Pak Lah’s announcement of Thaipusam as public holiday – Thousand pities

Thousand pities that Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s announcement yesterday of Thaipusam as a public holiday is seen as highly opportunistic and self-serving to salvage Samy Vellu’s political life and Barisan Nasional’s political fortunes in the coming polls than the start of a serious and genuine national commitment to end the long-standing marginalization of Malaysian Indians as the new underclass in the country.

Although the Prime Minister had said at his Ponggol speech in Bukit Bintang on Saturday that he would consider the call to make Thaipusam a public holiday, it was clear that he had decided to use the “Thaipusam a public holiday” as a gambit to restore the political stocks of Samy Vellu and the Barisan Nasional among the two million Malaysian Indians, which was why there was the front-page story in the Star on Friday “PM to hold BN council meeting on polls” which reported: “On Sunday, Abdullah will meet 20,000 MIC members and supporters at the Cheras Badminton Stadium where he is expected to make a major announcement.”

No wonder one widespread comment and reaction to Abdullah’s announcement is that the Hindraf had been achieve in one rally on Nov. 25 what Samy Vellu had failed to do in more than 28 years as MIC President and sole Indian Cabinet Minister.

I do not completely fault Abdullah for trying get political, general election and voter mileage over the “Thaipusam as public holiday” gambit, as this has become too ingrained in the Barisan Nasional political culture where people’s legitimate demands and aspirations are only given some consideration when there is a general election around the corner or a by-election in tow.

In fact, this is the time for Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, culture, language, group, NGO or even individual to reiterate their various outstanding demands and aspirations for the next 50 days before the holding of the 12th general election is the best window of opportunity for their voice and demands to be heard and heeded by the Barisan Nasional Governmentg. Sad but true!

Abdullah had promised to be different when he became Prime Minister with his refreshing call four years ago to Malaysians “to work with me and not for me” – but he has proven to be a great disappointment as he is no different from other politicos in the Barisan Nasional in the past four years.

However, Abdullah and his political advisers, particularly the Putrajaya Fourth-storey boys and Samy Vellu, must be faulted for their cynical belief that the “Thaipusam as public holiday” gambit is sufficient to assuage and address the deep and widespread national grievances of the Malaysian Indians at their long-standing political, economic, educational, social, cultural and religious marginalization as to become a new underclass in Malaysia.

Even the announcement of Thaipusam as a public holiday fell far short of expectation – for Abdullah only announced Thaipusam as public holiday for Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya Federal Territories when he had raised hopes that Thaipusam would become a national public holiday.

Abdullah’s “Thaipusam as public holiday for FT and Putrajaya” is too little and too late as it failed to meet the minimal kick-off needed to address the long-standing marginalization of the Indians in Malaysia as to become the new underclass in the country, which I had spelt out in a media conference in Parliament on 4th December 2007, viz:

• End the Barisan Nasional denial syndrome and openly acknowledge the fact and reality of the crisis of long-standing marginalization of the Malaysian Indians as to become a new underclass in the country;

• Establishment of a Cabinet Task Force headed by the Prime Minister himself on a New Deal to end the marginalization of Indians and all marginalized groups;

• Conversion of all the partially-aided Tamil primary schools into fully-aided schools;

• An immediate RM500 million allocation to upgrade the facilities and standards of Tamil primary schools; and

• A one-year moratorium for an end to all demolition of Hindu temples and all places of worship in all states in the country.

It is not too late for Abdullah and Samy Vellu to make amends in the next 48 hours in time for Thaipusam on Wednesday.

Both Abdullah and Samy Vellu should both openly admit the long-standing political, economic, educational, social, cultural and religious marginalization of the Malaysian Indians, announce a New Deal to ensure that Malaysians Indians enjoy an equal and rightful place under the Malaysian sun as well as the immediate and unconditional release of the five Hindraf leaders and activists under the Internal Security Act.

  1. #1 by pulau_sibu on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 10:54 am

    Thaipusam as a permannet public holiday. If not, the Indians will be punished for not supporting BN by not having Thaipusam as holiday next year.

  2. #2 by Thegame on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 10:58 am

    MIc as usual bribed the indians as low as 20 ringgit to attend the gathering.They had to go as far as Kedah to get the numbers.That itself is a reflection of samy’s support among the Indians.most of those who attended were way down the social ranks and who are blissfully living obivilion of whats happening around them.Their numbers are small and even among them some have publically declared come voting the will do the needy.What a way to take advantage of the poor and the needy.

  3. #3 by BlackEye on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 11:03 am

    Abdullah’s decision to have Thaipusam as public holiday is a bad decision since it will be seen as a weakness. It will only embolden elements within the Indian community out to create chaos. He has only himself to blame after this.

  4. #4 by Bigjoe on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 11:04 am

    Does anyone have a detail report of the rally? I saw on TV that many of those attended were not Indians even. Also I don’t think it was 15,000. At best 10,000 or less.


  5. #5 by smeagroo on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 11:07 am

    The trick is to not give the Indians everything. Save the National Holiday for the next GE in another 5 years. After giving them a National holiday now, what else can the govt offer the Indians you tell me?

    Social help?
    Eradicate poverty?

    1 day off and have them slog for 5 years.

  6. #6 by mwt on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 11:17 am

    This must be a last ditch & desperate effort before the GE campaign proper for Samy Vellu & MIC to organize this well orchestrated gathering in the confines of a badminton hall to stoke & fan the dying embers of the Indians flames for BN after realizing the potential danger the Indian voters can hold sway between 10 and 30 per cent of the voters in at least 62 parliamentary and 130 state constituencies. PM Abdullah responded with the carrot and has Thaipusam declared a Public Holiday in KL & Putrajaya and the formation of a High-Powered Committee To Eradicate Hardcore Poverty Among All Races. – just a pre-election promise.
    We have seen it all in Ijok in the by-election. Will it work in the next GE after all the humiliation the protesters had to subject themselves in the aftermath of the Nov 25 Hindraf Rally? It will be a futile effort with the Hindraf 5 still languishing in the Kamunting under ISA detention and about to begin a hunger strike to highlight the injustice they have to suffer in the cause of the Malaysian Indians
    More details & pics of gathering

  7. #7 by St0rmFury on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 11:17 am

    Bigjoe, go to Haris Ibrahim’s blog to see an insider’s report on the MIC gathering.

  8. #8 by Tickler on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 11:29 am

    A Sunday Gathering to Parade The Emperor’s New Clothes…

    Deemed to be the not-your-average and only-hope-left MSM, theSun didn’t even bother to mention the crowd number of the gathering and put a mocking ‘bend over like a frog’ (if you want a poverty cabinet panel and a holiday) picture instead.

    Notice the lackluster hands up in the air when the emperor is parading his new clothes?

  9. #9 by Godfather on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 11:42 am

    As usual, they slap the Indians really hard, then they through a kenduri and invite all the Indians they slapped. Then they say all is forgiven and forgotten, and how much they have done for the Indians.

    I really pity the Malaysian Indians. Being thrown crumbs, scrambling along the ground for the crumbs that dropped out of Semi Value’s pockets, then being charged for attempted murder.

  10. #10 by k1980 on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 11:42 am

    Jeen looks in the bedroom mirror and says to her husband, “I look horrible. I feel fat and ugly. Please pay me a compliment.”

    Doulah replies, “Dear, your eyesight’s damn terrible perfect.”

    The flying frying pan scored a direct hit as it whacked the old cougar on the back of his head.

  11. #11 by Godfather on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 11:42 am

    sorry, second line should read “..throw a kenduri…”

  12. #12 by People on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 11:50 am

    PM has no choice but to announce it to salvage not only SV career but also his. But it came too late or should I say too near to the G.E to show that the decision was not an after-thought. But syabas to the PM for announcing it as it will divert the current attention of the judicial crisis which is now a laughing matter throughtout the entire earth. Too bad he has to take the burden of the past PM who was not only a recalcitrant but has also become mentally impaired for the past 22 years.

  13. #13 by don on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 12:04 pm

    Hindraf rally did wonders to peoples’ conscience. No need to bribe anyone as mere as RM20 or so. Those walked, walked their their lived to prove the belief in individual and masses rights. No one coaxed them to do so. I did it because as saying goes, if you one a change it need to start with you. Malaysian Indians believed that their destiny will be mapped out on that faithful 25 Nov. Even if the show of 20,000 or 200,000 of so called MIC supporters, mind you Mr Lim, our votes count this time around.

  14. #14 by smeagroo on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 12:10 pm

    Maybe our MSM can do more wonders than Jesus. They can turn 5000 odd to 20000 strong.

  15. #15 by oknyua on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 12:19 pm

    “I do not completely fault Abdullah for trying get political,..” YB Lim

    Dacing pancing undi.

  16. #16 by Tickler on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 1:03 pm

    This is making the rounds too:

    A MIC-run community college has been accused of misleading its students by not revealing that one of its popular degree programmes is not recognised by the government.

    A former top student of the Tafe College in Seremban said that the college’s failure to disclose the status of its programme have spoilt the future of many students.

  17. #17 by Jeffrey on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 1:05 pm

    “//…I do not completely fault Abdullah for trying get political, general election and voter mileage over the “Thaipusam as public holiday” gambit..//” – YB Kit.

    One of the main grouses of Malaysian Indians, leading to Hindraf, is govt’s insensitivity and religious intolerance in demolishing Hindu temples.

    So to make amends, for the sake of ameliorating Malaysian Indians’ alienation, a corresponding gesture and concession to ‘religious tolerance’ has to be made, and what better way to make it than to make Thaipusam a holiday?

    A holiday is a symbolic gesture. It is an easier concession to make for immediate political expedience than implementation of other substantive programs to help Indian underclass including upgrading funding, aid, the facilities and standards of Tamil primary schools – or the other problem of Hindu temples sitting on government reserve lands or their relocation – that will take time to work out.

    Even the holiday symbolic concession is a half way measure – it is a public holiday for FT and Putrajaya only and not a national holiday throughout the country, as MIC/Samy Vellu requested.

    It is almost as if the government, in making Thaipusam a public holiday for FT and Putrajaya, is merely extending this olive branch to the Indian community – “We’ll give you a holiday for FT and Putrajaya (after all its no big deal because with Selangor having holiday, and with its people on leave flocking into FT and Putrajaya, and the religious procession, these two places will be jammed anyway – and if you show gratitude for this holiday for limited places (KL & Putrajaya) to continue giving support as you traditionally did in respect of BN in this imminent election, then we’ll consider all the way to making Thaipusam a national public holiday all the way, throughout the land…..”

    This kind of “olive branch” of a public holiday for Thaipusam in KL and Putrajaya must be viewed subject to two caveats:-

    1. the granting of a holiday on Thaipusam is not something that the community should be particularly grateful about because it should have been given in the first place; it is odd that you can deprive a community an equal entitlement to the right of a religious holiday that others enjoy and when you eventually restore the original entitlement, you can ask something back quid pro quo based on a pledge on the gratitude of the community originally deprived;

    2. the granting of a public holiday is more a symbolic token expression of making amends and is not a substitution for grappling and addressing the real and hard issues and concerns relating to neglect and marginalisation of the community for last 20 over years; to otherwise calculate that something token could substitute for something substantive to retain the votes of this particular community is to make condescending presumption that the community benefited cannot differentiate between what is important and substantive and what is not being mere token and symbolic gesture.

    There’s another question : why, even by way of token or symbolic gesture, grant a Thaipusam holiday for FT and Putrajaya and not immediately a national holiday for Indians in rest of country?

    Is it because it is a mere half way measure and token as if to say (and test), it all now depends on how the Malaysian Indian community will respond to this extension of an olive branch – will they continue to give their traditional support to the BN in the coming election (suspected weakened in the wake of Hindraf) to return quid pro quo their gratitude (the implication being otherwise no national holiday for the rest) ?

    In the beginning I was aghast that there could be such an unspoken implied condition behind this half measure/token. It is most condescending (I thought) to attach such an implied condition to an olive branch extended.

    On further reflection, it would appear that we should not impute such an implied condition to explain why the holiday is confined to KL and Putrajaya and not whole country.

    The PM said that whether it is also national holiday for all will depend on discussions in due course with various Mentri Besars and chief ministers of other states affected, and he is correct.

    Not many are aware that holidays are actually regulated by a Holidays Act 1951. Whereas the PM/Federal Minister could decide holidays for Federal Territories by notification in gazette – here I don’t know why he made specific mention of KL & Putrajaya and not Federal Territory of Labuan as well – holidays in the states can be determined and declared only after “consultation” with the relevant state authorities. That appears to be the position.

  18. #18 by boh-liao on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 1:07 pm

    PM said “On Thaipusam, traffic jam everywhere in KL. Cuuuuti lah.” Good reason.

    But why cuti also for Putrajaya on Thaipusam? Is there traffic jam there as well on Thaipusam?

  19. #19 by Tickler on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 1:07 pm

    The growing dissatisfaction among Indians is particularly because of the government’s ‘divide and rule’ policies which are more favourable to the majority Malays who constitute 60% of the population. These policies are implemented by bureaucratically controlled government departments, which have acted in favour of Malay elites and capitalists in the name of ‘Malay special rights’. These special rights to Malays have been in force since independence in 1957 and further affirmed in National Economic Policies (NEP) in the 1970s.

  20. #20 by budak on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 1:12 pm

    the day we vote BN out from government, will be declare as Public Holiday too… celebrating Malaysian Independence Day… :-)

  21. #21 by Anba on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 1:16 pm

    Dear Malaysian,
    I’d like to post my earlier statement for the same issue of declaring public holiday for Thaipusam.
    To the Indians, don’t be fooled by the play of the ‘crocodile’. They will cry like crocodile to get votes for the coming election. This is a pathethic act to fish for votes. Can the Indians vote to NOT have get a holiday for Thaipusam? Someone should do this to shame the government and Samy Vellu. Let’s get them to make ammendmends to the NEP. No other issues should be discussed until this is ammended.

    Dear Pak Lah,
    Stop mulling over whether or not Thanipusam Day should be declared a holiday or not! Your mulling to give a public holiday for Malaysia for Thaipusam is applauded, but this should not soften Indians hearts in thinking that the government is doing good for the non Malays. This public holiday should have been given 50 years ago, you are too late in making this decision, leave alone just mulling about it!

    Dear Indians, Chinese and other minorities,
    Please do NOT be fooled by this public holiday. We do NOT want ammendmends from talking or giving public holidays! We need ammendmends from changes in legislation and constitutional ammendmends!. We cannot hope for our Indian and Chinese and other minority leaders who are representing us to make the changes. We have them 50 years to make the changes, but they have not shown results. But if we look analyze their wealth accumulated and compare their assets with their salary drawn from the time they were elected leaders, perhaps then we can proove that we have been cheated for the last 50 years. We need to vote them out of office and let new leaders emerge. If the new elected leaders are still the same, elect different leaders in the next election. We should do this until we get leaders who really serve the people.

    Until then, don’t relax and sit back and have the ‘tidak apa’ attitude. Challenge the governmnet in all ways possible in a non-violent way and in the best professional way possible. But don’t ever give in, until we get our freedom!

    May God bless all the souls fighting for the freedom of others.
    May God bless Malaysia.

  22. #22 by Tickler on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 1:34 pm

    Only the MICEe care for UMNO. ONE man does WALK FOR JUSTICE: A single man’s journey from Lrg Kulit to Esplanade.

    And the police even provide the escort.

  23. #23 by budak on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 1:36 pm

    Anba, well said… :-)

    Hope Malaysian are waking up to fight for their rights and future prosperity… else will be “MAKAN-ED” by BN…

    It’s Malaysian responsibilities to ensure Malaysia governed by “TRUE” leader not “Truly Sleeping” like Pak Lah… and blinded by his cronies…

  24. #24 by lucia on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 1:41 pm

    yeah i find it strange why public hol for KL and FT only? why not make it a national public hol for ALL?

    aiya everything they do always political one lah… even without election coming up. i remember last chinese new year (or 2 CNY ago), badawi announced something said to be ‘CNY ang pow’ for the chinese community when he went to the national CNY open house. why did it only during that time, like this announcement of hol for thaipusam, why announced it during the rally? we all know the answers!!

  25. #25 by Tickler on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 1:41 pm

    There`s a crowd here too:

  26. #26 by kanthanboy on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 1:44 pm

    A public holiday on Thaipusam for KL and Putrajaya is sufficient to make up for 50 years of political, economic, educational and cultural marginalization? Are the Indians now ready to vote for MIC and BN on Election Day? Don’t kick and scream that you are being marginalized, because you are a pathetic lot.

  27. #27 by burn on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 2:09 pm

    MIC supporters…
    after 50years of merdeka, hurrah you all got ur public holiday at last!
    which are more important to you, fairness/equality or a public holiday for a day each year… nothing to shout about! you’re still buying a house with no discount and blah blah blah… think hard for ur next generations! don’t let others step ur head!

  28. #28 by Toyol on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 2:16 pm

    HINDRAF has really made an impact. Just shows what people’s voices can do. There should be more mammoth processions planned to show the voice of the people.

    BN is grasping at straws here. Trying to pacify Indian fury by throwing alms. Thaipusam should have been a public holiday years ago…just shows MIC’s irrelevance.

    The anger at MIC is growing. 20,000 BN supporters at Cheras stadium is nothing compared to the millions who hate the MIC now. No declaration of public holiday can quell the anger that has been simmering for 50 years!!! BN is scared now…be very afraid.

  29. #29 by oknyua on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 2:51 pm

    Save myself from lengthy discourse; AGM during Deepvali, then blamed Indians for not distributing newspapers. Before election, give holidays Thapusam. Come on lah. Indians so cheap to pacify meh? See after election, sure sing different tune.

  30. #30 by rajanjohn on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 2:53 pm

    No need for the public holiday la!1 day doesn’t and does not make any different at all.We say NO to BN..even if it was declared a national holiday!Too late!

  31. #31 by khoo on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 3:13 pm

    Thanks to Hindraf,that now PM is wide awake!.Hindraf 5 are still under ISA.Hope you all Indian community don’t forget them in your pray.

  32. #32 by Short-sleeve on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 3:26 pm

    Pak Lah,

    Thaipusam as a public holiday not good enough.
    Free Hindraf 5 now!!!
    And say sorry to all Malaysians for the wrongs committed by UMNO-BN.

  33. #33 by Evenmind on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 3:46 pm

    How pathetic can the government be , after causing so much damage to the indian community, they are throwing peanuts to appease them., Hello wake up , people are not as dumb as the gomen make them out to be , [deleted]

  34. #34 by Evenmind on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 3:52 pm


  35. #35 by Tickler on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 3:56 pm

    Drama minggu ini dipersembahkan oleh MIC

    One guy dressed up like MGR and started walking around the stadium and doing some antics. At least it entertained a few elderly but somehow many did not appreciate this. It somehow reflects the perception of MIC …
    [ ]
    Spoke to the gentleman sitting next to me. He said he’s from Sepang, a group of them came from there. He’s an MIC division head. Somehow doesn’t agree with what’s happening, I presume, he kept telling me they are treating the whole thing like some joke or something of that sort (referring to the antics of the MGR). Asked him, what is the entire program all about, will there be a Q&A session ala forum? He said definitely not. If there’s Q&A and we are allowed to speak, things will turn out differently, he said with a smile.
    [ ]
    He pledged his support for Samy Velu and then asked the crowd to stand up and give a round of applause which was heeded enthusiastically only by some. The rest seem indifferent.
    [ ]
    He thanked the crowd and again sang praises for PM. Then asked crowd to stand up and clap for PM. They chanted hidup Pak Lah but only a few rows from the middle segment of the stadium stood up. The rest remained seated indifferently.

  36. #36 by Tickler on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 4:16 pm

    Our PM’s addicted to people fawning all over him and kissing the ground he walks on. He needs it, he thrives on it.
    One of Haris’s readers wrote an account of the mammoth syncophant gathering that wasn’t. He wrote about how the same 10 rows of people from the middle segment standing up and clapping enthusiastically,the rest of the stadium remained seated indifferently, not bothering to stand or clap for that matter.
    Being the weak insecure chap who loves praises and kissasses, could the PM have panicked and buckled under his insecurity and because he needed so much to be accepted and praised, declared Thaipusam a holiday for KL and Putrajaya ahead of consulting the cabinet?

  37. #37 by Bigjoe on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 4:28 pm

    Firstly thank you for those who have posted accounts of the rally. My conclusion is this

    1) Samy Vellu filled 6,000 seats which is NOT to be sneezed at. He has a good machine. If he can fill 6,000 seats, he can buy 6,000 votes to keep himself in power in Sg Siput.

    2) They have asked for Thaipusam holliday for as long as I can remember. Pak Lah isn’t so stupid after all to give this. A poverty eradication committee is just tantalising enough for quite a few voters. Of course the composition and how the committee is going to work is not clear so MIC boys can spin it like it will be headed by Indian, it will have funds, look after temple etc. Its a good story.

    I don’t think its that easy to counter the spin on this. The only thing I can think of is to compare it with Pak Lah promise of Chinese schools/education 4 years ago that now only show a few token now. In other words,after the election, nothing get done until 4 years from now, they will get something from this move other than the holliday. If the opposition can spin this comparison, then they have a chance to largely negate this spin.

  38. #38 by Evenmind on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 4:33 pm


  39. #39 by Godfather on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 4:34 pm

    Bigjoe is right. Semi can buy the Sg Siput seat with green packets and sewing machines. UMNO can also ensure that one or two postal boxes will appear from nowhere. We should not focus just on Sg Siput, but nationwide. They can spend their money on select constituencies, but not all of them.

  40. #40 by oknyua on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 4:55 pm

    Godfather, so Samy is still an asset after all. Big Ears would not concede that much if he (reads: KJ) thinks Samy cannot deliver. As I said, Indian’s problem is not MIC’s problem.

  41. #41 by oknyua on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 5:00 pm

    Poverty Eradication Committee does deliver the votes. Sewing machines and green packets do.

  42. #42 by oknyua on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 5:01 pm

    Should be: “PEP does NOT deliver the votes..”

  43. #43 by Godfather on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 5:13 pm

    Semi’s value (sic) is not to the Indians that he purports to lead. His value is to UMNO as the most efficient debt collector that UMNO has ever had. All the contract leakages that go through the Works Ministry – UMNO depends on Semi to ensure that the monies are channelled to the “right” places – and it does not matter to UMNO if Semi channels some of it into his own pocket.

  44. #44 by Bigjoe on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 6:07 pm

    At this stage its, about spin and so far Taikor Samy is still duking it out pretty good with the critics. To really knock out Taikor, something else is needed. I mean the opportunity is there if you read the accounts of the rally – Badawi falling asleep, Samy Vellu shouting hidup UMNO rather than hidup MIC/BN. But you need pictures and videos. If they had recorded Samy Vellu shouting hidup UMNO and keep repeating it, it will piss off the Indians like no other…

  45. #45 by Cinapek on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 6:39 pm

    “….Hindraf had achieve in one rally on Nov. 25 what Samy Vellu had failed to do in more than 28 years as MIC President and sole Indian Cabinet Minister.”

    Never a truer word spoken. And it disgusts me when: “…where people’s legitimate demands and aspirations are only given some consideration when there is a general election around the corner or a by-election in tow.” It insults our intelligence.

    We can all see through what the purpose of such blatant handouts are for. Put them back with 2/3 majority for the next 5 years and you can bet your bottom dollar they will not be wasting any time gettong back into their money grabbing, body snatching, religious words monopolising and NEP extending antics.

    The PM, in an effort to boost Samy’s stock, claims Samy always fights for the Indians. If he did, obviously there is no results or else there is no need for Hindraf to take to the streets. So if there is no results, whose interest was Samy fighting for? And further, if Samy actually did fight for the Indians and there is still no results, it means “Big Ears” didn’t hear or didn’t want to hear what Samy was fighting for. Until Hindraf came along and now Samy is trying to claim credit. Sheesh!!!!

  46. #46 by Cinapek on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 6:42 pm

    Hindraf took to the streets and now we find the Govt. and Pak Lah falling over themselves to ingratiate themselves to the Indians by agreeing to just about everything they are asking for.

    Hey MCA, what about you? Can you get “Ching Ming “declare a public holiday too? It is a big festival in HK and China.

  47. #47 by tssteh on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 7:53 pm

    Now that PM had declare Thaipusam a Federal Holiday, Penang should have one extra state holiday left. Why not ask Penang Chief Minister or PM Abdullah to declare Chap Goh Meh a Penang State Holiday?

  48. #48 by despin on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 7:53 pm

    The real issue is not about making Thaipusam a holiday; it is about whether the majority of Malaysian Indians can AFFORD to go on a holiday.

  49. #49 by sheriff singh on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 8:32 pm

    Is Pak Lah insulting the Hindus?

    He declared Thaipusam a public holiday for KL “because of the huge traffic jam”!!!! That is his reason for the holiday.

    A holiday to ease the traffic jam? To cover what Chan Kong Choy cannot solve and the DPM having, yet again, to announce another plan to ease the traffic jam in KL.

    What an insult to the Hindus!!!

    The holiday should have been declared because of the religious significance of that holy day to the Hindus, NOT to ease traffic jams!!!

    Respect the holy day!!! All Hindus should feel offended with the PM, Samy Vellu and the Government!!!

    And by the way, what about the other religions that are practised in the country by the other races and communities e.g. Sikhism etc? While they all cannot have a holiday each, perhaps a joint national religious day holiday annually should be declared for them maybe in the second half of every year?

    By the way, AFP said only about 7,000 people turned up at Samy’s MIC gathering yesterday. Maybe mainly MIC members attending a party meeting.

  50. #50 by xpainxgain on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 8:52 pm

    What the malaysian’s indian request is minority right, not public holiday. Holiday can be applied through their boss, manager etc but minority right already become hopeless since samy is useless. He is only afford to fight for public holiday, that’s all.

  51. #51 by Tickler on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 9:24 pm

    Najib fingers Kg. Baru malays:

    Reported in, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak today defended the government’s crackdown on dissent, including the arrest of ethnic Indian activists and suppression of street protests, saying it had averted a serious risk of racial violence.

    He was quoted as saying, “If the Malays of Kampung Baru come out then we have the spectre of a serious possibility of a racial clash in this country,” Najib told the AFP. The Malay enclave was one of the flashpoints of the 1969 riots. “There were signs that they were preparing to come out so we had to tell them, ‘look, don’t make the situation any worse’,” he said.”The government was actually taking action to prevent anything worse from happening.”

  52. #52 by Tickler on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 9:26 pm

    I have a few questions for the DPM and it is important that he ponders hard on them:

    1) Is he using the Malays in Kampung Baru as a threat to all Malaysians who wanted to exercise their constitutional rights to assemble, speak and association?
    2) What will the government do if the Malays in Kampung Baru turned violent? Will the ISA be used against them as well?
    3) From his statement, it is obvious that the government has established communications with the Malays in Kampung Baru. Why didn’t the government take preemptive action against the leaders of Malays in Kampung Baru for displaying violent tendency? Is the government practising double standards?
    4) Is Najib’s statement seditious?

  53. #53 by smeagroo on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 9:35 pm

    now i m pissed!

    Can MCA get Chap Goh Mei and Mooncake Festival for the chinese too?

  54. #54 by sec on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 9:53 pm

    Because of HINDRAF : Indians have New hope.
    : Indians gain respect by others Races
    : Thaipusam declare as a public holiday
    : Oppositions are More united
    :It boost the frighting spirit of Opp.
    : BN has been shaken
    : AAB can not sleep
    :Samy Vellu has drop his hair
    : All the low income group fright against the
    Super income group
    : ALL Malaysian have NEW LIFE

  55. #55 by shaolin on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 9:59 pm

    AAB do not try to assimilate Indians, Chinese and all
    other races into 1 Malay Race and Culture b’coz you
    will fail miserably under the name of UNITY of Races
    and for the good of Malaysia!!

    Abolish New NEP first before you can think to do
    anything else… otherwise you better balik kampung
    and tanam jagong!!

    Do not try to trick us all the political gimmicks!!

  56. #56 by kritikus on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 10:04 pm






  57. #57 by kritikus on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 10:12 pm





  58. #58 by ktteokt on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 10:47 pm

    Absolutely another political gimmick of BN! Only foolish Indians will be fooled by it.

  59. #59 by srikumaran on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 11:01 pm

    Opprtunistic indeed, what public holiday? I don’t see it as a public holiday, can anyone explain y is this being shouted as a public holiday? I believe the hindus are not happy with the so called ‘holiday’. How abt the other states besides than the additional two mentioned? By the way, traffic jam was the reason given since k.l will be crowded on that day….WHAT??? How can the leader of a multiracial country be severely insensitive? ‘The Pee Am got to start some where to rectify, since too much damage have been done with all the harassments; If all of you could still remember,water canon flushed towards the peaceful crowd resting at the other side of the gate of the temple area in batu caves intentionally on the 25th november, there is even photographs on that incident, it proves that the Pee Am is a inconsiderate, insensitive, incompetent and unable to galvanise the rakyat who trustingly voted for BN. So it’s no brainy to understand that the BN manipulates the minority indian to forgive and forget the traumatizing incidents and obviously to corner them to vote for the up coming GE. This so called ‘public holiday’ is one of the deplorable political gimics to garner support of the minorities.

  60. #60 by limkamput on Tuesday, 22 January 2008 - 12:29 am

    We may think Thaipusam holiday is an insulting trick to woo the Indians back to BN’s fold. But if we look at past records, this strategy worked. We shall see from now till the general election, there will be more visits to Chinese and Tamil schools, trade associations and temples. There will be small allocations being thrown here and there. And soon enough, most Chinese and Indians will be falling heads and shoulders over these short term gestures and forget yet again our long term miseries. Penang people will continue to vote DAP for national Parliament and BN (Gerakan) at state level. After the election and when the position of BN fully secured, we (the Chinese, Indians and Penang people) will probably continue to come to his site and pour our frustration and grievances all over again (that is provided Sdr Kit will continue this site). This has been the predicted pattern election after election. When are we going to change? I don’t know. I hope this time is different.

  61. #61 by Colonel on Tuesday, 22 January 2008 - 1:47 am

    The truth is it is not meant to be more than a symbolic goodwill gesture to those who celebrate Thaipusam. Surely they are not fools to think that by declaring Thaipusam as public holiday, they could win over the Indians who feel they have been marginalized for the last fifty years!

    But if they are, it takes a greater fool to think that the Indians would fall for it.

  62. #62 by DarkHorse on Tuesday, 22 January 2008 - 2:05 am

    Well, limkamput thinks the Indians would fall for it.

  63. #63 by k1980 on Tuesday, 22 January 2008 - 7:34 am

    What about the Hindoooos in Kedah and Melaka? They don’t need holiday on Thaipusam, they can go and die?

  64. #64 by blackacre on Tuesday, 22 January 2008 - 8:01 am

    How about the leaders of HIndraf? Are they to be released now ? Please do not forget those who suffered & are still suffering to bring change

  65. #65 by on Tuesday, 22 January 2008 - 9:01 am

    Bigjoe Says:

    Yesterday at 11: 04.04
    Does anyone have a detail report of the rally? I saw on TV that many of those attended were not Indians even. Also I don’t think it was 15,000. At best 10,000 or less


    The max capacity for Cheras Badminton stadium is 6000.

    I wonder how they packed extra 11,000 people? May be there are invisible ghosts. :-O

  66. #66 by on Tuesday, 22 January 2008 - 9:03 am

    Info about Cheras Badminton Stadium

    The Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium, completed in 1989, is impressively situated at Jalan Cheras. The stadium and its vast parking area, occupying a total area of 2.02 hectares, is divided into three levels. The playing courts, medical room, storage rooms, public utilities, information booth, and ticketing kiosks are located on the first level. On the second level are the venue operations room, sub-press centre, results distribution centre, VIP lounge, doping control centre and other basic amenities. The areas for the TV and radio commentators, security observation, lighting, scoreboard, and PA system are all found on the third level.

    The stadium gallery with a seating capacity of 3,000 is fitted with benches, retractable seats and bucket seats. The stadium can accommodate 10 courts for training purposes and at least six international standard courts for tournaments.

    Air-thrust flooring has been installed in the arena to provide better impact for the players. The playing arena is equipped with an adjustable lighting network and a full air-conditioning system.

    The stadium is serviced by city bus liners and the LRT.

  67. #67 by on Tuesday, 22 January 2008 - 9:15 am

    Tickler Says:

    Yesterday at 21: 26.05
    I have a few questions for the DPM and it is important that he ponders hard on them


    I am old enough to have first-hand encounter with Naxjib in 1987 in Kampung Baru.

    My hostel is just three blocks away from the Masjid Jamek, and got chance to “participate” in UMNO youth gathering in Kampung Baru by incident.

    Naxjib was the mob leader by shouting “bunuh cina”, etc. to several hundred thousands of UMNO youth members and malay gangsters.

  68. #68 by Tickler on Tuesday, 22 January 2008 - 1:44 pm

    “The report was lodged to place on record as to who holds all the money that was collected from the public. It was not an accusation of embezzlement against Uthayakumar,” said Vasanthakumar through a message carried by his wife K Vikneswary, 35.

    She told Malaysiakini yesterday: “He told me that the report was made as an insurance policy to protect themselves against police claims that they are seeking funds from terrorist organisations.”

    She said their plan was to make it clear that funds collected locally was not used for any alleged terrorism activities, but rather for the community activities.

    “He was shocked by (the news report stating) that he had lodged a report against Uthayakumar. He wants to stress that he only named Uthayakumar in the report as a strategy for the five detainees not to be arrested and charged for funding alleged terrorism,” she said without elaborating.

  69. #69 by Evenmind on Tuesday, 22 January 2008 - 3:04 pm

    Thank u for deleting my comments, Can u also delete Najib’s comments too? As far as I am concerned , he is the most absurd and the most vulgar Malaysian That I’ve ever come acrossed. What is his education level? Sijil agama sesat ?

  70. #70 by limkamput on Tuesday, 22 January 2008 - 7:24 pm

    Well, limkamput thinks the Indians would fall for it. darkhorse

    That is my opinion based on many years of observation. However if there are others (for example colonel) who think that Indians are no fools, so be it. What I am saying is political reality on the ground. People are governed by different economic circumstances, by income, by education levels. Even educated urban voters in recent years also get hoodwinked. So it is not implausible to assume that the BN will continue to use the well tested strategy. I would assume that free and fair election should include things like equal access to the media, free contest of ideas and right to information. If we are continuously denied of all these, I think BN’s strategy to woo voters using whatever gimmicks work.

  71. #71 by Colonel on Tuesday, 22 January 2008 - 9:11 pm

    “However if there are others (for example colonel) who think that Indians are no fools, so be it.” limkamput

    So be it??

    I dare not ask what Indian voters think of you looking upon them as being gullible and fools – without actually using the word, of course.

  72. #72 by limkamput on Tuesday, 22 January 2008 - 10:12 pm

    colonel, i have no concern at all. Indians who read my postings in context will know exactly what i am talking about. They are unlike you, so gullible and foolish, simple thing cannot understand.

  73. #73 by Jong on Tuesday, 22 January 2008 - 11:49 pm

    limkamput, you said:

    “That is my opinion based on many years of observation. However if there are others (for example colonel) who think that Indians are no fools, so be it. What I am saying is political reality on the ground. People are governed by different economic circumstances, by income, by education levels. Even educated urban voters in recent years also get hoodwinked. So it is not implausible to assume that the BN will continue to use the well tested strategy. ”

    – I agree with you, you’ve said it all.

  74. #74 by Man_of_Honour on Wednesday, 23 January 2008 - 12:44 am

    hmmm, looking at the crowd during BERSIH rally, they claim only 4000 ppl attended.

    This one got 20000? Aiyo… where did they study their maths? Or are they blind? I’d say probably only 400 attended?

    Samy-tabha… Since the Idians are getting heard (at least for now after the HINDRAF rally), I think the Chinese community should also voice out the unequality and unfair treatment given too…

    This is the best time to ask! After the election, all will be forgotten.

  75. #75 by sotong on Wednesday, 23 January 2008 - 7:14 am

    We are the product of decades of narrow, short sighted, divisive and damaging politics of race and religion.

    No leader should blame the ordinary people for their views on race and religion…….the buck stops with the leaders at all levels.

    Too much pride, arrogance and greed with no/little leadership of responsibility, accountability and competency are doing enormous damage to a modern, progressive and multi racial and religious country.

  76. #76 by limkamput on Wednesday, 23 January 2008 - 5:28 pm

    Jong, thank you for the encouragement.

  77. #77 by ZePenguin on Wednesday, 23 January 2008 - 8:46 pm

    Crowds deteriorated badly this time at Batu Caves. Thanks to HINDRAF and to those who had boycotted the celebration!

    Photos available at:

  78. #78 by alaneth on Wednesday, 23 January 2008 - 11:46 pm

    Just an election gimmick.

    Don’t be fooled by it.

    Vote DAP always!

  79. #79 by raverus on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 9:14 am

    Holiday? Thank you uncle Lim!

  80. #80 by DarkHorse on Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 11:07 pm


    This limkamput admonished the Indians for what he thought they would do i.e. cast their votes for MIC now that Thaipusam has been declared a public holiday. The Colonel revealed his condescending attitude, when he effectively labeled the Indians a gullible lot – and you agree??

    This limkamput thinks Indians would fall for it. I’m an Indian and I’m offended by that remark! We can think for ourselves.

    I re-post here for your convenience what was said earlier by Colonel:

    “Surely they are not fools to think that by declaring Thaipusam as public holiday, they could win over the Indians who feel they have been marginalized for the last fifty years!

    But if they are, it takes a greater fool to think that the Indians would fall for it.”

  81. #81 by Godamn Singh on Friday, 25 January 2008 - 9:50 pm

    There’s no doubt as to who he is.

  82. #82 by limkamput on Saturday, 26 January 2008 - 2:37 pm

    ya, no doubt at all, it is Godamn.

  83. #83 by shamshul anuar on Saturday, 26 January 2008 - 10:38 pm

    Dear Readers,

    I refer to disparaging remarks about Thaipusam declared a holiday in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. Actually, I am not surprise at the remarks as it merely show how ungrateful people can be.

    If PM does not declare it as a holiday, he will be ridiculed( i believe) in this very same blog as being insensitive to the feeling of Hindus. Now after declaring Thaipusam as a holiday, he is ridiculed as trying to save Samy Vellu’s political career.
    As such, I strongly urge the state Govt of kedah and Malacca nort to declare Thaipusam as holidays next year as both Menter Besar will be ridiculed for just doing that.

    My million dollar question to Indians( with no intention to insult) is that they can determine who to be their leader. There is no need to blame UMNO for their own choice.

  84. #84 by limkamput on Sunday, 27 January 2008 - 1:08 am

    Shamshul, I think you still don’t get it. Indian leaders do not matter to Indians. Umno leaders decide everything. Everything that goes wrong in this country is due to incompetent UMNO, period. You don’t get it because you can’t see your own prejudice.

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