Posts Tagged ‘Pakatan Rakyat’

Waytha requests to meet PM Najib Razak and PR leader Anwar Ibrahim

August 30th, 2012
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This is interesting. I wonder which of the requests will be successful. None, both or one of them? PM Najib may say he has the MIC and other NGOs, so why bother with Waytha and Hindraf. Or he may think that this is good opportunity to bring Hindraf into his side as its still has strong support in some areas.  Not sure about Anwar as he may agree to meet and nothing concrete may turn up.

Anyhow, I agree that much more could have been done all this while by both sides. They’ve been pussyfooting and doing small stuff and make its sound so grand.


Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) chairperson P Waythamoorthy, who returned to Malaysia earlier this month, has requested to meet Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim separately to discuss approaches to permanently addressing the socio-economic problems of marginalised Indians.

In a statement issued today, he said, “Hindraf believes all past and current approaches fall way below the power curve needed to resolve the problem permanently.

“It is also Hindraf’s belief that a permanent solution and the mechanics to arriving at the solution lies first in a proper definition of the problem, something we believe has eluded the policy-makers and problem-solvers up to now.

“To achieve this there need to be prerequisite political will. This is also another key element that has been missing in all past and current efforts”.

Yesterday,the movement delivered two letters to both leaders respectively requesting for the meetings.

Waythamoorthy said the meetings are to confirm first, the demonstration of that political will and then to work out the details and modalities for the solution.

“We are approaching this initiative with an open mind and are willing to talk to both the leaders as they both share the leadership of the governments in the country.”

‘We will let the people decide’

Waythamoorthy urged Najib and Anwar, who he calls “prime-minister-in-waiting”, to view this as an opportunity to demonstrate their seriousness and commitment to resolving the socio-economic problems of the marginalised Indian community.

“We have requested that both the leaders respond back within two weeks or by Sept 11 to our request for this meeting. It is also our intention to get the meetings going before the end of September 2012. We look forward to having these meetings.

“We will let the people decide on the respective attitudes shown by the leaders in their responses to our request. But we will go on, nevertheless, as we have ‘miles to go before we sleep’,” he added.

Waythamoorthy left the country soon after the Hindraf rally in November 2007 to take the movement’s campaign global. His passport was revoked on April 2008.

After nearly five years of self exile, he returned to the country on Aug 1 without a hitch.


Pakatan Rakyat’s shadow budget

October 4th, 2011
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Update: Some details of the shadow budget is available on Lim Kit Siang’s blog here.

I haven’t read the federal opposition’s shadow budget in full, but only the points mentioned in newspapers. The budget costs RM220 billion and will reduce the deficit to 4.4%.  Revenue is RM181 billion, with the expected income from auctions of approved permits (APs), higher oil prices and reintroducing import tax on 200 luxury items that was lifted by federal government last year.

The shadow budget proposed that

– RM22 billion is used for subsidies

– RM5.9 billion to implement minimum wage of RM1100 for civil servants

– reallocate RM10 billion from PM’s department to other ministries.

– an annual allowance of RM1,000 to be given to mothers to encourage them to enter the workforce

– a RM1,000 bonus for senior citizens with annual income of less than RM18,000 as well as for qualified housewives

Other details are not available yet, so I’m not sure how the budget will be provided for.  The news in cyberspace so far seem to indicate a less than enthusiastic response, mainly with the proposal to implement minimum wage for civil servants.

I would have proposed that bonus for senior citizens to be RM3600 instead of RM1000, probably in the form of vouchers. The annual allowance of RM1,000 for mothers also too little. I would have proposed to have a compulsory creche/nursery in workplaces or buildings with tax incentive given to those employers who provide such facilities. Also, provide tax incentive to those employers who promote telecommuting. Maybe also encourage employers with more than 500 employees to provide bus free services to their employees to reduce pollution and traffic jams.

I would also propose a big allocation for education to implement single session schooling which can kill many birds with stone.

I would also proposed a gradual reduction in civil service size in line with the international norms, which can help alleviate the salary increment cost. Probably also toss in some privatization exercise to reduce size of civil service.

We have to wait till Friday to see how the federal government’s budget turns out before able to make any comparison.



Hudud Law (again) ?

September 23rd, 2011
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The bane of the opposition coalition raises its head again. Hudud law, which triggers opposing reaction from DAP, PKR and PAS since they first started to cooperate (refer selected cases in 2008, 2009, and 2010)is back again. Looks like an yearly affair. And more bonus for BN to take a hit at the opposition coalition.

This time,  PAS says wants to implement Hudud in Kelantan. And the PR head, Anwar Ibrahim says the following in support of PAS:

“For now, in general, in principle, I believe this can be implemented. Looking at the specific areas, and there is clear guarantee that there is administration of justice.

“It does not in any way infringe on the rights of non-Muslims,” Anwar told reporters outside the Jalan Duta courthouse here.

He explained that Kelantan’s hudud law plans were “specific” and it covered two important aspects — a fair administration according to Islamic law and ensuring that the rights of non-Muslims are protected.

“It is a specific area that affects Muslims and does not impeach rights of non-Muslims. The proceeding makes sure that administration of justice is guaranteed,” he said.

Coming from politicians, I don’t believe statements that say “doesn’t impeach” or “rights are protected” kind of messages. Always need to read the fine print.

Cue the Tiger of Jelutong:

DAP chairman Karpal Singh, who was taken aback by Anwar’s stand to support hudud law said: “The punishments for these offences are flogging 100 times for intercourse between an unmarried couple, stoning to death for adultery, amputation of hand for theft, death for apostasy, flogging 40 times for alcohol consumption, flogging 80 times for false accusation of adultery and death by sword or crucifixion for highway robbery.”

Karpal also said the fear among non-Muslims that the implementation of hudud law was a step forward in the creation of an Islamic state was justified.

He said the implementation of hudud law would also contravene the Federal Constitution.

Karpal also said the rekindling of the hudud issue ran contrary to PAS’ resolve during the recent muktamar to push for a welfare state.


The DPM says agree with Hudud but now is not the time to implement as need to spread lot of information to get the public’s support. Comments from MCA, MIC, Gerakan, PPP, MMSP and other non-UMNO members/affiliates seems be missing at the moment.

I think the religous aspect should only affect the followers of that religion, and not infringe on others, which in case of this particular religion does seem to be so. The regulators of religion in Malaysia, through their actions, doesn’t give me much faith that this Hudud law will be implemented correctly or fairly. I mean, if you go around body snatching, snooping in the middle of the night, barging into hotel rooms, converting students, banning yoga and certain dance, and so on, then definitely, this Hudud law will spell more trouble for the non-Muslims.

We seem to have lame duck parliamentarians and assemblymen (like in Selangor previously)  who simply sign away our rights, so based on this, I think Hudud law is a potential danger.

I’m also curious about the options available under Hudud laws. If indeed its only for Muslims, then what is the outcome of the following scenarios?

1. Robber is non-Muslim while victim is Muslim.

  • Can the robber decline to be tried under Syariah/Hudud (which should not rise in the first place since he’s non-Muslim)
  • Can the victim demand to the case to be tried under Syariah/Hudud?
  • Who has the final say when there’s a conflict of demands?

2. Robber is Muslim while victim is non-Muslim.

  • Can the robber insist/decline to be tried under Syariah/Hudud ?
  • Can the victim decline the case to be tried under Syariah/Hudud?
  • Who has the final say when there’s a conflict of demands?

3.  Muslim and non-Muslim involved in Zina.

  • Can the couple insist on being tried under civil laws?
  • Can they be tried separately under different set of laws?
  • Who has the final say when there’s a conflict of demands?

4. Can a non-Muslim lawyer represent a accuser or the defendant?

If such laws are to implemented, then it must be clearly stated that it is only for the Muslims. Secondly, the non-Muslim bodies must take this opportunities to revisit existing Islamic laws and insist on correcting those that infringe or are unfair to the non-Muslims, for example conversion cases. But in my opinion, I think the non-Muslim organisations won’t be consulted and the decisions will be implemented arbitrarily.

Yes, the laws are quite detailed, there’s the need for burden of proof, proper and qualified witnesses and so on. BUT, remembering our enforcement and way of doing things, all these will look nice on paper only.

Do read a bit on Hudud. Check out Wiki (English and Malay) for a start.

Kedah Exco says have helped Malaysian Indian community

September 6th, 2011
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Same excuse: “cleaning up the mess of 50 years can’t be done in 3 years”. I think some of the mess can be cleared in short time, provided got willpower. It will be good for the state government to come out with its report card to show what difference has been made. Mere RM229k for 58 school is nothing to shout about as it works out to barely RM4k per school. No difference from RMK plans which allocate pittance to Tamil schools. You can say that this is something new and previous government hadn’t gave anything but “giving something is better than nothing” won’t work anymore because the other party can give something more than the “something” you are giving.  You have to move fast and come out with better plans and execution.

Wonder what is the status of the land allocation for schools. Last 3 years, don’t tell me can’t even get land for any of the 49 partially-aided schools? Hope can enlighten us on this matter.

Noticed it covers the standard stuff: school, temple, cemetery, NGOs.

A Pakatan Rakyat state assemblyman has dismissed allegations by certain quarters, including a few Indian-based NGOs, that the Kedah state government had not done much for the Indians there.

According to Bukit Selambau assemblyman S Manikumar, the state government had done its best to help the community bearing in mind its ‘limited resources’

“It’s unfair to expect Pakatan to clean up all the mess left by the Barisan Nasional in more than 50 years within three years.

“But we are trying our best to help the Indian community in the state with the limited state resources (that we have).

“We are not getting the amount of allocation that other BN ruled states get from the federal government,” said Manikumar who also heads the state’s tourism, Indians affairs and human resources portfolio.

Citing Tamil schools and temples as examples, he said the Pakatan-led state government had done far more for the state’s Indian community than MIC.

“Talking on Tamil schools, there are 58 Tamil schools in Kedah and only nine are under the fully-aided category (which means they receive full financial grants from the federal government).

“The rest 49 Tamil schools are partially-aided schools where the money given by the Education Ministry is only for the purposes of school activities and not for the upgrading of the school infrastructures.

“This year the state government allocated RM229, 000 to be disbursed to all of the 58 Tamil schools.

“The amount each school received varied depending on the needs of the particular schools,” he said.

Tamil schools and NGOs

Manikumar claimed that such disbursements to all Tamil schools had never occured during BN’s rule in the state.

According to him, in the past money came only during election campaigns when MIC will request ad-hoc allocations for certain Tamil schools and that there was no proper structure to the disbursements.

“But under Pakatan government, the allocation for Tamil schools are included officially under the state yearly budget,” he said.

He also slammed Indian-based NGOs who complained of receiving nothing from the state government.

He said unlike the BN regime which cared less for proper allocation strucure, the Pakatan state government insisted on paperworks and proper documentations.

“We had given RM7, 000 last year and RM20, 000 this year to Kedah branch of Malaysia Hindu Sangam (MHS) to carry out activities that are related to the community. The activities were to weed out social ills among Indians.

“We can’t entertain every single NGO that come without proper paperworks or documentations to back their claims.

“I proposed to the state government to approve the request by MHS based on the documentation evidence of their programmes and activities.

“MHS itself is an established NGO and was founded in 1928,” explained Manikumar, who is also the PKR’s central leadership council member.

Temple and cemetry

He also pointed out that the Kedah state government had granted a land title to the 100-year-old Sri Mahamariamman Temple at Jalan Bakar Bata in Alor Setar.

“The temple was granted a land title last year and the temple land has been gazetted under National Land Code.

“Also this year the state government approved and allocated five acres of land for a cemetry for the Hindu community in Langkawi.

“During BN’s ruling for more than 50 years MIC never took the initiative to get the land title for the temple or a Hindu cemetery in Langkawi.

“But we have done it in less than three years,” Manikumar told FMT.


Looka like no holiday in Kedah for Thaipusam

September 6th, 2011
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Its easy to promise, but not easy to deliver. Last time they never study how hard it is to get the leave approved, now telling must do more “evaluation” on this matter.  This is surely a black mark on the PR coalition for being unable to fulfill their promise.

On calls for Thaipusam to be made a public holiday in Kedah, Manikumar said the matter was still under consideration.

“We in the state government don’t have any objections but there are many rules and acts to be studied first.

“The thing is that the state holiday quota has been fully utilized and we need to amend the state constitution. Then we also need to get the consent of the Sultan of Kedah.

“At state government level we had a series of meetings on this issue but we also need to consider the opinion of the private sector, especially from the industrial sector as there are concerns on their productivity.

“So we are still evaluating many aspects on this,” explained Manikumar.