Hindraf demo – only two honourable options for Samy Vellu

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi kicking the ball back to the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) to set up another committee on the plight of Malaysian Indians is a great letdown after the 30,000-strong Hindraf demonstration — which was both a cry of desperation for justice of Malaysian Indians at becoming a new underclass and a powerful vote of no confidence in Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu after more than 28 years as MIC President and Cabinet Minister.

Samy Vellu’s revelation yesterday that after meeting the Prime Minister on Wednesday, Abdullah had asked MIC to set up a special committee to analyse and address socio-economic problems faced by the Indian community is further proof of the advanced denial syndrome of the Barisan Nasional government.

It is also powerful vindication of the critique by the Penang State Exco, Dr. Toh Kin Woon that the Abdullah administration had failed ordinary Malaysians in the past four years in being impervious and insensitive to their “grievances, frustrations and unhappiness”, giving force to his contention that “it is this discontent and unhappiness that will be a greater threat to our country’s peace and stability, rather than the marches, pickets and demonstrations.”

The worst possible responses to the Hindraf demonstration by the government are two — one, to persecute the organizers and supporters of the Hindraf demonstration as “bad hats” and “trouble-makers” and two, refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of the “grievances, frustrations and unhappiness” of the Malaysian Indians which have transformed the Hindraf demonstration into such a powerful expression of protest and alienation.

Both these “worst responses” have been adopted.

Firstly, organisers and supporters of the Hindraf demonstration are being persecuted and prosecuted.

Secondly, asking the MIC to set up another committee after three decades of neglect and marginalization of the Malaysian Indian community is no different from dismissing or treating flippantly the root causes of the Hindraf demonstration.

It is also adding salt to injury as Samy Vellu and MIC must bear full responsibility for the relentless political, economic, educational, social, cultural and religious marginalization of the Indian community in the past 28 years (the period Samy Vellu was MIC President and Cabinet Minister) until they have become a new underclass in Malaysia.

The proper and responsible government response is for the Cabinet and Parliament to heed the views of Toh Kin Woon and concede the legitimacy of the “grievances, frustrations and unhappiness” of the Malaysian Indians resulting in the 30,000 Hindraf demonstration and to adopt a new strategy to address and resolve them — by way of a new policy for a New Deal to end the Marginalisation of the Malaysian Indian community.

However, when the ball is kicked back to the MIC without Cabinet and Parliament acknowledging the legitimacy of the long history of “grievances, frustrations and unhappiness” leading up to the Hindraf demonstration, both the Cabinet and Parliament would have abdicated from their responsibilities to ensure that every Malaysian, regardless of race or religion, is entitled to an equal place under the Malaysian sun.

There can be no denial that the 30,000-strong Hindraf demonstration was a public vote of no confidence in Samy Vellu for his failure in the past three decades to check and reverse the relentless marginalization of the Malaysian Indians into a new underclass in the country.

Samy Vellu has two honourable options before him as his response to the Hindraf demonstration — firstly, to admit his failures as MIC President and Cabinet Minister in the past 28 years and submit his resignation as both MIC President and Cabinet Minister.

Option Two — to get Cabinet and Parliament to concede the legitimacy of the “grievances, frustrations and unhappiness” of the Malaysian Indians resulting in the 30,000-strong Hindraf demonstration by adopting a new national policy on a New Deal to end the Marginalisation of the Malaysian Indian community, failing which, he should resign as MIC President and Cabinet Minister for three-decades of failure to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the Malaysian Indians.

There is no third honourable option available to Samy Vellu.

  1. #1 by DiaperHead on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 11:52 am

    “There is no third honourable option available to Samy Vellu.”

    There is. The third option is for him to strap explosives to his chest and be Malaysia’s first Tamil Tiger’s suicide bomber.

  2. #2 by k1980 on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 11:56 am

    Sorry, off topic but of vital importance — Corrupt Cunning Canine (CCC9)
    This is the kind of nonsense that is quietly going about in the country. A lot of it goes unreported. We don’t know about it, we don’t hear about it.”

  3. #3 by lakalaka69 on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 12:02 pm

    IS there anyway we can ask the 2 million indians in Malaysia to cast a special vote whether they want Samy to be their MIC leader or not?

    I’m sure the result is NO. Please step down now and let new young and aggresif to take over. 28 years is too long too comfortable. The money earned so far should be enough for couple of generation to just sit and eat.

  4. #4 by DarkHorse on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 12:02 pm

    The HINDRAF’s demonstrators have indeed played into the hands of the UMNO dominated government. Should there be another Ops Lallang, the stage would be set for another declaration of a state of emergency and Parliament would be suspended indefinitely. It is not that remote a possibility especially with the mention of terrorism in the message from HINDRAF’s supporters.

  5. #5 by oknyua on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 12:12 pm

    YB Lim

    Is this old Sam’s dilemma or is it ABB’s?

    Since 3 years back, AAB had been seen as helpless in tackling issues that occured. Either he didn’t know, or that the statements of commitments were left to his ministers to make. The result people observed was that management was left mostly on auto-pilot.

    Due to this many conflicting statements surfaced. His ministers were arrogant even if AAB was more reconciliatory. He too contradicted himself a few times. Both gave the picture that he had lost touch with the reality of situations in Malaysia; or otherwise he had no resolve to understand and tackle issues as they were.

    As an example, he threatened Hindraf with ISA but now wanting to know the issues raised. Had he put forward a more reconciliatory statement, half of the present tension and police/court actions wouldn’t surface.

    Similarly, would things be different had he faced the PKFTZ, BERSIH, Auditor General’s report, keris weilding, etc in a different fashion?

  6. #6 by DarkHorse on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 12:20 pm

    Abdullah Badawi is a conflicted individual. He really does not know what to do. He wants to do yet he doesn’t. When he does he is not so sure if it is the right thing to do. Heck, he is not sure if he is still the Prime Minister.

  7. #7 by radhapro on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 12:36 pm

    Bawadi is a rare individual.

    He doesnt really do any bad things…but he doesnt also do any good things.

    In fact, he doesnt do anything.

  8. #8 by MTREE on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 1:03 pm

    Uncle Sam, didn’t get majority Indians support even 20 years ago but everybody doesn’t show it as there are no avenue to show.

    What has he done for us!
    Look at this issues and answer!

    1) Maika Holdings – poor indian invest to have better future but Maika had been “raped” by MIC. What is left? You and me know.

    2) AIMST – So called for Indians. Tell me how many poor indians got seat to do Medicine ( with financial assistance from MIC ). No point building it and claiming it’s for indian but poor indians can’t afford it.

    3) Just wandering how many Koperasi under MIC leadership and how many making money?

    4) How many poor student being sponsored by MIC to overseas.

    5) What assistance given to etate people when they were moved out from estate.

    6) Since BN government can hear Indians problem, why never fight for Indians for University seat allocation. I don’t give a damn for this but I’m concern for poor indians who can’t afford for private U and col.

    7) Look at Tamil school situation. Never in the world there is a school in shop lot ( in Lukut, PD )

    8) Temple issues, it could be handle in proper manner but MIC fails Indians. Look at Padang Jawa temple, it was under Sivalingam (former Selangor exco ). He was close to MB, He could have solve the problem few years back but he didn’t. Now see what happen. Even Uncle Sam request was turn down by MBSA. Look at what level Indians are living in Malaysia.

    MIC had done good job. If give you another 20 years, all Indians will gone from our country.

  9. #9 by taxpayer on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 1:04 pm

    AAB is just buying time by asking MIC to draw up the statistics of the number of non-malays in govt. services, govt controlled companies, statutory bodies etc. He knows the figures. The JPA has the figures. As usual nothing will be done to solve the Indian poverty of this cointry.

  10. #10 by Jeffrey on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 1:08 pm

    The two “honourable options”, there being no third, are what we call “Hopson Choice” – impossible options (translated means no option).

    To get Cabinet and Parliament to concede the legitimacy of the “grievances, frustrations and unhappiness” of the Malaysian Indians is tantamount to getting them admit the marginalisation of the category of all Non Malays in general of whom the sub-category of Malaysian Indians is, only in degree, more severe and poignant – that’s all.

    To get the MIC President to admit his failures as MIC President and Cabinet Minister in the past 28 years and submit his resignation as both MIC President and Cabinet Minister is an ethical option of which the chances of it being even considered much less exercised is practically zero.

    Lets better look at the other side’s story and what options are available to the UMNO’s leaders.

    First what our IGP said – that the Organisers of Bersih and Hindraf were offered “stadiums and other alternative venues” to hold peaceful demonstrations consistent with freedom of assembly but they stubbornly rejected them.

    “The organisers were adamant to hold them in the city streets…We offered to escort them to the high commission but they said they did not want. They said they wanted to send the memorandum to the Queen, instead. We gave them an alternative venue but they insisted on gathering in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
    “They are stubborn and that is the problem” ….he said.
    See link – http://tunkuaisha.blogspot.com/

    “If the authorities allowed Hindraf to go out in the streets to voice their dissatisfaction, others will make claims too.
    “The Malays will say they had a good life during the Malacca Sultanate and you (the British) destroyed it … and it will go on and on,” the IGP said.

    There is also rumour (from RPK’s blog I think) that some malay muslim groups are also planning demonstrations. Don’t know if it’s true.

    Now many of us are excited about these new developments of nurturing fostering and cultivating rights recognition, one of the first ways of which is to be able to exercise the right to freedom of assembly and free speech.

    Carrying forward from what I said in last thread of the importance of for Hindraf’s organizers to evaluate pluses(+) and minuses of their various actions.

    The pluses – whatever the shortcomings : (1) it succeeds in raising attention on Indians’ plight as underclass and dealt a severe blow on pretender MIC making MCA and other component parties reverberate with shocks whether their claims will also be likewise refuted; (2) it is always inspiring to say the least to see people martyr Ghandi style for the Cause of Democracy against the forces of repression.

    The Minuses – this “racialised approach of appealing on behalf of a sub group (Hindu Tamils alone) to other nations like UK and India and writing in what some may readily seize as incendiary language (eg Ethnic cleansing & Tamil Indians) – does it serve the larger cause of negotiating and broadening the public space for democratic expression for all Malaysians – will this Cause be served and put in jeopardy?

    If the government does not do anything, will not other ultra right wing groups favouring status quo also press for demonstrations, with or without police permit, leading down the road to further heightening racial and religious tensions?

    Will moderate Malaysian Malays desirous of reforms be alienated by such an approach?

    Secondly, there are right wing factions within the ruling parties and their leaders who may want to usher the present PM out of the slot to take his place on grounds of his lack of resolve to handle demonstrations.

    Is it not impossible that they may use demonstrations as a means to spark riots for their own ambition? Now before one dismisses this as standard pro government excuse, ask yourself if you believe the unofficial version of what happened in May 13, whether you believe reactionaries and power brokers who had done it before can repeat this or not.

    In light of all these, it should be asked – no, should we “flagellate” – whether an approach as that taken by Hindraf organizers best serve the higher interest of democracy when it is done in such a way and by such an approach to almost beg for an official crackdown in the interest of public order and security considering the kind of forces at play in this country? Will the “approach” have the unintended consequence of sabotaging our nascent civil rights movement beginning on the streets? I am talking of the “approach” not the goal of which I have no quarrel with. :)

  11. #11 by k1980 on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 1:09 pm

    Lots of reasons for those who are still sitting on the fence

  12. #12 by boh-liao on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 1:21 pm

    Who said MIC and AAB are heartless and not listening to the voices of people?

    AAB had also asked MIC to set up a special committee to analyse and address socio-economic problems faced by the Indian community. And MIC will set up a hotline as soon as possible to handle all problems faced by the Indian community.

    So wonderful. Problems of the the Indian community will be solved. Please continue to vote for BN!

  13. #13 by oknyua on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 1:26 pm

    What he could have done (but didn’t)?

    Ferry got burnt: Did he asked for the officers that approved the permit?

    Old busses accidents: Were there any Puspakom and JPJ officers suspended/prosecuted?

    The judiciary tape: Why was the around-the-bush decision?

    The Auditor General Report: about 8 men charged? Is that all? 8 men for the 680 pages report?

    The Bersih: Why didn’t he take their earlier complaints about electoral fairness? Must it reach the march and got the king involved?

    The PKFTZ: Why must he drag and drag answering YB Lim’s question? He didn’t answer because it’s an opposition’s ploy? But wasn’t the RM4.6 billion taxpayers money?

    The Hindraf: Didn’t it started from Shah Alam temple? Why did he allow all his BN parliamenterian to condemn the earlier protest? Even Old Sam was ignored.

    The Keris-wielding: Why must he defend such obvious threat of bloodshed?

    The mongolian wasn’t his case, but couldn’t he have an input in the proper prosecution?

    He had enough feedbacks. He said he listen to criticism. Didn’t he read our former Lord President’s speech? Didn’t he read Raja Nazrin speech? He allowed issues to simmer, simmer…

    Before the cases above are solved, another would surface.

  14. #14 by budak on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 1:33 pm

    at 1st said the group are small potatoes only…
    now setting up a HOTLINE for what..?
    $$$ delivery service?

  15. #15 by oknyua on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 1:34 pm

    “AAB asked MIC..” Boh-liao

    That is exactly in conflict with what the great Nazri said. Hindraf is ..what’s the word “penyagak,” and “samseng.” How could MIC and AAB deal with “penyagak?” Are they saying the “penyagak” has been legitimised?

  16. #16 by FuturePolitician on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 1:46 pm

    so many minister must resign…for past months many needed to resign and should have resigned due to their responsibility to the nation. Mishap of non-natural disaster has crept up to our doorways and our nation guardsman has let em in.

    Helicopter plunging, ship sinkin, building collapsed, etc, etc, etc


    Only Election can removed them, if that doesnt work.. a dread to think of our future.

  17. #17 by anakbaram on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 2:00 pm

    Going on the street to demonstrate in order to be heard is a state of affair which proves that the Indians in Malaysia generally feel neglected or even marginalised. This state should not be reached if the people concerned did their job well. However this is just a wake-up call. If nothing or not enough is done after this we nevappen.er know what the next thing which could happen.

    So this is just the Indian population which are voicing their frustration. But never be mislead that they are the only ones. Look at the natives of Sabah and Sarawak, these are in worst states than the Indians. Please do something before they too errupt.

  18. #18 by Bigjoe on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 2:00 pm

    Who is politcising the issue? The very least the AAB should have done was to convene a meeting with both Kavyeas and Samy Vellu. Instead he chose to hand the problem back to those who have been irresponsible all this time. Its clear the PM don’t know how to work outside the politicised framework he is trained to do.

    I actually understand the PM’s delimma. Although Samy Vellu is the wrong person, there is no better person including Kavyeas. Those more trustworthy do not have the political clout to make it happen and also risk making things worst. The consequence could be electorally bad for BN.

    This is why strong leadership skill is needed. From the start, critics of Badawi admins have said it was a big mistake of Dr. M to elect a weak leader like him. Its times like these that we are reminded why, too late it seems.

    Its time the PM sit with a wider Indian community leadership and discuss their political situation honestly, to ensure their representation and a solution to their issue. The answer is there if he had half an imagination. Firstly, they need to make the Indian political party more democratic and dynamic – term limit if it has to be so. Secondly the ethos must be about self-help. Give the Indians the resources to decide for themselves what they want to do rather than try and control it much the way Singapore has done for the Malays.

    What the PM is afraid is to set a precedent for the end of NEP. He don’t get it that the end of the NEP must be decided within his administration if he plan to stick around longer. He cannot avoid being judged for this issue one way or other. If he avoid it, history will condemn him eventually.

  19. #19 by lakshy on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 2:06 pm

    Lets make our voices heard ………through the ballot box. Thats the best way to ensure that the Rakyat is served. At present its the politicians interest that is served….and the rakyat beinh hoodwinked while the nation is raped.

    Enough! Lets topple BN. Vote out BN! Vote for change! Vote for Progress!

  20. #20 by Cinapek on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 2:07 pm

    Now that the shit has hit the ceiling fan, AAB is desperately trying to wayang the whole fiasco and set up this knee jerk reaction of a “hotline” and MIC commitee in a bid for damage control for the imminent GE.

    What does this reaction tell you? That MIC and UMNO/AAB tacitly agrees that the Indians do have a problem. Otherwise AAB and Samy should stick to their guns that all along the Govt has treated the Indians fairly and prove it.

    Even saints have their limits. If you keep pushing someone long enough, at some point they will push back. Let this also be a lesson for the MCA. The Chinese may not have taken to the streets yet but there are also a great deal of suppressed frustrations that must be dealt with in an open and positive manner. Threatening the people with ISA and all manners of intimidation will not work. Mahatma Gandi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King proved this. If a people feel they have too much to lose, they will stand thier ground eventually.

  21. #21 by lakshy on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 2:10 pm

    I hear the election is pretty soon. Going by the fact that Semi Value announced no toll hike for some highways next year, one can be certain that elections will be in December. Otherwise they would have announced this much later.

    Next year, GAs, petrol and Electricty will JUMP up, resulting in prices of all goods going up. Then the public is going to be unhappy with PM and will vote against him and his party. So he has no choice but to call the elections soon.

    And we should show them who is the boss! Vote out AAB, Najib, Nazri, Cyclops, Kinabatangan, Semi Value and ALL MIC MP’s and vote for Change. Lets help develop a credible alternative Government to rule this nation. That would be for the good of this nation!

  22. #22 by ahkok1982 on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 2:11 pm

    asking MIC to set up a committee to look into the plight of the Malaysian Hindus is like asking the thief to investigate if he stole anything….
    final verdict from the MIC CONmittee:
    1) Nothing is wrong with the management of the welfare of the Indian community
    2) Those poor fellows did not work hard for their own sake
    3) Those who protested are the minority. So they dont represent the majority who are satisfied
    4) The protesters are trouble makers so no need to heed them
    5) MIC have worked hard for their welfare. Long live MIC

    a bunch of bull ****

  23. #23 by sheriff singh on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 2:14 pm

    When Hindraf held a peaceful gathering in August or September in Putrajaya, they were given a hard time by the authorities. They had handed over to the PM’s representative a letter seeking an appointment with the PM to discuss their grieviences which is affecting their community. The PM was not around jetting about somewhere in US or so. Since then, the PM who says he “wants to hear the truth”, “he’s receptive to complaints”, “he’s open minded”, “he’s caring” etc etc had not bothered to reply or to give an appointment. Maybe he’s too scared, maybe he’s sleeping on the job. So 25/11 is what you get.

    Now he refers this disaffection to Samy Vellu, the “wira” of his community who is hard pressed to identify what he has done for his community. Now MIC wants to set up a “hotline”, 25 years late. How many Indians trust the MIC now, one really wonders. Only way to make them listen is through the ballot boxes.

    By the way, Mr Lim, there’s one thing you can learn from Mr Samy. Looking at the various video clips of Parliament debates, I noticed that you could be thinning at the top. Maybe it is only a reflection of the tancho or maybe it is because of old age. But if you do have a problem up there and need to do something, I am sure Samy could step across the floor and offer some “advice”. Sorry, just kidding around. He, he.

  24. #24 by Jeffrey on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 2:18 pm

    But if, within the BN’s scheme of arrangements, he doesn’t ask MIC, ask who else? Have majority of Indians withdrawn support from MIC judging from last general election and if so where did that support go? On Big Joe’s point that PM should take unprecedented step to wind down if not dismantle NEP, would the majority of Malay/Muslim constitutency from whom he gets his political support at this juncture agree to their leader’s winding down and dismantling of the NEP?

  25. #25 by sani on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 2:19 pm


    Hussien Onn once said “need not a torchlight, when it is all so clear”.

    It is all so clear , the root of this Malaysian trees is racial in nature. All that grows out of it, is also racial. When you plant a rambutan seed , not even God can make it bear durians.

    It is all so clear that, no matter how many panels, committees, phone lines or torch lights are being deployed, the result will still be the same. Dignity to all, is the only constant, for a happy + progressive country.

    It is all too clear, that public life is not just a popularity contest. One must have clear + good visions. Plus the sincerity to move towards those visions. One must have intergrity, in discharging his or her duties for the people , with include the conscience to leave, when one had failed.

    I also want make it absolutely clear, that i have nothing again people who spot a toupee, but Mr Minister, take it off once in a while, it might just make you think better.

  26. #26 by waterfrontcoolie on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 2:22 pm

    Buying time is the aim. The Committee will come out with all the things the Indian community desires; beautifully worded as many Indians would be able to appreciate. Of course, the GOmen will need time to implement all these lovely objectives, remember Ijok by-election, and this SHALL be done AFTER the GE, so please vote for us. Believe me, many Indians will fall for this and get frustrated for another 5 years with Samy still heading the Indian Parade!!
    AAB won’t have to plan this, it is the standard solution all these years. Can I suggest this solution, let us take all Gomen privatized projects and if the owner is an Indian, then allow the Indian community the right to decide if they want a share of that project or not. Likewise, in the case of the privatized project being Chinese-owned, let the Chinese commuinty decide. In the case of Bumis’ interests, well you have the rest, Proton, Petronas, Putra Jaya, and all the GLCs. After all, these privatized projects should have had be given to each community to do what they think best.

  27. #27 by thinkingahead on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 2:26 pm

    Why there is a need to set up the committee when the reason behind the Hindraf march is very obvious. The problems are in front of them, go straight and deal with it. The committee is not needed and it is the way the government to delay the problem as long as possible so that everyone will forget about it.

    Cut short, ‘Sweep under the carpet, the problem consider solve’.

    How long can the government act in ignorance of the frustration of the Malaysian Indian?

  28. #28 by max2811 on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 2:40 pm

    During the last 2 by-elections, gifts like washing machines, sewing machines and prize money were given away to woo the voters. It was effective. Even tarring the road behind your house, building a basketball court, traffic lights and street lights were approve on the spot.
    Suddenly the giving stopped, demonstrations starts. BN should start giving again.
    The people that received were without dignity and principles. Maybe BN should give another 30000 sewing machines, Hindraf would have no more supporters.

  29. #29 by madmix on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 2:56 pm

    I am afraid you are talking about not very honourable people, so why should he bother about honorable options?

  30. #30 by budak on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 3:06 pm

    some broke back Malaysian are no diginity 1 lah…
    talk until cow come how, … :-)

  31. #31 by mendela on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 3:30 pm

    Darkhouse said //Abdullah Badawi is a conflicted individual. He really does not know what to do. He wants to do yet he doesn’t. When he does he is not so sure if it is the right thing to do. Heck, he is not sure if he is still the Prime Minister.//

    Well said.

    The main problem with Bodowi is he is totally out of touch with the world. He is just plain too lazy to find out the truths. He does not read, he does not listen, he does not use his pea-size brain. He is just too lazy!

    To hell he MUST go!

  32. #32 by Just Din on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 3:37 pm

    YB Lim,

    The present Government is in a state of hubris. It cannot solve problems because the Prime Minister and his Cabinet Ministers are doing things which are personally rewarding. Usually, a government–like John Howard’s conservatives– that does not listen to voters will end up losing humiliatingly. In Malaysia, such a
    government can hold on to office for more than 50 years by just manipulating the rules of the elections game and cheating.

    The Elections Commission is unashamedly in favour of the incumbent government. A number of reports have been submitted to Tan Sri Rashid’s office by NGOs and political parties. He continues to turn a blind eye to them.

    We cannot have fair and clean elections unless we change the electoral rules to prevent fraudulent practices and, in so doing, create a level playing field. Otherwise, ours is a sham democracy. We need badly new leaders, fresh ideas and programmes which benefit all Malaysians. A new coalition should be formed. Is it possible?

    I think YB Lim needs to address this important issue, if ever the Opposition is going to be a strong, cohesive and effective. Please act with some sense of urgency so that we can be ready to face a formidable force of incumbency which controls the media and the wheels of repressive power.


  33. #33 by motai on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 4:06 pm

    Malaysia needs new social contract
    Friday, 30 November 2007, 07:43am
    ©Today Online, Singapore (Used by permission)
    by Andy Mukherjee

    FOR a country that abhors public protests and suppresses them with strict rules against illegal assembly, Malaysia has had two big demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur just this month.

    With elections expected next year, a certain rise in political temperature isn’t surprising.

    However, the two recent street rallies may be a sign that the 50-year-old code defining the rules of engagement between the state and the three main ethnic groups — the “social contract” — is fraying.

    The biggest source of discontent is race, a four-letter word in a country where three-fifths of the 27 million are Malays, about a quarter of the population is Chinese and 10 per cent Indian.

    Many in the minority Chinese and Indian communities are disenchanted with economic policies that favour the Malays.

    And while privileges granted to the Malay bumiputeras can’t be taken away abruptly, the case for separating entitlements from racial identity is building.

    There are, of course, limits to how far Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi may be prepared to go, and how soon.

    To the extent affirmative-action policies make Malaysia unattractive to foreign investors, Mr Abdullah has already shown a willingness to respond. The government has said that companies setting up tourism or logistics businesses in Johor’s Iskandar Development Region won’t need to comply with a rule requiring foreign companies to have at least 30 per cent ethnic Malay ownership.

    Ending preferential treatment for Malays in lucrative government contracts is going to be more problematic.

    Free-trade talks with the United States and Australia have been delayed and the ones with New Zealand have had to be suspended primarily because Malaysia’s policy of discouraging non-Malays — including foreigners — from bidding on government tenders is unacceptable to these countries.

    The Federation of Malaya’s 1957 Constitution, which was drafted as the British were leaving, recognised that the indigenous Malay community needed special help, including quotas in government jobs, business permits and university places, to improve their abject economic standing.

    The acceptance of this arrangement by the minority Chinese and Indian communities — “foreigners” in the land of the ethnic Malay Muslims — was seen as the basis of their citizenship and participation in a grand political coalition that has ruled Malaysia uninterrupted since independence.

    Following bloody race riots in 1969, the New Economic Policy of 1970 made it an avowed goal of state policy to lift the share of corporate ownership for the bumiputeras to 30 per cent, from just 2 per cent.

    There was an uproar last year when a Malaysian economist argued in a study that the goal may already have been more than met and it was time to dismantle economic policies based on race. The political rhetoric is still staunchly against any such dilution of affirmative action. At his party’s annual congress this month, Mr Abdullah described Malay interests and the social contract between communities as “sacred”.

    However, the economic reality is different. Malaysia’s annual per-capita income has jumped an impressive 26-fold in the past 50 years. But the decades of sustained, rapid growth in prosperity are now history.

    The rise of China and India is forcing Malaysia to discover new sources of competitiveness; in such an environment, the policy of race-based discrimination is increasingly untenable.

  34. #34 by Anti_NEP on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 4:17 pm

    You think semi value cares about the poor indians in the estate? Come election, 200 ringgit will ‘kau tim’ the estate indians like ijok. The indian communitiy must realise only they can change their fate not semi value with 200 ringgit handout during election.

  35. #35 by mc on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 4:35 pm

    Y.B. Lim Kit Siang,

    I think you are holding the position of Opposition Leader longer than Samy Vellu as minister, but it is sad that you still fail to lead DAP even to win in Penang and failure of Tanjung 1, Tanjung 2 and Tanjung 3…….

    Why don’t you just retire and give chances to younger opposition leader to give BN a run for their seats in the coming election…

    I bet you won’t….

  36. #36 by malaysiatoday.com on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 5:02 pm

    UMNO MAY asking MIC to use market value for Indian wealth computation while face value must be used for bumis.

    Third option for Samy Vellu is MIC withdraws from BN and joins opposition.

  37. #37 by busyyy on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 5:12 pm

    What’s next?
    The special committe for Kadazan,Iban,Bidayuh? what about those the govt call them aboriginal people in the peninsula Malaysia?Goshh this can go on forever.

  38. #38 by oknyua on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 6:58 pm

    “Why don’t you just retire…” MC

    Well, MC, I don’t think YB Lim is going to answer your question. Just for some friendly discourse here, at a periodof time, YB Lim wasn’t the opposition leader. He wasn’t even an MP during that time.

    Secondly YB Lim spent many years in Kamunting prison. I don’t know for what, can you remember? Maybe you find out why. Personally I have talked to individuals that had made personal threats against YB Lim. (The threats were never carried out).

    Thirdly, YB Lim had an deputy since when? Until today, nothing remain his deputy, no assissination of opportunity, character etc. Still good friends.

    Fourthly, I think this is my last point because there are too many to mention. Fourth, do you know the reason for the BERSIH march? When had there been a flat playing field in Malaysian politics? The word fathom voters didn’t just appear from nowhere; they are real. Electoral boundaries, electoral lists.. these are the Bersih issues.

    OK MC? Cheers.

  39. #39 by HJ Angus on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 7:08 pm


    I’m sure you mean “Hobson’s choice”


  40. #40 by undergrad2 on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 7:20 pm

    “In Malaysia, such a
    government can hold on to office for more than 50 years by just manipulating the rules of the elections game and cheating.” DIN MERICAN

    UMNO has held control for that many years because there were enough partners in the electoral alliance, who were willing to “go into bed with them”!

    “Otherwise, ours is a sham democracy.” DIN MERICAN

    Ours started off as a struggling democracy. There were novice at the controls. But then it rapidly turned into a ‘sham democracy’ under Mahathir (your mentor) and with Ministers like Nazri, and a PM who is without doubt a ‘leader’ with no followers who fancies himself more as one of the country’s constitutional rulers than head of the executive branch of the government, the circle is now complete!

    “A new coalition should be formed. Is it possible?” DIN MERICAN

    The question should be “Can a coalition of equal partners each operating under unequal circumstances be forged between partners of unequal strength”

  41. #41 by Godamn Singh on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 7:50 pm

    Mc sounds like a disgruntled DAP member!

  42. #42 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 8:48 pm

    YB LKS:
    “There is no third honourable option available to Samy Vellu.”

    Hello, as far as the overwhelming majority of Malaysian Indians are concerned, there is but only 1 thing left for Samy Vellu to do – GET LOST AND ‘MAIN JAUH-JAUH’!

  43. #43 by Jeffrey on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 8:55 pm

    HJ Angus, “Hobson’s choice” it is. Thanks for the correction. :)

  44. #44 by Godfather on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 9:05 pm

    One of the greatest gangsters ever to “grace” the political arena to resign ? Of course, he and his family has had enough to last several generations, but the real insecurity is that if he leaves the stage for others, there could be a Nuremburg-style witchhunt.

  45. #45 by Godfather on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 9:05 pm

    One of the greatest gangsters ever to “grace” the political arena to resign ? Of course, he and his family has had enough to last several generations, but the real insecurity is that if he leaves the stage for others, there could be a Nuremburg-style witchhunt.

  46. #46 by Godfather on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 9:05 pm

    One of the greatest gangsters ever to “grace” the political arena to resign ? Of course, he and his family has had enough to last several generations, but the real insecurity is that if he leaves the stage for others, there could be a Nuremburg-style witchhunt.

  47. #47 by Godfather on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 9:24 pm

    Maybe I should volunteer to contest against Semi Value in Sg Siput under the DAP or PKR umbrella.

  48. #48 by liaw3003sc on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 9:59 pm

    I fully agreed with anakbaram’s concern that the REAL NATIVES in Sabah and Sarawak are worse off than the Indian. They are left to rot in once their own land; they are like being colonised by the ‘masters’ from KL. KL must help them as they had also been ‘kept moronised’ by the British for many centuries; just like what the British had done to our Malays for 4 centuries as per what our DPM had said recently.

  49. #49 by dawsheng on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 10:23 pm

    “Who in their right mind would accuse us of demolishing a temple every three weeks or say there is ethnic cleansing.” Hishamudin

    We have about 30,000 unsound ethnic Indians according to the education minister.

  50. #50 by shaolin on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 10:34 pm

    When talking cannot solve the problems and issues,
    the best way is to make use of firearms…!!

    Quote: ‘Power come from the barrel of the guns’ !!!

  51. #51 by shaolin on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 10:44 pm

    Can you trust AAB’s suggestions?? What counter-measure
    plans he has got for all the HINDRAF Indians??!!

    Unless otherwise he is prepared to do it w/o the NEP…??!!
    Can he do that alone?? The answer is NO!! UMNO will say
    NO and AAB will be Out of Office if he insists…!!

    As long as NEP is there, all INdians or rather All Non-Malays
    will continue to suffer endlessly…!!!

    Damn it!! AAB tries to buy time and trick you…!!

  52. #52 by EARNEST on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 11:15 pm

    The two “honourable options”, there being no third, are what we call “Hopson Choice” – impossible options (translated means no option). — jeffrey.

    Noun: Hobson’s choice

    — The choice of taking what is offered or nothing at all

  53. #53 by DiaperHead on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 11:31 pm

    EARNEST the blog’s retired English teacher from the Old Folks Home has spoken!

  54. #54 by Godamn Singh on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 11:38 pm

    Earnest is an ‘ol English teacher??

    If he is, he should know that Hobson’s choice is not a choice at all which is different from saying “take what is offered or nothing at all” – you’re getting senile ‘ol timer

  55. #55 by undergrad2 on Friday, 30 November 2007 - 11:48 pm


    There are questions posed to you on an earlier thread and we need your response:

    “Hindraf demo – BN Ministers and leaders should have at least 30% of Toh Kin Woon’s sincerity and honesty”

  56. #56 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 1 December 2007 - 12:03 am

    Earnest you are right about Hobson’s choice as meaning a false illusion of choice – as subtly distinct from a choice between two undesirable options presented by Kit to Samy Vellu. Thanks…

    The phrase (Hobson’s choice) is said to originate from Thomas Hobson (1544–1630), a livery stable owner at Cambridge, England who, in order to rotate the use of his horses, offered customers the choice of either taking the horse in the stall nearest the door—or taking none at all.

  57. #57 by Godamn Singh on Saturday, 1 December 2007 - 12:49 am

    It is like asking you to choose between Nazri or Samy Vellu.

  58. #58 by Godamn Singh on Saturday, 1 December 2007 - 12:57 am

    Listen up you bigots, let’s put the issue of the marginalization of the Indians in Malaysia into perspective. I’m very much an Indian as the Tamil Indian is.

    “Indians are a small minority in Malaysia – making up less than 10% of the population. Numerically they are becoming even more irrelevant.

    But this small minority is divided into so many sub-minorities almost all of whom are far richer and better off than the Tamil Hindus – the largest Indian group who were also the people protesting on Sunday. The Sindhi and Gujerati Hindus are business oriented. They may not even acknowledge that Tamil Hindus are human. In their belief the Tamils are children of Hanuman, the dark-skinned monkey god who helped their white-skinned god Ram rescue their white-skinned princess Sita Devi from the clutches of the dark-skinned Ravan.

    Then we have the Ceylon Tamils. An irate Indian Tamil woman once said that the Ceylon Tamils in Malaysia are ashamed to say that they are also Indians or Tamils. So in official application forms where they must state their race, they put themselves under ‘Lain-Lain’ or Others, not as Indians. Few people may be aware of this but the Ceylon Tamils are by far the most successful racial group in Malaysia, whose per capita incomes may be higher than the Chinese, Gujeratis, Mamaks, etc. There are more millionaires per thousand people among Ceylon Tamils than any other race in Malaysia. The richest man in Malaysia is a Ceylon Tamil billionaire known as Ananda Krishnan.”

    To quote the writer of “The Indian Question”

  59. #59 by DiaperHead on Saturday, 1 December 2007 - 1:08 am

    How many of you have seen Samy Vellu without his toupee. Here

  60. #60 by malaysiatoday.com on Saturday, 1 December 2007 - 1:13 am

    My impression is the majority of Malays especially in rural areas still think that themselves are victims of marginisation under the bombardments of Utusan and TV 1 to 8.

    The statistics from government is always twisted to project Malays are “mundur”.

    One classical example is UTM, where students in diploma courses are not included for university graduate quota statistics.

    Malay’s wealth portion already achieved 30% long time ago, but UMNO again manipulated “face value” to play down Malay real wealth.

    When it comes to richiest men in Malaysia, UMNO people have no shame to use “market value” to blow up asset value of non-bumis.

    Non-Malay in public service is dwindling to a single digit % and still Ahmad Badawi wanted MIC to re-conduct study for a three decade old issue.

  61. #61 by EARNEST on Saturday, 1 December 2007 - 1:34 am

    EARNEST the blog’s retired English teacher from the Old Folks Home has spoken! — DiaperHead Says:

    I am not a retired English teacher. I stay in my own home with adorable family members.

    I have interest in language, especially the English language. English educated but can read Chinese fairly well. Pure Science student, but deeply interested in fine arts, especially oil painting, computing, researching.

  62. #62 by DiaperHead on Saturday, 1 December 2007 - 2:40 am

    Who cares.

  63. #63 by DarkHorse on Saturday, 1 December 2007 - 3:05 am


    Suicide bomber took Senator Hilary Clinton’s staff hostages!

  64. #64 by undergrad2 on Saturday, 1 December 2007 - 3:18 am

    Hostage situation unfolding at Sen. Hilary Clinton’s New Hampshire Office. A man had walked in and showed a bomb strapped to his chest. Two of her office staff taken hostages.

    Sharpshooters on the roof of the building. Whereabouts of Sen. Hilary Clinton unknown. Obama evacuating his Office.

  65. #65 by liaw3003sc on Saturday, 1 December 2007 - 4:43 am

    Very easy to help our Indian friends (and all other non-malays before their outburst); change NEP to income bracket based rather than race based; then its truly to uplift the poor! How can the rich Malays (like Nazri & Khairy) enjoy like hell and still enjoy all the priviledges whereas the poor non-malays are struggling to meet ends need. We should help all the poor, irrespective of their race and faith! UMNO must face the reality, this is the best way to make our country the highest annual growth country in the world! The rich Malays are reaping ‘extras’ under the pretext of NEP; that’s why mati-mati pun they want the NEP to go on. However, it is with deep regret that they are kicking up the sentiment of the ignorant Malays in the process to keep the NEP alive. “Food for thought for the sakit kepala AAB for the future of our beloved country; it is really a heaven on earth if NEP is only for the poor, at least for the next 50 years”

  66. #66 by undergrad2 on Saturday, 1 December 2007 - 5:33 am

    False alarm!!!

    “Suicide bomber” turned out to be a deranged individual.

  67. #67 by undergrad2 on Saturday, 1 December 2007 - 5:34 am

    He had no bomb but road flares – plus a divorce and lots of debts,

  68. #68 by dawsheng on Saturday, 1 December 2007 - 5:53 am

    Honour or honor (see spelling differences), is the evaluation of a person’s trustworthiness and social status based on that individual’s espousals and actions. Honour is deemed exactly what determines a person’s character: whether or not the person reflects honesty, respect, integrity, or fairness. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honour

    Since when Samy Vellu deserves an honourable options when there is no honour in this man?

  69. #69 by dawsheng on Saturday, 1 December 2007 - 6:05 am

    “The MIC will set up a hotline as soon as possible to handle all problems faced by the Indian community, its president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said. “We expect calls on problems on Tamil schools and Hindu temples. Other problems can also be channelled to the hotline,” he told reporters after chairing the party’s central working committee meeting here yesterday. “When there are problems which need to be brought to the attention of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, I will bring it up with them,” he said.” -thestar

    After Hindraf’s rally all MIC can do is set up hotline, note it is only as soon as possible and he expected calls on tamil schools and temple problems, knowing that already he will brought it to the attention of PM if it needs to. This is an either or situation, if Samy vellu is not a nut case, then the Indian community must be.

  70. #70 by dawsheng on Saturday, 1 December 2007 - 6:33 am

    “Samy Vellu said Abdullah wanted the committee to submit a detailed report on all the demands of the Indian community so that they could be evaluated. He stressed that the committee was a result of a report submitted by the party to Abdullah in June. The report is entitled “A New Mechanism for the Indian Community”. Asked if all these measures were due to the Hindraf protest last Sunday, he said MIC had always submitted a report to the Prime Minister every six months. He said Abdullah was very sympathetic to the plight of the community and the Prime Minister had promised to study the report.”

    First of all, let it be clear that MIC does not represents all Malaysian Indians, MIC is nothing but a component party in BN representing the Indians but not all Indians, the same applies to the MCA. As a component party in BN like the MCA, both MIC and MCA does not represents the political reality in the country, both MIC and MCA are nothing but running dogs for UMNO, the dominant party who held power because they have the majority supports from the Malay populations.

    Samy Vellu said Abdullah was very sympathetic and he ordered a committee to submit a detailed report on all demands of the community and the Prime Minister had promised to study the report and evaluate it. This can only means UMNO is dictating the fate of Malaysian Indians, it can also means if after the evaluation UMNO concluded that the demands are unfounded, the “new mechanism” can means the “final solution” for the Indian community in Malaysia.

    When Hishamudin said ““Who in their right mind would accuse us of demolishing a temple every three weeks or say there is ethnic cleansing.” On second thoughts he may be right afterall.

  71. #71 by dawsheng on Saturday, 1 December 2007 - 6:43 am

    “Differences in opinions should not be construed as breaking ranks with leaders, acting Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said. He said different parties in the coalition could have different views. Instead of harping and sensationalising different views, attention should be focused on the issues and challenges, he said.

    Dr Koh said this when asked to comment on Penang state executive councillor Datuk Dr Toh Kin Woon’s views on street demonstrations and the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) highlighted in Malaysiakini. Dr Koh said Dr Toh was merely expressing his personal views.

    Asked if Dr Toh had violated the Barisan Nasional spirit by openly expressing his differing views, Dr Koh said: “I do not think so.” “Different parties have different views. We are a democratic country. Gerakan is a democratic party,” he said. However, there are many channels to express views, he said.

    Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has “big ears” to listen, he said.


  72. #72 by DiaperHead on Saturday, 1 December 2007 - 6:52 am

    Stop dramatizing it, dawsheng!!

    “..the “new mechanism” can mean the “final solution” for the Indian community in Malaysia.”

    The Indians in Malaysia are not being put to work on the Death Railway or put in trains bound for Auschwitz!

  73. #73 by stk on Saturday, 1 December 2007 - 8:42 am

    Asking MIC to look into the plight of the Indians is like asking a cat to look after a fish.Asking for more fund means “durian runtuh” for the MIC leaders.Don’t believe? Remember the MAIKA case involving MILLIONS OF $$$$$$$$ worth of Telekom shares.Where the $$$ gone?Of course in MR SAMI son’s pocket.

  74. #74 by dawsheng on Saturday, 1 December 2007 - 9:27 am

    “The Indians in Malaysia are not being put to work on the Death Railway or put in trains bound for Auschwitz!”

    But they monopolized the newspaper distribution and was at fault and blamed for celebrating Deepavali. All because they didn’t deliver the great speeches of Abdullah during the UMNO GA which fall on their holiday. This is not dramatization, this is the truth. The Indians in Malaysia has been discriminated, marginalised and religiously persecuted, only those supported BN will deny this reality.

  75. #75 by dawsheng on Saturday, 1 December 2007 - 9:29 am

    How much is one making as a newspaper delivery man?

  76. #76 by MTREE on Saturday, 1 December 2007 - 10:36 am

    Read the newspaper today. Wow fantastic, I will vote and die for MIC & BN!!!!! They are setting up special committee to find out Indians problem. I suggest Chinese, Malays, Sabah/Sarawak brothers also take up Hindraf’s way of street protest to get BN gov attention but you must get a sweet gift from BN gov first ( tear gas/acid water ) first.

    The way BN is doing as though we malaysian are the most stupid ppl in the world.

    Uncle sam was telling after the Hindraf rally, MIC is updating Bodowi every 6 months about Indians problem and discussing about Indians plight in every cabinet meetings.
    YB LIM WHY NOT WE HAVE UNITY GATHERING IN KL (Let say 1 million people ) in support for peace and unity in Malaysia.

  77. #77 by ktteokt on Sunday, 2 December 2007 - 3:28 pm

    Doesn’t Samy feel the pinch? He is Indian too you know?

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