Sunday, January 20, 2008

Malaysian Indians hold pro-govt. rally, poll looms

Malaysia's Indians hold pro-govt rally, poll looms
Sun Jan 20, 2008 5:59pm IST
By Clarence Fernandez

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Around 10,000 of Malaysia's ethnic Indians
staged a pro-government rally on Sunday, two months after a similar
number of Indians defied arrest and tear gas to protest against racial

In a well-orchestrated event, Indians filled a badminton stadium in
the capital to hear the prime minister, from the ethnic Malay
majority, promise to work harder to wipe out pockets of hard-core
poverty in their community.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi won the biggest cheer when he
announced a religious holiday for Wednesday, when Indians celebrate
Thaipusam, a festival famous for its procession of devotees who skewer
their bodies with metal spikes and hooks.

Abdullah, who is expected by political analysts to call an early
election by the end of March, also said he would form a special
cabinet committee to eradicate extreme poverty by 2010.

"We have succeeded in reducing poverty, but there is still a small
amount (remaining)," Abdullah told the crowd which was seated in
orderly rows.

He made no direct reference to November's demonstration, which stunned
the government and caused diplomatic tensions with India. But Sunday's
event, organised by the main pro-government Indian party, was clearly
meant as a reply to that unrest.

Around 7 percent of Malaysia's 26 million people are ethnic Indians
whose forefathers were brought to the Southeast Asian country as
labourers by British colonial rulers.

Many complain of racial discrimination and some accuse the government
of trying to wipe out their culture by imposing Islamic laws and
targeting Hindu temples.

Following November's protest in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia arrested five
Hindu activists under a tough security law that allows indefinite
detention without trial.

"The Indian community has to be cautious because certain quarters want
to see the community split and not united," Works Minister S. Samy
Vellu, whose Malaysian Indian Congress belongs to the ruling Barisan
Nasional coalition, told Sunday's crowd.

Sunday's rally, attended by around 21,000 people according to Vellu
spokesman E. Sivabalan, would be the first in a series ahead of the
general election, Vellu told the official news agency Bernama.

Critics say Vellu, who has been the party leader and a cabinet
minister since 1979, is out of touch with poor Indians.

Many of those attending Sunday's rally were ferried in by bus. One,
who gave his name only as Prabu, a 33-year-old brokerage clerk, said
he opposed the November rally because it had threatened to split the
Indian community.

"We feel the community should not be divided, that's why we think it
was wrong and that's why I am here today."

Another, factory supervisor Selvaraj Tamilselvan, 44, said unlawful
protests such as the November rally were wrong.

"I feel there is a proper way of raising these issues and resolving
them properly."

1 comment:

DIASPORA said...

It is refreshing to see that The Right Hon'ble Dato' Dr Samy Velu has managed to salvage himself, the MIC and the Malaysian Indians irrespective of the mode or manner in which he apparently single handedly proved that he can equalise the numbers that his 'opponents' had earlier managed to garner for the HINDRAF unlawful rally.

Of course, BERSIH and HINDRAF and other Civil Societies groupings had to face Police Road Blocks; Buses being turned back; cars being turned back; roads being blocked; those rallying and innocent on lookers being battered by chemical laced water cannons and Tear gas cannisters by "CHEMICAL ALI"s of Malaysian fame. They could have served Saddam Hussein when his regime was in power and be put to good use by the late Ruler of Iraq.

All in all - the Malaysians have saved the day. Not the Indians or Dato or the MIC or HINDRAF or the PM - BUT every single citizen of this fair land.

GOD BLESS everyone who participated in the effort to open the eyes and ears of the powers that be to the marginalized Indians, Malays, Chinese and a host of others and for making COMPASSION to rule the day.

We hope that the days will soon follow when the semi literate ignorant and probably rapacious Little "Napoleons" and their sister "Josephines" who create the host of problems for all citizens from and in their various small compartments in the Civil services and the Municipal Council services will henceforth be slowly weeded out for the bad reputation and disgrace they continuously bring to the Public Sector and most of all - to the Education Ministry and the Schools as a whole.

The wheel is slowly moving.

The Civil Soviety is getting more active, knowledgable, creative, active and ardent in its desires to make this land worthy of the toils and tribulations of our forefathers.

Until the 'fanatic' Napoleons and Josephines are weeded out - Organisations that tend to find ways to oppose the Government are going to breed and breed and create more problems for the Government thus starving it of the time to look into development and the interests of the citizens of this country.

Josephine told the poor to 'Eat Cake" - when they appealed for bread on the streets of Paris. That cost her HER HEAD.

Will the same happen to the Napoleons and Josephines in the Municipal services and the Schools where we find the most problems to the public and the children?