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.

It is precisely because MIC leaders in Parliament and government are not prepared to give voice to the legitimate grievances of the Malaysian Indians that the frustrations of Malaysian Indians are so deepseated and widespread — nurturing a grave sense of alienation among the Malaysian Indians at being cut off from the mainstream of development and full recognition of their legitimate aspirations and rights as equal Malaysian citizens.

The refusal by Umno Ministers and Deputy Ministers in Parliament and government to concede the validity and legitimacy of the grievances of the Malaysian Indians which have led to the Hindraf demonstration is not surprising, as this is part of the very serious denial syndrome of the Umno and Barisan Nasional political leadership.

However, the failure of MIC leaders to recognize the factors that have led to the Hindraf demonstration yesterday or to have any good word for the Hindraf demonstration and demonstrators is most deplorable and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

The Cabinet on Wednesday must discuss the “cry of desperation” of the Malaysian Indians symbolized by the 30,000 Hindraf demonstration yesterday and the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi must “walk the talk” of his pledge to be Prime Minister for all Malaysians regardless of race, religion or political beliefs.

  1. #1 by ChinNA on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 2:44 pm

    I am not afraid of change… I am only afraid if we cannot manage the change that needs to happen. Change when we are not ready for it, will be detrimental to the country. We need to evolve to meet the new challenges.

    How then can we prepare the country for transformational change, not a sudden disconnected change?

  2. #2 by sotong on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 2:52 pm

    As usual, for their political survival and ambition, they would distance themselve from this rally.

    There is no decent and responsible leader/s in their position of power and influence willing to come forward.

  3. #3 by on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 2:57 pm

    Its transcript from

    Q: Why then if there is a democratic process in place, you do not allow protests to take place. These people have requested a permit but you turned it down. Why is it necessary?

    A: I think the intention was wrong. I think because religion was used and religious issues are very sensitive in this part of the nation. We are a multi-religious nation and things can go out of place and emotions are flaring.

    Q: Hold on a minute, you seem to be suggesting the protesters are causing the violence but in fact it was not the case. It was clearly the police that were taking the aggressive stance by firing tear gas and spraying chemicals through water cannons. They were not provoked by the protesters.

    A: We have to see the type of people that came for the demonstration. I am not there but I wish that the demonstrators are matured and know how to handle themselves.

    Q: Sir, what do you mean by the type of people. Are you referring to the fact that these people are of Indian ethnicity? Is that something that the government cannot accept : Indians taking to the streets?

    A: No, No, I don’t think so. I don’t think so. The fifth prime minister has been giving tremendous allowances for openness and errh, feedbacks from the people, the press has been given freedom, legislatively freedom has been given the last four years.

    Q: OK.

    A: And the result of this response is because also of the openness. And I think the reactions could be instigated by one or two incidences which could have been overshot, overblown and there is a reason. A layman doesn’t exactly know what is being done.

    An Indian MP insulting his own race by saying “the type of people” publicly.

  4. #4 by smeagroo on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 3:06 pm


    With all due respect pls stop using the word “pledge” by our dear sleepy PM. That wasnt a pledge. That was a cheap ploy and fast lie to win votes.

  5. #5 by Sagaladoola on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 3:10 pm

    This is the real page : HINDRAF Rally of the Marginalised (Videos and Pics)

    There are other questions that should be asked as well.

  6. #6 by megaman on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 3:12 pm

    Quoting Al-Jazeera’s questions:

    a) Why is it appopriate for the police to use tear gas and spraying liquid chemical to disperse a peaceful crowd ?

    b) Why it is appopriate to use force ?

    c) Why react with force to a peaceful protest ?

    c) Why then if there is a democratic process in place, do you not allow protests to take place ? These people have requested for a permit and you have turned them down.

    To Al-Jazeera:
    MP Devamany a/l S. Krishnasamy has been shying away from answering these questions directly so let me have the privilege of answering them albeit from a normal citizen’s viewpoint. It may not authoritative but would definitely make more sense than the roundabout treatment you have been given.

    It is FEAR !!!
    FEAR by the government of such protests that is critical of its biased policies.
    FEAR that by allowing such protests it would legitimize or at least exposed clearly the discriminations and unfair practices by the leaders.
    FEAR that such protests would create more protests in the future.

    The Malaysian government is devoid of ideas to counter such protest simply because it can’t address the issues highlighted by the protesters in a mature and constructive manner.
    Therefore, the only option left is counter these protests by extreme measures of violence.

    To fellow Malaysians:
    It is FEAR !!! Not the rakya fearing the government but the government in FEAR of the rakyat. Do not stop now, it is about time we put democracy and justice back in the hands of the rakyat.

  7. #7 by oknyua on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 3:13 pm

    YB Lim,

    You are a member of parliament for everybody. MP Devamany is the MP only for … his boss. Even fellow Malaysians of Indian origin would he say..”the type of people.” Imagine the words he would use for Malaysians of other origin.

  8. #8 by Libra2 on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 3:26 pm

    “the type of people” means the downtrodden and illiterate good-for-nothing labourers.
    MIC belongs to the other type – “the upper class ” who wear tie and drive in Mecedez and greet UMNO leaders as Tuan, carry a Datukship and refer to his own people as “the type of people” – the type they had been exploiting since 1957.
    When did the MIC and MCA lawmakers ever represent their communities. They represent UMNO since their bread and butter comes from them.

  9. #9 by Anti_NEP on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 3:57 pm

    Over the last four years the ZZZZZZ PM has given us a lot of freedom to express and press freedom blah blah balh. My foot aneh tamby devamoney. You never use your brain when you talk.
    MIC = Most Idiotic Coward.
    I know of many indians in cameron highlands are very poor and what have you done to help them?

  10. #10 by waterfrontcoolie on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 4:14 pm

    Actually the malaysian Indians’ share of equity in this country has been ‘taken’ over by MIC and those connected to the Party: so what they should do is take it back from them. the guy who runs the party, the guy who owns Maxis, Big Sweep, Astro, the privatized port, Touch& Go, all these are share that should be shared by the Indian Community, because these privatized units are given away by the GOMEN. So don’t ask the British for payment; ask from some body nearby! Someone you can relate to.Your rights is right infront of you. Otherwise have NOTHING to do with them, really have NOTHING to do at all, no contact, no talk and what have you?

  11. #11 by a-malaysian on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 4:31 pm

    umno does not want a United Malaysian hence

    umno = United Malaysian-NO.

    I am for more peaceful rallies to be held from now on.

    Despite umno and its running dogs condemnations and stern warnings we would continue to hold peaceful rallies until racist umno become DESENSITIZED to it.

    50 years is ENOUGH
    Vote For A Change
    Vote For Any Opposition
    Give Them A Chance To Change For A Better Malaysia
    Remember bn Is A Useless Grouping Of Self Serving, Corrupt, Dictator, Power Crazy, Racist, Kris waving, etc, etc type of parties.

  12. #12 by ngahc on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 4:42 pm

    DAP & Uncle Lim is speaking out loud and clear for Malaysian Indians. This is really a case of Malaysian Malaysia.

    Shame on you..MIC…

    Malaysian Indians should see for themself whether it is DAP or MIC fighting for them.

  13. #13 by disapointed86 on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 4:48 pm

    i dont see any democracy in our so called “Democratic Country”…what i can see is that the authority is so poor in handling such situation..”KIASU GOVERNMENT”..not giving permit to conduct a peaceful gathering and yet clasify it as illegal..we’ll see in the coming election.!!!

  14. #14 by sj on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 4:51 pm

    It really breaks your heart to see people wielding their country’s national flag and being sprayed with water by country’s own police. Look at the reality and ask yourself, who are the real patriots?

  15. #15 by budak on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 4:52 pm

    this PK good for nothing too…
    dont understand question and keep answering like a cock…
    can BN find a good talk-cock MP for the RAKYAT…
    else give your SIL to talk, but he has not rights to talk…
    as he’s not RAKYAT representative…
    he’s representing his FIL…

  16. #16 by Libra2 on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 5:14 pm

    Kit just (4pm news) appeared on Al Jazeera but unfortunately the interview was too short. What the hell can’t they give him a longer time.

  17. #17 by mendela on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 5:40 pm

    There are lots of similarities between Musharraf and this UMO-led Gomen now.

    Both are cheating their citizens and using accessive force and violence onto their own people.

    Both are manipulating their high court judges to gain powers.

    Both are equally corrupted.

  18. #18 by motai on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 5:51 pm

    Prime Minister Badawi claims that the Barisan Nasional and its power sharing approach have benefited the country in last Umno general assembly. I don’t remember the last time Malaysia had a non-Malay as Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister. Only Badawi knows what power sharing he is talking about when power is never shared. The deputy Prime Minister Najib claims Indian are not marginalized. Then how do we explain the status quo that Indian is facing today in Malaysia. As long as all government policies are not drawn based on economics but based on race, marginalization happens. But then again Najib’s father is the architect of marginalization.

  19. #19 by k1980 on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 5:56 pm

    Anyone saw Mamakthir in the rally?
    Migration started in the second half of the 19th century when the British brought Tamils and Telugus from the south of India as indentured laborers, primarily to work on rubber plantations, rail lines and the ports. A second wave, mostly from Northern India, came to man the police force and become civil servants. That included Tamils from Sri Lanka and Indians from Kerala – including the father of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has always been somewhat coy about his Indian roots.

  20. #20 by ahluck on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 6:10 pm

    when will our Mandor Samy velu be removed from position? Normally The boss steps down for the failure.

  21. #21 by Toyol on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 6:31 pm

    If the Opposition party can win in Australia without any conflict, the Opposition can also win in Malaysia. The only issue is that the BN will start riots to protect their wealth rather than hand over the torch to more capable people. Is this a democracy? I beg to differ…

  22. #22 by sj on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 6:52 pm

    The only issue is that the BN will start riots to protect their wealth rather than hand over the torch to more capable people.

    Then the people should not be afraid to stand up against what is wrong and evil isnt it? Fight for it. The one on the losing end will be the ones holding the most wealth, that is BN cronies themselves.

  23. #23 by boh-liao on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 6:55 pm

    Samy Velu: Please use your influence to convince the government not to waste more public money to send another Malay space traveller into space. Instead, use the money to assist and uplift the poor Indians in Malaysia. Can you do such a simple job?

  24. #24 by sj on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 7:17 pm

    Why still cling to false hope on people like Sami Palsu? He already told you people he is not interested in the single bit to help you people. He is only interested in one thing and one thing only, MAKE YOU PEOPLE PAY FOR MORE TOLL.

  25. #25 by undergrad2 on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 7:34 pm

    “I am not afraid of change… I am only afraid if we cannot manage the change that needs to happen. Change when we are not ready for it, will be detrimental to the country. We need to evolve to meet the new challenges.”

    Politics is about ‘change’ whereas economics is the study of how to manage ‘change’.

  26. #26 by lakshy on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 7:38 pm

    Well lets all show Devomoney and gang what we can do at the ballot boxes, Semi value too better watch out. AAB and Najib too!

  27. #27 by cancan on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 7:47 pm

    Each time, when there is a major problem,our sleepy PM is not in the
    country,eg. the Johor flood,BERSIH demo,HINDRAF demo and others.

    The country is really on auto pilot.
    Beware,before it crashes !


  28. #28 by lakshy on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 7:52 pm

    There was a crowd of around 30,000people at Batu Caves in the wee hours of the morning. Why were they attacked there? This is a religious month for Hindus and being in the temple should be acceptable. Why is no one defending the Indians right to be in the temple? And is it of with MIC for Hindus to be attacked in the temple? Perhaps its true that you MIC guys gave the keys to the police to lock the crowd in before the police blasted the tear gas. Well done MIC. We know your true colours. Now the whole nation does too!

    Why did police fire tear gas at a peaceful crowd at a temple? The ban was applicable to Jalan Ampang? The coourt order was banning people from gathering in front of the British High Comm. Why is the police action at Batu Caves not being looked at? Didn’t the police provoke teh crowd and even chase unarmed Indians upto the neighbouring factories there?

    Why then blame the Indians if tehy regrouped peacefully at Ampang?

    At 8:45am at Jalan Ampang, the crowds were told that they could march to the High Comm at 9am to hand over the memirandum. At 9 am the police fired tear gas into the crowds. What is this? Deception? Come on police who are you trying to con? Your actions and brutality were recorded. Be afraid. Be very afraid!

    There was lots of provocation by the police. I take my hats off to the Indians for taking all of this and not getting violent.

    It was a real thrill to watch the Indian crowds catching the tear gas canisters and throwing it back at the police. It was good to watch the police run after tasting their own medicine.

    Now which ruler allows his forces to use force against a peaceful crowd? Only thiefs and liars! Those who are so blinded by luxury and power and are immune to the suffering of the masses. These guys must go. And it is our duty to see to it that they do go.

    We dont need such politicians. All of us have a DUTY to get rid of them for the good of this country. Malaysian Politicians have a lot of maturing to do. Thankfully the rakyat has matured!

    Lets vote out AAB, Najib, SV and MIC clowns! Lets vote for change. Let this demonstration be the start of the winds of change that brings out of the darkness.

  29. #29 by lakshy on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 7:58 pm

    Can you believe the amount of hogwash reported in the papers and TV about the sunday demo? My God, they have twisted everything. I hope more Malaysians out there can find out teh truth about what happened.

    Please do help spread the truth. Thats the only way to wake up and open the eyes of the rakyat.

  30. #30 by negarawan on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 8:49 pm

    Now the national clown Nazri is asking MIC Deva to resign. I guess MIC is not only “mandur”, but also “mandul”

  31. #31 by grace on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 8:49 pm

    To all Indians, you have a chance to call the shot – that is during the coming GE.
    Show the ruling parties that you have pride. After being treated like dirt by those rascals, it is time that all of you vote for oppsition to send a message to BN that you cannot be tasken for a ride anymore.
    But please do not give in to Samy Velloo and gang who will come promising you the moon .
    Be strong and stand tall. Do not waiver but VOTE FOR OPPOSITION!!!

  32. #32 by lakshy on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 9:22 pm

    After the Bersih rally, Suhakam spokesman was quick to say that police did not use excessive force. Any guess why Suhakam has been quiet this time?

  33. #33 by Godfather on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 9:47 pm

    For over 20 years, Semi Value has been complaining to his bosses that the Indians did not get anything. So, from time to time, Mahathir and, lately, AAB relented and threw some crumbs meant for the Indians. Semi Value pocketed all the crumbs for himself. This despite his family owning assets in Malaysia, Australia and India.

    Why do the Indians keep voting him into office ? It’s like asking how Jayalitha with all her excesses kept getting voted in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. The voters are taken in by their promises year after year. The occasional melodrama, the tear-shedding, and of course the distribution of sewing machines.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the Indians will never get anywhere with Semi Value at the helm. No vision, no integrity and no common sense. In 20 years’ time, it will be very sad for me to say “I told you so.”

  34. #34 by undergrad2 on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 10:20 pm

    GODFATHER: “No vision, no integrity and no common sense. In 20 years’ time, it will be very sad for me to say “I told you so.”

    Godfather, I’ll have to disagree with you on this one!

    Samy Vellu has vision. It is just not the Indian vision but his. He has ‘integrity’ – the integrity of ideas as how to enrich himself. He has the common sense of a leader who knows that soon he will have no party to lead.

  35. #35 by mendela on Monday, 26 November 2007 - 11:25 pm

    Megaman, you are right on! It the the FEAR tat made UMO-led Gomen to use force and violence on her own fellow citizens!

    This Gomen looks pretty fragile now!

    Pls note all past corrupted Gomens in the world would definitely use force and violence on its citizens before there were brought down by the people power.

    This gomen is very panic now!

  36. #36 by kwkean on Tuesday, 27 November 2007 - 12:22 am

    “The type of people”, WTF man!!! How can some one said such a thing? If the Indian still vote him next year, I really got nothing to said anymore.

  37. #37 by Godfather on Tuesday, 27 November 2007 - 2:05 am

    Undergrad2: OK, I concede that Semi Value has vision – it’s called tunnel vision.

  38. #38 by Godfather on Tuesday, 27 November 2007 - 2:23 am

    Semi Value’s tunnel vision leads to his pocket. UMNO MPs have tunnel vision when they look up the skirts of AirAsia stewardesses.

  39. #39 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 27 November 2007 - 8:33 am

    The mistake of Badawi is not that he is not acting now but he did not act earlier when he came to power. He should have laid the groundwork for Samy Vellu to leave – allowing other Indian leaders to rise up the rank he could trust. Instead he allowed Samy Vellu to lord over his community and yet ignored the discontent on the ground.

    Now he is caught between a rock and hardplace – just like those at Hindraf rally feels. He has ran out of time to orderly replace Samy Vellu. If he replace him suddenly, young greedy leaders like Sothinathan would be worst than him and lead no change. If he coopt Hindraf leaders, then he would create riff within Indian support that also makes it worst for BN.

    Its a periscope into the future Badawi is leading us. He does not do enough and when the bill comes, it gets even worst. That is why the Chinese community need to come out strongly for Hindraf, because its about bills that will come and since the Indians are willing to pay the biggest bills now, the least the Chinese community should do is support it wholeheartedly rather than think of short term and ‘business’.

  40. #40 by stk on Tuesday, 27 November 2007 - 8:37 am

    “The type of people” as mentioned by the MP Deva is to me is insulting to the Indians itself.Is he implying the “the type of people” are “low” caste & pariah or laborers and the poor?
    How can the Indians forgave this MP for such an insults.

    It is true the MIC also has an invisible caste system in place,so Indians wake up ,open your eyes wide and vote Sami vilu MIC again and you will be castes as “the type of people”(pariah) forever……

  41. #41 by Colonel on Tuesday, 27 November 2007 - 9:49 am

    “Semi Value’s tunnel vision leads to his pocket. UMNO MPs have tunnel vision when they look up the skirts of AirAsia stewardesses.” says God Father

    Do they get to make tunnels after that?

  42. #42 by DrSuresh on Tuesday, 27 November 2007 - 4:54 pm

    It is quite depressing to see the PM always in denial of the reality of the nation’s sickness. I must admit that, it is quite hard for a single soul to heal the nation when, all it’s people are seeing the world through their narrow minded vision. Why must we Malaysians seek to fight for this racist believes?
    Everyone are Malaysians, and everyone deserves an equal rights in this country. Why must a single majority race thinks that, they have the right to rule, and to control the country for their own benefit. Do they own the country? Why not, we Malaysians work together as one, and help bring our nation to be a first world country?
    I am saddened to see the Indians being marginalized. I felt that, not much has been done to help them. We must help the people that really deserve our help, the poor and the unfortunate. Why must we channel our tax payers money to the rich ultras of a single party?
    Sigh… how many years more must we Malaysians continue to fight on racial lines and religion?

  43. #43 by Godfather on Tuesday, 27 November 2007 - 11:23 pm

    Of course they get to make tunnels. Lots of them. Even if we don’t want them. Smart tunnels, stupid tunnels, eye-popping tunnels….

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