Thursday, October 9, 2008

Of Hindraf and Raya Open Houses

Malaysia is probably one of the few countries where you can actually walk to the PM and asked for a photograph to be taken. This is the only place I can think of where there is a Raya open house and thousands would patiently line up for their turn to shake the PM's hand and then enjoy the food, which is of course paid for by taxpayers. The point is this - despite all the loud political noises, Malaysia is a safe and tolerant country. The security personnel do not freak out easily, unlike the agents with dark glasses that guard the US president. In India and Pakistan, they are even more nervous. Don't dream of shaking the president's hand. During the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) in KL in 1990, I remembered being asked to leave the toilet I was in at the PWTC because a senior leader from an Asean country wanted to use one of the urinals. His bodyguards forgot he was in another country. So, when the Hindraf supporters wanted to remind the PM during the Raya open house that their leaders were still in detention, not many Umno leaders and members were amused. Pak Lah being Pak Lah, he allowed the Hindraf supporters to approach him although the security men were against the idea. There are now conflicting reports over how the event took place - Hindraf has insisted there was no commotion. But there is no denying they wanted to stage a protest. They had a signature memorandum with them too. They have their reasons and it is their democratic right. But they could have chosen a better time and place. Let's leave politics out, at least for a day, on a festive occassion. We must know when to stop politicking. DAP and PAS leaders like Lim Kit Siang and others have always called on the PM during the Hari Raya but always with great respect and they have never made strong political statements on the side line, preferring to talk about the festival. The Hindraf show of strength was thus a little out of place. To put it in a nutshell, it wasn't appropriate. Certainly, given the emotions of the Hindraf case, many would prefer to overlook, even defend and justify, what they did. Yes, we agree that the community has a strong case for the years of neglect and their leaders under ISA. These are real grievances. There have been calls to ban Hindraf. I am not sure if it would help. There is large support for Hindraf from the Indian community because the MIC has lost the legitimacy to represent the Indians. It is best for the government to keep the channel open. But Hindraf should also be open minded enough to be sensitive to the sentiments expressed by others. Let's not be too quick to punish Hindraf as this is the season for forgiveness. At the same time, Hindraf should also not be too overly defensive and controntational, let's try to see each other's views. Surely, Hindraf leaders would be pissed off if there are protesters at their Deepavali open house, if they stage one. More important, let's celebrate each other's festivals as Malaysians and at least, keep politics out during such times. Can we see some goodwill, respect and tolerance, for a change?


Anonymous said...

Dey Wong,

Why conveniently leave out the bloggers who were there for the same reasons (ie to release their hero).
If you had followed the write ups in the various is glaringly obvious that the Hindraf supporters were led to a brickwall by the cops while inside the PWTC. The cops even led them to an insignificant hall and made them wait until they got the permission from the higher ups.Ignorant as they are, they waited patiently only to be aroused by the bloggers that there are other entries to sneak in to meet up the PM.
It is very obvious that they were led by the bloggers to "gatecrash" at 4th floor of PWTC.
You always appear to be blinded whenever you report about Hindraf activities.Your community too benefited via the brave fight of the Hindraf movement and please remove your blinkers when you set out to write about Hindraf.
Why don't you write something about the current despicable drama extraordinarie of the MCA elections.It stinks to the core with the daily revealations of the plot and counter plots.....Ong Tee Keat with his hidden assets,Ong Ka Ting's push for control of MCA assets.....
By the way, why should UMNO cry foul over Hindraf's activities when no police report of their so called misbehaviour made ?
What have you got to say about the UITM's demo in various states that had the blessings of the VC...that is far more biadap and unruly.


reshmann said...

I think you too have misunderstood the whole scenario.Hindraf went to the open house to meet the PM eye to eye,which they have been requesting for even much before they took to the streets on the 27th of nov,2007,and was met with severe repercussions.Why to bully a small disgruntled citizen?A PM who claims that he is the PM for all Malaysians,should listen to the grievances of his that not democracy is all about?

Anonymous said...

Wong oh Wong pleaselah check your facts, befor making a broad statement like this 'Malaysia is probably one of the few countries where you can actually walk to the PM and asked for a photograph to be taken'
you definatly going to get brick bats thrown at you,here check out the royal houses of Netherlands, belgian, Swedan,Luxenbourg,Denmark the president of finland etc.
you can find the royalties going shopping on theor own, I personally have met the President of Finland Tarja Halonen doing her own shopping. SO check your facts, actually regarding all this noise from umno concerning the raya open house and Hindraf, well to be very clear the PM STATED HE IS THE PM FOR ALL Malaysians didn't he? The hindraf people have tried to meet up with the PM how many times? but to no avail, they visited Putrajaya, they were ignored, they visited Parliment, they were arrested, so if they came to the open house, isn't it like a typical cultural to menyembah and seek justice from the leader of Malaysia, in this case the supreme head of the country politically, not the Royalty as it is just SYMBOLIC today. Isn't this the age- old cultural thingy from the times of the Malacca Sultunate where subjects bring their greivances to the sultan, penghulu, leaders. Isn't this a demorcracy as proclaimed by our constitution. THE SANDIWARA which is coming out of UMNO, is nothing much other than drama to get noticed because the umno elections are here, isn't this what it actually is? When BN and especially goes for elections, they suddenly proclaim to become the saviours of Malaysian Unity, but after elections when the votes have been cast, the rakyat are ignored and discarded and all the saviour bits are fast forgotten.
All this ketuanan has to stop, a party which depends on the goodwill of the rakyat for its existance cannot carry on with these dramas anymore either they grow up and behave like adults, or be forgotten and dicarded by the rakyat for behaving as petulant childish brats come the next elections. SO to all the politicians GROW UP. MALAYSIA IS FACING A LOT OF DIFFICULTIES, SO TO THE POLITICIANS, GET TO WORK, STOP BEING SIBUK POLITICKING SIANG MALAM, CONCENTRATE ON GETTING MALAYSIA OUT OF THIS ECONOMIC DEPRESSION WHICH IS FACING THE COUNTRY, Stop blaming everyone else for the mess we are in , YOU ARE RULING THE COUNTRY, THE BUCK STOPS AT YOUR DOOR. ENOUGH ALREADY OF THIS CHILDISH CLAPTRAP. DO YOUR JOBS YOU WERE ELECTED FOR.

Anonymous said...

tolerance and goodwill?? againest inhumane behaviour from govt side. do u support illegal arrests of malaysian citizens? can these ppl have left any sentiments of festival when their families have been undergoing great unjust...c`m this open house was arranged at a political head quarters...ppl have got right to excercise their right same like the otherside my dear

Anonymous said...

True, a Hari Raya open house is not the right place to protest.But then again the government jad provided no space for the down trodden mass to vent their grouses.If they talk and blog, they thrown into prison under ISA and Seditions Act. If they try the press, they get blanked out in the Bn controlled press. And if they lok to MIC, they get played out by MIC who only look after their own interest. If they take to the streets, they get beaten up by the police who accuse them of being terrorists. The poor Indians have no real avenue to convey their frustrations. But then again the "Open House" as practiced by the BN leaders is not a real open house, in that the these so called leaders have not invited the people to their own houses, but are actually hosting the events in public venues, paid for with tax payers's money,and so do not qualify as real open houses, but are in fact public events, whereby the Hindraf reps have legal and moral grounds to protest at such public places. They were not in the PM's home by any means. They were not protesting in Badawi's house, but at OUR rakyat's house.

Anonymous said...

You agree with the official tagline that HINDRAF politicised Hari Raya Open House. Yet, in the next breath, you say that that Open House is paid for by the taxpayers. I believe HINDRAF members are also taxpayers? Further, if the Open House is not political, then, the expenses should be borne from the private pockets of the hosts.

Please do not say the event is non-political but the taxpayers foot the enormous bill.

Besides what is wrong to ask for a favour during Hari Raya? Here we have women and children deprived of their loved ones during this "happy" and forgiving festival. Is it wrong then, to ask for some sympathy and forgiveness?

Forgiveness because their loved ones have NOT been proved guilty or even been charged in a court of law. Only that the people they are begging for help say so.

What exactly is so wrong that HINDRAF detainees' family members and friends have done that they should be chastised by the Government and, now, you? What is wrong for anti-ISA members to ask for release of the other detainees? Most of these detainees will not be with their loved ones. And for what crime? May I ask you that they have committed? When the authorities cannot find sufficient evidence to produce in a court of law?

Answer this! to justify your reprimand.

Anonymous said...

“All through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall, always.” - Mohandas Gandhi

BlueMoon said...

Bro. Wong, Your comment came very late since raya is nearly a week now. Inspite of this, your commment is still worth commenting. It seems that Hindraf is doing more damage to Hindus, the majority of whom are peace loving people. If Hindraf thinks that they can exert pressure by street marching and gate crashing, then they're absolutely wrong. There are many other peaceful means for them to make their voice heard. Minus the MIC, there are least 3 political parties which are symphathetic to their cause, with two governing the most richest states in peninsular. On the top of that there is one Deputy Chief Minister of Hindu's origin. Politically, Hindraf has a multitude of choice in deciding the platform to channel their woes and grudges. Hindus are well represented in DAP, Gerakan and PKR and leaders of these political parties share the same sentiment with Hindraf. Furthermnore it is wrong to assume that only Hindus are being marginalised. Malays and other Bumiputras are also vistimised by the present system. Go to the Kelantan and the interior of Sabah and Sarawak then one can find a lot of people who are homeless, poor and down trodden. Sometime worst than the poorest Hindraf.

Anonymous said...

Chun Wai, if somebody accept your invitation to your house, they have no right nor moral grounds to misbehave in your house. But if you are using the public's money to hold an event in a public place, then you have lost that right to say that your guests misbehave in your home, because they were not in your home, nor were they there at your event paid for with your money. The HINDRAF was at the "open house" which actually belong's to the Rakyat because the event was paid for with our tax money, and not Badawi's money nor UMNO's money. The trouble with UMNO is that because they had been in the government for so long,that they mistake the Rakyat's money for their money, and the Rakyat's assets as their assets. And Chun Wai, you have been with the STAR and MCA for so long that you can only see things' from BN's perspective. Look at what's happening to the people who air their dissenting views in public. They get thrown in prison with no trials in court. And a lot of views and criticism voiced by the public cannot find space in your STAR paper and the rest of the BN controlled papers.

Unknown said...

Whilst you may be right at the intent that one should have at open houses, Pak lah would have gained a lot of cookie points if he had continued to be gracious and not reprimand the attendees just now. He may give a warning next year that attendees should not present a protest in anyway. Perhaps it is not possible to meet the Prime Minister in any other way.If our ministers, including the Prime Minister, begin to behave more humbly as befitting the citizen's employees, we may be able to present our requests some other way.

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

May all those who come with the goodness of the heart
Never from their noble goals in seeking justice depart
They are never there to partake of the food like tarts
When their desire is only to throw their freedom darts

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 021008 & 091008
Thur. 2nd & 9th Oct. 2008.

Anonymous said...

Abdullah was a diplomat before he became a PM, surely, he could handle this sort of situation with ease. A friendly smile and a few kind words will go a long way to cool down 'hotheads'. I saw some of the pictures and was convinced, the Hindraf supporters did not appear to be confrontational. I could not say the same, for the arrogant UMNO ministers...always felt, the rakyat are living under their feet. Matter of fact, they were the ones should refrain from making unnecessary comments, to fuel the situation. They were making a mountain out of a mole hill.

romerz said...

Boo to you Datuk.

Why complain now about the spirit of Hindraf's visit to the open house when you don't highlight that successive BN governments have been exploiting the laws of the land by using the letter of the law for its purposes without taking into consideration the spirit behind its enactment?

I'm of the opinion that its a simple case of do unto others as you have others done upon you!

Shame on you!

Tinesh said...

Really now? Didn't HINDRAF go to meet the PM at the Parliament? Did he not send one of his minions to speak with them? When one is denied chances, the best thing is to look for an alternative. That's exactly what HINDRAF did.

Anonymous said...

WCW, it is my opinion that HINDRAF chose what they felt was a good platform to show their dissatisfaction over the recent "abuse" of the draconian ISA ruling. HINDRAF is not a big organization/society or group whichever way we wish to term them but they have remained consistent in their fight for equal rights and fair justice.

Obviously for a small group to make an impact, they have to choose a bigger platform to do so. Its a matter of choosing the time & venue to do so. I think they did no wrong. They were well coordinated with many wearing their uniforms/t'shirts so it wasn't a case where any Tom, Dick or Harry was picked from the streets to come in groves to protest at the Raya Open House.

They did absolutely no wrong....I salute them for making a affirmative stand.

Anonymous said...

Only politicians and corporate figures are capable of pretending to be nice and "cultured" to the people they hate. They are skilful at being hypocrites, or "diplomatic" as they call it. But the HINDRAF people are just ordinary people who don't have the "skill" of pretending to be nice to people they don't like. And we are talking about the people who have sent their relatives and friends to Kamunting under ISA. So what can possibly motivate the HINDRAF people to shake hands and kiss hands with these horrible dictators. And they are not eating Badawi's or the other UMNO bigwigs' food. They are eating food paid for by the taxpayers' money. It is OUR food. But of course the UMNO people sometimes (often times), think our money is their money.

Anonymous said...

Chun Wai,

You may appear to have become a more liberal person of late BUT once in a while, your comments here show that a tiger will never lose its stripes.

Obvioously, you and the other sycopantic editors have been told to prepare a case for the government to act against Hindraf and its leaders. You are using this blog so that The Star won't be accused of manipulating the issue.

Chun Wai, you will only understand the monstrosity of the ISA until you yourself or any of your close ones are held without trial in solitary confinement for your own beliefs.

Be fair lah, brother. You remember how your felt during the Ops lallang when your paper was shut down? That's how the people are feeling now.


sinnersaint:saintsinner said...

Chun Wai,

There are many version of this story.... you only have to get the facts....

I do believe, we need not be political everyday of our lives and should try to observe festivities without DRAMAS but if tax payers monies are being used to celebrate these occasions without taking into account of the suffering of the people than we should abolish these extravaganza. How does it cost the tax payers??????

If politicians want to host such occasions, they should cough it out from their own pocket.

Many Bloggers were there as well, pls check zorro unmasked for a different view....


Anonymous said...

Kepada Reshman dan beberapa orang yang lain,
Saya salah seorang beribu masyarakat india yang hadir pada majlis rumah terbuka PM di PWTC baru - baru.Apabila saya melihat tindakan mereka , saya amat kecewa dan marah.Inikah nilai kaum india? Sungguh memalukan.Kita kena ingat, ini merupakan majlis rumah terbuka untuk kita semua bersuka ria bukanya mengunakkan anak kecil untuk buat keoh dan hantar memorandum.
Saya hormati niat mereka untuk membebaskan 5 tahanan Hidraf daripada ISA tetapi perlu kena pada tempatnya.Apabila saya tengok insiden tersebut, saya sebagai orang india amat malu apabila bertemu dengan masyarakat melayu kerana perbuatan Hindarf pada sambutan hari raya yang sungguh mulia.Lagi satu, kenapa Wethamoorthy bersempunyi di London dan kerap membuat kenyataan dari sana? Balik sahaja ke Malaysia dan teruskan perjuangan.Kenapa dia takut? Cukuplah lakonan Hindraf.Mulai hari ini saya juga tidak menyokong Hindraf kerana mereka terlalu ego dan tidak menghormati adat resam kaum lain.

Anonymous said...

Ini bukan soal jumpa PM ataupun tidak.Pertama mereka kena tahu beradab.Kedua mereka kena tahu menghormati kaum lain dan ketiga mereka perlu mempunyai niat baik dan perlu kena pada tempatnya.
Semasa Pilihanraya kecil Permatang Pau baru - baru ini PM telah pergi lawatan mengejut dan menerima memorondum mereka dan minta mereka jumpa dia.
Tetapi Hindraf memang sudah melampui batas pada sambutan hari raya di PWTC baru - baru.Jangan nak buat komen untuk syok sendiri dan mereka yang ada di PWTC hari tersebut tahu apa yang terjadi sebenarnya.

reshmann said...

Kepada anonymous 5.22pm,

Kalau Hindraf tu buat hal kat rumah terbuka tu,kenapa kerajaan ta nak keluarkan klip video dan gambar2 tu.Kan hindraf dah challenge kerajaan buat sedemikian di rtm ataupun di tv3 biar lah seluruh rakyat tengok ancaman mereka.Kenapa mereka takut?

Engkau ni tidur lagi ker?Seluruh dunia ketawa kat malaysia lar,tangkap rakyat yg minta kebenaran dan di masukkan dlm penjara.Ingat ni pea brain,orang2 politik tu di pilih oleh rakyat,termasuk orang2 hindraf tu,yg juga bayar cukai,sambil orang cam kau dok makan ngan goyang kaki di atas nama Dasar ekonomi baru.Tahap uni pun dah musnah,muhibbah dah di musnah kan,ekonomi dah musnah,apa lagi yg kau rasa bannga ni?

To raj,
Enkau ni berbunyi cam melayu lar,walau bagaimana pun saya ras amat sedih dan malu tengok ada rakyat macam kau ni di malaysia.Bertaubat lah.

Anonymous said...

Kenapa beberapa komenter tak faham isu sebenarnya? Jangan terlalu mabuk dan angkuh apabila untuk menyuarakan pendapat anda.Jangan terlalu emosional sehingga nak mempertahankan Hindarf tetapi lupa diri. Kalau anda berada di rumah terbuka PWTC , anda akan faham.Anda tanyalah mereka yang hadir bagaimana perasaan mereka.Jangan nak bagi pandangan untuk glamour aja.Bukak sikitlah mata anda.

Anonymous said...

Politicians should STOP using our taxpayers' money to hold "open house" as a personal PR tool. If they want to hold a real open house, then please their own money (which they seem to have plenty) to pay for a real "open house" in their own house.

Anonymous said...

to the anonymous who posted at 5.22pm 10th Oct,

memorandum yang diterima di permatang pauh dengar khabar telah diubahsuai kerana ia dianjurkan oleh kumpulan lain. Memang telah dirancang lebih awal "drama" lawatan tu.

to Wong Chun Wai (Dato),

is the raya card your version of memorandum? coz only certain politician from one party said there was a memorandum. no one else noted it.

Anonymous said...


1. memorandum yang macam mana tu? mungkin u maksudkan kad raya kot?

2. Saya rasa Waytha tak balik sebab ada arahan untuk menahannya dibawah ISA. kalau anda akan ditahan jika balik ke malaysia, anda akan balik juga ke?

Anonymous said...

Kenapa Wathya takut untuk balik ? Kerana ISA ? Sekiranya beliau betul - betul perjuangkan nasib masyarakat india tak perlu takut kepada ISA.Hindaraf perlu ada garis panduan untuk perjungan dan bukanya memalukan kaum india.Wathya dan Thanithran terlalu banyak bercakap sehingga kami juga sudah meluatlah.Kami sudah bosan dengan Hindarf kerana sudah didalangi pembangkang.Pak Lah dah terima memorundum.Kenapa tak pergi jumpa dia ? Kenapa nak serbu di PWTC? Cukuplah permainan anda.Orang melayu dan cina memerhatikan kita.

Anonymous said...

With Hindraf came Makkal Sakthi.
With Makkal Sakthi People Power.
With People Power States Fell.
With States Fell Leaders Lost.
With Faulty Leaders Gone Nation Gained.
Never disrespect Makkal Sakthi.
The Power Therein is of God.
God puts right when man dosent.

burungpenang said...

Raj oh Raj...

Tunjuklah video klip macam mana HINDRAF memalukan anda semasa di OPEN HOUSE. Kalau anda berada di sana, anda mesti menggunakan talipon bimbit untuk merekodkan kejadian tersebut. Maka rakyat internet dapat tahu HINDRAF memalukan dan bukan Badawi yang zalim.
Kalau tiada bukti.... DIAM-DIAMLAH.. jangan tunjuk pandai. Kaum india lebih malu jika ada anak india macam anda.

Anonymous said...

Wah, yang sokong hindraf tu dah baca ker petition hindraf tu betul2? Kalo tuntutan gitu x patut dikenakan tindakan guna ISA, aku pun nak jugakla buat gitu utk kaumku, nak saman Rajah Brooke pulak. Tapi, look at history and where we are now, rasa mcm kacang lupakan kulit lak kalo nak buat gitu.Nanti aku nak g beraya deepavali kat rumah kawan2 aku ramai2 pakat pakai t-shirt Sarawak for Sarawakian. ermm.. x da masalah kot.. kawan2 aku x sensitif mana pun.. apa2 yang anti government sekarang kan akan dipandang mulia.. yo reformasi.. sekarang ler masa aku nak minta apa sajer.. 20% royalti minyak, blom lagi kira balak... wakakaka

reshmann said...

anonymous 1.04pm,

Kamu ini ta pandai buat analisis lar sebelum komen.Ada ker Hindraf pegi ke rumah terbuka orang2 melayu biasa atau pun ke rumah orang2 umno yg ternama dengan t-shirt oren tu?Mereka cuma nak berjumpa dengan PM lar secara individu,sebab PM enggan jumpa dgn mereka walaupun banyak kali dah mereka minta appointment kat putra jaya tu.

Kamu memang betul,orang2 sarawak dan sabah memang orang2 yang paling miskin sekali di malaysia,walaupun ada sumber2 alam semulajadi yg kaya seperti petrol dan balak,so salah siapa kalau kamu semua bagi orang2 umno tu pakai kamu semua?Salah kan diri sendiri lar.Orang2 india memang kuat kerja,tapi kalau kerajaan sentiasa nak sekat mereka macam mana nak membangun?Ingat ini,Hindraf ta minta tongkat lar,mereka hanya minta kerajaan supaya bersikap adil dan jangan sentiasa bagi banyak sekatan.Tengok lar budak2 ITM tu,untuk 10% quota bagi orang2 bukan melayu pun menangis cam budak kecil,tu pun lepas 51 tahun merdeka,ta malu ker?Dunia sedang ketawa lar tengok semua ini.SO tolong pakai otak sikit sebelum komen.

ChengHo said...

Hindraf is legal or illegal association what about non hindu indian ?

Anonymous said...


Saya tak arif sangat sampai boleh baca minda orang lain seperti Waytha. Tapi kalau saya berada dalam situasi Waytha, saya pun akan berbuat sama sebab kalau ketua - ketua dah kena tangkap, maka dengan mudah HINDRAF akan ditumpaskan - pihak yang tidak bertanggungjawab hanya perlu keluarkan kenyataan-kenyataaan yang mengelirukan penyokong HINDRAF. Lepas tu, HINDRAF akan bersurai dengan sendirinya.

Pasal memorandum itu, difahamkan ianya telah diubahsuai dan bukannya memorandum yang asal. Tapi, you rasa memorandum itu ada dibaca atau dah pun jadi kertas guna semula?

Memang sah tak serbu pun di PWTC. TV3 pun takde modal nak tunjuk. Saya tengok klip video di TV3- yang buat kecoh adalah pihak media dengan kamera besar yang asyik flash dan berpusu-pusu nak ambil gambar dan rekod suara. Kalau dia orang tak kecoh, orang lain tak pandang pun.

Saya dengar di Kg Baru lain cerita. Kedatangan penyokong HINDRAF disokong dengan meriah. Open house kat sana takde pulak problem apa - apa. Pelik ye?

AB said...

Kenapa Wathya takut untuk balik ? Kerana ISA ? Sekiranya beliau betul - betul perjuangkan nasib masyarakat india tak perlu takut kepada ISA.Hindaraf perlu ada garis panduan untuk perjungan dan bukanya memalukan kaum india.Wathya dan Thanithran terlalu banyak bercakap sehingga kami juga sudah meluatlah.Kami sudah bosan dengan Hindarf kerana sudah didalangi pembangkang.Pak Lah dah terima memorundum.Kenapa tak pergi jumpa dia ? Kenapa nak serbu di PWTC? Cukuplah permainan anda.Orang melayu dan cina memerhatikan kita.