Posts Tagged ‘YSS’

Cooperating to eliminate estate slavery

September 24th, 2008
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Last week, NST wrote on slavery in estates, citing the case of a family who escaped from one such estates. Then, MIC-owned YSS gave the following comments via its assistant director Vanita Ramany, who said YSS had brought cases to the police, but not enough attention was given:

She cited a case where an 18-year-old worker escaped from an estate in Bahau, Negri Sembilan, in March after enduring years of abuse.

“The girl sought our help and we referred her to the Bahau police. But till now, nothing has been done.

“She is currently under the care of a welfare home,” said Vanita, who added that she had contacted Negri Sembilan police chief Datuk Osman Salleh over the matter.

While Osman was helpful, she said some policemen did not share his enthusiasm.

Vanita also referred to one case in Malacca which was reported to the police. But the victim was arrested for armed robbery when he showed the scars on his body.

“The next day, he was released after the police realised they had made a mistake.”

Vanita said there were also six other estate workers who had sought help but they never “showed up at our office again”.

More recently, the YSS, MIC and Negeri Sembilan police had a meeting to further discuss this problem:

Police met representatives of several bodies recently to discuss how they could work together to resolve the problem of “slavery” in several estates in the country. They included the Welfare and Manpower Departments, MIC’s Yayasan Strategik Social (YSS) and state executive councillor for estate affairs V.S. Mogan.

State police chief Datuk Osman Salleh said they were committed in their efforts to put an end to such incidents and would work closely with the various bodies and political parties concerned.

“We want to get to the root of the problem and resolve it once and for all. We have yet to establish the extent of the problem as we were unable to get sufficient information from the few alleged victims who came forward.”
Osman said their investigations revealed that some such alleged cases were linked to bad debts between the workers and their employers, which carried on from one generation to another.

“These cases of bad debts are prevalent in many estates and sometimes the next generation is made to work to pay off the earlier loan taken by the person’s father or even grandfather.

“However, we are determined to get to the bottom of this and put an end to such things.

“We are in the process of investigating how these debts originated and how they grew to such enormous amounts. We are also hoping that someone from the estates allegedly involved will come forward to help us.”

He said the recent call by the government for all estates to register their workers would be a great help to the police and Manpower Department as it would enable them to keep track of any untoward activities in estates.

From 2005 till now, he said police had received five reports on estate slavery, of which three had been investigated and the papers handed over to the deputy public prosecutor.

“However, these three cases were marked as NFA (no further action) after the DPP was unable to find sufficient evidence to prosecute.

“As for the two other cases, they are still under investigation.”

On the meeting with YSS and Mogan, he said the MIC had expressed its appreciation to the police for their co-operation in investigating such cases.

“The YSS and state MIC leaders are working closely with us. We assure you that such cases of slavery in estates will be a thing of the past.

“We will continue to hold regular meetings with the agencies and bodies concerned and together we will resolve this problem.”

YSS Plus 8 programme

September 22nd, 2008
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From the NST:

KUALA LUMPUR: An MIC effort to help academically-weak and problematic Indian secondary students has paid off.

The MIC-run Yayasan Strategic Social’s family development unit head K.A. Gunah said the party’s Plus-8 programme had proven to be a resounding success by helping 5,100 students in 74 secondary schools.

He said thanks to the year-long programme which ended in July, these students had a better future now and did not need to go the way of some other children from the community who could not escape the clutches of social ills such as crime.

He said the key to the programme’s success was in its ability to bring children and parents together to work as a family unit and motivate the children to improve themselves.

“Besides ironing out students’ problems, which were mainly centred around poor parent-child relationships, the programme has put in place an effective network for the students, their teachers and YSS.”

Funded by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry and supported by the Education Ministry, the programme featured workshops on character building, human values and uncovering of skills for students.

“We then hold two workshops for parents on the subject of parent-child interaction and relationships and the need for self-discipline and sacrifice. The programme ends with a two-day, one-night camp for the students and their parents.

“We are now keying in the student data and feedback on the programme to prepare a report for the two ministries. With this done, we hope to launch the second round of Plus-8 programmes.”

Gunah, who is the coordinator for the programme in Johor and Malacca, said YSS ran them jointly with Indian-based NGOs.

YSS got the help of teachers to identify target groups of 50 students in schools in eight states to attend a total of 812 Plus-8 programmes.

He said the programme was the brainchild of party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, who felt that rising social ills among Indian youth had to be nipped in the bud by solving the problem of delinquency.

During the programme, Gunah said he came across sad cases of how students had got into trouble because of parental neglect.

“A boy who had been punished 22 times in 10 months for disciplinary problems, including bringing pornographic VCDs to school, told us his father had left the family.

“His mother was away at work until late at night and he had to fend for himself, including cooking and washing his own clothes.”

He said the girls were often led astray by youths or men outside the school environment.

“Most of them point to nagging mothers and absent fathers and the fact that there was no one to listen to them.”

Birth Certificate Registration Programme

July 26th, 2008
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The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry announced on July 21st about starting a Birth Certificate Registration Programme, but it seems that the program have been running for some time.

Unlike previous efforts which started with few events and then faded away, we hope this programme is able to persevere.

The NST report highlighted a case which was bought to the programme:

When she was born in a hospital in Klang, T. Gomarthy was issued a birth certificate which registered her as a boy. The mistake only came to light 12 years later when she went to the Shah Alam National Registration Department to apply for her identity card.

That marked the beginning of her problems. The NRD officer required the presence of her mother to rectify the mistake.

But Gomarthy’s mother had left the family when she was 11 and could not be contacted.

She spent the next six years pleading her case with the NRD without success.

Help eventually came from the “Birth Certificate Registration Programme” organised by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.

With the assistance of one of the co-organisers of the Yayasan Strategik Sosial (YSS), Gomarthy, now 18, obtained a new birth certificate last week and applied for her IC.

“Because of this problem, I had to stop schooling in Form Three. If only it was settled years ago.”

YSS assistant director V. Vanita Ramany criticised the NRD for the delay in correcting the mistake in Gomarthy’s birth certificate.

“Why did they ask her to bring her mother who went missing years ago when her biological father was with her?”

Vanita said about 200 stateless people attended the programme held in Setapak, of which 87 were those without birth certificates, while the rest held red identity cards or had no identification papers.

A similar programme would be carried out in Raub, Pahang next month.

She said a child born in an unregistered marriage might not get a birth certificate as some NRD officers would register a child in the absence of the parents’ marriage certificate while others would not.

She cited a case where seven brothers and sisters, aged 4 months to 10 years, did not have birth certificates because their parents did not register their marriage as it was the woman’s second marriage.

Then there are married women without birth certificates.

In such cases, even if their children were to get their birth certificates, they would remain non-citizens, Vanita said.

She called for the appointment of more Tamil-speaking officers at NRD offices to help Indians who only spoke their mother tongue.

Unit trust scheme to reverse Indian equity drop

June 26th, 2008
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The hottest news among the concerned Indians surely have to be the news that Indian equity DROPPED to 1.1% from previous 1.2%. This is a big blow to MIC, and if used properly, will spell the end of Samy Vellu and MIC. For all they claimed on stages and advertised in papers, what we ended up with is a drop in equity. When everyone else registered positive growth, ours went the opposite way. Even though the value of investment increased (by/to?) RM575.2million or 9% within the period 2004-2006.
Unless there is proof that from 2006 to 2007, some sort mini miracle happened to improve the percentage…it will be a body blow for MIC.

Yeah, equity may not be all, but as it is an indicator fondly used by other races, so I guess its fair that we too treat it as an important indicator.

The non-privileged, normal Malaysians share increased from 40.6 percent in 2004 to 43.9
percent in 2006, meaning the Chinese community’s hold increased 3.3%, far more than the privileged and Indians communities.

For non-bumiputeras, it increased from 40.6% in 2004 to 43.9% in 2006. Chinese ownership group saw an increase from 39.6% to 42.4%, while for Indians it showed a slight decline from 1.2% to 1.1%.

However, there was a decline in foreign ownership from 32.5% to 30.1% while for nominees, it fell from 8.0% to 6.6%.

Also, the contentious “privileged’ people equity is being put at 19.4% whereas alternative figures quote more than 45% (google for ASLI’s report on bumiputra equity), increasing from 18.9% in 2004. ?During the period, individual ownership increased from 15.0% to 15.1% while for institutions, including Permodalan Nasional Bhd, it increased from 2.2% to 2.6%. The government’s target under the 9MP is to attain bumiputera equity ownership between 20% and 25% by 2010, which excludes government companies like Petroliam Nasional Bhd and Khazanah Nasional Bhd. The equity ownership is based on the par value of the shares and not on market capitalization.

The irony is privileged people’s equity increased 0.5% and below are among the measures to reach the target of 20 to 25% being introduced by PM:
» Read more: Unit trust scheme to reverse Indian equity drop

Giat Mara and Insken Indian grads urged to apply TEKUN loan

June 4th, 2008
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Its a bad statistic indeed if only 10 out of 300 students (3.3%) applied for the loan scheme. What could be the reasons?

– not interested?

– don’t know how/where/when/why?

– loan rules too strict/rigid?

MIC can’t be faulted here unless they did not provide awareness or proper information to the students.

RM3 million / 300 students is averaging  RM10000 per graduate, which is quite a substantial amount to start small business like food stall or similar business that require less capital and investment in machineries/tools.

Only 10 of the 300 Indian students who graduated from the Giat Mara centres and National Entrepreneurship Institute (Insken) last year have applied for business loans under the Young Indian Entrepreneurs Loan Scheme run by Tekun Foundation, says MIC President Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.
He urged the remaining 290 students to apply for the loan from Tekun or the National Foundation for Economic Fund Group under the Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Ministry.

“Yayasan Tekun has allocated RM3 million to be disbursed as business loans for graduates of Pusat Giat Mara and Insken,” he said in a statement today.

He said the Tekun Foundation decided to issue business loans to Indian students from Giat Mara centres and Insken following discussions between the foundation and the Social Strategic Foundation (YSS), MICs social arm, last year.

Samy Vellu said although the Tekun Foundation was meant for Bumiputera entrepreneurs, its management decided to open its business loans for Indians through the help of the then Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.
He said qualified Indians engaged in small-and medium-scale businesses can apply for the loan to start or to sustain and expand their businesses, ranging from small cottage to modern technological industries, food, agriculture, manufacturing and handicraft for domestic and foreign markets.

Enterprising young Indian entrepreneurs can contact YSS at Level 5, Menara Manickavasagam, at No 1, Jalan Rahmat, 50350 Kuala Lumpur, telephone (03) 4041-5958 or Fax (03) 4041-5681.