Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hindraf needs to rethink its strategy

From Day 1 kaytee had and still is supporting Hindraf and its campaign to improve the lamentable lot of the Indian Malaysians.

I have cried for our Indians in:

(1) The Toddy Syndrome and
(2) Malaysia’s Economic Pariahs

I was pissed off with their lamentable lack of meaningful political leadership which I blasted in 'Ketupat in Kashmir' - An MGR Extravaganza.

I even posted a poem on the Hindraf rally titled (no surprise) 25 November 2007.

However, it was with some mixed feelings, that of sadness and annoyance, when I read Malaysiakini articles Child, mother freed, 10 remanded and Shanti: I stayed in police station in protest.

We need to start off this discussion with the fact that the Home Ministry has banned Hindraf.

No doubt the Hindraf leadership made some rather extravagant allegations in their grievances, but the government should have recognized that those were the explosive expressions of a 5-decade old frustration, despair and unmitigated sufferings of a marginalised people.

Under such circumstances, the authorities ought to allow for some latitude in Hindraf’s cries of despair and not overreact by using the ISA to detain the Hindraf leadership, or (recently) ban the movement.

In becoming the political ostrich by ignoring the genuine grievances of a Malaysian community, and worse, sweeping the issues under the carpet through draconian punitive measures instead of working out real programs to mitigate the wrongs of the past, the UMNO-led government has failed in its so-called inclusive leadership.

Needless to say, with such a harsh and disdainful example set by the nation’s political leadership, it was hardly surprising that the police had overreacted on Thursday when they arrested 11 Hindraf people who attempted to submit a letter to the PM at his office in Putrajaya.

Why couldn’t they exercise a bit of judgement or commonsense by receiving the letter on behalf of the PM, and then sending those poeple home?

That was a rhetorical question as I have no doubt they were faithfully subscribing to the Minister’s pronouncement of Hindraf as a banned organization. As Malaysiakini reported, the Home Ministry said the group was detained for "taking part in an organisation that has been banned under Section 48 of the Societies act".

Our police lack that independence (of judgement and action) and commonsense which we admire in police forces of other more democratic nations.

But the infamy of the police action was to have included among the arrested group a 6-year old sweetie, P Vwaishhnnavi, the niece of detained Hindraf leader P Uthayakumar – see Malaysiakini Uthaya's niece, 11 others held.

‘Twas hardly surprising that the nation was shocked and riled by the dumbo-ness of the police in detaining a 6 year old. It was open slather as the condemnations against the ‘callous’ police assumed tsunamic proportions.

The police of course responded that they did not arrest Vwaishhnnavi but her mum. The 6-year old sweetie was merely in her mum’s care. OK, I believe the police.

But it did show our men in blue have not yet prepared for such a situation when they should have called upon the Welfare or Community Service people or even the girl’s relatives to look after Vwaishhnnavi, instead of allowing her to accompany Mum into the lockup ...

... but gnam gnam (precisely, exactly) what the Hindraf group would have wanted for assured sensational publicity. The young sweetie should never have been allowed to be detained.

On the other side of the coin, I deplore her mother’s irresponsibility in involving her young daughter in a situation which had led to the young girl’s de facto detention, by virtual of her wanting to stay naturally beside mum.

I recall in the PAS-PKR fuel protest rally last year, a PAS leader had also taken his daughter along in the march where the potential for confrontation with the dreaded FRU was very high …

… yet some parents had shown a certain callousness to their children’s welfare and/or irresponsibility by exploiting the young ones for political purposes ... but placing those children in unpleasant and even dangerous situations.

In Malaysiakini Shanti: I stayed in police station in protest the lil’ sweetie’s mum K Shanti, who is also wife of Hindraf chairperson P Waythamoorthy, revealed her political agenda by insisting on remaining in the Putrajaya district police lockup in protest of the detention of her 10 friends and relatives.

I need to ask: did the young sweetie also remain behind together with mum?

Look, this grandstanding nonsense which has unfairly and unnecessarily disadvantaged and no doubt traumatised a 6-year old sweetie is not the way to appeal to the PM with a so-called Deepavali invitation, where Vwaishhnnavi promised to be waiting with flowers and cakes for AAB.

The mum has lost the plot.

Given this regrettable happenings, I recommend you read what Josh Hong, a Malaysiakini columnist, wrote in his article
Indian revolt: The morning after, where he provided good advice to Hindraf leaders as follows:

The message sent through the extraordinarily successful rally last Sunday was too loud and too clear to fall on deaf ears.

As always, the spirit of reason must prevail despite the lingering euphoria. The onus is now on every concerned citizen and group to tie the appeals of the Indians into the expectations and demands of other Malaysians so as to de-racialise and de-religionise the whole thing.

Meanwhile, Hindraf leaders must do more to convince the public that they are not doing this with a vengeance, but are ready to walk and fight alongside just-minded Malaysians of all ethnicity, failing which they will only play into the hands of the ruling coalition and show themselves to be a fringe group of ethnic fanatics bent on havoc and destruction. Should this be the case, my Indian friends will again end up the ultimate losers in a conspiracy brilliantly executed by extremists of all sides.

Josh Hong’s advice becomes even more relevant today.


  1. You have to recap back what has Hindraf written in their memorandum. If it was in the 70s, a racial riot should has been taken place!

  2. From the pov in causality - egg or chicken fist?

    Egg = 6 yrs old arrested?


    Chicken = Hindraf's 'illegal protest'?

    Or there's NO chicken or egg as one try to find bones in this definition of 'illegal protest'!

    The intensity of the recent M'sia happenings cannot be finely experienced by someone far-away, with only nostalgic reminiscences.

    I say Ktemoc has lost his marbles lately for NOT been able to objectively looking at M'sia issues at large.

    Too long away in DownUnder & issues-sensing with telescope always help to lost the TRUTH.


  3. Zulkifli Nordin attacks everyone over Islam
    [Zulkifli Nordin accused several parties including his own party members of disrespecting or insulting Islam in Dewan Rakyat today.]

    Zulkifli Nordin accused several parties including his own party members of disrespecting or insulting Islam in Dewan Rakyat today.
    By Shannon Teoh

    KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 - Pakatan Rakyat MP Zulkifli Nordin accused several parties including his own of disrespecting or insulting Islam in Dewan Rakyat today.

    "This pillar is being challenged from left, right, above, below, behind or in front, whether from the ruling party or from this side," he said, referring to the opposition benches.

    His statements are set to reignite speculation that he is ready to crossover to Umno as PKR have constantly been criticised for not punishing Zulkifli despite the party's principles of multicultural tolerance.
    The Bar Council bore the brunt of his outburst as he accused it of insulting Islam by supporting apostates in Dewan Rakyat today and called for a separate Bar Council for Syariah laywers to be established which will protect those who practise Syariah law.

    "In the case of Azalina Jailani, the Bar Council sent a representative to be present in court to ensure she became an apostate," he added while debating the 2009 Budget.

    Azalina, also known as Lina Joy, however, had failed in her attempt to have the Federal Court rule that her religion be changed from Islam to Christian in May last year.

    The Kulim Badar Baharu MP also said that a recent forum by the Bar Council to discuss Islamic matters openly, caused racial and religious tensions.

    Zulkifli had led a protest against the "Conversion to Islam" forum in August but insisted that he was there in his capacity as a Lawyers in Defence of Islam (Pembela) exco member, not an MP for PKR.

    He reiterated his stand today, saying "There are those that speak as if I am supporting another party but I am actually fighting for Islam. I do not care about what other people think of me because I will have to answer to Allah."

    Zulkifli proceeded to attack the suggestion that surfaced during the MCA General Assembly last weekend where delegates had called for the appointnment of a second Deputy Prime Minister who would be a non-Malay, calling it another challenge to Islam's position.

    "It insults Islam when parties go to court insisting they have the right to use the world Allah like Muslims do," he said in reference to the ongoing case where local Catholic weekly The Herald is attempting to get a court order to allow it to use the word Allah.

    Zulkifli also said that certain groups did not respect Muslims by disrupting Hari Raya celebrations by making unsuitable requests, an apparent reference to Hindraf's presence at the Cabinet open house where they lobbied Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi to release the Hindraf 5 detained under the Internal Security Act.

    He further claimed that the undermining of Islam had occurred since the time of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

    "This man had tried to expel a mufti who wanted to defend Islam. He soiled the institution of the Malay rulers with his deeds. He should be the last person to defend the Malays, after what he did. His hands are soiled," he said.

    Zulkifli then asked for a mosque to be built specifically for the Chinese Muslim community in Kuala Lumpur as more Chinese were converting to the faith.

    "I suggest the Pudu prison site be used for this purpose," he told Dewan Rakyat.

    He suggested als for certain articles in the Federal Constitution be amended "so that Islam is not challenged by irresponsible parties."

    Article 11(4) allows for state law and federal law in respect of the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan, to restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam.

    Zulkifli called for this clause to be passed into all state constitutions.

    Article 3 protects freedom of religion which Zulkifli wants amended so that Muslims specifically be subject to the regulations of Islam.

    see the rest of the postin here :

  4. Zulkifli dancing to Umno tune, say PR colleagues
    By Shannon Teoh

    KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — PKR’s partners in Pakatan Rakyat say that Zulkifli Nordin is dancing to Umno’s tune after the MP’s outburst on insults against Islam in Parliament yesterday.

    “He has fallen into their trap and is dancing to their tune,” Selangor Pas deputy commisioner Khalid Samad told The Malaysian Insider.

    “It hurts our credibility. He seems to think he is the only defender of Islam,” said the Shah Alam MP, adding that if Muslims insist that everything is taboo, it would be difficult for non-Muslims to respect and be attracted to the faith.

    Compromising with non-Muslims does not clash with Islamic principles, Khalid added.

    PKR”s Kulim Bandar Baharu MP had yesterday attacked various quarters for challenging Islam, saying that it was being attacked from “the left, right, above, below, behind or in front, whether from the ruling party or from this side,” referring to the opposition benches.

    Zulkifli had also been involved in an earlier debacle when he led a protest against the Bar Council forum on “Conversion to Islam” in August, where he was accused of barging into the forum and making an inciteful speech. Yesterday, he accused the Bar Council of supporting apostasy.

    There has also been widespread rumours linking the Barisan Nasional’s dropping of the election petition in his constituency as a precursor to him crossing over to the ruling coalition.

    DAP vice-chairman Tan Kok Wai also expressed his regret over the matter, agreeing with Khalid that Zulkifli was playing into Umno’s hands and that his action was damaging Pakatan Rakyat’s credibility.

    “It is very straightforward that it hurts our credibility. Many members of the public are unhappy with PKR for not taking action after Zulkifli’s behaviour at the Bar Council forum,” he said.

    “Nobody is disrespecting Islam. It is a common agreement that Islam is the official religion as stated in the Federal Constitution. There is no doubt about this.”

    He added however that it was clear that Zulkifli’s action was not the considered stand of his party as none of his colleagues have echoed the same sentiments and while it was not up to DAP to suggest to PKR how to approach the matter, it is clear that the issue must be addressed so that it is not repeated.


  5. That child probably ought not to have been there. But her father is Waythamoorthy and her uncle is Uthayakumar.

    If her mother was not there, exercising her free will demanding for their freedom, who else will? There was probably no baby sitter to watch the child.

    Honestly, that six year old has been used for political purposes like delivering roses and teddy bears. We frown over that, and probably rightfully so.

    But we Malaysians don't know what happens around the rest of the world. For instance, in Northern Ireland, the IRA use children as physical barriers to avoid being shot at. They tote their machine guns and fire at the police, but the police are unable to return fire for fear of killing the little ones.

    In comparison, delivering a little teddy bear or a bouquet of flowers is NOTHING.

  6. extravagant allegation?

    way to whitewash.

    alleging that Indians are being ethnically cleansed. implying it an act of state terrorism by a Muslim government. trying to tie it to war on terror.

    that is not extravagant, that is plain malicious.

    the Indians deserve better than Hindraf. their plights are not well represented by pervasive use of racism and children as human shield

  7. Dei you not takut kah. Our Syed will will going for NGO who supports Hindraf la.

    Shite will hit the fan lor. What shite! The BN govt is going from bad to worse by the day.


  8. Its inevitable that Hindraf would need to go "respectable", which likely would entail working more closely with one the mainstream Opposition parties, even BN if it make sense.

    The child was used for political purposes...but I hardly count handing over flowers and cakes putting a child in a dangerous situation.

    Its only the authorities' Neanderthal-like reaction which made it unpleasant and dangerous.

    Most decent countries would have a SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for police to deal with cases where a woman with an accompanying child is arrested. Attempts would be made to contact close relatives, and if all else fails, the Welfare department takes charge of the child. Doesn't sound like this procedure was followed here.

  9. you miss the point, the mum did not want her daughter to leave - 1) to gain sympathy, 2) to force gov bow to her pressure. she's making use of her daughter for her own goal, just like the rohingya beggars in kotaraya. if the wife really care, she wouldn't drag the daughter into her cause, advised her study hard to become good person, and in police station, ask relative or friends to take her away to home - sure the police (even how no brainer they are) will oblige her. if the terrorist use child as suicide bomber, do you condemn the terrrorist, or the victim? if the nazi use children in their recruit, do the nazis, or russians be condemned if they fire their artilery to these "armies"? exploiting children in their struggle is the worst human being could do, and it seems hindraf has no shame with it ....

  10. Hindraf ni memang tak habsi menyusahkan orang. Yang dia menggelabah tak tentu pasal entah hapa entah. Suka sangat buat perangai berkumpul ramai2 tu. lepas tu lagi satu yang bangangnya, bila berkumpul macam tu pergi bawak budak kecik. Betapa bodohnya mereka ni menggunakan budak kecik untuk perlindungan mereka. Bodoh!

  11. kittykat46, you do have a point, in that Hindraf should make its arguments more politically correct.

    But even the Opposition at this point is struggling with issues affecting the majority, like public transportation, inflation, fuel subsidies etc. I doubt the cause of a minority would take top priority. Not at this moment.

    And yes, the government never fails to befuddle me with their stupidity. There could have been many ways to deal with the child.

    denzook, if those were the reason the mother did not want the daughter to leave, I say good for her. Whatever furthers her cause - because while the government did not bow to her pressure, she sure gained a lot of sympathy, including mine.

    You delude yourself into thinking there are rules in politics. The truth is, there are none.

    As far as I'm concerned, both the woman and her child were well within the rules, they exercised their right to express themselves but were arrested. At this point, it is the current government which makes itself look like a tyrant.

    Your solution for a better life is "study hard to become good person" huh? How profound. I can really tell you're a deep thinker.

  12. remember canny ong case where the wife maintained her husband innocence. what is she preached her son, sends flower and greeting card to judge, minister to plead for her husband release, or at least spare him from gallows. what if the police arrest her for obstruction and she insists to have her child at her side even in the lockup cell ????

    another case is snatch thief beaten to death, what if the wife sues the police for unable to protect her snatch thief husband, and when the case is dismissed, the wife brings along her child and sending flower and greeting card to police/gov/minister for her husband compensation????

    and to the criminals that have been executed, what if their child bring flowers/greeting card to judge/minister to ask pension/compensation to their dead father?!

    you agree with this mess ? just like you believe in christian or buddhist or hindu, majority are muslim. just like you say isa must be repealed, majority say isa is good. just like you think hindraf is good, majority think hindraf must be banned and lock behind bars. this is why you don't see 100,000 or 1000,000 ppl rally to support hindraf or call for isa abolish, like in taiwan. you are just a dissident. and typical urban resident stays under air-cond roof and drive toyota cars and who think eat cake when bread is scarce. just like germany during ww1 fighting in frontline, you must be the type of socialist preaching end of war and brought down the government, while the army sacrifice their lives for nothing...

  13. Why BN not charged the ISA5 ?
    Why BN dont have prove that Hindraf is terrorist activist ?
    Why banning Hindraf jst becoz provoactive speeches and teddy bears ?
    Do BN have answers ?
    No and never ..!

    Hindraf is not a terrorist, they are simple hardworking intelligent malaysians who lived and contributed years for the growth of the country and they seek for the justice for the purpose of their children in future.

    Everyone knows this truth,
    jst somebody pretend as they do not know about it.

    A coward dies thousand times,
    A soldier dies only once..

  14. a daring and malay origin

  15. KT Obviously you do not watch Tamil movies. Try and you may understand.