Wednesday, December 1, 2010
1. Hindraf – One Year Later, click here
2. Hindraf Part 2 – Memorandum to British Government, Click here
3. Hindraf – I rest My Case, Click here
4. Hindraf – Reader’s Comments, click here
3rd year Anniversary
3 years after the Nov 27 2008 rally at Jalan Ampang, Hindraf has become the biggest embarrassment to the Indian community in Malaysia.
It was reported that only 30 people turned up to Hindraf’s 3rd Anniversary gathering at KLCC. It was also reported that they were on an 18 hours ‘hunger strike’.
Wait a minute; they had oats and plain water during the ‘hunger strike’, taking a page from India where there are hunger strikes by various groups almost everyday. Hunger strikes in India have transformed a lot since the days of Gandhi. Gandhi went on hunger strike for days without food or liquid until he can get a concession from the British on various issues and demands. Nowadays, standard practice is just to have hunger strike from 9am to 5pm, then everyone eats and goes back. Hindraf has improved it to include oats and water!
Those present were mainly hardcore Hindraf supporters but by looking at the pictures available, I suspect some participants are clueless why they are there. For an organization which claims that they will be contesting in 35 state and 18 parliament seats, their ability to gather only 30 people for the iconic 3rd Anniversary held on Saturday certainly tells us something else.
I had several conversations with several ex-Hindraf supporters, who participated in the rally, on the anniversary and almost all of them now ridicule Uthayakumar, with many deriding him as an embarrassment to the community. While everyone, including me agrees that the demonstration on Nov 27, 2007 did awaken Indians and made them more conscious of their political power and rights, Hindraf did not capitalise it properly and positively.
Some friends who had directly been involved in the Hindraf activities at local level calls Uthayakumar and brother, the infamous exile, Waytha Moorthy, a thief and some others claims that Uthayakumar is now more concerned about donations than anything else. Many hard core supporters have deserted Hindraf or HRP now, in droves to the arms of BN and Pakatan Rakyat.
The 5 Hindraf ISA detainees have gone separate ways and have only bad things to say about each other. Manaoharan and Ganapathi Rao is in DAP while Vasanthakumar is in PKR. Not sure what happens to the other man.
Hindraf & Pakatan Rakyat
Uthayakumar also has earned the ire of DAP and PKR Indians by calling Indian leaders in these two parties as Mandores in many of their critical postings in their website and also in many of their speeches. He had derided the Indian Leaders in Pakatan Rakyat for not doing enough for Indians and recently said that even the much insulted UMNO is better than Indian leaders in Pakatan.
Indian leaders in Pakatan, including the previously ‘Makkal Sakhti’ shouting Anwar Ibrahim has distanced themselves from HRP/Hindraf as they appear to be a bit too extreme and racist.
Hindraf/HRP, realising that they are seen a extreme, racist and only interested to champion Indian causes, now aims to champion Orang Asli and minority non-bumiputras in Sabah and Sarawak. There has not been significant progress seen due to lack of resources and support coupled with problems with it’s negative image.
Hindraf have not ruled out working with even UMNO and BN if they are willing to aceed to their 18 point demands. There has been several rumours that Hindraf , tired with Pakatan Rakyat are in secret talks with BN, with money seen as the main motivation. These rumors are spread through comments in blogs and comments in sites such as Malaysiakini usually by supporters of Pakatan Rakyat. If you want to believe Pakatan Rakyat supports, it seems that Uthayakumar and Wayta Moorthy are in desperate need of financial assistance and they don’t mind working with BN.
Now they are on a road show to communicate their plans to contest in 35 state and 18 parliament seats and also to seek donations for this purpose. I bet that they will lose their deposits if they are locked in a 3 way contest against Pakatan and BN. In the end, this will only confirm the rumor that Hindraf contested to split the votes benefiting BN, in return of some financial assistance for the brothers.
This aside, one of the main reasons for Hindraf’s decline is due to their own conduct and also the Kampung Buah Pala incident where Uthayakumar promised to sleep there and defend the village at all cost. On the day of demolition, he was nowhere to be seen. This was widely reported in the Tamil media for days.
Hindraf leaders are also guilty of name calling and use of inappropriate words aimed at Pakatan Rakyat Indian leaders via various web postings and speeches. This did not go down well with many Pakatan Rakyat Indian leaders and supporter who were once Hindraf sympathizers. Their various insults aimed at Malays, Muslims and UMNO in particular invited anger even from the Malay Pakatan supporters.
Hindraf & Typical Malaysian Indian Politics
Hindraf and their leader’s conduct, approach and strategies are no way different from other Indian leaders in Malaysia, only that they are standing on the wrong platform. Indians are generally confrontational and non-compromising, hence the result that we see today where there are dozens of Indian based political parties and hundreds of NGOs to serve and fight for their rights.
From what I have observed, Indian Malaysian politics are still widely personality based. Indian middle class and working class have the tendency to blindly follow their leaders without question and are prone to switch their allegiance frequently whenever things are not in their favour. They are also having this cow herd mentality to believe what their preferred leaders say without verifying facts and has short memory as in other Malaysians, mudah lupa syndrome.
And Indians tends to be extremely emotional when it comes to temples and Tamil schools. The irony is that while they can find millions to built temples, funds for schools are hard to come by. The recent death by self immolation of an Indian in Puchong, who protested the demolition of store adjacent to a temple, is testimony of how emotional can they become when it comes to temples, no matter that it is equally stupid as well, with respect to the victim.
Their expectations on their anointed leaders are always high due to their own blind belief on personalities. They can easily get agitated when provoked or when there are no action or activities by their leaders. They turn to someone else when they hear something good in store for them with checking the facts or whether the promises are able to be delivered or even logical, in the first place.
Samy Vellu’s and MIC’s outright rejections are due to this and this phenomenon is inflicting Pakatan Rakyat as well.
This was the also reason with majority Indians switched their support to Pakatan Rakyat in the 2008 elections and Anwar Ibrahim, who frequently used Hindraf’s battle cry ‘Makkal Sakhti’ in his rallies nationwide, became their hero although the same Anwar Ibrahim was in UMNO for 16 years and was part of the government Hindraf claims has been discriminating and marginalizing them.
And of recent, many of these Indians , tired of all the rhetoric and empty promises by Pakatan Rakyat leaders, looked elsewhere and found new BN leader Najib more accommodating. Najib’s little India Project was widely publicized in the Tamil media and was received well. Najib has been quietly engaging the Indian based NGOs and community groups by side-stepping MIC and this has yielded positive results and improved image of BN.
Najib’s attendance to various lunches and diners organized by Indian ethnic groups such as the Telugus, Malayalees and Punjabi’s are unprecedented and seen positive for such groups who have never been able to invite any PM, DPM or even non-Indian leaders before.
Najib is also said to be behind myindians.com, a anonymous website said to be spearheaded by 3 of the most effective Indian NGOs, Sri Murugan Centre (SMC) , EWRF and another NGO that I can’t recall. There are slew of full page colour advertisements advertisement of this website on Tamil newspaper and frequent airing on Tamil radio channels. The website provides useful information on citizenship issues, loans, scholarships, funding, skills training etc. It also provides a generally positive outlook on Indian Malaysians and how they can solve their problems with their own efforts.
The NGO’s appear to have been provided with funds by Najib to run this apart from government’s own road shows alongside MIC in towns and cities with significant Indian population. It has received positively by the community who rather trust NGOs than any political parties. Commendable community work carried out in the past by SMC and EWRF further lends credence that this time, government is serious about assisting Indians.
It can be safely said that 60% of Indians now view Najib and BN positively though only 40% are likely to be sure votes. On the other hand, a large number of middle class Indians are still skeptical and are deemed fence sitters. This group is weary of the old MIC and BN while not supporting Pakatan Rakyat entirely. There are also still significant percentage of Indian who is still hardcore supporters of Pakatan Rakyat, who are in denial and getting increasingly unhappy with some loud, constantly politicking Indian leaders in Pakatan Rakyat.
As for Hindraf, they will be forever etched in the history for their tsunami inducing rally, and their legacy will remain just that.
Monday, November 29, 2010
CAT, SELCAT and whatnot being separately announced and established by different Pakatan State Government. How common!
Support Letter Issue in Selangor – Internal Investigations for greater transparency! OMG!!, the real culprit freed’
Camera in MB’s Office – Internal Investigations for greater transparency! Until now, there has been no further news on the probe.
Sand mining corruption allegations – Internal Investigations for greater transparency! Until now, there has been no further news on the probe and MACC has stepped in.
PAS Aduns says PKNS is corrupt and mismanaged – MB Khalid as usual orders
Internal Audit Committee to probe. Nothing out of this probe yet.
Yayasan Selangor Lunch – RM 300 -800K about to be spent and the chairman & MB was not even aware about it. Though MACC has stepped in now.
Two more Hindu Temples to be built in Selangor with Pakatan government support despite nearly thousand other temples available and hardly patronized in Selangor.
Millions of ringgit channeled towards both legal and illegal Hindu temple by a publicity crazy State Executive Councilor which brings no tangible benefits to the community. Good example of how state resources are channeled towards unproductive projects.
2 no-plastic Bags day in 2011 (though experts around the world have said that this does not really help the environment) while No plastic bags at all in Penang in 2011 while it appears to be all day plastic bag week in Kedah and Kelantan. A good example of consistent implementation of ‘Common Policy Framework’.
RM 100 for senior citizens in Penang. I am still laughing at Lim Guan Eng’s TV interview when he mentioned that he did not know that Penang Turf Club had betting license. Then, what is horse racing all about, Guan Eng?? And your supporters think that gaffes and political comedy is exclusive domain of BN leaders. Not sure if such hand out is available in Kelantan, Kedah and Selangor.
Selangor speaker Teng’s explanation of ‘OMG, real culprit freed’ tweet provided the much need humour amid tense political situation in Selangor. He deserves best comedian award for year 2010.
Water rate increase in Penang – A good move (seriously)
Freedom of Information bill in Selangor – Please come clean on Ronnie Liu, KSSB and PKNS first! Penang to follow while 20 year old PAS government in Kelantan and New state government in Kedah are not even looking at it. Sounds more like ‘Freedom of Misinformation bill’ in the works. Another good example of how ‘common policy framework’ thrown down the drain.
No Announcement of any Major Economic Initiative by world renowned Selangor Economic Advisor, Anwar Ibrahim, who was busy criticizing APCO, NKRA, NEP, ETP, GTP etc, He was also busy finding ways to delay his trial and campaigning for his favourites candidates at PKR elections.
Khalid Ibrahim’s support for Greater KL plan (not sure if this is endorsed by his world renowned economic advisor) and his flip flop on support for Menara Warisan.
Continued ban on several mainstream media covering official state functions, meetings and now State Assembly by Penang and Kedah state governments while others invite mainstream media to only provide good news. A good example of media freedom.
Continued lies perpetrated by party held media such as Suara Keadilan eg, Felda, Perak MB Zambry issue etc. Another example Pakatan’s of free and fair media. Free and fair to them only and freedom to lie.
Increase in Bumiputra quota for Housing in Kedah – not sure how far if this is true, but can’t remember any other policy announced by the PAS led state government.
Rapid establishment of a Sin City (Kota Damansara)
Defections after defections from PKR, Zul Nordin to Wee Choo Keong further strengthens Malaysian democracy.
Introduction of various new methods and techniques of vote manipulations at PKR elections which also created a new world record in terms of voter turnouts, thus upstaging Bersih 2.0 with their own version of Free and Fair elections, Kotor 2.1.
No new ‘asset declarations’ by State Exco as promised by Selangor State Government. Previous ‘asset declarations’, or rather income declarations, has gone missing from the state government website. I guess this is in line with implementation of Freedom of Misinformation bill.
On the other hand, Lim Guan Eng appears to be still waiting for ‘asset declaration form’ from federal government. This elusive piece of form appears to too complex for anyone even as smart as Lim and his state government to create, hence Lim’s wait continues.
Others major highlights and learning points from Pakatan Rakyat in 2010
1. You can be a Deputy President and future Deputy Prime Minister or even Prime Minister with the support of less than 10% of your own party members.
2. You can start your own PKR branch and become a branch chairman with only one member, yourself.
3. A person who lies continuously, slanders others at will, attempted to grab power undemocratically, corrupt and abuses power are deemed as ‘gift of god’. So we have many ‘Gifts Of God’ amongst politicians in Malaysia.
4. It’s ok to call own PKR party member ‘Pariah’ and later give speech hitting out on BN about racism.
5. You are permitted to forge or create any documents as long as the party looks good in the eyes of law and public.
6. Those with experience in drafting and creating ‘Statuary Declarations’ out of nothing will be considered for ‘Information Chief’ post.
7. You can be DAP state chairman even if you only have 40% support of party delegates and the fact that there are 10 others who are far more popular.
8. Being a gangster is a good career prospect if you are residing in Hulu Selangor and Kota Raja.
9. Dish out funds recklessly to Hindu Temples and Schools, you can be the next ‘Sivaji the Boss’.
10. Free water continues to be enjoyed by the rich while the poor pays in Selangor as per Merakyatkan Ekonomi policy.
I am sure there are many other path breaking achievements that may have been left out. Feel free to create your own list.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
DAP elections in Perak ended in similar fashion as did in PKR albeit not as bad. By opening enough branches and voters on your side means you control the state, no matter whether the candidate or team is good and capable. It is quite baffling how these elections systems work. It's not that this does not happen in BN. ut Pakatan is supposedly superior and practises far superior demecracy, as they say.
At the end, no matter which party, only those with influence and resources win, not the candidate who is not corrupt, wise, smart and honest. The available post are rotated amongst select few and losers are given less powerful post just to pacify them, hence the fate of Kulasegaran.
Just before the Hulu Selangor by elections, I was invited by a PKR supporter, who is a local ethnic based organization leader, to join his proposed new branch. His main motivation appears to be a branch chairman and get any allocations funds that are made available. He says that his family, friends and relatives should make up the minimum number of members required to open a branch and urged me to join him or at least on a joint venture basis open one near my place.
He says that he will take care of day to day running and that I just need to show up when only necessary. He says not only PKR pays well, he can even get BN to pay him, especially during elections where he says he can get the money and there is no need to account for it at all, since no one knows who the members will vote. Now you know why there has been massive attempt to manipulate PKR elections, even at local branch level.
Back to DAP, even at national level, DAP is controlled by the same group. Losers in national level party elections are appointed to certain high level positions. Important post such as Chairman, General Secretary and Party advisers are usually rotated among a select few. Such unique brand of democracy in DAP.
What I don’t quite understand is what is the differences between DAP and PKR. Both claims to be multi racial and both espouses objectives which is not in many way dissimilar. Then why not merge these 2 entities. The same can be said on Gerakan and PPP in BN, why not merge?
As we all know, personality and not party ideology has been a mainstay in BN for a long time, so that’s an old story but what about DAP and PKR, who has been promising a ‘New Hope for Malaysia’, why can’t they merge and propose a more formidable opposition front to Malaysian.
I wonder why DAP has so far maintained ‘elegant silence’ on various blunders and foolish actions by Anwar and PKR but not quite with PAS. A certain race related pact between PKR and DAP, as alleged by Kulim MP makes a lot of sense. This may be part of ‘New Hope For Malaysia’, DAP maybe counting on PKR to deliver Malay votes while DAP can surely deliver non-malay votes. Hence, there is no specific reason to rely on PAS.
Could race and personality be the reason? I am sure it is. Party ideology and principles are not important, continued prominence and existence of certain race and personalities appear to be more important in both PKR and DAP.
Certain political leaders aspirations to be come Prime Minister and Deputy Prime minister could be the main motivation too.
If both PKR and DAP are merged, it is highly likely that some Deputy Prime Minister, Minister materials from DAP could be drowned out by even more power obsessed candidates from PKR, if they ever find their way to Putrajaya. So policies, social justice, democracy, reforms and constitution are secondary and simply tools to gain power
Monday, November 15, 2010
For example, if any other prominent leader in another country tries to do a Sept 16 government takeover and fails, he would have been now shunned by the populace and become a political deadwood by now.
But in Malaysia, a politician’s personality, charisma and oratory skill is seen far more important regardless whether the leaders lies continuously unabated, as in the case of Anwar Ibrahim, who would have been politically dead if he would have done the same (Sept 16) in another country.
Anwar is more of a celebrity rather than a principled politician who would have resigned if he fails to fulfill his high profiled (and life changing to many) promises. Like celebrities, he has more fans than supporters. Fans are unlikely to shun their favourite celebrities even if the famed ones lies, take drugs, cheats and even murders someone, unlike political supporter who are likely to shun such characters and look at other prospective leaders.
So if Anwar says something stupid, like his comments linking Zaid’s outburst to certain article in Utusan Malaysia and summing it up as another conspiracy in the works , his fans are likely to forgive him. If he promises another Sept 16, many fans would still be around to support Anwar’s dream project.
I am at loss that Zaid Ibrahim and many PKR supporters realizes the man Anwar is only now, even though the numbers many be still small, for now. I am also at loss on DAP and PAS continued support for Anwar as a leader of Pakatan Rakyat despite the Sep 16 event and also never commented on continuous blunders, foolish and childish comments made by Anwar.
The fact that Anwar has never acknowledged various discrepancies, money politics and manipulations at even the initial PKR branch level elections only shows that Anwar is in denial that his own party and it’s elections are in a mess. He choses to blame Trojan horses, UMNO, saboteur etc and never admitted that the PKR HQ and Elections committee are incompetent to handle elections at such a scale.
Many local PKR supporters there, which have tripled further to Hulu Selangor by-elections, have openly said that they have never ever seen manipulations of local elections in such a large scale. Many would have by now, resigned and returned to BN.
The elections have now been withheld and there is no news on what actions would be taken by the PKR HQ. From what has been reported so far, there has not been any decision taken on all those cancelled, withheld and postponed branch level elections and PKR HQ saw it fit to continue with their national level elections.
Turnouts for all branch & national level elections have been extremely poor except for some miraculous turnouts reported in Sabah. PKR and Pakatan leaders used to goad BN on actual number of votes obtained by BN in general elections and by-elections saying BN does not command support from half of the electorates. Does a less than 10% voter’s turnout in PKR elections legitimize an election and its elected leaders?
Worse, the self appointed democratic icon of Malaysia himself is not democratically elected as the head of his own political party. Even PKR members are baffled with this and no one including the current PKR President has offered any explanation.
With all this democratic mess, some PKR leaders had the cheek to comment on Bersih 2.0 objectives.
PKR is certainly provides a 'new hope for Malaysia' and Malaysians had the opportunity of previewing the best electoral practises in any democracy, ever.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Here’s the feedback from a splinter group of Makkal Sakhti
Manmohan Singh unworthy to open “Little India” in Kuala Lumpur – MMSP
The Malaysia Makkal Sakthi Party (MMSP) Youth Wing said that it does not want Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to open the “Little India” in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, according Free Malaysia Today (FMT) news report Wednesday. N. Ramu, the Youth Wing’s chief said that Manmohan was not the right person because of his government’s failure to protect the Tamils in Sri Lanka, the report said. “We feel that the New Delhi administration virtually did nothing to protect Sri Lankan Tamils.
He just folded his hands and watched thousands of Tamils being killed,” Ramu had said. “Manmohan Singh was voiceless, action-less and care-less to save the besieged community even though numerous reports from the United Nations and independent human rights groups called for urgent action to save the Tamils,” Ram had told FMT.
It is reported that MMSP Youth Wing plans to submit a protest memorandum to the Indian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur Thursday.Manmohan Singh opening the township would draw condemnation from Tamils around the world given Birckfields’ strong link with Tamil diaspora, Ram had said.
This is simply a publicity gimmick by the youth wing of Makkal Sakhti, taking a leaf from aggressive approach of Youth Wings of other political parties. This protest received wide coverage in the Tamil Newspapers giving rather unknown Mr Ramu huge publicity within the community, whether good or adverse, I am not sure.
What readers should know is that Sri Lankan Tamils killed during the civil war between the Sri Lankan Government and Tamil Tigers, were Sri Lankan citizens, therefore there are absolutely no reason for Mr Manmohan Singh to interfere in the affairs of another sovereign country.
Readers should also know that apart from the similar language (tamil), there are minimal link between Sri Lankan Tamils and Tamils in South India, even less to Tamils in Malaysia.
These smart alecks from Makkal Sakhti are not even aware of this. While they claimed that Manmohan Singh ‘folded his hands and watched thousand of Sri Lankan Tamils being killed’ I wonder where was Mr Ramu and his brilliant Youth members during the war.
If Mr Ramu was concerned enough, he should have arranged his troops to defend the Tamils. They should have gone to Sri Lanka and defended their blood brothers since Mr Manmohan Singh and India were of no help during the war. Stupidity at the highest order!!
He comes another well read but uneducated lawyer, representing the original Hindraf.
Website: www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
International media attention on Malaysian Indian poor brought to Manmohan’s K.L visit.(Media Statement 25/10/10)
In a series of media statements HINDRAF and HRP has appealed to the Prime Minister of India to take up the issues of the violation of Human Rights against the Indian minority in Malaysia and about their welfare.The Press Trust of India, the official news agency of India carried a statement on the 20th of Oct “ P.Waytha Moorthy, the leader of a prominent Hindu rights group today appealed to the Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh, ahead of his visit to Malaysia to take up the issue of “serious human rights violations” of the ethnic community with his Malaysian counterpart. This statement was feeder to the media throughout India.
On the 23rd of Oct, The Hindu, one of the oldest daily in South India elaborated on that statement. Welcoming Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s planned visit to Malaysia next week, the Hindu Rights Action Force Makkal Sakthi (HINDRAF) has urged him to raise issues concerning the welfare of ethnic Indian minority in that country.
They appealed to Dr. Singh to show a sense of “moral responsibility” towards the Malaysian Indiansby placing the “concerns” of ethnic Indians on the agenda with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. Referring to the planned opening of “Little India” in Kuala Lumpur, Mr. Uthayakumar of the political wing of HINDRAF wrote: “The significance is only symbolic. Little India is no more than a little flower bazaar.
Of greater significance to the Indian community in Malaysia will be … the provision of scholarships … [for] study in Indian universities.”In making this statement HINDRAF and HRP was again bringing focus to the issues of discrimination against high performing Malaysian Indian students in the awards of scholarships, places in Universities and in the matriculation Pre –U stream in Malaysia.
Meanwhile on the 22nd of October, BBC Tamil radio carried a live interview with Mr.Waytha Moorthy , the Chairperson of HINDRAF, on the status of the Indians in Malaysia. On the question of whether any of the utterances coming out of the UMNO General Assembly, meant any difference, Mr Waythamoorthy’s responded that it was all just rhetoric coming as it does just a few months before a possible snap poll in 2011.
Waytha Moorthy reiterated that HINDRAF’s struggle was a long struggle and it is a peaceful struggle to achieve a better future for the Indian minority in Malaysia.All of this attention to the issue of the welfare of the Indian Minority rights coming up as it does on the heels of the Indian Prime Minister’s visit does raise a few interesting questions. T
he politics within Malaysia does not now seem to have answers for the distressed situation of the Indian community in Malaysia? There is plenty of rhetoric, but little in the form of effective solutions. There is clear need for change in the political arrangements within Malaysia if this problem is to be ultimately resolved. There is now a need for intervention.
1) Given the intricacies of International diplomacy will India intervene and accept to play any role in this issue?
2) What will be the ramification of an Indian community that continues to be in distress in Malaysia to India and to India-Malaysia relations as India develops in stature around the region?
3) Is business and regional security, the only plane on which India will engage with Malaysia, does it not have a moral responsibility for the welfare of people of Indian origin here due to its historical and cultural affinity, like the rest of the Islamic world have for the plight of the Palestinians?
4) Given the growing business clout of India should it not use some of that tobargain a better life for the Indians in Malaysia?
5) Will India not benefit from an upliftment of the Indian community here inMalaysia?
6) And finally how will Malaysia view intervention from India?N.Ganesan , the Advisor to Hindraf and HRP adds, “ it is timely, with Dr,Manmohan Singh’s visit that some of these questions, be squarely addressed. Ignoring them – Dr. Singh and the Government of India have not responded to several approaches by HINDRAF and HRP for positive intervention on these issues, is to lose a significant opportunity for leadership.
India as a leading nation in the region, coupled with the cultural and historical affinity to the Indians in the country does have a moral responsibility to intervene. Does the Government of India have the vision to see it in this light?”
P. UthayakumarSecretary General (pro-tem)
Uthayakumar appears to be slightly smarter than Mr Ramu of Makkal Sakhti as here he realizes that Indian Prime Minister cannot interfere in the affair of another country but still hold Mr Manmohan Singh ‘morally responsible’ for Indians elsewhere in the globe.
Uthayakumar appears to be living in a world of his own. Uthaya should know better of the situation in India where scholarship or seats in Indian Universities are also allocated based of Caste Quota. Read here for more information
Uthaya should have known proposals for slight increase or decrease in any caste quota has led to various demonstrations by various caste group. How is that different than in Malaysia in terms of affirmative action? Uthaya should also study this quota system in India where it favours the upper class Indians rather than the Dalits (untouchables) and numerous attempts to revise these quota has met with strong resistance from the rich and politically influential upper class Indians.
The situation is actually reverse in Malaysia, where every year, the seats reserved for non-malays are increasing. There are also PTPTN for funding should anyone (regardless of race) chose to study in any accredited colleges or private universities. There is neither such facility nor funding available in India.
Similar predicament is faced by lower caste Indians in gaining employment in the government and private sector. In Malaysia, the government is begging the non-Malays to join the civil service.
Uthayakumar should also realise that Mr Manmohan Singh has far more headaches to take care in his own country rather than worry about Indians who have far better life in Malaysia. In fact, Mr Manmohan Singh might have been grateful than thousand of Indian citizens are gainfully employed in Malaysia. In India there is almost 100 Million Indian who lives with less than USD 1 per day.
Uthayakumar thinks Malaysians are stupid and can be taken in by his constant criticism and half truths. He also thinks Manmohan Singh is dumb enough to believe what he has to say. Mr Manmohan Singh clearly knows that it is his ‘moral responsibility’ to manage problem faced by Indian citizens as a matter of priority, and he clearly knows that it might not be even achieved in his lifetime. He do not have to listen to some brilliant lawyer from Malaysia who wants him to intervene for the benefit of few thousand Indians who happened to be Malaysian citizens. It can’t sound more brilliant than this.
I suggest Mr Uthaya kumar spread his wings to India and fight for the rights of the lower class Indians who face greater challenge in terms discrimination, police brutality, corruption and manipulation of the rich. He may even end up replacing Mr Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister Of India if he succeeds, something that is not possible in Malaysia. He can then be ‘morally responsible’ for the welfare of Indians around the globe, that includes Malaysian Indians.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
This might bring about another round a chaos within the residents there. As I have written before, both Pakatan Rakyat and BN are just pandering to the newly found political power of Indians without thinking about whether there is such a need for another temple in this country.
It was reported before that there are about 18,000 Hindu temples in various sizes and locations around the country to cater for about 1.5 million.
Out of that, I believe, based on my estimates roughly only 10% visit temples on weekly basis consistently, the rest only go to temples whenever there are some religious and non-religious events and celebrations or when somebody decides to give free food or slaughter some cows in the name of sacrifice.
A decently sized temple cost roughly RM 2 Million. The more elaborate ones cost 2 or 3 times more.
I would rather be happier if the Selangor State government spent the money on children education. If they chose cheaply to focus on getting Indian votes, might as well provide financial assistance for Indian students or at least buy some books for Tamil School library around the state.
That would be a reasonable good investment that would certainly go a long way improving the social economical situation of the community.
While Hindu temple can be a sensitive issue. I don’t see a reason why any more Hindu temple to be built in this country.
What is a Hindu temple contribution to the Indian Community as a whole? Apart from providing a place for them to worship various deities of their choice, basically none.
It does not pay well to the priest, it is costly to maintain, it is usually headed manned by people with political interest, it has been proven to split local community into various factions.
Worst, power struggle in the past has resulted in frictions within groups resulting in violence and even deaths. Few thousand goats has lost it’s life at temples, sacrificed in the name of god, even though there is no such requirements in the first place.
Every year, annual temple celebrations are held costing a bomb, an event that last for a day. Multiply that by 18,000 and imagine how much of money are spent down the drain in one day.
If it could be proven that these celebrations and prayers do contribute to the well being of the community and enhancement of their life standards as well as wealth, I have no complains or disputes.
However, this cannot be proven if you look at the high crime rate, poverty and overall condition of sections of the community.
What is definitely proven is that, Indians and families who provide strong emphasis and invest in their children’s education has seen an overall improvement to their lives in the long term.
Spend more on vocational training, scholarship and entrepreneur development. This will ensure visible and positive returns and not some prayers and celebrations that are not proven to improve the Indian community.
Instead of building the temple in Shah Alam, why not go on a registration drive in Shah Alam to register all Indian school drop outs and enroll them onto some skill training.
Therefore, governments and Indian leaders should make full use of their brains rather than their heart when assessing Indian issues. It is the mindset that needs to be changed and the solution is certainly not building another temple or spending to maintain existing ones.
As for Pakatan Rakyat, they may succeed in becoming the ultimate Indian Champions but will certainly will be losers in the long term if they do not asses the issues appropriately and take proactive and pragmatic measures to assist the community.
Repeating the same tricks of charming Indians by building temples will not last long, have they not seen enough of BN using the same tricks for more than half a century? Don’t Pakatan Indian leaders have the guts and brains to do something more positive to change the mindsets of Indians.
At the moment, none dare to be the visionary and do something different for the community and assist them where it is needed most. At the moment, looks like they just want votes and support to stay in power.
When Pakatan Rakyat criticized BN government’s 100 Storey Warisan Merdeka tower, they don’t realise that they are also just doing the same here in Selangor by building 2 Hindu Temples that does not bring about any benefits to the Indian or local community. On top of this, millions of Ringgit of tax payers money are also being donated carelessly to temples in Selangor, just to boost the popularity of state government and certain Exco Leader.
At least, the Warisan Merdeka tower will certainly result in numerous economic spin off and benefits various sections of businesses and people as a whole. What does the hindu temple bring about if not more problems in the future!.
Friday, September 24, 2010
I read recently that Selangor State Government is planning to rebuilt the controversial Kampung Jawa Hindu Temple which was demolished in 2007. It must be acknowledged that the demolition has lead to the Hindraf demonstration and is also one of the main emotional reason why Indian Malaysians chose to vote for Pakatan Rakyat in the 2008 General Elections.
Recent sentiments suggest that Indians have been slowly returning their support to Najib, rather than MIC and the fact that Pakatan Rakyat have not done much for the Indians has prompted some Indian leaders to take some race centric actions to shore up the support for Pakatan Rakyat as well as promote themselves as champions of the Malaysian Indians.
One of the easiest way to fool Malaysian Indians and get their support is to do any good for their Hindu Temples. Even if you are a well known crook or gangster, temple committees will welcome you with open arms as long as you donate to new temple building or maintaining temples.
Selangor Executive Councillor, Xavier Jayakumar knows this well and has taken full advantage. The generous Selangor state government reportedly allocated RM 4million grants to be distributed specifically to Hindu Temples in Selangor.
With cash in hand, there is no other easier way to shore up support and also promote oneself. Xavier, armed with a cheque book has been to every nook and corner of the state, visiting every other temple he could find and donate specific amount depending on the size of population and temple in a specific area. He has reportedly even provided grants to illegal temples in certain locations just to please the Indians.
Wherever he goes, he never fails to invite all 3 major Tamil newspapers with him. His face can be seen in all major Tamil dailies on a daily basis (this is no exaggeration). His face is even more popular and recognizable as compared to other BN or Pakatan leaders.
There are questions though over his conduct. If he is sincere enough in assisting the temples, he could have just allocated the RM 4million accordingly and distribute it at one go in his office or perhaps a function attended by MB Khalid and other Exco members. Why the need to go to every other temples and ensure that the whole press entourage is there with him if not for the reason of regular publicity.
Coming back to the proposed rebuilding of Kampung Jawa temple, there are many questions to be answered before the state government embark on building yet another Hindu temple in Selangor.
Personally, I do not agree with using tax payers money ( I am a rate payer in Selangor) to provide grants to temples for building of new temples or even for the purpose of maintenance.
As we all are well aware, the number of Hindu Temples in Malaysia far outnumber the mosques and churches or Chinese temples, though the population percentage of Hindus are less than 1.5 million.
It must be noted that unlike other religions, it is not a must for Hindus to go temples to pray. It is more of a objective of community bonding, therefore there is no need for temples to be built everywhere.
In Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, the number of temples is far more than sufficient and majority are hardly patronized unless there are some so-called religious events or festivals. You don’t have to go far, just drive along Jalan Ipoh where there are at least 5 temples or go to Batu Caves where there are at least 15 other temples of various sizes apart from the humungous Batu Caves temple.
Questions For The State Government
The first question a responsible government should ask is, aren’t there far too many temples in the state.
Why there are new temples continue to be built or rebuilt when there are sufficient temples readily available to the so-called pious Indians to pray.
Why should government allow new temples to be built if the temple committee have no funds or rather no clues on how the finance the building.
Why taxpayers money is being spent annually to upkeep the temples? Why built the temples in the first place if the temple committee or local residents has no clue on how to finance the upkeep of the temple.
Why aren’t the so-called devotees of the temples contributing to the upkeep of the temples. This is the usual case everywhere where, Indians want temples within the vicinity but refuses to even contribute RM 10 every month.
Don’t we know that contributing funds to temples will only result in temple committee and local residents becoming complacent and end up begging the government every year?
Why is there a need to rebuilt Kampung Jawa temple. Has the residents in the vicinity been deprived of opportunity to fulfill their religious obligations due to unavailability of temples?? Obviously the answer is no.
Is Xavier Jayakumar trying to stir up Indian or rather Hindu emotions and be their ultimate champion by rebuilding the kampong Jawa temple?
Has Selangor state government reviewed the existence of both legal and illegal temples in the state?
Has the state government acted against illegal temples in the state and taken some action to remove those temples?
Or are the State government and Jayakumar waiting for landowner of the illegal temples to raise eviction notices before they jump in to defend the temples, find altenative site and eventually turn themselves into the heroes of the Hindu community is the affected areas?
Where would the grants for the temples end up? It would be usually used completely for the temple annual celebrations, with no other benefits for the community. In another words, it will end as a sheer waste of money finished for a one day event. If they can conduct the annual celebrations without state government’s assistance before, why would they need it now?
Despite calls to utilize temples as community centres with activities for youth and children, very few temples do so. If this is the case, why should tax payers money is spent for the benefit of few temple committee members to spend and finish the funds for the annual celebrations?
Use the funds for Long Term Productive Purposes
The state government could well focus on uplifting the economic condition of the Indian community.
The RM 4 million could be well spent on assisting the community by providing loans for small businesses, single mothers and more importantly on youth whether in the form of scholarship or even technical training for secondary school drop outs.
Imagine how many students or youth could benefit from the RM 4 million annually? Imagine how many families could benefit in the long term if one of their family members are accorded scholarship or more importantly technical training.
Why can’t the state government and a learned Exco think wisely and act prudently with tax payers funds and use it for productive purposes which would provide long terms positive returns to the community.
Pakatan Rakyat and it’s Indian representatives continue to play the same BN tune and use the same strategies, which is to fool the community by playing religious sentiments without any long term benefits to the upliftment of the community.
Hindus and Indians needs leaders to inspire them to do the right thing, which is to focus on improving their educations levels of their children , attain necessary skills suitable at current times and viable businesses.
Indian leaders should scold, cajole and inspire Indians to invest in education and not on temples and unnecessary religious and non-religious events and celebrations that does not bring about any benefits to the Hindus.
It is a well known fact that Indians spends thousands on weddings, cultural events and celebrations but don’t even subscribe to any newspaper or books at home.
Has the hundred of years of building temples and worshipping them resulted in Hindus living above poverty line with reasonable living standards and known to be a respectable community?
The answer is obviously no? Hindraf blames BN, Pakatan also blames BN for the poverty and marginalisation of Indians. Why not blame the Hindu gods for not bringing about any improvement to the socio-economic well being of the community despite building thousands of temples and worshipping them for more than hundred years??
My anwer is simple, God do not help anyone who does not help themselves. Therefore Mr Jayakumar, do Selangor need more temples?
Monday, September 13, 2010
Not much is going to change, not in my lifetime, I guess. The only option or hope that we have to minimise this unnecessary friction between communities lies with our children. The current Malaysian adults, who mainly grew up and went to school mainly with their own kind are unlikely to change. They are so used to their own race, they don’t care and they do not have the time to understand other races, their cultures, habits, needs and wants. By the time they are released to mingle with other races, either in the universities or workplace, their minds is already tuned to look at things from their own racial perspective.
The only hope of bridging all the races closer is to start with the young and get them to go to the same school. Close all vernacular schools; there is no other way or no other options. 1Malaysia will remain sounding hollow if nothing is done to get all Malaysian children together which also means, integrating or merging Tamil, Chinese and National schools.
Whenever this suggestion of ‘One School For All’ is brought up, there are always opposition by various groups claiming that it is against the constitution to question the existence of vernacular schools. The Constitution is not caste in stone and there should not be any attempt to stop discussion on certain articles of the constitution that may be outdated and unsuitable for the future of this country and education in certainly one of them.
Recent debate between Nurul Izzah Anwar and Perkasa’ Ibrahim Ali ended with the latter highlighting that provisions of special privileges are not debatable. The same happened when MCA said that it is against the constitution to question the existence of Chinese or Tamil Schools.
Recent incidents also revealed that after 53 years, Many Malaysians are not fluent in the national language. I also noticed that many champions of Ketuanan Rakyat, Malaysian Malaysia and 1Malaysia are not fluent in the national language which beg a question, are they taught properly in the Tamil and Chinese schools? I notice the same with some of our sportsman who struggles to deliver a sentence when interviewed.
Apart from language fluency, we have politicians, political analyst, academics criticizing various forms of racism in schools and government departments including recent incidents involving teachers in the national school. But no one (except for few like Mukhriz Mahathir) appears to be brave enough to suggest that children of all races should go to the same school.
Intergration of all schools will certainly result in proportionate number of non-malay educationist and administrators in the single school stream. This itself would be a balancing factor and minimise occurrences of racism in schools. Apart from this, best practice of all these schools can be shared and chances are, quality of the merged schools will be better than before. Government can then finance all schools equitably.
The other issue is of course the language medium.
To defend their schools, vernacular school champion’s claims children are better taught in their own mother tongue. To support their theory, they came up with various studies which is skewed to favor the existence of vernacular schools. Chinese and Tamil schools champions claims that they would lose their identity when suggestions of sekolah Wawasan arose during the Mahathir years. What identity? Inability to speak Bahasa Malaysia?
If they have genuinely and seriously believe their own theory of children should be taught in their own mother tongue, they should have chased away close to 70,000 non-Chinese students who goes to Chinese Schools. Or at least, they should not encourage such enrollment in the first place.
Without the need for any academic studies, there is an excellent example nearby in Singapore, where the population breakdown is similar to Malaysia. There are no Chinese or Tamil Schools and everyone goes to the same school. Everyone is made or rather forced to learn their own mother tongue but more importantly the rest of the subjects are taught in English. This real and live example alone is sufficient to debunk the theory of our local vernacular champions that the young must be taught in their mother tongue.
Apart from this ridiculous theory, these champions appears to hide the facts that Mandarin and Tamil is not the mother tongue of significant population of non-Malays in the country. For example why not MIC champion the need for Punjabi, Malayalam or Telugu Schools, as these ethnic groups combined are as big as the ethnic Tamils in the country
While we cannot reason with MCA and MIC on the suggested abolishment of vernacular schools, it’s rather sad that the so-called government in waiting, Pakatan Rakyat fully supports vernacular schools. Pakatan Rakyat was also rallied against the teaching of Science and Maths in English. Do we want to hand the reigns of the country and future of our children to this non-forward thinking coalition? Who else can we depend on when it is for sure that BN is unlikely to change the status quo.
It appears that no one wants to think practically when it comes to national intergration. Malaysians with certain agenda have become too smart, they come up with various studies to prove that they are right at all cost. They resist change which is not in their favour or does not fit their agenda though it might benefit the society at large.
Practically, looking at the Singapore example, have anyone lost their identity, forget their mother tongue or their culture or even religion by going to the same school? Have race relations gone from bad to worse in Singapore when they started to go to the same school?
Whoever who thinks so must be some well read but poorly educated morons and looks like they are well represented in BN, Pakatan Rakyat and various race based NGOs and education groups.
If I am a prominent blogger or politician, I would have, in two or three days, be charged for sedition for questioning the constitution. Opponents to the 'One School for all' cannot and will not even bother to debate merits of of the proposal and will always cowardly hide behind the seditions act will calls to defend the constitution.
Friday, September 3, 2010
By Yoges Palaniappan (Malaysian Insider)
September 03, 2010
GEORGE TOWN, Sept 3 — DAP publicity chief Tony Pua said today the party would send a letter to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) next week to complain about the doctored photograph purportedly showing party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng slaughtering a cow.
Pua said the photograph was a slander against Lim, the chief minister of Penang.
Lim has denied being involved in the slaughtering of the cow, calling it an attempt to defame him.
Pua said MCMC has the power to act on the issue.
“Recently, MCMC prosecuted a blogger for a satirical post although the posting clearly indicated that it was only a work of fiction,” he said, referring to blogger Irwan Abdul Rahman who was charged in the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court yesterday with posting the article “TNB to sue WWF over Earth Hour”.
Irwan, popularly known as Hassan Skodeng, was accused of sending false comments in the article on the blog nose4news.wordpress.com with the intention to offend others.
Pua, the Petaling Jaya Utara MP, said the doctored photograph was a bigger crime and it deserved serious attention from the MCMC.
This reminds me of the incident 2 years ago when doctored pictures of Najib with Altantuya appeared on the net. It was found later that the pictures were doctored by PKR’s honourable Party Strategist, Tian Chua. DAP then did not make any noise or even reprimanded PKR to take action against Tian Chua. In the act of fairness, DAP style , they did not report the matter to MCMC.
There are hundreds of embarrassing or even naughty doctored pictures of both BN and opposition leaders in the net, why report only this and why now?. Tony Pua says that doctoring pictures is far bigger crime, so will an enlightened Tony Pua report the same on pictures doctored by Tian Chua?
The same selective methods has been employed by DAP in the support letter scandal. They appears just to take action at party level but refuses to report what they know from the scandal to the police or MACC. Why only sack the Klang councilor, why not DAP urge police or MACC to press charges against the councilor. Would they have behaved the same way if it would have been a BN councilor?
Read another glowing news on DAP today,
Letterhead saga: DAP sacks branch head, suspends deputy
By Clara Chooi
September 03, 2010
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 — The Selangor letterhead saga continued today when the DAP expelled branch chairman Yap Hock Siew and slapped a two-year suspension order on his deputy, Ong Chai Huat, for allegedly using a support letter for personal gain.
DAP disciplinary committee chairman Tan Kok Wai made the announcement in a statement today, explaining that the duo had been found guilty of breaching party discipline.
“Both Yap and Ong were found to have committed direct conflict of interest which is in breach of party discipline when the former issued a letter of support under the letterhead of the Pandamaran Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) in favour of a business where both are partners,” he said in the statement.
Tan noted that Yap and Ong were both chairman and vice-chairman of the Pasar Pandamaran DAP branch respectively at the time of their alleged wrongdoing.
“They have 14 days from the date of the disciplinary action to appeal in writing against the decision to the party’s central executive committee,” he added.
Last month, the state government suspended Yap from his position as Pandamaran new village head for attempting to use the support letter to obtain a contract from the Klang Municipal Council for his company.
Both Yap and Ong were accused of having applied for a contract to maintain and clean river floodgates.
Yap had also admitted to issuing the support letter, but with the endorsement of Selangor state executive councillor Ronnie Liu, who has also come under fire for his involvement in the issue.
He was reported to have said that he had used the company to get the job for the Pandamaran JKKK to help pay the utility bills for village facilities.
The DAP had earlier let off Liu with a “severe reprimand” for failing to run his office professionally during the first letterhead scandal involving Klang councillor Tee Boon Hock.
Tee was accused of forging Liu’s signature to issue support letters to obtain contracts worth over RM1 million for 16 companies, one of which is co-owned by his son Chin Chin.
Tee has since been expelled from DAP and sacked as a councillor and Liu was found partially responsible for the actions of his former aide.
Since then, there has been mounting pressure from many DAP leaders calling for Liu’s resignation.
Why DAP did not refer this case to Police or MACC? Isn’t this a clear case of abuse of power, corruption or even criminal breach of trust (CBT). Isn’t this no different from UMNO’s various disciplinary action against those guilty of money politics?
I was about to end this before I read this
Why is that when something goes wrong with BN, they are first ones to rush to MACC or Police to lodge reports but when it involves their own members, internal investigation by disciplinary committee is sufficient. Is the disciplinary committee independent in the first place?
The same ‘sweeping things under the carpet’ strategy is used by Pakatan Government in Selangor. MB Khalid’s refusal to report the find of a spy camera in his office to the Police shows that they are afraid of their own shadows. MB Khalid, like DAP, says that they would undertake internal investigations before going to Police. How independent and transparent are these committees, as they used the blame BN for forming committees after committees for the same purpose.
I used to have some respect for DAP, especially their relentless and consistent drive towards exposing BN’s wrong doings. But now, I see them as no different from the BN and worse, never though they could be this bad after all those preaching of CAT.
Imagine what would DAP and Pakatan will do if they manage to take over Putrajaya!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Presently, Palm Courts is no longer a place Malaysians would like to either buy or stay as it has turned out to be a mini Andhra Pradesh (a state in Indian, just above Tamil Nadu), full of Telugu Indians mainly from Hyderabad. They are mainly IT professionals working in many MSC companies in KL, Teknologi Park and Cyberjaya.
However the condition of the place does not look anything like resided by professionals. It is poorly managed and there some ongoing disputes between the residents, owners and the Joint Management Body.
It used to be good to live in Brickfield, it’s proximity to KL, the central trains station, availability of cheap Indian, Chinese and Malay food and other amenities.
The current ongoing plans to renew, reorganise and develop Brickfields as a Little India of KL had many residents and traders up in arms with Federal Territory Ministry and DBKL. They are, if reports are found to be true, instigated by other quarters with vested political agenda.
The ministry has gone ahead to implement one way traffic dispersal system on Jalan Tun Sambanthan without building a suitable car park, claims the traders and residents. Visitors and patrons of shops also complained on lack of parking and also frequent summons by traffic police.
Although there are daily traffic jams caused by various roadworks along the main road , it does not really take long to reach either end of Brickfields as the traffic keeps moving. Traffic situation have actually improved over the days as people becomes more familiar.
Let me tell them something (which is applicable to other Malaysians as well). In my 17 years of visiting Brickfields for various reasons, I never had any problems parking there, either near the YMCA area or near Sri Kota and never in my lifetime have I ever parked at non parking area, double parked or parked at the road side. It just takes some driving around to find a parking lot at the back alleys.
These complaints of lack of parking are just lame excuses by traders and visitors. It’s no different from other KLites, who, if possible want a parking lot right inside the shops. They are just plain lazy to find a parking lot and walk to their intended shops.
The traders also claim that business had dropped by 80% recently. I doubt if this is true. They maybe affected but not as much as claimed. My recent visit proves that even if some of the stalls were relocated, loyal customers will still make an effort to find them, as I did. If business had dropped by 80%, most of them would have closed shop, but what I found at the temporary stall area is to the contrary. They just as busy as before.
The residents and traders cannot deny that, If compared to 90s, Brickfields, they have benefited tremendously from the development of KL Sentral, establishment of two 5 star hotels and also various up market condominiums and apartments. Currently there is another shopping centre coming up right in front of KL Sentral and few more upmarket buildings and residencies.
In my recent visit there, I found that hundreds or even thousand of office workers crossing the Jalan Tun Sambhanthan during lunch. Tell me that the business there has not increased many folds as compared to before and that property prices and rental rates had increased in tandem.
The government should just ignore these protests and move on with the project. The fact remains that most of the traders don’t live there, and more importantly, many of them do not pay much tax. If we chose to listen to them for the fear of losing votes, this project will never be completed as selfish traders and residents will continue to protest as they only look after their interest and theirs alone. These are some ungrateful traders who don’t wish to think about long terms benefits and returns of this project.
At times, while it’s good to engage key stakeholders for their inputs, there are times where these sessions turn into long drawn unnecessary championing of interest of some undeserving parties. There should be a breaking point and government must just move on. The residents and trader just need to bear with the inconvenience, not for long as this is a fast track project.
Without this redevelopment, Brickfields will look no different than the filthy and dusty streets of Chennai in Tamil Nadu. The traders Association, instead of wasting time protesting, could well undertake initiatives to ensure their member traders commit to keep Brickfields clean.
The should focus on how to make their shops and stalls look clean and professionally maintained to improve the overall image of Brickfields. There is no point of spending millions to improve the infrastructure and amenities there if the traders and shops insist of maintaining their shops the old fashioned Indian way and more so when it is hardly maintained, aesthetically.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Post 2008 Elections : False Sense of Realisation
Further to 2008 Tsunami, I did write that Pakatan Rakyat won because Rakyat was angry with BN and Pak Lah. Each community (read RACE) had their own grouses with the government of the day, hence BN lost 5 states, and not because Malaysians are ready to do away with race based policies or politics.
Pakatan Rakyat leaders and some liberal analyst went to town claiming that Malaysians are ready for change and Pakatan will bring an end to racial politics. Anwar then launched his Sept 16 drive (this day has now been made a Public Holiday) which he sold ‘Ketuanan Rakyat’ as an alternative to ‘Ketuanan Melayu’, which Pakatan Rakyat’s leaders claimed as racist.
Anwar said many time that if Pakatan Rakyat takes over Putrajaya, policies would be changed to reflect needs based affirmative action policies rather than race based. Perkasa had few members then, so not many made much noise. DAP were ecstatic but PAS was silent in agreement. Like Pah Lah, Pakatan is also prone to flip -flop statements.
There was also a time went all Pakatan Leaders called up press and announced that they will respect the constitution in terms of Bumiputra rights and privileges. But calls for equality and reforms on NEP continued in most Pakatan rallies, some of which I attended.
Post 2008 elections with many pro-opposition Malay bloggers supporting the dismantling of NEP associated policies, there were some sense of realisation amongst politicians that Malaysians are ready to do away with raced based policies and politics.
In BN, Gerakan sounded warning that BN raced based parties have to change. At one point even threatening to leave BN if there are no reforms. MCA & MIC were also taken in by all the noise in the blogsphere by numerous calls for their members to serve all races rather than representing and supporting their own race. UMNO and UMNO Youth were also advocating services to all races. PPP went further by suggesting that BN coalition to be merged into one party.
At one point, Malaysian public were also led to believe that we are ready for change, influenced by small number of arm-chaired, well to do, prominent political critics and analyst writing their rather skewed opinions in their blogs.
Post 2008 Elections : Reactions
Then came One Malaysia blog by Najib, just before he took over from Pak Lah. Najib’s One Malaysia concept appeared to be his reaction to calls to do away with racial politics and NEP. I knew at that point that he was wrong and that Najib was another victim of online onslaught on NEP and raced based politics. Will touch on Najib later.
There were also several incidents which tested Pakatan’s ‘Ketuanan Rakyat’ resolve. The were huge protest over Selangor MB Khalid’s suggestions to open up UiTM to non-Malays. Though the issue lasted just for couple of weeks, it was actually a message to Pakatan that Malays are not willing to do away with all these.
There was also protests over increased bumiputra quota imposed by the Kedah government on housing projects in the state. This time it was the opposite, non-malays, at the politicians protested and the issue had died down since. Note that the so-called liberal Malays did not make any noise.
There was also severals protest by villagers, mostly Malay over relocation of pig farms in Selangor. There were some issues as well with exhumation and relocation of Indian cemetery in Kedah. No non-Indians were seen protesting along with Indians. These incidents itself had proven that we Malaysians still will look at everything from the racial angle first and foremost.
Authorities now even afraid to demolish any illegal, largely not patronized, individual owned, ill-maintained Hindu temple just because’ it is a sensitive issue’. So race takes precedence over law of the land. Even Pakatan Rakyat will not uphold the law and demolish any temple because certain race will get offended, no matter that the illegal Hindu temple stands in way of some far more useful infrastructure that will benefit large number of constituents, such as roads or hospitals.
Emergence of Perkasa & Najib’s Miscalculations
With the emergence of Perkasa as an alternative voice for the Malays, my doubts has been proven. Najib promotion of 1Malaysia has prompted UMNO’s leaders to tone down their race based rhetorics. Some UMNO leaders actually wanted to wait and see if Najib’s 1Malaysia, New Economic Model (NEM) will gain support from the masses, especially the Malays and were reluctant to speak up.
Perkasa took the opportunity and has been vociferously vocal on defending Malay rights and privileges. With membership now said to number 300,000, they can be said to be bigger than most of BN member parties and even DAP and PKR. Ibrahim Ali’s rhetorics, joined by Majlis Perundingan Melayu (MPM) , with the support of Tun Mahathir has riled both UMNO and Opposition.
They have been lashing out at both BN and Pakatan based on several small incident including the so-called marginalization of Malays in Penang and calling BN stupid for being too generous with non-Malays, the recent ones being donations to Chinese schools in Hulu Selangor and Sibu.
Post 2008, influenced by the need to be in touch with the seemingly influential online community, Najib took the initiative to be more inclusive and promoted his 1Malaysia. The 1Malaysia catchphrase and sloganeering has been, his own words, fairly successful and as famous as McDonalds.
While he has managed to reach out to the young and those who are more inclined to believe what is on the net, he forgot that large number of Malays still those who are conservative where Malay culture, privileges, subsidies and government assistance are still important and relevant to them. This is where Najib has miscalculated the sentiments of conservative Malays. While too busy trying to reach out to the young and largely urban voters, he forgot UMNO’s traditional supporters, who are now the main supporters of Perkasa and MPM.
The last straw for Perkasa and MPM came with the introduction of New Economic Policy by Najib. Perkasa and MPM organized a forum and slammed NEM and openly, inNajib’s presence, pronounced that NEM is a threat to Bumiputra rights and privileges.
Najib has been check mated and responded with assurance that bumiputra rights and privileges would be restored, which directly contradicts his own NEM. Najib had since never recovered and details of NEM implementation has not been forthcoming. His speech at MCA Economic Congress had no mention whether NEM would stick to his earlier miscalculated promise of market based reforms which includes liberalization of various economic sectors, which also means doing away with NEP.
Recent survey by Merdeka centre also revealed that Malays still favour NEP.
Pakatan Rakyat : False Promises of Change??
Ok, fine, let’s vote out Najib and BN and let Pakatan Rakyat take over Putrajaya. Will they be able to make a difference?
While Mr Lim Kit Siang and other opposition leaders has been mocking 1Malaysia concept, criticizing Najib lack of follow up on NEM and Najib’s about turn on market reforms, Pakatan Rakyat is actually doing the same mistake as Najib by promising equality and meritocracy to potential voters, when large number of Malay conservatives are still in favour of the old NEP
How sure is Pakatan Rakyat that they will do away with NEP when they take over Putrajaya. Will Anwar stick to his words that he will replace NEP with his version of Affirmative Action based on needs rather than race, which effectively mean doing away with Malay rights and privileges?
Why there was a silence from DAP and PKR when PAS President Hadi Awang opposed to doing away with housing discounts for bumiputra. Hadi went on to say that we should uphold bumiputra rights and privileges. Where was Lim Kit Siang then ??
Will Pakatan Rakyat do away with various race based institution such as Mara? Can Anwar open UiTM to non-malays keeping in mind that the same suggestion by Selangor MB Khalid met with street protest. Will DAP economic advisor dare to ask all race based institutions and business cartels such as Chinese Chamber of Commerce, it’s Indian and Malay equivalent to merge? Will a future DAP Minister of Finance dare to implement open tender process for all government contracts?
What is Anwar, Lim Kit Siang’s strategy against PAS seemingly reluctance to do away with NEP. How will Anwar and DAP face protest from Perkasa and MPM in their pursuit of market reforms and needs based affirmative actions when even Najib is unable to take the heat?
Improve NEP Implementation, Not Abolish, At Least for now
Until and unless there are marked presence of Malay in businesses and equity ownership across the board, doing away with NEP at this stage will be impossible. With Chinese dominance of almost all sectors, they should learn to share the cake and focus on growing globally rather than focusing on the small market in Malaysia.
What interested party, BN or opposition should do is remove corruption, cronyism and nepotism and ensure meritocracy within the share of whatever allocated to bumiputras, eg scholarship meant for bumiputras should be only provided to poor Malays rather than son a Malay millionaire.
In summary both Najib and Pakatan Rakyat leaders have miscalculated the sentiments on the ground and no matter who is at helm in Putrajaya, NEP is there to stay until Malays have a respectable (not majority or significant) share of the nation’s wealth, at least that is what Malays want.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
That’s what a driver told me minutes after I got into a taxi after quite a long gap. I left my car at a service center and took a cab back.
The middle aged driver with a scull cap went on without even a hint on stopping to ask my opinion, never mind that I would rather listen than debate or support his piece. It’s good to listen from the man in the street rather than gleefully believe what’s written by the so-called opinionated intellectuals in the blogs.
He was expressing his anger on Chua Soi Lek’s speech at MCA’s Economic Congress. He also berated Najib’s brother, whom he claims was seen as supporting the Chinese entirely, though we know that Nazir Razak’s speech was more focused strength of harmony and diversity that put Malaysia on better platform when operating regionally or even globally.
I would attest to this as when I was working in a MNC which also operates similar global centres in numerous Asian cities, most of our counterparts were comfortable dealing with Malaysians but colleagues in the other countries, eg People in Hong Kong were quite at ease with the Malaysian Office but often complains about the Indian office and vice versa.
It is our exposure to various cultures and ways of doing things that put us in a comfortable position when dealing with foreigners and other cultures in general. We do get quite a balanced exposure and worldview as our media is quite balanced in terms of local and foreign coverage as well as due to our direct exposure with multi-ethnic society. If you read an English newspaper in India, you do not get the same amount of information as you get from Malaysian English daily, except for maybe, the Sun.
I also noticed this directly when I was in Hyderbad and Bangalore, the Silicon Vally of India. Most of the employees in the global centre were MBA holders but their general knowledge was pathetic, they only know everything Indian, most of them have never put of a foot outside their state and most never ventured elsewhere, therefore dealing with people from Hong Kong and British was tough as their way of doing things, they way they communicate (try this with Indian nationals, Gobind Deo is nothing) is completely different, hence they find it difficult to work with others as compared to Malaysians.
Back to the taxi driver. He was practically asking ‘what else do the Chinese community wants? He went on saying that almost the entire economy is controlled by them. Isn’t it fair that they share with the others, instead of asking for more.
He also asked have we ever heard Chinese companies offering Malay or Indian companies to participate in their ventures. He also claimed that Mahathir helped the chinese more than he helped Malays. He also went on to say that Malays are corrupt because of chinese were greedy and they want everything in short cuts, hence fuelling corruption.
He went on saying that his son works as an officer in a Chinese company for many years with no opportunity to move up the ladder as the top management was entirely Chinese. He said that his son is now working in an MNC and got promoted twice earning more than his previous supervisor. He kept on repeating that he has many Chinese friends along the way insisting only the rich Chinese are greedy unlike his fellow Chinese taxi driver whom he found to be reasonable.
He found that Chinese has become more demanding ever since DAP made strong gains in 2008. He claims to be a PKR supporter but he says he can’t agree with Chinese demanding for more. His assertion is similar to what we think of MCA, that Soi Lek is just trying to make MCA look more relevant to the Chinese community by demanding for fairness, equality etc. He also said that MCA is ungrateful.
Thankfully, he was not in favour of Perkasa, whom he claimed only making Malays look weak, stupid and rude.
Later in the same evening, I hoped on to another taxi collect my car and this time, the driver was an Indian. Noticed a Star paper, a tamil paper and a Makkal Sakhti cap (which got me excited) on his dashboard. He started conversing in reasonably good English, by complaining about the price hike, (apparently not realising that my own short journey to the car service cost me 30 percent more than last year), claiming that Malaysia is becoming too expensive for people like him.
He went on to say that he has heard nothing his application for individual taxi permit offered by Najib last year. He claims that most of it went to Malays though he said one of his Indian friends got it.
I took the opportunity to ask whether he was a Makkal Sakthi member. He shrugged it off saying that Indians are stupid as they are often fooled by equally stupid leaders. The forty plus looking guy said that he lost his previous job as a clerk in a legal firm mainly due to his own doing. He claimed to have joined the Hindraf movement and had many absences from work. He got many warnings from his Indian employer and when there was an offer to drive taxi, he lapped it up, claiming it was better to be his own boss.
He went further by saying that Indians are quick to praise and support leaders without appraising their track record or quality. This he claimed is the reason why majority Indians voted for Pakatan. He says that he no longer believes politicians as he claims that many promises thrown during the campaign rallies, which he claims he religiously attended due to the ‘Makkal Sakhti’ phenomenon, were never fulfilled.
He was also sore that nothing was done to help the Indians. He says that there is no point of donating over millions of ringgit to Hindu temples in Selangor as they are going to go to waste. He suggested why not Selangor State government sponsors a taxi for those who are genuinely unable to get a job or even people like him who is paying a hefty daily rental to the permit holder. Quite a sensible idea indeed.
The driver also says that the State Exco member is simply seeking publicity by going to every other temple and handing over donations when he can actually do it all at one go in his office. I never thought about that.
MIC is seen as useless to him but he is certainly not pleased with Pakatan Indian leaders who he claims has become too loud and no action to speak of giving an example of deputy Chief Minister of Penang meddling in Bkt Jalil estate worker issue. He asked, where has Prof Ramasamy been for all these years. It was very apparent that he was also sore with Pakatan on the Kampung Buah Pala issue.
Towards reaching the service centre, he mentioned that he just returned from Pilgrimage in India (gosh and he claims it difficult to survive as a taxi driver) and proclaimed that life is certainly better here in Malaysia.
It is certainly worthwhile to listen to the normal man in the streets. My various similar interactions tells me that race remains important in the mind of people here as opposed to various opinions by largely liberal, well to do Malaysians who claims that we are ready to do away with racial quota, racial politics etc.
My only long term solution to improve race relation is to have only one school stream, bet it Malay or English medium. Having Tamil and Chinese schools are never good if we are seriously concerned over deteriorating race relations. But when even the so-called multi-racial political parties such as Gerakan, PKR and DAP are not prepared to support one school system, we are doomed.
Though politically, opinions from the taxi drivers do not sound good for either BN or Pakatan, it is quite evident that the number of fence-sitters is on the rise, which gives a rather bleak outlook on the possible outcome of the next general elections.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I only buy Tamil Newspaper in weekends and I finish it within 15 minutes as there are usually no interesting contents except for politicians slamming and slandering each other. The main reason for my weekend habit of buying all mainstream newspapers (including Utusan but not the Chinese newspaper – I can’t read) is to keep in touch with the language and also follow latest issues and happening within the community. I do read online version of Sin Chiew and others.
Tamil newspapers in Malaysia have extremely low circulation and read mainly by the working class. There are 3 main newspapers, Tamil Nesan, Malaysia Nanban and Makkal Osai. There were attempts to bring some others to the streets but they eventually die a natural death due to low circulations.
Despite all the negatives, these 3 newspapers are among the 15 surviving main Tamil language dailies in the world, the others mainly based in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. For those who are not aware, Tamils are the buggest ethnic group within the Indian Community in Malaysia with population at around 1.2 Million. The rest are mainly telugus, malayalees and small number of Ceylonese, Punjabis and northern Indian ethnic groups.
Tamil Nesan is owned by Samy Vellu, where his son Vell Pari is the Managing Director while if I am not mistaken, his wife Indrani is the advisor.
The initial purpose if this newspaper is promote the image of the MIC, it’s president, his wife and of course, to make money.
Samy Vellu, despite his serious demeanor and strong language, used to write poems every Sunday in the main page. It was so popular that it was taken off the page last year. For many, the poems, despite it’s language prowess, lacks in substance and proved to be a source of laughter. The contents are usually for community building, leadership, respect etc, but proves something contradictory to the behaviour of the MIC leaders themselves.
On the other hand, His wife occupies half a page of the last page. News reports appear almost daily on her activities, usually social or charity events graced by her.
The second page belongs to maverick writer, Tamil Mani, once a fierce Samy Vellu critic turned friend In need.
His contribution, or rather non-contribution are clearly exemplified here
It must be recognized that post March 2008, the newspaper underwent many changes and surprisingly they now provide positive coverage on opposition party leaders, some of whom had openly derided Samy Vellu before. Despite attempting to become more independent and open, circulation remained low.
Makkal Osai is closely linked to Datuk S,Subramaniam (ex-Deputy Minister). Despite being reasonably popular in the past, the paper has lost it’s shine ever since they went into various rows with Tamil Nesan.
It appears that the sole purpose now is to promote Subra and his allies while providing extensive coverage on politics in Tamil Nadu and plight of Sri Lankan Tamils.
Malaysia Nanban was founded by Dato Sikandar Bacha, a prominent Indian Muslim businessman in the 80s. Nanban is seen as more independent and neutral in it’s coverage throughout the years.
Nanban is brave enough to criticise or support both BN and Pakatan when it matters to Indian community although it had made some blunders in the past resulting in delays to renewal of their annual permit. They were also once warned for going to the extremes in reporting Sri Lankan civil war where their reports were more in support of rebel Tamil Tiger leader, Prabakaran of LTTE, which is labeled as a terrorist group by UN. More on Malaysian Tamils affinity with Prabakaran here
Similarities between the 3 newspapers
All 3 papers have only about 20 pages every day except for Sunday where they provide a leisure supplement.
All 3 dailies provide at least one page coverage on issues affecting the Sri Lankan Tamils. It used to be 4 pages during the civil war.
All 3 papers provide at 2 least 2 page coverage on politics in Tamil Nadu and India. Most of the news are from the same syndicated source. They target Indian National living in Malaysia as well as Malaysian Tamils who are still fond of what some of them call, their motherland. (As them to go and live there, they never will)
All 3 newspapers provide extensive coverage on event involving MP, ADUNs or Indian VIPs depending on their political leaning although all 3 attempts to cover both BN and Opposition.
All 3 papers have limited advertisements hence their main source of revenue depends on number of copies sold.
All 3 papers provides inconsistent one page sports coverage, with no follow throughs the following day or week.
Tamil Nesan and Makkal Ossai of recent, are more fond of sensational headlines, usually associated with MIC political rivals.
All 3 newspapers hardly provide any information of how to get assistance of government agencies for various needs such as getting aid for the hardcore poor, resolving identity card issues and other common problems associated with the community.
All 3 news papers hardly provide regular coverage on business opportunities or business loans or funding available to the community.
None provide regular coverage of stock market, business news or investment opportunities.
None has active online presence. Online version of Nanban is not promptly updated and at times not at all.
Not much except for more neutral and independent Nanban where there are semblance of nation building editorials every day.
Malaysia Nanban is also favoured by Najib, who graced their SPM students prize giving event for last 2 years.
All 3 newspapers have not done much for community where it matters most, let alone nation building.
I have the opportunity to mingle with working class people whose source of news are solely from Tamil newspapers. They appear to be lost when informed of latest happenings in the country, political or non political. That’s how shallow the information that they get from these dailies.
They are also not aware of many aid and assistance available from many government and state agencies due to lack of coverage in the dailies.
They also have less knowledge of history, therefore do not appreciate country progress in politics, economy and socially throughout the years. This is also one of the reasons for their support for Hindraf, who received extensive coverage in Nanban and to a certain extend, Makkal Ossai.
All the mud slinging between Makkal Ossai and Tamil Nesan even invited the reprimand from PM Najib during the recent MIC AGM. Despite the reminder not to use newspapers for own political agenda, both papers have continued the ugly fight till today. Read here for more.
It would not be a loss for the tamil community if any of these dailies are out of business or even shut down by government. Both Tamil Nesan and Makkal Osai should just shut down their operations so that Nanban can thrive to become more authoritative independent voice of the community.
Perhaps a dual language (Bahasa and English) equivalent should be introduced to cater for the non-Tamil reading/speaking group within the Indian community.
Monday, August 9, 2010
The worst, Pakatan are repeating the same blunders committed by BN, going to the extend of imitating BN way of doing things, despite all those reformist chants and sloganeering in the statements and ceramahs.
Being a resident in Selangor, I have not seen much change for more than 2 years now. The honeymoon period was long over. The honeymoon period should have been the time where Pakatan should have done a comprehensive review of the state government workings, policies and make necessary changes or in their own words, reforms.
Agreed that there were several feel good Rakyat friendly policies in place but ‘merakyatkan ekonomi’ really means nothing, when it comes to real policies or opportunities benefiting the Rakyat at large, economically.
The recent reports, counter reports, sacking, accusations, tweets or rather mistweets over supports letters only goes to show that Pakatan politicians are no different from BN. I remember that during the PKFZ scandal, the opposition went to town accusing Minister of transport, Chan Kong Choy of corruption and abuse of power for issuing support letters to companies involved in the project to secure loans and contracts.
As usual, there were noises from Mr Lim Kit Siang calling for Royal Commision of Enquiry on PKFZ. What about Selangor support letters issue? It was said that support letters were issued to contractors to win contracts worth millions. That is what was reported, what about those which went unreported or undeclared. Lim Kit Siang should seek appointment with Sultan of Selangor and demand for a Royal Commission of Enquiry. Why the silence when Kit Siang slams BN over any thing that goes wrong in this country, the next moment it happens.
When talking about reforms, if this issue was not reported (initially there was accusations that the MCA owned newspaper, The Star , was simply making up stories to destabilise the DAP powered state government), nothing would have been done to change or eliminate issuance of ‘support letters’ , because there was no intention to reform in the first place. MB Khalid was jolted when The Star headlined the story, admitting that investigation has been going on for 2 weeks ( about a month now, with no new updates) with no one asked to go on leave or suspended, inviting accusations that there were attempts to cover up the issue and gross lack of transparency over the whole affair.
Even the appointment of councilors were chaotic. Until now no one know how the selection process works and it turns out, they did another BN, no transparency whatsoever and in usual Malaysian style, the appointments were made late and changes were made in the last minutes. Even their ally, PSM was left bewildered with the omission of their own candidate.
Sand theft and illegal mining also shown the that the state government has learnt how to make money and contribute well in advance towards high income economy. Never miond that it benefits a small group of people working for the state government company, KKSB, which does nothing but works as a middleman between the actual sand mining companies and the state government. KKSB is nothing but a poor imitation of BN held state government companies which do nothing but act like blood sucking middlemen.
What would be the role of the Jabatan Tanah in all these, watch your newborn (KKSB) mint money and pay their staff 6 months of bonus over a year. KKSB’s contribution towards high income economy is 10 years ahead of the Najib’s plan. And very few companies around the world pay 6 months of bonus within a year of operations. As far as I know, only some lucky Skim Cepat Kaya companies have achieved that feat.
What has the state government done with the apparent mismanagement of sand mining activity and also the state government’s company’s role in it? The SELCAT hearing, completed in record 3 days, did not even ask for full fledged investigation to be carried out neither did they invite MACC to investigate. Evidences offered by own PKR MP, Manikavasagam was rejected due to some silly technicalities. Aren’t they interested in getting to the bottom of the issue, I don’t think so. Perhaps members of SELCAT, were worried some of them would have been dragged into the issue as perhaps, they would have issued supports letters to related companies which they can't even remember now.
Not much information has been much has been forthcoming ever since. No one knows if anyone was penalized or changes forthcoming in the company, except for statements blaming BN for even bigger scams during their days in power. Didn’t the Rakyat sent BN packing for all their misdeeds? What is the point of blaming BN again and again.
Now the state government plans a 15Million Ringgit information(or propaganda) blitz to give Rakyat a clearer picture of state governments workings, policies and achievements. I don’t know how this benefits the Rakyat. In Selangor where, broadband and internet access are reasonably high, nobody really reads mainstream media or watches RTM for example and with the fact that all Pakatan Parties’ newsletters or bulletins are readily available in the market, is this spending necessary. Kelantan, with lesser access to the net, Astro and even newspapers have managed to hold Kelantan for so long.
And finally, look at the behaviors of the key ADUNs and EXCO members. Their denials, counter denials, accusations, tweets, statements and media play only proves that every one of them are only interested to safeguard the own position. They are not even worried about repercussions and party image when about going public defending themselves. Where are the party dicipline and party media communication procedures?
Where is CEO, sorry, should be MB, Khalid in all these, only the EXCO members know. He is apparently not in the know of most of the things happening around him and he appears to be as confused and indecisive in the mould of Abdullah Badawi.
How all these resonate with ‘Competency, Accountability and Transparency, I really don’t know? Maybe the architect of CAT, Emperor Lim Guan Eng has the answers and perhaps he, in his own arrogant style, can lecture some of his DAP comrades what those principles are in reality, if it was ever practiced in the first place.
By the way, Penang State Government promised that their leaders would undertake Asset declaration exercise. They delayed it claiming that standard form was not provided by federal government. If I am not mistaken, that was slightly more two years ago. Yet Mr Guan Eng’s government still appears not to have the ‘Competency’ to come up with a simple ‘Asset Declaration’ form and do not feel ‘Accountable’ to the promise that they made to the Rakyat. No one actually asked for it then.
Perhaps they now feel that the there is no need to practice ‘Transparency’ as their Pakatan counterparts in other states, after more than two years of governing, do not believe in those slogans anymore.