Saffron Sunday


(Picture source from The People’s Parliament) 

To quote from the The People’s Parliament:-

I say civil society adopts the march on 25 November 2007 by our brothers and sisters as our rallying call to end marginalization, deprivation and neglect of any and all Malaysians.

I say we commemorate their sterling lesson of bravery and determination this Sunday, 2nd December 2007, say round about 8.30pm, by getting our friends together and, wherever we are, lighting candles.

Please ensure that I too will be lighting up the candles and please do the same. All determined “Bangsa Malaysia” Malaysians who braved themselves deserves our respect and admiration.

More at The People’s Parliament

What’s in a number?


(See, see, see…don’t I look stupid and corrupt as well, at the highest level – level 9. Poster source: Mob’s Crib)

Plenty of bullshit that is…

The bugger paid used RM48,000 from public’s fund for a car registration “CCC9” and says that there is nothing wrong with it. There is no waste as it goes from the “government” to “government”. And it is “ok” since he is not using the car with the number.

If the sun was green and the sky was purple, that statement would have made alot of sense but you know better than this bugger – it was not the government’s money to start with. Even it is, isn’t it looks downright stupid to spend so much money for a plate number when that money could have used for more benefiting activities? For the thieves at the Government level, such money may be peanuts but for the hard working people, RM48,000 could go a long way to ease their daily expenses.

And the bugger don’t even have to do something exotic – just spend RM48,000 to buy meals or clothes or books for poor schoolchildren in the State. Invest on the real deal than just some numbers. Contrast this with this and you end up with a Chief Minister who looks more corrupt than ever and a continuation of the “usual” double standard culture by the corrupted officials.

2 words to summarise the bugger’s act – stupid and corrupt

More at Rocky’s Bru

Close call


 

(Cartoon source: http://www.maryland-injury-law-advisor.com) 

A slip, wet bathroom floor, early morning and a hard bathroom sink at the back…that is not a good combination.

My wife who had just walked in and witnessed the “event” had a shock of her life. But with God’s grace, I found my footing (after herculean struggle) but at the right time. I was ok but the bathroom door was not.

I just need to be more careful from now onwards (and hope it is not another episode of “Final Destination“). Ha ha

My latest desktop


(For something different)

Did I mention that I got a new laptop when I came back from Kabul? I think I did, ha ha. Anyway, with plenty of “RAM” to spare, my fingers have been itching for a complete makeover of the desktop. I have done it before – here and here but as usual, when the theme goes up, the performance goes down. So, after couple of days feeling happy with the “look”, I often disable the theme and go back to the boring looking screen.

Now with the extra RAM, I added Object Dock and checked on the performance and it looked good. A few more tweaks and I got this:-

I thought of “apple-ising” the theme, so I used Window Blinds and downloaded a cool looking wallpaper, more tweaks and presto, I got this:-

Performance has been holding up with an average 20% – 25% usage of the RAM which is quite good. Start up has been fast and I even tried running a media player whilst running a few application, the additional RAM did not fail me.

With a Safari Beta for Windows browser (this browser has alot to pick up though), the make over looks almost complete.

Hindraf – Not the End of the Story


The Saturday rally came and gone and surprisingly it was well publicized both locally and internationally. Of course, we may only see one angle of the story in the local medias, so try catching a more balance reporting in the international media and blogs.

So, what was the reaction?

Some said 10,000 came, others 30,000 but what ever the number was, it attracted interesting reactions:-

PM said law breakers will be punished

MIC said it was embarrassing and work of the opposition’s ploy to smear the name of the Government in the eyes of the world

One UMNO honcho said that other races have poor people too

IGP said that the police will take action against the leaders, organisers and participants of yesterday’s illegal gathering in the city.

And internationally too:-

Times Online

Financial Times

Al-Jazeera

BBC

AFP

CNN

USA Today

Reuters (click here for interesting photo shots)

So, was the Hindraf’s rally last Sunday a big success?

Asking some of my Indian friends and family members seems to say an affirmative yes. Many more are waking up to the call of the Malaysian Indians and are starting to look on what is the real problem that the community is facing. MIC said that the rally was an embarrassment to the Indians but in reality, many seem to say that the rally was an embarrassment to MIC.

Thousands of Indians marching to highlight their grievousness but MIC walked the other way out. That seems to be sending the (wrong?) message to many Indians out there that MIC does not give a damn about the rally and the reasons behind it. Further, with many international news agencies picking up the news (especially Al Jazeera who gave a prominent coverage), it appeared to be the Indians holding out on their own this time.

MIC honcho said “the MIC had been working “within the system” and it had proven to be successful”. But has the system really worked? Perhaps for the few well connected Indians, it may have but what about the thousands who felt that the system has failed them miserably? For how long, MIC is going to hang on to the “system” which seems to be tilting on side of unfairness?

Protesters lured by the monetary gain?

USD1 million each – that was what the Government and MIC said that lured unsuspected and innocent people to support the rally. I talked to several professionals and well-to-do people who actually participated in the rally and they say that money was the last thing in their mind when they marched against the police’s water cannon and tear gas.

They marched because they felt it was the right thing to do – to highlight the injustice and unfairness that have fallen on the community. There was bigger issue than just dollars and cents when a large of protestors on the move.

USD 4 trillion – a pointless act?

Why USD 4 trillion and why it was filed against the British Government? That is the question that many Malaysian have been asking in the last few days. Some even called it as treason for a Malaysian to asking a foreign government for help. But think again – would the suit been successful or gathered prominent response (as it did last Sunday) if it has been filed against a local entity in Malaysia?

Further, after VK Lingam’s “correct, correct, correct…right, right, right” fiasco, does a lay person (who is ignorant of the law and the working of the court system) really thought they could have gotten a fair trial in Malaysia? If the head of Hindraf who are lawyers seems to have lost faith in the judiciary, what more can be said of the trust of the judiciary in the eyes of a lay person? The suit would have doomed from the start – it would have been struck down as a matter of public interest. Tell me, how many legal suits against the government and the political parties have gone well for the ordinary people?

So, why the British? Simple – they are the next after the current Government to been involved with Malaysian Indians.  And USD 4 trillion did caught your eyes, didn’t it?

Police’s forceful act

For the first time in history, a court order was requested and received to stop the gathering. What that seems to say? A lot if you ask me – one, the police knows that the Indians will still proceed with the march, so threats of arrest on sight, water cannon and tear gas did not spooked the Indians. It only spooked the Government.

And two, with lawyers heading the rally, there was an urgent need for the Government to make sure all angles were covered, so the court order was the outcome (by the way, the lawyers has been discharged from the sedition charges).

Still, it did not stop the protestors from gathering in the city. In the end, the question remains unanswered – was the police “unnecessary force” necessary for quash a peaceful gathering? If past Hindraf rallies has been a peaceful one, then why this time it was painted with violence? Was it provoked? Or had the Indians said enough is enough and started to be more aggresive? There was failure in the crowd control last Sunday and end up turning ugly.

Loss to businesses?

Let’s say a sport event (such as marathon) was organised on a Sunday morning. Thousands of people running in the marathon, hundreds more lined up to support the event, major roads closed for the event and the police’s work is limited to crowd and traffic control. What is the loss to the businesses?

We had sports events in the city before and did the businesses cried foul then?

Replace the sport event with peaceful march and what do you get? The same thing but in this case, overzealous enforcement (for what, I don’t know) may have pushed the peaceful demonstration a bit too far to the extreme. Start shooting chemical laced water at the peaceful protestors and you end up with chaos and destruction. It was sickening to see the business guild to go on TV and cry foul now and promote BN in the process. It was uncalled for and certainly the business guild should have asked the same against the police.

Destruction of temple

Another sensitive issue which is also one of the contributory factor to the last weekend’s protest. As mentioned before in this blog, yes it is true that it is a problem for the Indian community and the local authorities to have more than enough temples (including illegally constructed ones).

There have been calls for these temples to be merged into one well managed temple but there not been many takers. So, it is hardly a surprise to see the Indians’ reactions when the local authority finally came down to evict the temple after giving plenty of leeways.

But the question that has been rising is the high handed tactics of the local authorities in dealing with the destruction of the said temples (some even caught on camera throwing stones at the devotees). What gives them the right to be violent against the ordinary citizen?

What’s next?

It is good that the rally created a good awareness of the problems that the community is facing. To reach out to the government for a response may be a foolhardy at this time because either the government will fail to acknowledge it (since it was an “illegal” rally) or push the buck back to MIC which means it is back to square one. So what is left for the Indian community to do? Several things in fact:-

Start with voting the right people in to represent them in the Parliament. Election is coming soon and what a better time to show those who been in power that enough is enough.

Form a better working relationship & professionalism among the community. Less in-fighting and more unity bring the community to higher level of acceptance

Don’t stop voicing injustice and unfairness – we are not the minorities! We are part of the larger Bangsa Malaysia, connect with this bigger community. Race based rule is a dying trend.

Look at the problem facing the community and for this, start with illegal temple structures – demolish them or get them to merge into one single well managed temple. No matter how you see it, at end of the day, it is still an Indian’s problem to be dealt with.

Form independent trust funds to handle scholarship for the deserving students or to provide soft loans for businesses – leave the politics out from these organisations.

Don’t let the sweat & tears of the 10,000 people who walked last Sunday to die a natural death. Because if we did, then we are back to square one and we all know how it feels like being there.

Oh by the way, another race based political party has come into the picture – championing the plight of the minority community. Can we stop this crap for once and for all and get a single “Bangsa Malaysia” based party to represent all. The more we engage a race based rule, the more Hindraf alike protests we will see in future and things will only get messier and messier.

Our new “culture”


(Still on the Hindraf’s rally)

(Photo source: Jeff Ooi)

The IGP said that street protest is not a Malaysian culture and as such police will take stern action on anyone who is involved in street protest.

I strongly agree with the IGP – street protest is not really our “desired Malaysian ritual” but before anyone forgets, ask what about the police permission that was granted to the PM’s son in law to “monkey” around in a protest against Condoleezza Rice’s visit during last year’s Asean Regional Forum. It was a street protest too but the police seem more than happy to allow the protest so near the event location. In which category of “culture” was this protest was classified? Good culture? Not-to-be questioned culture?

Water guns and strong tactics were clearly missing from the scene and the head protestor, KJ was given a “VIP treatment” to shout anti-US slogans and was able to make his way in to see Condoleezza Rice. If it has been somewhere else, the US Secret Service would probably have jumped on this head honcho and would have dragged his sorry ass from the scene.

Contrast that with the recent protest on 10th November – at first they denied a permit and then they used unnecessary force to “quell” the protest, then they said that King did not support the rally and when similar protest is organized, they said that it is not our culture and warned the would be participants to stay clear of the rally. In addition to that, “traffic jams contributing” road blocks have been set up way ahead of the event day to catch “trouble makers”. Why did not they arrest KJ (or any of the member of the mob) in the earlier rally? Why the double standard now?

Well, it could have been just a “wayang kulit” on the part of the PM’s son in law to get cheap publicity (the main characteristic of Malaysian politicians). After all, isn’t US one of our biggest trading partners? And that Condoleezza Rice was invited by none other than the PM himself? So, the rally by KJ could have been just an act to satisfy a small group of supporters but the thing is, no matter what was the intention, it is still a protest with disruption of civil order and to business – not to mention getting a “good name” at international level.

Another source picked IGP as saying this:-

“…the illegal gathering was planned by the organizers just to have a street demonstration which will adversely affect the country’s economy”

Come on brother…what country’s economy?

It may sound funny on how irrelevant things are hastily tied to picture a bad picture of the rally but I don’t think there is much impact of the rally on the “economy” if it is well organized and the crowd control is well managed by the police. Probably this is why the organizers are having the rally on a Sunday morning (when most of the Malaysian busy sleeping) – to minimize whatever damage that may occur on the country’s economy.

Having said that, I think probably it is better if the IGP instead re-look into his decision to setup roadblocks on working days instead of having it on the day itself. Having road blocks and traffic jam due to this has a bigger impact on the economy than the rally itself. Couple of my friends have been turning up to work late due to this unnecessary traffic jams.

So, drop the “culture” of double standards, and then perhaps we can start talking about dropping the culture of street protest.

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Hindraf Protest – Realistic Way Out?


You have probably heard about it by now…

Hindraf, an Indian NGO is proposing to do a protest rally to hand over a petition to the British High Commission end of this week. You would have also heard (likely in disbelief) of the legal suit against the British Government for a cool USD4 trillion – that would have made all Indians in Malaysia millionaires.

If you have noticed, lately, there is been a growing “fashion” to protest via street rally – the Bar Council did one in Putrajaya and lately we had the successful BERSIH march to the royal palace. Now we have Hindraf’s protest. The question that we need to ask is whether it is worth it?

Hindraf have listed a couple of issues in their memorandum and is asking the British Government to do among other things, move an emergency UN resolution against Malaysia and refer Malaysian Government to the World Court. High call at the end of the day but are things really bad that we have lost hope of getting justice from our representatives in the Parliament or the Government? So much so that we are now turning to a foreign country to cry justice? I know that Parliament has been a big circus as long as I could remember it and the Government seems to have its own agenda depending on the day and season.

So, it seems that it all left to NGOs to carry the burden on getting the justice for the oppressed. Hindraf in the past been rallying on many pressing issues – particularly on demolition of temples but it has fell on deaf ears and so now, they have taken one step further. This will be interesting to watch on the outcome.

Of course the Government and MIC, as expected, were quick to paint the rally as illegal and that is the work of the opposition party (standard excuse). The police, as expected, rejected the application for a permit but added the usual “you can appeal” statement after the rejection. There already warnings and threats for those wanted to participate but again, we are left to wonder who the “real” trouble makers here are. Surely things are not so rosy for the Indians here in Malaysia – poverty, religion discrimination, lack of education opportunity and gangsterism just to name a few, been hogging the community for some time now and at certain places, there is really no light end of the tunnel.

That brings me to Kavilan’s “The Malaysian Indian Dilemma” post.

In essence, we need to realize that we can make the change if we put our mind to it. Throw away the “minority” and “inferiority” notion whenever one is talking about the Indians in Malaysia. We have been “carrying” the minority tag for far too long. The more people talk of us as the “minority”, we probably will end there and stay there too. We don’t need others to say that we are minority and as such need to be helped. We don’t need the pity because we know we are much better than that.

Coming back to the Hindraf’s rally, for an outsider looking at the situation in Malaysia, doesn’t Hindraf move seems strategic?

Considering that a group of “minority” asking an ex-colonial master seems to say a lot of things about the current government. It also paints a very undesirable picture of the party who is claiming to champion the rights of the minority – MIC. After the 10-Eleven rally and the “boo-boo” that our Information Minister did in Al-Jazeera interview, “Mr Clean” image of Pak Lah is eroding fast in the eyes of the international community.

Forget about the USD4 trillion – Hindraf may be wasting good money for the proceedings than getting one but perhaps that is not the point. The point is generating enough publicity not only in Malaysia (yes, there is still Indians in false dream state) but also internationally. And never underestimate international pressure on a government. And consider this, Hindraf’s plans if well executed, will generate the right amount of publicity and force the government to sit up and take note. Already many in government is “sleeping” under the false notion of a Ketuanan Melayu” and as such, been giving the wrong priority to the wrong issues for many years now.

We may be a “minority” as some may paint us to be but it certainly does not mean we are weak too. If we focus on unity, higher ethics, hunger for good education and living by good values & principles, we are unlikely to be whacked around as how it is happening now. We need to build more networks among the community and start sharing our ideas and know-how and we may achieve something that MIC or any political party have said but not done anything all these years.

Hindraf’s protest is a bold move but the change should start with the Indians themselves. There is plenty of work to be done to change their mindset and having protest is not a good start. As Kavilan rightly pointed out – there is a wrong impression of Indians in Malaysia. Work out that first before we can say our fight for justice is worthwhile.

Stop thinking like a minority – we may still have a more realistic way out.

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