Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Right or Privilege

recently there's this Hindraf thing that sparked the outrage of the govt and malaysian alike. Datuk Seri Ali Rustam recommended that the leaders of Hindraf be stripped off their citizenship.

first of all. i wan to make clear that i do not support what Hindraf had done. they deserve to be punished but not to the extent of stripping their citizenship.

i am of the opinion that citizenship for someone born in that country is a right and not a privilege. no one can take away a person's rights. if their citizenship is stripped, then there's no difference to denying them basic human rights.

so what say you guys?


Bumps and humps in life. said...

Dude, our gov is known to implement superb laws when necessary.nothing new down here...

ViViEnNe said...

i guess stripping off their citizenship will only make it worse...

Hollow Ataraxia said...

erm... just a question...

To KJ :
Why do these Hindraf ppl need to be punished?

To everyone else :
What other actions that the govt need to do, besides stripping their citizenship? Imprisoned for life? Seized all their assets? Perhaps bring all their family members in for unorthodox interrogation?

Hmmm... I don't know... Maybe they don't really need to do anything at all... Sometimes ppl need to be taught/nurtured in a totally different way, more unique perspective... Not punished...

125z Rider said...

Hahaha, I thought that our country was a democratic country. I guess i was wrong

Sarah said...

Tak kenal tak cinta, tak kena tak rasa.

Way b4 Hindraf's initiative, someone has been highlighting the plight of the needy among his own people in last 20-30yrs. He's KS Maniam, our own stellar storyteller +educationist & i might add 'historian' (we'd just done M'sian Lit. this short sem when Hindraf surfaced).

Two works of Maniam -must read 2get glimpses on the problems that confronts his community since pre-Merdeka days: "The Return" and "The Cord", one a novel and the other a play, the latter is esp. heart-rending.

These Malaysian stories are poignant -they flesh out how economic realities structure human societies at the family level. In "The Return", Maniam takes us thru Malayan days of white colonialism (thus suing the Queen!), Jap occupation, communism and Merdeka thru the eyes of his people. How a hardworking family tries its level best to make it, with all good intentions.

"The Cord", a short play, doesn't mince words, the plight of the marginalised community is painted in all its stark colours. A young couple from India comes to Malaya with dreams for a future : bringing with them values of uprightness and the spiritual but reality in the new land shortchanges them. Ills such as class heirachy or bullying within the Indian community, endless labour, escapism and family discord become daily servings. Marginalisation and habits keep the majority shackled. The poor gets poorer and dreams turn into a nightmare in the play.

Tak kena, tak rasa. Hindraf and the community deserved to be heard. It could be any needy community for that matter. The decent thing for the powerful "neo-colonializers" is to at least stop and listen. Human destinies in real families are at stake. A needy family simply cannot wait a year, let alone another 50!

KahJoon said...

hollow, u ask why Hindraf ppl need to be punished?

simple, its for all the things they have done. yes they deserve to be heard but do it the proper way. not through violence and protests.

they also spread rumours of ethnic cleansing. WTF in the world is that. malaysian govt DID NOT carry out ethnic cleansing. it was an outrageous lie. moderate ppl like me were outraged too by their lies.

the british consulate confirmed that they did not receive documents or petitions from Hindraf. shows that hindraf not interested in sending the memorandum after all. they just wan to create chaos.

to the hindraf ppl, if you want a better life work for it. dont ask ppl to give it to you. get lost lah if you're so unhappy with this country. if the british didn't bring you here, you think you'll live a better life in india? congrats, dream on !!!

Premium Cashews said...


You say they should be punished for "all the things that they have done", and that they should not use violence and protests.

Do you really think that in this so called "peaceful" and "independent" country, the government is going to bother to consider the arguments of these Hindraf members, if they do things as you put it "The right way".

There is no point in speculating whether or not the Malaysian Indians would be better of living in India or in Malaysia. We cant say for certain.

Here is something to consider : Imagine studying in a university where the administration clearly states that for a certain group of students, they only need a CGPA of 2.0 to graduate, whereas another group needs a CGPA of 3.5. If you were in the 3.5 group, and you were forced to enter the university without choice, and added to that, it is going to cost you a bomb to actually leave.

Wouldn't you protest? : )
Get my point?

(And imagine if you protested time and time again "the right way", and nobody did a thing...)

Carmen N said...

KJ said: "to the hindraf ppl, if you want a better life work for it. dont ask ppl to give it to you. get lost lah if you're so unhappy with this country."

You know, making a statement like that clearly shows you don't have enough facts and stats about the lives of Indian plantation workers (for example), or even Indian janitors, some of whom work at UTAR and you CAN talk to them.

Imagine the life of an Indian plantation worker's child. You grow up in a family where your parents earn pittance, hardly enough to survive. Due to lack of money, you are unable to eat nutritious food that can feed your brain to enable you to do well at school. You have to walk far to attend a school at the plantation, which is ill equipped and has few teachers, most of them are not good ones because excellent teachers and good facilities exist mostly in the urban areas or in private schools.

So, you study at a lousy school, you are badly nourished, and you don't have electricity on the plantations to enable you to study into the night. Furthermore, you have to contend with the arguments and problems that your parents face, dealing with crooked plantation owners, sexual harassment, threats and aggression. It is a never ending cycle that is tough to surmount, even if you work hard and study hard.

Then if you do manage to get a scholarship to study in a better school, you face racism when you are there. People look down at you or laugh at you because you are from the plantations. Or you are bullied and misunderstood.

The cycle of poverty is not that easy to get out of. Especially when you are dealing with a group of people who are SYSTEMATICALLY marginalized, economically, socially, politically.

You have a stupid leader like Samy Vellu who is too busy lining his own pockets and the pockets of his cronies to care about the welfare of the Indians who really need help. He only cares about those who are willing to vote him into office.

Then you also have to factor in the caste system, rampant sexism and racial discrimination (more Indian boys die under detention than any other race of male youths in Malaysia and most of them are detained without sufficient information. Don't believe me? Talk to Tamil Indians from Sentul. You will definitely be able to find 1 Indian male out of 5 who have been roughed-up or badly treated by the police through no fault of their own. This is racism, no doubt about it.)

I have heard too many Chinese people say that Indians just have to work hard. My dad says it, my relatives say it, some Chinese friends of mine say it but those who do say things like that very likely do not have Indian friends who are poor or who grew up in Indian ghettos and who speak Tamil.

Like it or not, English-speaking Indians are better off, mostly because they are from a very specific part of India and those who come from these parts came as teachers or civil servants and the were the educated lackeys of the British.

The rest, who came as indentured labourers--I call them slaves of the British empire, because that is what they were--they had a tough lot and the system was sustained in such a way that ensured they would never be able to easily get out of the oppression they were in.

So, I am sorry you think that way KJ and I hope you really go and talk to some Indian people who understand what it really means to live in a cycle of poverty. Trust me, they want to get out but it's damn near impossible.

Just go and talk to the Indian cleaners at UTAR and you will begin to get a glimpse of the life they lead. I am talking about a salary of RM400 a MONTH!!! I am talking about a 60+ year old Indian GRANDMOTHER who still has to clean toilets, inhale toxic fumes and come to work even when she is sick EVERY SINGLE DAY because her family still needs her money.

I dare you to look her in the eye and tell her to go back to India.

Carmen N said...

One more thing:

HINDRAF people were NOT violent at the demo. Read Msiakini, read Al Jazeera. The people who were violent were the police or provocateurs, who likely were not in HINDRAF. If any HINDRAF member fought back it was only to defend themselves. The Batu Caves incident was a provocation. Read Jeff Ooi's blog.

Mainstream press is BS. If you believe what the Star and others are reporting then perhaps you need to take critical thinking Pt 2. Read more news from alternative sources before you come to any conclusion. This is a fact of life in Msia. Mainstream newspapers are the mouthpiece of the govt. Even a first year JR student at UTAR can tell you that.

HINDRAF demo was a peaceful demo, modelled after Gandhi's non-violent civil rights demos. In any mass demo, there are bound to be people who get emotional and who react, especially when provoked by police. But to think that all demos are violent is to listen too obediently to the govt and to not do enough reading on your own.

A Msiakini reporter by the name of Andrew told me that from 6 a.m. in the morning of the demo until 12 p.m. that same day, the police and FRU sprayed acid laced water and fired tear gas at the Indians who were PEACEFULLY SITTING IN AND SILENTLY PROTESTING BY THEIR PRESENCE. Pictures of Gandhi sat next to them and they sang Tamil songs to register their feelings. They DID NOT fight the police but instead, sat there while they were sprayed with acid laced water and tear gas EVERY 15-20 MINUTES FOR 5-6 HOURS STRAIGHT.

Andrew told me that he has never seen this courage in demonstrators before, this kind of resilience in the face of this much police force. If you don't think tear gas and acid laced water is a show of aggression, then I think you have just redefined what aggression means.

If thousands of people are sitting down and calmly shielding themselves while they are being sprayed and fired on with tear gas, then please tell me... who are the violent ones?

Seasoned reporters have said that they are stunned by how CALM and DOCILE the protestors were, in the face of such police show of aggression.

But of course, this was never reported in the mainstream newspapers because the Msian mainstream press only respond to one thing when they see Indian protestors: 'these are a HUGE bunch of Indians so they MUST be up to no-good, they MUST be up to violence because they are Indians.'

Indians=violence. Many Indians=much violence. Thousands of Indians=crazy chaos.

You know what? People who think that way know NOTHING ABOUT THE INDIAN INDEPENDENCE STRUGGLE, have clearly NOT really read anything substantial about Gandhi and probably think he was hiding a baton under his dhoti.

If you think I am being sarcastic, you are right. But just because I am sarcastic does not mean I am not speaking the truth.

Harwina said...

Dearest KJ,

The truth is you need to understand what actually happened before even thinking of commenting on such issue.

You said that they deserve to be heard but do it the proper way.First define the word "proper" next can you suggest a "proper" way?

Try talking to people who have suffered, to get your facts right.Or even try talking to those who attended the peaceful demonstration.

"if you want a better life work for it."
Nice quote there KJ but how far is your quote true. Do you think that Malaysian Indians are not working hard to achieve a better life?

Until and unless you get your facts right, your comments on this issue may just be nothing but a baseless emotion.

ViViEnNe said...

when i 1st come to this issue,i DID think that ppl in the demo were violent...til i saw the 'provocateurs' dr carmen i'm really thinking,how all the vidoes online are blurr...and i remember mum said about the usage of the tear gases and water canon wasnt present in other 'majority' demo...or,should we say that the hindrafs has made one wrong move that they did not filter the ppl joining demo 1st?

KahJoon said...

hei y not we discuss this during our next crt thinking group discussion?

Carmen N said...

KJ, if you and I did not look different, I would have thought you and I were the same person. Hahahhaha... Coz... great minds think alike :-)

Tell you more in class on Thursday. Glad to see you back in the blog.

KahJoon said...

wah, i dont deserve such a big compliment. after this i would have higher standards to meet. feel pressured..LOL