Some readers asked whether I'm a HINDRAF follower, more so a sympathiser. Let's look at HINDRAF starting with their 18 Point Demands with my comments in bold.
18 Point demands of Hindraf
1. Realizing the five leaders from the ISA because they were arrested for Malaysian Malay political purpose.
Not sure if they are arrested for Malaysian MALAY political purpose. But I would jail them for public nuisance, especially after being caught in the traffic jam for hours. They could have done it at some open area, stadium or padang and not the streets. Imagine the losses by bussineses, lost of manhours, petrol, people rushing to clinics/hospital on life or death situation, and many other difficulties faced by the public.
2. Realizing or acquittal the Hindraf people charged by AG /PM Charges against for political purpose
What is PM’s role here. Again, I would jail them for public nuisance.
3. 18 POINT DEMANDS OF THE MALAYSIAN INDIANS TO
They can even get their ethnicity right, it should be Indian Malaysians.
1. Whereas:The Reid Commission was appointed by her Majesty the Queen of England and the Conference of Rulers in 1956 with the view to Malaya (and now Malaysia) achieving independence by August 1957.Among the primary terms of reference of the Reid Commission were a Common Nationality for the whole of the Federation.
2. And whereasThe overwhelming of the 131 written memoranda submitted to the Reid Commission as evidenced by the declassified documents from the Public Records Office, Kew, London, United Kingdom which represented the will and wishes of the then Malayan population were primarily equality and equal opportunities etc for all Malayans irrespective ofrace or religion as follows: -
2.1 In the grant of state land,
No evidence whatsoever provided that Indian Malaysians are denied any state lands. I know many have obtained own land despite maybe through the right connections.
Some have been granted state land for farming. I’m sure many who own properties on their own land apart from being leased by the state authorities. It’s the matter of applying, then appealing through the right channels.
2.2 Admission to public and administrative service,
Agree that there maybe discriminations here and there, so does non-malay companies and institutions. They (Chinese and Indian based companies), though not all, practise the same. Have you ever seen a malay employed in an Indian Malaysian company. The ones you see are indonesians. Only MNCs are usually not biased and does not discriminate.
2.3 To trade and do business, licences, permits etc
Many Indian Malaysian businessmen are as succesfull as their counterparts, many are provided with government assistance . Maybe those who are not handed contracts without even trying all the avenues are complaining.
2.4 Primary, secondary, skills Training, university and overseas university education.
All these are available. If not Tamil schools, there are always National schools everywhere. The same applies to tertiary education, although places in public institutions are limited, there are always private institutions and plenty of funding and loans eg PTPTN made available to all races.
2.5 No special privileges for the Malays,2.6 No discrimination of any ethnic community based on race or religion,2.7 The retention of all their places of worship in particular Hindu temples, crematoriums and burial sites,
This is always a contentious issue. Indian Malaysians built temples everywhere without asking permission or applying for permits. Are they correct to take away government or other landowners rights in the first place. There were numerous ocassions where both MIC and Hindu Sangam requested temples to register the temples with them. Many failed to do so and when they are asked to vacate or relocate, they cry ‘Makkal Shakti’ and put in every effort to stop it. Why can’t HINDRAF put the same amount of effort to legalise all the temples rather than cry wolf when someone wants their land back.
2.8 Freedom of Religion
I did not realise that there no freedom of religion in Malaysia especially amongst Indian Malaysians. This is the freest country for Hindus apart from India, they can even built temples in their homes, slaughter goats for 4D numbers, pray to various living people (Cult), invite all and sundry priest and Mahagurus from India and elsewhere. They are also free shout on top of their lungs publicly during festivals, free to create traffic jam during thaipusam and individual annual temple festivals nationwide. They are even free to drink and have fun during these festivals.
2.9 Malaya is to be a Secular State and not an Islamic state
Why care if the above freedom of religion is provided in abundance
2.10 Right to mother tongue education in particular Tamil schools to be fully aided,
Quite agree with this request. But then again, who asked Indian Malaysians to built Tamil Schools on private land without thinking about future problems. Why blame the government when all these are started by Indian Malaysians themselves? Do other races, especially chinese have this problem?
2.11 Minimum wage for the lowest paid, and
Agree and Disagree. I have lived in many estates before. One can earn decent wages if they are hardworking, with or without minimum wage. I have seen in many instances where they waste time and money on booze, gambling, videos, 4d numbers Eg, they skip they daily wage and are more interested to gamble during funerals rather than pay their respects and get back to work.
2.12 Equal recognition as sons of soil for all Malayan born.3. And whereasBased on the aforesaid proposals the Malaysian Federal Constitution, which is the supreme law of Malaysia as drawn out by the Reid Commission in 1957 was passed by the inaugural Malayan Parliament and which formed the basis of independent Malaysia.4. And whereasOver the last 50 years since independence on the 31st day of August 1957, the United Malays Organisation (UMNO) controlled Malaysian government with their majoritarian might, and backed by police, Attorney General’s Chambers, Judiciary, civil service and the media continuously violated the Malaysian Federal Constitution by their racist and Islamic extremist policies and which in effect have created an apartheid system ala Malaysia and especially resulting in the degeneration of at least 70% of the ethnic minority Indians to become the underclass of Malaysia who end up in the poor and hardcore poor category. The rest of the 29% raised above the poor and hardcore poor category wholly and/or substantially through their own efforts, sacrifices and labour with no or very little assistance by the UMNOcontrolled government. The 1% of the cream thrives anyway.
Aparthied System, ghosh, really. Nothing wrong with Indian Malaysians and all the blame on UMNO and Government. Not sure about the figures though. A lorry driver relative of mine (with standard 6 education) and his friends earns more than the national average wage, drives a car and have their own house. They are forward looking families who gives emphasis to education for their children. Most Indian Malaysian have good living standards compared to say 10 years ago. Agreed that maybe it was because of their own efforts, but then it would not have been possible if there are Aparthied like policies, there are always opportunities, it’s up to us to grab it and make things work to our advantage.
5. And whereasThe plight of the Indians have been made worse by the racist UMNO mindset having spilled over to even almost all of the Opposition parties, NGOs’, Civil society, Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), Bar Council, the media etc who do not take up the Indian plight for they are deemed to be lacking “political mileage” (race based) and/or no funding.
Not quite sure what is their contention here. Though that they blindly supported opposition in the recent elections.
6. And whereasThe Indians having no or very little opportunities for upward mobility or hope either turn to crime (60% of Malaysian detainees are Indians though they are only 8% of population-Suhakam 2005) or end up committing suicide which is 1000% higher than Malays (Utusan Malaysia 12.9.2005).
Again, opportunities are there. As long as Indian Malaysians do not prioritise education for their children, nothing will change. Suicide is more of a cultural issue. I may be wrong but never heard of Indians committing suicide due to lack of jobs or due to hunger!.
7. And Whereas at a public forum attended by 1,000 over Indians on 28.7.2007 at 7.00p.m at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, the participants unanimously resolved to forward their 18 point demands and which this peaceful assembly gathered here today on the 12th day of August 2007 at Putrajaya once again unanimously resolves to demand as hereinbelow outlined.And now it is hereby demanded for and on behalf of the two (2) Million ethnic minority Indians in Malaysia from the UMNO controlled Malaysian Government their 18 point demands as follows: -Hey, I thought there are officially 1.8 Million Indian Malaysians and by the way who appointed them to speak on behalf of the whole Indian Malaysians population?. (1) End 50 years of violations of the Malaysian Federal Constitution.(2) End Racism, end Islamic extremism and end Malay privileges on the 50th year golden jubilee mega Independence celebrations of Malaysia on 31st August 2007.(3) Call for affirmative action plans for all poor Malaysians especially the ethnic minority Indians. A Protection of EthnicMinority Malaysian Indian Act 2007 be passed to secure and safeguard the interests of the poor and defenceless ethnic Indian Minority Community.They want Malay Privileges to be ended, but still have the cheek to ask for affirmative action for Indian Malaysians and special act for a particular race. Mana boleh kawan!(4) All 523 Tamil Schools in Malaysia be made fully aided government schools with immediate effect and to have equal and same facilities as granted to national schools especially in terms of financial allocations, sufficient graduate teaching staff, financial allocation for extra tuition, ample computers, Information Technology facilities, school fields, sports, recreational facilities, air conditioned library, textbook loans, kindergarden, school uniforms and pocket money for poor pupils, nutritional food programmes, teaching aids, school building, infrastructure, film screening room and facilities, financial assistance for poor students, rehabilitation classes, non Muslim religious classes, etc. A RM 100 Billion grant @ 20 Billion per year with effect from 2007 be allocated to Indians under the 9th Malaysia Plan (5 years) for refurbishing the existing 523 Tamil schools and rebuilding of the 300 Tamil schools demolished over the last 50 years.
The figures appears to have been plucked from the sky. The government total budget for education is about 20 Billion per year. What do they want to do with 20 Billion, built castles? If HINDRAF comes up with a proper studies and blueprint with proper plan, I am sure the government would consider.
(5) Extend and implement with immediate effect to Indians the affirmative action plans, grants, scholarships, loans etc as extended to Malay Muslim citizens with the view to providing equal opportunities for higher education, university education, admission to foreign universities, post graduate studies locally and overseas, Trade and Skills Training Institutions, Science Colleges especially for each and every Indian student from the 70% poor and hardcore poor Indian category.
These are all available, Indian Malaysians only need to go through the right channels rather than complaining although I quite agree that allocation for scholarship must be reviewed.
(6) Extend and implement with immediate effect affirmative action plans as extended to Malay Muslim citizens with the view to provide equal opportunities in acquiring wealth, venturing into business, trade, industries, medium and small scale industries, government linked companies, corporate sector, procurement of direct government contracts, in acquiring licenses for contractors, blue chip and / or guaranteed return shares, lorry, taxi and bus permits, loans and licenses to venture into trade, business banking and the corporate sector for each and every Indian from especially the 70% poor andhardcore poor Indian category. To this effect the UMNO controlled government allocates RM100 Billion at RM20 Billion per annum with effect from 2007 and implements successful strategic schemes in investments for the Indians as implemented for the Malay Muslims with the view to the Indians acquiring at least 10% of the nation’s equity.
Again, figures seems ridiculous. Who on earth would provide guaranteed return shares. They too want direct government contract, now who is talking about equality?
(7) All the aforesaid is to be handled directly by the UMNO controlled government and UMNO is to stop “playing politics” through the “Mandore” (supervisor) system by dishing out on a piecemeal and/or peanuts basis or merely public and/or newspaper announcements and declarations by the Malaysian Indian Congress ( M.I.C) who have no or very little power or say in the UMNO controlled Malaysian government.
This is just an emotional outburst, nothing else!
(8) 20% of the Government top most level postings (Secretaries Generals), Middle level Management (Directors) and management level (Managers) postings, and the same for the Private Sectors, and positions of District Officers; Foreign and Diplomatic Service positions, civil service positions are reserved for Indians for the next 15 years.
Now, they want quotas, thought that they wanted equal opportunity!
(9) The UMNO controlled government makes public and is transparent on all of the aforesaid affirmative action plans i.e. the aforesaid education places, licenses, scholarships, grants, loans, permits, licenses, opportunities etc by publishing the same in the official website of the Government of Malaysia as and when the same is granted and/or on a monthly basis specifying the Indian beneficiaries thereto.
(10) Stop the indiscriminate unconstitutional and unlawful demolitions of Hindu temples, crematoriums and burial sites inMalaysia. All existing Hindu temples, crematoriums and burial sites be granted state land and permanently gazetted as Hindu temple reserves as has been done for all Islamic places of worship and burial sites. Compensation at RM10 Million per temple be paid by the UMNO controlled Malaysian Government for the 15,000 Hindu temples demolished up to date over the last 50 years.
Agreed that government assist temples but it is ridiculous to demand compensation when all those demolished are illegal temples. Now my turn, I would like to demand HINDRAF to do a proper study and decide how many temples are required in each parlimentary constituency and then ask for government aid. Many temples are built to boost egos of certain Indian Malaysians and are hardly frequented except for certain days. In many town, there are far too many temples built unnecessarily with Indian Malaysians funds. The money donated mainly by Indian Malaysians could have been well spent on education of their children.
Every individual given the Right to practice and profess Religion/s of his/her choice in accordance to Standards adopted by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948. The State and its Authorities barred from interfering in the personal beliefs and conscience of individual citizens . Disputes between Muslims & Non Muslims should be adjudicated in the Civil Courts.
Agreed but Indian Malaysians have to be responsible too when they convert. The root cause is Indian Malaysians themselves. Most of the recent cases are their (Indian Malaysians) own doing. They were never been forced to convert.
(11) Stop the victimization and direct discrimination by the Police and all other state authorities of the Indians. All Malaysians earning RM 3,000.00 and below are to be fully borne by state funded legal aid for any criminal charges they face.
There maybe cases where victimisation happened but why should taxpayers money used for criminals.
(12) The UMNO controlled government forms with immediate effect a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Kg Medan Mini Genocide, condemns the violence thereto, apologises to the Indian community on this mini genocide, undertakes not to repeat the same in future and pay a compensation of RM1,000, 000.00 for each and every citizen killed, permanently maimed, maimed or injured in this tragedy.
Agree with the need for government to come clean on this issue. Maybe compensation, what about those killed by Indian Malaysians.
(13) Each and every Indian especially the Indian poor in the aforesaid 70% Indian poor and hardcore poor category is paid compensation which is to be adjudicated and determined by the United Nations Secretary General for the aforesaid 50 years of Constitutional violations by the UMNO controlled government.
It never says how the compensation are to be determined. Why UN?
(14) All homeless Malaysians are to be provided affordable homes and not low cost flats by law. A minimum wage of RM1,000.00 for each and every Malaysian be made law.
Agreed. But there are people who refuse to move even when provided with below RM 100 rental flats! The same group of people can afford to spend on ASTRO, VCDs, booze, unnecessary celebrations etc.
(15) A Royal Commission of Inquiry is initiated to report on the aforesaid constitutional violations by the UMNO controlled government and appropriate recommendations for amongst others further affirmative action plans for especially the 70% Indian poor and hardcore poor category. (16) All forms of racial and religious discrimination, oppression and suppression of the Indians / Hindus in both the public and private sectors are stopped with immediate effect and a Race Relations Commission Act 2007, an Equal Opportunities Commission Act 2007 and a Freedom of Religion Commissions Act 2007 be passed and powerful Commission thereto be put into force to give effect to anti racism, anti Islamic extremism and anti direct discrimination practices by the UMNO controlled government in both the public and private sectors.Never seen those proposed Acts, so cant really comment.(17) The UMNO controlled government passes specific laws to give effect to the Independence of the Judiciary, the Attorney General’s Chambers, Civil service, Police Force, Army, the Malaysian Human Rights Commission and the Malaysian media and for the Opposition parties, NGOs’ Civil Society groups, Bar Council and the media not todiscriminate and side step Indian issues but instead to voice out the same without fear or favour. The Malaysian media is also to be legislated to report the real happenings especially on the 70% Indian poor and hardcore poor without fear or favour.
Most are in the works, now they want Media Controls, to report in their favour.
(18) A minimum of 20 Opposition members of Parliament are elected exclusively by the Indian Community to represent their interest at the highest political level and also as a Parliamentary Democracy check and balance and the same is safeguarded and entrenched into the Federal Constitution and which is to be increased proportionately with the increase in Parliamentary seats.
Yet another request for quota!
In summary, this is a poorly drafted memorandum,full of holes, vague, racist to the core aimed at UMNO, opportunistic and with multiple figures plucked from the sky. It only goes to show how people may be well read but not wisely educated. At least this memorandum is a bit toned down as compared to the ones purportedly addressed to Queen Elizabeth.
Being an Indian Malaysian, I’m quite embarassed with the qulity of this memorandum. I think I have all the rights to talk about HINDRAF since they claim to represent me.
Claims against the British Government
First and foremost, it was our grandparents decision to move to Malaysia for a better life would be the rootcause that brought about this situation, hundred years later. Nobody would want to imagine how Indian Malaysians would have fared if their forefathers chose to remain in India.
Their demand that the British government compensate each Indian Malaysians 2 Million ringgit is ridiculous if not stupid. I shook my head in disbelieve, asking myself how could a group of lawyers write such an outrageous memorandum which includes words such as ‘ethnic Cleansing’ when the same group of lawyers are living comfortably in this country.
I would agree that some of their demands are ought to be considered but they ( Licenses, University seat allocation etc) are something that has been brought up by other parties long time ago.
Indian Malaysian Representation in Government & Society
Indian Malaysian are broadly represented in various political parties, cabinet, government agencies, trade unions, the cabinet, private sectors and independent institutions such a NGOs. To say that Indian Malaysians are without voice is certainly not true. In fact prominent NGOs and trade unions are usually headed by Indian Malaysians.
There are far too many Indian based organisation, political parties, NGOs and not forgetting race and caste based societies. This is perhaps why everyone lost their focus and government listened to only MIC.
MIC is partly to blame because after decades in power, they became complacent, corrupt and clueless about the situation on the ground. But then again Indian Malaysians are not even united in the first place..
Indian Malaysians are reasonably represented in the Parliament and State Assemblies, local councils and city halls, therefore it would not be accurate to say Indian Malaysians have no say at all.
I wonder why HINDRAF did not request government to abolished all caste based Indian societies, when they are requesting malay rights to be abolished.
HINDRAF was born of out of frustration of certain groups with the government and particularly MIC. The same group of lawyers actually made their money out of people’s misery, usually suing the government and institutions for negligence, death in lock-up etc.
HINDRAF(Hindu Rights Action Force) may sound like a Hindu Extremist outfit, claims to represent all Indian Malaysians, when they actually focus on the plight of ethnic Tamilians. Their propaganda materials, functions and speeches are all in Tamil. The other ethnic Indian Malaysians such as Telugus, Malayalees, Ceylonees and Punjabis are ignored.
They should be renamed as Tamil Rights Action Force (TAMRAF)
The Indian Malaysian Dilemma The root cause of most of the issues highlighted by HINDRAF are Indian Malaysians own doing, not UMNO or the government.
Hindu Temples & Tamil Schools
Bulk of HINDRAF’s complains are towards the treatment of Hindu Temples and Tamil Schools. The temple issues are often played up to raise emotions. The actual fact is there are more than enough temples for Indian Malaysians. Indian Malaysians built temples eveywhere they liked, according to their whims and fancies, and then blame government when someone claims the land.
For example, there are a dozen temples in Jalan Ipoh/Sentul area when probably two would be have been sufficient. Indian Malaysians built illegally, spend millions of ringgit but do not think! Some are even built side by side while others are built for the needs of certain caste.
Why aren’t there similar issues with Chinese temples or churches? Because they are built according to needs of the population of the particular area unlike Indian temples, where it is usually built without thinking about current and future needs. Chinese temples are usually built by Associations held by group of trustees and they ensure that the own the land before they built anything on it,good example of right thinking.
So, who is at fault here?The same applies to Tamil Schools. If everything would have been done correctly and legally from the beginning, none of these would have surfaced. This is also where MIC failed.
HINDRAF also never fought for the rights of mother tongue education for Indian Malaysians of Telugu, Malayalee, Punjabi or Ceylonese descent while claiming to represent all Indian Malaysians. Yet the had the cheek to demonise UMNO and Malays.
Jobs, Business & Tertiary Education Opportunities
HINDRAF’s insinuations that Indian Malaysians are denied all the opportunitites are grossly inaccurate. There are many thriving businesses owned by Indian Malaysians although the numbers may be small in comparison to Chinese Malaysians and Malay.
There are known difficulties in getting permits and licenses that the governement could consider to be improved. . The other problem is that Indian Malaysians are engrossed in doing what they know best, I,e traditional Indian related Businesses such as Indian Groceries, Clothings, Scrap Metal, Money Changing, Jewellery etc and not venturing into businesses which are the dominated by other races. This is where they probably need support or guidance.
In terms job opportunity, Indian Malaysians are doing extremely well in professional fields. Many of them are prominent lawyers, doctors and engineers. They are widely employed in the private sector and generally does well in MNCs. Not sure why HINDRAF is bent on getting Indian Malaysian get employed more in Government Sector.
HINDRAF also never spoke about getting assistance on making Indian Malaysian more employable.
Educational & Economic Upliftment
A lorry driver relative of mine (with standard 6 education) and his friends earns more than the national average wage, drives a car and have their own house. They are forward looking families who gives emphasis to education for their children. Most Indian Malaysian have good living standards compared to say 10 years ago. Agreed that maybe it was because of their own efforts, but then it would not have been possible if there are Aparthied like policies, there are always opportunities, it’s up to us to grab it and make things work to our advantage.
HINDRAF have given little attention to the need to focus on holistic education of their own (continous learning) or for their children as only education can provide upliftment of the whole society and not Tamil Schools or temples.
Eg, You hardly see any reading materials in their homes but latest tamil movie VCDs are there all the time.
HINDRAF Followers/ Sympathisers
HINDRAF followers are mainly people frustrated with government when things are not favourable to them although many of their own follower are quite well to do. They are not grateful for what they have and want more and want it easy.
Having some close relatives and friends who are staunch HINDRAF supporters, I can easily describe the charactristics of a HINDRAF followers.
Some actually seek connections or in local language 'lobang' or any form of short cuts to achieve wealth, to get contracts, they dont mind bribing policeman to get out of trouble or favour, spend tones of money of booze, women, focus little onself and children education, able to spend excessively on private functions, jewerlley and 4D numbers.
The same followers can be found in Chinese Coffee shops with 20 bottles of beer downed, Expensive pubs (with few bottles of whiskeys finished, while embracing some foreign women) , Chow Kits & Red Light Area in Brickfields and some as far as phuket. They have no qualms to do all the above, but claims that they are being suppressed, victimised and marginalised.
They are the same people who talks nonsense half the time, loves negativity and some are racist to the core.They are also prone to listening to what others say i.e huge cow herd mentality rather than verify what they hear.
In short they are all hypocrites, I am in no way saying that I don’t do any of the above, I would feel guilty if I went to the streets claiming victimisation or suppression and later walk into 4D Number Shop and bet against the number 2511 for hundreds of ringgit.
While I agree that there are still poverty amongst Indian Malaysians, the same can be said with the Malays and even Chinese. Malaysians must be gratefull that not a single race are rich or satisfied, if there’s such a situation, it spells trouble for the whole country.
My arguments may sound flimsy, but the point is that there’s nothing to gain from pointing fingers at everybody else except ourselves. HINDRAF’s demands are grossly one-sided ignoring completely weaknesses within Indian Malaysian community.
Hindraf’s demands are not likely to help the community in the long term as they are only asking for fish and not a fishing rod or if one looks at the amount(RM) that HINDRAF demanded,perhaps they are asking for a deep sea fishing boat.
Indian Malaysians are all not angels themselves but they should not simply embarass themselves with nonsensical memorandum that we know (but fail to admit) are full of half-truths.
HINDRAF have successfully played the emotions of Indian Malaysians, triggered their inferiority complex, allowed themselves to be exploited by some political parties and used during the recent elections. While they are proud to shout’Makkal Sakthi’with full emotion, most of their arguments and demands, are with no basis whatsoever and highly unlikely to be fulfilled. HINDRAF leaders know that.
Most of the followers would have never read the both memorandum in it’s true form.Most of the demands look appealing when read in Tamil,while some are included to point out that they are at the losing end compared to Malays.Some remarks and statements don't really look atrocious or ridiculous when translated. Eg they would have realised that there would not have been any Indian Malaysians still alive if ‘ethnic cleansing’ was practised for 5 decades by the UMNO, let alone demonstrate with holding Mahatma Gandhi’s potrait on one hand while sipping Tiger beer on the other, along Jalan Ampang.