Posts Tagged ‘DAP’

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.”


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.


Ganapathi Rao as candidate for Kota Alam Shah state seat?

September 3rd, 2012
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I’m not sure how many branches there are in Klang, but I guess around 30. And 8 of them reject Ganapathi Rao. With incumbent Manoharan Malayam almost confirmed to be left out, it is interesting to see who are the potential replacements.

Ganapathi Rao is Selangor DAP’s legal bureau chief and is involved with the Malaysian Indian Voice (MIV) group as advisor. And yes, he was projected into the limelight due to Hindraf. He also holds position as a director in the state-owned Kumpulan Semesta Sdn Bhd and is an aide to Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim.

Being voter in that constituency, hopefully I’ll get to see suitable candidates.

Meanwhile, Ganapathi replied as follows and another DAP official said the candidate list is not finalised:

Selangor DAP official V Ganabatirao today admonished those calling on the party not to field him for the Kota Alam Shah state seat, saying they were jumping the gun.

Reacting to statements by eight DAP branch leaders in Selangor, he said the objection was premature because the party had yet to announce the names of candidates for the coming election.

“I myself do not know whether I will be fielded to contest in Kota Alam Shah,” he told FMT. “Candidacy is decided by the central executive committee. It is too premature to speculate.”

He rejected his detractors’ claim that members of the eight Selangor branches were against his candidacy in Kota Alam Shah, saying the branch leaders were had their own agenda and were expressing their personal opinions.

“The objections are individual opinions of people with their own agenda,” he said. “The objections are not resolutions from the branches.”

Another DAP official confirmed that the party had not finalised its candidates’ list for Selangor.



Eight DAP branches here have called on the party leadership not to field V Ganapathirau (photo) as candidate in Kota Alam Shah state seat in the next general election.

The branches, all from the state constituency, warned the party leadership that the DAP would lose the seat if Ganapathirau, a former detainee of now repealed Internal Security Act, was fielded.

The DAP eight branches, with collectively some 500 members, openly opposed Ganapathirau are Taman Gembira, Klang, Teluk Pulai, Bayu Tinggi, Taman Chi Liung Indah, Southern Klang, Persiaran Raja Muda Musa and Ehsan.

The group spokesman Ivan Ho said they were all against Ganapathirau because he was not a local familiar with the party grassroots leaders and members, or constituents in the area.

Ho said Ganapathirau does not have close rapport with party grassroots in the constituency, a winning factor so crucial for a potential candidate.

He urged the party leadership to respect grassroots sentiments and not to force in parachute candidates like Ganapathirau in Kota Alam Shah.

“DAP members and constituents don’t know him much.

“The party should not push us to accept Ganapathirau.

“We don’t want him,” Ho, the Taman Gembira branch head, told FMT.

Kota Alam Shah incumbent assemblyman is M Manoharan, a protégé of DAP national chairman Karpal Singh.

It’s learnt Selangor DAP leadership under Teresa Kok planned to replace Manoharan, also a former ISA detainee, with Ganapathirau.

Ganapathirau is a staunch confidant of deputy secretary general and Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy.

Not an Indian hero

Taman Chi Liung Indah head K Yogasigamany reminded the state party leadership that time had lapsed to promote the Ganapathirau as a former ISA detainee and his so-called involvement in Hindraf Makkal Sakti.

He said DAP grassroots members and constituents know that Ganapathirau, who now leads NGO Malaysian Indian voice, was not a Hindraf leader.

“Constituents have realised that Ganapathirau was never the Hindraf leader or Indian hero.

“He is no more relevant for Indian community.

“It will be futile and fatal for party leadership to field Ganapathirau in Kota Alam Shah.

“The leadership should drop the idea altogether,” Yogasigamany told FMT.


Hitam Metalik comment by DAP Assemblyman

November 29th, 2011
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The youtube video (taken in September) below shows DAP Adun for Pantai Rames, Nga Kor Ming describing Perak MB who is dark-skinned as “hitam metalik” (metallic black), in reference to the MB’s appearance. He claims it was made as a joke. Looking at the event, it seems to be organised by PAS, and after he mentioned those words, people actually laughed! Wonder if they understand their own religion or not. Maybe that’s why he said its a joke. But as a elected representative, he should have not mentioned those words which are discriminatory in nature.

Now it is left to be seen what action DAP is going to take on their ADUN. Would he apologise and they just accept it? Or suspend his membership? Or other actions? Wonder what YB Manoharan got to say about this.

So far DAP still silent ,which doesn’t bode well for their suspect image.

YB Manoharan’s seven motions for Indian community

August 29th, 2011
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The seven motions:

1. Felda-like scheme involving 2000 acres of land for 200 hardcore families.

2. RM10 million fund to be set up to assist Indians in small and medium enterprises.

3. set up an Indian affairs bureau under the purview of the menteri besar.

4. at least 10 acres of land for all Tamil and Chinese schools in the state.

5. renaming Jalan Barat in Petaling Jaya to Jalan V David to commemorate the late unionist.

6. seven percent discount for all poor Malaysians who are purchasing homes from the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS).

7. “no demolition” order or shifting of temples erected in the state before 2008.

Number 7 was accepted with a modification:  no demolition or shifting a temple without the approval of the executive council in charge.

Motion number 1 is difficult due to land scarcity, but I believe Selangor still got plenty of land outside Klang Valley which can be utilised for agriculture. The state government can even consider reserving certain percentage for the poor Indians in any schemes being implemented/planned.

Motion 2 is not a big problem. Can easily be set up.

Motion 3 is even easier.

Motion 4 is noble indeed. Must be supported.

Motion 5, well, not exactly top of my list. Can even consider naming some of the new projects being done by the state government instead of renaming, if its an hassle.

Motion 6, totally agree. Not sure if anyone in the right mind will disagree to this.

Motion 7, as it has been amended, we can hold the executive councillor in charge responsible if any demolition happens.

Out of the 7, 3 are outright motions to help Indian community, while the other 4 are mixed or of no direct help.

Gotta agree with the YB, this kind of motion was unheard of before this. I hope its retabled and let’s see how the state government responds.

I’m not sure what the senator Barat Maniam meant by saying that MIC representatives will support the motion if BN wins Selangor. Someone need to table the motion FIRST, before you can support it. So, would MIC representatives make promise to table such a motion?


Just days after Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers conceded that the opposition pact, which rode to victory in five states on the wave of Indian support in 2008, had failed the community, a legislator revealed that several motions beneficial to Indians had been dismissed by the Selangor State Legislative Assembly.

According to Kota Alam Shah state assemblyman M Manoharan, the assembly has dismissed seven motions which he had tabled in July.

He said if the motions had been passed and become law, not only would the Indians have benefited but all the poor in Selangor would have also found reprieve.

Explaining the motions, Manoharan said he had moved for a Felda-like scheme involving 2,000 acres of land to be set up for 200 hardcore Indian poor in Selangor.

He had also moved for a RM10 million fund to be set up to assist Indians in small and medium enterpries in the state.

“I also tabled a motion to set up an Indian affairs bureau under the purview of the menteri besar and asked for at least 10 acres of land for all Tamil and Chinese schools in the state,” he said.

The other three motions he had tabled were renaming Jalan Barat in Petaling Jaya to Jalan V David to commemorate the late unionist, a seven percent discount for all poor Malaysians who are purchasing homes from the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) and a “no demolition” order or shifting of temples erected in the state before 2008.

“But the only motion that was accepted by the assembly was the temple order.

“But that too they (Pakatan lawmakers) tweaked to read no demolition or shifting a temple without the approval of the executive council in charge,” said Manoharan, who added that he will again table the same motions in October sitting of the assembly.

Land and housing

Manoharan, who was upset with the dismissal of his bids, said it was “high-time Indians enjoyed the benefits denied to them since Independence”.

“About one-third of the entire Indian population in Malaysia lives in Selangor.

“If the motions had been passed and become law, they would not only help Indians but also all those who are poor in the state.

“I asked for the land so that we can teach the Indian community to cultivate it for agriculture or livestock.

“This would also empower our youths and deter them from joining criminal activities,” said Manoharan,who is from the DAP.

On the housing issue, he said owning a house was a basic necessity for everyone.

He added that PKNS was in a position to assist Indians and the low-income earner acquire homes.

“PKNS is an established property company and it makes money from its housing projects.

“Surely, it can help our low-income people by offering discount.

“Besides, the Menteri Besar (Khalid Ibrahim) is the chairman of the government-linked agency and he can monitor it directly,” said Manoharan.

Malay votes

Asked why the other Pakatan state assemblymen refused to support his motion, Manoharan said it could be due to fear of losing Malay votes.

However, he added that even the Malay assemblymen were aware that the Indians were left behind in many areas.

“Some lawmakers did come to me after the state assembly meeting and said my ideas were good.

“But when I asked why they didn’t support it then, they kept mum,” he said.

However, Manoharan stopped short of criticising the Pakatan state government, saying the assemblymen now enjoyed more freedom to table their motions unlike in the previous state government.

“The Indian representatives then would not even dare to table such motions.

“I must thank our current speaker (Teng Chang Khim) for allowing more freedom in the assembly.

“And I am going to table the motions again in the next state assembly sitting in October. I’m confident my fellow Pakatan assemblymen will support me,” said Manoharan.

‘Good ideas’

Meanwhile, newly appointed Senator V Subramaniam, however, supports Manoharan’s motions, saying the ideas “were good”.

Subramaniam, however, conceded that allocating 10 acres for Tamil schools in Selangor would be tough as some schools were located in densely populated areas like Petaling Jaya where land is scarce.

“However, the rest of the motions are good. The (state assembly’s) rejection shows that Pakatan is not sincere in helping the Indians despite riding high on the community’s votes in 2008,” said Subramaniam, who is better known as Barat Maniam.

Subramaniam, who is Petaling Jaya MIC’s division chief, said if BN wins Selangor in the next polls, MIC representatives will support the motion to improve the Indians’ lot in the state.

“The ideas are in line with the 1Malaysia concept. If we win in the next polls, we will look out for the welfare of all Malaysians.

“Besides, that is why we are elected into the post,” he said.

Last week, Indian DAP leaders conceded that the opposition pact had failed the community after having a closed-door meeting involving 50 DAP members, including lawmakers.

One DAP member said that Pakatan is doing “another BN” for Indians in Selangor, Penang and Kedah.

Among those present at the meeting were DAP national vice-chairman and Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran, Penang DAP deputy chairman and deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy, Perak DAP deputy chairman and Tronoh assemblyman V Sivakumar, Perak DAP vice-chairman and Sungkai assemblyman A Sivanesan and former ISA detainee V Ganapathirau.


Kulasegaran’s loss his own doing

November 19th, 2010
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The recently ended DAP Perak polls saw, in Kulasegaran’s own words, “slaughter” of his team by the other side, the Ngeh-Nga cousins. Kula’s team only won 1 out of the 15 places, that too, scrapping in at the 15th place (the team member, Jalong assemblyman Leong Mee Meng, was treasurer in past committee and yet barely made it!).

Kulasegaran, the deputy chairman for Perak (he won the last DAP elections with highest vote, yet end up nominated as deputy only!)  who is also the national level vice-chairman, pointed finger at addition of 60 new branches (each branch contribute 7 delegates) as the reason for such a skewed and unexpected result. The number of delegates this time around have more than tripled from the 306 delegates who voted during the 2008 state party polls.

Of the party’s 1,228 delegates, 972 turned up to vote. Of the total, 42 votes were spoiled. Kula only managed to secure 395 votes in total, placing him at 17th place, behind his closest ally, Thomas Su Keong Siong, the Pasir Pinji assemblyman. That means, about 60 per cent of delegates who cast their votes rejected his bid to stay on as a member of the DAP Perak state committee.

The voters (and public) already been fed with news about feud between Kula and Ngeh-Nga for last one year or so. So, its not a secret that voters may choose to vote for one team instead of for individuals. Kula should admit that his lack of strategy caused the failure. He should have opened more branches and shored up support for his team, instead of leaving it to the existing and new delegates. Thus, for me, the defeat is own doing.

Maybe his threat to quit earlier also did not go down well with the delegates. Wrong strategy/advice?

To rub salt into the wound, the newly elected committee offered to co-opt him (and another loser Sivanesan) as vice-chairman, which is a demotion since he was deputy chairman before this.  Former State Assembly speaker V. Sivakumar, considered as one of Kula’s disciples, was made the new deputy chairman replacing Kulasegaran.

Initially, Kula said:

“I am shocked with today’s results. Maybe I will retire from politics entirely,” he said.

“This is very difficult for me,” he added.

Kula has confirmed that he won’t be taking up the offer to vice-chairman, while Sivanesan has accepted.

“After having weighed all opinions and taking into consideration the present political development and circumstances within Perak DAP, I have decided to decline the cooption offer from the state committee as a state committee member and as state vice chairman,” he said.

He added that he had also taken into consideration the feedback and views offered to him from party leaders, grassroots members and supporters on whether he should accept the co-option.

“I stated earlier that among the factors which I should like to find out was how best I could continue to play an effective and meaningful role in state politics.

“Since then, I have received much valuable feedback which I appreciate very much,” he said.

Kulasegaran, however, stressed that his rejection of the co-option offer today did not spell out his exit from DAP politics.

“This decision is in no way an announcement that I am quitting state politics.

“I pledge to play my active and continued role in both state and national politics to help achieve the Pakatan Rakyat’s twin electoral objectives – to recapture Perak state power and to march towards Putrajaya,” he declared.

So, what to say?

  • You didn’t get place in top 15.
  • Your disciples got better results.
  • Your team got slaughtered.
  • You didn’t shore up support by creating new branches.

What logical result will this lead too?

Another attempt in few years time?

Empire strikes back or Return of the Jedi?