Tuesday, December 30, 2008
My new year would be hectic as I have to be in Chennai India, the first week of the year. All in the name of work.
I would certainly wish for a peaceful world with lesser problems in 2009.
A HAPPY NEW YEAR PEOPLE.
Monday, December 22, 2008
The government late last week announced that it had agreed in principle to sell 51 percent of its stake in IJN to conglomerate Sime Darby group. Views of many published in newspapers and the internet shows the public feedback on the matter.
As far as I am concerned, although I am part of the government, the feeling is that the plan should be scrapped altogether.
IJN has proven and continues to prove that it is a premier heart institute in the country. It had produced several firsts in heart transplant and doing fine on its own. It is also reported to have some hundreds of millions in its coffers and this is to be used for future expansion.
I do not really know why the government choose to privatise an organisation which was already making profit, providing aid to the poor and needy and had become a benchmark for other heart institutes in the region.
My stand is that no healthcare services provided by the government should be privatised. This is our (the government's) responsibility and we should live-up to it. We should not in any circumstances leave healthcare to the private sector, as when this happens, our low and medium income group suffers. Let us work for the betterment of the people and not to burden the rakyat.
Although Sime Darby has suggested that it would not burden the needy, there is no guarantee how long they could hold-up to this promise. Companies can suggest various reasons to hike fees and this would be at the expense of the people.
I feel organisations like the IJN should be left alone, just like any government run hospital in the country. Instead of selling stakes, the government should pump in more funds to upgrade these government-run-hospitals to ensure the people enjoy better healthcare services.
Waiting time and scary stories of government hospitals should become something of the past. We should strive for something that could be enjoyed to the fullest by the rakyat.
The saying Health is Wealth is apt for this scenario.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Over the last two weeks the whole country had been abuzz with the landslide in Bkt Antarabangsa, which claimed four innocent lives. This is a tragedy, and the finger pointing began. The Works Ministry has come out to say that this was a man-made accident and something must be done to prevent more such occurrence. Although, Bkt Antarabangsa does not fall under Federal Territory Kuala Lumpur, I visited the area and it was shocking.
Now in Kuala Lumpur itself, we have a few hillside development and this includes the controversial Medan Damansara hillside development. We in the Federal Territory Ministry have decided to release a guideline on hillside developments soon, to be drafted by the Housing and Local Government Ministry and the Environment Ministry.
The Federal Territory Ministry has asked the two Ministries to study all aspects of hillside development. The guideline would be applicable in Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya.
Apart from that, the Ministry has also decided to freeze all hillside development as we are very serious of the damage and especially the loss of lives from landslides.
I had also received several feedback on the demolition of a temple at Old Klang Road last month. Yes, the temple was demolished! The City Hall (Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur) had on several occasion sent various notice to the said temple but to my dismay, the temple management took it lightly and did not act on it.
Had I been notified of the notices, I would have done all in my power to ensure that events did not come to this. But, what is done is done. I have spoken to the Minister about the temple and it was decided that the temple, which was located at a former Kampung area which had been relocated, to be given a piece of land. The construction of a new temple is on the way being arranged.
My plea to all Hindus in Kuala Lumpur, if the temple you go to is unregistered, please ask, request the temple management to get the temple or temples registered as soon as possible.
If the face any trouble from City Hall, get in touch with my office at Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur. We have to safeguard all places of worship, not only Hindu temples but also that of all religion. I also very much hope that places of worship are not demolished blindly in this nation. This becomes very sensitive and has various implications. Lets hope for the best.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu would seek re-election. Datuk Muthupalaniappan from Seremban has voiced his intention to fight the president's post.
No other leader has announced their intention to contest for posts and that includes myself. Three days ago, Tamil Nesan ran a front page story saying that I could be going for the party number two post -- deputy president -- in September and I issued a denial the very next day.
I have not even thought of what post to contest as I find that the party polls are still ten months away and it is not time to start talking about politics or positions.
The bigger task at hand is getting work done. There are so many things to do and this is my priority presently. Let positions come to me rather than me fighting for positions, just eight months after winning a parliamentary seat and becoming a deputy minister.
Some might say that a politician has to be ambitious and criticise me for taking this stand.
The people, or rather in this case, MIC members and delegates should be my judge and jury. If they find me to be a worthwhile leader then by all means, I would take their advice and support. Only after this can I decide what I want to do with my political career.
My mission for now is to serve the people and let them decide what and where I should sit. I would not lobby for posts and if the public think I am not worth-the-while then it is better for me not to contest. I do not want to be known as someone, who just warms a particular seat in the party.
I want to be known as someone who brought change to the community and Malaysians at large.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 (Bernama) -- Federal Territories Deputy Minister Datuk M. Saravanan today urged Hindus not to fall for an SMS text in circulation, stating that Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) had demolished a Hindu temple located near Masjid India, here.
He said DBKL's enforcement unit had only demolished the old structure of the Arulmigu Sri Bathrakaliaman temple today, after allocating a piece of land to enable the temple authorities to carry out the relocation exercise.
"The new temple is just beside the old one and all the deities have been
moved to the new temple.
"DBKL today only demolished the empty structure of the old temple which was not utilised by the temple authorities. So, accusing DBKL of demolishing a temple is totally wrong. They only tore down the structure of the old temple, without any deities inside," he told reporters after visiting the site here, today.
Saravanan, who is also MIC information chief, said DBKL, which came under the ministry' purview, had on several occasions given notice to the temple management on the demolition exercise to make way for a road widening project in Jalan Masjid India.
The temple management chairman, Kanmani Undalam, through a letter to DBKL
had asked the authority not to demolish the old temple before Oct 31 and promised to vacate the premises on or before the said date.
Copies of the letter was furnished to the media during Saravanan's visit.
Following the request from the temple management, DBKL security and enforcement director Rolan Abd Rahman, in a letter replied that DBKL had agreed to the terms of the temple management and would not demolish the temple before Oct 31.
Saravanan said Rolan's letter also specifically stated that the old temple
structure would be demolished today, Nov 3.
"Spreading the SMS saying that DBKL had demolished a temple is a total distortion of truth. It is the work of irresponsible people. Notice had been given. A new temple is just beside the old one and furthermore only the structure of the old temple was demolished. That is the truth," he added.
Saravanan said the ministry would keep to its assurance that no place of worship in the federal capital would be demolished without proper relocation.
Friday, October 31, 2008
It has more to do in the way in which the BN has operated in the last decade or so. BN leaders at their meetings do not sense this because the comradeship is strong. The feeling of belonging is even stronger at this level. Meetings are conducted in an open manner. Leaders are more open minded when issues are discussed. There is no Indian, Malay or Chinese distinction. That is good and well.
But if one is to go down further, the spirit of togetherness deteriotes. The case in point is the civil sector. When an Indian walks into a government office, immediately he or she gets hostile based on the surroundings. Whatever the leaders are promoting gets lost down the line. The spirit of togetherness, that we are all Malaysian regardless of race and religion, is lost at government offices. All we see is that the offices of public service being dominated by a single race.
This results in Indians and other races to feel detached from the government. The sense of belonging is lost. Whatever, we do outside as politicians, whatever we promote, whatever slogans we come-up with becomes totally useless. When a person, may he be Indian, Chinese or any other race walks into a government office, he or she should feel welcome. The person must feel that he or she had walked into a place that could offer help. The feeling that their problems would be solved must be there.
As a first step to remedy the situation, I suggest that each govenment department has a director or deputy director who is an Indian. This way, even if the lower rung staff are unable to offer sincere help, Indians can always look up to the said director or deputy director to solve their woes. This would also enable the government to have a true picture of Indians on the ground. These directors or deputy directors would be able to bring-up problems and issues confronting Indians at the department level and higher-up.
It could also be part of the government to increase Indian participation in the civil sector, especially in the higher category. Creating the post of director or deputy director at important government departments would not be a huge task for the powers that be and the cost mininal. But the returns would be huge, in this case, the support of Indians, which deserted the ruling coalition at the March 8 General Election, as they would feel that they belong to the system.
Monday, October 27, 2008
On another front, Deepavali is over and it is back to work. There is lots to be done. Not only in my Ministry but also in the MIC. Will blog soon. Take care and be safe on the roads please.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
For the information of all the Federal Territories Ministry would be organising a Deepavali carnival celebration at Brickfields on Thursday, 23nd Oct at about 5pm. The event would be graced by the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. All are invited to participate in this event. This would be the first time that a Deputy Prime Minister is attending such an event organised in Brickfields by the Ministry.
I would deliver a welcome address followed by the Federal Territories Minister's speech and then Najib would say his piece. Hope he would give us some good news on issues besieging the community, especially that involving our participation in the civil sector, equity ownership etc.
Please feel free to drop by.
I would also like to take this opportunity to wish all Hindus a Happy Deepavali. May the festival of lights, brighten our future ahead in the year to come.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Now back to the current on-goings. Last week the Prime Minister announced that he would not seek re-election for Umno presidency in March next year. This would mean that the Deputy Prime Minister would move up a rank and run for presidency. The talk among Umno circles is that vice-president Muhyiddin Yassin will be Najib's running mate and from the looks of it, this will become a reality. Umno divisions have started the nominations and so far nominations have come in only for Najib and Muhyiddin combination.
Well, some will ask me why I am wasting my time talking about Umno. This is not a waste of time as convention has it, that the Umno president and deputy will eventually become PM and DPM. And that is important to all Malaysians.
On another front the Opposition leader has said that he would still take over the government by end of the year. First it was Sept 16, then by end of Sept, and after that it was Oct 13, the day Parliament begins its final sitting for the year.
Now it has become by end of the year. Hope he just plays an effective opposition leader than setting dates. Maybe, he should get into prediction, like Nostradamus or something, but the problem would be unlike the great Nostradamus, Anwar's predictions fail all the time!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
With this in mind, I don't see any rational why these group of people, who claim to be the "true Hindraf" barging into the Putra World Trade Centre.
I also saw photographs of a little girl, who is most likely as old as my daughters, being used to submit a teddy bear to the PM. She is the daughter of one of those detained.
This I don't agree. The child will have to bear this physiological scar in later years. We all know that the families of the five years are bearing the consequences of the detention of the five Hindraf leaders. Do we need to drag the child into this and make a spectacle of her.
Apart from the news article, MIC has issued statements on this matter. The party feels that the way these "true Hindraf" supporters behaved, were out of line. Your say please....
KUALA LUMPUR: Sekumpulan penyokong Hindraf menimbulkan kekecohan pada majlis rumah terbuka Aidilfitri anjuran Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dan anggota Kabinet beragama Islam di Pusat Dagangan Dunia Putra (PWTC) semalam.
Tanpa mempedulikan peraturan, mereka bertindak mendahului barisan pengunjung lain yang sudahpun beratur untuk memasuki dewan sejak pukul 10 pagi.
Menurut saksi yang melihat tindak-tanduk mereka, kumpulan itu mula memotong barisan orang ramai menjelang tengahari untuk menyerahkan patung beruang dan kad Hari Raya yang mereka dakwa mengandungi 300 tandatangan bagi mendesak pembebasan pemimpin Hindraf yang sedang menjalani tahanan.
Walaupun timbul kekecohan, mereka dibenarkan memasuki dewan atas semangat Hari Raya. Abdullah memberitahu pemberita bahawa kumpulan itu mahu berjumpa beliau secara peribadi tetapi beliau tidak dapat bertemu secara khusus dengan manamana pihak kerana acara itu adalah rumah terbuka Hari Raya.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Does that give the right for improper demolition of the said temple? MIC on the other hand has asked for answers. Will the temple be rebuilt? Will it receive any form of compensation? Will the state government apologise for the demolition? etc.
These are some questions which had been left unanswered. Now there is also the question of Hindraf, which incidentially was set up to save guard temples in the country, among others. The deafing silence by Hindraf is also another issue. Why the silence? Is it because the state was run by the Pakatan government? Why are there no forth coming statements? Maybe, Hindraf is busy trying to ensure the release of its five leaders that the temple demolition had taken a backseat.
Even yesterday several thousands Indians were back on the streets of Kuala Lumpur demanding the release of the Hindraf Five. Would it be better to have staged the protest at the site of the temple? Why was not this done? Refer to a Malaysiakini report at http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/90481. Some may not be able to access this, you have to subsribe. I have reproduced it below.
Back to the question of the temple. The Selangor state government should not repeat the mistake done by the former Selangor government, who had in my view, ignored the plea of the Indian community in demolishing temples. That government, especially the then Menteri Besar totally disregarded the views of the community, MIC included. They suffered the backlash at the March general election.
Now Pakatan is going the same way. The MB has not even commented on the issue. Is it because of fear that the government might face backlash from the Malay community for speaking for Hindus?
p/s: Please come up with sensible arguements. This post is not discussing if MIC was effective in stopping demolition of temples. It is aimed at obtaining comments that would safeguard our temples in the future, may it be in BN controlled states or otherwise. It is not about MIC or Samy Vellu bashing. It is about Hindus and the Malaysian Indian community!
p/s: Kavitha of Puchong please check your facts the next time you write. Also please refer to the Hindraf website. They have finally come out with a statement. And for your information even the Pakatan MP who said it was demolished for renovation has even denied saying that. Please try to have an intelligent comment after checking facts. Thanks for dropping by.
ISA detainees' wives: Hindraf has changed
Fauwaz Abdul Aziz | Sep 26, 08 7:53pm
The struggle of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) is different now compared to when it started some 10 months ago under the leadership of the five who are currently under Internal Security Act (ISA) detention, said the wives of two leaders today.
Dr M Kalaivani and B Buvaneswary, the wives of K Kenghadharan and V Ganabatirau, respectively, said they were not comfortable with the direction in which the movement has taken.
Speaking at a press conference in Kelana Jaya, Kalaivani said aside from the goal of obtaining the release of the Hindraf leaders, what is of utmost importance is that the Indian community's problems are alleviated.
Both these goals can be affected without rallies planned by those now coordinating Hindraf activities.
On the contrary, they said the rallies may actually serve to harm the chances of the five's release.
"What I know from my husband, the struggle was different in the beginning and it seems to have taken a different turn at the present moment. I was not involved in Hindraf at all so I cannot comment on what their principles were," said Kalaivani.
"(But) from what we see in the present leadership, we’re not very comfortable with it," she added.
Citing plans by Hindraf to gather 10,000 people at Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's Hari Raya open house later next month, she said this would serve as a form of ‘intimidation’ rather than anything else.
Asked if her husband insisted on supporting the movement along such lines in the even he is released, Kalaivani said she would not support him.
"I feel that there are a lot of ways to help the community. You would have to ask my husband, but ... I would not support him if this is how the struggle is going to be.
"I personally feel there is a lot of other ways to continue helping the community, and this we would definitely do.
"If fact, I might even join him to do it together (if he chooses other means of helping the Indian community)," she said.
Samy Vellu's efforts appreciated
During the press conference, the wives also recorded their appreciation for MIC president S Samy Vellu and other quarters who are pushing for the five's release.
Commenting on the statements by certain quarters who questioned the "integrity and sincerity" of Samy Vellu in declaring he had met with Abdullah and sought the release of the Hindraf leaders, Kalaivani said her family’s only wish was to see her husband's return.
"I'm sure it’s the same for the other detainees as well and we sincerely hope that no individuals would continue questioning the integrity of any leaders or individuals from any party or question why they are asking for the release of our husbands.
"We appreciate the efforts taken by anybody to secure the release of our husbands, and we sincerely hope that the prime minister, the Deputy Prime Minister (Najib Abdul Razak) and the Home Minister (Syed Hamid Albar) would seriously consider their release very soon," she said.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I am not being a racist or anything like that, it is just that I am fed-up with the lies and baseless claims of these two parties, namely PKR and DAP. If these two parties want to champion the causes of a multiracial Malaysia, then the national leadership line-up of these two parties should also reflect the proportion of races living in this blessed land.
Here is the breakdown according to race in PKR. It's top national leadership has 30 Malays, 8 Chinese and 5 Indians.
Out of the five Indians in PKR, three are national council members (N.Gobalakrishnan, Irene Fernandez and S. Manikavasagam), one deputy secretary general (Dr Xavier Jayakumar) and one vice-president (R.Sivarasa).
In the DAP, it is just as bad. It's top national leadership has 25 Chinese, 5 Indians and 2 Malays.
The Indians here are chairman (Karpal Singh), vice-chairman (M.Kulasegaran), deputy secretary general (Prof P. Ramasamy), and two committee members (Gobind Singh Deo and P. Gunasekaran).
Some who read this will say that although there are limited number of Indians in these two parties, others, meaning those of other races in the party, will not differentiate among races in fighting for a better Malaysia and that they represent all Malaysians regardless of race and religion.
But if this was the case, why not let the party be equally represented? Why is there a majority of a certain race in the parties i.e Malays in PKR and Chinese in DAP. Where does that leave the Indians?
In both the parties, there is not a single Indian leader who holds a key post. The chairmanship of Karpal in the DAP, as we all know, is just a rubber stamp for decisions made by the secretary general. To further the point, we have yet to see Karpal coming out with concrete proposal or recommendation for the betterment of the Malaysian Indian community.
My advice would be please do not be hoodwinked. We have to remain united not divided in trying address all our problems.
UPDATES: With regret, I wish to state that most comments on the above article have failed to get the point. Either people are blind or myopic in their view of the issue or are defending something they don't even have the slightest knowledge about i.e the system in which these opposition parties operate.
My contention was that while DAP claims to be multiracial it has only five Indian leaders in the top brass. The same goes for PKR. Both parties have also yet to state how they are going to uplift the community if, and that's a big IF they come to power.
If you wish to comment, let it be sensible please. I am not putting up articles for people to say what they like. Get involved in an intelligent argument. But I know for some, that would be difficult.
While it is easy to lump all these leaders together in the Pakatan Rakyat basket, my question is about the individual parties. Anyway as for Pakatan Rakyat, when parties which do not share the same or similar ideology or aim come together and try to grasp power, are they really doing this for the people or do they only want power. And IF they do come to power, what next? What would be their policies on just say an Islamic state. Pas will say Malaysia is an Islamic state while DAP will claim otherwise. They can't even find a common ground.
Then you have the Indian problem. Pas will say save the Malays while the DAP and PKR will say lets plan something for the Indians. Thats only planning, mind you!
That aside, my contention in the above article is, can or would opposition Indians leaders come-up with a proper proposal to uplift Indians. These are the kind of inputs or arguments that I expected from the comments. You can support the opposition, that is not an issue but please give me intelligent comments. Calling people names is not going to help.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Some people are angry, some consoling, some hopeful that it would really happen. But I personally don't think so. At a press conference today, the leader or so-called leader said he wants to meet the Prime Minister to tell Abdullah that he does not want a curfew imposed and that the transition of power done in an orderly manner. What a load of bull.
He also claims that he has 31 BN MPs under his fold and that more are joining by the hour. Thats a laughable. Just wait another few days then and maybe all 222 MPs would be in PKR since they are joining by the hour! When asked for the list of MPs, Anwar as usual was elusive.
If Anwar had the 31 MPs as he claims, he would have made a big huha over it. He would have organised a march to Istana Negara and another at Putrajaya. He would have asked the King to declare him Prime Minister. He would have virtually stormed into the PM's office or the Parliament. That is Anwar. He strives on controversies.
But this time he has over stepped his boundaries by promising the date he would come to power. That was a mistake. Now his credibility is at stake. The people would have to reevaluate Anwar's credibility all over again!
p/s And Mr OldFart, bye-bye. Please don't waste your time and mine contributing if you don't have anything to contribute. I don't mind losing one person. At least the blog would be cleaner.
For those who don't know what I am talking about, the person using the nick has used foul language etc despite several warnings. I have always published what he had to say even if it was hurtful to others but I guess like Anwar, he had over stepped his boundaries too. Bye-Bye pal!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 (Bernama) -- Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail has been suspended from the party for three years with immediate effect for making a disparaging remark at a political ceramah in Permatang Pauh last month, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced Wednesday.
The Umno president said the party's supreme council meeting Wednesday found that Ahmad's statements and actions, which had caused anxiety and drawn protests from the Barisan Nasional component parties, were serious.
As such, a decision was made to suspend his rights in the party under Clause 20.9 of the party constitution, he told reporters after chairing the two-hour meeting here.
Ahmad had caused a polemic with his statement at the ceramah on Aug 23 that the Chinese community are immigrants in the country and are not entitled to equal rights as the bumiputeras.
The statement had drawn anger from Gerakan and MCA leaders who demanded that he make a public apology but he had refused to do so.
"He will be stripped of whatever posts he now holds which are related to the party or the people or in his capacity as a representative of the party," said Abdullah, who is also the Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman.
Asked whether Ahmad could appeal the decision, he said: "Normally, everyone has a right to appeal."
On whether action would be taken against the newspaper which reported Ahmad's statement, he said the decision would be made by the Home Ministry.
"Matters relating to the press, matters relating to the actions of people outside the party, as I've just said, will be decided by the relevant government departments or ministries like the Home Ministry and the Royal Malaysia Police."
He said that if the political parties sensed that something had potential to create a bad situation in the country, they should lodge police reports and the same applied to the people if they felt that something not right had occurred, so that action could be taken under the law.
Abdullah said the Umno supreme council also felt that all the BN components should also be firm and take disciplinary action against any of their members who act or make statements that can cause anger and sour relations among the component parties.
"These are the two decisions made in connection with the matter," he said.
Abdullah said he also informed the meeting that the cabinet this morning discussed the situation on racial ties in the country and expressed the feeling that the signs were not good and the situation could lead to racial tensions.
"So, when many things are raised, when things are spoken about which touch on racial sensitivities in the country... matters that are not normally raised are raised and become an issue. Matters which should not be discussed are brought up and this draws various reactions," Abdullah said.
He said that all this while his government had been able to control the situation so that nothing untoward occurred but "we cannot allow this situation to continue."
The prime minister said he hoped that the people would understand that public order must be maintained through law enforcement.
"This is what we want because with one heart like this... order, peace, racial goodwill have given us the chance to develop our country so that the peole can enjoy progress, peace and security.
He had conveyed all this to the meeting, he said, adding: "We must love our nation. We must do whatever it takes to avoid clashes, things that pose a threat. We must save Malaysia from racial clashes."
Asked whether the government would use the Internal Security Act (ISA) to maintain public order, he said that only the Home Minister could sign the order for the use of the act and this also only if he really believed that the person could threaten national security.
Asked on the freedom of speech, Abdullah said although Malaysia did not restrict the freedom to speak, the laws of the country must be respected and given priority.
"Our laws are formulated in Parliament and our members of Parliament are elected by the people. We are democratic. We must understand that no one can, in the name of freedom, say what he or she likes to the extent of jeopardising public order, hurting others and violating the law," he said.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
This is seen by many as a departure from the "arrogant" Umno, we used to know and is definitely better than "I will tell him not to do it again" statement.
I hope the party, being the backbone of the Barisan Nasional, realises that it does not merely cater for one single race but also is watched by other races in the country.
Umno leaders should realise that they do not just cater for a specific race and should watch what they say.
We in the MIC, MCA or even Gerakan even at our general assemblies are controlled in our words even when we talk about Bumiputera policies and privileges. They too should do the same.
They also need to realise the change in the nation's political landscape and the time has come for them to make sweeping statement, that could hurt the feelings of other races.
We need to bring back the good old days of tolerance, unity with sincerity and not mere words. Let us hope that this mistake would not be repeated and that the Bukit Bendera Umno division head would be dealt with accordingly by the party.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Although there are many issues, especially those related to race and religion, that needs to be ironed out, we have progressed.
Now to more pressing issues at hand. During the Permatang Pauh by-election, it was reported that the Umno Bukit Bendera division chief Ahmad Ismail at a ceramah said that the Malaysian Chinese were "squatters or temporary residents" of the country, thus they do not qualify to be given equal rights. This statement had prompted a barrage of criticism from the MCA and Gerakan. The MIC Youth too have come out with statements slamming the Umno leader.
This is a typical Umno leader who wants to champion his or her own political cause especially with the looming Umno divisional elections just around the corner, by making provocative statement without thinking of the consequence.
Did he forget that this is Malaysia and this is also my "tanah tumpah darahku". We non-Malays too have put in our efforts, tears, sweat and everything we have for this nation. We are citizens of this country although our ancestors were Indian and Chinese.
Stern action should be taken against him. He should be suspended of his Umno membership and made an example to other Umno leaders who are thinking of using race and religion to further their own political career.
The Barisan Nasional leadership should use this opportunity to take action against this division leader and gain some support from the non-Malays, which was lost pre March 8.
Once again Selamat Merdeka.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Below are results of the by-election.
Anwar Ibrahim (PKR): 31,195 votes
Arif Shah Omar Shah (BN): 15,524 votes
Hanafi Mamat (Ind): 92 votes
Spoilt votes: 447 votes
Turnout: 47,258 or 81% of the total number of registered voters in the constituency.
Majority: 15,671 votes (higher than the 13,388 vote majority obtained by Wan Azizah Wan Ismail at the March 2008 elections)
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
KUALA LUMPUR: The teacher who allegedly used racial slurs on students in a school in Banting was temporarily transferred to another school pending investigations.
Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the 35-year-old teacher was moved to a school nearer to her house as the school needed a replacement Mathematics teacher.
Speaking at Parliament lobby yesterday, Hishammuddin said he had directed his deputy, Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong, to handle the matter.
He said he would not tolerate racial abuse in schools, but did not want the teacher to be falsely accused.
MIC secretary-general Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said there was a misunderstanding among the Indian community that the teacher was "rewarded" as she had been transferred to a school closer to her home.
Subramaniam said: "The Indians feel like the government is not taking any action against the teacher.
"However, I've been told by the education minister that the transfer was made to ensure the teacher's safety.
"The teacher had allegedly told students in a Form Four class that she "wanted to test their patience" and began using derogatory words.
Source NST Online
Saturday, August 16, 2008
The seat has 58,459 voters, 69% of whom are Malays, 25% Chinese and 6% Indians and others.
The parliamentary seat was won by Wan Azizah Wan Ismail at the last election in March with a 13,398 vote majority.
The seat has three state assembly seats --Seberang Jaya, Permatang Pasir and Penanti.
Arif Shah is the only BN candidate who won in Seberang Jaya, while Permatang Pasir was won by PAS candidate and Penanti by a PKR candidate at the last election.
Arif Shah in winning the state seat secured only a 533 vote majority, while the opposition's majority in Permatang Pasir was 5,433 votes and in Penanti 2,219.
The BN faces an uphill task in this election but try we will!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
On another note, let me clearly state here that many of those who responded to my earlier post should have checked the date it was posted before commenting and using vulgarities. Judging from the number of anonymous posting, I feel that some people log in everyday just to use profanities against me in the blog. When I posted the last blog, news was that the teacher apologised and was transferred. At that time, I was not informed that she was transferred to a school near her house and it was a better school than Sek Men Panglima Garang. I did not update my blog for a week now due to busy scheduled. But this does not give any reason for anyone to use crude language, to the extent of using derogatory words against me. I have time and time again said that I welcome constructive criticisms. Even if comments are not constructive, I publish all comments. But of late I realise that some commentator or commentators have taken this to be the green light to write just about anything, especially using vulgar words. To these people all I can say is if you don't have anything constructive or proper, don't waste your time writting. Now about the teacher, I would handle things my way! For those who have been ardent visitors to this blog, they would know what I mean. Thank you and God Bless.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
I would also like to remind those who comment on the blog to always use proper language in your comments. Using language like "sucking-up etc" is impolite. This might be the Internet and blogsphere but that does not guarantee the right for one to use improper language. If you want others to read your constructive comments, proper language usage is necessary. I see a trend in the comments. Some people just comment to vent out their anger and frustration. The reason I started blogging is to obtain feedback and so far it has been good. It is just that some rotten apples are spoiling the barrel.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Two police reports have been lodged against a secondary school History teacher for allegedly uttering racial slurs against Indian students.
The reports, lodged by two students from SMK Telok Panglima Garang last Friday, stated that a female history teacher had allegedly called Indian students ‘keling pariah', ‘Negro' and ‘black monkeys', amongst other derogatory names.
In the report, the Form Four and Form Five student said the teacher purportedly told students during class that ‘Indians came from dogs', Indians are ‘children of prostitutes' and the community is stupid.
They also allege that teacher had said the community youth ‘did not have testicles', ‘always menstruates' and indulged in thuggery and theft.
The full story could be accessed at http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/87278.
While the government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, wants to strengthen unity among the various ethnic races in the country, we have some people, like the teacher above who fail to understand that Malaysia is not run by a single race. When the PM himself wants the nation to provide equal opportunities for all Malaysians in all areas, there are some who think that this is not wise and that only the majority should enjoy the wealth of this country. Its sad. It angers me. I am also disappointed that the teacher had passed through the country's education system and teachers training without anyone detecting her racial sentiments.
Any Malaysian regardless of race, religion, creed, colour or ethnicity does not deserve this kind of treatment and most alarming is the fact that it was uttered by a school teacher who had indirectly made all her students racists in one way or another. The physiological scar left by her on these students, will remain despite the harshest punishment meted out against her.
Now students of other races in the class, when this incident occurred, would not think twice to utter what she had said in class, outside of school. While the Indian students would be angry not only at the teacher but her race generally. In this case one rotten or bad apple spoils the barrel.
As far as I am concerned, action should be taken against the teacher. She should not be sacked as this would destroy her career and let her go on thinking that she was right in saying all those things against Indians. She should be transferred. She should be demoted and placed at a Tamil primary school. Let her go to school everyday with hundreds of Indian children and other Indian teachers.
Though deep inside I want her sacked and remain out of the country's education system, that would be an easy way out for her. She has to realise her follies and sacking her will not bring her this realisation. But transferring her to a Tamil medium primary school would certainly do the trick!
I on my part as a Deputy Minister and MIC Information chief would certainly do whatever is necessary to ensure, teachers like this do not "corrupt" our education system. First would be a chat with the Education Minister. I have my way of doing things and let me assure you that this issue will not be swept under the carpet, although the actions may not be publicised.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Anwar Ibrahim warmed up to the Bandar Tun Razak (Kuala Lumpur) electorate tonight as part of his by-election 'campaign' in a constituency which he claims to be eyeing as a ticket to Parliament. In a hastily arranged ceramah, the charismatic leader spoke to the nearly 2,000 strong multiracial crowd which braved the drizzle throughout the 75-minute speech at a surau compound in Taman Len Sen. Despite the wide range of topics, his main agenda of the night was to signal his intention to contest in the area and test the waters. Needless to say, the crowd gave Anwar the verbal approval when he asked if he could contest the seat which is currently held by Selangor Menteri Besar and PKR comrade Khalid Ibrahim.
"I want to say that maybe, I might contest here," said Anwar to loud roars of approval.
Opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim said today that he aims to return to parliament for the first time in a decade later this year if a court orders a by-election near his home town.
The high court in Kedah will hear a challenge on Aug 19 asking it to invalidate the result in a seat that was won by his PKR in March 8 general elections.
Anwar told AFP (it was picked up by Malaysiakini) that if the court declares the result null and void he will contest the ensuing by-election.
"My plan is to contest in the Kulim-Bandar Baharu seat. I am optimistic of victory," he said.
"The constituency neighbours my hometown of Permatang Pauh in Penang. I am familiar with the locals there."
Now my question is how can Anwar twist and turn at his whims and fancies play to the gallery without anyone asking question. Well PKR supporters, you tell me? Within not even 24-hours he first says he is thinking of Bandar Tun Razak, then after a night's sleep its Bandar Baru Kulim.
This is even better. All in one day!
Yesterday, PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat suggested that UMNO and PAS be dissolved and a new party formed to unite all Malays.
"Such a revelation is startling and has serious ramifications, implications and consequences. Nik Aziz's statement reduces to naught Datuk Seri Hadi Awang's statement in Ipoh, also yesterday, that PAS would not merge with Umno or join Barisan Nasional.
"Obviously, statements made by PAS leaders of late, give the perception that they are out to scuttle the Pakatan Rakyat."
The quotes are not mine, but none other than DAP national chairman Karpal Singh. Go figure!
Friday, July 25, 2008
DEEPAVALI BREAK: HM must rethink decision
I would like to voice my frustration regarding the attitude of the headmaster of a secondary school in Ipoh who has been denying Indian students their rights for years.
Year in and year out, he has refused to apply for an additional day off for Deepavali (Monday, Oct 27) although there are more than 500 Indian students in the school.
The headmaster does not seem to think that Indian students need to celebrate the festival with their loved ones.
All my friends and relatives want their children's school to take an extra day off.
My child has to return on Deepavali night from hundreds of kilometres away to attend school the next day.
The headmaster has planned the exams conveniently the day before and after Deepavali so that Indian students will be forced to attend school.
My child told me on Tuesday that his school is only replacing two Saturdays for Hari Raya Puasa and nothing was mentioned about Deepavali.
I was informed by my friends from neighbouring schools that the government has given the green light for schools to take two extra days off after Deepavali, on Oct 28 and Oct 29.
I do hope the authorities concerned will look into this matter immediately.
Source: NST: 24 August 2008
Education comes under the federal government jurisdiction and the incident happened in Ipoh , Perak. BN ruled the federal and PR ruled the state government. I do believe, without any political biasness, we can highlight this matter to higher authority either at federal or state level. Can our brothers either at federal or state level take up this issue and pressure the narrow minded HM to take extra leave so that our younger brother in the school can celebrate the Deepavali in peace?
I hope all the PR and BN Indian MP's will look into it.......... .. that's why I said 'without any political biasness'... .. our younger generations will get the benefit so why not put our political thoughts and fight for equal justice.
"When we speak with one voice, we will achieve our goals.
When we act with one determination, nothing can stop us from fulfilling our dreams,"
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Anyway, please try to spread the word that out of the 400 stalls alloted for the annual Deepavali bazaar in Kuala Lumpur by Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur, only 200 stalls had been taken. I don't know the reason why the remainder stalls were not taken, but I presume it could be due to lack of awareness, that the stalls had to be booked early. For those who are interested in this, please contact DBKL and do it as soon as possible. Please don't let this opportunity go to waste.
I would also like to say a bit on the comments that had reached me. Some have asked me to abandon the MIC and join the opposition. This is uncalled for. Everyone knows that I am a MIC die hard and there are no two ways about it. I will stay with this party even if it loses at the next general election. It is a 62-year old party, which has done its part in helping and assisting Indians. It may have its shortfalls but these setbacks can be overcome and updated. Please guide me, not accuse me. Accusing me of things does not at all help. The guide and advice I get from the people here and outside, is forever etched in my mind. Thank you.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
I also wish to clarify that I am not hard-up to sit at the VIP table, although it would have been an honour. Any table will do for me, even if it was outside the hall. Yes, I am the party information chief but I do not expect a red carpet treatment or a place at the main table of the dinner.
My contention is that, what message are we trying to send to party members by asking the former MIC leader, who had gone out of his way to tarnish the party image and more importantly image of the president, to sit at the VIP table.
Even at the same dinner last year, I was not at the VIP table. But I did not walk out. I was also at that time the MIC information chief. But having a different table at that time did not irk or make me angry.
Here is a man, who now says that he only realised that Hindraf was not a religious movement and that the organisation had political motives, three days before the March 8, general elections.
If that is so, why did "his Tamil newspaper" three days before the polls, run a front page story, quoting Tun Mahathir as saying that the party and the president had done nothing for the community. Two days before the polling of the general election the paper once again ran a front page story hitting out at the MIC chief and the party as a whole.
The question of whether he realised Hindraf was a religious organisation or otherwise does not arise. We all knew what Hindraf was fighting for. They said what we in the MIC could not. They voiced several grouses faced by the community, although some demands could be termed as overzealous.
Even if Hindraf was not a religious organisation and had ulterior motive, does that give the right for someone, especially a party elder, to ridicule the party and more importantly the president.
It is easy to forgive some people for things they had done in the past but for me, forgiveness is based on the sin committed. Sometimes, some actions are unforgivable!
The same leader, at the general election, choose to campaign for another leader of a BN component party in Perak. Never did he once, canvas for votes, where MIC had its candidates. That speaks volumes of a man, who now claims that the plight of the community comes first and that unity in the party should prevail at all times.
If this is so, then he should have worked with us instead of working against us. Please sir, do not at anytime use this party for your own political gains and mileage. The community's interest and welfare should come first at all costs.
p/s: My apologies for deleting a post written last Saturday. Apparently is had ruffled a few feathers and I was accordingly advised to remove the post. But that is still OK as at least some people, based on the comments I had received, had backed me. Thank you for that. There is also a reproduction of the post under the MIC AGM posting as Meenachi Indian has taken the trouble to save the original post.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Below is the summary of the AGM:
1. The president said that MIC Youth was unaffected by the resignation of several youth leaders including, its chief S. A. Vigneswaran, over the past month, and had in fact emerged stronger now.
2. He also said that he would leave it to delegates attending the MIC party elections in March next year to decide on his fate as party's president. He said the question of whether he would be re-elected or someone else would take over as party president would be decided by the delegates.
3. The president also called on the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) to do away with communal politics and become a truly multi-racial party if it wants to regain the support and trust of the people. He said BN should speak with one voice while ensuring the needs and sensitivities of all races were respected and fulfilled.
4. The Prime Minister who opened the AGM announced that immediate steps would be taken to enhance education among Indian students, either at school or university level, for the long-term benefit of the country's third largest community.
5. He said among others, the government had agreed to turn more capital-aided Tamil schools, many of which are in the rural areas, into fully-aided schools.
6. The president also announced that the government has approved a RM120mil allocation over four years for the development of the Indian community following a request by the MIC. The RM30mil yearly allocation would be used to help single mothers and develop youth programmes and other schemes to help the needy.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
It started late last year, with the papers calling, or better still, guessing the date of the General Elections. Then the elections was called and we had a very long campaigning period. Then the results and the analysis of the outcome of the results. The came Anwar Ibrahim's tirade that he would come to power in September. Then came the mother of all bombshells. Sexual allegations, that Anwar had sodomised one of his aides, and that the Deputy Prime Minister was involved in the brutal murder of Altantunya Shaaribu. While the allegations were of criminal in nature, the way it has been played up shows that it is politically motivated. Why can't we let the police do the talking instead of allowing politicians become the alleged person, the prosecutor and the judge. This is going a bit overboard. People are fed-up with politics. Not everything in this country revolves around politics. We should be forging ahead, thinking about the betterment of the people. My guess is that this will go on until the Umno elections slatted for end of the year. What's your take on this?
p/s: For all those who commented on my last posting, I wish to clarify that it is easy to call for a press conference or become a champion of the Indian community by asking the state assemblywomen to resign. People must understand, when in a coalition, I too am confined by certain principles of the BN. I can make noise, I can call for resignation, I can take a drastic step but is this going to help apart from making myself a hero, like a few politicians have done. What is that going to solve? We need to be one step ahead of "them". Show them that we are not downtrodden as they claim to be. Would she have said it if our community was united and did not have the crab mentality? If I were to hold a press conference and call for her resignation, the very same people who wanted me to do so would say that Saravanan is doing this for cheap publicity or better still Saravanan wants to become the champion of the community. Think about it, it is easy to give suggestions but please let the suggestions be constructive and not destructive.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
MIC has already reacted to this latest slur on the community, asking the BN government to initiate action against the state assemblywomen. I want to correct a comment, which stated that the MIC did not react to that attack and that only DAP had done so. Please check your facts before commenting on issues as blogs should not be used to mislead the people who read it.
I would go one step further. Sack her. Use her as an example to the other racially motivated MPs from the BN. We don't mind losing another seat in the state assembly of a state we have already lost. The BN must put its foot down and show other Malaysians that it would not tolerate this sort of nonsense. There is no point in saying that the BN uses the multi religious, multi race approach if stern action is not initiated.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in making this pledge yesterday said the unit would also be responsible to identify partially-assisted schools to be turned into fully-assisted schools, besides expediting the consolidation of rural Tamil schools with less than 50 students each, Bernama reported.
The Education Ministry will also add more classrooms in the cabin-style at Tamil schools with a big student enrolment to meet their needs.
The BN number two man also said the special unit would also look at other needs like transportation and hostel facilities for Tamil school students.
On the intake of Indian students into local public higher learning institutions, Najib said the policy based on merit had not changed and that Indian students should raise their academic performance to improve their prospects of furthering their studies to tertiary level.
He said as an immediate measure to assist Indian students, those who
wish to join the MIC-run Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology (AIMST) in Sungai Petani, Kedah to take up critical studies like medicine,
dentistry, law, engineering and pharmacology, could apply for scholarships from
the Public Service Department (PSD).
AIMST is the fifth private university accredited for PSD scholarships after
Monash University, Nottingham University, Curtin University and Swinburne
He said with this recognition, the number of Indian students in the
critical areas of study would increase.
He added that the PSD had also been asked to look at qualified Indian
candidates to be considered for service in the public sector as officers and
staff of other ranks.
"The cabinet committee also wants the vendor sector developed by Petronas
and Proton to be also fairly opened to Indians. With regards to this, a micro credit scheme by Bank Simpanan Nasional has been extended to Indian small traders, besides the small loans from Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia with RM100 million allocated for the purpose."
He said the Human Resource Ministry, meanwhile, was tasked with providing
training to create more barbers and cooks among Indians.
Najib also disclosed that the issue of Indian equity share which had been
raised by the community, would be discussed with Permodalan Nasional Berhad.
He said to ensure that all the efforts to assist the Indian community would
be implemented effectively, the MIC minister and other members in government as
well as MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu would follow up with the
ministries and agencies involved.
Note: This is a promise and pledge made by Najib. I hope the government can and will fulfil whatever that has been said. This is my feverish hope for the community. I am keeping this news clip for future reference. I know many of you will complain, that I have posted something from the news. But I feel, Indians need to say what they think of the DPM promises. I really hope the promise would be kept.
p/s: Mahendran, yes you got that right but not France la bro, Portugal may be! Feels like lost something now that Euro is over and EPL is yet to start.
Monday, June 30, 2008
It is sad to see Vigneswaran or Vicky, as he is known among friends, to leave the MIC. At a time when we need to consolidate and forge ahead with renewed vigour, we have bickering. It should not have happened.
The reason for Vicky's departure is because the party leadership had decided that those above the age of 41 should vacate their positions in the Youth wing. But this interpretation of the party constitution was not accepted by Vicky, thus the reason to leave.
At a press conference yesterday, he said that he had lost confidence in the president and threatened to open the "Pandora's box" on the happenings within the party.
My earnest request to my friend Vicky is please do not damage the party more. It is already "wounded" from the general election, and we are just picking up the pieces.
I am really sad and disappointed at what has happened but now there is a need to look at the bigger picture.
MIC is 62 years old and has suffered lots of setbacks in the past which we have managed to overcome. The latest setback at the March 8 general election is one of its biggest disappointment, since its inception. MIC is at its lowest and we can't afford a crisis or internal bickering now.
Please think of the party. Put the party above individuals. This is my humble request to all parties involved. We need to get back on our feet and start working.
The latest: T. Mohan has been appointed as MIC Youth Coordinator while S. Murugesan would be his deputy. S. Ramis would head the MIC Youth Advisory Panel.
p/s: Euro Champions Spain. They beat Germany with a 1:0 score. The Spainards have finally done it. Was a good Euro overall with lots of excitement and disappointments.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 -- The government must set-up a monitoring committee to check on the progress of the proposed unit trust scheme, aimed at increasing corporate equity ownership among ethnic Indians from the present 1.1 per cent to 1.5 per cent by 2010.
In making this call, MIC information chief Datuk M. Saravanan also wanted the government to ensure fair Indian participation in the monitoring committee, comprising professionals, especially bankers and stock market experts, representatives of non-governmental organisations and political parties.
"The committee should ensure the smooth and fair implementation of the scheme. The scheme must receive equal distribution in the community and nobody should complain of being left out."
On Thursday, tabling the mid-term review of the Ninth Malaysia Plan, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced that to increase corporate equity ownership among ethnic Indians to 1.5 % by 2010, efforts would be continued to increase access to skills training and entrepreneurship development programmes.
In addition, special assistance will be given to the ethnic Indian community to raise the level of their equity ownership through unit trust schemes, Abdullah had revealed.
Saravanan, who is also Federal Territories deputy minister, also said the unit trust scheme should not be distributed by any single body as this would result in "all sorts allegations" and would be open to abuse.
"The government must ensure that Indians gain from the scheme. It should transparent coming out with regular periodical progress reports to ensure that the people know where their investments are and how it is doing in terms of financial gains.
"There is also a need to ensure that this scheme reaches its target group. There is no point in a few people holding most of the unit trusts. It must be evenly distributed so that the target group benefits. It must also have a safeguard so that only Indians are entitled to the scheme and that units do not pass on from Indians to another race," he added.
On another note, the deputy minister also hoped that the government would provide a one-off grant to all Tamil schools in the country to remedy whatever shortfalls they had.
"This could be as a one off grant. We can solve woes of Tamil schools once and for all. Never again should Tamil schools organise fund raising campaigns to improve the infrastructure of schools. This has become a habit and is becoming a norm.
"Students of these schools are also Malaysian and therefore they should gain from the government's support. We hope this grant can be made available at the tabling of the 2009 Budget," he added. -- BERNAMA
Friday, June 27, 2008
I have listed below, what Malaysian Indians have been promised. Although, the PM had made a few guarantees, no details of how Indians would gain directly from the mid-term review were announced. Again, we are waiting for the details so that we could better understand and work our way towards achieving the desired targets. I hope that the details would be announced soon.
> To increase corporate equity ownership among ethnic Indians to 1.5 % by 2010, efforts would be continued to increase access to skills training and entrepreneurship development programmes. In addition, special assistance will be given to the ethnic Indian community to raise the level of their equity ownership through unit trust schemes.
Note: Details of this scheme is yet to be announced. Whatever it is, the scheme must be transparent and not tied down to a particular political party or corporation. It must be run by an independent body, comprising of Indian business leaders, who have experiance in the share market.
> Nevertheless, in absolute terms, ethnic Indian equity ownership increased from RM575.2 million or 9 % over the period of 2004-2007.
Note: Even with this increase Indians only account for 1.1 % of total corporate equity ownership as at 2007.
> Lower the overall poverty rate from 5.7 % in 2004 to 3.6 % in 2007, whereby incidences of absolute poverty was reduced from 1.2 % to 0.7 % in 2007; Reduce inter-ethnic, regional and urban-rural economic divides; Develop almost 68,000 new entrepreneurs as well as train more than 120,000 existing entrepreneurs through various entrepreneurial development programs;
Note: How many Indians would gain from these programmes? No details..
> In line with the Government’s aspiration of making National Schools the school of preferred choice for all races, continuous efforts will be directed toward enhancing teaching quality and facilities in National Schools. Among others, the teaching of Mandarin and Tamil languages in National Schools will be further improved.
Note: How is it going to be further improved? Is there going to be allocation to improve Tamil teaching at National Schools? If Yes, how much? How many Tamil teachers would be absorbed into National-type schools?
> Absolute poverty in Malaysia continues to be on the decline. The overall incidence of poverty among Malaysians had been reduced, from 5.7 % in 2004 to 3.6 % in 2007. The number of poor households had also declined by 33 % from 311,300 to 209,000 over the same period. This decline in the incidence and number of poor households is the result of steady economic growth as well as the implementation of various poverty-eradication programs and projects. Poverty had declined in both rural and urban areas. The incidence of urban poverty has been reduced from 2.5 % in 2004 to 2.0 % in 2007; whereas in rural areas, the incidence of poverty has been significantly reduced from 11.9 % to 7.1 %. Hardcore poverty had declined from 1.2 % in 2004 to 0.7 % in 2007. The number of hardcore poor households has declined by 43 %, from 67,300 to 38,400 over the same period. Based on this trend, the Government is confident that the Ninth Malaysia Plan target to eradicate hardcore poverty by 2010 will be achieved. All ethnic groups registered an increase in household income over this period.
In 2007, the average household income of the Bumiputera rose by 5.2 per cent to RM3,156 a month, whereas the average income of ethnic Chinese households rose by 3.0 per cent a year to RM4,853 while that of ethnic Indian households rose by 3.2 per cent to RM3,799.
The disparity between the average income of the Bumiputera community and the Chinese community continued to improve with the disparity ratio declining from 1:1.64 in 2004 to 1:1.54 in 2007. Similarly, the disparity with the Indian community also improved, from 1:1.27 to 1:1.20 over the same period.
> Measures would continue to be undertaken to encourage the private sector to employ more staff from Bumiputera, Indian and minority communities at professional and managerial levels. Furthermore, more non-Bumiputera will be encouraged to work in the public sector.
Note: How are we going to ask the private sector, largely owned by the Chinese, to take in Malays and Indians at professional and managerial levels? Are they willing? And how is the government going to encourage non-Bumis to work in the public sector? If they do join the civil service, what levels would they be employed in? Would non-bumis be given positions of Directors, Director-General and Secretary-General positions at Ministries or government agencies. What about non-bumi participation in Government-linked-companies? Would it be increased and again what positions would non-bumis be allowed to occupy?
Lots of questions to be answered by the relevant government bodies. Only time will tell.....
I don't mean to sound like a racist...but as a leader in a political party, which represents Indians, I have to ask these questions. This does not mean, that I do not care for the other Malaysians out there. Please understand that the Malaysian Indian community lags way behind the Chinese and Malays. One of my many aims as a politician is to bring them on par with the other major communities in the country.
p/s: Euro scores: Spain 3 Russia 0. It would be a good final. Germany vs Spain.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
"Datuk, do we look like some insane people that we need to be cordoned off and wait for MPs (which include Ministers and Deputy Ministers) to hold press conferences, like dogs waiting to be thrown a bone," one newsmen asked me. This was his mildest remark or question!
The "authorities" revealed that these measures were to ensure security. I don't buy this one bit. Reporters and cameramen use different entry and exit points. Their identity is checked. They need not one, but two tags to get in. We all know the regular faces, although some many be newbies. The Parliament house is fitted with CCTVs almost at all angles. In fact reporters are asked to go through a metal detector before entering the building. What more security do you need? Maybe the authorities would like to do a strip search next?
Two nights ago, I met up with some of my journalists friends and asked them to explain on the workings of a media organisation in Parliament. "They are letting five reporters per organisation, is that not enough?," I enquired.
The explanation given to me was in full and after listening, I realised that indeed five was not sufficient, if an organisation was to provide full coverage of the proceedings. If the government wants the people to know what is being debated etc, then it should allow more reporters to cover instead of restricting them. The one hour question and answer session, requires at least two to three reporters. This number could increase if the PM or the DPM were answering questions. Then you have unscheduled press conferences by Ministers, Deputy Ministers, the Opposition leaders etc. That requires another reporter. Then you have the "boss" who clears copies in Parliament so reports are coordinated and to ensure there is no duplication in reporting. Now you tell me, do you expect these reporters to work without rest for the whole proceedings, which sometimes drags up to 10pm? Surely they would need to take turns to take a breather. So, my conclusion is five is not enough! Allow them to bring in whatever number of reporters they think is appropriate. Let them do their job.
On cordoning off the lobby, I certainly do not agree with this! These newsmen, know the dos and don'ts. They behave and are a courteous lot. The "authorities" have said that some people (outsiders) are conducting birthday celebrations in the lobby and one way to stop this is to cordon off reporters. Does this make sense? For me, it definitely does not! Treat them with respect. Journalists might earn a lot less than what the MPs are getting, but they are, for me, the most important component of the system. Without them, whatever you do, whatever you talk and whatever you think, stays within you. Why upset the very people you are supposed to keep happy? For me all this just does not make sense.
It would be good if those in charge of making such rash decisions, hire a media consultant to find ways to keep the newsmen happy, without undermining security. This can be done with ease. Let the consultant come up with a proper guideline, which is agreeable to all. Views of the media in drawing up the guideline is paramount. We do not want a guideline which does not take into account the views of media practitioners. This would definitely work and ensure journalists are free to do their job without any hassle.
I would like to finish this post with a point made by a journalist friend the other day.
"Datuk, journalist are like chefs. When a chef makes a dish, he or she must put some passion and love in what is being cooked. If the chef does not do this, the dish would not have anything extra, as it would be just another dish. But if the chef, puts these two important ingredients in cooking the dish, then the end product would have that extra zing and taste delicious. The same with journalists. If the reporter is happy and likes what he or she is writing, then the report would be off good quality. These new rules in Parliament certainly does not make a reporter happy, so what do you expect of Parliament reports?"
I replied:" Point taken and noted brother."
p/s: Euro scores -- Germany 3 Turkey 2. (although Turkey lost, they deserve a pat on the back for the good show during the whole tournament. I wish the Malaysian team that much of grit. If they did, we would be a force to be reckoned with in Asia alongside Japan, Korea and such).
Monday, June 23, 2008
p/s: Euro scores - Spain 0 Italy 0 (Spain won on penalties -- 4-2). Now the quarters are over, the semi final cast are: Germany vs Turkey and Russia vs Spain. My bet is a Germany vs Spain final. But then again, judging from the upsets at this Euro, I would not discount the possiblity of a Russia vs Turkey final or even a Russia vs Germany final, although it would be an anti climax.
Friday, June 20, 2008
However, not all his deeds brought good. He had his follies. For me one of his greatest failure was to equally distribute the nation's wealth and opportunites among the various races, which share this nation, during his term as PM.
On this score, he stood, and still stands, for Malay supremacy. He believed that the Malays (not the bumiptera, which includes the natives of Sabah and Sarawak) should be the dominant force and "others" who asked for anything extra were told to consider themselves lucky for living in this nation. He was overzealous in his "I am more Malay than the Malays themselves" attitude.
This single policy, which he carried dearly, caused the Indians to become victims, losing out on opportunities to develop in tandem with the nation. As a result of this policy, Indians remained backward economically. He was laid back in initiating actions to solve problems that beseiged Indians. The Malays then had Mahathir, the Chinese economic wealth and we Indians suffered and still are suffering!
Yesterday, Tun Mahathir said MIC's stand for the Hindraf Five to be freed was racism. He called Samy Vellu a racist. Fine, and well I admit, the MIC president has his drawbacks but calling him a racist is totally out of line. All Dr Mahathir had to do was to find how many mosques and suraus Samy Vellu help build. Check Sungai Siput Tun, and you would find that this man you called racist in fact has helped more Muslims directly than any other non-Muslim leader of the nation.
The Hindraf movement was not formed overnight. It was your own doing Tun. Everytime we Indians had a problem and came to you, you brushed us aside. You did not give us what we wanted. You caused Indians to boil and boil over they did. If the Hindraf movement had began during his tenure, most probably more than five leaders would be languishing in Kamunting by now.
"In sympathising with Hindraf, Samy exposes his deep racist sentiments" said Tun Mahathir in his blog.
The Hindraf Five are also Malaysians. What they did wrong was to fight for the rights of the commununity using the wrong channels. They did what MIC could not, as the political party was a Barisan Nasional component member. Yes, we want them out of Kamunting as soon as possible. Is that wrong? Does that make us a racist?
Even Tun Mahathir supports the Palestinian cause. Does that make him a terrorist? If the same yardstick was used, then Tun Mahathir is a terrorist as he supports the Palestinian cause.
Tun Mahathir always emphasised that it was important to get to the root cause of a problem, in order to solve it. In the case of Hindraf, the policies of Tun Mahathir was the root cause for the birth of the movement!
Please sir, stop making sweeping statements as it does not help anyone but make you a champion of one race. We want you to be the champion of all Malaysians not just Malays.
p/s: A few commentators of this blog are surprised that the posting on the qualities of a MIC president has drawn very few comments. I wish to state here that I did not reject any comment. There is a possiblity that most of the comments on the post was streamed to another post. I publish all comment, except those which call me names, threaten me (oh yes, trust me people use this blog to even do that) and use vulgar words. Your views and comments are very useful. I want people to read these comments. The more ideas thrown, the better.
Some commentators have also asked me to pen my thoughts instead of plucking news pieces and pasting it on the blog. Thank you. I have form time to time done just that. I would from now pay special attention to this request. Thank you and God Bless.
Euro scores: Portugal 2 Germany 3 (Wish Portugal had won. They play entertaining football and are a delight to watch)
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
It is the first time in the history of the nation that a vote of no-confidence is to be moved against a Prime Minister.
"In the coming sitting of the Parliament session starting Monday, June 23, our MPs will support a vote of no confidence on the PM.
"Whether the motion will be tabled by our party MP or another MP will be decided in due course," said a press statement released today.
SAPP has two parliamentarians - Dr Chua Soon Bui (Tawau) and Eric Enchin Majimbun (Sepanggar) - and four state assemblypersons.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
"I have been trying hard to change the mindset of not only Indians, but also other races. We have adopted a multiracial approach to handling issues. I am an Indian, but I don't hold an Indian affairs portfolio.
"Many Indians still come and see me because of their mindset that Ramasamy is an Indian and he must be in charge of Indian affairs. I tell them look, the state government represents all communities and if they have problems involving local government issues, they should have to see the executive council member in charge of that," he said.
Let me at the onset state that I am not against Prof Ramasamy. What irks me is that he must remember he became the Deputy Chief Minister by virtue of being an Indian. If you don't handle Indian problems, who will? Is there an Indian affairs portfolio in the state taking into account the various problems and issues faced by Indians in the country generally?
Although he is from the opposition, which claim not to be race based, he should look after his own kind first before leaping to help "others". For me Prof Ramasamy is disowning responsiblities.
Only a fellow Indian understands the problems faced by another Indian.
Another pertinent point here is that although opposition leaders and political pundits had come to the conclusion that race based political parties were facing their doom, aftermath of the General Election, how come the rakyat are going to their own kind to solve problems.
If the conclusion had been correct, then the people of Penang, irrespective of race, should be flocking their own elected representatives may he be a Malay, Chinese or Indian.
Why do they look for Prof Ramasamy to solve Indian woes and Lim Guan Eng to ease Chinese based problems. In this case, actions of the people speak louder than words of politicians!
p/s Euro scores: Poland 0 Croatia 1, Germany 1 Austria 0.
Monday, June 16, 2008
We are looking for a person who has MIC and Malaysian Indians interest at heart. He or she must have earned the trust and respect of party members. He or she must also display leadership qualities and be people-oriented. Other qualities needed : close to the people, communicate with them, know and resolve their problems and have the people's interests in his or her heart.
These are the criteries lined by the MIC president that should be in his successor.
The president has also revealed that he would not limit the party president's tenure to three terms or in other words nine years.
"If you set a specific time frame, the president may not want to do more or have a long term plan. He or she may feel what should they think about the party's future since they will only serve for a short period.
"No matter what, the president will still have to be elected every three years. If the members feel the president has not performed well, they can boot him or her out," Samy Vellu was quoted by Bernama, yesterday.
Now it is your call. What qualities should the MIC president have? You tell me...
p/s Euro scores: Switzerland 2 Portugal 0 (I don't know why the score just isn't right), Turkey 3 Czech 2.