Thursday, August 28, 2008

Anwar Back in Parliament

YB Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim was sworn in as the new Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh at the Dewan Rakyat this morning. He is also the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament.

I am no fan of his but he has fought it out and made it back to Parliament. Well done and Congratulations DSAI! The people of Permatang Pauh had spoken loud and clear. We accept and respect that.

DSAI had received
67% of the Malay votes in Permatang Pauh. It ought to tell something to our UMNO brothers. Despite UMNO's campaigning that DSAI is a threat to Malay supremacy, more Malay voters voted for DSAI then the BN Candidate. UMNO leaders should think about it and realize that fewer and fewer Malays are buying into the Malay supremacy concept. Of course the Chinese and Indians are repulsed by it.

UMNO leaders must also come into terms that holding on to this concept will push BN to the brink of collapse. It is difficult to contain the fight over this concept within the four walls of BN for long as component parties are finding it hard to explain to their communities as to why they are in partnership with a party that pushes for supremacy of one race over the other. Its difficult to keep telling people that we are fighting it internally when we have very little to show for it.

Component parties in BN have three options; either push UMNO to change its course, sink with it or go our separate ways. Only time will tell.

Murugesan Sinnandavar

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Vasanthakumar a SB Plant? How Convenient!

The Hindraf Chairman, Waytha Moorthy realeased a brief Press Statement on the 23rd August 2008. In it he dropped a bombshell that one of the five ISA Detainees, Vasanthakumar is a SPECIAL BRANCH PLANT!

Waytha Moorthy went on to explain that “It came to my attention in January 2008 that Vasanthakumar has been planted by the Police Special Branch to infiltrate HINDRAF and upon further investigations the fact became apparent.”

A police special branch plant? He knew it before the General Election and kept quiet about it? Why didn’t he blow the whistle then and further damage BN’s chances?

Come on, not only is this far fetched but it is such a damning accusation against Vasanthakumar. I do not know Vasanthakumar personally nor his background. However I know that this accusation must deeply hurt Vasanthakumar’s family members. To have a son, husband or father detained without trial is bad enough without having one of his fellow comrades call him a turncoat.

Not only were the five detainees denied the right to be heard in court, now one of them is being accused by their chairman of being a government spy without having the opportunity to defend himself.

Regardless of the veracity of these allegations, Vasanthakumar had been condemned to a fate worse then his ISA detention.

Despite his sacrifices, Vasanthakumar will never be able to walk tall in the community as there will always be a lingering doubt about his genuineness. It is almost impossible to disprove such an allegation.

Waytha Moorthi also accused V.K.Regu the ex-Pro tem Secretary and Ramachandran Meyappan alias Ramaji, the Spiritual Advisor of HINDRAF of colluding with Vasanthakumar to “take over the leadership of HINDRAF.”

Now this raises questions about the transparency and the judgment of those that lead HINDRAF. Ramaji is the “Spiritual Advisor” of HINDRAF. If your spiritual advisor is not in sync with your cause, one wonders who is?

How did you go about choosing your spiritual advisor in the first place? Isn’t he supposed to be your organization’s internal compass? Either you chose a faulty compass or your ship is sailing in the wrong direction. Either way you got it wrong!

Waytha Moorthi went on to apologize for concealing these crucial facts all these while. According to him, he did this “solely to protect the unity and integrity of HINDRAF and to avoid the breakup of HINDRAF”.

One begins to wonder what else is Waytha Moorthi concealing from the public in order to avoid “the breakup of HINDRAF?” Perhaps he will one day admit that the people’s genuine support for HINDRAF had been hijacked by certain political personalities for their own agenda?

If it is true Vasanthakumar is an agent of Special Branch, one wonders who else in HINDRAF is an agent of God knows what agency from God knows what country?

Instead of such outlandish accusations isn’t it better for the leaders of HINDRAF to look at their internal squabbles and settle it internally?

In a way, I do understand the dilemma faced by HINDRAF’s leadership. As in any organization, when it grows bigger and becomes more powerful, internal pressure and human nature will make it more difficult to maintain a cohesive front. It is something that they must deal with. This is when the original aim and its delivery on promises will be tested. It is time to walk the talk, not a time to keep blaming others.

How long will HINDRAF keep on blaming everything that is wrong on the BN Government and MIC? Now that they have internal squabbles, there it is again, the convenient bogeyman to point the accusing finger.

Recently someone wrote in Malaysiakini that HINDRAF had been betrayed by the PR in the four new states ruled by them. The writer went on to state that nothing much had changed and PR failed to deliver on the election promises.

Actually, PR didn’t betray the Indian Community.

We were betrayed by the people that asked us to vote for the PR blindly!

PR was just being a political organization that made use of the opportunity.

Mind you, BN had its faults and that is the reason why we performed poorly on GE12. It wasn’t anyone’s doing but ours. We admit that.

Likewise, whether HINDRAF is to progress as an organization or falter will depend entirely on HINDRAF and not outside forces.

Please stop blaming everything on the Government, BN and MIC. Perhaps MIC’s splinter group could be up to something with HINDRAF’s splinter group. We do not know.

MIC has no time or the inclination to meddle into the affairs of others. We are busy getting our act together and reinventing ourselves in order to serve the community better.

Stop crying wolf all the time for people will stop paying attention after a while.

Murugesan Sinnandavar

Saturday, August 23, 2008

MIC bureau: 'Racist' teacher issue not solved

Source : Malaysiakini

MIC bureau: 'Racist' teacher issue not solved

Aug 23, 08 3:04pm

MIC Youth education bureau has begged to differ with the Education Ministry that the issue involving a teacher who hurled racial abuses against her Indian students has been resolved.

Bureau chief M Saravanan voiced his dissatisfaction that no stern action had been taken against the 35-year-old teacher despite numerous calls to do so from various quarters.

“Parents, MIC and NGOs are unhappy with this and want the ministry to take severe action against the teacher. Failure to do so will only cause more anger,” he told Malaysiakini yesterday.

Saravanan was responding to education director-general Alimuddin Mohd Dom who was quoted as saying in the Star on Thursday that the teacher had been given an administrative warning and transferred to another school.

He said all parties agreed that the issue had been resolved and hoped that they would not raise the issue again.

“The Kuala Langat district education office also obtained the assistance of Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator T Murugiah on Aug 5 to set up a meeting between the parents and teachers,” he added.

Alimuddin also revealed that the teacher was placed temporarily in the Selangor education department’s counselling unit.

‘Everybody knows she was wrong’

Meanwhile, Saravanan said this was not an isolated incident and therefore the action taken must serve as a lesson for other teachers not to repeat the offence.

“Everybody knows the teacher committed a serious offence, but even under such circumstances no serious action has been taken,” he said, expressing both disappointment and bewilderment.

Saravanan stressed that the education bureau will continue to raise this issue if the ministry did not act accordingly.

He also said that Murugiah had told a recent meeting on the issue that the transfer was only a temporary measure and a more serious punishment would be meted out.

“However, this has not happened,” he said, adding that the deputy minister should have pursued this matter further.

Early this month, two students from SMK Telok Panglima Garang in Kuala Langat filed police reports against the teacher.

They revealed that the teacher had called Indian students 'keling pariah', 'Negro' and 'black monkeys', among other derogatory names.

In their reports, the Form Four and Form Five students said the teacher also told students during class that 'Indians came from dogs', Indians are 'children of prostitutes' and the community is 'stupid'.

She also supposedly stated that the community's youths 'do not have testicles', 'always menstruate' and indulge in 'thuggery and theft'.

MIC leaders, including its president S Samy Vellu, and various NGOs had expressed dissatisfaction with the ministry and called for stern action to be taken against the teacher.

A MIC deputy minister had also suggested that the teacher be sacked.

Job Opportunities at Bank Simpanan Nasional

Public Announcement

on behalf of
Mrs Jasmine Adaickalam
of Yayasan Strategik Sosial

Job Opportunities at Bank Simpanan Nasional

Eligible Malaysian Indians are encouraged to apply nationwide at branches where there are vacant posts such as officers, assistant officers and clerks. Young Malaysian Indians with Degree, Diploma or SPM Certificate can apply for these posts respectively.

Interested Malaysian Indians with appropriate qualifications can call and go for an interview. You may call the following BSN officers to facilitate this process of interview and also to know further details.

  1. Cik Nazuha Abdul Razak - 03-21623222 Ext 3125
  2. Cik Noor Suzawati Azhari – 03-21623222 Ext 3130

“Once your interview is finalised and your application form has been sent to the bank, the applicants are encouraged to give/send a copy of their application form to Yayasan Strategik Sosial at the following address given. This will enable YSS to monitor the application process."

Yayasan Strategik Sosial

5th Floor, Menara Manickavasagam,

No 1, Jalan Rahmat,

50350 Kuala Lumpur.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Reactions From Pakatan Rakyat Leaders

Pakatan Leaders were quick to react to the arrest of 2 PKR Perak State Exco members by ACA today.

This is what PKR deputy leader Syed Husin Ali had to say about the arrest: the manner the arrests were made "indicates the possibility that the individuals involved may have been victims of entrapment". (source - Malaysiakini)

I am really disappointed with his reaction and statement. They were entrapped? Come on, if they had been clean in the first place how is it possible to lure and trap them at all? Look at the crime, not which side did it!

This has been the typical reaction from PKR leaders when any of their members had done something wrong. Its always the BN conspiracy. Its always someone else's fault. They are never at fault and are always above reproach.

The PKR deputy leader had reacted in a similar fashion when some PKR supporters were caught on camera assaulting members of the press. He had again blamed BN supporters passing off as PKR supporters and assaulting the cameramen. That is really laughable.

Had the assailants were in fact impostors, why didn't the hundreds, if not thousands of genuine PKR supporters standing around apprehend the assailants and hand them over to the police? The incident happened in the midst of wave of PKR supporters. Were they all impostors? Or were the perpetrators allowed to escape as they were or at the very least, thought to be PKR supporters?

Shouldn't the right stand be to call on the police to take action against the assailants irrespective of who they are?

We all know that some supporters can get carried away and take matters into their own hand at times. Such individuals exist on both sides. Action should be taken against them so that they will not be a threat to others or be an embarrasment to the party. Instead of investigating the incident, Syed Husin was quick to cook up a conspiracy theory in order to maintain his party's image.

Commenting on the ACA arrest, Perak DAP chairperson Ngeh Koo Ham claimed that the arrest was a case of 'victimisation' by BN to undermine the state government. He also questioned the 'swift action' taken by the ACA in this case.

How is it that every time a BN representative is arrested by the ACA its "oh look at how corrupt these BN guys are" but whenever the same agency acts against Pakatan members its "we have been victimised"?

If Pakatan is genuine in its call for greater press freedom and cleaner government, they must be bold enough to allow the law to take its course against anyone, even one of its own.

In this respect at least the Perak MB, YAB Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin had the sense to state that those arrested were innocent until proven guilt and that law should be allowed to take its natural course. If only other Pakatan leaders had his sense of statemanship...

Recent events and denials by PKR leaders makes one wonder if they are genuine in their call for transparency and clean government. Or were they merely using it as a slogan to come into power?

I agree that Pakatan's sloganeering will sound hollow if BN had infact had its act together but a wrong is a wrong irrespective of who did it, Pakatan or Barisan.

Lets work towards a clean and transparent government irrespective of which coalition is ruling.

Murugesan Sinnandavar

Two PKR Exco Members Detained by ACA

It was on news flash today that Two Perak PKR state executive councillors and a former PKR state assemblyperson were among six people detained by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) yesterday and this morning.

Political affiliations aside, it is always a cause for concern when people's elected representatives are either arrested or investigated for graft. Let us allow the ACA to carry on its duties without fear, favour or out-side pressure. We should not be quick to jump into any conclusion on the guilt or innocence of those under remand. Let ACA complete its investigations and the accused have their day in court, if need be.

By right I should be gleaming with joy that PKR state excos had been arrested for graft. All these while it had been BN representatives.

But I am not!

I am disturbed by this piece of news as I would if any of my colleagues from BN had been arrested under a similar charge. I am just thinking about what this would do to the trust and hope of the people.

Surely it will erode the confidence they have on the entire political process and the ability of political parties to select candidates with integrity.

Of course there will be allegations of conspiracy and smears campaigns churned out by both sides. Some would ask how come these guys were so quick to put their hands into the cookie jar? (As if there is a cooling off period for such things!)

Leaving all that aside, we must drive home the point that politicians should not AND can not view being an elected representative as a ticket towards personal riches.

Enough is enough.

Political parties and the entire system must ensure that only those who are genuine to serve be given an opportunity. No longer should we stand-by and allow politicians to think that they can earn some side income beyond the reaches of the law.

The view that politics is a means to make money must change. Those interested in becoming rich quickly must look elsewhere and leave politics.

Whether this happens or not is ultimately in the hands of the people who send the message to political parties through their votes.

Murugesan Sinnandavar

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mara oh Marah

We are just a day away from the Nomination Date for the Permatang Pauh by-election. From tomorrow onwards till the results are announced, you won't get any news coverage in the media other then Permatang Pauh.

Before that storm hits us, let us just ponder about the recent suggestion by the Selangor Menteri Besar about allocating 10% of seats in UiTM to non-Malays and the reactions to it. It was merely a suggestion, even that from a person who is not in a position to do anything about it.

Now, the reaction to that suggestion really disturbed me. Why do we need thousands of youths to march to meet the MB to voice their protest? Did they have a police permit for the march? If they did not, then it was an illegal gathering and the police should have come down hard on them, as they had on many other occasions. If they had a permit, why were they given a permit when other similar peaceful gatherings had been denied a permit?

The MB was merely giving his opinion. If you don't agree with it, just tell him so and give the reasons why. What was the need to demand for an apology? If one is to apologize each time one gives a suggestion which is not acceptable to someone else, then we will end up doing nothing but apologizing to each other.

Perhaps the Selangor MB was playing to the gallery but that is no reason to march up to him demanding he retracts his statement and apologizes. If neither Malays or non-Malays can discuss matters pertaining to 'Malay Rights', then who has the right to discuss such issues? What about citizens' right? What about freedom of expression?

Mara is a government funded organization and every citizen of Malaysia has a right to voice their views on it.

Now coming to the politics of it. I know those critical of BN will once again use this to point fingers at BN and UMNO. However, one must bear in mind that MARA opening its doors to non-Malays is not something new.

YB Dato Seri Nazri initiated the move to allocate 10% seats to non-Malays at MRSM Colleges a few years ago. At the request of MIC, the government had also allocated 660 places for our Indian Youths for the Giat Mara Scheme to ease our socio-economic burden. (The government had also promised to increase the intake of Indians under the Scheme if there were more takers. Unfortunately, each year we had to struggle to convince Indian Youths to register for the scheme). So why then did this suggestion from the Selangor MB spark such a reaction? Your guess is as good as mine.

It is unhealthy when people simply take to the streets when they disagree with a view. Let good sense prevail and let us all discuss issues in a civilized manner.

Murugesan Sinnandavar

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

MIC Youth bureau: 'Racist' teacher deserves sterner lesson

Source : http://www.malaysia news/87628

MIC Youth bureau: 'Racist' teacher deserves sterner lesson

Aug 12, 08 12:05pm

The MIC Youth education bureau is irked by how a teacher who hurled stinging racial remarks at her students had been let off the hook.

The teacher had since been transferred to another school in the same district, but the bureau argued that this was not a form of punishment at all.

In a statement, bureau chief M Saravanan expressed dissatisfaction with the Education Ministry regarding this matter.

"This is an issue which touches on racial sentiments. It does not involve an individual but refers to a large number of Indian students.

"The teacher's apology to the students and parents involved is not the best solution and does not diminish the gravity of her action," he said.

"Transferring (to another school) is not a form of punishment or harsh (enough) punishment for a teacher who crossed the boundaries," he added.

Police reports lodged

Earlier this month, two students from SMK Telok Panglima Garang in Hulu Langat filed police reports against the history teacher.

They revealed that the teacher had called Indian students 'keling pariah', 'Negro' and 'black monkeys', amongst other derogatory names.

In the reports, the Form Four and Form Five students said the teacher also told students during class that 'Indians came from dogs', Indians are 'children of prostitutes' and the community is 'stupid'.

She also supposedly stated that the community's youths 'do not have testicles', 'always menstruate' and indulge in 'thuggery and theft'.

Meanwhile, Saravanan said any action taken by the ministry must serve as a strong lesson for other educators.

He said the teacher had tarnished the dignity and professionalism of her profession and therefore was not qualified to be an educator.

He also quoted Deputy Education Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong as saying during an interview that if the teacher was found guilty, stern action such as even dismissal would be taken.

"Transferring (her) to another school is not a stern action as promised," said Saravanan.

The education bureau chief also stated that the teacher must open apologise to all quarters through the media.

He also noted that other teachers might do the same thing in order to get transfers to another school.

The statement also revealed that the points raised by the bureau were endorsed by the parents and residents in the area.

------------------------------------------ end of report ----------------------------------------

Note: Mr. M.Saravanan will be meeting the Minister of Education YB Dato Seri Hishamuddin personally to convey the people's dissatisfaction and present a memorandum pressing for harsher punishment.

Murugesan Sinnandavar

Monday, August 11, 2008

Don't Sweep it Under the Carpet - Punish Her!

Good day! Some readers were kind enough to remind me that I had not posted any article for more then a week. Thanks. I was busy with office work and the Rebranding MIC Workshops that I was unable to pen my thoughts on recent developments.

Two issues have cropped up in the last 10 days. The first is the racial slurs by a school teacher in S.M. Teluk Panglima Garang, Banting. The other is the demonstration by certain groups against Bar Council's open Forum on Conversion.

Racist Remarks

I heard of the first issue a few days before it was exposed in the media. The newly appointed MIC Youth Education Bureau Chairman, Mr. M. Saravanan (not the Deputy Minister YB DatoSaravanan) brought to my attention the concerns of some parents from SM Teluk PanglimaGarang about a certain teacher who had repeatedly scolded students with racist remarks and used harsh punishment methods.

Saravanan was given a free hand to handle the issue. After discussing with the parents, he brought NTV7 together with other members of the media that cared to come to the school. I believe some NGOs were also involved. What the teacher said and did is well known by now and there is no need to repeat it here.

Subsequent to the exposure, other political big guns descended on the issue and attempted to settle the matter with a handshake. That's the Malaysian spirit! Settle a matter with a handshake... or are we sweeping dirt under the carpet?

Here is a teacher who has been entrusted to educate and nurture our children to be good citizens. She is not an ordinary lady, sorry, woman that we bumped into at the pasar malam and shouted racial abuses at us. She is a teacher. A role model. Paid salary with the tax-payers money. Our money.

The latest I heard was that she will be transferred to a nearby school and from what I understand, a school of equal standing with the one that she is being transferred away from.

How is transfer a solution when she has not been punished for her transgression? She actually got away scot-free! People are given the impression that action has been taken when no real action has been taken. What assurance do we have that she will not repeat it at the new school? Transfer her again?

As I write, the MIC Youth Education Bureau will be calling for a press conference together with the parents and the PIBG representatives to demand that disciplinary action be taken against the teacher. Hopefully, the non-Tamil media will also carry the story.

So far the teacher had not denied her action nor openly apologized for it. That being the case, how are we to tolerate or condone such racial remarks from a teacher? She had breached the Government's Standing Order and as a government servant, disciplinary action must be taken against her. What message are we sending to our students? What is the signal we are sending to other civil servants by our inaction?

On the same issue, another cause for concern is the deafening silence by our Malays brothers both from BN and BR. We could have sent a clear signal that we are moving away from racial politics if any of our Malay brothers had stood up and said what she did was wrong. As simple as that. Please tell me if there had been any such statement as I could have missed it.

Although the issue might be viewed as minor by some, MIC Youth had taken a stand on it. We have for far too long settled problems with a handshake without dealing with the real issue. Unresolved issues will rear its ugly head as another problem at another time.

Acts of Hooliganism

Another issue that had cropped up is the demonstration and the disruption by certain groups against the Bar Council's Forum on Conversion. MIC Youth had taken a stand on this issue. The National Youth Coordinator, Mr. T.Mohan had issued a strong press statement against such unruly and unlawful disruption against a peaceful and open discussion. No one is questioning Islam. Bar Council merely organized the forum to enable scholars, lawyers and members of public to air their views and give their opinions. Surely we can discuss issues in a civilized and educated manner without having hooligans disrupting our forum.

Mr T.Mohan had also challenged Hindraf to make a stand on BR MPs that took part in such unruly behavior against an open forum.

The above two issues, thou unrelated, shows a worrying trend in our national integration. Those with moral courage must stand up and be counted. We can't afford to allow the extremist view of a few to move the Nation away from the centre of racial harmony. I would like to hear your views on this. Thanks.

Murugesan Sinnandavar

Friday, August 1, 2008

Wan Azizah; The MAN

My phone has been buzzing non stop today. It has been the same message all day. It is about YB Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail vacating her Permatang Pauh seat and Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim contesting there in a by-election. There is no talk other then this the whole day. Its on the TV, its on the radio, its on the internet, its on the facebooks, its on the phones and damn…., even my doctor is talking about it.

In all the excitement and the gearing-up for the “mother of all by-elections”, a few things just popped up in my mind.

First, the very obvious, Anwar is ‘sure’ of winning there in Permatang Pauh. I won’t bet against him in that seat. Nonetheless, immediately after the 12th General Election, Anwar was so confident of winning in ANY by-election that he did not want any PKR MPs to vacate their seat to enable him to contest. According to him, the call was made based on principles.

He announced that he will contest in the first parliamentary seat that falls vacant ‘naturally’. Now, it takes a lot of gumption to contest in such a by-election as you can’t choose the battlefield or its timing. Probably it made a lot of political sense (and with it the political mileage) to portray such bravado on the wave of the GE12 victory.

However, if you had not been too caught up in listening but instead watched Anwar – he has always been a practical politician. He is contesting in a safe seat. Well done, some people get to keep their cake and eat it too.

Another issue that hangs over us is the timing of this ‘forced’ by-election. Anwar could have imposed a by-election on the nation at anytime after the expiry of his disqualification period. However, he has chosen to do it now, when the Police had just completed their investigations on allegation of sodomy and the Attorney General has yet to decide as to whether or not to charge him.

With this announcement, Anwar had upped the ante. Irrespective of whether the AG proceeds to charge him or close the file, the AG’s decision will be viewed as being politically motivated and magnified as such in view of the impending by-election. It’s a classic case of head you lose, tail I win. If the AG press charges, the government will be accused attempting to thwart Anwar’s political ambition and if he drop charges, the government will be accused of drumming up false allegation to being with.

Actually, I have transgressed from the main topic of my article. In a way, my diversion underscores the very point I am trying to make here. I started out wanting to talk about the woman behind the man, YB Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. Not only was she the woman behind the man, she was also the woman in front, when duty summoned her to the forefront.

Despite our differing political affiliation, I have always admired her courage and fortitude as a person, a wife and a mother. From a simple wife and mother, she took on the mettle to form and lead a political movement and party. She had continued the struggle when the going was tough. She, more then anyone else in this world knows Anwar, the man. And she had always stood by him, no matter what. Now, she is stepping aside to let him step forward. This brings to mind the final lesson in Nelson Mandela’s 8 Lessons of Leadership - Quitting is Leading too.

Well Anwar has taken the lime light – yet again. Whilst everyone is in a frenzy over the coming by-election and the ‘heroic’ Anwar Ibrahim, I thought it would be good for us to be reminded of the true hero that held the fort for Anwar, his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Murugesan Sinnandavar