Archive for the ‘Indian’ category

Thaipusam holiday in Kedah soon?

July 15th, 2013
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I know, got plenty of serious things to blog about….am still compiling materials. In the mean time, what PR govt failed to do in last 5 years may come back to haunt it. Newly elected BN govt is saying that wheels are set in motion to make Thaipusam a public holiday in Kedah. Not sure if its possible by 2014 (still got 7 months++). If it succeeds, then it will look bad on PR especially the PKR reps who were even EXCO in the state. If the promised Tamil schools are completed by next election and no other controversies, then can say the Indian votes in Kedah are secured for BN for GE14.

Let’s see how this progresses…(and back to more serious stuff like conversion and IPTA intakes — coming up soon)

 

 Kedah is likely to get a public holiday for the Hindu festival of Thaipusam, in keeping with an election promise of the Barisan Nasional.

The application for a Thaipusam public holiday is to be discussed at the weekly meeting of the state executive council on Wednesday, said State Religion, Indian and Siamese Community Affairs, Human Resources and Tourism Committee chairman Mohd Rawi Abd Hamid.

“I hope the outcome of the meeting will bring good news to Hindus in Kedah because the time has come for Thaipusam to be a state public holiday as Kedah has almost 20,000 Hindus,” he said after a visit to the site of the Sri Ramakrishna Organisation building in Alor Semadon, here, Sunday.

The Sri Ramakrishna Organisation was established to conduct free motivation, religious, computer and music classes for youngsters. The organisation has applied for RM40,000 from the state government to conduct these classes.

Meanwhile, Kedah MIC treasurer R. Muniandy said the application for a Thaipusam public holiday was submitted a long time ago.

In 2008, the Pakatan Rakyat promised to consider the matter if it won the election but the promise remained just that after the pact came to power in the state.

“We are thankful to the BN for having taken the initiative to grant the Thaipusam public holiday much-awaited by Hindus in Kedah,” he said. – Bernama

source: http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2013/07/14/Kedah-to-get-Thaipusam-holiday.aspx

SJKT St Joseph still standing on stilts built in 1924!

June 7th, 2013
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This is the SECOND time this school’s misery is published in newspaper. Already once in January, and before that in 2011. So that’s 2.5 years. Already. Nothing to be surprised as the school remains the same as in 1970s, and standing on the same stilts built in 1924. Another 11 years it will centenary celebration for the stilts.

Before GE13, MIC’s Dato Saravanan visited and mentioned about relocation.  6 months down the lane, still waiting for decision. Will forward this to newly minted Deputy Minister of Education P Kamalanathan to see how things are progressing.

No canteen, no field, no computer lab, no science lab. AND still does well in UPSR.

Do you believe these parents will vote for you?

89 years old: St Joseph was built in 1924 on wooden stilts. Today, it still stands on the same wooden stilts. The school does not have a canteen, field, library, science lab or computer room.

89 years old: St Joseph was built in 1924 on wooden stilts. Today, it still stands on the same wooden stilts. The school does not have a canteen, field, library, science lab or computer room.

PARENTS of children attending an 89-year-old Tamil primary girls’ school in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur are calling on the Government to make good its promise to build a new school for them.

SJK (T) St Joseph’s board of governors want to know what progress has been made on a pledge that they be relocated.

In January during the distribution of RM100 school assistance by then Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk M. Saravanan, parents had requested for a new building with proper facilities.

Following this, Saravanan announced the Government had allocated three acres of land in the Batu Muda people’s housing project (PPR) where the school would be relocated to.

He said the land belonged to the Education Ministry, and that it was ideal because it could accommodate a football field too.

“Saravanan told us an announcement would be made before the general election,’’ school board chairman Alice Fatimah said. However, they have not heard anything since.

“Every day they (parents) ask me to update them on when we are getting the land. Their children’s future is at stake,’’ she said.

“We want the authorities to come clean about their plans for our school, especially when there are rumours that something else is being planned for the land.

“We will go to Putrajaya to see the Prime Minister if we have to.”

She reiterated that they were only asking for what had been promised.

Alice said St Joseph would be holding its annual Sports Day on June 15, and the school authorities needed to look for sponsors to bring pupils to the venue.

We face this problem every year. Since we have no school field or proper facilities, we have to beg for sponsors to provide us with a venue to carry out activities such as Sports Day.

“This time, we are holding the event at La Salle Sentul, but we still need funds to transport the children there.

“In April, we organised a Science Day for the children but we could not afford to hold it at a different venue. We had no choice but to cram over 100 pupils into the assembly area.

“This is not the way to educate children, we clearly need a more conducive environment for them,’’ she lamented.

All this can be settled once and for all if the Government builds the school,’’ said Alice, who was formerly the St Joseph’s parent-teacher association (PTA) chairman.

Former PTA deputy chairman Kobi Subramaniam said there were rumours the land had been allocated for another project.

A parent who only wished to be identified as K. Menaka said she studied at St Joseph in the 1970s.

“It was tough back then, with no facilities, but nothing has changed for my 10-year-old daughter who is studying here now,’’ she said.

Parent M. Shankar said with so many Indian representatives in the government, someone should take the responsibility to solve the problem.

“Enough is enough, it is time for action and we want this matter resolved once and for all,’’ Shankar said.

St Joseph was built in 1924 on wooden stilts. Today, it still stands on the same wooden stilts. The school does not have a canteen, field, library, science lab or computer room.

Its pupils sit under trees during recess and have been doing their sports activities by the roadside.

According to Alice, the school receives some funds from the Education Ministry from time to time to repair the leaking roof and termite-infested building.

“Clearly, long-term solutions are needed for the well-being of these children,’’ she said.

In January, StarMetro reported that the owner of the land had asked the school to relocate.

Due to uncertainty over its future, the school authorities were not able to proceed with renovation plans on the ageing structure.

“It would be pointless to keep renovating when in the end, we do not know what the future holds,’’ Alice pointed out.

The partially-aided school has five classrooms, 135 pupils and 15 teachers.

Those interested in helping the school can call Alice at 012-305 9615.

source: http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2013/6/7/central/13207439&sec=central

Sg Siput MP shares his election story

June 7th, 2013
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Just one month since our 13th General Elections. Here’s a story on the election campaign moments by Sg Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar. He is one of the underdogs in this campaign and managed to block return of MIC to Sg Siput by defeating one of the MIC nice guys, SK Devamany. The article below is to remind us of the election dramas that happened throughout the country.

 

By Dr Michael D Jeyakumar

The sheer volume of complaints we received indicates how little trust the Malaysian public have in the EC. And it is good to see that the Malaysian public are prepared to monitor the polling process itself to ensure it is not hijacked by any party.

There were many complaints of electoral irregularities, if not fraud, during the course of the 13th general election campaign and during polling day.

As this seems to be a hotly debated issue, I would like to share my experience as the candidate for the Sungai Siput parliamentary constituency.

There were many voters who came claiming that their names were not on the Election Commission’s list of voters though they had voted in previous elections. We have recorded their names down and intend to take this up with the EC.

There were also others whose names were registered in the voting list of other constituencies though they had voted in Sungai Siput before, and had not applied for a change in constituency. This too we intend to follow up.

It was painfully obvious that the BN campaign was far exceeding the RM200,000 expenditure limit for a parliamentary seat. Their flags, banners and posters by itself would come to much more than that.

House-owners who allowed the BN to tie banners on the fronts or sides of their houses were paid RM300!

There were numerous programmes during the campaign period when the BN gave out hampers, gift vouchers, and conducted lucky draws with rice cookers and toasters as presents.

There were several programmes where government agencies launched projects, such as the ground breaking for a new Tamil primary school and the handing out of Tekun loans amounting to RM2.5 million to about 100 applicants.

The BN candidates (for the parliamentary and two state seats) were the guests of honour in these sort of events while the opposition candidates were not invited.

Buses to ferry voters

On polling day, our supporters found four tour buses parked in Sungai Siput.

When my team and I when to check, there were no passengers in sight – but the drivers said that they had brought Malaysians working in Singapore back to Perak to vote.

We made a police report and the police detained the four buses and took statements from the drivers.

We were given a list of 35 names by one of the bus drivers – young Malays and Chinese mainly. No foreigners!

When we contacted the handphone numbers recorded in this list, the people named confirmed that they had come on that bus from Johore to Perak on May 3.

We have not been able to identify the passengers from the other three buses yet, but intend to try and do so by contacting the companies. But we do not have any proof that these buses brought in foreign voters.

In any case, our people in the Pondok Panas did not notice foreign looking people trying to attend the voting centres.

Many voters also complained about the ink that washed off. I called the returning officer and he said that perhaps the bottle of ink was not shaken properly. We advised all those complaining to make police reports.

Ballot boxes by helicopter

There are video postings of a young SPR officer guarding two yellow ballot “bags” in a field. That field happens to be in Sungai Buloh in Sungai Siput.

They contained the 237 votes from Orang Asli voters in Kuala Mu. As was agreed, polling at Kuala Mu stopped at 2pm, and the votes were counted there in the presence of PAS counting agents.

The Borang 14 was given to these counting agents, and the ballot papers were then sealed in these two bags and flown by helicopter to Sungai Siput. All these arrangements were made known to us on the afternoon of nomination day.

So this is not evidence of any hanky panky here, but a crowd of about 500 Sungai Siput residents had surrounded the ballot bags and it was only after I arrived and assured them that it was okay that they allowed the SPR to take these bags to the main counting centre.

Another complaint filed to us is the wilful delay in announcing the results.We got the copies of the Borang 14 from most of our polling centres by 8pm. By 8.30pm we knew we had won by about 2,800 votes.

However it took the EC another five hours to announce the result. Painful, but there wasn’t anything sinister in this.

It was the process of tabulation – the EC required each of the 104 “Ketua Tempat Mengundi”to submit his Borang 14 to the Returning Officer, the ADO. This would be typed in and projected on to a screen to enable the candidates to cross-check against their own Borang 14.

After a few minutes, an assistant to the Returning Officer would announce over the mike that vote results from such and such school had been accepted, and it would be added to the cumulative total. Openness and transparency can be time-consuming!

Entrance of 8 EC bags at 11.30pm

Many people in the hall were alarmed when this happened. I was already about 5,000 votes ahead when this happened and many supporters were anxious that extra votes were being brought in to cheat us of our victory! Again, nothing sinister.

The votes from three interior Orang Asli villages were not counted at site, though the process of voting was observed by our PACA.

These votes were brought out by four-wheel drives to the District Office where they were counted under observation of my and PAS’ counting agents.

The “Undi Awal” were also counted then. Apparently it was all done one by one which is why it took several hours to complete. These arrangements were made known to all parties contesting on nomination day itself.

PRU 13 was not a fair one. The mainstream media and government agencies supported the BN shamelessly and openly. And the BN spent far more than the legally permitted limit for each constituency.

There are serious lingering doubts about the authenticity of the voters’ lists. However in Sungai Siput, we were not able to find conclusive evidence of significant cheating during the polling process.

The sheer volume of complaints we received indicates how little trust the Malaysian public have in the EC. And it is good to see that the Malaysian public are prepared to monitor the polling process itself to ensure it is not hijacked by any party.

There is a much higher level of citizen activism to preserve the sanctity of the polling process compared to before. This is good for a democracy and we must say our thanks to the Bersih movement.

And Syabas to the general public. If we want a better system we have to put some effort into creating it.

Dr Michael D Jeyakumar is PSM’s winning candidate for Sungai Siput. He defeated MIC’s SK Devamany and an independent by a majority of 2,793 votes to retain this seat

source: https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/05/13/no-significant-cheating-in-sungai-siput/

Girl proves Malaysian citizenship claim via DNA test

May 31st, 2013
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 This is interesting. The judge asked the parties involved to settle the claim. The girl underwent DNA test and its proven she’s biological daughter of a Malaysian man. Remember, the NRD can reject claim for citizenship without need to give any reasons, so how are they going to handle this? I suppose she’s not terrorist/communist/committed treason/having duplicate citizenship. She’s going to school, so should be able to converse in BM, sing Negaraku etc.

 The govt had filed to strike out claim based on technicalities, but obviously that’s not going work in terms of popularity or justice in the eyes of community. Its clear cut she’s Malaysian.

Can future cases be solved in this manner? All those having citizenship claim should submit copy of DNA test alongside application form.

 

A 13-year-old girl went through a DNA test and successfully proved that she is the biological daughter of a Malaysian citizen and is, therefore, entitled to get citizenship.

High Court judge Justice Rosilah Yop asked the parties involved in the civil dispute to look into possibility of settling the claim after the DNA findings confirmed that her biological father was a Malaysian, her lead counsel Annou Xavier said on Friday.

Xavier said that the report dated April 26 from the Chemistry department had confirmed that Malaysian lorry driver S. Nanthakumar was the girl’s biological father.

Xavier said that the Government, during a case management of the suit, had asked the girl to go for a DNA test.

The girl – Yanesha – has named the National Registration department (NRD) director-general, the Home Ministry secretary-general and the Government as defendants.

Senior Federal Counsel Maisarah Juhari confirmed the details saying that she would consult with the defendants on whether they want to settle the claim.

Speaking to reporters here after the court proceedings in chambers, Xavier said that the Government had, so far, filed an application to strike out the claim for a citizenship.

“They said it (the dispute) should be filed by way of a judicial review application and not by way of asking for declarations through a civil claim,” he said.

He said the defendants said that the girl had delayed making the application by many years.

Xavier said the girl had applied for citizenship under Article 15A of the Federal Constitution (special power to register children) in 2005 and 2011 but there had been no response from the NRD director-general.

“Yanesha had to apply for a student pass from the Immigration Department to enrol in a public school and sit for examinations,” he said.

He said the judge had set July 31 to ascertain the outcome of the matter.

Yanesha, whose father is a Malaysian and mother Judith Guballo is a Filipina, filed the civil claim through her aunt S.Yogeswari.

Yanesha, who was born at Bandar Sunway on May 3, 1999, is currently staying with her aunt after her parents separated.

She was given a birth certificate with the status Bukan Warganegara’ (Not Malaysian citizen).

Among others, Yanesha is seeking a declaration that she is a citizen under the Federal Constitution and wants the court to direct the defendants to issue a new birth certificate and a MyKad to her.

She is asking for an order that NRD registers and updates her name into the register as well as damages and costs.

source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?sec=nation&file=/2013/5/17/nation/20130517125221

Kasthuri Patto the new MP for Batu Kawan

May 13th, 2013
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We seldom see Indian women leaders or politicians. MIC’s women leaders seemed to be missing on national media. Can’t see any news about them. Even the young MP below, Kasthuri Patto is featured after winning the Batu Kawan seat. Hopefully she will be more prominent and be a good role model for future Indian women politicians.

 

Kasthuri Patto got her first taste of life on the campaign trail in 1995, when she was only 16, tagging along with her famous father as he stumped the length and breadth of the country canvassing support for DAP in that year’s general election.

DAP lost badly in the April 1995 election and P Patto, the party’s deputy secretary-general and editor of the Rocket, died two months later of a heart attack.

Little did Kasthuri know then that nearly 20 years later, she would be campaigning for herself in an election that would see DAP emerge as one of the biggest victors.

Her victory in the Batu Kawan parliamentary contest last Sunday was nothing less than convincing. She beat BN’s Gobalakrishnan by 25,962 votes in the racially mixed constituency of 57,593 voters.

The 34-year-old microbiology graduate told FMT she was surprised that DAP even considered her as a candidate in the recent election.

“I consulted my close friends in the party as well as my mother,” she said. “They all told me to accept the challenge and gave their blessings.

“Being Patto’s daughter might have been a factor in the decision of party elders to choose me as a candidate.”

Perhaps those elders were also impressed by the work she had done for the party.

Although she did not intend to enter active politics after graduating from Universiti Malaya, she maintained a close association with DAP and served in various capacities in the party’s social work, particularly in constituency services in Bukit Gasing and Subang Jaya. She was also one of party advisor Lim Kit Siang’s secretaries.

She told FMT her victory in Batu Kawan might not have been possible without the help of her father’s former comrades. She made special mention of P Ramasamy, one of Penang’s deputy chief ministers and her predecessor as Batu Kawan MP.

“Prof Rama was very helpful and supportive, and he shared his experience in tackling issues affecting the constituency,” she said.

Recalling the experience of campaigning for election, Kasthuri said she often felt like a newcomer when facing young voters.

“But it was not the same case among elderly voters. The moment my dad’s name was mentioned, no further introduction was needed.”

Kasthuri attributes her victory partly to her fluency in English, Malay and Tamil. “I picked up a few Hokkien phrases while campaigning and intend to improve on other Chinese dialects.”

Apprehension

She admits to a little apprehension at the beginning of her campaign, saying she found it difficult to assess the ground sentiments.

“My concern, obviously, was at least to match the majority of votes secured by Prof Rama in the last general election.

“I was also worried when PM visited Batu Kawan twice.

“However, when the official results were announced, it felt as if a big bonus had been given to me and the party workers.”

The victory comes with some personal sacrifices. Kashturi and her mother are planning to move house to Batu Kawan from Damansara, where she has been living for some years.

“I used to meet residents in Gasing every week and I will be missing them. It’s like leaving your own family behind.”

Nevertheless, she is looking forward to her first appearance in parliament. She said she was eager to highlight the “pressing socio-economic problems” confronting her constituents. These range from a shortage of decent housing to a lack of proper water and electricity supplies to limitations in healthcare services.

“Health issues have always been my concern,” she said. “Medical costs are rising beyond the means of even the middle income group.

“I can assure taxpayers that healthcare need not be costly. What we need is more commitment and dedication from people directly involved in the health sector.”

Besides that, the first-term MP believes in empowering public institutions like the Royal Malaysian Police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

“They are treated as servants of their political masters,” she said. “They should be given back their dignity.

“I strongly believe there should be reforms across the board, not only within the law enforcement agencies but also in all government agencies.”

She said even those civil servants who could legally make decisions on their own and on the spot were often rendered ineffective by pressure from their political masters.

“They avoid dealing with issues or problems brought to their attention by just saying they are in no position to decide.”

Kasthuri agreed that the teenage girl who used to follow her father around had come a long way to take a seat in Parliament. But she said she still had some way to go to master the skills needed to carry out her responsibilities in the tough male-dominated world of Malaysian politics.

Her advantage is that many of her late father’s colleagues and admirers are still alive and willing to be her mentors.

“I am getting inputs on all the dos and don’ts that an opposition MP should observe and the priorities I must set as my constituency’s representative,” said the young politician.

source: https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/05/13/kasthuri-walks-out-of-patto%E2%80%99s-shadow/