Posts Tagged ‘Marginalisation’

Nambikai

October 29th, 2011
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As mentioned by Senator Ramakrishnan, its probably a first time a Prime Minister attended so many Deepavali open house on the day. Makkal Osai, Hindu Sangam and MIC open house, after arriving from Riyadh (Saudi prince funeral) and flying off to Australia (for CHOGM). That’s shows some extra commitment from PM.

“Nambikai” would be a common word now for the politicians and likes to woo Indian voters.

While there are changes being made to overcome the neglect in last 4 decades, I think the community has to evaluate if the changes (or transformation) are holistic, permanent, appropriate, on par with those for other communities, impactful and swift.  No point if you get RM1 million if others get 10 times more than that. Can’t be no budget for you but got for others right?

Nambikai works both ways, you know. Its not easy to earn it. We don’t to want to have the case where “nambinor kai vidda pattar”. That applies to any coalition who is wooing the voters.

 

What matters now to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak are the Indian voters who had sided with Pakatan Rakyat out of anger for Barisan Nasional. It is their trust, confidence or hope’ that he seeks at the next general election.

NAMBIKAI. It’s a frequently-used Tamil word by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during his Deepavali rounds.

Warm reception: Well-wishers flocking to shake hands with Najib at the MIC Deepavali open house in Batu Caves on Wednesday.

Variedly translated as “trust, confidence or hope” the word, as used by him, refers to the high level of confidence the Indian community had in the MIC, Barisan Nasional and Najib’s predecessors prior to the 2008 political tsunami.

He wants the community to return to that level, saying that the Government was doing much to help the Indians overcome their issues by providing them with government jobs, blue identity cards, birth certificates and, above all, attention from the Government.

Soon after he flew home from Saudi Arabia, where he had attended a royal funeral, Najib criss-crossed the capital to attend Deepavali open houses. He then left for Perth to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

Nambikai featured prominently in his messages, suggesting he wants the community to believe in what he is doing and to have confidence in the Government, especially in what it can do for them.

Before 2008, nearly 80% of the Indians in the country had backed the ruling party and their votes were considered a “fixed deposit”.

Right up to the Ijok by-election in Selangor in April 2007, the Indian voters still believed in the Government although, by that time, the urban Chinese votes had already swung to Pakatan Rakyat.

It all changed with the Hindraf protest seven months after the Ijok polls.

The Indians gathered in their thousands in the capital and protested against marginalisation, discrimination and loss of jobs.

They lost their nambikai in the Government. In its place was disenchantment, disillusionment and disbelief in anything that the Government did or said.

The MIC and especially then president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu came under heavy shelling.

Barisan was punished over policies that allegedly included breaking temples, demolishing squatter homes and denying jobs even low-skilled jobs for Indians in the Government.

Pakatan gained tremendously from the Indian revolt but since Najib took over as Prime Minister, they have begun to lose out to Barisan’s charm, campaign and the transformation plans.

The Indians who voted for the Barisan in 2008 remain hardcore supporters of the coalition.

What matters now are the rest of the voters, who had sided with Pakatan Rakyat out of anger at Barisan.

It is their nambikai that Najib seeks as the drum beats of a coming general election grow louder.

On his campaign trail in the 2008 polls, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim wore dark glasses and self-styled himself as Sivaji, after a character in a Tamil movie. He was a hit.

But after winning the Indian voters, almost by default because they were angry with the Barisan, Anwar has virtually forgotten them.

Najib, on the other hand, is working hard to earn the community’s trust.

He set up a special implementation task force and proceeded to redress some of the most glaring wrongs that the Indian underclass had suffered from.

Gradually, he worked his way through meetings with various ethnic groups living under the “Indian community” label, i.e. the Sikhs, Telegus, Jaffa Tamils, Malayalees and the Tamils.

He met and embraced their leaders and offered vital financial help to their organisations.

For example, the Sri Murugan Centre, which helps poor Indian children in education, got an injection of funds. Likewise, the Temple of Fine Arts.

Four years after 2008, the winds of change have begun to blow in the community and the Indians are warming once again to Barisan and the MIC, as believed by the party.

More than just his policies to repair damages, Najib has gone to the ground to mingle with the ordinary people.

The challenge is to translate his popularity into votes for Barisan.

How Najib will do it is yet to be seen but for now, he is asking the Indians to have nambikai in the Government, and they are beginning to respond.

Losing nambikai is easy but winning it back is hard, as Najib knows.

source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/10/29/nation/9797384&sec=nation

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/

 

 

 

matriculation exam starting day after Deepavali

October 14th, 2011
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Time after time we notice the same issues. Officially of course its a one day public holiday, but where’s the sensitivity, acceptance, understanding and empathy? You don’t expect students to go back for the festival and return in a day, do you? We don’t see any exams on the very next day of Hari Raya, Chinese New Year or X’mas, even though official holidays are one or two days only.

Conclusion: 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?

And MIC, is still at the stage of “hoping” after so many years. They should have blasted the relevant departments instead of dragging ministers into this. Simple thing also want to see PM or minister. Very embarrassing.

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? Year in, year out the same thing happens. But since everyone is hopping on to 1Malaysia bandwagon in recent times, the folks at Bahagian Matrikulasi should thought ahead and foreseen this issue. Should we blame them 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.

MIC president Datuk G. Palanivel said he had spoken to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak about the matriculation examination that has been fixed a day after Deepavali on Oct 27.

Palanivel said he had also spoken to Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who said the Education Ministry was aware of it.

“Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who is also Education Minister, said they were considering postponing the exam to a new date,” he said via SMS to Bernama here on Friday.

Palanivel, who is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said he raised the matter after receiving complaints through SMS and phone calls from the Indian community.

He said postponing the matriculation exam would go down well with Indians celebrating Deepavali and hoped the deputy prime minister would make an announcement soon. – Bernama

source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/10/14/nation/20111014152506&sec=nation

Another disputed conversion case in Seremban

September 22nd, 2011
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We just read about the college student in Perlis whom was converted, and today there’s another case in MK. This kind of problem won’t go away until the laws are tightened and more protection is given to the family institution of the non-Muslims.  Unfortunately, the powers-t0-be are not seen as doing anything to solve the problems. Rulers council, religious councils and the government – we have not heard any positive news for nearly a year now.  I think this is the problem when religions are not given equal footing in terms of administration or when laws are not fair to all.

Just imagine 30 strangers come to your house to claim the deceased’ body. What an intimidation. Will definitely create anger amid the family members. Probably the family should make a police report against criminal intimidation and harassment since no proper profof is provided, but being Bolehland, I guess the report won’t be worth the paper its was written on.

Part of the cause of this problem lies on our lawmakers, rulers and the authorities. Before asking others to be tolerant, to find alternatives or be patient, why not they correct/improvise the existing laws? Don’t simply blame the families or communities.

Anyway, what a weird situation, allegedly converted and died 3 days later.

The religious status of a recently deceased man has sent his family into a tailspin after religious authorities in Negri Sembilan went to their house to claim his body earlier today.

The body of Lawrence Selvananthan, 33, was scheduled to be brought to a church in Seremban at 3pm today for a funeral mass followed by his burial, but his family was stopped by police and Negeri Sembilan Islamic Affairs Department (JHEINS) officials who claimed that he had already converted into Islam.

The deceased’s cousin, who asked to only be identified as Jenny, said they were approached by police officers at the family home in Lukut, Port Dickson at about 12.40pm to inform them that they could not proceed with the burial.

She said the police officers showed them what she described as a photocopied document, detailing Lawrence’s alleged conversion into Islam.

“They told us that he just converted three days ago. The name and IC number were correct, but there was no photo. We’re not even sure of (the authenticity of) the signature,” she said when contacted by Malaysiakini.

It is understood that Lawrence, a lorry driver, was found unconscious in his parked lorry by family members, and declared dead on arrival at the Seremban General Hospital sometime last night. The cause of death is unclear.

Both sides in discussion

PKR’s Port Dickson state assemblyperson Ravi Munusamy, who was mediating between the two parties, confirmed that there was a stand-off between the family members and JHEAINS and police officers.

He estimated at least 30 officials went to the house to claim the body, though both sides have since entered discussions, which were still ongoing at the time of writing this article.

Ravi pointed out that the family members are sceptical over the conversion claim as the witness to Lawrence’s alleged conversion did not turn up despite being asked to verify the claim.

“Even the signature on the document is not his. His brother confirmed it is not his (Lawrence’s) signature,” he added.

Jenny stressed that the situation is only making things worse for the family, as they cannot even grieve over their loss.

“The family is very sad. His daughter lost a father and his wife lost a husband.

“They said he had already mengucap (took his vows of conversion) at the department, but by right they should have informed his family immediately. We think this is very unfair to us,” she said.

source: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/176585

former Tanah Merah Estate workers to get land and house

September 13th, 2011
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After waiting for 20 over years, hopefully their dream will come true. If we can provide so much for the proposed refugees from Australia, surely we can do at least equally or better for our own citizens.

 

For the 150 former Tanah Merah Estate workers and their families, news that the state government is to acquire land to build houses promised to them two decades ago is definitely a cause for celebration.

Many of the former workers, who are now renting houses in low-cost schemes outside the estate, had almost given up hope that the pledge made to them years ago would be honoured.

M. Mariamah, 72, a rubber tapper, is looking forward to moving into one of the houses the state plans to build on the 6ha site in Tanah Merah near here.

“After years of waiting and hoping, the homes promised to us will finally be built.

“Many of us were born there and it is where we raised our children, too … but once we retired, there was no choice but to leave the estate,” she said at her son’s house in Taman Jimah Jaya.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan gave him the good news during a meeting at the MB’s office in Wisma Negeri in Seremban last week.

Dr Chua said the pledge to help the estate workers own houses had been made by a former Barisan Nasional representative, but could not be fulfilled due to several factors.

It was learnt that the state government would spend some RM2.7mil to acquire the land from Sime Darby.

R. Govindasamy, 55, said he was glad the long wait was over.

“Almost 80% of the residents of the low-cost houses in Taman Jimah Jaya were former Tanah Merah Estate workers.

“Many of us could not afford to buy our own homes and had no choice but to rent low-cost houses nearby,” he said.

G. Malliga, 52, who was a general worker at the estate, said she had been renting a three-bedroom low-cost home for RM200 a month since leaving her job due to health problems.

Port Dickson local council member Datuk King C.F. Lim, who met with some of the former estate workers and their families yesterday to share the good news, said he was grateful to Dr Chua and Mohamad for making good on the promise.

source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/9/13/nation/9463330&sec=nation