Thursday, 29 November 2007

Australia: Malaysian-born Penny Wong: The First Chinese-Australian Cabinet Minister in Kevin Rudd's Government

PENY WONG: Minister for Climate Change and Water, Australian Federal Government


"Racial abuse was not unusual.

It used to lead me to wonder how long do you have to be here, how much do you have to love this country before you are accepted?"
-Penny Wong, Australian Federal Cabinet Minister

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Penny Wong, 39, born in Malaysia, becomes the first Chinese-Australian Cabinet Minister, with responsibility for climate change and water in Kevin Rudd's newly formed Federal Government.

Penny was born in Sabah, Malaysia. She moved to Australia when she was eight and settled in the Adelaide Hills. She won a scholarship to Scotch College and obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Law Degree (Hons) from the University of Adelaide.

Penny began working for the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union when she was still studying and stayed with the union after she was admitted to the Bar. She became an elected organiser and industrial officer.

She was then employed as a ministerial advisor to the Carr government in New South Wales, concentrating on forest policy. She later returned to Adelaide to practise law.

Positions in the Labour Party

Delegate, ALP State Convention (SA) 1989-94 and from 1996.
Deputy Chair, ALP Platform Committee (SA) 1990-94.
Member, ALP State Executive (SA) 1996-99.
Member, ALP National Policy Committee on Industry, Infrastructure and Regional Development 1998-2000.
Delegate, ALP National Conference 2000.

Qualifications and Occupation before entering Federal Parliament

BA, LLB (Adel), GradDip in Legal Practice (SA).
Industrial officer 1990-96.
Barrister and solicitor 1996-2000.
Legal officer 2000-02.

Wong was born to a Chinese Malaysian father and an Australian mother. After spending a year on exchange in Brazil, Wong studied Arts/Law at the University of Adelaide. While at university, she worked part time for the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.

She also became involved in political activism at university, winning a position on the National Executive of the National Union of Students. In 1988, Wong joined the Australian Labor Party, winning a position as a delegate to the party's state convention the following year. She has been a delegate each year since, with the exception of 1995.

Wong graduated from university in 1992, and continued on with the CFMEU, working as an industrial officer, gaining admission to the bar in 1993. During 1995 and 1996, she acted as an advisor to the New South Wales state government, specialising in the area of forest policy. On returning to Adelaide, she began practising law, won a position on the ALP's state executive, and also took on work as a legal officer with the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union.

Wong ran for pre-selection for the Senate in 2001, and was selected for the top spot on the party's South Australian ticket, as a result of affirmative action policies and factional changes. Wong is a member of EMILY's List Australia, the support network for Labor women, and currently sits on a number of Senate committees, primarily those related to economics.

She has been a vocal critic of Prime Minister John Howard's ban on same-sex marriages, despite the ban also having the support of her own party.

In June 2005 Wong was appointed Shadow Minister for Employment and Workforce Participation and Shadow Minister for Corporate Governance and Responsibility.

Following the reshuffle in December 2006, she became responsible for the portfolios of Public Administration & Accountability, Corporate Governance & Responsibility, and Workforce Participation.

In November 2007, in the wake of the Labor Party victory in the 2007 election, Wong was appointed Minister for Climate Change and Water. She will accompany Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to Bali for the international climate change talks.

Father's Pride and Joy.
Read here for more

Pride and joy was all over the face of the father of Malaysian-born Penny Wong Ying Yen who has been appointed as a cabinet minister in Australia.

“I am very happy. I hope her appointment will be a blessing for Australia,” said Penny’s father Francis Wong Yit Shing, 66, an architect here.

The 39-year-old Penny, who was born in Sabah but grew up in Australia from the age of eight with her mother, was named Climate Change and Water Minister Thursday by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd whose Labour party won the recent elections.

Francis, who described his daughter as a go-getter, said that the portfolio given to his daughter was very “current and important” not only for Australians but for the people around the world who are concerned about global warming and climate change.

“I know she is a very responsible person and she will work hard to achieve her objectives,” said the father, who keeps in touch with his daughter through SMS.

Describing his daughter as a person with strong personality, he said that he never expected Penny to become a politician.

“I wanted her to be a doctor and she enrolled for it but a year later she switched to law after she went on a student exchange programme to Brazil where she saw the need to help people,” said Francis.

On completing her studies, she got involved in unions and industrial court cases in Australia and “I believe that the Labour Party spotted her capability and urged her join them.”

Penny became the first Asian-born woman Senator when she won a seat in South Australia in 2002 and last week’s Australian elections saw her winning a second term with her party toppling John Howard’s government.

Asked if he had ever given his daughter any political advice, Francis said that the politics that he knew about was only that of South East Asia and that “Australian politics (is) totally different.”

“ We mostly talk family matters ... not much on politics though I always follow developments of her career,” he said, adding that Penny is an outdoor person who has among others, scaled Mount Kinabalu several times and dived in Sipadan.

Francis said Penny and her mother left Sabah for Australia in 1977 for Penny’s education while he remained in the state. Over time, he and his wife separated with Penny taking up her mother’s Australian citizenship.

Read here in Sydney Morning Herald

IN MANY ways Penny Wong's is a very Australian story.

The woman who can trace her family back to 1836 and one of South Australia's original settlers was born in Malaysia and moved to Australia as a seven-year-old .

Yesterday the 39-year-old former lawyer was catapulted from relative obscurity to one of the most important jobs in the Rudd administration as minister for climate change and water.

Senator Wong now has a flash parliamentary office, a soon-to-be-expanded staff and responsibility for international climate change negotiations, carriage of an emissions trading system and, with Peter Garrett, is one of two ministerial guardians of the environment.

"Climate change is one of the biggest challenges confronting Australia and, indeed, our planet. It is a challenge not only to our environment, but also to our economy, our jobs, and our way of life," Senator Wong said yesterday.

All this came barely five years after the day Senator Wong got to her feet to make her maiden speech to the Senate, a moment when her thoughts turned to her late grandmother, a woman she called Poh Poh.

"She was a diminutive woman, with an indomitable spirit. A Chinese woman of the Hakka or guest people, she was my grandfather's second wife. When the war came to Malaysia she and the rest of the family were in Sandakan, a name that many who fought in Australia's defence will be familiar with," Senator Wong said.

"Most of the family died during the war, and she was left alone to care for my father and his siblings in unspeakable circumstances, which she did through extraordinary determination and a will to survive. She was barely literate, humble and compassionate, but the strongest person I have ever known. Her name was Madam Lai Fung Shim, and that her grand-daughter is here today would have been a source of pride but probably some consternation to her."

As the maelstrom of Pauline Hanson intensified Senator Wong was busily working at becoming the first Asian-born woman elected to Parliament.

She won her spot at the November 2001 election and took her seat the following July. Before politics she was a lawyer, a Carr government adviser and a proud trade unionist.

She joined the shadow ministry in 2004 in the relatively low profile portfolios of employment and workforce participation, corporate governance and public administration and accountability.

Kevin Rudd made her the spokeswoman for Labor's election campaign but big things were expected of her long before that.

Senator Wong's reputation came from her membership of committees designed to hold public servants and politicians to account.

She relished dissecting those who appeared before her.

Her appearances on the ABC's Lateline won a solid fan base among news and political junkies and anyone else who watches current affairs late on Friday night.

In that first speech Senator Wong spoke harshly of Ms Hanson, of John Howard's tolerance of her views, and of everyone else who made growing up as an Australian who looked a bit different so tough.

"Racial abuse was not unusual. It used to lead me to wonder how long do you have to be here, how much do you have to love this country before you are accepted?"



Kevin Rudd
Prime Minister

Julia Gillard
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

Wayne Swan

Lindsay Tanner
Minister for Finance

Peter Garrett
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Penny Wong
Minister for Climate Change and Water

Anthony Albanese
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government

Kim Carr
Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

Martin Ferguson
Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism

Tony Burke
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Simon Crean
Minister for Trade

Nicola Roxon
Minister for Health and Ageing

Jenny Macklin
Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Stephen Smith
Minister for Foreign Affairs

Joel Fitzgibbon
Minister for Defence

Robert McClelland

Chris Evans
Minister for Immigration and Citizenship
Government Senate leader

Stephen Conroy
Broadband communications and the digital economy

John Faulkner
Special Minister for State
Cabinet Secretary


Nick Sherry
Minster for Superannuation and Corporate Law

Craig Emerson
Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors and the Service Economy
Minister Assisting the Finance Minister on business deregulation

Brendan O'Connor
Minister for Workforce Participation

Tanya Plibersek
Minister for Housing and the Status of Women

Joseph Ludwig
Minister for Human Services
Manager for Government Business in the Senate

Bob Debus
Minister for Home Affairs

Alan Griffin
Minister for Veterans Affairs

Warren Snowdon
Minister for Defence and Science Personnel

Justine Elliott
Minister for Ageing

Kate Ellis
Minister for Youth and Sport

Chris Bowen
Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs


Maxine McKew
Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Greg Combet
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence

Bill Shorten
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Mike Kelly
Parliamentary Secretary for Defence

Gary Gray
Parliament Secretary to the Minister for Infrastructure, with responsibility for northern and regional Australia

Bob McMullan
Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance

Duncan Kerr
Parliamentary Secretary for the Pacific

Laurie Ferguson
Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Settelment Programs

Ursula Stephens
Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion

Anthony Byrne
Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

John Murphy
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Trade

GERAKAN'S Dr Toh Kin Woon Shows He Has Marbles to Tick Off UMNO Leaders in Public.

Read here Letter of Dr.Toh Kin Woon to Malaysiakini


"They (the HINDRAF protesters ) are fighting to create problems. They are troublemakers." Read here for more
-President of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), Samy Vellu



Dr. Toh Kin Woon

(Dr. Toh Kin Woon is the Gerakan's Penang State executive councillor for Economic Planning, Education, and Human Resources Development, Science, Technology and Innovation. )

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

" Several major marches and pickets, all peaceful, have taken place in our country over the last few months.

There was the ‘Walk for Justice’ organised by the Bar Council. This peaceful march called for a complete review of the country’s judiciary system with a view to restoring its independence, and hence put into effect the separation of powers so important for justice.

This was followed by a march to the palace organised by Bersih, a broad coalition of political parties and NGOs, calling for free and fair elections.

The most recent, this time to hand over a memorandum to the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, was organised by the Hindu Rights Action Force, or Hindraf, in short. Although the stated objective of this last demonstration was to demand compensation for the exploitation of Indians from the British government, it was in effect to highlight the socio-economic and cultural plight of the Indians, especially their lower strata.

To all these must be added the numerous pickets called by the trade unions for higher salaries just to meet rises in costs of living so burdensome to the workers.

All these marches and pickets, especially those organised by Bersih and Hindraf, drew tens of thousands of people. And this, despite the authorities warning the public not to take part as these assemblies were all so-called “illegal”.

Participants were threatened with arrest should they take part in all these illegal assemblies.

These marches drew flak and condemnation from almost all Barisan Nasional leaders. Their criticisms centred on their illegality, potential threat to peace, the possible destablisation of the economy including frightening away foreign investors.

I disagree with the views of our country’s leaders.

Instead of condemning, one would have thought and hoped that they should have been more concerned over the grievances, frustrations and disappointments that have brought so many thousands to the streets in the first place and to seek fair and just solutions to them.

Is it true that there are lots of defects in our country’s judicial system?

If so, what are they? What must we do to overcome these so that we can restore its independence, and give real substance to the separation of powers in order to strengthen our country’s democratic institutions?

Likewise, what are the shortcomings in our country’s electoral system, especially pertaining to the electoral rolls, election campaigning, access to media, etc?

And on Hindraf, what are the grievances, frustrations and unhappiness of the lower strata of the Indian community, and that of all the other communities, pertaining to housing, education, health, jobs, equity and religious freedom?

Until and unless these and many more issues concerning our country’s judicial and electoral systems as well as social justice for the poor are looked into seriously and satisfactory solutions found, the discontent that has brought thousands to the streets over the last several months will remain.

To me, it is this discontent and unhappiness that will be a greater threat to our country’s peace and stability, rather than the marches, pickets and demonstrations.

To be fair, the government did finally agree to the setting up of a royal commission of inquiry to look into the Lingam case that triggered the outpouring of dissatisfaction over the state of our judicial system. The terms of reference of this soon to be set-up royal commission have, however, not yet been announced.

Hopefully, its scope of work will include getting to the bottom of why our judicial system has declined so precipitously over the years.

A truly democratic society that allows peaceful marches, an independent and just judicial system, free and fair elections, equal respect by the state for all religious faiths and social justice for the poor are, among others, the key pillars of democracy, peace and stability.

Without these, no amount of coercion, including the threat to use the obnoxious Internal Security Act (ISA), can bring us the lasting peace and security that all Malaysians desire.

Finally, I find it extremely disturbing that a backbench Barisan Nasional MP who took a divergent stand on Hindraf should be so severely rebuked and chastised by a couple of BN leaders.

This clearly does NOT augur well at all for intra-BN democracy.

The message sent seems to be that all BN elected representatives are expected to be meek and passive followers of the views of their leaders and that no space is provided for independent views, including those articulated by the larger civil society.

I wonder how such a stance by the leaders can attract people who want to seek changes from within!
- Dr. Toh Kin Woon

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

INDIA'S Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Concerned on Malaysia's Treatment of Tamils

Read here in Hindustan Times (India)

Protect Tamils in Malaysia, Karunanidhi urges India's PM

India's Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Tuesday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manomhan Singh, expressing deep concern at the treatment meted out to ethnic Indians in Malaysia.

In the letter, Karunanidhi said that the people of Tamil Nadu are disturbed over the happenings in Kuala Lumpur, and pointed out that Tamils constitute the largest percentage among the Indian minority in Malaysia.

The Malaysian police on Sunday crushed a rally of more than 10,000 ethnic Indians who were protesting against marginalisation of the ethnic Indian community in that country and also to support a $4 trillion lawsuit filed in London in August by Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), a rights group demanding that Britain compensate Malaysian Indians for bringing their ancestors to the country as indentured laborers and exploiting them.

The police detained over 240 ethnic Indians.

Karunanidhi added that he was much perturbed that the Malaysian police used water cannons and tear-gas shells against the Indian demonstrators.

Adding insult to injury, Karunanidhi said, the Malaysian police had detained 240 ethnic Indians.

"The protesters were carrying poster-size pictures of Mahatma Gandhi", he pointed out.

The chief minister urged Prime Minister Singh and the central government to take appropriate action to end the sufferings and ill treatment meted out to Malaysian Tamils.

Ethnic Indians constitute eight percent of the total population of 27 million but control just 1.5 percent of the economy.

The Indian community in that country also alleged that access to housing, education, financial loans and jobs is given to Malays on a preferential basis. The destruction of Hindu temples by the Malaysian government had inflamed the ethnic Indians' grievances.


MDMK General Secretary Vaiko on Tuesday requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take immediate steps through diplomatic channels to protect ethnic Indians in Malaysia.

In a letter to Dr Singh, a copy of which was circulated to the media here, he said the Malaysian authorities had used police force against ethnic Indians, mostly Tamils, when they took out a peaceful rally on November 25.

"Making up some eight per cent of Malaysia's population, Indians are historically underprivileged, compared to other ethnic groups and have long felt discriminated."

"More than 90 per cent of ethnic Indians in Malaysia are Tamils. They have contributed to bring economic prosperity in Malaysia, shedding their sweat of labour all these years. But they have been discriminated in education, jobs and business opportunities by Malaysian authorities," he added.

Stating that the reported statement of the Malaysian Prime Minister against the peaceful rally was "disturbing and causes apprehension" about the future safety and welfare of ethnic Indians, Vaiko requested the Prime Minister (of India) to take steps to protect them.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

MUST READ ! The Indian Question in Malaysia, by a Malaysian Indian

From Malaysia-Today. Read here full article


Mohandass Karamchand

Excerpts: Read here for more

The Indian protest in Kuala Lumpur has been a great success because it made a VERY LOUD noise.

But the Indian protesters FORGOT to shout Daulat Tuanku.

Hindus or Malaysians ?

Instead they showed allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II by carrying placards that had Queen Elizabeth’s picture. Others also carried pictures of Mahatma Ghandi.

According to the NST, Hindraf legal adviser P. Uthayakumar said that they would 'get a second bite at the cherry' when they go to London in mid-January to present a memorandum to the Queen of England. She may not be disposed to receive Uthayakumar.

The NST reports: "We don't want to rely on Indian-based parties anymore. We want to go directly to Umno because it is they who hold power," said the lawyer who was in the midst of the illegal gathering yesterday.

So is it Queen Elizabeth or UMNO?

Unfortunately for the Indian community, all roads to UMNO go through Samy Vellu’s office.

This appeal to Queen Elizabeth and Mahatma Ghandi is a mistake. The banners scream 'We are Malaysians'. To the other Malaysians, it seems to be that the protesters are Indian Hindus first and Malaysians second.

The ethnic, religious identity is pushed forward.

The name ‘Hindraf’ is also exclusive. It EXCLUDES Indians who are Christians, Sikhs and Muslims.

Why call it Hindu Rights Action Front?

Why not just Indian Rights Action Front (INDRAF)? Why associate with religion?

This is what some NGOs said - the Hindu Indians are making a mistake of projecting a narrow Hindu image.

Grievances Are Real

However, the grievances and the protest by the Indian Hindus is real and justified.The BN Gomen's failure to uplift the Indians is real. It is a big failure. The BN Gomen does not really care for them.

UMNO says they want to be the payung for all Malaysians. This is a lie. They are the least bothered about the fate of the Indians. Uthayakumar’s idea that he wants to go directly to UMNO may earn him a Datukship, but the Indians will not get anything else.

Hindu Tamils are now treated like fourth class citizens by the BN Gomen. Parties like MIC and PPP just get by on handouts for their community.

The Tamils can be ignored by the UMNO boys.

Why should the UMNO boys respect the Indians? While the Hindraf was protesting on Jalan Ampang, Nallakaruppan was hosting the founding of his new Indian political party called Malaysian Indian United Party (or Muniandy) at the Istana Hotel. In his speech, Nallakaruppan pledged allegiance to the BN. He said that the Muniandy party would support all the BN’s policies.

Just a few months ago he was dancing on stage with Anwar Ibrahim in Ijok, hoping to be Keadilan’s candidate against the BN at the by-election. But since Anwar dropped him in favour of a Malay, Nallakaruppan is now dancing to the UMNO-BN tune.

The Indians cannot depend on the BN Gomen or anyone else to uplift them. They have no choice but to uplift themselves . This is because the BN Gomen itself does not have any idea how to uplift the people.

Historically, the majority of Indians came here as very poor people. Indians are a small minority in Malaysia – making up less than 10% of the population. Numerically they are becoming even more irrelevant.

"Different" Indians in Malaysia

But this small minority is divided into so many sub-minorities almost all of whom are far richer and better off than the Tamil Hindus – the largest Indian group who were also the people protesting on Sunday.

  • The Sindhi and Gujerati Hindus are business oriented. They may not even acknowledge that Tamil Hindus are human. In their belief the Tamils are children of Hanuman, the dark-skinned monkey god who helped their white-skinned god Ram rescue their white-skinned princess Sita Devi from the clutches of the dark-skinned Ravan.

  • Then we have the Ceylon Tamils. An irate Indian Tamil woman once said that the Ceylon Tamils in Malaysia are ashamed to say that they are also Indians or Tamils. So in official application forms where they must state their race, they put themselves under ‘Lain-Lain’ or Others, not as Indians. Few people may be aware of this but the Ceylon Tamils are by far the most successful racial group in Malaysia, whose per capita incomes may be higher than the Chinese, Gujeratis, Mamaks, etc. There are more millionaires per thousand people among Ceylon Tamils than any other race in Malaysia. The richest man in Malaysia is a Ceylon Tamil billionaire known as Ananda Krishnan.

  • There are the Sikhs who have their own axes to grind against the Hindus. The Sikhs have also done very well in Malaysia. They may have started as jagas and susu lembu sellers but now they are among the best doctors and lawyers in the country. Money lending is still their forte. In a nutshell, they are doing much better than the Tamil Hindus.

  • Then there are the RSS sympathizers in Malaysia. RSS stands for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Nathuram Vinayak Godse, the Hindu extremist who murdered Mahatma Ghandi in 1948, was a member of the RSS. The RSS in India is led by Brahmins whose main purpose is to preserve the Hindu caste system and thereby preserve their positions. They do not look kindly at Mahatma Ghandi and none of them will have a picture of Ghandi in their homes, let alone hoist Ghandi’s picture at a public rally.

    Indian Vs Indian

    There is very little love lost BETWEEN all these Indians.

    There are extremely very FEW intra-Hindu Indian marriages. It is almost impossible to see a Ceylon Hindu marry an Indian Hindu or a Gujerati marry a Telugu.

    You will NOT find any of the RSS Brahmins marrying any of the Hindraf people. It just does NOT happen.

    On the other hand, in Malaysia, there are thousands of marriages between Malays and Indians of all types and castes.

    This Sunday, 9th December, a extraordinarily beautiful and quite rich Malay woman is marrying a Hindu Tamil (who of course had to convert). The wedding will be held at a major hotel and will be reported in the Malay media. The Indian media will never cover such an event.

  • The RSS sympathizers did NOT support the Hindraf protest. Instead, they released a statement to the media that said: “the MIC and the Government had helped to fund, build, repair as well as settle relocation and land issues for temples nationwide.”

    In other words: what is there to complain about?

    There are enough temples.

    Caste and inter-Indian race differences are great. The discrimination and prejudices within the Indians is greater than from without.

    But that does not really affect the bread and butter issues that were the main reason for the protest on Sunday.

    It is also mind-boggling that many Hindu success stories have come to a tragic end through outright murder. All too often Indians suffer violence at the hands of fellow Indians. This is not unlike the case with the African Americans and Mexican Americans who suffer tragic violence at the hands of their own people.

    In Penang recently, a well known and very senior Tamil Hindu lawyer by the name of Annamalai was brutally stabbed to death by two Indians, most likely hired killers, in broad daylight. I knew Mr Annamalai who was over 60 years old and was a polite and gentle man. The killers have not been caught and neither is the motive known.

    A few years ago, a young Hindu woman who owned three beauty salons in Klang was also brutally murdered by Indians. After being beaten and stabbed, her body was repeatedly run over by her own Pajero. The crazed intensity of the violence against her was unimaginable. Again, her killers were not found and neither was the reason for her murder known.

    Earlier to that, a young Tamil Hindu geologist who ran a very succesful geological services company in Bukit Mertajam was killed by Indians. His head was cracked open by an axe. His killers were never caught and neither was the reason for his murder known.

    These were among the cream of their society in their own neighbourhoods - Indians who had come up in life through hard work and against much odds. They all suffered violent death at the hands of Indians. It could be any number of reasons why they were killed but often it is pure jealousy by Indians against fellow Indians.

    It is okay if a Chinese or Malay is succesful, but when an Indian makes good, any number of other Indians may become extremely jealous. And if there is even a hint of an insult or injury, real or imagined, it may be enough to trigger murderous action. So the Indians do not need extra enemies from outside to keep them down. They can be their own worst enemies.

    Why Posters of Ghandi and Queen Elizabeth at the Demonstration?

    First of all, the Indians must realise that holding up posters of Ghandi or Queen Elizabeth is brain dead.

    It would have been better if they held up posters of the great Tamil hero Veerapandian Kattaboman. But since no one knows what Veerapandian Kattaboman looked like, they could have even held up posters of the great Tamil movie hero MG Ramachandran or MGR who once portrayed Veerapandian Kattaboman in a Tamil movie.

    But why Ghandi and why on earth Queen Elizabeth II? This only proves that the Indian Tamils may have their feet planted here, but not all their thoughts are fully settled here.

    Indians, Help Yourself

    The time for pussyfooting and endless talk is over. Indians must 'bite the bullet' and take decisive and practical action to help themselves. Since all the protests have been made, it is now up to the Indians to put forward what they really want to do.

    Do not expect the Barisan Nasional or the UMNO boys to help you. They do not even know how to help themselves. After 50 years they do not even realize the main problem that is holding the Malays down – their religion and their total disregard of the English language.

    So how are they going to figure out what are the real issues facing the Indians? Even if they want to help the Indians they will not know what to do.

    Some simple-minded Indians have suggested that the Indians be exempted from all university racial quotas. This is a beginning but it does not solve the problem of the poor Tamils in the estates and the rural areas. The MIC has set up the Tafe College, taken over private law and accounting colleges (Vanto Academy) and set up medical schools yet the plight of the Tamil Hindus in the estates and rural areas has not changed much.

    In Semeling in Kedah (in the Merbok constituency), the MIC has built the most modern medical campus not only in Malaysia but maybe in the whole of Asia, Europe and the US. Please Google 'AIMST'. One minute you are driving through oil palm plantations then suddenly you turn a corner and almost run into a group of huge UFO spaceship type buildings rising out of the oil palms - this is the Asian Institute of Medical Science and Technology.

    Yet only the guards and gardeners at the AIMST are Indians from the surrounding rubber and oil palm estates in Semeling. Most of the Indian students at AIMST are from well to do Indian families from outside Kedah who can afford the almost RM300,000 fees at this private medical school. Increasingly now, more Chinese students are also enrolling at AIMST.

    So even if all the protests work and the Barisan Nasional Gomen offers Indians unlimited entry into universities, it is the children of educated, urban, west coast Indians who are going to gain admission.

    The Ceylon Tamils, the urban Tamils, Punjabis, Gujeratis, Tamil Muslims, etc., will take advantage of the opportunities. The Indians from the rural areas and the estates are NEVER going to make it, or at least not any time soon.

    Dont believe me? Here is my proof.

    Before the NEP, before 1970, it was status quo. The playing field was 'more' level then. Or was it ?

  • The Ceylon Tamils monopolised senior Gomen jobs, teaching jobs, doctors, lawyers, etc.

  • The Telugus were mandors at the estates while the Tamils were the labourers. The Sindhis and Gujeratis monopolised the textiles business.

  • The Mamaks ran the sundry shops.

  • The Tamil Hindus were at the lowest rung of the ladder. Who really cared for them? But that was the 'level' playing field available at that time. It is by sheer effort and perseverance that many of the Tamil Hindus have come up in life to become the Uthayakumars and the Selvams of today. But these are so few, the exceptions.

    So even if the BN Gomen completely opened up all the university opportunities to Indians it is the minority within the minority ie the Ceylon Tamils, the Gujeratis, the Punjabis, the Tamil Muslims, etc., who are going to take full advantage of these opportunities.

    The majority Indian Hindus in the estates are going to end up no better than before.

    What Should Indian Hindus Demand ?

    The solution seems obvious enough.

    1. The Indians must demand that Indian Hindus from the estates and the rural areas must be given super priorities at university entrance. This has been done for the past 37 years in Malaysia where poor Malay children from the rural schools and rural areas are given preferences over urban kids. So, if an Indian Hindu child from the estates has lesser grades than a child from the urban centres, the rural Indian child must be treated differently.

      But will the Indian community agree to this? How many of the urban-living Hindraf protesters from Sunday will agree to this idea?

    2. The Indians must also demand for a 100% Government-funded special boarding school system where poor Indian Hindu children from the estates and rural areas are provided free schooling and board from Forms 1 till 5 and beyond. The estates (are not ) conducive to make successes out of Indian children. It is just not going to happen.

      There are exceptions where estate children have gone to earn PhDs but lets cut the crap, okay? We are not concerned with exceptional cases. These Indian boarding schools must be taught by Malay and Chinese teachers only. The students must be weaned away from the negative, crude and pessimistic attitudes and language of the estates. Indian teachers may unwittingly delay this process.

    3. Lastly, these boarding schools for Indians must be located in largely Malay localities like in the East Coast states. They must be totally isolated from their estate environments and learn to fit into a more Malay and Malaysian environment.

      This way, if they have to protest again, they will not hold up pictures of Ghandi or Queen Elizabeth. They may learn to hold up posters of Sultan Muzaffar Shah, Hang Kasthuri, Hang Lekir, Tun Ali, Abdullah Munshi, and so on who were all Tamils.

    4. As for the other poor Indian Hindus, the Indian community must demand that the Gomen provide them unlimited entry into all the vocational training institutes, especially the Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara or IKBN, plus the MARA Skills Institutes. Surprisingly, it is Nazri Aziz as Minister in charge of MARA who has opened some MARA Skills Institutes to Indians.

    5. The Indian community must also demand Gomen-funded housing for all poor Indians, those in the estates and rural areas as well as in the urban areas. They can either rent or buy these houses from the Gomen through any number of rent-own schemes, etc. The housing must not be the cheapo, two-room, one-bathroom type pigeon holes. They must be decent-sized houses with at least three sleeping rooms and two bathrooms. Even if they cost a bit more, the housing must be comfortable. Safe and comfortable housing is important to break the poverty cycle and bring Indian Hindus into the mainstream of our society.

    6. Indians must also demand access to the Amanah Saham investment fund. Not the Amanah Saham Nasional that is open to all races and is priced at market prices but the RM1.00 per share Amanah Saham Bumiputra where your RM1.00 per share is guaranteed by the Gomen. Then, all the Banks’ special Amanah Saham financing packages (since the RM1.00 per share is guaranteed by the Gomen) that are available to bumiputras will also be made available to Indians. This will be a major help to the Indian community.

    7. The Indian community must listen to Mr SM Idris of the Consumers Association of Penang who has been campaigning all his life to abolish toddy shops on the estates. Indians and drinking must part company because it has been proven time and time again that Indians and alchohol do not mix well. Ban alchohol on the estates and the Indian community will save a lot of heartache.

    8. There must be an end to Tamil schools in the country. Tamil is a great language. It has a long history and is a beautiful poetic language. But Tamil will keep the Hindus in the poverty cycle in Malaysia. In Malaysia, Tamil will make you poor. Believe me on this one. Ban Tamil schools and send all the Tamil kids to Gomen schools or Chinese schools.

    9. Then, more importantly, to curb gangsterism, completely ban all Tamil movies, especially through Vanavil and other TV stations. They are absolutely brain-dead and a bad influence on already brain-dead Indian youngsters. Tamil movies are of zero cultural and moral value. Unfortunately Indian Hindus can riot (they did) to buy tickets for Rajni’s latest movie ‘Boss’. Endless fighting, beating, crying, killing, dancing, singing, marrying, seducing are the staple of brain-dead Tamil movies which have a strong and significant impact on the Indian population. Two Tamil movie actors, MG Ramachandran and Jayalalitha, have been elected as Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu just because of their movie acting. (No you cannot compare them to Ronald Reagan or Arnold Schwarzenegger).

    10. Large numbers of Indians know more about Indian politics than what is happening in Malaysia. They may NOT know the names of Malaysian Cabinet Ministers but they will know the names of Indian Chief Ministers and other Indian politicians. This shows that, after 150 years, many of the Indians have not fully grafted their roots to the local conditions. This must change. The Indians are ready to migrate to Australia (or to the Queen of England’s kampong) and sing Waltzing Matilda in English to earn Australian citizenship. Why not remain in Malaysia and learn to speak Malay properly?

    11. Finally, the Indian Hindus, all of them, including the RSS, the Punjabis, the Gujeratis, the Brahmins and the estate Indians, must get together and propose to the Barisan Nasional Gomen to pass laws that make it illegal and a crime to practice any kind of caste system in Malaysia. This means that all Hindu temples must be open to all Hindus, irrespective of caste. Any Hindu, and not just a Brahmin, can become a priest at the Hindu temples.

      The RSS will definitely NOT agree to this suggestion. The RSS is the vanguard of the caste system and seeks to protect the position of the Brahmins. The caste system is the single most backward and degrading force that holds back all Indians. Whether Sindhis, Gujeratis, Punjabis, Tamils, Telugus, RSS, etc., they are all negatively affected by the really stupid and false caste system. Get rid of the caste system and the Indians will bloom to become a great people.
    And the Indians in Malaysia definitely do NOT need 17,000 temples for three million Hindus.

  • What for?

    Each temple needs a Brahmin priest, a commitee and it spreads more religious prejudice and anger.

    Only the RSS boys are interested in temples because they can control the temples. Temples bring in money. The more temples there are, the more money accrues to the brahmins.

    But this initiative can only come from the Indians. The Malays and the Gomen will not even know where to begin on this one. They have no idea of the caste system. So the Indians cannot expect any help in this area from the Gomen.

    It is the Indians who must move this initiative. There will be plenty of resistance from the RSS and gang but you must all get together and kick this caste sucker into the sea. Otherwise it is all a complete waste of time.

    The Indians must be the inheritors of Thiru Valluvar, Bagat Singh, Ranjit Singh and Bharatiyar. They were real heroes.

    Ghandi was confused. Godse was a nut.

    KELANTAN: UMNO Member Physically Assaulted PAS Member in the State Assembly

    Go to Kickdefella Blog for more details

    UMNO State Assembly(Paloh) on a kicking spree at a PAS State Assemblyman during the seating of the Kelantan State Assembly
    (November 26 2007)

    Watch the VIDEO CLIP

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
    UMNO Wakil Rakyat for Paloh

    He said he has NO regret for dishonouring the Dewan.

    Simmering Frustrations of Malaysian Indians with the UMNO-Led Government's Handling of Race Issues

    AFP Report: Read here in Hindustani Times and in Malaysiakini

    Malaysian Indian Protests Open NEW Racial Faultline


    Sarah Stewart,
    Agence France-Presse (AFP

    Unprecedented street protests by ethnic Indians have opened up a new faultline in Malaysia's tense race relations, posing a major problem for the government as it faces elections, analysts said today.

    Political observers in the multicultural nation, where minority Indians and ethnic Chinese live alongside the dominant Malay Muslim community, said the ugly scenes at Sunday's rally represented a new era of racial activism.

    "It is quite clear we will have an emboldened community willing to fight for their rights. It's almost a renaissance or a rebirth," said leading commentator Charles Santiago.

    "The young Indian population out there especially see discrimination on a daily basis ...For a lot of them, they feel they have NOTHING TO LOSE."

    At least 8,000 protesters including women and young people massed near Kuala Lumpur's iconic Petronas Towers - meeting stiff resistance from police who beat them with batons and unleashed gas and chemical-laced water.

    The rally was officially in support of a multi-trillion dollar lawsuit accusing former colonial ruler Britain of being at the root of Indians' economic problems by bringing their ancestors here as indentured labourers in the 1800s.

    Temple demolitions

    But it was more squarely aimed at the ruling UMNO , which stands for Malay interests and has ruled the nation since independence a half-century ago.

    While Malays control the political scene and the Chinese population is dominant in business, Indians complain they run a distant third in terms of wealth, education and opportunities.

    Analysts said that although they had long been a silent minority, many ethnic Indians have become radicalised by the increasing "Islamisation" of Malaysia, which minorities see as undermining their rights.

    The destruction of hundreds of Hindu temples in recent years, sometimes with bulldozers moving in even as devotees were praying, has also caused intense anger.

    "The Indians have become alienated and that has basically transformed the nature of resistance," said political analyst P Ramasamy, noting that ethnic Indian professionals were well represented at the protest.

    "The character of struggle has changed. It has taken on a Hindu form - Hinduism versus Islam. And this is something that should not have taken place in a multi-racial society."

    Ramasamy said he was certain there would be more protests, raising the spectre of serious racial violence - not seen since 1969 and something all sides on Malaysia's political scene are desperate to avoid.

    The protests, which come shortly after another mass rally calling for election reforms, are a major headache for the government, which had been expected to call elections early next year.

    Ample support

    Umno rules in a coalition with race-based parties including the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), which has been under fire for its handling of the crisis.

    "I think it's very clear the MIC cannot speak on behalf of the Indian community any more," Ramasamy said. "Elections are around the corner and whether their majority will be reduced we will see."

    Ordinary Malaysian Indians interviewed Monday defended the protests saying they were forced onto the streets by a government which had ignored their grievances for decades.

    "I think its a stepping stone for a better future, although change may not come overnight," communications executive Thavamalar Muniandy told AFP in the capital's ethnic Indian Brickfields district.

    "In my opinion the protest achieved its objective - we got the world to focus on us and the government can no longer ignore our concerns," said 24-year-old law student Sivamalar Ganapathy.

    A retiree who gave his name as Subramanian said that since the 1960s conflict, which pitted Chinese against Malays fearful of marginalisation, the nation had focused too much on elevating majority Muslims.

    "Sadly, we were often neglected in the process of development and side-tracked," he said.

    "I'm sad to see that even after 50 years of independence we have to resort to such measures to express our dissatisfaction in a civilised country."

    - AFP

    Monday, 26 November 2007

    Playing Into UMNO's Hands: A Critique on HINDRAF's Agenda

    From Parti Sosialis Malaysia: Read here article by Dr. Kumar


    ".... Though Hindraf leaders have made sacrifices, and have shown courage, we believe that they are inadvertently playing into the hands of the “enemy”.

    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.

    Make it multi-racial and fight for the justice of all the ordinary people of Malaysia! ..."

    -Dr. Kumar

    The Hindraf Campaign: A Critique


    Dr. Kumar

    Excerpts: Read here for more

    Many have been asking what is the Parti Sosialis Malaysia’s stand on the Hindraf Campaign?

    Why is the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) not organizing buses to support the program on the 25/11/07?

    The main points of the PSM stand are outlined below:

    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!

    Ethnic-Based Mobilization Is NOT the Answer

    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:

    1. Cessation of the Bumiputra policy

    2. Institution of affirmative policies for Malaysian Indians

    3. 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?

    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 Malays Are Also Being Marginalised by UMNO and the Bumiputra Policies

    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.

    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 :

    1. 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;

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    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?


    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?

    Is HINDRAF Playing Into the Hands of UMNO ?

    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”.


    Who are the major beneficiaries of the Bumiputra policy?

    Surely people like Najib, Hishamuddin, Khairy 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 richall 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 MOBILISATION on the part of Hindraf would provide them (Government/UMNO) with the perfect opportunity to:
    1. 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!!

    2. 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!
    Fight Rights for ALL Races

    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!

    Facts and Figures on the Status of Ethnic Indian Citizens in Malaysia

    From Front-Line: Read here article by Ponnusamy Uthayakumar


    Ponnusamy Uthayakumar
    Related Article: Read here UMNO Vice President Muhyddin Yassin's Comments on Malaysian Indians' Demonstration organised by HINDRAF
    There seems to be an incorrect perception, especially among the international community, that Malaysia is on the road to becoming a developed nation and that “all is well” as far as minority rights and human rights are concerned.

    Less attention is given to issues concerning discrimination, victimisation and fundamental rights violations against the ethnic minority Malaysian-Indian community in Malaysia.

    Malaysia is one of the few countries in the world where the affirmative action plan is almost exclusively for the benefit of the richer majority community and not for the poorer minorities.

    Ethnic minority Malaysian-Indians form about 8% of the population. They were brought to Malaysia by the British over 150 years ago. After gaining independence in 1957, this community became an underprivileged minority and a group of fourth class citizens.

    The genocide against the innocent and unarmed people of Kg Medan in 2001 left 100 over killed and/or seriously injured. The Malaysian Human Rights Commission refused to hold an inquiry and the State refused to hold a Royal Commission of Inquiry. The courts and office of the Attorney General refused to hold inquests into the deaths - contrary to article 5 of the Federal Constitution and section 339 of the criminal procedure code. Worst still, no proper compensation was awarded to the victims, although 112.5billionRM was approved in the 2004 budget.

    University intake for Indians declined from more than 10% in 1970 to 5.2% in 2003. In 2004 a meritocracy system was introduced, but it turned out to be “meritocracy without merits”. Hundreds of poor ethnic minority Malaysian-Indian students were deprived of their right to education. Matriculation courses for entry into public universities are almost exclusively for the majority community.

    Medical seats for Malaysian-Indians in the University of Malaya were reduced by 98% from 16 seats in 2001 to only one seat in 2003. This in effect means that almost 1.8 million Indians compete for just one medical seat at this university. When increasing numbers of Indian students opted to study overseas, in June 2005, the state took steps to curb this trend. The medical degrees from the Crimea state university were no longer derecognized, although the reasons for this decision are questionable. The status of medical degrees from universities which accept significant levels of Malaysian-Indian students is also currently up for review.

    80% of the 523 Tamil schools (ethnic minority Malaysian-Indian schools) are in dilapidated state with almost no sports, recreational, computer and library facilities, which are accorded to national schools. Although primary school education is compulsory by law, Tamil schools do not receive full government aid. About 95% of Tamil schools do not have kindergartens: 99% of national schools do.

    In Malaysia, a temple is unlawfully demolished by the authorities every three weeks There have been reported cases of policemen torching, throwing molotov cocktails or simply bulldozing temples.

    Discrimination against Malaysian-Indians in employment in the civil service sectors is evident. Figures indicate that Indian participation in the civil service has reduced from about 40% in 1957 to about 2% in 2003. Of this 2%, the majority work in the clerical and industrial manual group. There is no equal opportunity for promotions.

    Few or no business or commerical licences are given to Malaysian-Indians, and as a result only 1% of Indians participate in the country’s economic wealth. Moreover, rumours indicate that this 1% is largely the result of the contributions of one state sponsored Indian millionaire.

    Studies have revealed that Indians form about 60% of innocent people shot dead by the police, 60 % of innocent people dying in police custody, and 60% of detainees in police lockups and detention centres.

    Of those detained, almost 95% of them plead guilty when they may not necessarity be guilty. Most of the crimes they commit are poverty related. They cannot afford legal fees and there is no effective legal aid system.

    Studies have revealed that Indians have the lowest per capita income at 1000.00RM per month. The national per capita income is estimated at 14,954RM in the 2004 budget. Therefore, Indians are about 95% below the national average. In reality, many Indian families earn a meagre RM450.00 per month

    Everyday Indian women and children are victims of abuse. For instance, during an interrogation at Rawang police station, an Indian lady was ordered to perform oral sex on another detainee. Her husband and daughter were stripped naked before her. She was told that her 18year old daughter would be raped. Another 14year old boy was arrested from his house, and while in police custody, ordered to do 150 push ups. When he stopped after 20 he was kicked by police and his leg was broken.

    80% of ethnic Malaysian-Indians are laborers, Industrial Manual Group workers, office boys, security guards, public toilet cleaners, general workers, road sweepers, beggars, squatters, criminals, gangsters.

    POOR Indians form 60% of urban squatters and 41% of beggars. About 80% this community is in the poor or very poor bracket.

    54% of Malaysian-Indians work as plantation or urban underpaid laborers.

    The state has placed a cap of 325.00RM per month on the monthly salaries of plantation workers and of 350.00RM per month for rubber tappers.

    200million RM was allocated to assist poor students to continue with their education but it is estimated that hardly 1% of Indians actually benefit.

    Poverty and lack of opportunity leads to high Indian involvement in crime. There is a high incidence of slashings and killings among the Indian community.

    The rapid development of large plantations has resulted in the displacement of plantation workers, who are then forced to become squatters. The squats are then in turn demolished to make way for more developments.

    The majority of orphanages and old folks homes are filled Indians - a clear indicator of poverty they suffer.

    Access to even the lowest-level skills training institutions are withheld from Indians, which leads to the majority remaining as unemployed or unskilled workers. Even at the NTS Arumugam Pillai Institute, which was built with the help of the South Indian Labour Fund, not one Malaysian-Indian student was admitted in the first round offers.

    Indian professionals and businessmen do not care or ignore the real problems befalling on their community, perhaps in an attempt to appear as “multi-racial” or “non racist”

    The print and electronic media gives little attention to the discrimination, victimisation and violations of human rights suffered by the Indian community. The media too plays to the majority and prefers to highlight “majoritarian isssues”.

    As the Indian community is politically, economically and internationally insignificant even the opposition parties, NGOs and civil society groups generally give them little attention.

    Despite 48 years of Independence, there are still thousands of Malaysian-Indians who remain undocumented without birth certificates, identity cards, marriage certificates. This in effect precludes and excludes them from even the official primary school structure, sectors of the formal job market and business community.

    The Malaysian Human Rights Commission and the Royal Police Commission have continuously refused to report even the most serious violations of human rights by the state against this community. For example, the Kg.Medan genocide, of the killings of suspects death in police custody and the holding at gunpoint of a human rights lawyer.

    The majority of cases against the state which relate to violations against the Malaysian-Indians are dismissed without a hearing.

    The attorney general has shown bias in many instances including, prosecuting lawyers for defending the rights of the Indian community, failing to initiate inquests into custodial deaths and avoiding prosecuting authorities

    Almost all government institutions and services are biased in favour of the government and have been known to have engaged in “cover ups” against the people.

    Indians have the highest suicide and divorce rates in the country.

    No funding is granted to NGOs which are not pro-government.

    This community as a result of years of oppression and suppression is riddled with fear. They are fearful to stand up for even the worst form of violations, victimisation, discrimination and human rights abuses perpetrated against them.


    From Azly Rahman: Plea for Malaysian Indians: Read here for more in Malaysiakini


    The Indians in Malaysia have all the right to ask for reparation and even most importantly they have the rights as rightful citizens of Malaysia to demand for equality and equal opportunity as such accorded to the ‘bumiputera’.

    Every Malaysian must be given such rights.

    Failure to do so we will all be guilty of practising neo-colonialism and we will one day be faced with similar issue of reparation; this time marginalised Malaysians against the independent government of Malaysia.

    How are we going to peacefully correct the imbalances if we do not learn from the history of international slavery, labour migration and human labour trafficking that, in the case of Hindraf, involved millions of Tamils from Tamil Nadu province?

    I once wrote a piece calling for all of us to help the least privileged of our fellow Malaysians - the Indians. The piece called for the leaders to stop fighting and to help each other as well.

    I wrote a passage on the need to help each other in the spirit of selflessness and collaboration:

    “It is time for the other races to engage in serious and sincere gotong-royong to help the poorest of the poor among the Indians.

    The thought that the top 10 percent of the richest Malaysians are earning more than 20 times compared to the 90 percent of the population is terrifying.

    What has become of this nation that promised a just distribution of wealth at the onset of Independence?"

    Not a Hindu problem

    Now we have a better scenario - we have the rights group that is beginning to pull together,-close ranks and demand for their basic human rights that have been denied.

    Not only their rights to be accorded places of worship and economic justice, but also the rights to look at history and ourselves and interrogate what actually happened and who actually was responsible for the misery, desolation and sustained abject poverty to which they have been subjected.

    It is not a Hindu problem - it is universal problem that cuts across race and religion. If we believe in what religion has taught us about human dignity and the brotherhood and sisterhood of humanity, we will all be speaking in one voice rallying for those who demand for their rights to live with dignity.

    In Hindraf, I believe there are Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Catholics, atheists, Buddhists, Sikhs, Bahais, Jains, etc rallying for the cause. In other words there are human beings speaking up for peace and social justice. It is the right of every Malaysian to lend support to their demands.

    We have let the Indians in Malaysia suffer for too long. We ought to have a programme of affirmative action in place. We ought to have a sound programme for alleviation of poverty for the Indians and radically improve their conditions through political action, education and cultural preservation. We ought to extract the enabling aspects of culture though and perhaps reconstruct the our understanding of the relationship between culture and human progress.

    But can the current political paradigm engineer a solution to the problems of the Malaysian Indians, as long as politics - after 50 years - is still British colonialist-imperialist-oppressive in nature?

    We have evolved into a sophisticated politically racist nation, hiding our discriminatory policies with the use of language that rationalises what the British imperialists brutally did in the open.

    How do we come together, as Malaysians, as neo-bumiputeras free from false political-economic and ideological dichotomies of Malays versus non-Malays, bumi versus non-bumi and craft a better way of looking at our political, economic, social, cultural, psychological and spiritual destiny - so that we may continue to survive as a species for the next 50 years?

    As a privileged Malaysian whose mother tongue is the Malay language and as one designated as a bumiputera, I want to see the false dichotomies destroyed and a new sense of social order emerging, based on a more just form of linguistic play designed as a new Merdeka game plan.

    Think Malaysian - we do not have anything to lose except our mental chains. We have a lot to gain in seeing the oppressed be freed from the burden of history; one that is based on the march of materialism. We are essentially social beings, as Einstein would emphasise. Our economic design must address the socialism of existence.

    Let us restructure of policies to help the Indian Malaysians - they are our lawful citizens speaking up for their fundamental rights. Let us help restructure the lives of the poor before they restructure the lives of the rich.

    Muhyiddin Yassin's Narrow-Minded and Mean Comments on the Plight of Marginalised Malaysian Indians

    From "The Malaysian" Blog: Read here and HERE in Malaysiakini and HERE and HERE

    Photos of the Hindraf Demonstration: Click HERE and HERE and Here and HERE and HERE

    Click Here Video clip from Aljazeera TV on the Demonstration

    READ HERE: Article "Facts and Figures on the Status of Ethnic Indian Citizens in Malaysia "

    The Star reported:

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"...Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin warned yesterday that the country could collapse if the people carry their grievances to the streets.

    To me, the group just wanted to create instability and cause problems, especially to the people in Kuala Lumpur,” he said, when commenting on the Hindraf protest yesterday.

    Muhyiddin, who is Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister, said there were poor people among the Malays and Chinese as well and poverty was not just among the Indians.

    He said if Malaysia had treated the Indian community unfairly, as claimed by the organisers of the Hindraf demonstration, the group leader would not have obtained a good education and become a lawyer..."
    Muhyiddin is a good example of the successful Umnoputera.

    A shrewd, calculating politician, he has used the racist system so prevalent in Malaysia, manipulated and thrived within it while in the process amassing enormous wealth and power and is now within smelling distance of the Prime Minister's office.

    Do you think that such a man would be even the least concerned about the miseries of a million-plus impoverished Indians?

    "Poverty was not just among the Indians," he arrogantly says.

    Does this self-professed pejuang for bangsa, agama dan negara really know the meaning of poverty or the feeling of utter hopelessness which inevitably shrouds the abjectly poor?

    Having lived a comfortable life for so long, this 60-year-old man doesn't have the heart to show even a little compassion for the downtrodden of a different race.

    Instead he seeks to justify the inequitable policies which have devastated the lives of half the population of this country.

    This greed monger further shows his innate disdain for and deep-seated prejudice against Indians when he says "if Malaysia had treated the Indian community unfairly, the group leader (of Hindraf) would not have obtained a good education and become a lawyer."

    It's not as if Muhyiddin doesn't know that this Hindraf leader like most Indian lawyers and other professionals were forced to study overseas at their own expense, more often than not mortgaging whatever little landed property their families had, to finance their education.

    It was NOT because of but in spite of the government and its skewed parochial agenda that they managed to get a decent education abroad.

    The primary reason for this was the racist policies feverishly practiced by Umno which excluded these Indians and other non-Malays from local varsities and denied them study loans or scholarships.

    While the small Indian middle-class could at least come up with the funds to educate their children despite the great hardship and sacrifices, the lower-level and less educated bore the brunt of the government's ethnocentric practices.

    If the likes of merciless Muhyiddin had his way, this poverty stricken lot would still be living under deplorable conditions a century from now, "because they are not the only poor people in Malaysia." Imagine what would happen if Muhyiddin becomes Prime Minister?

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    (Photos courtesy of Screenshots)


    Hindraf rally poses challenge to MIC. Read here

    "... KL rally poses challenge to leading Indian party, MIC.

    Samy Vellu and his party were denounced by the 30,000 protesters and many others who did not make it to the rally. They now realised Samy cannot be trusted. His so-called ”working within the system” was not working at all.

    He cannot even protect a 50-year-old Hindu temple in Shah Alam.

    He knows he has failed his community but he needs to lie so that he could continue to be a minister and enjoy all the ministerial perks and the opportunities to make money out of this important portfolio.

    As long as he can deliver the Indian votes for the Barisan Nasional, PM Abdullah would have no qualms of supporting Samy as a minister and the top leader of MIC.

    Now that The Indian community has openly said ‘NO’ to Samy and his party, Abdullah may have to seriously think about another alternative. No one will support a political burden for nothing."
    "Indian ruling elites have failed us"
    by P Dev Anand Pillai: Read here in Letter to Editor, Malaysiakini

    "...The (Indian) ruling elites have come to a point where they no longer represent the Indian/Hindu masses in the country anymore as it has become pointless to go to them as they are not in a position to talk and debate with the Malay ruling Malay elites on the fate of the Indian masses in the country.

    Whenever a Hindu temple in demolished, the leaders of the Hindraf and the Indian leaders of the opposition are the first to be on the scene to look into the legality of such an act of demolishment as oppose to the leaders of the Indian ruling elites who are only there after the whole temple is in rubbles.

    It has been proven time and again that these Indian ruling elites are only there to serve the interest of a chosen few and not the interest of the whole community which now is at the mercy of the federal and state authorities on every aspect of their daily lives.

    The gathering of Indian Malaysians in fact should be silently accepted by the Indian ruling elites as it is something which they themselves could not have dreamt of doing in the name of being the representatives of the Indian Malaysians in our Dewan Rakyat.

    The Barisan Nasional way of discussing and agreeing behind closed doors has not worked for the past 50 years.

    Indian Malaysians are still lagging behind in many areas especially in the areas of government representation and the lack of available seats in blue chip faculties of the public universities in the country.

    We cannot hoodwink the world by saying that one of the richest persons in Malaysia is an Indian and there are a few Indian streets in Peninsular Malaysia which is dominated by Indian-owned textile/garment and cash-and-carry outlets.

    This does not comprise what the working class and the poor Indians are subject to as they look forward to a bright future for their children in this country.

    Hindraf is doing what most Indian Malaysians have been wanting to do all this while but could not due to fear of reprisal by the authorities.

    Let’s see if the Abdullah Ahmad Badawi administration is actually interested in the welfare of the Indian Malaysians in the country or are they more keen to do what that had been mentioned in the recent Umno geeneral assembly where it was openly stated that the distribution of newspapers is being dominated by one race in the country, and it is time that the government takes a look into that too.