Posts Tagged ‘Hindraf’

Indian majority constituency?

November 13th, 2011
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I think this is a ineffective proposal. Even if you have few majority Indian constituencies, you still will be one of the 222 elected representatives in the Dewan Rakyat. The rights and issues won’t be championed just because there’s majority constituencies in few areas. The problem goes beyond this as its a mindset of many years of imbalance. I believe even if its a 5% voters in a constituency, it can still make a difference, especially in current scenario where there are many political factions and voter sentiments.

Even if any issues are raised (assuming the speaker allows them), what are the chances of getting a fair hearing and debate if the rest of your peers are not interested?

Another option would be to provide representation for minority communities at Dewan Rakyat level, in addition to the Dewan Negara.

However, they have correctly highlighted the gerrymandering exercise that resulted in a distorted representation in the parliament. I would agree if some of the realignment of constituencies address the problem of gerrymandering as mention by HRP, which may result in creating constituencies with higher Indian voters than present.

The more important thing is for the community to stay united. The better thing for HRP/Hindraf to do would be voter education and constitution awareness. Perhaps they should go on roadshows focusing on this. and also focus on their NGO role. Can work along groups like MyConstitution to get Tamil (and other dialects) version booklets out.

The Human Rights Party (HRP) today proposed to the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reform that there be at least 53 constituencies where Indians make up a significant majority of voters.

Presenting their views, its pro-tem secretary general, P Uthayakumar (right), said this is because the voter make-up in present state and parliament constituencies make Indian voters the minority and as such their rights are not championed in the assembly houses.

HRP called for at least 15 new parliament seats and 38 state assembly seats which are “at least 70 percent Indian majority, with 20,000 voters for parliament and 10,000 for state assembly seats”.

This was, however, rebutted as “backward” by committee member Dr Hatta Ramli (PAS-Kuala Krai) who said that Malaysia should strive to see “any candidate able to stand in any constituency regardless of its voters’ racial make-up”.

But this was contested by Uthayakumar, who said that if Malay and Chinese politicians champion Indian and minority issues, there would be no need for the formation of such constituencies.

“In leading democracies, the majority bend over backwards to lend their voice to the minority,” said the leader of the party, which has its roots in the Hindraf movement.

‘Neglect Indians to our peril’

Uthayakumar’s statement was also not received well by Fong Chan Onn (BN-Alor Gajah) who said that Indian issues do not get overlooked as this would be to a politician’s peril.

“In my constituency, Indian voters make up 15 percent of the voters while in Rasah it is more than 20 percent. We take these voters very seriously. Candidates would probably not be elected if they neglect the poor and needy of other communities,” he said.

However, the HRP chief replied that if Indian issues were prioritised then the 54 HRP activists arrested for demonstrating to highlight such issues would have their charges dismissed like those arrested in the lead-up to and during the Bersih 2.0 rally.

“(Those arrested in relation to Bersih 2.0) are not prosecuted… because Malay and Chinese politicians brought up the issue in parliament and placed pressure,” he said.

Uthayakumar also alleged that 300,000 Indians are “denied identity cards, birth certificates and citizenship”, but this was refuted by a National Registration Department official present, who said that their outreach programmes find that the numbers are far lower.

To this, the HRP secretary-general said that they currently about 200 applications which have the NRD Putrajaya office has failed to process despite multiple attempts to register.

“All sorts of excuses were given… the NRD should advertise their outreach programmes in newspapers and set up a hotline,” he said.

source: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/181077

Confusion over Deepavali holiday in IPTAs

October 14th, 2011
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The 1Malaysia Indian Students Movement (1MISM) launch at UM July this year by PM Najib saw an important announcement regarding extra holidays for Deepavali. It seems, the letter from JPT MOHE to IPTAs on 15th September stated that such holidays are to be given for Indians students only (There’s a copy of the letter here but not sure if untampered). Meaning, Indian (actually should be Hindu, this also don’t know means who la???) students will miss out classes because the classes will still go on.

Worse still, according to one FB entry, there was a comment “Najib bukan VC UKM” (refer here) when students asked why got class on 25th evening and 27th morning.

This will reflect badly on PM Najib and MIC since they were touting extra holidays, but actually its like time off only in some IPTAs. MISM (MIC) better clarify before they cause more damage.

Obviously the IPTAs are in a bind because PM already promised, but to implement, they are the ones who have to figure out ways. I think the IPTAs can do it like schools, by declaring “cuti peristiwa” (event holiday) and replace the classes on Saturdays. If they think that tolerance/sensitivity/acceptance/understanding of various cultures is important, they will find a way and not use reasons like MQA rules as an excuse.

Coming to the question: is convenience of the majority is of more importance than the convenience of the minority, even if the convenience of the minority doesn’t cost/affect much? We talk about national unity and sacrifices, but it doesn’t work for others?

It is very sad that education institutions that are supposed to instill good values of understanding others cultures, acceptance, tolerance etc is in the forefront of being ignorant, apathetic, intolerant and insensitive. What kind of impression are they giving to the students and staff? Should we blame the IPTA management entirely, or the education and social system that they grew up in? Being minority is not easy, and to think its going to get worse is indeed scary.

Even want to implement in IPTA is difficult, imagine want to ask IPTS to provide extra days off for Deepavali! So far heard that MSU having exam on the eve, while Segi KL is closing on eve (half-day) and 27th.

Certain universities are ignoring the government’s directive to give Indian students a longer break to celebrate Deepavali, said the Human Rights Party (HRP).

HRP sec-gen P Uthayakumar (right) in an open letter to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today complained of the “year in and year out recurring problem” for Hindu students who fail to enjoy similar accomodations granted other holidays such as Hari Raya, Chinese New Year and Christmas.

According to him, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) was only exempting Indian students from lectures rather than giving an official break.

“This would cause the Indian students to miss their lectures for three days,” said Uthayakumar.

“Apart from UKM, we are also receiving complaints from in particular Indian students studying in Unimas and UMS that lectures will be conducted as usual even on Deepavali day, which is not even a public holiday in Sarawak,” he added.

Najib, he said, had at the launch of the 1Malaysia Indian Students Movement at University Malaya on July 27 announced that the government would direct  universities to make provisions for the Hindu festive period.

The Ministry of  the Higher Education followed up with a circular on Sept 15 to all public universities to reschedule classes and examinations to allow for a longer break for Indian students.

“In that circular, Indian students nationwide were promised a longer break from 25 to 28 October to celebrate Deepavali which falls on 26 Oct,” said Uthayakumar.

He added that they have received complaints that universities are not implementing other provisions cited by Najib, such as a students’ shuttle service to nearby Hindu temples for students and making available vegetarian food.

“Or is this part of ‘the government policy was good but it’s  implementation was bad’ political play gimmick?” said the HRP sec-gen.

source: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/178646

 

Excerpt from a report in FMT is below:

… In an open letter to Najib, HRP’s pro-tem secretary-general P Uthayakumar, named Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) as among those defying the directive.

“UKM’s deputy vice chancellor, Professor Noor Azlan Ghazali, even told the student leader, Kok Kiong Lum, that there are too many holidays in Malaysia,” he stated.

“He said that even Hari Raya and Chinese New Year holidays are only two days long so it is only fair that just one day be given for Deepavali.”

Uthayakumar further said that UNIMAS was conducting lectures on Deepavali day itself as it isn’t a public holiday in Sarawak.

“The Indian students there must also be given the opportunity to return home and be with their families on this auspicious day,” he said.

source: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2011/10/14/keep-to-your-word-hrp-tells-pm/

 

 

 

HRP wants 23 seats for election

September 16th, 2011
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I don’t think HRP should bother with the protest at PKR HQ. Just proceed with their campaign and nominations. No one can stop HRP from standing in elections (of course, there’s small problem of HRP not allowed to be registered as a party yet, so have to stand as independents or some other methods). If you are good, people will come and look for you, need not worry. Same goes with HRP. If they are able to build a good support from the people at those constituencies, and deemed as threat to BN/PR, then those coalition will come knocking on HRP door.

 

THE Human Rights Party (HRP) is demanding that Pakatan Rakyat give it seven parliamentary and 16 state assembly seats in the coming polls.

The party’s protem secretary P. Uthayakumar threatened that at least 10,000 Indians would protest outside PKR headquarters on the first Sunday after Parliament has been dissolved if their request was denied.

He said HRP was eyeing four state seats in Selangor because one-third of the Indian population lived there.

“In the last general election, we gave Pakatan a chance but it has failed to address the problems faced by the Indian community.”

source: http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/9/16/nation/9514538&sec=nation

HINDRAF still planning to sue British government

June 28th, 2011
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Not sure what to make of this.  Even if sue, no guarantee of winning. I remember the Batang Kali massacre case which was unsuccessful.

And would the UK government pay USD 4 trillion? Sure bankrupt la.

Hindraf Makkal Sakti is set to refile its suit against the British government by the end of he year.

Hindraf chairman, P Waytha Moorthy, originally filed a class action suit on Aug 31, 2007, the 50th anniversary of Malaysia’s independence, against the United Kingdom London courts for US$4 trillion.

The suit was filed prior to Nov 25 historic Hindraf rally in Kuala Lumpur, to demand compensation for Indian Malaysians whose ancestors were brought in by the colonial government as indentured labour.

It claimed that, after granting independence to Malaya, the British had left the Indians without representation and at the mercy of the majority Malays.

However, the suit was stalled following the Malaysian government’s clampdown on Hindraf and arrest of several lawyers, including the movement legal adviser and Waytha Moorthy’s brother Uthayakumar under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA).

Hindraf’s lawyers in London say that to refile the suit they need relevant documents which is kept by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)

The lawyers have made a second request to the FCO to facilitate its impending million pounds suit against the former colonial master.

The movement’s legal counsel in London, Imran Khan (pix below) has made the second request on May 25 this year after the Hindraf’s first request on Jan 6 this year was refused by FCO.

The second request is made to seek access to all documents and information held or that which is within the knowledge of the FCO as well as any material held by any other governmental departments which have had access/dealings with Malaya between 1945 and 1957.

“In the event that the FCO refuses to provide us with the documents, we will then exhaust all internal review procedures to have access to the disclosure of these materials and documents.

“If this too failed, we will pursue other avenues such as a judicial review to force the FCO to release the documents necessary for the claim,” said solicitors Imran Khan & Partners in a statement to FMT.

More documents available

The statement said the FCO has turned down Hindraf’s first request citing that domestic records of colonial administrations did not form part of British official records and they were kept by the individual states created at independence.

It has now come to Hindraf’s knowledge that there were more classified documents held in undisclosed locations by the British government, as stated by Lord David Howell, Minister of State for FCO in the recent “Mau Mau uprising” case in London.

Lord Howell has also said that it was the general practice for the colonial administration to transfer to the United Kingdom, in accordance with Colonial Office instructions shortly before independence, selected documents held by the governor.

Lord Howell has said that these documents were deemed not appropriate to hand on to the successor governments.

FCO is said to hold about 8,800 files from 37 former British administrations, including Aden, Brunei, Cyprus, Fiji, Gambia, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaya, Malta, Mauritius, Nigeria, Northern Rhodesia, Palestine, Sarawak, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, and Uganda.

The UK legal firm said it was first instructed by Waytha Moorthy in 2009 to look at the prospects of re-filing a legal action in the English courts for reparation against the UK government for failing to protect the legitimate interests of the minority ethnic Indian group under the Malaysian Federation Constitution when it was drafted in 1957.

Independently, Waytha Moorthy and a small team of volunteers of their own volition have unearthed nearly 35,000 “declassified” documents from various independent sources.

Hindraf’s solicitors were seeking more classified documents because the documents on hand clearly showed a huge lacuna (gap) in the information leading to Malaya’s independence.

Hindraf claimed that the Reid Commission was partly to blame for the government’s discriminatory policies as the commission did not provide for constitutional protection to the Indian community.

source: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2011/06/24/hindraf-seeking-more-classified-documents-to-sue-britain/

 

MMSP still alive

June 28th, 2011
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I have to thank Bersih for reminding that MMSP still exists. I thought the folks had already closed shop. Last I read about them was some leadership around the end of last year. After that, nothing.

Suddenly this party wakes up and issues a statement. OK, so you are still around.

I enjoyed reading their statement, constantly reminding myself that the president himself was a “protestor” who was “without any hidden agenda”.

Reminds me of a comment someone made over the weekend saying that government-friendly or neutral NGOs were being asked to make police report against the Bersih rally.  Not sure how true it is, but that’s what the person said (having experienced it).

The Malaysian Makkal Sakti Party (MMSP), set up by several key members of the outlawed Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), has expressed objection to the illegal assembly planned for July 9, saying it will not benefit the people.

President Datuk R.S. Thanenthiran said Tuesday the planned street demonstration purportedly to demand free and fair elections went contrary to the wishes of the majority of the people.

The group planning the illegal gathering had been manipulated by certain quarters to promote their own political agenda and not champion the people’s rights as claimed, he said in a statement.

Thanenthiran said the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had proven that the people were enjoying rapid development since he took over the administration of the country.

“Elections in Malaysia are conducted in a fair manner, and this is evident from the number of opposition elected representatives we have now in Parliament and the state legislative assemblies,” he said. Thanenthiran said his party would lodge a police report at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters here at 11am Wednesday and simultaneously in every state nationwide.

He said the party wanted to prevent the people from being subjected to instigation that would result in a negative impact on the nation’s rapid development.

MMSP, which is Barisan Nasional friendly, was set up on May 11, 2009, and launched by Najib on Oct 10 of the same year. – Bernama

source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/6/28/nation/20110628120334&sec=nation