Posts Tagged ‘PKR’

PKR elections heats up

September 22nd, 2010
|  Subscribe in a reader | Subscribe to by Email

As expected Mike Manikavasagam, Gopalakrishnan and Xavier Jayakumar have thrown in their hats into the fray. Another candidate mentioned by Malaysian Insider is Suresh Kumar, an aide to PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim. I think left with Sivarasa to make announcement.

Can expect lots of backstabbing and juicy stories from now till election date. Goes to show these folks are same as (if not worse) that the other coalition.

Read what Gopalakrishnan says:

Hitting out at vice-president R Sivarasa, who is also the Subang MP, Gobalakrishnan accused him of not performing in addressing issues faced by the Indian community.

“I’m not happy with Sivarasa’s leadership. When I raised Indian issues, he never listens to me and he has not served the Indians,” said Gobalakrishnan (below, in dark suit) pointing out that 10 representatives from various divisions in Selangor are backing his bid.

If you have guts, you should tell the shortcomings as it happens. Not when its election time and everyone fighting for post. And remember, people want to hear what you can do, not what other people can’t do.

Meanwhile, the indian candidates seem to be banking on estimated 35% Indian members in PKR. However, its a big “if” whether the members will come out to vote. Secondly, would the vote along racial lines, and if they did, wouldn’t so many candidate split the votes?

Banking on a claimed 35 per cent Indian membership in PKR, the party’s community leaders have launched into a mad dash for the vice-presidencies up for grabs in the ongoing party elections.

Indian leaders in PKR, the source of the membership estimates, claimed the racial breakdown puts them in a strong position to secure at least one of the four posts in contention (a fifth is by appointment). They further asserted that the community’s representation in the party may be as high as half of the 400,000 members.

“With such a huge and lopsided Indian membership in PKR I am confident of winning,” said an Indian leader contesting as vice-president, who requested anonymity. “I am confident Indian members would cross for at least one Indian candidate maybe even two.”

“All I need is some Malay and Chinese votes to clinch a deal,” he said.

To secure the extra support, the Indian hopefuls have also been trading horses with other non-Indian leaders vying for other posts, offering “Indian” in return for “Chinese” or “Malay” backing.

However, the assertions of the disproportionately high Indian membership in PKR has been challenged by some party members and political analysts, who point out that the community constitutes just eight per cent of the country’s population.

The leaders making the claims, however, offered up as examples divisions in Selangor — such as Kapar, Klang and Kota Raja — which have sizeable Malay and Chinese populations but were dominated by Indians.

The contentious numbers have also given the Indian leaders a perceived advantage in the contests.

“We have a head start,” said another vice-presidential hopeful.

Currently, only two vice-presidential candidates — Suresh Kumar, an aide to PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Selangor exco member Dr Xavier Jeyakumar — have declared their candidacy.

Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam said he would contest for spot if PKR divisions nominate him. Two nominations are needed to contest for any of the party’s top posts.

Other Indian PKR leaders are, however, expected to join the fray. Top on that list are Padang Serai MP N. Gobalakrishnan and Subang MP S. Sivarasa.

Other lesser-known Indian candidates are also expected to contest, but PKR sources have dismissed them as “spoilers” out to bargain for posts.

With at least five or six Indian leaders vying for one vice-president’s post, a mad scramble is expected among them.

Some of the group, such as Sivarasa, do not consider themselves as merely representatives of Indian community but instead viewed themselves as representing all Malaysians.

That very principled stand might by their undoing because they are coming under attack from the other Indian PKR leaders for not being “Indian” enough.

“PKR is multi-racial but Indians need representation. They need a leader to speak up for them bravely in the party and outside,” one of the Indian contestants said.

“Sivarasa is not speaking up,” he said while campaigning among PKR Indian members in Ipoh, Perak last week. “I know we are multi-racial but speaking up for your people is basic because Malays and Chinese PKR leaders speak up for their communities.”

“Only our leaders want to be Malaysians but they (Malays and Chinese) are not,” he said.

Jeyakumar has also suffered the “not Indian enough” attacks, after being characterised as being “not [a] good Tamil speaker, don’t know Tamil songs, ignorant of Tamil history, not bold and constantly kowtowing.”

Sivarasa’s Tamil proficiency has improved in response and Xavier, by most counts is a fluent Tamil speaker, but the labels continue to stick and they have to answer for it largely because their progressive styles, which is viewed with suspicion by the conservative Indian base.

But there are many trade-offs to this “Indian vote real Indian” campaign and one is a possible backlash against such a race-centric movement, with Malay and Chinese members voting for candidates like Sivarasa and Xavier in protest.

The other is that the estimated high Indian membership notwithstanding, not all of them — or all PKR members — would come out to vote.

It is also not a foregone conclusion that Indian PKR members would vote for Indian candidates over candidates for other races.

Candidates are estimating that only 20 per cent of the 400,000 PKR members would come out to vote, with their voting patterns still an unknown.

“It is anybody’s guess because this is the first time direct elections are being held,” said a PKR strategist. “We are not sure ourselves but believe the votes would go the way Anwar signals it, if he signals at all.”

Being realists, the PKR Indian leaders who are banking on the “Indian vote Indian” movement are also claiming to be close to Anwar or to have his blessings to contest.

Two big line-ups are likely, PKR leaders said, referring to a rival teams likely to be fielded by deputy presidential rivals Azmin Ali and Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

Both these leaders are said to be searching for the right Indian leaders to be listed in their line-up, with their main consideration the ability of their choices to bring with them Indian votes in the deputy president’s contest.

As of now, Gobalakrishnan  and SIvarasa are said to be in Zaid’s camp while Manikavasagam fielded an appearance among the MP’s who have endorsed Azmin but may still shift his allegiance, according to his supporters. Jayakumar has also similarly backed Azmin.

These alliances remain fluid and promises to see a dramatic switching of sides as the battle shapes up.

Go learn Tamil la MP Sivarasa

July 19th, 2010
|  Subscribe in a reader | Subscribe to by Email

Undoubtedly, if one wants to connect with the Indian community in the rumah murah, estates, squatter areas, kampungs, and low cost houses in cities, Tamil language is an important tool. MP Sivarasa has been sitting in Subang, so not much of a problem communicating with the folks there.  But go national, and you’ll have a problem.

Yeah, most Tamil people nowadays can understand BM or English (the pasar type also OK la), but nothing beats a fiery speech or friendly banter in Tamil.

Solution is simple la, go and enrol in Tamil class, or better still, hire a personal tutor. My friend Arun learnt Tamil within months until can quote Tirukural.

After all, learning a new language is always an asset (that’s we tell others right?).

“Nandri” and “Vanakkam”, I think every MP and ADUN can say la. No big deal.

From the Star:

There are rumblings on the ground about PKR vice-president R. Sivarasa’s inability to speak Tamil – and this may be a liability for the leader in the party elections at the end of the year.

Some grassroots leaders have openly expressed their wish for Sivarasa to be voted out because they are unhappy he cannot communicate effectively with Indians who did not have a good grasp of English.

They want either Kapar MP S. Manickavasagam or Padang Serai MP N. Gobalakrishan to contest for the post.

Bukit Beruntung/Bukit Sentosa Indian Community Association vice-president N. Nadaraja said the post should be held by a leader who could speak fluently in Tamil.

“We want an Indian leader who can communicate with us effectively to highlight our grouses to the top leaders.

“Sivarasa could not even communicate with the old folk in the estates because he can only say simple words like nandri (thank you) andvanakam (greetings),” he said.

Sivarasa, also the Subang MP, is of Ceylonese descent.

Nadaraja, also a PKR member, said they would nominate Manicka­vasagam to contest the position.

Nadaraja added that they were also dissatisfied with Selangor executive councillor Dr Xavier Jayakumar for a similar reason.

Meanwhile an on-line news portal reported that 40 Indian leaders had met party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to express their dissatisfaction over Sivarasa’s inability to speak Tamil.

The group lobbied for Goba lakrishan to take up the post.

Sivarasa, when contacted, said a language handicap should not be regarded as a communication barrier in a multi-racial society.

“Furthermore PKR is a multi-racial party, and its leaders are obligated to serve all the people regardless of their racial background.

“Not being able to speak a certain language is not an issue,” he said.

Sivarasa said even though he could not speak Tamil, fellow party comrades Gobalakrishnan, Manicka vasagam, Dr Xavier, M. Ravi, S. Kesavan and S. Manikumar had good links with the Indian grassroots.

“We practise collective leadership in the party. We take care of all communities,’’ he said.

So what if its a copycat idea?

April 2nd, 2010
|  Subscribe in a reader | Subscribe to by Email

I think the politicians, especially parliamentarians should focus on better things rather than questioning about frivolous matters. I mean, who cares if its an Israeli or some other company helped in 1Malaysia concept (and its still at allegation stage) ? If one is really so principled, then there’s many Israeli related products that we have to reject. Liverpool fans know Yossi Benayoun is an Israeli. So how? Boycott Liverpool? PKR want to start campaign on that?

At times, we need not reinvent the wheel. Just learn from success stories or failures and improvise from that.

1Malaysia is just a branding, the content is similar with unity programs of many other nations or even in our country. The implementation is what that matters.

Effigy Burning???

November 29th, 2009
|  Subscribe in a reader | Subscribe to by Email

I don’t believe in the mentality of burning effigies like in  movies. I think someone should advise the PKR guy to behave himself and not subscribe to such gimmicks. Enough of effigy burnings in South Asia, Middle East etc. There’s many way to protest, be creative and useful la…

MIC Youth has criticised a PKR leader for threatening to burn an effigy of Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam over the Tamil literature issue.

Its information chief S. Subramaniam said PKR Puchong’s Muralee Subramaniam had not made any attempt to seek clarification from the MIC vice-president over the matter.

“Dr Subramaniam has promised to raise the issue in the Cabinet after 11 Indian organisations submitted a memorandum to the Education Ministry early this month,” Subramaniam said.

“We should wait for the outcome,” he said at a press conference here yesterday.

Also present were several branch chairmen and representatives from the Youth and Women wings in the Puchong MIC division.

The information chief, who is also the Puchong MIC Youth chief, said Muralee was previously a member of MIC, but defected to PKR when he was not given any position.

“He (Muralee) is trying to gain cheap publicity through these stunts. The Indian community knows who really cares for them,” he said.

It was reported that Muralee was planning to undertake the burning of the effigy today as a protest against Dr Subramaniam’s failure to get the ministry to allow Indian students to take Tamil literature as an additional subject in the SPM examination next year.

Subramaniam said Muralee had also wanted to take about 100 people to MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu’s house to enquire on the Maika Holdings issue last month but failed to carry out his threat.

Subramaniam said Muralee should not waste his time on petty issues, and instead, try to help Indians who had problems.

“I also call on the Indian-based societies and non governmental organisations not to support Muralee’s irresponsible action.”

As for the SPM subject crisis, I’ll write about it in the next posting.

PKR and Hindraf supporters join MIC

April 24th, 2009
|  Subscribe in a reader | Subscribe to by Email

Malaysiakini says 50, Star says 100, so let’s leave out the numbers.  I will agree on members from political parties switching camps. PKR to MIC. After few months, MIC to PKR. After another few months, open new party. All this is common.  One can be member of one party at one time, that’s clear. But where does HINDRAF come in this matter? Do these people “quit” HINDRAF to join MIC or PKR in the first place? Can anyone guarantee that MIC members don’t support HINDRAF? Or all PKR supporters guaranteed to support HINDRAF? I dare say majority of MIC members supported HINDRAF but not able to say it openly. I still remember the period between Aug 2007 until May 2008, nearly every Indian I meet talked positively about HINDRAF – temples, wedding, family functions, relatives, friends.  Now, there’s less noise and enthusiasm due to its leadership being broken up and stifled.

One more interesting thing about this defection is that one of them, J Kumaresan, claimed to be personal aide to MP for Kapar, Manikavasagam.  Kumaresan, who was also the PKR Kepong Youth chief,  felt frustrated because he could not do anything for the Indian community when in PKR.

“I couldn’t achieve anything for the community. That is why I have decided to join MIC,” he said, adding that there are no allocations from the party or the Pakatan Rakyat-controlled Selangor state government to uplift the Indians.

“I have been with YB Manikavasagam even before he became a member of Parliament. I know what he has done for the community. I am aware how hard it is to help the community without funds,” he added.

Kumaresan is confident that the situation would be different with MIC. “I want to make use of this situation to find ways for me to be useful for the community,” he said.

That didn’t go down well with MP Mike, who  denied that Kumaresan was his aide.

“I challenge him to prove this. I will lodge a police report on this.”

“He was only with me for a week to help out in the election campaign,” he added.

The MP also denied the allegation that PKR and the Selangor state government were not helping the Indian community, stating that allocations have been given to Tamil schools and temples.

Meanwhile,  T Mohan claims 30,000 youths (Star said 1000 only – don’t this reporters carry recorders around???) are ready to join MIC. I wonder how many are joining PPP after seeing the effort of Murugiah. 50,000? How’s the membership increase in PKR and DAP? Increase or decrease? And it will be good to remember that the numbers does not translate into votes for you. Many Indians are smart nowadays. They will join political parties solely to get access to the benefits and facilities. Come to election time, they will not hesitate to vote differently.