contain it.

2) For opposition parties to seriously have a meeting and unite as One. Give the people the confidence to give the Opposition a chance. It does not matter who leads but show us one party. Have a standard manifesto.

3) BN strives on the break up of the races, the disunity among races, the disunity among the Opposition parties. We should not give them that opportunity anymore.

4) Non violence protests if repeated over and over again with a common goal will eventually shake the government. Its proven over and over again in so many situations worldwide.

Malaysians whatever religion or race we are lets show the true Muhibbah spirit in demanding a serious paradigm shift. May God bless all Malaysians.

Anonymous said...

First BERSIH - Multi-racial, Multi-groups (NGOs+Political++).
Cause: Just and Fair Election.

Then HINDRAF - Totally Hindu/Indian based.
Cause: RM 14,000,000,000,000,000.00 (lost count how many zeros)from the British government to compensate every Malaysian of Indian Origin.

What will some one think of NEXT?.

p.s: is Semi and Anantha counted in?, I wonder.

Sarnan said...

My hat goes off to the indians who went to the protest, even after the countless warnings(believe it sounded like threats from both the government and the police) thrown/directed at them days before. I just can stand the truth about the petition, and how it was unabled to be hand overed to the british high comission. There goes our freedome, here comes the scrutiny to get down the matter of HINDRAF and their leaders by the government. Atmospheres and the standards of society will not be the same from now on(my personal opinion), for the government had showed a feeling of it's true power and strength into conforming the society, and how easily they could have allowed the rally to take place and just finish of ASAP, but no! They picked to disperse the crowd(believe me throwing tear gases and chemical laced(more like acid laced) water, will not falter they courage, for harship still holds very tiny teeny chances for success to take place.

Ps: I think your awesome MIS!!!! I discovered you like the other day when i watched the BERSIH debate in Youtube.

Ir. Hanafi Ali said...

Muslims seems to forget that ALLAH said that "man is put on earth to be the vicegerents".

ALLAH said MAN. Not necessarily Muslims.

Anonymous said...

Superb piece of comment. I would like to see this posted on malaysia-today.Let more people read and be informed especially about this khairy demonstration that was free from tear gas and water cannon.

Anonymous said...


30 hindu worshippers on the way to pray at temple in sg petani died when their bus went down the ravine

25 nuns in portugal died when their train collided at crossing

200+ muslims, christians,buddhist, etc died in bali bombing (by muslim)

100+ christian, muslims died in london bombing

200,000 muslims in indonesi died, 150,000 hindu in bangladesh, sri lanka died when attacked by tsunami

hundreds of palestians and iraqis die every day

casinos (genting, las vegas)fourishing

beer and stout sales higher than ever, so do magnum and loto

bukit bintang and pat pong flourishing

Anonymous said...

Dear Timmy,
You say:
I think Malays is(sic) a lot poorer than Indians (if we compare to the success and total population of the race).

We are talking about a group of people ( they might be Chinese, Indians, Sikhs or Eurasians) who have been penalised for not being born Malays/Muslims.

We are not given the same opportunities for education for example.Scholarships/university placement are based on race and religion and NOT on academic achievement.
Most non Bumis end doing the STPM exam which is a nightmare compared to our Muslim/ Malay brothers and sisters who have other avenues to secure placement in the local unis.Ask any 17 year old child out there and they'll be able to explain this issue to you...

If you do have friends who are non Bumis, do speak to them and ask them how it feels to be treated like pariahs in this country which also belongs to us.

I also have a personal nightmare to share on how TESL placements are awarded...You would think the number one criteria would be language proficiency...Not in Malaysia though! Language proficiency is not a criteria at all because of the quota system that we practice.

Lastly, my heart goes out to all those people who were involved in the HINDRAF rally...Thank you!

Anonymous said...

tempias, adding to richard:

hundreds, may be thousands of monks rounded up by burmese junta and some shot to death - junta stronger than god??

batu cave - hindu god smiling looking down at the poor souls being fired - why doesnt it do anything? blarrdy hell!!

Anonymous said...

The present government has no longer any moral authority to govern when it continue to deny the people the rights to peaceful assembly and when it ordered the police to fire tear gas and water cannons into crowds sleeping in a compound of a place of worship.

The Star & NST screamed 'Defiance'. Yes, we, the people will continue to defy. In a peaceful manner and take whatever violence that may come our way from those who were suppose to protect us.

Anonymous said...

hi Timmy,

The difference between poor Indians and poorer Malays (which you believe as the case but have you seen the poorest of the Indians?)is that there are official channels (like Felda, education loans, scholarships, ASB etc)for aid for Malays and hardly any visible ones for Indians.

It is the time where we adopt banishing proverty and education woes regardless of race. There are poor Chinese, KadazanDusun, Bajau, Eurasians, Aquas and what not.

Compare in total, you mentioned ...but a poor person is a poor person. One family that is starving cannot say, "since my race is collectively and on average better off, my hunger will be lessened." I wish things are that easy.

Also the suit of the trillion ringgit is meant to get attention, world wide attention because after 50 years of not getting proper response from the government, external pressure is necessary to force the inactive proper channel to wake up, take notice and hopefully respond properly.

My prediction is that since GE is coming, there will be a few nice symbolic hampers being dangled around to Indians in the coming days/weeks/month.

I also heard that many estate workers who have not lived a different life for generations, are being evicted from their homes when the plantation is converted for housing projects... their reward for generations of loyalty is inadequate compensation, no re-training to equip them to adjsut to the outside world...a case for corporate social responsibility as well as a case for good governance.

Anonymous said...


I don't understand your post.

Are you saying that praying for Hindu's is an issue for Muslims?

I thought Islam preaches compassion for all living things, humans and animals, right?

Otherwise, the PM can't claim that he wants to be a PM for all Malaysians hence muslims and non-muslim.....

Btw, that court order is not God's prohibitions, obviously. :-)

Anonymous said...


Judging from the mainstream media reportings this morning the HINDRAF demonstration has played directly into UMNO's hands.

Do you know what the malays are saying now?

"Look...the non-malays are questioning bumiputera rights. Just look at the gangsters and thugs... They are willing to get violent in the streets of KLCC to achieve this aim. Just look at all the mainstream news you have to support UMNO to ensure that we are protected"

So what does the average malay think when they read this?

So all the hard work by the opposition to break the UMNO stronghold of malay support has gone down the drain.

Mark my words, the malays will go scuttling back to support UMNO after this demo.

HINDRAF should have not played the race card in getting its point across especially with ridiculous demands to the Queen. Why didnt they call for support to join the Bersih rally for clean elections and vote MIC out?

You must know what you want before blindly protesting, opening yourself up to being ignorant and clueless and getting whacked in the process.

The picture of protesters bringing the posters of Ghandi became the butt of all jokes. The malays are now sniggering and saying that if that is your savior, go back to where you belong then.

I was having breakfast and the table next to me who were all middle aged chinese men were making fun of the demand and how rowdy the indians are.

So, do you think that the chinese will support you?

As much as PAS is all for equal treatment do you think they would endorse such demonstration by an organisation which starts with word "Hindu" and not Indian?

So at the end of the day - it becomes a religion issue and all parties will vote the party who will protect them and we all know who the majority of voters are.

This demonstration has backfired big time against the indians.

Anonymous said...

Great comments, MIS! If only our cabinet ministers have a fraction of your rationality...these 2 rallies might not even have happened. It's tragic to know that the rakyat have to resort to these to get the government to listen...and still gotten literally hit! It's a shame when ministers gave warnings over the air to certain parties not to be involved, saying that this will be a bad example, when similar incidents are just as bad examples for the younger generation...keris-lah, sword-lah...whatever you have!

Anonymous said...

BRAVO! Admire your stand, boldness, fairness and justice view.

My issue is not on racial descrimination but solely reflects the fairness in giving each Malaysians the right to voice their opinions freely. Where can we justify our constitutional rights which clearly states we have freedom in speech yet we are restricted giving our views.

Should street rallies are against the law then it should also be fair to ban all rallies including those organised by UMNO or the other ruling parties. Democratic you say?

Although i do not totally agree with the rally by HINDRAF with such cause yet someone would have to defend their rights in society. If the Indian minorities wants to be heard then they should sought MIC or the other parties that can help them voice their view more effectively. I believe MIC can play a much better role to help these underpriviledge community. MIC should not turn a blind eye or a deaf ear on the people for the sake of the rich.

It is very fair to say that the other races have their own poverty issues in hand including Malays and Chinese.

One question though, aren't all Malaysians given the opportunity for free education? Is any of the races maginalized from being given a good education or abstained from going to school? I feel sometimes it is up to the individual regardless of race to work for their own future. Shouldn't everyone be taught to work hard to earn their living rather than blaming it on our ancestors or the ex-colonial nation?

Anonymous said...

My comment was meant for Malik Imtiaz, the famous celebrity lawyer and Malik only. As a public figure I posted questions to him which he refused to answer but turn the table around to me.

He is asking me not to be judgemental but I have read lots of his articles, heard his speaches and read recent poem. Tell me if he is not judgemntal of other Muslims. He quite oftenly stereotype Muslims into negative categories and demeans Islam and Islamic Institutions. He somehow believes he is a progressive Muslim and example to be emulated by others.

I am a private person in which my actions have no impact on other people and equally relevant to me as a Muslim. But not him.

I asked him a question from one Muslim to another Muslim. So non Muslim, save your interjection. Its not your business. Save your labelling, its totally not accurate.

I repeat the few questions and a simple answer would be sufficient:

Have you shun from God's prohibition?

My answer is as much as I could. But I do stry sometimes, unintentionally or due to circumstances.

Whats your answer than Malik? yes or no?

Next pertinent question you refuse to answer and every concern Muslims wants to know was:

How much have you done to safeguard the akidah of fellow Muslims and fought for the sanctity and integrity of Islam?

My answer is not quite enough but I have been succsessful when the ocassion arise. I proudly say that I have not make it more convenient for Muslims to lose their akidah and become infidel.

What yours Malik, as a Muslim, Yes or No?

How abt reciting the shahadah?

Its fairly simple. Do you believe in Allah, not in generality, God? Do you believe in Prophet Muhammad?

IF your asnwer is a simple Yes, it means you will obey them!

My answer to all the those questions is a clear Yes! I will obey to the letter and spirit!

slashData said...

Blog's like yours are refreshing in their presenting both sides of an issue fairly.

Its disturbing to see reports of Hindu temple demolitions in Malaysia. And the discussion in the press sounds far from free...

I was in Malaysia few years back, and got to learn the language, and mingled with locals over my 1 year stay.

I heard the statement "We are second-class citizens" - from ethnic Chinese computer programmers, and ethnic Indian computer programmers , in KL.

So if an urban person in KL, feels that he does not have equal opportunities, then one can understand that these poor Hindus are well discriminated against , in an Islamic country.

The fact that only 1% (or some such ridiculous number) of Medical seats are reserved for ethnic Indians is surprising.

I guess Malaysians want to stay happy in their little pond - as a country it does not have the potential to compete in the global economy.

Change is hard to swallow - but it seems this human disaster is already written in stone, in this case Malaysia's constitution.

Best regards.

Vj - Washington , DC.

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said...


I think I answered your questions. You may not like the way in which I have answered you, but then, I do not like the way you asked your questions.

I consider myself a Muslim, I believe in Allah and I acknowledge that Muhammad was a Messenger of Allah.

If you take that to mean that I am bound to follow the dictates of ulama over and above my own conscience, then you and I must agree to disagree.

I stand against what I perceive to be injustices because my conscience, and in that I include my understanding of Islam as obliging righteousness on all of us,dictates that I do so. Anyone who suffers an injustice is deserving the assistance of a believer. I am prepared to face my maker and the consequence of my actions.

I cannot accept that my religion enjoins my acting in the perpetuation of injustices and wrongdoings. I view administrative and bureaucratic actions directed at the impeding of freedoms recognized by the Quran as injustices. If you say my doing so damages the integrity of Islam, you and I must agree to disagree. I would characterize such action as damaging to the image of Islam.

Your analysis of my religious status, or lack of it, is, with respect, skewed. I would ask of you, if you consider yourself to be obeying the word of God literally, which you appear to understand your duty as being, do you consider what occurs in the name of Islam in this country as being easily reconciled with Islam? I regrettably do not. I am entitled to a view, just as you are.

I take exception to your suggestion that I have attacked Islam in my presentations and writings. I have never done so. I have attacked instead the fallibility of the man made administrative structures and the wielding of such structures towards an end which I consider oppressive, unjust and wholly un-Islamic.

I will ponder your questions further and I will respond more fully in a separate posting. Should you feel the need to press this issue further, e-mail me directly at


Anonymous said...

Tempias, I do not presume to be more articulate that Imtiaz, but from a non-moslem point-of-view, I have read about Imtiaz & Haris standing up for the poor & downtrodden. To me they are doing work for God's people. End-of-story.

Timmy, in Malaysia, although statistics will show that as a people group due to the presence of a few persons viz AK, and the like, Indians appear successful. BUT if you look at the mean after cutting off the super-rich, you will find that there is a disproportionate number who are very poor & not educated. If u look even further, you will find the plantation workers having all sorts of "funny" cancers & other health woes. One will also find numerous kids that were born in Malaysia (after Independence) but were not registered for a variety of reasons. These undocumented fellows hide in the Estates, and eventually pry on Joe Q Public.

Forget the numbers in the lawsuit, the basic issue should be to educate these chaps. Many generations have already been lost. Lets save the current generation of school kids. Lets get them educated. Lets get them out of the Poverty Cycle. The problem is the poor educated chap works as a messenger or some menial job, whilst the person involved in underworld activites owns a luxury car and gets all the women he wants. So eventually impressionable kids will gyrate towards criminal activities.

So stop blaming the race, lets rebuild their lives. In a few years time, the impact will be obvious. But it takes discipline & backbone. As can be seen by the spin, and everything else, we are jellyfish. We are more interested in putting Imtiaz down, questioning his commitment to his religion, calling him names, rather than say, what he says has a kernel of truth.

Lets plant & harvest a better future. Dont let us go down the path of Palestine, Sudan & Sri Lanka.

Anonymous said...

Dear MIS,

I give praise to you for having the courage and determination to make our voices heard. Like you said on Al-Jazera 101, many people, like me, were not or misinformed about what's really happening in this country. At the bottom of all these, there is a colossal economic issues involved. Greed, dominance and fear of loosing have made our politicians oblivious to the predicament of the people. To the ignorant it is the bud of a racial apprehension.

Whenever there is a debate, I make it known to my friends that they are not the only ones marginalized, that UMNO does not represent the views of all the Malays, that I am upset only the privileged are privileged. It is sad that the vision which took our forefathers years to forged are being thwarted recklessly.

I agree with Timmy. We should all unite and sound our displeasures together.

MIS, I pray that you are protected all the time and invincible to whatever situation that might come your way, insyallah.


Anonymous said...

Dear Timmy,

i agree with you that Bersih & Hindraf should unite. It is not the money that Hindraf is after...I strongly believe that. Hindraf should focus on the marganalization of all races too. I am an Indian and a HRM in a MNC. There are amny malays who are very poor and need all the help they can together with Indian & Chinese as well as other poor etnic groups in Malaysia. It is the duty of all Malaysians and organizations to wipe out the BN and the chief UMNO. The Malay privilages is not for all Malays but UMNO Malays only.....

Anonymous said...

Dear MIS
I share your views that hindraf members personnel dignity is sacrosant, but dont u do think the leaders of Hindfar are to blame as well , the whole idea of sending the memo to Brit High Comm seeking 4 trillion for so called abuse of 150 years is not only stupid but smacks of arrogance, Perhaps instead brit High COMM the rally should been targeted at the leaders of indians whom we have voted in but have sadly disappointed us since independence, that should have been the main agenda. In any event i am proud to be an indian and still feel our future is here , the only change required if for spineless Indian leaders to have more intelligence and guts to protect our rights. Marching to Jalan Ampang should have been converted to a march to a certain bungolow in Jalan Ipoh


Anonymous said...

I've been reading Imtiaz's blog for some time now, and I'm a non-Muslim.

It kills me to see how sometimes Muslims like Tempias in this case would rather question his actions instead of asking themselves why Haris and Imtiaz do this day in and day out.

The job of these lawyers and the jobs of activists are not jobs for the faint hearted. They are constantly putting out fires and it is never easy, and sometimes, dangerous and debilitating to one's esteem, spirit and mental and physical health.

Imtiaz and Haris don't have to do this Tempias, but they do, sometimes, even pro bono. They are driven by the need to help those who are in need, and as far as I have concerned that is what is taught by all faiths. I do not think religions teach you to pick who you save and who you don't. I suppose that choice is one I would rather leave to God.

I'm sick and tired of hearing people judge, when it seems this is all they do, especially to others who are putting their life on the line to help. Take the plank in your eyes out first. And don't try to end the argument with a public comment by saying its a matter of religion therefore no one else should comment. That's precisely the kind of attitude that doesn't help. AT ALL.

Also, in this case, and many other cases in Malaysia, when will the moderate Muslims like Ummi start speaking up for the rest of us? Like it or not, you belong to the majority, don't watch justice slip away, and speak up, please.

Anonymous said...

It is alarming to note the Police violating the rights of Malaysians of Indian origin to assemble freely as guranteed in the constitution.

Hindraf lawyers were unlawfuly arrested and threathened since the Shah Alam temple demolition excercise carried out by the town council.

These escalating acts of violation only serve to confirm the recent statement of a EU representative that "Malaysia is still under a state of Emergency."

If the police continue to act as unquestioning servants of Umno or as their agents then citizens in this country will become mere captives similar to that of regimes in Pakistan and Myanmar.

It is disturbing to observe that the police authorised a permit to Umno Youth to conduct street demonstrations while Condola Rice visted Malaysia a few months ago.

The American flag was burnt by Umno youth leaders and death threats were made against America, Israel and the West.

All this was witnessed by FRU and other police personell who offered "protection" to them and "proctected" them from the public until they had finished their demonstration.

If such action persists, citizens in Malaysia will be in grave danger. Malik, I appeal to you and other respected lawyers of this nation to stand against such tyranny and to ensure that the right of minorities to voice their dissent is not penalised or criminalised.

This is not what multicultural Malaysians agreed to at Merdeka and it is time that the police and the executive cease misusing the authority vested in them.

Malaysians must not tolerate any attempt or intimidation to silence their voice. Let not those elected by the rakyat consider themselves above the law, and may justice be restored as it was at Merdeka.

Anonymous said...

Dear Imtiaz

I salute your for your fair and unbias comments. I have also seen your interview on Al jazeera 101 east and I feel proud to know that Malaysia still does have people like you who will support what is right and fair irrespective of the religion.

Please keep up the good work and god will bless you for all the good you do and for helping the people in need irrespective of race or religion.

Anonymous said...

MIS, what you write is absolutely correct. All the violence could and should have been avoided, and few would have taken the Hindraf cause seriously then. What happened instead boggles the mind of any freedom-loving individual. We need people like MIS to put everything in its right perspective.

Anonymous said...

Well written piece. Pray to God that all fellow human beings are safe. The police should have restraint from creating chaos and uncalled for violence.

Anonymous said...

Hi Malik,
I fully understand and agree with your point of fighting for Bangsa Malaysia, and not just for Indian Malaysians who happen to be marginalised. However, I must say, that your point would have been much stronger had you been there fighting for the religious freedom of your Bangsa Malaysia brethren when the temples were being demolished *especially* in light of your fight for Bangsa Malaysia. Anyone who claims to fight for Bangsa Malaysia *must* be inclusive to all, not only Indians, but also the real bumiputras, the Ibans, Kadazans, Orang Asli, etc.

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said...

Anonymous at 8.28 pm,

agreed. Alas, only so many man hours in a given day for so many fronts to fight.


Anonymous said...

I believe the time is ripe to be united under one banner - and it must not be race or religion based. I fully endorse the ideas of Timmy and Weareallmalaysians. Issues have to go down to the root causes of sickness prevailing in this country which is in a 'state of denial'. All marginalised Malaysians should now stand as one united force and not individually as Malays, Chinese, Indians or other ethnic races of Malaysia.

amoker said...

Am thankful for the work that you have done and continue to strive on. i think it is not easy.
i am a christian and was a proud malaysian. remember that during my varsity days, we had special tuition classes for indians. n in almost every abandoned children home, the percentage of indians there are higher than the population. this grieves me. surely, they are in need. We can help in many small ways of people who are marginalized and are in need.

Anonymous said...

Dear MIS
I wish to bring everyone back to reality here. Post BERSIH/HINDRAF, there has been no change in the status quo. We are still talking about change. BERSIH had broken and made inroads. HINDRAF has shown no fear on that inroads. What else can we hope for? Except for the elections there seems to be nothing more. Will the flames of all who have shown DEFIANCE burn out by then? I only hope that the people that matter decide to sit and unite for a cause that is trully BANGSA MALAYSIA for once (at least in my lifetime, please)

Anonymous said...

taken from the star online 27/11.
Internal Security and Public Order deputy director Senior Asst Comm (I) Datuk Jamaludin Khalid said police only moved in on the demonstrators after receiving a report at about 2am that demonstrators had trespassed into the temple compound.

“We exercised maximum restraint and acted in an appropriate manner. Our objective was to control the situation and retain law and order without causing any untoward incident,” he said.

Admitting that water cannons and tear gas were used to disperse the crowd, SAC Jamaluddin said they were forced to do so as the demonstrators pelted his officers and men with stones and bricks.

He said: “I must stress that police did not fire tear gas or use water canons inside the temple premises to disperse the more than 1,000 gathered there.”

- Please look at this link at screenshots and tell me who is the one lying?

Anonymous said...

A response on what timmy, ketua krani and various others' comments: -

This whole issue has never been about money. Its about freedom of many sorts, which also includes freedom of expression. This issue just escalated since the local government started demolishing Hindu temples in Selangor & KL. How much both of you know about this? Reported more than 70 Hindu temples demolished in Selangor itself, isn't that a religous agenda? Of course the authorities claim those temples were built on squatter land, but when a local family can be relocated from squatters to a decent lodge, why not the same approach or offer to a place of faith? I'd say the only reason the lawsuit has been filed is to create awareness among the global audience. Now tell me, if your place of faith were demolished and unattended to thereafter, will you stay quiet? I won't.

From a liberal Catholic who respects and believes that all Gods represent a sole entity of divine greatness.

Anonymous said...

I wish members of the ruling party will stop taking turns being on the defensive and proclaiming that Indians are not marginalised.
They should see that the issue is not whether Indians or any community is marginalised.
The issue is WHY the Indians BELIEVE they are marginalised, and that is what should be discussed.
If the Ministers keep publicly insisting that Indians are not marginalised, then they are supporting the Hindraf leaders' point, which is that they are not going to be heard in this country and that is why they have to resort to petitioning the British monarch.
MIS, do you agree?

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said...

Anonymous at 4.26pm,

agreed. The issue is why the community supporting HINDRAF feels the way it does. The analysis must start there. And, as has been pointed out by many, the Indian community (in particular the Tamils) are facing serious difficulties. This may be due to a problem with political leadership, or a lack of it. This may be due to policies which are not even. Whatever the case, the analysis must start.

The government's stance is by now no longer unfamiliar. We repeatedly hear denials - unfair elections, judicial crisis, marginalization. It seems that everyone is so busy denying everything that no one has the time to listen.

And though I have said that I do not agree with the HINDRAF campaign and methodology, I will readily admit that the rally has started discussion on a more serious and significant level. That is a good thing.

I only hope that the government does not seize the opportunity to 'racialise' civil society efforts as a whole and clamp down across the board. This would be regrettable.


Anonymous said...

The root cause of the HINDRAF march, which i believe is not monetary. It is the manner and blatant disregard of the authorities and abuse of power by politicians in destroying places of worship, amongst other issues. You have a guy taking a pot-shot at one particular 'race' in the supply chain of newspaper distribution and blaming them for non-delivery of papers containing AAB speech during UMNO assembly which was on deepavali day. Don't tell me Khir 'Toyol' is not intelligent enough to understand sensitivities involving places of worship. One has to remember that temples did not go 'to development'. It was development that went to 'temple'. Estates sold out to Govt who then sold it to private entities. There was no Shah Alam 20 or more years ago. Why can't the authorities ensure that alternative places are given for temples when estates have been bought over for development. Is it too much to ask these 'intelligent lords'? The same government can deem fit that Zakaria can build his 'palace' in a low cost housing area and nothing being done despite public outcry. You have turn 'one-eye' MP who says in Parliament that Malays are forgiving for not marching against rich Chinese and Indians...just imagine the kind of mentalities our MPs posses. You have another MP who is only interested in the 'tunnels' of Air Asia staff!!! You have another Minister telling the parliament as to why Hindraf did not give the petition to AAB. Isn't he informed of the petition given to AAB during Hindraf gathering in Putrajaya? How come our MPs are all disinformed of what's going on? Just because a back-bencher of BN raised the issue of problems faced by Indians which resulted in the Hindraf march, MP Nazri was quoted as saying that this particular elected representative should resign from MIC!!!! If we have such kind of elected representatives who are wearing 'blinkers' how do we expect problems to be resolved and tackled in a fair and intelligent manner? Come on government MPs...why don't you guys do a thorough soul searching and conduct an intelligent post-mortem of recent events to improve the 'state of denials' in our beautiful country. Whether the readers of this blog accept or not...Malaysia is indeed a paradise, safe and beautiful country. It is the people in power who are spoilers.....

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Malik,
AAB is a good man, but he is being ill-advised on matters deemed 'politically sensitive'. Wanting his administration to be transparent (a good intention) should not just mean doing away with corruption but also being open in discussing and dealing with issues that concern the electorate. No doubt there will be sensitive issues involved, but it is better to hear them out and debate them as a mature nation should, than sweep them under the carpet and hope they will just go away (which they won't). Leaders lose their credibility when they insist on what is not evidently so under the full glare of the public eye.

Anonymous said...

Dear readers,
AAB is indeed a very good and nice man. There is no doubt about this. It is the MPs and other cronies who are surrounding him the spoilers of this beautiful country. All we ask for is a serious analysis and evaluation of ground reality situation and assessment including the petition handed to AAB by Hindraf during its rally at Putrajaya. Only then we can move forward as a 'united nation and bangsa Malaysia'. GOD has blessed this country with rich resources including strong cultural and heritage benefits of the various ethnic races. I was watching a program today on TV1 this morning. It was all about cultural similarity between Malay and Indian proud I was watching this. Why can't all main stream medias do the same rather than having a 'divide and rule mentality'. There is no maturity in journalism in this country. Just like any business entity we must harness our strength and improve on weaknesses. In the process if AAB has to get rid of 'deadwoods' and yes-men...for the good of this nation...let it be. AAB should seriously evaluate each and every MPs or BN Wakil Rayaat performance and take some educated decision as to whether these guys got to be kept or thrown out including Chief Ministers.

dave said...

Good article. If only every malaysian had your fairness.

As for Hindraf rally, my support to you. Though hindu should not be the issue, but how long can one bear issues like breaking temples and family separation due to converting to islam.

Politicians must be reminded off and on that their role is to take care of every citizen no matter what race or religion.

What hindraf did was due to years of suppression, ill treatment and frustration. By constitution indians have every right to better himself but in reality suppression occurs in his path in every way. No one was interested in the indian's affairs when estates were and are converted to multi billion development projects. Temples are broken in accordance to what the authorities belief not according to the hindu customs.

Indians in malaysia cannot fight for their basic rights without the help of other races. Indians are a tolerant lot but suppression is definitely not the way.

Anonymous said...

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar? Who are you? I thought i was the only one in this country thinking like what you think. Every single day since schooling time, i was dreaming for a Malaysian Nation (bangsa Malaysia) where all are treated equally. I visualise that someday a chinese mom will discover her baby sleeping peacefully in a malay brother's (neighbor) house and they will say "dah lewat ni kak. biar dia tidur kat sini je". Esok kita hantar k". I dream that someday when an malay mom scold her child for some reason, that child will run over to her indian neighbor and weep on the indian mother's lap where she'll be advised like all mothers do. I dream of a place where people only identify themselves as malays, chinese,indians etc only by the colour of their skin. Other then that, all live like brothers and sisters of the same ancestor - Adam. I dream of a world where everyone respects every other bretherens' faith, systems and customs and be united under the name of honesty, integrity, peace and bliss. I dream of a heavely-earth. This is the first time i've visited this blog and Malik you sound like someone who sees what i was visualising. This blog enabled me to discover that i am not alone in this country. You showed me many. Malik who are you? And who is the other malay brother- whos name these people mention? Since when humans started to cultivate angelic attributes? I am happy to findout that i am not alone. I would be more then happy to get a glimps of people like you. May the Almighty shower His blessings endlessly on you and all the people like you. And may your hearts be unshakeable and your intentions remain the same till eternity. Peace to the world.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, i do not generally agree to lots of rubbish written in this blog about Hindraf. Whether the processes taken is right or wrong is anybody's guess. At least, Hindraf had created the kind of awareness which had been swept under the carpet for years and high-handedness of authorities in as far as demolition of temples are concerned. Of course, there are plenty of other issues not only affecting Indians but other ethnic groups in Malaysia.
The Govt would have gained substantial mileage if it had allowed the rally to go peacefully and in an organised manner under the watchful eyes of our police force. It does not matter to whom the petition is to be given. Again, misinformation and state of denial has caused this ugly incidences which had been well publicised across the globe and left this beautiful country in bad taste. We are no longer living in a localised village. We are part and parcel of the global village and there is no more escape from internet and other means of electronic communication. News are flashed across the globe instanteously. No escape!
The least the authorities could have done is, put aside pride and bring Hindraf to the discussion table on various issues raised in the petition given to AAB at a gathering in Putrajaya. And all these unfortunate incidences could have been avoided.
I am sure there are plenty of righteous thinking people advising AAB.
There are plenty of issues to be addressed not only for the Indians but also Malays, Chinese and other ethnic groups in Malaysia. I sincerely hope AAB can view these issues postively and start cracking or find solutions to some of these long outstanding problems.
I presume the Mentri Besars are also educated lots and intelligent enough not to go around destroying 'places of religious significance'. I hope there will be absolute restrain before giving orders to destroy places of religious significance.
I think it is high time that all of us start thinking, behave, caring and be respectful for each other needs as bangsa malaysia. I do not think it is very difficult to have such mindset.
I am an indian and have stayed in hostels during my school days with almost 100% Malays. And when I started working I stayed with a Malay family for 15 years. There were lots of respect and understanding amongst us. We went on as 'one family' without having to abuse each other. We respected each other's boundary, religion and beliefs. I still remain a Hindu despite having stayed with the Malay family.
Why can't this be a norm and way of living in this beautiful country?
I think all of us including the administration and politicians should begin to have a complete and thorough soul searching as to where we have deviated from being bangsa malaysia and the thrust to respect each other regardless of race, creed or religion.

Anonymous said...

Dear Friends,


(Swami Ramarajyam)

Alexander reached India in 326 AD harbouring a desire to conquer the whole
world. Porus ruled over the land lying between the Jhelum and the Chenab
rivers, which is now in Pakistan.

A war was fought between Alexander and Porus. An incident in that war made
Alexander change his attitude to life completely.

Alexander was taking rest in his army camp. His soldiers informed him that
an Indian Sadhu was applying some medicines on the wounds of the soldiers of
his army who, after being cured of their injuries in a very short time, were
ready to fight again.

Alexander had heard a lot about Indian Sadhus. But it was really astonishing
and unbelievable that an Indian Sadhu should render medical help to his
soldiers. Alexander could not sleep that night and he kept pacing up and
down in his camp.

In the morning, Alexander went to that Sadhu with an interpreter. The Sadhu
was busy giving medical treatment to the soldiers of Alexander's army.
Alexander stood near the Sadhu who did not notice him initially. After some
time, he cast a glance at him and resumed his work again. Some books were
lying nearby and he was giving medicines after consulting those books.

For the first time, in his life, Alexander saw a man who did not stand up to
show respect to him. He felt insulted but did not react. He kept standing
there. After a little while he inquired through his interpreter, "Who are

"I am a servant of God," the Sadhu replied. "Do you give medical help to the

"No, I serve the living beings who are different forms of the one and the
same God."

"But why are you serving the enemy?"

"For me there is neither enemy nor friend. I am serving living beings, as I
said just now."

"It is beyond my comprehension," said Alexander.

So far, the Sadhu had answered Alexander's queries without looking up. Now
he looked up.

A dead ant was lying near by. The Sadhu picked it up and asked Alexander to
open his hand. Putting the dead ant on the palm of Alexander, he said, "Can
you bring this ant back to life?"

Alexander said, "No."

"If you cannot bring even an ant back to life, what right have you to take
away the lives of so many soldiers in the battlefield?"

Alexander was dumbfounded.

The Sadhu said, "I want you to give an answer to my question."

Alexander bowed his head.

The Sadhu said, "I am a Hindu. The Hindu religion is a religion of humanity.
A Hindu loves all living beings. He does not discriminate between a Hindu
and a non-Hindu, a friend and a foe. He loves one and all as diverse
manifestations of God. Do you know the language of love?"

For a little while the Sadhu looked at Alexander steadily. Then, he said,
"You know only how to take others' lives. You do not know how to infuse life
into the dead. What sort of bravery is it? Listen to my advice. Stop
killing. Learn to love others. Give up fighting for good and go back to your

Alexander said with folded hands, "I will certainly give up fighting and go
back to my country, but you must accede to a request of mine. Please
accompany me to my country and popularise your method of treatment there."

God knows whether that Sadhu accompanied Alexander or not, but by teaching
the lesson of love, he changed the pattern of his (Alexander's) life.

Dear readers, the Hindu religion is not simply a religion of a particular community called the Hindus. It is a way of proper thinking followed by actions in accord with it. It is a way of life which is based on the
assumption that all living beings- not merely human-are different forms of God and which throws the treasure of love open to all.


Anonymous said...

Now I'M confused.
First, the powers-that-be criticise rally supporters of dragging the monarchy into the picture.
Now, they are saying that Malaysians are insulted that their King has been ignored/bypassed by the rally supporters.

Anonymous said...

yWow, the Info Minister Zam is still ranting about Al-Jazeera, even as a Malaysian-born WOMAN becomes a member of the new Australian Cabinet. I don't know why Malaysia even bother to lobby for Al-Jazeera to set up shop here if we don't want them to report on what happens here.

Anonymous said...

It is simple fact of fighting for the rights...I myself live in overseas but call myself a Malaysian....what the present government is doing is utterly WRONG..

Anonymous said...


I must say I've always enjoyed reading your blog..Your comments have always been just and rasional...we need more people like you around....Keep up the good work...

Anonymous said...

Mr Tempias, please note that Malik is a businessman and what he does is to further his legal work. Its a niche business too with a lot of risk which Malays or Chinese are not willing to thread, but its lucrative endeavour. Truth can be embarrassing, right Mr Malik?

CJ Abott

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said...

CJ Abott,

am uncertain what you mean and what 'truth' you are referring to.

In general, those of us who practice human rights law do not charge for our time and service.Though there may be lawyers who profit out of this kind of work, I have yet to meet them. Those lawyers who I work with have given up large amounts of time, sometimes even helped out with the expenses (photocopying etc) simply because they appreciate that something needs to be done to help those involved. To describe the work as 'lucrative' is incorrect.

As for the publicity that comes with this kind of work, if you are suggesting that I, or other lawyers who do this kind of work, do the work FOR the publicity (meaning that we court the publicity), I will have to disagree with you. This kind of work is news-worthy, that is the reality. NGOs and activists use the publicity to highlight the cause in issue. That too is a reality. To suggest a personal gain is going too far (though I am sure there are individuals who do just that).

And, above all, it is never safe to stand out, is it?


Anonymous said...

Dear MIS,

I salute you.

To quote the comment from A Malaysia Chinese:
"I have no words to describe your stand on this matter except SALUTIONS!

If Malaysia have more people of your level of fairness, we were already in first world category.

Thanks for voicing for the discriminated."

Only wish there are people like you in our Malaysian Government. Then, our Malaysian country would be a beautiful country in this world; an envy of all the nations!

Sadly, now, its name is tarnished.

AAB looks so nice a man. Pray that he has the intelligence to settle these recent events to bring back our good name internationally, before Malaysia becomes a laughing stock for falling into the predicament of Myammar and some other countries where instability of the politics in the countries shattered the economy of the nations!

MIS, keep up your good work.

May God bless you.

Anonymous said...


I think you are too polite to cj abott - he is a numbskull whose piece is not worth publishing on your blog. Don't let brainless prick like him destroy the dignity of your blog and your work and service to society.

I would like to ask cj abott what he has done for society for free

Anonymous said...

Mr Tempias you must understand that Malik or for that matter Haris is of Indian or mixed Indian heritage - both Muslim, but does not fully understand the Malay psyche. This will take another generation or two before these people will be assimilated and understand that race is survival and not a dirty 4-letter word. Let's all keep your race intact and seek a solution amenable to all the cornerstone being a proportionate share of wealth across the board.
In the meantime pleae tolerate these few lost souls amongst us with enough rope to bring them back in line should the need arise. See we have sharizat , zam or even mahathir and sons and me ehemehem

Anonymous said...


You mentioned one very interesting point.

That Malays are poorer than indians based on the total population ratio.

If that is the case, why didn't the Malays organise a rally for
being Marginalised?

The truth is that, most of Malays are pretty much richer, that why the are one notch higher on the Maslows theory of Needs. Please
read more and educate your mind.

Secondly regarding the claim on the trillion, only shows, how much the Indians of this country is really suffering from owning Houses, To obtaining a place in the Government Universities,To having joining a Government Job, and the list goes on.Its really isn't about the money, how do you feel if your place of worship was destroyed?

Secondly, i like to bring to mind
regarding to actual law suits to the goverment of Malaysia on the unlawful detention of ISA.

A Malay was release in a healty condition , was compensated so well was it a Million i think and the poor Indian Singh later released, tortured until he went crazy and only compensated RM1.

So the point is not the claim actually. Its was your policies are doing to the Indians.

Wake up!

Anonymous said...

I found it a bit funny with this hindraf people who claim to be representing the whole Indian. While other races (Chinese, Malays, Kadazan etc) were represented by political parties to voice their needs, worries and demands. Hindraf choose to do it by themselves. Don't they all learn history. How Malaysia was created...

Malaysian was created by having several parties that representing 3 main races. That includes us through MIC. If we feels that we're not been treated nicely, who should we blamed. MIC and not Malays nor the government. We all must fight for our rights through our party. Let Samy Vellu go down the drain and replace him with our trusted leader.

The problem with Hindraf followers were not because of what they believe but because they have been provoked by hand full number of peoples who wants power. This people failed to win themselves in any Indian based parties. They are just losers.

I urge all my friends, fellow Indians to ignore Hindraf. We should be shame of our self. Our act has shown our true color. We're not a stupid people who are willingly to let our self to be dragged into the fight of some morons who claims to protect our rights. Ending up we've put our self as the lowest cast among all other Malaysian. :(

I love Malays, I love Chinese, I love all other fellow Malaysian. Forgive me my friends, forgive my fellow Indians. We're not as what you might think we are.. :(