Thursday, January 31, 2008

A country in search of soul

The International Herald Tribune had an article titled Ethnic anger on the rise in Malaysia published yesterday.

Below is a sample:

The biggest losers in the current system are Indians, who, according to government statistics, make up 9 percent of the labor force but hold 16 percent of menial jobs and control just 1.2 percent of equity in registered companies in the country.

Indians are not aided by the affirmative action program, because it is based on ethnicity, not need.

"You can push us, you can cheat us, you can discriminate against us, but you can't tell us that we're not Hindus after we are dead."

The Indians' anger appears to have rattled the government the most. Abdullah sought to woo back Indians by declaring the Hindu festival of Thaipusam, which was celebrated Jan. 23, a federal holiday. A court decision in a highly emotional dispute over whether an Indian man should be buried according to Hindu or Muslim rites has been postponed indefinitely.

Analysts say race relations could become more tense as the country prepares for elections, which are widely expected to be called for March.

Ethnic anger on the rise in Malaysia

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hail to the man of the moment

As it stands, his ‘close friendship’ with three former chief justices, while they were in power, have raised a lot of questions on the integrity of the judiciary.

And his testimony in the royal commission has raised a lot of doubt on his own integrity.

Whatever happens with the inquiry, one-liners such as:

• ‘It looks like me and sounds like me’,
• ‘I don’t remember’,
• ‘I don’t recall’,
• ‘I was bullshitting and bragging’,
• ‘I speak easily when I have had wine’

look set to remain in the memory of people for a long time.

It is amazing how one person could have had so much of influence in the judiciary.

Or is it just the tip of the iceberg?

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Monday, January 28, 2008

In total state of delusion

He must be getting delusional. Perhaps the anger on the ground has unsettled him. And I think he is totally misreading the community sentiments.

I am talking about the great community leader SV who yesterday warned other BN component parties to stay out of the Indian community's affairs.

"They are trying to stir the pot. Let the MIC worry about the Indian community. The other parties should concentrate on helping their own communities," he had said.

This is bullshit No 1.

And then he goes on to spar with DAP’s Kit Siang, stating that the opposition leader should not interfere in the Hindu faith.

His anger was caused by incidences of people lighting candles inside temples during Thaipusam in support of the Hindraf 5 held under ISA.

"Hindus never hold vigils in a temple. It is against our beliefs. Kit Siang does not know anything about the religion, so he shouldn't ask people to do things against the faith," he said.

This, bullshit No 2.

And finally SV said that MIC was confident of winning all the seats it would contest in the next general election despite the current unhappiness among the Indian community.

The self-appointed community leader claimed that only a small segment of the community was dissatisfied and behind demonstrations and protests.

"MIC has a very good record in the general election and I am confident that the Indian community will continue to support BN," he crowed.

Without a doubt, bullshit No 3.

Perhaps he has not seen the latest opinion poll undertaken by the Merdeka Center, which was released on Dec 26, 2007.

Luckily for him there was no question on his own popularity. However it was very clear that the Indian community is ANGRY.

As at December 2007, Abdullah's rating among the Malays, Chinese and Indians has dropped by 8%, 5% and 41%, respectively.

(See the results of the poll here)

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Where’s the crowd?

These photographs were taken on the night of Thaipusam at Batu Caves. What happened to the crowd? Surely in the past years, the place was packed like sardines at this time of the festival. Was SV referring to the same place when he said that almost a million had converged to the holy place on Jan 23?

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

How many at Bt Caves?

What is the real number of people who visited Batu Caves during Thaipusam this year? The temple committee and SV would swear that it reached millions. Only the gods there will know the truth!

Speaking to various people, one thing is sure - it was definitely less than the 1.2 million they had last year. A fair estimate would be at 500,000. On Thaipusam day itself, only about 100,000 was estimated to be there during the peak period.

Someone told me the kavadi route from the river to the cave took only 40 minutes, and without any stop in the traffic flow. Free food were also cut down it seems, and yet there were much wastage.

On top of this, SV proudly said that the boycott was not effective.

"I have come to Thaipusam since I was 11 years old. I know the crowd. It is the same as before," he told reporters at Batu Caves yesterday.

On the contrary, it seems the Murugan temples elsewhere, especially in Kuala Selangor and Port Klang had more crowd than usual.

The situation in Penang too was very different with regulars talking about a bigger turnout this year.

Looks like the boycott campaign was effective.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Does Muruga know? Does he care?

PM gave the ultimate Vel! Vel! to the Hindus in KL and Putrajaya today by announcing a public holiday for Thaipusam.

Many would be happy with this announcement, mainly SV - for obvious reasons - as he can claim that the public holiday was obtained at his insistence. And then there is Temple Nadarajah, as it means a bigger crowd and more money.

But how about the main man himself? Lord Muruga? Would he be able to see the political game that is being played in his name? I really wonder!

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Don’t fall for these sweeteners

The sweeteners have started coming in for the Indian community. Of course I am talking about the two announcements made by the PM today:

1. He declared public holiday for Thaipusam in KL and Putrajaya, and

2. The setting up of a panel to reduce poverty – not just among Indians but among all races in the next three years.

Wow! Let’s take the Thaipusam issue first.

For 15 years the MIC and various other community representatives have been calling for this day to be made a public holiday. The government didn’t move an inch. Now, with just three days before the celebration, the PM announces a public holiday.

Makes me wonder! Makes me wary!

IS this just an election gimmick? Will the public holiday be continued after this year? Why not make it a national level public holiday? After all if KL is shut down, it means the whole nation – from business to finance to politics are shut down as well.

The PM might as well have announced a national level public holiday. His failure to announce it as such leaves a bit of suspicion on the longevity of this holiday for KL and Putrajaya Hindus.

Of course MIC will be claiming applause for getting the PM to give the holiday. However SV will know deep down that the impact made by the 30,000 protesters in KL on Nov 25 is still reverberating. And we should not forget the role played by Hindraf as well.

Now coming to the eradication of poverty, I am so amazed that after ignoring this matter for almost 50 years, the government has suddenly realized that there are poor Indians too.

Once again, I think the community has a lot to thank to the brave 30,000 protesters (and indirectly Hindraf for being the catalyst).

I don’t know if the government will be able to maintain the public holiday and achieve the poverty eradication, especially when the announcements are made after the government has been forced to act to placate an angry community with a loyal vote bank.

Once the election is over, it might just be status quo.

The community should remain awake. It should not fall for such sweeteners. It should ask for more as what is being asked are not sweeteners but fundamental rights.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Taken on a (costly) ride

One small news item caught my eyes today. I am not talking about the royal commission inquiry into the Lingam tape but on another matter which should really concern almost every man on the street.

Well, it is the news about how taxi/bus operators and KTM are asking for fare hikes.

Below are their demands:

Bus operators: fares to be doubled

Taxi operators: Increase the flat starting rate from RM2 to RM3, and increase the per-kilometre and waiting time rates.

KTM: 30 percent increase for inter-city routes, and 50 percent for commuter services.

The reasons for their demands? Rising fuel costs, to combat heavy competition and high operating costs.

As it is, we know roughly that gas and electricity price hikes will take off soon after the GE. There are also plans afoot to cut fuel subsidies as it is costing the government US$10 billion for this year.

That means a good chance of increased fuel prices. The government last imposed its highest-ever fuel price rises in February 2006, as usual, citing the spiralling cost of crude oil.

And it pledged to use the cost savings to boost the country's substandard transport system.

Almost one year later, we see that not just there are serious possibility of price increases of EVERYTHING, but no news at all on the government grand plan to use saved fuel money to upgrade the transport system. All we have is yet another blueprint by the deputy prime minister.

Looks like we have been taken for a ride and the ride shall continue with the public commuters having to dig deeper when they use public transportation or when they drive in the luxury of their own vehicles.

I am sure Pak Lah’s popularity is not at stake at all for the coming polls!!!

P/S: I am also sure the school bus operators and lorry owners will soon stand in the queue asking for government permission to increase their rates. It is a chain reaction which will result in the increment of all essential items, which is already in motion as we speak.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Turncoat or whistleblower?

Turned over by government or a break in ranks?

This must be the question in the minds of all Hindraf supporters after news broke out over the weekend that a police report has been lodged against Uthayakumar by the group’s secretary T Vasanthakumar over allegations of public funds being misused.

Both the Hindraf leaders are at present being detained under the ISA in Kamunting along with three others.

Apparently the report was lodged on Thursday after a massive fallout between the duo over a request by the secretary for some of the money collected to be used for their legal expenses and to support their families.

I confirmed the police report with one lawyer who has been acting for the detained Hindraf leaders as soon as I heard about it on Saturday afternoon (thanks to a friend from Malacca!)

As soon as the news of the report started leaking, SMSes also started to fly out from Hindraf supporters, claiming that Vasantha is actually a special branch officer sent to wreck havoc in Hindraf.

Today another lawyer claimed that Vasanthakumar might have been manipulated by the authorities to lodge the police report after being subjected to severe stress in Kamunting.

Possible, yes. I agree. He may be a turncoat. Or he could have been turned over as well.

At the same time, how about also pondering on his claims? Could there be any truth in them? Can the movement account for all the money they have collected thus far?

As it is, there have been numerous complains that many people are collecting donation in Hindraf’s name, so much so that the movement’s chairperson Waythamoorthy issued a statement from London to urge “all supporters and well wishers to immediately suspend collection of funds from members of the public either privately or publicly pending further instructions”.

Well I think it is their duty now to give a proper account of all the money collected to clear the name and reputation of their de facto leader and to add credibility to their donation drive.

Over to you (still unarrested) guys at Hindraf!

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

SV's 'lies and half-truths'

I wrote this earlier this week. Similar to my last posting.

Samy blasted for 'lies and half-truths'
K Kabilan Jan 10, 08 4:49pm

Several Malaysian participants at a just concluded annual meeting of the Indian diaspora in New Delhi have expressed disappointment with the 'lies and half-truths' of MIC president S Samy Vellu on the Indian community’s plight in Malaysia.

They are dismayed with Samy Vellu, who is also the works minister, for portraying a positive picture of the Indian Malaysians’ plight to the other participants of the 'Pravasi Bharatiya Divas'.

The two-day conference, which ended yesterday, attracted thousands of people of Indian origin to the Indian capital.

"He was asked by everyone here as to what is happening to the Indians in Malaysia. On every occasion he told them that everything was fine and that we are doing very well," said S Nadarajah, a Kuala-Lumpur-based management consultant who attended the meeting in his personal capacity to represent the ‘India Baru’ (community members with a new awareness).

"He told the participants and the Indian media that there were no cases of the Indian community being marginalised in Malaysia. He kept repeating these lies and half-truths throughout the meeting," he said.

Nadarajah also said that Samy Vellu had played down the impact created by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), stating that the movement was only interested in 'creating trouble'.

"He refused to acknowledge that Hindraf had managed to create some awareness among the Indian community in Malaysia," added Nadarajah, who is still in New Delhi.

Samy’s angry interview

Samy Vellu, who led a 70-member delegation from Malaysia, which included several MIC leaders and local businessmen, was a guest speaker in one plenary session and had various other speaking engagements and media interviews throughout the conference.

He was also constantly mobbed by the Indian media who were keen to find out about the true situation of the Indian community in this country. In several media interviews, Samy Vellu had said that the Indian community was not being marginalised and that they were 'misled' by Hindraf.

Yesterday, in an interview on TV3, he also lashed out at several Malaysians who were eager to dispute him in New Delhi.

"Here I am telling the Indians that we are all doing well and that the Indian community in Malaysia is well taken care of and yet there are some individuals who rebut me by stating the opposite," he told TV3.

He even named Nadarajah as one such person, claiming that he (Nadarajah) was a PPP member who had deviated from BN principles by attacking the government in India.

Nadarajah denied today that he was a PPP member. This was confirmed by PPP as well.

"I am here on my own. I am not a PPP member. And there is nothing wrong in telling the world the truth about how the Indian Malaysians are being neglected," he said.

"If Samy Vellu thinks he can get away with his lies by turning the table against me, he is very wrong. I might even sue him for defaming me," he added.

MIC’s misleading booklet

Another Malaysian participant said that the MIC was on a campaign in New Delhi to portray a completely wrong picture.

"They have distributed a 20-page colour booklet to all participants here on the wonderful living conditions of the Indians in Malaysia," he said, adding that the booklet had glaringly left out so many issues involving the community.

"MIC proudly claims to be the sole custodian of the Indian community in Malaysia in the booklet. Who gave them that right? After all, it is the failure of MIC and Samy Vellu which is the root cause of the Indian community’s problems today," added the KL-based entrepreneur.

Speaking on behalf of several other like-minded individuals, the participant also accused Samy Vellu of misinforming the Indian media.

"When the rest of us are asked about the plight of the community, we tell them the situation as it is. We tell them what Hindraf is and what happened during the Nov 25 rally. We tell them that there are areas which the Indians have been ignored by the government," added the businessman.

He said that when Samy Vellu spoke to the Indian media, he merely brushed aside these issues and would keep repeating that the Indians in Malaysia are doing well.

"His often repeated mantra is that the government is doing all that it can to help the community, that the MIC is the sole representative of the community and that Hindraf is an irrelevant force," he said.

Duty bound to defend

Makkal Osai’s assistant news editor SV Muthamilmannan, who is in New Delhi for the conference, said that Malaysian participants were a hot favourite among the Indian media.

"The journalists were not just after Samy Vellu but were also interested in knowing the real situation from non-political Malaysian participants," he said.

"Some of these participants were blunt with their assessment while there were others who used the Indian media to send a message that it was time for Samy Vellu to go.

"Generally they told about how economically poor the community was and how it was being pushed further down," he added.

The Indian newspapers and television stations have given Samy Vellu a good coverage and to balance it up, they have also given his critics some coverage too, added the veteran journalist.

A MIC leader in the Samy Vellu entourage explained that his boss was duty-bound by BN and government principles to defend the government’s records in the international arena.

"Personally, he might feel otherwise but he can never say it out in the open as he is part of the government and he has to stand by the government," said the leader who requested anonymity.

"He is doing his duty in explaining to the Indian government and others here that the MIC is taking good care of the community. At the same time, what many don’t realise is that on the ground, the party is working very hard to address all the community’s issues," he said.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

‘We’re a failed experiment’

Below is a report from the Times of India, on the present plight of the community here. The sentiments expressed by the Malaysian delegates at the Indian diaspora meeting sound very similar to what I wrote today (will post that tomorrow).

10 Jan 2008, 0135 hrs IST,Ashish Sinha,TNN

NEW DELHI: It was a volcano waiting to erupt and the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas meet, which closed here on Wednesday, came as a godsend for many Indian expatriates in Malaysia to vent their feelings on what had gone "terribly wrong" with them in the south-east Asian nation.

As the Malaysian government went into a denial overdrive, insisting it never even imagined freezing recruitment of workers from India, the expatriates squarely blamed works minister Samy Vellu, part of the government for almost three decades now, for the "serious plight" of Indians, who constitute a substantial minority there. The burst came as several delegates from Malaysia, despite "the fear of being hounded" back home if their "identities became known", went on to detail "what was really happening" there.

The minister, also in Delhi for the convention, met PM Manmohan Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee. Vellu, the only Indian in the cabinet, had on Tuesday denied reports on recruitment freeze, and Malaysia's home minister Radzi Sheikh Ahmad echoed his words on Wednesday.

"In the real sense, recruitment freeze is a non-issue. PIOs in Malaysia, down now to 8% of population, are being systematically persecuted and marginalized in several other ways. Vellu, who uses his Indian origin for cosmetic purposes, has actually supervised this discrimination over the years," a senior second-generation delegate told TOI . The government's main idea, he said, was to give priority to ethnic Malays and Bhumiputras, who constitute 60% of the population with special rights under the constitution, and the Indians were the most to suffer under the practice.

"Our economic rights are under serious threat. There is a clear design to establish the social supremacy of the ethnic majority, and the mismatch between the civil (common) and Shariat laws has come as a tool for the persecution of Indians. Islamisation is another way in which we are being marginalised," he said.

Another delegate said the discrimination began way back in 1969 when the country witnessed "race riots", adding that the "big change" in the recent past was that Indians had become more organised.

"That is why anti-government protests rocked Malaysia in November last year. Vellu has been part of the decision-making process in the government, and to maintain his monopoly, he did not let the strength of Indians in the cabinet rise to even two in the 1990s. The number of Chinese cabinet ministers went up to six from three," he said.

Vellu is the head of Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) that supports the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition. The delegates said under the present electoral and constitutional system, politicians enjoy absolute powers so much so that even the judiciary was accountable to the executive and free operation of the media was a distant dream.

"Naturally, electoral and political reforms were a big demand during the recent agitation, but activists of Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) were branded anti-nationals and there was a move to press charges of treason against them. We do not feel secure," the delegate explained.

The Indians' share in the national equity basket was steadily declining. "Malaysia has nearly 1.8 million Indians and only 40% of them constitute the middle or upper-middle classes. The rest is blue-collar labour force. If there is one Indian diaspora experiment that has really failed, it is Malaysia. Unfortunately, the world is being told a different story," another delegate said.

(p/s: while we say its samy vellu in full here, over there they just mention vellu for second reference. the bolded emphasis are mine)

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Islamisation of the nation

This is a New Straits Times report which just came in.

Read it and you would understand when I say that the root cause of racial problems in this country is due to the frontline civil servants who want to interpret Islam Hadhari as they wish.

Thank god for the ‘tolerant’ menteri besar.


Seremban school told to stop segregating male and female students

SEREMBAN, WED: A secondary school here has been told to stop segregating its male and female students after it was found that they had been placing them in separate classes.
The new practise had not gone down well with several quarters, including the Menteri Besar himself.

When the new school session began last Thursday, the students of SMK Seremban Jaya here were caught by surprise when they were told by teachers that males and females would not share the same classroom anymore.

No reason was given for the decision, the students claimed.

The matter somehow got to the Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan's ears and it was brought up at the state executive council meeting here today.

"If it is a co-ed school, then they should remain as one," he told reporters after chairing the meeting.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Roti canai at risk, temples hard done by

Roti canai, priests, temple musicians and sculptors - what do they have in common? They all have their roots in India, especially South India for one. And soon they may all be totally extinct from our shores, except for roti canai perhaps.

First the favourite food item.

This time next week, the favourite Malaysian treat might be off the menu, thanks to the flour shortage as well as the cooking oil drought.

"There will be no roti canai from next week. This is because we have run out of flour and are finding it tough to secure further supply at reasonable prices," says Malaysian Indian
Restaurant Owners Association president Ramalingam Pillai.

Get this - flour wholesalers were charging about 15 to 45 percent above the price-controlled rate of RM33.60 for a 25-kilo bag of flour.

Ramalingam adds: "We cannot afford to pay more because we have agreed to the government's call not to increase (the) price of food. And at the same time, we do not want to bear the additional costs."

Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, it is not just roti canai that might be disappearing from our breakfast menu, though I don’t think this will happen, seriously.

More worryingly, some other more valuable products of the Indian community might be off the menu as well.

I am talking about priests, temple musicians and sculptors - presently many, if not all, are imported from South India due to their expertise and the dearth in finding local talents.

Apparently the Immigration Department has suddenly stopped issuing work permits to new applications for foreign priests, temple musicians and sculptors.

Also it has given final renewal permits for six months only for priests, three months only for temple musicians and one week only for sculptors – after with they have been told that there will be no further renewal.

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) is shocked by this new ruling as:

  1. The sudden decision was made without any dialogue or consultation with MCCBCHST unlike in the past whenever there is a change in the system, and
  2. The sudden change in the policy has become a very highly sensitive issue to the non-Muslim community.

I am not expecting the great leader (SV) to say or do something to save roti canai from becoming extinct but surely he (and other community leaders such as temple Nadarajah) can use their clout to change this temple human resource policy which reeks discrimination and a total lack of understanding on the part of the government department.

Check out the slide show (a new for me!!)

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A Batu Caves boycott?

I had written this article on Saturday. Personally I think that while there may be some shouts on the ground for the boycott, generally I guess people would still be heading towards Batu Caves come Jan 23. After all their fight is (should be) against Nadarajah (and his committee), not Muruga.


Boycotting Batu Caves for Thaipusam?
K Kabilan | Jan 5, 08 4:23pm

A movement is fast gaining momentum on the ground to canvass support among the Indian community to boycott the Batu Caves temple for the Thaipusam festival which falls on Jan 23.

Short message services (SMSes) and emails are being circulated asking people not to fulfill their spiritual vows in Batu Caves following the temple committee’s role in allowing the police to violently disperse a gathered crowd in the early hours of Nov 25.

So far no one has claimed leadership or responsibility for the boycott call but the feedback from the ground seemed to indicate that it is a random act of protest propagated by unknown individuals.

“As mark of respect for all fellow brothers and sisters who were part of the Nov 25 rally, we will fulfill all our spiritual vows at other temples in Malaysia except Batu Caves during Thaipusam,” said one such SMS making its rounds in recent weeks. Other SMSes with similar messages have also been in circulation lately.

The SMSes refer to the violent dispersal by police of a large crowd who had gathered peacefully at the compound of the Batu Caves temple in the early hours of that day last year.

The crowd had arrived there prior to participating in the much-talked about Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) organised rally in Kuala Lumpur later that morning.

The police have said that they had acted only after they were called in by the Batu Caves temple management committee, headed by R Nadarajah.

Nadarajah had defended the temple’s actions by saying that the crowd had trespassed into the temple after closing hours and in the process had caused severe damages to the temple’s properties.

Thaipusam is one of the most important festivals for the Hindus. It is dedicated to Lord Muruga and celebrates the victory of good over evil. In Malaysia, Batu Caves has been the centre of the celebration for years, attracting about a million visitors on that day every year.

An angry community

One annual Batu Caves visitor, S Sivalingam from Pasir Penampang in Selangor said that the calls for the boycott was likely to be heeded in his area.

“Every year bus loads of devotees from this place and the surrounding estates will make the pilgrimage to Batu Caves. This year lots of people are asking us not to go after what the temple has done to the people who were there on Nov 25,” he said.

He said that calls for the boycott has come not just via the SMSes, but also from local community leaders and from fellow residents themselves.

“They talk openly about Hindraf and how Nadarajah and his committee members have failed to support the fight for Indian rights,” he added.

He admitted the local Indian population in his area and the surrounding areas - which have long been strong BN supporters - were angry with the manner Hindraf supporters and protesters were treated in both Batu Caves and Kuala Lumpur city centre on Nov 25.

“The feeling is that our political parties have failed us. Our temples have failed too. So why must we continue giving our support to them,” asked Sivalingam, a 43-year-old businessman.

Bloggers too have joined along in asking the people to boycott Batu Caves this year.

“Perhaps we should teach them (the Batu Caves committee) by going to Penang and Malacca for Thaipusam. Let them lose their revenue,” wrote a blogger.

“Public solidarity is paramount in this symbolic effort to achieve the objectives and show that it is not easily quelled. Let's hit them where it naturally hurts most - $$$,” wrote another blogger.

Hindraf denies involvement

A priest in a small temple in Kapar K Munian said that he was worried that devotees from his temple would take “their fight against the wrong party”.

“The anger should not be focussed at the deity in the temple. It is after all Lord Muruga’s day. We go there to pray to him. If the anger is against the temple committee, find some other way to show it. Let’s not ask people not to go to Batu Caves to pray,” he pleaded.

Hindraf coordinator RS Thanenthira, when contacted, denied that his organisation was the mover behind the call for the boycott.

“How can we ask people not to pray. Of course we at Hindraf are angry with the Batu Caves temple committee, but that doesn’t mean we can ask people to boycott Lord Muruga,” he said.

“It is a temple and we will not stop people from praying there. But if it is their choice to boycott, we can’t do anything about that,” he added.

Batu Caves temple officials when contacted said that they are aware of the calls to boycott the temple for Thaipusam.

“But we are not worried about this. We are sure the devotees will continue to come here to worship,” said an official.

Protest the right way

Similar strong sentiment was espoused by MIC vice president S Veerasingam, who was confident that devotees will not boycott Batu Caves for Thaipusam.

“As usual thousands will turn up at Batu Caves and other places to fulfill their vows. Do not bring negative thoughts into religious festivals,” he said.

A long time kavadi-bearer at Batu Caves, P Batu Malai said that he would surely fulfill his vows by carrying a kavadi this year too at Batu Caves, although he was angry with the manner the temple committee handled the crowd on Nov 25.

“I was in the crowd and I know how the temple committee worked hand in hand with the police in getting us out of the temple compound,” he claimed.

“But that will not stop me from going there for Thaipusam. However I will not pay a single sen to the temple for any of its projects and charity drives. Neither will I be standing around to hear MIC president S Samy Vellu’s annual speech for Thaipusam at Batu Caves,” he added.


I say that people should go to fulfill their religious vows to Batu Caves but should not contribute any money for the temple - don’t even buy a drink. Just go and pray and return. No poojas, no donations, no tickets. The idea is to just send a message that we don't condone crooks who rob the community!

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Candlelight vigil washed away

Read here for more. You are not going to read about it in the main stream media!

Malaysian riot police break up rally protesting detention without trial - Yahoo! Malaysia News

Saturday, January 05, 2008

‘We are one’

I salute the person who put together this 3'30" video clip. It is truly inspiring in getting the community together. Well done bro!

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Friday, January 04, 2008

Looking with blinkers on

And from the same interview, here is Samy’s dummies version of events that unfolded on Nov 25. Never mind the fact that it was the police provocation and the subsequent use of tear gas, water cannons and batons against the crowd in both Batu Caves and KL city centre.

NDTV: The Tamils were protesting with pictures of Mahatma Gandhi. It was a peaceful demonstration.

S Vellu: I don't think it was peaceful. They started at 4 am and broke the temple door and shops and stoned policemen and broke the heads of 4 policemen. Is that called peace?

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Fighting like tigers = terrorists

All it takes is a small amount of suspicion and the government can label anyone as terrorist and put them away for two years without trial!

Check out this interview by Samy Vellu with an Indian daily on Jan 2.

NDTV: Do you have any evidence to back your government's charge that the Hindraf has links with terrorists?

S Vellu: Hindraf said they would fight like the Tigers, the way the Tigers are fighting in Sri Lanka. It was by Vedamurthy. After he talked like that, we did an investigation and it was felt that he may have gone there for training.

NDTV: Do you have evidence of this?

S Vellu: No. It is our suspicion.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Urghhhh %^&*()#@ Liverpool

How frustrating! You wake up at 4am, only to see a bunch of fools testing your patience by conspiring against scoring goals to win a match.

By right Liverpool should have beaten, no thrashed, Wigan. Still they manage to come out with a pathetic 1-1 draw. So bloody frustrating.

Liverpool is not going to win the league if they can’t kill off their opponents, especially in their own ground.

As I see, this team is only good to fight for the fourth slot in the league table, if they can hold off Man City and Everton.

I am totally buggered today. Angry with the American owners who don’t know football, angry with the manager who doesn’t know English football and angry with the players who have no English lion-heart.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Sex in Batu Pahat

What a start to the new year! Hidden sex tapes, followed swiftly by a confession from a senior MCA politician.

Although it is still unsure of his immediate political future, many questions remain unanswered in this latest sex scandal.

For one, I wonder if the Batu Pahat hotel is going to come clean on its role - if there is any at all - in taping Chua Soi Lek having sex with a woman friend.

So far the hotel has remained unnamed but from what little is known about the scandal, there were four cameras placed in the hotel room in which Chua was caught playing around.

Could the hotel be ignorant of someone fixing four cameras in one of its rooms? Apparently Chua has the habit of visiting the same room for the same purpose for the past two years now.

Any smart observer would have noticed this to make some sinister moves.

This whole scheme stinks of high conspiracy. More like an attempt of Chua’s political assassination. Who stands to gain from the scandalous behaviour of the minister? Local party chieftains? Anyone in the party leadership? The potential new MP?

Chua did the right thing in admitting his follies.

He should have also tendered his resignation from both party and government posts as morally he has just lost the battle to hold on these public offices. (UPDATED at 3.30pm: He just quit ALL his posts in both the party and the government!)

The party at its meeting today will decide on what action to be taken against Chua. However if it also finds that the whole taping and shaming deed had any political hand behind it, the party is also duty bound then to investigate and take action against the perpetrators and those backing them, no matter how high and powerful their party positions are.

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