Posts Tagged ‘MHS’

Happy New Year

April 14th, 2009
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Well, its been about 8 hours since we woke up to a new year. This year is known as Virodhi (means “enemy” in tamil), but hopefully it will be a good year for everyone. One Hindu priest says there’s nothing to fear:

This year is called Virodhi in Tamil. It means “enemy”.

But there is no need to fear that the Tamil New Year, which begins today, will bring death and destruction, assures Hindu priest Sivasri Thevaindran Gurukal.

Mother Earth is not expected to wreak havoc upon its inhabitants as no great natural disasters are expected.

The name Virodhi, according to Gurukal, indicates that this year will be a time when enmity takes a back seat and peace generally prevails.

However, on the political front, he said there would be instability, and changes in leaders and governments throughout the world.

The Tamil New Year, or Putthaandu, is observed on the first day of the Tamil month of Chithirai.

Gurukal, reading from the Panchangam or almanac, said the year promises to be better for those who have been suffering.

“This goes for nations, businesses, groups, individuals and families. But it can only be achieved with the exercise of great patience and caution.”

Gurukal said although business would be slow and debts would increase, many new ideas, contracts and opportunities would open up.

He said families would become more cooperative, especially in view of the difficult times its members have gone through so far.

“There will be a lot of changes for individuals, including the birth of children and the arrival and achievement of things long wished for.”

Gurukal, however, warned that the political atmosphere in the country and worldwide would be most unstable with unexpected changes in governments and leaders.

He said in Malaysia, there could be some political change come September.

He said the positive thing was that, overall, people would have more say in the governance of nations.

“It is important to seek the advice and blessings of elders before making any new move,” he advised.

Incidentally, the Malayalees celebrate Vishu new year today as well, while the Sikhs celebrated Vasakhi yesterday. The days between 13 to 15 April is very significant in many parts of the world as man cultures celebrate it as new year or some other festival.

Let’s see what some other prominent figures say:

Mariamman Temple chairman Nadarajah:

Sri Mahamariamman Temple board chairman Datuk R. Nadarajah said the Tamil new year, called Virothi, marked the beginning of the Chittirai month.

“All our temples will mark the new year with the abishegam or bathing of the deities at 6.30am followed by a special pooja,” he said.

This will be followed by the reading of the almanac or panjangam immediately after at the Jalan Tun H.S. Lee and Old Pudu Road temples here. The panjangam will, however, be read at the Batu Caves temple at 8pm tonight.

Nadarajah said ponggal, or sweet rice, will be prepared for devotees. The temple board will also distribute 10,000 copies of the new Tamil calendar to those attending the ceremonies.

Secretary of Sri Kandaswamy Temple:

G. Ganesan, the secretary of the Sri Kandaswamy Temple in Lorong Scott, Brickfields, said they would pray for the well-being of the Government and nation, especially since Malaysia has a new prime minister and Cabinet.

Malaysian Gurdwara Council president:

In Seremban, Malaysian Gurdwara Council president Malkith Singh said the Vasakhi celebrations at most gurdwara (Sikh places of worship) began on Sunday with the continuous recitation of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the Sikh holy book. The Sikhs regard the Granth Sahib as their living Guru.

“Our non-Sikh friends are more than welcome to celebrate with us. Vegetarian meals will be served, and they can learn more about our culture and traditions,” he said.

Samy Vellu in NST:

MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu extended greetings to Tamils, Malayalees and Sikhs celebrating their respective new year yesterday, and called on the Indian community to embrace the 1Malaysia concept mooted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

He said the need for unity among Malaysians, particularly among Indians, was vital if “1Malaysia” was to become a reality.

“Unity is the top priority of the new administration and, as such, we as Malaysian Indians must do our part to assist in the unity process.

“We must have strong will and determination to make this happen for the sake of our country,” he said in a statement.

He said the MIC would lead the way in embracing the “1 Malaysia” concept by working with all sections of the Indian community and Indian-based non-governmental organisations.
“We have already embarked on this mission to ensure that the Indian community will have a stronger voice,” he said, urging Indians not to waste time quarrelling over petty and unproductive issues.

Samy Vellu said the government had promised to find new ways to resolve many problems affecting the Indian community “but we too have to work hard and become independent”.

Dr S Subra in NST:

MIC secretary-general Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said the Tamil, Malayalee and Sikh communities have contributed immensely to the nation and that they have been instrumental in the Indian community becoming an advanced society on par with the other communities.

“We have come a long way but we must remain united to ensure peace and stability are sustained,” he said.

The human resources minister called on the Indian community to grab the many opportunities provided for it by the government “as failure to do so will result in us losing out”.

MHS President in NST:

Malaysia Hindu Sangam president Datuk A. Vaithilingam said that with all Indian groups celebrating their new year together this year, it was “definitely going to be an excellent opportunity for the 1Malaysia concept to start off”.

“Let us all pray together for peace and harmony in a united 1Malaysia,” he said and wished Tamils “Putthaandu Valthukkal”, Malayalees “Happy Vishu” and Sikhs “Happy Vasakhi”.

And of course, this year marks the beginning of new leadership in the country, and thus our new PM’s first wish for the Indian community:

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has extended greetings to Tamils, Malayalees and Sikhs who celebrate their respective new year today.

“I would like to wish you a wonderful and prosperous New Year and hope that the well-being of Malaysia and its people are in your prayers. Have a joyous New Year!” Prime Minister said in a statement yesterday.

Najib said the celebrations reminded him of the tremendous value of the country’s diversity.

Today, the Tamils celebrate “Varusha Pirappu“, the Malayalees “Vishu” and the Sikhs “Vaisakhi“.

Body Snatching blamed on MyKad

February 19th, 2009
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Got this from MHS website:

PRESS STATEMENT : MHS Saddened By Confiscation Of Body.

The Malaysia Hindu Sangam (MHS) is gravely disturbed to understand that the body of a deceased man, a practicing Hindu, has not been released to his wife and family for final rites. MHS is informed that the body is being retained by the Serdang Hospital mortuary upon the interference by Islamic Authorities, who have claimed that the deceased is a Muslim.

Mr Amaran was killed in a road accident on 15th February 2009, and his body was sent to the Serdang Hospital for post-mortem. His wife, Valarmathi, was shocked when informed by the hospital mortuary that her late husband’s body could not be released to her for Hindu funeral rites, as the authorities had laid claim to his body for Islamic burial rites instead.

His family maintains that Amaran has been a practicing Hindu all his life. He was married according Hindu ceremonial rites, and his marriage was also recorded in the Civil Registry as him being a Hindu. His children are also registered as Hindus. The family has explained to MHS that when Amaran changed his identity card to the new MyKad, the National Registration Department had erroneously listed his religion as Muslim, when in actual fact he was a practicing Hindu. He had notified the department of this at the time.

This situation is most disturbing and goes against the grain of the spirit of dialogue that has been ongoing between MHS and ACCIN (the Allied Coordinating Committee of Islamic NGOs). This dialogue has been aimed at overcoming conflicting situations such as this from arising, as has been experienced in several prior incidents.

The MHS strongly urges the authorities to immediately release the body of the deceased to the wife and family, so that they may be able to placate their grief on their loss, by completing the necessary funeral rites.

Let the family be at peace. The true spirit of Muhibbah must prevail.

Dated 17th February 2009

Datuk A Vaithilingam
President
Malaysia Hindu Sangam

So, there will be a rush to check our MyKad using Astro decoder dish.  Unless some sordid secret life of the deceased appears, it appears that for all purposes and intent, the deceased is an Hindu.

What the family should do now is get an court order to stop any body snatching and then get some documentation from Registration Dept showing that the error in religion was highlighted prior to his death. I find it ridiculous that just based on the MyKad the so called “authorities” can claim the body. What about proof of conversion? Is there any document in the state religious departments? Are there any witnesses to his conversion? Or was he actually born as a Muslim but the truth hidden from everyone.

I had heard one case where the deceased was a convert (happened in university due to love). But the guy hid the truth from everyone except his mother. The mother married him off to a Hindu lady and they had a kid. When they went to register the baby, the truth came out that her beloved husband was a Muslim.  The wife was forced to convert to Islam in order to keep the children (someone misled her at that time). All the children are now muslims and one of them is getting married to a Malay. The mockery of it is that they don’t practise any of the Islamic tenets. Name only muslim,  but the lady goes to temple and wears her Thali.

MHS on Elangesvaran body snatching case

July 8th, 2008
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Earlier, I wrote that MHS, among others, did not respond to the body snatching case involving the deceased Elangesvaran. It has been pointed out that MHS made a press statement on the 24th (reproduced below) hoping that the religious department does not pursue the case in syariah court. Which is exactly what those people did.

MHS, as the recognised representatives of the Hindu community, were duly ignored.

The statement:

 

MAIP should respect the Federal Constitution and Federal Court

PRESS STATEMENT – 24 June 2008

Majlis Agama Islam Perak should respect the Federal Constitution and the Federal Court.

We refer to the report in the Malaysia Nanban on Tuesday, 24th June 2008 (page 3) regarding the turmoil faced by the family of the late Elangesvaran.

We understand that the late Elangesvaran allegedly converted to Islam at some point. He has now committed suicide, and his body is at the hospital. The Islamic authorities say he died a Muslim, but his family members and friends say that Elangesvaran continued to profess and practise Hinduism all the way through until his untimely death.

The Malaysia Hindu Sangam extends our deepest condolences to his family in their time of grief on the untimely and early demise of Elangesvaran.. We are also saddened that yet again a grieving family is being put through torment because Islamic religious authorities are threatening to snatch away the body of their loved one away.

We have today written to the Menteri Besar of Perak urging him to ensure that the civil courts are allowed to determine the religious status of the late Elangesvaran. Therefore, we urge the Islamic authorities not to prosecute claims in the Syariah court for the bodies of the dead who are in the custody of non Muslim next of kin. If a non-Muslim is a party to the dispute, the Syariah courts should not deal with the matter.

We also urge the Perak State Government to recognise the constitutional right of a non Muslim who may have converted to Islam for some reason to revert to his original religion, or to some other religion. A person’s right to profess and practice the religion of his choice should not be unnecessarily interfered with by the State.

It is our view that the issue of whether the late Elangesvaran was a “person professing the religion of Islam” (quoting the words used by the Federal Constitution) must be determined by the civil courts.

We point out in our letter that it is clear from the unanimous decision of the Federal Court in the case of Latifah bte Mat Zin v Rosmawati bte Sharibun & Anor [2007] 5 MLJ 101, FC that the Syariah courts do not have jurisdiction at all to determine any dispute where a party to the dispute does not profess Islam. The comments of the learned Federal Court judges in latest case of Subashini a/p Rajasingam v Saravanan a/l Thangathoray (2007) also reinforce this proposition already entrenched in Item 1, List II, 9th Schedule to the Federal Constitution.

In our letter, we state our expectation that as a statutory body responsible to advise His Royal Highness the Ruler of Perak on Islamic affairs, MAIP has a responsibility to respect the Federal Constitution as the supreme law of this country and these decisions of our highest court.

The non Muslim family members of the Elangesvaran must have an opportunity for proper access to justice. The crucial question is whether at the time of his death, Elangesvaran professed (or acknowledged) himself to be a Muslim. This must be determined based on the civil law, and the Hindu family members of Elangevaran must be given full access to justice in order to determine this question.

Dated 24th June 2008

Datuk A Vaithilingam
President
Malaysia Hindu Sangam

 

single mothers forced to put children in orphanages

July 8th, 2008
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More of these cases will come to light soon, not only in Penang but all over the country.  MHS and other organizations will be facing more such requests, and hopefully they will be able to generate more funds. Even the expenses for the family paid for by UMIC has increased quite substantially.

MHS should also provide feedback if they approached the EXCO in charge of welfare and the response. The article states Prof Ramasamy’s reply to MHS’s suggestion to set up ration shops, but no indication if MHS approached him or the media interviewed him separately.

The rising cost of living has forced three single mothers in Penang to find help to place six of their children in orphanages. Last week, the three – two from the island and one from Butterworth – approached the Malaysia Hindu Sangam to find a home for their children.

“Each woman has between three and five children and each is sending two children to an orphanage to lighten her financial burden,” the organisation’s Penang branch Social and Welfare Committee head P. Murugiah told The Star yesterday.  He said one mother was jobless, another was earning RM350 a month doing odd jobs while the third earned RM600 a month as a factory worker.

Murugiah said some heads of hardcore poor families have also approached the association for help to place their parents in old folks home.  “They are having problems providing meals for their parents and taking care of their medical expenses,” he said.

Murugiah said the hardcore poor have been severely affected by the recent hike in fuel and food prices.  Citing examples, he said the price of atta flour has increased from RM1.80 per kilo in December to RM2.80 while cooking oil (2kg bottle) has gone up from RM4.50 to RM6.20.  Murugiah said the price of dhal has increased from RM2.80 to RM4.60 per kilo while a brand of the cheapest milk powder has increased from RM9 in January to RM19.50.

He proposed that the state government open ration shops such as being practised in some countries to lighten the burden of the hardcore poor. “The prices of food items sold in ration shops can be subsidised up to 80% by the government. Penang should set up such outlets in line with the Penang Leads tag,” he said.

Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy said the state would consider the proposal. “It is a good suggestion but we will have to consider the financial implications.  “The state is already helping hardcore poor families by giving free rice. We are planning to give water rebates to this group and studying other means to help them,” he said.

Temples in quandry over cabinet ban

April 7th, 2008
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I had a feeling that when Syed Radzi said the application will be approved based on “case by case” basis, its basically a ban. He denied that such a ban exists. The problem started after an announcement in early January stating that there is a ban since 31st December 2007. There were some confusion which even Samy Vellu did not escape. He announced the ban, in INDIA, and later retracted it. The ban was for foreign workers (excluding expatriates) in general from India and Bangladesh. MHS highlighted that the blanket ban would affect the temple-related workers as well. » Read more: Temples in quandry over cabinet ban