Archive for November 26th, 2007

Between a rock and a hard place

See on YouTube two parliamentary episodes during question time today — the first, “Hindraf rally was a cry of desperation by the Indian community” when I asked a supplementary question to the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department pointing out that the Hindraf demonstration was the upshot of the long-standing marginalization of the Malaysian Indians into a new underclass; and the second, when the MIC MP for Cameron Highlands Devamany a/l S. Krishnasamy was asking a supplementary question to the Deputy Internal Security Minister and I intervened to expose his hypocrisy and outrageous Aljazeera interview yesterday attacking the Hindraf demonstration.

Devamany has been caught between a rock and a hard place as illustrated by the following Malaysiakini report:

MIC MP: Rally reflects govt’s failure
Yoges Palaniappan
Nov 26, 07 6:59pm

A Barisan Nasional MP departed from the norm today when he said the rally organised by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) reflected the Indian community’s disgruntlement towards certain government policies.

K Devamany (MIC-Cameron Highlands) added that the rally proved the failure of government policies which do not benefit the Indians.

The ruling politician made the remark after interjecting Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timor) who argued that the rally was a cry of desperation from the Indians.

“Some 50,000 people took to the streets yesterday. It shows the government’s failure and it needs to be looked into carefully,” said Devamany. Read the rest of this entry »


RCI on Lingam Tape – test of whether Mahathir is right that Cabinet is “half-past six”

The Cabinet must prove Tun Dr. Mahathir wrong that it is “half-past six’ by establishing a wide-ranging and unfettered Royal Commission of Inquiry on Wednesday to deal with the root-and-branch problem of the crisis of confidence in the judiciary going back for 19 years and not just deal with the “tip of the iceberg” of the Lingam Tape.

International Islamic University constitutional law expert Professor Dr. Abdul Aziz Bari is right his interview with New Sunday Times in describing the Lingam Tape as “just the tip of the iceberg” after the state of the judiciary after 1988.

This led to the question — “If the video clip is the tip, what is the iceberg?” and the following answer in “Putting confidence back in judiciary”:

“A: How the people are selecting the judges, how the judges are having behind-closed-door relationships with lawyers, and how lawyers manage to predict or determine the outcome of cases.

“This is something very serious when it comes to suits. If this is the case, then people won’t have confidence in the judiciary.

“The judiciary’s strength is the public’s confidence. In law, you don’t have to establish bias: if the person cannot convince you of his or her integrity, then he’s got to disqualify himself.

“The mere likelihood (of bias) is good enough to establish a real bias. The moment it (the confidence) is lost, it is difficult to get it back.”

Earlier in the interview, there was a specific Q & A on the “scope of the inquiry”, viz: Read the rest of this entry »


Wimax & penipuan SMS

1 ) Penipuan melalui kandungan SMS

Saya merujuk kepada kenyataan Menteri Tenaga, Air dan Komunikasi bertarikh 5 September 2007 di mana menteri berkenaan menyebut hanya terdapat 23 kes daripada 176 aduan orang awam yang telah melanggar Garispanduan industri pembekalan kandungan SMS, dan hanya 9 syarikat pembekal kandungan SMS tersebut dikenakan penalti secara pembayaran kompaun.

Dalam pada itu, menteri berkenaan juga berkata semua syarikat telekom selular telah diarah untuk melaksanakan satu ‘Preventive System’ untuk menbanteras kejadian penipuan yang seumpamanya — dan tarikh penamatnya (deadline) ialah 30 September.

The New Sunday Times bertarikh 4 November telah melaporkan bahawa sebanyak 712,676 pengguna telefon bimbit telah menjadi mangsa penipuan SMS sejak Januari 2006, melibatkan duit aniaya sebanyak RM377,411.60.

Kami perolehi maklumat dari sumber industri bahawa sebilangan daripada syarikat pembekal kandungan SMS yang dikenakan kompaun masih belum menjelaskan kompaun mereka setelah melebihi tiga bulan.

Malahan, kita juga diberitahu oleh sumber industri bahawa salah satu syarikat pembekal kandungan SMS yang berkali-kali melanggar Garispanduan industri — iaitu Macro Kiosk Bhd — telah dilantik oleh two syarikat telekomunikasi selular menerusi sebuah anak syarikat yang bernama Toprole Network Sdn Bhd, sebagai pembekal dan pengendali ‘Preventive System” yang Menteri berkenaan telah janjikan. Read the rest of this entry »


Offensive Aljazeera interview on Hindraf demo – MIC MP Devamany owes public apology

MIC MP for Cameron Highlands Devamany a/l S. Krishnasamy should publicly apologise for his Aljazeera interview yesterday belittling the Hindraf demonstration and condemning the demonstrators when he should be deploring the police mishandling and excessive use of force in firing tear gas and liquid chemicals against the defenceless and unarmed in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

In the Aljazeera interview, Devamany joined the chorus of Barisan Nasional leaders in running down the Hindraf demonstration, condemning it as irresponsible with bad intention, making derogatory reference to the “type of people” who came to join the demonstration — as if they were the riff-raff and good-for-nothings when they in fact represented a fair cross-section of the Malaysian Indian community from all over the country, including professionals and among the most idealistic men and women for whom the Malaysian Indian community and the Malaysian nation have every reason to feel proud.

I actually gave Devamany an opportunity during parliamentary question time this morning to apologise and withdraw his offensive and derogratory remarks about the Hindraf demonstration and demonstrators, but he chose to be obstinate and unrepentant, trying to argue and justify his offensive Aljazeera interview.

As I had said during my supplementary question this morning that the government failure to ensure equity has created the conditions for the Hindraf demonstration, which was “a cry of desperation” by the Indian community at their neglect and marginalisation in the Barisan Nasional nation-building policies which have made the Malaysian Indians into a new under class in Malaysia after 50 years of Merdeka.

Never before in the past 50 years have Malaysian Indians felt so discriminated and marginalized in the whole gamut of their citizenship rights –political, economic, social, educational, cultural and religious. Read the rest of this entry »


Moratorium on Syabas water disconnections which violate the fundamental human right of the poor to clean water

The Ministry of Water, Energy and Communications should issue an directive to Syabas to impose an immediate moratorium on water disconnections in the concession area of Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya which affect the poor.

Last month, the Coalition Against Water Privatisation (CAWP) and MTUC had spoken up because they were appalled at the high levels of water supply disconnection in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya since water privatization in the last two years.

They had consistently argued that organising water for profits would lead to high levels of disconnections, a notion that violates peoples’ rights and access to clean water. Poor and vulnerable communities might be at risk.

CAWP and MTUC have been proven right and the Ministry should instruct Syabas to develop a humane way of collecting water bills, one where peoples’ right to clean water is not violated. Read the rest of this entry »


Free and peaceful demonstration is provided for in the constituition

by Richard Teo

Why should the govt stifle dissent by refusing to give permits for its citizens to demonstrate? It does not matter whether the govt thinks that the issue is not justifiable or for some imaginary reason it is a threat to national security. Whether their grievances are legitimate or not is something the public will have to judge. The govt’s role is merely to ensure that the demonstration is held peacefully and without any violence.

When people take to the street to demonstrate it is always for a cause. History has shown us repeatedly that when the voice of the people is continually and contemptously ignored the only recourse is to show their displeasure by demonstrating. After all this liberty to demonstrate peacefully is provided in our constituition and it is the inalienable right of every citizen to exercise this right.

I disagree with some view that because the rally was specifically for a certain community the demonstration should not proceed. This view is in direct contradiction with the basic principle that the right to peaceful assembly is enshrined in the constitution and if the aggrieved party is of the view that their grievances have not been addressed than they should have every right to demonstrate. It does not matter whether their grievances merely highlight a particular community interest as long as they perceive there is a need to publicise and convey their message. Read the rest of this entry »


Another Local Demonstration Gone Global

By Farish A. Noor

Let there be no mistake about it: We live in a globalised world. But then again, what’s new about that? Only someone totally ignorant of the history of greater Asia would be surprised to learn that our neatly-compartmentalised nation-states are, after all, bound together by a common shared history that overlaps across so many levels and interfaces. Long before the European ships arrived on our shores, Asians have been travelling all across the great land mass, making tracks from the furthest end of China, across Southeast Asia and the land of the mighty Indus, all the way to the scorching deserts of Arabia and the Gulf and down the West coast of Africa. What colonialism did, however, was to interrupt this movement of peoples, cultures and ideas in two distinct ways: Firstly by dividing the nations of Asia into distinct nation-states with fixed (and artificial) borders; and secondly by attempting to control the movement of people by commodifying human beings into human capital instead.

The net result has been the creation of the world map as we know it today, with intrusive lines rudely and crudely drawn between areas that once overlapped and communities that were once closer united to each other. The Indian Ocean, for instance, was once the corridor between South and Southeast Asia, and that is why so much of Southeast Asia (till today) bears the cultural imprint of India. It was from India that the religions, philosophies, aesthetics and norms of society and governance of Southeast
Asia were derived; and it was no mere coincidence that the Malay archipelago was once referred to as ‘Greater India’, testimony to how close the two regions were — both geographically and culturally.

Sadly today the division of Asia into neat compartments has managed to sever these long-established bonds, leaving the residents of both regions confused as to why they seem so similar yet different. Many a conservative nationalist in Southeast Asia is still loathe to admit that his or her culture shares so much in common with that of India’s, while many South Asians fail to realise that much of what they regard as familiar there is also present in Southeast Asia next door. Read the rest of this entry »