Jamaludin Jarjis – stop censoring the press and be man enough to make public apology to Sheena Moorthy

The Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Seri Dr. Jamaludin Jarjis should stop censoring the press and be man enough to make an unqualified public apology to third-year CalyPoly Biotech Malaysian student Sheena Moorthy for his disgraceful conduct in making racist and derogatory remarks about Malaysian Indians when he met Malaysian students in Los Angeles, California a fortnight ago on 30th April.

During his official visit to California enroute to the Biotechnology Industry Organisation (BIO) Convention in Boston, Massachussets, Jamaludin had met some of the Malaysian students studying in California especially the ones from TPM Academy twinning programme at the Belacan Grill Malaysian Restaurant, Redondo Beach, Ca.

One of the students was Sheena Moorthy, who has become a cause celebre with her complaint that during the 3 ½ hour session, Jamaludin made “totally uncalled-for racial insults” when he passed a few racial remarks on her, being one of the two Indians present there.

This incident happened in front of a crowd of about 100 people including students, officials from the Malaysian Consulate, TPM, Tourism Malaysia, etc. But everyone is afraid and nobody is prepared to stand up to speak the truth.

Sheena and her sister, Dr. Sheela Moorthy, who is currently living in the USA and supporting her sister’s education at CalyPoly, are demanding a public apology from Jamaludin.

Sheena has written to complain about Jamaluddi’s racist and derogatory remarks to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and several Malaysian Ministers, including the MIC President and Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.

Last Tuesday (8th May), I first raised the Sheena-Jamaludin issue in Parliament when I spoke in the debate on the Youth Societies and Youth Development Bill, citing it as one instance of Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders setting bad leadership examples to Malaysian youths on national unity and national integration.

The other example was the infamous “keris-wielding” history of the Umno Youth leader and Education Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein in the context of extremist and chauvinist demands heedless of rights and sensitivities of all communities in the country turning him into a symbol of national division and disunity.

The next day, May 9, blogger Rocky’s Bru quoted an aide of Jamaludin to report that the Minister had apologised to Sheena as he had said “some things in jest”.

As another blogger sagaladoola rightly asked as a follow-up:

Is he (Jamaludin) saying that he was only JOKING using such horrible words but he was ‘Sorry’ that Sheena/Sheela took it seriously?

In response to my inquiry as to the actual position and latest update, Dr. Sheela has emailed the following reply:

Well, neither me nor my sister have received a formal apology from him. There are rumors circulating that he apologized and I saw them on some blogs, so all I know is what the rest of you also know. I have also NOT received any news from any of the officials that I have written to.

I am shocked that Jamaludin has used his position as Minister to censor the press. Dr. Sheela said that although she and her sister had given many interviews as they had been approached by Bernama, New Straits Times and the Star, not one word had been published. She commented that this is “a sorry and scary state of affairs” and “So much for World Press Freedom Day”.

In actual fact, the only media to have published Sheena’s complaint and plight is Malaysiakini, while the mainstream media have blacked out the story despite their reporters making international calls to both Sheena and Sheela in California to interview them. This issue has been extensively blogged, another proof that blogs have become more reliable source of true and timely information than the mainstream media.

Dr. Sheena also complained that despite the many letters both sisters have written to the various Ministries, including the Prime Minister, “not one person has taken an ounce of responsibility to reply”.

She said: “Keep it down and it’ll die a natural death, that is the message I am getting. Even the PM’s office has nothing to say; may be their email addresses are not working! The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation should be able to fix that.”

The Moorthy sisters are also very disappointed by the thunderous silence from the Indian leader in the Barisan Nasional coalition — MIC President Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.

She said:

I agree the problem my sister and I have highlighted might be the tip of the iceberg of all the misconducts going on in our country but people have to learn to stand up for their rights and beliefs, politics aside. It just goes to show the basic upbringing we have had.

I am ashamed of how this whole issue was handled or mishandled I should say. I would like to hear the PM’s say on this. Does he think it’s funny too??? Please remind yourself that the world is watching and to just ignore issues like this just paints a BAD picture internationally. My colleagues are already questioning the integrity and sincerity of a Government that condones such behavior.

  1. #1 by Orangutan on Monday, 14 May 2007 - 10:23 am

    The coward minister who made this comment is a common reflection of arrogant and racist BN ministers who will never be man enough to own up to their mistakes and misconduct because they possess moral and ethical values of an uncivilised person.

    Sorry for Sheela and Sheena, this issue will never make it to the mainstream media in Bolehland, and your apology may never come. Nevertheless, never let your effort die. I respect your courage to stand up and defend your rights and beliefs. Keep up the fight.

  2. #2 by madmix on Monday, 14 May 2007 - 10:30 am

    Deep down, UMNO diehards have a great disdain for non-malays, and women, especially non-malay, non-BN; and now and then they commit a Freudian slip by uttering racsist and sexist remarks.

  3. #3 by FuturePolitician on Monday, 14 May 2007 - 10:38 am

    JJ as us knows him as during his days in TNB. His leadership and great worksmanship as an engineer has been respected by his colleaques and even being praised by his subordinates for having a similar working manner like those days in LLN. This praises comes from all walks of life.. His Chinese friends and Indian friends praise him as being a superb manager., and doubt his malay friends really like him due to his demand for high standard and hard working requirement for maintaining a plant.

    After all this, he has forgotten his roots, and those praises he received from hard working honest colleaques and friends now all being washed away by his insensitive remarks.

    It is sad,to know that people with a bright future having or probably having a chance to be a Prime Minister one day would fall to the trap of THINKING that MALAYSIA belongs to the MALAYs, forgetting Malaysia is a multicultural society each major race contributing to the IMPORTANTLY the ECONOMY of the Country but SOMEONE is RAPING us of our wealth and we are heading towards HIGH COST of LIVING AND LOW QUALITY OF LIFE!

    Its a SAD day for us and for him…it is the end of his support from the non-malay friends and doubt any respect is left for him as potential leader.

  4. #4 by Godfather on Monday, 14 May 2007 - 10:48 am

    Ask JJ another question: How come he pushed for TNB to buy a coal mine for hundreds of millions of RM, only for TNB to sell it this month for RM 19.5 million ? Leadership is about being accountable for one’s actions.

  5. #5 by FuturePolitician on Monday, 14 May 2007 - 10:57 am

    GodFather, It is good to have your own coalmine, but who in a rightmind to SELL?? Who would sell something you dig from the ground for free?

    Soo…conclusion..Kena Tipu..now sell off either to another victim or get back what TNB can salvage..

    Dont think its JJ’s fault, just the other party is smarter..

  6. #6 by Jimm on Monday, 14 May 2007 - 11:18 am

    JJ have just landed in BN frontline and realized that he really need to change in order to keep his pace and race. He is just like HH or KJ. They might be sharing the same coach to groom them to the top in UMNO.

  7. #7 by karthikeyan on Monday, 14 May 2007 - 11:27 am

    What a shame!! The General assembly of MIC didi not even mention a word about this issue. These flag carriers should delete the word Indian in the Party name. Where is the justice in this country? I hope LKS will continue bring up these issues in the parliament so that atleast our voice are heard. Not through the BN nerds

  8. #8 by Bigjoe on Monday, 14 May 2007 - 12:34 pm

    This is called rule by suppression. Supress this, suppress that. Just keep their finger cross the native masses are fed and preoccupied that they can’t rebel.

  9. #9 by paix on Monday, 14 May 2007 - 12:38 pm

    what do you expect from these people who, if they were in some other country, would be lucky to be working as peons in some non-descript office. they are where they are not because of their capabilities but just because of who they know. Sheena, stay put when you finish your schooling. if you return you may end up working for some jackass like you know who.

  10. #10 by kelangman88 on Monday, 14 May 2007 - 1:07 pm

    I feel sorry for Indian community because the leadership does not do anything.

  11. #11 by kelangman88 on Monday, 14 May 2007 - 1:08 pm

    But DAP which is chinese party (predominantly), make effort to help. Shame on the Indian leadership.

  12. #12 by pwcheng on Monday, 14 May 2007 - 1:11 pm

    If anybody who thinks that corruption and racial discrimination is not wrong then there will be nothing that is wrong.

    This is what is actually happening in UMNO. They love the two evils i) corruption to enrich themselves ii)racial discrimination to make them feel good and superior to other races (when they do not know that they still need to be spoonfed and the tongkat) and deceive the poor kampong folks that they are heroes to their race who keeps on voting for them.

    They are actually robbing the country by making everybody poorer, Malays and other races alike. Petrol prices are raised with hundred and one excuses and tolls are raised without any transparency, and everything has gone up making the poor becoming poorer.
    I do not see anything that they can be proud of, and nothing superior about them. Even to rob they are all given assistance and the tongkat to do it, by having two set of laws, one for them and one for the ordinary citizens.

  13. #13 by sheriff singh on Monday, 14 May 2007 - 1:29 pm

    JJ says extremely insensitive things “in jest”. The One-eyed Jasin MP Said Yusof and the KinaBATANGan MP Bung Mokhtar MP makes sexist and insensitive comments in Parliament perhaps “in jest” too. And there have been many other cases too e.g. non-bumis being told to “get lost” from the country if they are not happy here.

    Hmmmmm. It looks like it is in our culture to say insensitive things even in jest and pretend it is not offensive and did not hurt. We have too many insensitive and myopic leaders and this does not augur well for our future.

  14. #14 by smeagroo on Monday, 14 May 2007 - 2:05 pm

    ON behalf of the stupid govt, I extend my sincre apologies. And dont wait for the PM to reply for he has no time. Any time he can find will be used to catch 40 winks.

  15. #15 by Jimm on Monday, 14 May 2007 - 3:07 pm

    We are highly respected for able to cope with a ‘painted’ environment for multi-racial unity country for so long. It’s the people of Malaysia that make this colorful painting shining worldwide. We all are strong survival and fast learner and though we are also fast forgetful (short memory) as claimed by many, we all know our original values.
    As the bad apples among us, they will live through their entire life in searching for things that never meant to be there for them. They will never realised their doings until the day, things just standstill about their presence here. Their actions are like a dog chasing after its own tail. They will never learn and never listen well on advises shared.
    We all (the rest of us), we are mature to understand what it takes to keep unity on track always. Let us keep our focus and our own precious time here to stay united and let those minor live and die in their own small world make of monies and power.
    Our world are make of love and understanding that lasting.

  16. #16 by kcb on Monday, 14 May 2007 - 3:15 pm

    I would still have respect for JJ if he were to just step forward and
    sincerely apologize without any reserve.

    But now….

  17. #17 by Jimm on Monday, 14 May 2007 - 3:46 pm

    Maybe that is why TSAK is taking out his empire from the BM. Anyone to share on this !!!!!!

  18. #18 by TalkisCheap on Monday, 14 May 2007 - 4:25 pm

    Is this Islam Hadhari which AAB praised about?

    Talk Is Cheap. Vote Out Shallow and Stupid MP.

  19. #19 by toyolbuster on Monday, 14 May 2007 - 5:42 pm

    We have seen it all, we have heard it all, deja vu. Just another monkey on the heat. He thought it would be an easy “catch” for his horny trip. Too bad he caught this shark.

  20. #20 by sammyvellu on Monday, 14 May 2007 - 9:36 pm

    I sat next to this joker on a MAS flight from KL to Kuantan when he was the 2nd Finance Minister in biz class.

    All I can sat is that for a minister, it seems to be really wierd to be talking on the cellphone whilst in the plane and the air stewardess don’t dare to stop him from doing so.

    This is what I call dis-leadership by example!

  21. #21 by sammyvellu on Monday, 14 May 2007 - 9:39 pm

    Yeah sure!

  22. #22 by Orangutan on Tuesday, 15 May 2007 - 3:05 pm

    LKY’s concept of ” You pay peanuts, you get monkeys” in hiring and recruiting his cabinet ministers is proven right again in Malaysia. Ministers of such low moral values, ethics and mentality can only be found in BN.

  23. #23 by DarkHorse on Wednesday, 16 May 2007 - 5:57 am

    “t is sad,to know that people with a bright future having or probably having a chance to be a Prime Minister one day would fall to the trap of THINKING that MALAYSIA belongs to the MALAYs..” FuturePolitician

    It is just like the native Americans screaming on a soap box somewhere in their Indian Reservation that the United States belong to them – except that the native Americans have been decimated to a mere one million out of a total population of some 280 million (consisting of mainly Caucasians from western Europe) people and are not represented in the U.S. Congress.

  24. #24 by accountability on Friday, 18 May 2007 - 7:32 pm

    these are the racists who keep trying to impose “ketuanan melayu”… what level of intelligence do you expect of these BN UMNO members??

    BN MCA, MIC, equally bad if not worse for not having the decency or courage to stand up to these chauvanist pigs!

  25. #25 by Melayugal on Wednesday, 27 June 2007 - 9:38 am

    Jamaludin Jarjis is simply put, a downright male chauvanist asshole. No derogatory and racist remarks should be taken lightly, even if it is in a manner of “joking”. As a public figure, the right thing to do is to publicly apologise for such an “uneducated” display of his behavior. It’s time he put his ego aside and set a good example to the citizens of Malaysia.

  26. #26 by jackrusso on Friday, 7 September 2007 - 4:25 pm

    It would have irked him to see Indians having come so far in life and it would have affected him psychologically resulting in him uttering these remarks. Controlling thoughts and self-censorship may not be in his psyche.

    Remember, just because someone wears a suit, drives a nice car does not mean he or she is ‘all that’. Its just a monkey in a suit. He will not apologise.

    In Malaysia, if an Indian were to drive a nice car, the other would look at him/her in disdain, hate and wish they were dead. If an Indian were to have a beautiful house, same happens. If an Indian were to have a beautiful spouse, same happens.

    This is a fact.

    So what do u do Sheena? Be smart.

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