Monday, April 28, 2008

Wife: Uthayakumar very ill...

Source : M'Kini

Detained Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader P Uthayakumar has taken ill again and would undergo medical tests at the hospital today.

His wife S Indra Devi, 36, who visited him at the Kamunting Detention Centre in Taiping yesterday, said her husband suffered heart problems and severe skin allergy for the past few days.

"His diabetic level is also high," she said.

Uthayakumar’s condition is reportedly stable after being treated by doctors at the centre.

She said Kamunting authorities had assured her that her husband would be taken to the hospital for further medical tests.

"We demand the authorities to provide the best medical care to protect his health," she told Malaysiakini when met outside the detention camp, where about 2,000-odd Hindraf supporters from all over the country gathered to call on the government to release all five Hindraf leaders held under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Besides Uthayakumar, the others are M Manoharan, R Kenghadharan, V Ganabatirau and T Vasantha Kumar.

The five were arrested on Dec 13 last after organising a mammoth rally in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 25 against perceived marginalisation and discrimination of Malaysians of Indian origin.

Uthayakumar’s failing health has become a contentious subject for several human rights groups and social activists in recent days.

Various NGOs and politicians have condemned the camp authorities for allegedly failing to attend to Uthayakumar’s deteriorating health condition over the past month.

'Callous treatment'

Social reform group Aliran described it as "callous treatment of a human being."

Its president P Ramakrishnan said it was hard to believe and unacceptable that in a country that had exalted the virtues of Islam Hadhari could be so callous in the treatment of a human being.

"As a result of this gross negligence and wanton cruelty, Uthayakumar had fallen ill and had to be hospitalized," he said.

The Kamunting authorities, he said, had shirked their responsibility for the welfare of a detainee under their care.

"As a human, he is entitled to receive medical attention like any other Malaysian," he added.

Indra Devi’s statement refuted claims by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commissioner N Siva Subramaniam that Uthayakumar was being put under good medicare at the camp.

"It was not true that he had been denied medicine for diabetes over the past month despite repeated requests to the director of the Kamunting camp," said Siva Subramaniam.

However, in an open statement sent to Hindraf or now popularly known as Makkal Sakti, the movement’s self-exiled chairperson P Waythamoorthy accused Siva Subramaniam and his team of lying..

"How could Sivasubramaniam be satisfied with the medication given to Uthayakumar when he had never interviewed my brother?" said Waythamoorthy in an online posting.

Losing steam

Makkal Sakti supporters, who held the gathering, later converged for a prayer session for their leaders at a Hindu temple in Taiping.

While calls from various groups for the release of the Hindraf five and other ISA detainees - estimated to be 80 at present - have gained pace over the past few months, the fire among Makkal Sakti supporters seems to be dying.

Yesterday’s gathering was more of a subdued affair than a fiery protest, which has been synonymous with Hindraf activities for the past two years to secure the freedom of their leaders.

This could have been due to fatigue, loss of interest after the election euphoria or poor organising by the coordinators.

Whatever the reason, the lack of enthusiasm was evident and the passion expressed by Makkal Sakti activists in front of the detention camp was not one to savour.

An estimated 500-car Makkal Sakti convoy from all over the country started to throng near the detention camp at about 2.30pm.

A small group of activists held a banner calling for the release of their leaders while others were mainly passive on-lookers.

Several Makkal Sakti supporters held up portraits of the five Hindraf leaders, and that of Mahatma Gandhi. They chanted `Makkal Sakti’ and `Release Our Leaders.’

The gathering, which apparently was carried out without a police permit, did not last long.

Point made

The crowd lost its momentum when Makkal Sakti coordinator RS Thanenthiran arrived at 3pm and told them to depart from the scene to a Hindu temple in Taiping, the Arulmigu Balathandayuthabani Alayam near Maxwell Hill.

Thanenthiran and his supporters were also warned by Deputy Taiping OCPD Supt Syed Wahab Syed Majid that "the demonstrators could be forcibly evicted if necessary."

"This is illegal assembly. You all are ought not to be here," he told Thanenthiran.

Syed Wahab later told Malaysiakini that the warning was given because he did not want any untoward incidents to happen near the detention camp.

Despite Syed Wahab’s warning and pleas by Thanenthiran and one of his deputies, MN Anbalagan, several Makkal Sakti supporters appeared reluctant to move.

Finally by 4pm the crowd dispersed under the watchful eyes of about 200-odd police and the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) personnel.

Thanenthiran said later that the assembly was organised to compel the federal government to release the five Hindraf leaders.

"We have made our point with our massive presence today.

"We will go to the temple to pray for divine intervention to secure the freedom of our leaders," he told the supporters.

Why bother waking up at 3am to study...?

YennaMike Says : " I read this letter publish on M'Kini website an it's sad to see especially from a students that has scored straight A's in her exam. This is the real fact on what is going on over here in Malaysia. There are many more students out there whos' future and dreams has been destroyed by the quote system set by our "irresponsible" government. Like millions of other fellow Malaysian...i pray that soon all this will be over and equal educations are available for all Malaysians...!!!

I refer to the letters A daughter devastated, a mother with no answer and Education system quota abused.

To ‘Schoolteacher, I would like to share with my case which is very similar to your case. I am a SPM leaver with an SPM result of 11A1s and I have a mother, whose is also a teacher in a government primary school. I am also the eldest daughter and I have two more younger brothers. With my family middle-class income, it's impossible for me to further my studies at a private college/university or overseas unless with a scholarship. I am pretty confident with my achievements as I hold extra-curricular posts eg, ,vice president, secretary, school prefect and I even went for the National Service programme.

I understand your daughter's feeling pretty well because I also was rejected for matriculation also for most of the scholarships that I've applied for (Petronas,Yayasan TNB,Yayasan Telekom,Yayasan Khazanah). Until now, I've only been called for an JPA interview.

Honestly, I don't really feel surprised I got rejected for those GLC scholarships and matriculation. As we know, matriculation is only open 10% for us, the non-bumis. Just imagine, out of 100 students, there are only 10 seats for us, the non-bumis. Frankly, I would feel surprise if I got an offer for matriculation.

In my school, there are about 20+ straight As scorers and they also did not get any offer for matriculation or other scholarships. We have only gone for the JPA interview so far. Even for the Petronas interview (they called it Petronas Educamp), out of the 20+ top scorers, only two managed to get selected. (One of them scored 11 A1s and one A2, another scored 11As and one B3, both non-bumis)

However, some of my Malay got an offer to do matriculation even with an SPM result of only 5As. I felt so hurt. I am so sad because I seem to be discriminated against. Nobody appreciates my talent, nobody appreciates my ability. As if our country has more than enough talented scholars.

So, to our country’s leaders, don't blame those talented scholars who do not want to come back to serve Malaysia. Don't forget who ‘threw’ them away before treating them as if they were rubbish. Frankly, sometimes I do question myself, why bother to torture myself? Why bother to wake up at 4am, sometimes even 3am to study? Why bother to score a straight A1s?

My mother once told me she is so disappointed with the Malaysian education system. Although I strived hard to score well in the SPM, but in the end, I ended up with no scholarship offer. Well, I am left the one and only hope- JPA. But my mother advised me not to put to much hope on this government scholarship.

Come on, after 51 years of independence, racism still exists in our country. We, the non-bumis, are like the blacks in US. In the past, US white people detested and discriminated against the blacks. They even put notices like,’No dogs and Blacks allowed’ in public places. Now, our government is putting up notices like ‘Only 10% non-bumis are allowed’ for matriculation.

(And who knows if the figure of ‘10%’ is true? They might take 7% of non-bumis only, who knows?)

Our government also puts up notices like ‘These courses are only reserved for the bumiputera’ for IPTA course with SPM qualifications. For your information, courses like,’Asasi Sains’, ‘Prepatory courses for medicine’ at local unisare only for bumiputeras. Non-bumis, wait until your next life!

Most of my friends and me will choose to challenge of the tough STPM if we really don't get any scholarship offer.And I believe, STPM is the last choice but is it is also the choice of most non- bumis after a series of disappointments. I observed a few batches of my own Form 6 seniors and there were almost zero bumis in the Form 6 Science Stream. Of course, since they got into matriculation with 5As,or even with 2As from SPM, why bother to take the STPM?

My last word to ‘Schoolteacher’ is that all those moral values and history they teach in school is really rubbish. My friends and I knew this when we started on those subjects. To ‘Hamisu’, my mother has already advised me to be a Pakatan Rakyat supporter.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Source : Makkal Sakti Blog

Fri, 25/04/2008

Hindraf is planning to organise a special prayers in Kamunting Mariamman Temple, Taiping for the speedy recovery of P. Uthayakumar and release of all detainee under ISA.

We are planning to create awareness and show sign of protest against this draconian law, ISA as well through Nationwide Motorcade Convoy leading to Kamunting Mariamman Temple.

Below are details :-

Date : 27th April 2008 ( Sunday)

There are few gathering spots for all the motorcar and superbike before we proceed to Kamunting.

Below are the details of start off.

For Klang Valley and southern region :- PLUS Plaza R&R Rawang
Time : 8.30 am
Contact : Mr Selvam ( 016-6626579)

For Ipoh : Ipoh Kallumalai Temple, Perak
Time : 11 am
Contact : Mr Vetha ( 017-5005658)

For Northern region : PLUS Plaza R&R Juru
Time : 10.30 am
Contact : Mr Anba ( 012-4071867)

There will be special prayers and speech from HINDRAF Coordination team on the current HINDRAF struggle.

Pls do call the above number to confirm. Some stickers and posters will be given to all cars.
Let us all join together to show our support to our heroes and protest to repeal ISA.

Vaalge Makkal Sakthi

Kannan R
Hindraf National Event Coordinator

Friday, April 25, 2008

Daughter of Hindraf leader presents letter to palace

Source : The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: A group of Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) supporters gathered at Istana Negara here Friday in solidarity for the abolishment of the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the release of its five members detained under the Act.

The group's intent was penned in a letter purportedly written by Hindraf chairman P. Waythamoorthy's five-year-old daughter Vwaishhnnari, who was accompanied by her aunt during the event.

The three-page letter, childishly written on yellow paper with stickers of comic character Garfield wearing a royal crown and wielding a scepter requested for the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong to urge Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to abolish the "draconian ISA".

It read: "It is my humble request that you urge the Prime Minister to abolish the draconian ISA in your opening Royal Address in Parliament on April 29th and advise the Prime Minister to treat all Malaysians, especially the minority communities equally.

"Thank you Your Highness and I would eagerly wait for your speech before the TV," it further read.

Among other points raised in the letter included that "five of my uncles have been kept in jail without trial" and "many others are also held for very long, as the government claims they are JI members without proof".

Vwaishhnnari remained shy and rarely spoke throughout the event as she was carried by her aunt M. Philomena, 48, a housewife.

"I passed this letter to the Chief Minister of Penang yesterday, noting him of the matter.

"I deeply feel my father's absence and miss him dearly," she said when approached by reporters.

Her father is currently in London in self-imposed exile.

The five-year-old later presented the letter to the palace. The letter was received by the senior private secretary of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.

She was accompanied by Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam, Teluk Intan MP M. Manogaran, Hindraf coordinator S. Jayathas and lawyer N. Surendran.

A squad of policemen closely monitored the 30-minute gathering which ended at noon.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Good News : Makkal Osai's permit renewed

Source : M'Kini

The government has made an about-turn - a week after banning Tamil daily Makkal Osai. Its publishing permit has been renewed and the newspaper will hit the stands on Saturday.

On April 16, the daily received a letter from the Home Ministry stating that its permit would not be renewed. No reasons were given for this.

The daily, which is closely linked to former MIC deputy president S Subramaniam, subsequently filed an appeal.

Industry sources claimed that the ministry's decision was related to Makkal Osai's extensive coverage of opposition-related news and the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf).


Source : Makkalakti

Private Secretary to His Majesty
Duli Yang Maha MuliaTuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin
Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billal Shah
Istana Negara
Kuala Lumpur.
23rd April 2008.

Dear Sir,

Re: W.Vwaishhnnavi (5 years old) wishes to present Roses and a Humble Request to His Majesty the Yang Dipertuan Agong on His Majesty’s Royal Address at the First session of the 12th Parliament 2008.

On behalf of the Malaysian Indians we pray for the health and happiness of His Royal Highness the yang Dipertuan Agong and his family members.

We write to seek an urgent appointment with your goodself on the 25th April 2008 at 11.15 am upon the request of W. Vwaishhnnavi a 5 year old to present Roses and make a special request to His Royal Highness The Yang Dipertuan Agong on His Highness Royal Address at the opening ceremony of the First session of the 12th Parliament which is due on the 29th April 2008.

We humbly apologize for the short notice given and hope you would be able to convey our sincere apologies to His Majesty the yang Dipertuan Agong.

W.Vwaishhnnavi would be present at the Royal Palace on the 25th April 2008 at 11.15 am to submit her Roses and request personally.

Should you require any further information kindly contact our National Coordinator Mr. Tanendran on 0194105283.

Your understanding and co-operation is very much appreciated.

Yours in Service

P.Waytha Moorthy


Source : MakkalSakti

Hon. Madam Louise Arbour
United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais Wilson
52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland
17th April 2008.

Dear Madam,


I write both in my personal capacity as well as chairman of the above-mentioned organization.

Malaysia achieved independence in 1957 from the United Kingdom Government. 200 years ago the British colonial masters exported indentured laborers from South India into then Malaya and when the country achieved independence these ethnic Indians were left behind without their rights being adequately protected in the new Federal Constitution that was then drafted.

Over the last 50 years the ethnic Indian minority community has suffered various Human Rights violations under the hands of the majority Malay UMNO led political party who controlled other coalition political parties within the Government. Amongst the violations are as follows:


No Freedom of Religion, thought or conscience. Citizens are denied their right to renounce their religion or to revert to their original religion/faith.
Demolitions of places of worships particularly belonging to Hindus, which has been in existence since the time, they were imported as indentured laborers. It is believed that about 10,000 temples have been demolished over the last 50 years.
No new allocations in terms of funding and grant of land for erection of places of worships for the benefit of non-Muslims.
Christian churches are particularly targeted in that they are not allowed to build new churches though they have the necessary funding and land for those purposes.
Non- Muslims are compelled to seek redress in the Muslim syariah courts should either one of the spouse convert to the Islamic faith.
Islamic laws are deliberately imposed on non-Muslims.

80% of the 523 Ethnic Tamil schools are poorly maintained and hundreds remain in a dilapidated condition. The Government has failed to take the responsibility for the Ethnic Tamil schools after independence and there is a silent agenda to permanently phase out these ethnic Tamil schools, which provided education in the mother tongue language of the Tamil community in Malaysia. Similar fate befalls the ethnic Andra, Malayali and Punjabi ethnic schools in Malaysia. No new Tamil schools are built by Government in new townships despite the ethnic Indian population increasing threefold since independence.

Indian students are denied places in Local Universities and higher educational institutions under the quota system which favors the Malays Muslim community which regard themselves as BUMIPUTRAS ( sons of soil) and hence they fill up most places of universities though they do not qualify for the respective courses.

No scholarships grants for education for ethnic Indian community either locally or overseas as provided for the Malay community.
No adequate grant/allocations in the annual budget for the building of new Ethnic Indian Schools or maintenance of those.


The majority Indian community who belonged to the plantation sectors become internally displaced persons when their traditional plantation land is acquired by Government for purposes of development and their very social living lifestyle are disrupted. They are not provided adequate compensation for their contributions for the country’s economy over the last 200 years, not provided new job opportunities, training programs ect. No permanent alternative is given to resolve their housing problems and ultimately they end up as squatters in Urban and remain poor, underclass and neglected. No programs and schemes are introduced to uplift their economic condition as compared to what is done to the Malay community. When their plantation land is taken they lose their land, houses, temples, schools and end up a new poor class neglected society.


Despite 50 years of independence, there are thousands of ethnic minority Malaysian Indians left being undocumented, without birth certificates, identity cards, marriage certificates ect. This in effect precludes and excludes them from even the formal primary schooling structure, obtaining licenses to run a business or from securing employment.


After 46 years of independence the State has finally capped the monthly salary of the plantation workers at RM 325.00 (USD85.00) and RM 350.00 (USD 92.00) per month for rubber tappers who are mostly ethnic Malaysian Indians.


Mearge or no business licenses, permits, business loans, opportunities, small businesses, commercial licenses for Malaysian Indians to run businesses resulting in less than 1% Indian participation in the country’s economic wealth.


The genocide by a state sponsored mysterious mob against the innocent and unarmed people of Kg.Medan in 2001 left 100 over killed and / or seriously injured still remains a mystery. The Malaysian Human Rights Commission refused to hold an inquiry while the state refused to hold a royal commission of inquiry. The Courts/Attorney General refused to hold inquests into the deaths contrary to Article 5 of the Federal Constitution and section 339 of the criminal procedure code. Worst still only USD 526 to a maximum of USD 6,578 for some victims being permanently maimed and/or loss of life cases was awarded for the said victims though RM136.8 billion was approved for the 2006 budget.


Indians formed about 60% of suspects shot dead by the police including an 8-month pregnant Indian lady, 60% of innocent people dying in Police custody, lockups and other detention centers.

The above are meant to give you an overview on the situation affecting the ethnic Indian community who has suffered for the last 50 years since Independence.

The Government of Malaysia portrays to the world that Malaysia is a multi racial and multi ethnic society that lives in peace and harmony. Unfortunately peace and harmony in Malaysia means the ethnic Indian community is compelled to remain silent on the atrocities that befall them and should they protest in a peaceful manner the Government takes severe action against them.

The recent attempt by HINDRAF to raise the violations against the Ethnic Indian community was seen as attempt to challenge the Malay Muslim supremacy UMNO led Government and hence our Organization was branded as an extremist organization. HINDRAF organized a peaceful gathering on the 25th November 2007 to submit a petition to Her Majesty The Queen of England and the event saw an unprecedented crowd of more than 100,000 people coming to the streets to protest the marginalization, oppression and suppression they suffered. This was seen as a threat and immediately within days our organization was accused falsely of having links to terrorists organizations.

On the 13th December 2007 5 key leaders of HINDRAF was detained under the draconian Internal Security Act which means detention without trial. This was deliberately done to instill fear onto the ethnic Indian community and to suppress the emerging “new voices of democracy” and to stamp out the democratic Movement.

We have suffered in silence thus far and when finally we came out to voice our dissatisfaction the Government attacked us with tear gas, chemical laced water cannons and baton beatings by the brutal Royal Police Force. Hundreds our peaceful protesters were arrested manhandled, beaten up, thrown into lock ups, humiliated for belonging to the ethnic Indian community, and slapped with trumped up criminal charges of attempted murder and denied bail. The State Attorney General took the trouble to personally attend these cases to show to the whole country how serious they are if their “might” is challenged.

The Malaysian ethnic Indian has no other choice but to seek redress and solutions at the doorsteps of the United Nations. On behalf of all those oppressed suppressed and marginalized ethnic Indian community I formally request that you exercise all powers conferred upon you by this most supreme world democratic organ to appoint a SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS AFFECTING THE ETHNIC MALAYSIAN INDIAN COMMUNITY who are and remain a permanently colonized community in Malaysia.

Thank you

Yours in service

P.Waytha Moorthy

Author, blogger, activist Rustam Sani dies

Source : M'Kini

YennaMike Says : Condolences to the family members of Late Mr. Rustam Sani - may he rest in peace...

Author, blogger, and social activist Rustam A Sani passed away early this morning in his house in Gombak, Selangor. He was 64.

He was an academician, a newspaper columnist and a poet, besides being involved in a multitude of political, social and literary activities.

The son of celebrated Malay nationalist leader Ahmad Boestaman, the Tanjung Malim-born social scientist was formerly the deputy president of Parti Rakyat Malaysia, which have since merged with the Parti Keadilan Nasional to form the PKR.

He left behind a wife, two children - a son and a daughter, and a grandchild. It is learnt that Rustam passed away after suffering from difficulties in breathing early this morning.

According to daughter Ariani, he could have suffered a heart attack.

"It was all so sudden. We had dinner together last night. He collapsed after having problems breathing at about 2.45am," she said between sobs.

In recent years, Rustam was known for his occasional blog postings in his 'Suara Rakyat' and 'Karya Semasa'.

Rustam obtained his Malay Studies degree from Universiti Malaya, and later took his Masters degree in United Kingdom (University of Reading and University of Kent) and later United States (Yale University) and Sweden (Uppsala University).

A prolific writer, he had written half a dozen books in both Bahasa Malaysia and English on a wide range of topics. He had been known mainly, however, for his writings on the Malay left-wing nationalist movement.

Rustam was an associate professor at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s political science department in the 1980s.

The funeral hearse left at 1pm for the nearby Masjid Al-Sharif where the body stayed until Zohor prayers. The burial rites were completed by about 3 pm at the Taman Danau Kota Muslim cemetery in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur.

Selangor Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim arrived just in time for the prayers at the masjid.

Condolences from friends

Among those seen offering their condolences to Rustam’s family included top opposition politicians Anwar Ibrahim, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Nurul Izzah Anwar, Syed Husin Ali and Dr Xavier Jeyakumar (PKR), Kamaruddin Jaffar, Syed Azman Syed Ahmad Nawawi and Salahuddin Ayub (PAS) and Lim Kit Siang, Teng Chang Khim and Fong Kui Lun (DAP).

Also at Rustam’s house this morning were ex-New Straits Times editor-in-chief A Kadir Jasin, ex-Utusan Malaysia editor-in-chief Johan Jaffar and former director-general of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Hassan Ahmad.

Said PKR’s Latheefa Koya, “He had been a progressive and outspoken Malay leader. We will always remember him as a brilliant intellectual with great leadership qualities but prefer to keep a very low profile. And despite his recent health conditions, he continued to be active through his writings on the Internet.”

Syed Husin credited Rustam as the key mover behind the merger between of Parti Keadilan and Parti Rakyat Malaysia.

"Much of the papers regarding the merger was done by him. When he decided to do anything, Rustam put all his energies to it. Basically, he was an intellectual with a conscience."

Meanwhile, former schoolmate Kamaruddin had fond memories of their early days together.

“I have known Rustam since the 1970s when we were at the University of Kent. Rustam was a fighter and an intellectual - a political analyst whose stand has always been consistent in the struggle for the rakyat,” he said.

“We did not agree on everything but he was a very jovial and pleasant individual, for whom I always had a great deal of respect.”

Johan extolled Rustam as “one of the best columnists Utusan Malaysia ever had”.

“His worldview was moulded by his father’s struggle. He was a towering figure - one of the finest intellectuals in the country. He was critical, including of me, but he was fair.”

Nurul Izzah said that Rustam had a very close relationship with her family. “We didn’t expect this to happen. He was witty, sometimes sarcastic, but a wonderful man.”

A writer to the end

Even to his final day, Rustam wrote from morning to dusk, said his son Azrani.

"From the time he wakes up, he would start writing. He was very dedicated to the importance of ideas and the need to raise social conciousness."

He was to launch two of his latest books - ‘Failed nation? Concerns of a Malaysian Nationalist’ and ‘Social Roots of the Malay Left’ - on Saturday.

Publisher SIRD said the event will go ahead and will now be a memorium for the author. The launch will be officiated by PKR de facto leader Anwar.

It will take place at 3pm on April 26 at the Perpustakaan Raja Tun Uda (Selangor State Library) in Shah Alam.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hindu Gymkhana to be handed over to Hindu community: Sassi Palejo

Source : The

Sindh Minister for Culture and Tourism, Sassi Palejo, has declared that the National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa) will be shifted from the premises of the Hindu Gymkhana. The historical site will then be handed over to the Hindu community as it was a hub for the minority community.

She said that the Jinnah Courts Hostel, Karachi, will also be vacated by the Rangers and this historical building would be preserved as a cultural heritage site.

The provincial minister said this while talking to a delegation of the Pakistan Film and TV Journalists Association (PFTJA) on Thursday who called on the minister at her office. The delegation comprised of President, PFTJA, Abdul Wasee Qureshi; General Secretary, Athar Jawed Soofi; and other members of the association Qaiser Masood Jaffery and Zeeshan Siddiqi.

She said that there was no doubt that the Napa had been serving its cause to a great extent, and personalities such as Zia Mohiuddin, Talat Hussain and Rahat Kazmi were working hard for the promotion of performing arts.

However, she said, this place belonged to the Hindu Gymkhana and the Hindu community was a peaceful one and the government would have the site vacated by Napa and hand it over to the minority community so that they could take part in their cultural activities.

She said the Napa would be shifted to another place as the government did not want to create a conflict with the Presidency.

Sassi Palejo said that steps were being taken to vacate the Jinnah Courts Hostel of the Rangers. The minister said that India made all efforts to promote its culture across the globe, and assured that the PPP government would also take steps to reconsider the cultural policy of the country to promote Pakistani culture in the world.

She claimed that there was massive corruption in the culture and tourism department and the government was taking steps to investigate this corruption. She assured that stern action would be taken against the corrupt officials that were found guilty.

Palejo said that the government was planning to introduce a policy to connect all libraries, including Liaquat National Library, through the internet and that all the libraries would be equipped with DVD and VCD facilities as well as other modern equipment.

She said that the government would also build a museum and cultural complex each at Sehwan Sharif and Bhit Shah.

S'gor: All, but Hindraf leader, sworn in...

Source : M'Kini

All Selangor state assemblypersons were sworn in today at the state’s Dewan Undangan Negeri in Shah Alam with the exception of Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader and Kota Alam Shah state assemblyperson K Manoharan.

Manoharan is currently undergoing a two-year detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

To compensate for his absence, newly appointed Dewan Undangan Negeri Speaker Teng Chang Khim said Manoharan’s detention will not affect his formal appointment.

"There has been a precedent where the swearing in process was brought to the Kamunting detention camp so there should not be a problem with doing it for Manoharan," explained Teng to reporters after the swearing in ceremony for the 55 representatives.

Manoharan was arrested on Dec 13 with four others shortly after the Nov 25 rally organised by Hindraf which drew some 30,000 people to the streets.

His detention however does not legally affect his position as a state representative as there are no written laws to stipulate that an ISA detainee cannot continue to perform his or her duties while being detained.

Teng then elaborated by referring to a case in 1978 where two DAP elected MPs Chan Kok Kit (Sungai Besi) and Chian Cheng Kai (Batu Gajah) were both sworn in as MPs while serving their ISA detention. Both Chan and Chian were accused of disrupting national security.

Mano to swear in only when ready

There was a different opinion on the same matter however coming from Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim.

Manoharan will only swear in once he is ready, said Khalid. Asked what he meant by this, he replied that Manoharan "will be sworn in as Adun (state assemblyperson) in the Dewan."

Continuing, Khalid said Pakatan Rakyat has and will continue to push for Manoharan’s ISA charged to be dropped so that he can serve his constituents but conceded that the matter was beyond the state’s jurisdiction.

"This matter is a federal level matter and there is only so much we can do as to only try and urge the federal government to drop the charges against Manoharan," he said.

Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail told the country's highest court three weeks ago that the five activists should not be released as they are a threat to national security.

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar has said that Manoharan could be sworn in before the state Speaker at the Kamunting detention centre as this has been done in the past.

Cooperation with ex-BN leaders

On another matter, Khalid said that his government would not dismiss the possibility of working with former BN state leaders for the sake of the state's development and future.

Khalid however said the decision would depend on the state executive councillors, whether they would need the services of the individuals concerned.

"It depends on them, but we hope for strong cooperation among them so as to provide the best services possible, for the people.

"Change will take place as only those qualified and professional enough will be given the trust to carry out the tasks," he told reporters after the swearing-in ceremony.

He said this in response to questions if Selangor would follow the lead of Pakatan Rakyat-led Penang to appoint former BN leaders to serve the state government.

HINDRAF takes it's case to UN

Source : Indianknight402 Blog

The Hindu Rights Action Force is urging the United Nations to appoint a special rapporteur to specifically look into the plight of the Indian community in Malaysia.

The request was made by Hindraf chairperson P Waythamoorthy in a letter written to the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights which is based in Geneva, Switzerland on April 17.

“The Malaysian ethnic Indian has no other choice but to seek redress and solutions at the doorsteps of the United Nations,” he said in the letter, a copy of which was made available to Malaysiakini.

“On behalf of all those oppressed, suppressed and marginalised ethnic Indian community I formally request that you exercise all powers conferred upon you to appoint a Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms Affecting the community,” he added.

In his letter, Waythamoorthy - presently based in London following a government crackdown on Hindraf leaders - gave examples of various issues in which the members of the community were sidelined as a result of government policies.

“The majority Indian community who belonged to the plantation sectors become internally displaced persons when their traditional plantation land is acquired by government for purposes of development and their very social living lifestyle are disrupted.

“They are not provided adequate compensation for their contributions for the country’s economy over the last 200 years, not provided new job opportunities and training programs.

“No permanent alternative is given to resolve their housing problems and ultimately they end up as squatters in urban and remain poor, underclass and neglected.

“When their plantation land is taken they lose their land, houses, temples, schools and end up a new poor class neglected society,” he said in his letter.

UN’s fact-finding mission

Waythamoorthy also told Malaysiakini that he was invited to make a presentation on the conditions of the Malaysian Indians at the United Nations Human Rights commission in Geneva on April 17.

“The meeting served as an eye opener to the United Nations Human Rights council. It was the first time serious human rights violations on Malaysia was presented,” he said.

He said that he was given as assurance by the world body that it would seek an explanation from the Malaysian government.

“They also said they would request an invitation from Malaysia to visit for purposes of fact-finding on the issues raised,” he said.

Hindraf became prominent after raising various issues pertaining to the Indian community in this country. On Nov 25, it organised a mass rally in Kuala Lumpur in which about 30,000 people took part to show their anger against the government for failing to uplift the community.

Following that five top Hindraf leaders, including Waythamoorthy’s brother Uthayakumar, were detained under the Internal Security Act for two years for allegedly being a national threat.

Waythamoorthy left the country to India, and then to the United Kingdom, to canvass international support for Hindraf’s cause.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Uthaya's condition a mockery of human rights...!!!

A Letter by Vig via M'Kini

I refer to the letter Uthayakumar's medical condition dangerous.

I am absolutely disgusted with the blatant treachery and severely discriminating practices of prison personnel at the Kamunting detention centre - the withholding medication and the unlawful punishing of Uthayakumar is anything but sickeningly inhumane. I call upon and challenge all powers that be to press forward as well as arise to the request of all Malaysians, to attend to the suffering of Uthayakumar immediately and indefinitely.

What we have right here right now blown-up in our faces is an absolute farce in the shape of a bomb that has resulted in a mockery of human rights. Its violation simply speaks volumes of intolerable disregard to all humans alike. How can a man diagnosed with diabetes be served with food of high sugar content? Detainee, criminal or simply civilian; isn't it onus on prison officials and their venerable wardens to dispense medication at their steady disposal and mercy for anybody who has been inexorably incarcerated?

Until further notice and with not much ado, I sincerely hope my request for the Home Ministry to step-in and look into this matter would bear fruition; in the form of already overdue specialist attention of the highest class to Uthayakumar at IJN. Given the prognosis without professional observation further, the victim will definitely succumb to deadly disease for his end-organs are steadily and consistently showing aggravated symptoms of nervousness followed by vascular failure even as I write. His vision is impaired and tenacious heart as well, has weakened in its relentless beat for retribution given his efforts for the Malaysian people.

I pledge, cadge and beg the local and international community to voice and protest in light of this pathetic and execrable hegemony practiced by the detentionists; to imprison and vilify these five for stressing the grieving plight of marginalised people in Malaysia. Please do not misconstrue or misinterpret my request for my concern is not to corner or gain political mileage given that I may be mistaken for a particular race or group in this country. I also do not engage in any sort of banal or vapid discourses with terrorists outside of this sacred land. All I wish for is the sincere display of magnanimous altruism on humanitarian grounds to prevail in the wake of sickening insouciance deployed histrionically, to harm innocent prisoners of conscience.

Uthayakumar deserves utmost respect irrespective and regardless of his 'perceived' misdoing or crime. One cannot be held against herself or himself for highlighting the indiscriminate oppression of any one particular race in this country. He may have been held in captivity for standing-up and voicing-out against discriminatory and prejudicial not to mention bigoted policies and systems here yet, nobody believes this to be an excuse let alone justification enough for not affording and according him specialist medical treatment.

We know that should the law of the land and the wrath of the gods be unleashed in due course, actual criminals and the real perpetrators will be sentenced to appear and explain themselves with impunity but without exoneration, for hurting and silencing innocent people.

Until then let us hope that not a single member of the five detainees, each ironically representing a state won by the solid and transparent opposition, are surreptitiously gagged and murdered as we comfortably sleep in our warm beds. I pray for haste with forthcoming attitude by the Home Ministry to administer the best of medical aid at the sincere request of all Malaysians; to be rushed to the withered Uthayakumar.

I also hope the plain ineffectiveness and the indolent attitude mastered by certain people in power will not prevail in the deliberate wake of his weakening condition.

Thursday, April 17, 2008







Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tamil daily Makkal Osai's publication permit rejected...!!!

Source : M'Kini
Image : IMOL

The Home Ministry today rejected the renewal of Tamil daily Makkal Osai's publication permit, a move believed to be related to the widespread coverage given to the opposition.

Contacted this afternoon, Makkal Osai general manager S M Periasamy confirmed that the ministry had issued the letter which stated that the daily's application 'will not be considered'.

The letter did not state any reasons for the rejection.

According to Periasamy, the daily - which is closely linked to former MIC deputy president S Subramaniam - had submitted an application in July, three months ahead of the permit's expiry.

More Update Read HERE

Mum appeals to PM for Uthayakumar's transfer

Source : NST

PUTRAJAYA: P. Uthayakumar's mother has appealed for her son to be admitted to the National Heart Institute (IJN) or a private hospital of her choice.

K. Kalaivaniy, 64, claimed that Uthayakumar's health was deteriorating at the Kamunting detention centre.

She said Uthayakumar, 46, a diabetic, was admitted to the Taiping Hospital in December for high blood sugar but was prematurely discharged despite high glucose levels.

She also claimed prison authorities were deliberately ignoring her son's medical needs and this had worsened his condition.

Saying she feared for his life and safety, she appealed to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to transfer her son to the IJN or a private hospital of her choice.

She said she was willing to bear the cost of medical treatment as she did not wish to burden the authorities with unnecessary medical bills.

Kalaivaniy was accompanied by 70 Hindu Rights Action Force supporters when she went to the Prime Minister's Department to hand over her letter.

She also urged the prime minister to immediately release all five Hindraf leaders.

Sept 15 trial for Hindraf’s 66

Source : The Star

SHAH ALAM: Sixty-six Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) supporters charged with allegedly participating in an illegal assembly at Batu Caves on Nov 25 will have their case heard at the Sessions Court here in September.

Judge Azimah Omar fixed Sept 15 to 19 and Sept 22 to 26 for the trial, which is expected to see about 80 witnesses brought in to testify.

Sixty-four of the accused also faced an additional charge of causing mischief by damaging seven vehicles in the Batu Caves Sri Subramaniar temple premises between 1am and 8am on the same day.

Initially, 69 people, including five students, were arrested and separately charged in the Shah Alam and Selayang courts in December.

The prosecution had withdrawn the charge of causing mischief against the students but maintained the charge of participating in an illegal assembly against two of them.

The remaining 64 people face both charges.

Padang Serai MP N. Gobalakrishnan is among the 66 people who will be tried in September.

Deputy public prosecutor Nik Suhaimi Nik Sulaiman told Azimah that the Attorney-General’s Chambers was also considering the representations made by the defence team on the charges brought against the accused.

All 66 were released on a RM500 bail with one surety each and have to report to the nearest police station once a month.


Source : makkalSakti.blogspot
Image : BMahendran


HINDRAF views the current medical onslaught by the Kamunting Prison Authorities against Human Rights Defender and Prisoner of Conscience P.Uthayakumar seriously and believe this is deliberately calculated to harm and cause serious health damage to Uthayakumar .

For more than a month prior to April 7th 2008 Uthayakumar was denied his diabetes medication and attempts by his family members to hand over the necessary medications to him directly has been hampered. Medications that were handed over to prison officer En Shaharam on 13th March 2008 by his lawyer went mysteriously missing. 6 attempts/ written requests by Uthayakumar to meet the Prison director to discuss the issue of medication was ignored . He was continuously served high sugar content diet despite his vehement objections but had no choice but to consume those under protest.

The Prison Hospital does not have a qualified full time doctor of even a visiting doctor. On 18th March 2008 a Prison Hospital assistant was (HA not a qualified doctor) pestering Uthayakumar to take some other medications instead of his regular prescriptions but Uthayakumar refused.

The following incidents that took place at the Taiping Hospital remains a puzzle:

Uthayakumar was deliberately chained to the bed like a common criminal.
Premature discharge ( after 2 days) despite his high sugar level and damage to heart muscles Other tests results unknown i.e. kidney and liver functions

In light of the above circumstances HINDRAF calls upon the Prime Minister to immediately accede request made by the mother of Uthayakumar to immediately refer him to the National Heart Institute or other private Hospital chosen by the family.

HINDRAF is of the opinion that there is a silent agenda and plot to cause harm to the health of Uthayakumar and urges the Prime Minister to intervene immediately before matters turn worse.

P.Waytha Moorthy


Source : Makkalsakti. blogspot
Image : BMahendran

30/1226 Lorong Belatek 7/2
Batu 3 Jalan Rasah
Negeri Sembilan
15th April 2008.

Y.A.B. Dato Seri Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi
Prime Minister of Malaysia

Dear YAB,


I am the 64-year-old mother of P.Uthayakumar who now suffers silent death in the lock up of Kamunting Detention Centre Taiping.

On the 8th April 2008 my son who is being detained under the much-criticised Internal Security Act since 13th December 2008 was admitted to the Taiping Hospital for high blood sugar as a result of being denied diabetes medication for more than 1 month. Upon admission his blood sugar level was 18.8 (normal being 6). His protein and uric acid level was also very high.

Upon examination the doctor who treated Uthayakumar had told him that his heart muscles were damaged but needed an Eco cardiogram to confirm this. However due to severe lack of facilities at the Taiping Hospital, he was given 28th of April 2008 for the said tests.

I also verily believe that my son’s other organs especially kidney and liver are equally affected but there is an attempt to cover this up by the Hospital and Prison Authorities. Despite our request the Hospital does not wish to divulge with matters concerning his health on grounds he is a detainee and that they have instructions from the “top” not to reveal anything.

What disheartened me further was the need to prematurely discharge Uthayakumar from hospital 2 days later despite his glucose level at 13.5 and upon discharge he was again deliberately denied his medication for more than 20 hours. To make matters worse he was deliberately served diet with high sugar content despite his objections and compelled to consume the above-mentioned unhealthy food.

My son complains of reduced vision in eyes, weakness and discomfort heart. I am advised and belief he is suffering a silent heart attack as a result of his health condition.

I belief the Prison authorities under “mysterious instructions” are deliberately ignoring his medical needs and diet to accelerate/worsen his medical condition so that he would suffer severe health conditions.
The conducts of prison authorities are scandalous and I have lost confidence on them and the Home Minister who remains silent on the issue.

I fear for the life, safety and health of my son.

I earnestly believe that there is a silent agenda to “inflict” and cause serious harm upon my son, as diabetes is known to be silent killer.

As an old aged mother I can’t bear to see my son silently dying in the prison and make this appeal to you directly to help facilitate the immediate transfer of my son to the National Heart Institute or a private hospital of my choice so that I could help my son undergo his medical needs, treatment and care.

I am not an educated person but from what I have read in the Tamil dailies, you have always assured all Malaysians irrespective of race and religion that you are a caring Prime Minister. My son is silently dying and there appears to be attempt and conspiracy to inflict harm on him.

I appeal to you as a compassionate Prime Minister to immediately instruct the prison authorities to liase with me to facilitate Uthayakumar’s immediate transfer to a private hospital. I am willing to bear the cost of private medical treatment on my son and do not wish to burden the state with unnecessary medical bills.

I also appeal to you Mr. Prime Minister to immediately and unconditionally release all 5 HINDRAF leaders currently detained as they only acted as messengers of truth to bring to your attention the sufferings of the ethnic Indian minority community in Malaysia. It is a known fact that post November 25th has opened up the eyes of Malaysians of all races of the Indian community plight.

I also noted and admired your humbleness when upon severe defeat at the recently concluded elections you had openly admitted your mistakes and had promised to make changes, which actually touched millions of fair-minded hearts in Malaysia. The people on the ground do not believe the Intelligence reports that the 5 are a national threat and I am certainly sure by now you would have obtained independent advice and realise you had been given wrong reports pertaining to the genuine struggle of HINDRAF.

My sons and hundreds of thousands other Malaysian Indians are born post independence and they think Malaysian. As Malaysians, none can blame them for seeking equality, fairness and justice as they rightly feel Malaysian. The country is progressing and so are the people, so let us allow legitimate voices of democracy.

I appeal to you Mr. Prime Minister as a father to this nation to exercise compassion and fairness to all your “children”. The families of the 5 are suffering daily. They shed tears daily unable to explain to their young children why their fathers who spoke the truth are incarcerated. Their young children suffer psychological scars as a result of being denied the love and care of their fathers.

Mr. Prime Minister I beg you to immediately release them on humanitarian grounds and let the whole Malaysia proudly say we have a Prime Minister who is caring, fair and exercises wisdom.

Yours faithfully


Tamils Ignore Government Order to Not Celebrate Tamil New Year

Source Link Thaindian

CHENNAI, INDIA, April 13, 2008: Even as several major temples “obeyed” the diktat of the Tamil Nadu government and avoided special worship, the laity here celebrated Tamil New Year with usual gaiety Sunday. Just as the biggest Hindu Shiva temple in Mylapore area here allowed people to offer special prayers, the famed Vishnu shrine at Srirangam, 300 km south of Chennai and considered a “heaven on earth”, celebrated the occasion with pomp. The Meenakshi Amman temple at Madurai, 400 km south of here, steered clear of controversy and avoided any special prayer.

The government early this year declared that from now on, Pongal, the harvest festival falling Jan 14, would herald the Tamil New Year. It prohibited special prayers on the traditional Tamil New Year day in all government-controlled temples. It also banned the reading of the Tamil almanac on the traditional New Year day in shrines. Hindus across the state, however, celebrated the occasion regardless of the government’s fiat. Festoons were seen everywhere and feasts were held at almost every home.

A leading Hindu priest explained why the masses ignored the wishes of the DMK government. “This is as per the Hindu calendar’s 60-year cycle that has been in vogue since the time of the Vedas, of which astrology and astronomy are essential parts. And it is not just the Tamils - several Indian subcultures have a New Year almost at the same time,” said Shankara Shastri, a priest consulted by many leading business houses here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Abdullah paving the way for the imminent return of Anwar?

A Nice article from :

Pak Lah stated that the government will not apologize to former Lord President Tun Salleh Abas and 2 other judges sacked in the 1988 judicial crisis but will look at ways to make amends to them. The govermnent, he said, was studying the matter, adding that a decision would be made after a Cabinet paper on it was submitted. The star reported here.

If he is not thinking of an apology, what does he meant by making amends to the aggrieved party? Is he planning to reinstate them to their former positions? That looks unlikely since it has been 20 years that they were sacked. Tun Salleh Abas has since became a farmer and he probably doesn’t give a hoot to that position now. However if the government compensate them for their loss of income and pensions in lieu of reinstatement, that would be a big vindication of their sacking.

If the government moved to exonerate former Lord President Tun Salleh Abas and gang, this would certainly set a political precedent that would also pave the way for the government to consider the best way to make amends to Anwar Ibrahim for his political motivated convictions for sodomy and corruption. This precedent will enable Pak Lah to move for reinstatement of Anwar to his previous position in UMNO with all his previous privileges intact and guaranteed. This way, Anwar will be given a choice to return to UMNO and if he took up the offer, he would not be seen as a traitor to Pakatan Rakyat. He would just be reclaiming what he deserved and moved back to mainstream politics.

For Pak Lah, this strategy is 2 pronged. First this will enable him to justify to UMNO that he is serious about taking responsibility for BN recent loss and he will be seen as doing something to revive BN in particular UMNO. Judging by the support for Anwar at the grassroot level, his move will bring instant support for UMNO too. He could also moot the idea of merging the multi-racial PKR into the fold of UMNO and at the same time openly invite MCA, MIC and other BN’s component parties to jointly form the new political entity in Malaysia. This way, he will be remember as the father of a new Malaysia, albeit a sleeping one.

Secondly, with Anwar at his side, Pak Lah could buy more time for reform within UMNO and BN in general. He would also be shielded from all the UMNO’s crocodiles and vultures that are snapping at his feet and hovering over his head respectively. This move will definitely send Mahathir and his cohorts with a one way ticket to the moon. Najib would dare not utter a single whimper as he would be threatened to be sent to Mongolia as Malaysia’s sacrificial lamb offering. This way Pak Lah could at least stay on for the next 5 years or at least until the next GE13. Anwar would be allowed to consolidate his power base within UMNO and be set to take over from Pak Lah after GE13. This move would also resurrect Khairy within UMNO and preserve his relevancy for the making of a future PM.

In the event of PKR crossover to UMNO, DAP and PAS could also consider the same initiative. They would realize that without Anwar at their side, the would loss all relevancy in the Malaysian political scene. They could keep Penang and Kelantan respectively but for how long? Without the federal government financial muscle, the Rakyat will eventually return the ruling parties to power again. In the short term they could play the role of friendly opposition in parliament until their relevancy is no more.

Anwar is not particularly hard-up with any invitation from Pak Lah. But Pak Lah only life line is with Anwar. Both men may have some deep respect for each other from their previous life, judging from the very restrained comments and soft attack on each other. Even Khairy, the firebrand of UMNO hardly attack Anwar. The only time he lashed out big at Anwar, he was slapped with a 10 million lawsuit. I guess it’s just for show to maintain Khairy image as UMNO bad boy and Anwar’s image of good guy. A really good acting job. So far both sides have taken out an insurance policy on each other just to be safe.

With the passing of Black 14 and the dawn of White 15, Anwar is again in the spotlight. He will have many options presented in front of him on his path to be Malaysia new Prime Minister.

Anwar reinstated to UMNO and replaced Pak Lah as PM after his retirement post-GE13.
Once 82 MPs sworn in on 28th April, mass defection from BN component parties member. Wan Azizah appointed as first Malaysian female PM. Anwar supports her as adviser. Anwar will contest in by-election and take over her place in one year time.
Once 82 MPs sworn in. Anwar make his move by contesting in by-election in Bandar Tun Razak after Tan Sri Khalid vacated his Parliamentary seat. Anwar win parliamentary seat and trigger mass defection from BN component parties. Anwar setup new ruling coalitions and become Malaysia sixth PM.
Anwar appointed as senator. He triggers massive defection from BN components parties enough to form 2/3 majority in Parliament. Pakatan Rakyat amends constitutions to enable senator to be appointed PM. This might be wishful thinking but anything is possible after the 8th March political tsunami!
Anwar appointed as senator. 20+ BN’s MPs defected but not enough to form simple majority. Yang Dipertuan Agung intervened by appointing Anwar as PM as he felt Anwar is the best person for the job due to the weakness of Pak Lah in holding BN together.
The above might be the fantasies of the author but one thing is for sure: the imminent return of Anwar Ibrahim, the prodigal son of modern Malaysia. He has been transformed from a ‘has been’ to a ‘must have’. Whether Pak Lah, Mahathir or UMNO like it or not, he will be the man to watch out for in the next decade.

His choice of middle path has endeared well with Malaysian of all races and religions. He does not attack his former mentor for he only dismisses him as old and forgetful. He also does not attack his predecessor for he dismisses him as frequently sleeping on the job. He does not also play the blame game for he took the bull by the horn and chart a path of political reforms acceptable by you and me. Only the corrupts and imbeciles will go against him.

In another words, the buck stops with Anwar. We now have the making of the next great Prime Minister in Malaysia. May all our wishes come true soon enough.


Source : Email


Appeal to Prime Minister YAB Abdullah Ahmad Badawi by mother of Human Rights Defender and Prisoner of Conscience P.Uthayakumar to help seek consent of Home Ministry to refer Uthayakumar to the National Heart Institute urgently and to seek for a complete medical check up following denial of diabetes medication, premature discharge from Taiping Hospital and the continued serving of high sugar content diet.

Date : 15th April 2008

Venue : Prime Ministers office Putrajaya

Time : 10.15 am

Hindraf Lawyers, leaders, Members of Parliament and supporters would be present. A Press statement would be issued thereafter.

We seek the co operation of HINDRAF supporters to inform all our supporters via text/sms to attend to show support.

For further information please contact Mr. Kannan 012 269 0024 or Mr Jayathas 012 6362287.

P. Waytha moorthy
Currently in London


Source : Makkalsakti.blogspot

Dear readers,there will be a forum on abolishing the ISA organized by HINDRAF Penang on 19 April 2008 at the Penang Chinese Town Hall.Everyone of us who holds justice and freedom as our fundemental rights please lend your support to this righteous cause.Visit this Link Click Here


-There are hundreds of people being detained under the I.S.A
- How would you feel if you were arrested for fighting for your rights?
- How would you feel if your family or friends is being detained without trial?
- Are your mouth and eyes force to be SHUT?
- Do you love freedom and democracy?
- Do you believe all human has their rights to stand for what they believe?

In democratic country we DO NOT NEED I.S.A. which infringes basic Human Rights!


A forum on Abolish ISA will be held:-
DATE: 19th April 08
TIME: 7pm till 11pm
VENUE: Penang Chinese Town Hall PENANG


MR. SYED IBRAHIM (GMI President) & MS. NALINI (GMI Secretary)
MS. LATIFAH KOYA (Human Right Lawyer)

For more info contact:-



Hindraf detainee faces harm, says mother

Source :

Sunday, April 13, 2008 13:41 [IST]

Kuala Lumpur: The mother of a Tamil Hindu leader has alleged that her son was being served food with excessive sugar by jail authorities even though they knew he suffered from diabetes and other ailments.

K. Kalaivanyi, the widowed mother of P. Uthayakumar, one of the five leaders of the detained Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), on Saturday lodged a police report alleging that there was a "silent agenda" to harm her son.

Uthayakumar is lodged in the Kamuntin Detention Centre. Friends say he is weak and had been denied his medication after being prematurely discharged from the hospital the day before.

Lawyer Uthayakumar, 46, was arrested with four other Hindraf leaders Dec 13 for allegedly trying to incite Hindus over the plight of two million Tamil Hindus who came to Malaysia during the British era. They are being detained for two years under the stringent Internal Security Act (ISA).


Source : M'Kini

About 20,000 people attended a rally in central Kuala Lumpur tonight to mark the expiry of Anwar Ibrahim ban from public office, a decade after he was sacked as deputy prime minister.

The crowd defied a ban on the event which was held in Kampung Baru despite scores of riot police were deployed in the futile attempt to stop the illegal gathering.

"We have not issued any permits for the gathering. I advise all the supporters not to attend it. The gathering is banned," city police chief Muhammad Sabtu Osman told AFP earlier today.

At about 9.15pm, Anwar took the stage to tell his supporters to wait two weeks on whether he would be running for parliamentary seat and return to active politics.

PKR bagged 31 seats in last month's general elections and Anwar had said that one of the parliamentarians would resign so that the party de facto leader could contest in a subsequent by-election.

In his speech, Anwar also attacked his nemesis, former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and accused him of abuse of power.

"He has made the judiciary worse. He is worried that I'll be the next PM," he said.

Anwar also lambasted Najib Abdul Razak, saying that the prime minister-in-waiting was "not fit" to assume the post.

After speaking for one hour, Anwar was told by the police to stop the gathering.

He subsequently told the crowd that he would "lead by example" and requested the crowd to disperse.

Once seen as the heir apparent to long-time leader Mahathir, Anwar was subsequently convicted on sex and corruption charges and spent six years in jail, before storming back to prominence in March elections.

With Anwar at the helm, a reinvigorated opposition seized a third of parliamentary seats and five states in the worst ever showing for the Barisan Nasional coalition that has ruled for half a century.

Now the 60-year-old maverick is once again being touted as a future prime minister, but this time for his Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance which he has described as a "government-in-waiting".

The sodomy charges were later dropped but the corruption count prevented him from standing for public office until tomorrow.

Surprise in store

Anwar had been expected to re-enter Parliament quickly through a by-election in one of the seats held by his party, and to challenge Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in a symbolic no-confidence vote soon after.

But in light of the stunning and unexpected gains, he has said he is in no hurry to act and will instead focus on building up the opposition.

Meanwhile, party's deputy president Syed Husin Ali had earlier rejected the police objections to the rally, but said PKR had made confidential alternative arrangements for the celebration.

"We will go ahead with it for the simple reason that that area is a private area, it is not a public area," he said of the proposed venue.

"We can't understand why there is this sudden change of mind on the part of police... in fact, they were originally involved in discussions to control traffic and ensure security."

Pressuring the police

Syed Husin said he suspected the government, which has been badly rattled by the unprecedented election setback, may be putting pressure on police.

"They might fear that there might be some strong political influence that this gathering might have on the public," he said.

Abdullah has refused to stand down despite the electoral debacle, insisting he has a mandate to rule and promising to introduce long-heralded reforms that voters punished him for never delivering.

But the opposition and many political commentators believe the coalition will continue to flounder and that Anwar could seize power within a few years, or perhaps even a few months.

"I think they are very likely to form the next government and it's a matter of timing, of when this will take place, whether it's at the next elections or before then," said Tricia Yeoh of the Centre for Public Policy Studies.


Thanks to :

To: The Prime Minister and Government of Malaysia

No law in Malaysia shames the country or undermines its democratic system of government more than the Internal Security Act (ISA), which allows indefinite, arbitrary detention without trial.

The ISA stands out as a barbaric law that goes against all our notions of what law and justice should mean. The ISA is an evil, anti-democratic law that can have no place in a country that upholds the Rule of Law.

The ISA subverts natural justice. Natural justice demands that any person accused of a crime should have the right to due process and to be presumed innocent unless and until he or she is convicted in an independent, open court of law.

Without due process and legal checks and balances, ISA detainees are left at the mercy of their captors. Detainees have complained of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment while under detention.

We therefore call for the immediate repeal of the ISA.

Please write to the Malaysian government and UN to express your protest.

YAB Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Blok Utama, Bangunan Perdana Putra,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan
62502, Putrajaya. Malaysia
Telephone: 603-8888 8000
Fax: 603-8888 3444

YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak
Aras 4, Blok Barat,Bangunan Perdana Putra,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan
62502, Putrajaya. Malaysia
Telephone: 603-8888 1950
Fax: 603-8888 0035

Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar
Minister of Home Affairs & Internal Security Address:
Minister of Internal Security and Home AffairsLevel 12, Block D1, Parcel D,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan
62546, Putrajaya, Malaysia
Telephone: 603-8886 8000
Fax: 603-8889 1613
Email :

Chairperson of United Nations Human Rights
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland


Dear HINDRAF Supporters,

We Penang HINDRAF supporters lodged 8 police reports in Patani Road Police station, alleging that Uthayakumar (diabetic patient) had been denied proper medical treatment. This is deliberately done just to harm Uthaya’s health. We want police to take action before his health deteriorates any further.

Below are the name and report numbers :
1) Saraswaty – Kamunting/001629/08
2) Sivakumar – Kamunting/001636/08
3) Sivabalan – Kamunting/001632/08
4) Haribalan – Kamunting/001633/08
5) Kalaiselvam – Kamunting/001635/08
6) Sunthar – Kamunting/001634/08
7) Valliamal – Kamunting/001630/08
8) Thurairaj – Kamunting/001631/08

We Penang HINDRAF supporters encouraging the other concern citizens to lodge similar Police report against Commandant of Taiping Prison and Home Minister. HINDRAF Penang strongly demanding Commandant of Taiping to STOP his abusive act. This is against basic Human Rights.

Dear HINDRAF Supporters, refer below sample report. Lodge Police report URGENTLY in your own state throughout the country:

Police Report by:


No K/p:


On the 8th April 2008 Mr.Uthayakumar who is a detainee held at the Kamunting Detention Centre under the draconian Internal security Act since 13th December 2008 was admitted to the Taiping Hospital for high blood sugar. Upon admission his blood sugar level was 18.8 ( normal being 6). His protein and uric acid level was also very high.

I now lodge this report against the Director of Prisons Kamunting and the Minister for Home Affairs for:

1) Deliberately and maliciously over more than a month denied diabetes medication to P.Uthayakumar.
2) Prematurely discharged Uthayakumar from Taiping Hospital despite knowing he was still ill, weak and needed medical attention
3) Exerting pressure ( I believe) on hospital doctors to discharge P.Uthayakumar despite knowing he was not fit to be discharged.

Upon examination the doctor who treated Uthayakumar believed that his heart muscles were damaged but needed an ECO cardiogram to confirm this. However due to severe lack of facilities at the Hospital, he was given 28th of March 2008 for the said tests.

Upon prematurely being discharged from hospital despite his glucose level at 13.5 he was again deliberately denied his medication for more than 20 hours. To make matters worse he was deliberately served diet with high sugar content despite his objections.

Mr.Uthayakumar complains of reduced vision in both eyes, weakness and discomfort heart. I am advised and belief he is suffering a silent heart attack as a result of his health condition.

I belief the Prison authorities are deliberately ignoring his medical needs and diet to accelerate/worsen his medical condition so that he would suffer severe health conditions.

The conduct of prison authorities are scandalous and I have lost confidence on them and the Home Minister.

I fear for the life, safety and health of Mr.Uthayakumar:

I earnestly believe that there is a silent agenda to "inflict" and cause serious harm upon Mr.Uthayakumar as diabetes are known to be silent killer.

I am willing to bear the cost of private medical treatment on Mr.Uthayakumar and urge the Prison authorities to immediately transfer him to the National Heart Institute without delay.

I would hold the Kamunting Prison Director and the Home Minister responsible should anything untoward happen to Mr.Uthayakumar.

I now make this report to urge the police to investigate the mysterious circumstances under which Mr.Uthayakumar was prematurely discharged from Taiping Hospital. This is the second time they had done the same to Mr.Uthayakumar.



Saturday, April 12, 2008

Family: Uthaya suffered a silent heart attack

Source : M'Kini

The Malaysian Indian United Party (MIUP) today joined a chorus of calls being made to the government to ensure that ISA-detained Hindraf legal advisor P Uthayakumar is given a proper medical treatment.

MIUP president KS Nallakaruppan said that it was the duty of the government to ensure Uthayakumar received proper medical treatment for his diabetes.

“The detention centre authorities must make sure that Uthayakumar and the other four Hindraf detainees are in good health,” said Nallakaruppan today.

“The authorities must not fail in their duty to provide healthcare for these detainees.

“If they are needed to be admitted in a hospital, they then should be admitted. If they need to see a specialist, again, the detention centre must make arrangements for that,” he added.

He also warned that the detention camp authorities should not turn the admission of any of these Hindraf leaders into a government hospital into a media event.

“We see them parading Uthayakumar in handcuffs while being taken to the hospital and back to the detention centre.

“This shouldn’t happen. He is not a criminal. If you are taking him to the hospital for treatment, then make sure that he gets the propers treatment,” he said.

Nallakaruppan also urged the detention centre authorities to allow Uthayakumar to receive his proper medications from his doctors.

Similarly, Nallakaruppan added that two other Hindraf detainees - V Ganabatirau and R Kenghadharan - had also complained of being denied medical treatment.

“I urge the authorities to look into this matter seriously. I know how it feels to be locked up and being denied medical treatment. The government must show its humane face by giving proper medical treatment for these detainees,” he added.

Family: a silent heart attack

Uthayakumar, Ganabatirau, Kenghadharan, M Manoharan and T Vasantha Kumar - all key leaders of Hindu Rights Action Force - were detained under the Internal Security Act on Dec 13 shortly after organising a mammoth rally in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 25 which saw some 30,000 Indians taking to the streets.

Uthayakumar, a diabetic for the past 12 years, was admitted to the Taiping hospital in Perak on April 7 after his sugar level rose to more than three times the normal level.

His lawyer Santha Devi Velusamy complained that he was not given his diabetes medicines for the past one month despite making repeated requests to the detention centre director.

Uthayakumar was discharged from the hospital on April 10 and taken back to the detention centre but his family members insist that he is still not well.

Uthayakumar’s brother and Hindraf chairperson P Waythamoorthy today criticised the authorities for prematurely discharging his sibling from the hospital.

In a statement issued from London where he is currently based, Waythamoorthy urged all Hindraf supporters to lodge police reports against the director of detention centre and the Home Affairs Minister for “negligently and prematurely discharging Uthayakumar thus seriously damaging his health”.

“My family member who visited him confirms his complaints of decreased vision, giddiness, weakness and uncomfortable feeling in the heart.

“The doctor who examined him at Taiping hospital suspected he may have damaged heart muscles and is suffering a silent heart attack as a result of being denied diabetes medication for more than a month,” he said.

Police reports lodged

Waythamoorthy added that a proper test to confirm Uthayakumar’s heart condition is only available at the Taiping hospital on April 28.

“His condition is so serious and my family are willing to bear the private medical expenses. He needs to be referred to IJN urgently and we need the public to support our request for urgent private medical treatment,” he added.

Waythamoorthy also claimed that upon Uthayakumar’s discharge from the hospital, he was again denied medication for more than 20 hours and served diet with high sugar content.

In order to force the government to provide proper medical treatment to Uthayakumar, his mother K Kalaivaniy and fiancée Indra Devi Subramaniam lodged separate police reports at the Seremban and Brickfields police stations respectively this morning.

Yesterday some 300 Hindraf supporters gathered at the Kamunting detention centre to protest against the lack of medical treatment for Uthayakumar.

School relocated from cemetery to basement

Source : M.Kini

The SRJK (T) Ladang Bukit Jalil earned a reprieve of sorts when the Deputy Education Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong visited them on Tuesday.

For instead of moving the 102 school children to an area meant to house the dearly departed, Wee suggested the ground floor of Kuala Lumpur City Hall's (DBKL) low-cost flats instead.

The flats are part of a relocation plan for estate workers, who for years tapped rubber in the area before the land was reclaimed by the government.

While most of the land was developed into the Bukit Jalil national stadium for the Commonwealth Games in 1998, condominiums and even medium cost housing, scant attention was paid to the rubber tappers who were there prior to Independence.

Of the 1,600 acres which were bought by the government, only 40 acres are left for the rubber tapping community of mostly Indian descent.

To add to their misery, according to a DBKL development plan, 13 hectares are already earmarked as Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and Christian burial sites.

In a report last November, a plot of land among the cemeteries measuring 0.4 ha was reserved for the Tamil school and a Hindu temple.

At a press conference today, the Tamil Foundation Malaysia (TFM), EWRF, Group of Concerned Citizens and other NGOs expressed their unhappiness with the new proposal made by the deputy minister.

TFM president K Uthayasoorian said the ground floor of the said flats where residents park their vehicles and dump rubbish was a poor choice for the school to move to.

"Moreover, unsavoury elements tend to hang around these places and will pose a danger to the students," said Uthayasoorian.

Enrolment would suffer

Another reason which makes the ground floor an unacceptable choice was that the flats were only a transit point for displaced families, he said.

"The enrolment will suffer the most when the tenancy agreements for these families are not renewed after three years," he added.

Parent Teacher Association chairman S Balakrishnan also voiced their concerns over the absence of proper documentation for the temporary relocation of the said school.

Balakrishnan told Malaysiakini that until now there are no written agreements on how long the relocation will last or when the new school will be built has been forthcoming.

"In the absence of any black-and-white (proper contracts), we won't go anywhere," said Balakrishnan.

"We are worried if there is no definite deadline, the school may be just left there (under the DBKL flats) forever," he added.

GMI: Enough of 6 years of ISA cruelty

Source : M'Kini

As part of its ongoing campaign to seek justice for all Internal Security Act detainees, the Abolish ISA Movement (GMI) today launched a host of new measures to highlight the perils of detention without trial.

For starters the movement aim to collect 300,000 letters from member of the public to be sent to the United Nation in the hope of raising the human rights issues in Malaysia. They would also be sent to Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar.

The new campaign - themed ‘Enough of six years of cruelty’, to signify the duration 10 men have been detained for allegedly being members of Jemaah Islamiah - was launched this morning at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur.

According to GMI president Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh the campaign will also try to gain the support of the 82 Pakatan Rakyat members of Parliament.

The letter will be sent to the Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar and High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), United Nation in Switzerland.

Syed Ibrahim was confident that the new campaign would augur success, taking note of the recent dramatic changes in the country’s political landscape.

“If people have shown their courage to deny Barisan Nasional two-thirds majority in the Parliament, let’s all of us rise again to pressure the government to release all the ISA detainees,” he said.

Although principally the campaign was targeted for the 10 alleged JI detainees who have been incarcerated for six years, GMI reiterated that all other ISA detainees including the Hindraf 5 must be tried fairly in courts or released unconditionally.

Also present at the press conference were GMI campaign manager Noorlaila Othman and member of Human Rights Committee of the Bar Council Syamsuriatina Ishak.

‘Call for media to play their part’

According to Noorlaila, the campaign was a response to Syed Hamid’s call last Sunday that the government would abolish the ISA if the people wanted it.

“This is what we are doing, we’ll take the challenge. We will show him that the people do not want the ISA.” she said.

Noorlaila - whose husband is one of the ISA detainees- added the letter-signing marathon campaign might be new to the Malaysian public compared to other countries and urged to media to promote this cause to the public

She added that the movement’s previous postcard campaign by GMI in 2006 has helped the release of nine ISA detainees.

The campaign is a continuation of an international campaign organized by the Islamic Human Rights Commision (IHRC) launched last year.

Meanwhile, Syamsuriatina said that one of the efforts undertaken by the Bar Council to support GMI was by having lawyers visiting ISA detainees in Kamunting detention camp.

“This will help monitor the situation of the detainees. It will give them moral boost,” she said.

Release Uthayakumar

GMI also revealed that of the 10 who had been in detention for six years, five have been given an extension for a further two years, making their detention to run into eight years.

All of the detainees are allegedly members of the JI extremist group. To date, none of the detainees have been charged for any offences in an open court.
Syed Ibrahim also questioned why the 10 detainees were not released when 40 others who were detained for the same reason have been released in the past years.

“These are questions that have always been asked by the media. Is there any reason why they are being detained for so long?” he asked.

Syed Ibrahim also said that the movement was also said, concerned with the health of Hindraf legal advisor P Uthayakumar, also an ISA detainee.

“This has happened before. And it can be used as a form of mental torture on the detainees. For them to be denied the rights for medical treatment is a violation of human rights. It’s a gross injustice,” he said.

He added the government must take this matter seriously and allow Uthayakumar to be given full medical treatment. He also called for the release all the Hindraf 5 leaders.

Supporters rally for ill Uthaya

Source : M'Kini

YennaMike Say: It shows that the peoples' government refuses to hear and action peoples' repeated call to release Hindraf 5. Uthaya hanging there brother...unseen forces at at work...

Some 300 Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) supporters today rallied in protest over alleged denial of medical attention being given to ISA detainee P Uthayakumar.

The placard-armed crowd gathered in front of the Kamunting detention camp in Taiping at about 2pm today and held their peaceful protest while being under the watchful eyes of about 50 police personnel for about 90 minutes.

Hindraf coordinator S Thanentheran told Malaysiakini that the crowd were outraged that Uthayakumar - one of the movement’s most recognisable face - was not treated humanely.

“His potassium level is very low. It has caused him to become weak. His diabetic readings are also dangerously high at 15.5. His vision is failing him.

“Hindraf supporters are angry, as they know his condition. This is very inhumane of the government. We hold ministry and camp commandant responsible for his life,” he said.

Camp officials had admitted Uthayakumar to the Taiping Hospital on April 7. He was discharged two days later. Thanentheran said that Uthayakumar has yet to recover fully.

“His detention diet is not suitable for a diabetic. He is not allowed to give himself insulin shots. His sole medications are pills which are not enough,” he added.

Observe law

Thanentheran had earlier failed in an attempt to convince camp authorities to allow a private doctor to treat Uthayakumar.

Padang Serai MP N Gobalakrishnan who also attended the rally warned that the camp authorities must not be negligent in ensuring the well-being of detainees.

“I believe if the camp denies Uthayakumar right to seek medication and doctor of his choice, they are violating the law. Action can be taken against them,” he said, adding that the Home Ministry must act on the matter.

Gobalakrishnan however commended the police for their cooperation extended during the peaceful protest.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hindraf Leaders' Wives Oppose Anti-government Rally

Source : News Post India
Sunday 06th of April 2008

The wives of four detained Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders in Malaysia have urged their supporters and well-wishers to stop public protests against the government as it may jeopardise chances of the four leaders' release.

The wives of the four leaders were reacting to an SMS campaign asking ethnic Indians to gather outside the home affairs ministry Monday as a sign of protest against the Hindraf leaders' detention.

The wives of detained Hindraf leaders - M. Manoharan's wife S. Pushpaneela, V. Ganabatirau's wife B. Buvaneswary, K. Vasantha Kumar's wife K. Vikneswary and R. Kenghadaran's wife M. Kalaivani said they didn't want their husbands to suffer the consequences of such an act.

'We would like to humbly request all Hindraf supporters not to participate in any demonstration or rally,' urged Pushpaneela.

She said many elected leaders were working hard for their husbands' release and 'it would be best to wait patiently for the outcome of their collective efforts', the New Straits Times said Sunday.

The four men and another Hindraf leader P. Uthayakumar were held under the Internal Security Act at the Kamunting Detention Centre in Taiping, Perak, after they organised a protest rally in Kuala Lumpur Nov 25, 2007.

The Hindraf claims to speak for the over two million Tamil Hindu settlers who came here during the British era, and now allege discrimination in jobs and education for the ethnic Indian community.

Kalaivani said the proposed gathering might jeopardise their husbands' chance of being released if it got out of hand and turned ugly.

Teacher Buvaneswary concurred and urged Hindraf supporters to remain calm and not aggravate the situation. Vikneswary said she appreciated the care and concern shown by Hindraf supporters but the best thing to do was to wait patiently.

'This is not the time to gather in big groups and protest,' she said.

Meanwhile, Hindraf national event coordinator Kannan Ramasamy said the protest Monday was merely a submission of a memo by Hindraf lawyers to Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar.

'Only a few of our lawyers and several immediate family members of the detainees would be there,' he clarified.

'We are requesting Datuk Seri Syed Hamid to be more responsive as he is the one who has the authority to release them in his capacity as home minister,' said Ramasamy.

Albar has said that he would 'not be swayed by sentiments' and decide on the issue 'in the best national interests'.

Hindu temples hit by 'cabinet ban'

Source : M'Kini
Image : Net

Devotees of the Hanuman temple in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, have eagerly been anticipating a spanking new structure by year’s end.

Construction work by specialist builders from India have been progressing smoothly, with about 40 percent of work completed on schedule to date.

But temple officials now foresee problems in completing the work as the immigration department has refused to extend the work-permits of the builders.

Worse, the department has given the workers one month to leave the country, and has refused to entertain applications to bring in new workers.

“We are stuck. The temple is only half-built. If these workers go, who will finish the work?” asked temple treasurer M Suresh.

“The department wants us to hire local workers. What they don’t realise, or choose to ignore, is that not everyone can build temples. You need skilled and specialist workers.”

He has another problem - what to tell the devotees who have donated huge sums of money for the temple construction.

This is not an isolated case. Across the nation, many Hindu temples face same problems with the immigration department refusing to renew work permits of builders, priests and musicians.

Its reason is that locals can be hired to do these jobs, a claim that many temple officials reject.

Half-built temples

Temple builder P Malairaju said about 10 of his projects are stuck as a result of this new policy.

“When we apply to bring in expert builders, we submit a huge dossier involving the work schedule and the need for these workers. Only after going through these documents, would the department approve a permit.

“Each worker is given an initial six-month permit which can be renewed for up to five years. However now, at the end of the six months, these workers are being told to pack up and leave,” he told Malaysiakini.

He said the decision can be appealed and an extension could be granted for up to three months, but not in all cases.

He said that he has about nine expert workers at the Hanuman temple and about 90 more working at temples in other locations.

“When we asked the department why the renewal applications have been rejected, we were merely told to hire locals. Why can’t they refer to our dossiers and see for themselves why we brought in these workers in the first place?”

He added that local workers still lacked the necessary skills to build temples and its intrinsic works.

“This is not like building an apartment or a building. You need to know the work,” he added.

He also said that the department has also refused to entertain new applications to bring in workers to continue the stalled projects.

“What is going to happen is that there will be half-built temples all around the country. I pity the temple officials who have to face the wrath of devotees,” he said.

Suresh agreed, saying that even now some of the devotee at the Hanuman temple were blaming the temple officials for “siphoning off the donation and slowing down the temple construction”.

‘We are stuck’

Other temples have been caught by the denial of renewed work permits for priests from India, thus forcing prayers and weddings to be conducted without priests.

The Sri Ayyanar Temple in Jalan Genting Klang is among those in this quandary. Its priest and a musician have been told to leave soon.

“How do we find replacements? Local priests are not interested in working full time. We don’t have enough qualified musicians as well. And this temple is fully booked for the coming wedding season,” said temple secretary A Gothandapaandi.

Similarly the Sri Subramaniam temple in Bandar Sunway is facing difficulty after its musicians were told to leave and applications for new musicians and priests were rejected.

“We are stuck. I fear for the future. We don’t have enough local priests or musicians. The government should have some sense in this matter,” said temple chairperson R Manivasagam.

Officials in other temple committees urged the government to end the ‘ban’.

“Is there an unwritten code to stop the growth of Hindu temples in this country?” asked a temple secretary from Ipoh.

Sri Sivan temple secretary V Palani from Klang said: “Trained local musicians and priests prefer to work on freelance basis so that they can earn more. Temples need full time musicians and priests so that we can serve the needs of our devotees at all times.”

When contacted, an immigration official said this is a cabinet-level decision and that all questions should be directed to the home ministry.

Back to cabinet

Last week MIC president S Samy Vellu raised the matter with the minister concerned, Syed Hamid Albar, who said the matter would be discussed in the cabinet before a decision is made.

Malaysia Hindu Sangam is also worried about the trend and has asked the government to revoke the cabinet decision, which was made late last year.

Hindu Sangam president A Vaithilingam said that the affected temples were all big, popular and registered temples.

“This sudden decision has caused a lot of unhappiness and had damaged the operations of especially larger temples,” he said.

“We feel that the decision is very unfair especially when considering that there are two million foreign workers in the country, whereas the requirement of the temples for a few hundred foreign skilled workers is not being entertained,” he added.

He also said that it takes many years to train highly-skilled priests and temple musicians.

“Unfortunately, the temples are not able to find locals with suitably high qualifications and skills to work for the pay that the temples can afford,” he said.

Vaithilingam also said the Hindu Sangam is making efforts to meet Syed Hamid to resolve this problem.

This issue first cropped up last December when then minister in charge of foreign workers Radzi Sheikh Ahmad said that there is no ban on foreign workers - including priests, musicians and sculptors - from India.

He insisted that no applications from Indian priests, musicians or sculptors had been rejected, but admitted the government is trying to reduce foreign labour.

"Our policy is that we want locals to take up the jobs as priests, musicians and sculptors," he was reported as saying.

Temple officials, however, say that based on what’s happening now, it is clear that there is indeed a ban in place.