Tag Archives: Hindraf

Who is Waythamoorthy?

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/102663

Barely 48 hours after suspending all Hindraf coordinators, the outlawed movement’s exiled leader P Waythamoorthy has now been forced to defend his decision.

His move to clarify the suspension came about following a deepening rift between London-based Waythamoorthy and the movement’s grassroots leaders and supporters who were fighting for the cause here.
p waythamoorthy
It is also learnt that Waythamoorthy’s clarification was as much as to assuage the bruised egos of the suspended coordinators, which included some opposition parliamentarians and well-known rights activists.

“A complete revamp and restructure is needed to face the new challenges (for Hindraf),” Waythamoorthy told Malaysiakini today in explaining his decision to suspend the coordinators.

He said that his original intention to suspend the coordinators has been “misinterpreted and misunderstood by certain segment of the public”.

“They read it as though we are replacing our coordinators. This is not the case as it is merely a restructuring exercise,” he added.

And he went on to further explain the need for such an exercise.

Changes needed to remain relevant

He said that the original 10-member committee was set up towards the end of 2007 to oversee the movement’s campaign in fighting for the rights of the Indian community and to demand for the release of Hindraf leaders held under the Internal Security Act in December 2007.

By then Waythamoorthy had also left the country to spearhead the movement from London.

However, he added, those appointed to the position of coordinators have now moved on to undertake other key responsibilities which were far more challenging with the increased needs of the society.

a kugan detention death funeral ummc to puchong 280109 s manikavasagamHe gave the examples of M Manoharan (Teluk Intan) and S Manikavasagam (Kapar) (right) who have since become parliamentarians for the opposition.

He said that another coordinator N Surendran had been forced to take up all legal matters involving Hindraf as all other Hindraf legal advisors were under the ISA detention.

And as for the movement’s national coordinator RS Thanenthiran, Waythamoorthy said the former has since indicated that he was serious about forming his own political party.

“As chairperson of Hindraf, I can state that the valuable and sound advice, support and contribution from the aforesaid politicians, members of parliament and legal advisor have been vital in spearheading our struggle.

“The continuous support from them would only strengthen the movement’s direction in fulfilling the demands of the Indian community,” he added.

However, he said that the expectations and aspirations of the Indian community were beyond the original demands and Hindraf needed to keep up with the needs and changes to be relevant.

“In these circumstances, a complete revamp and restructuring is needed to face the new challenges. The new structure would be announced in the next few days,” he said.

Grumble in the ground

On Friday, Waythamoorthy dropped a bombshell by announcing the suspension of the movement’s 10 state and national coordinators with immediate effect. He replaced them with a three-person interim committee.

hindraf seberang jaya penang protest police report 290808 05Among those dropped from the line-up included the movement’s top coordinator Thanenthiran (left) who had been helming the group locally while Waythamoorthy was in self-imposed exile.

Waythamoorthy also placed a gag order on the dropped coordinators.

The coordinators, while publicly have stated that they accepted Waythamoorthy’s decision, have privately expressed their disappointment with the move.

It is learnt that some of them were caught unaware by their suspension, leaving them embarrassed in having to explain the situation to their supporters.

These coordinators have played a pivotal role in keeping the Hindraf movement alive and relevant, including successfully turning the Indian voters to support the opposition in the 2008 general election.

However, there have been complaints recently that the movement and some of its coordinators have become politically ambitious.

Who is Waythamoorthy?

Waythamoorthy’s decision to suspend the coordinators also did not go down well with some Hindraf supporters who had turned against the movement’s leader by questioning his judgement.

And highlighting the widening rift in the movement, leading Tamil daily Malaysia Nanban today carried a headline which asked ‘Who is Waythamoorthy?’

The daily quoted some grassroots supporters questioning Waythamoorthy’s decision to remain overseas while faulting the local coordinators.

“He should have been here fighting with us for our cause rather than issuing statements from overseas,” they said.

Water cannons used to disperse crowd in Brickfields

Police fired water cannons to disperse a 200-crowd who came to the Brickfields police station to lodge mass police reports against the mistreatment of ISA detainee P. Uthayakumar.

Water cannons were turned on a group who came to the Brickfields police station to lodge mass police reports against the mistreatment of ISA detainee P. Uthayakumar.

The crowd had refused to disperse despite repeated warnings from the police.

Earlier Saturday, about 200 people, including several Members of Parliament, had gathered to make the police reports.

Police allowed about 50 people – five family members of Uthayakumar and five representatives each from the country’s nine states, including the MPs – to enter the station to lodge the reports.

The rest outside were asked to disperse. Most of them did but about 30 refused to leave.

The Federal Reserve Unit, which was already on standby, began shooting water laced with irritants at the crowd. They ran away and then came back. They were again shot at with water cannons.

They ran way again, regrouped and returned to face a third round of dousing before dispersing.

Several people were arrested.

The FRU now has established a safety perimeter around the police station.

Perak speaker bars Zambry, excos from assembly sittings-Malaysiakini

Perak Speaker V. Sivakumar has barred Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir from from attending all State Assembly sittings for 18 months

Dr Zambry’s six exco members have been barred for 12 months, Sivakumar said on Wednesday.

Sivakumar said this after an inquiry before him and the Special Privileges Committee on Wednesday to give statements on complaints that their appointments were unconstitutional.

Malaysiakini-MIC Youth raps Umno over seat jostling By-Election

Penang MIC Youth today called on Umno to focus on winning the by-election for the Bukit Selambau state seat in Kedah instead of harping on which party should contest it.

In view of this, Penang MIC Youth chief M Suresh said Umno must stop disputing the allocation of the seat to MIC.

He pointed out that public attrition among Barisan Nasional parties over the issue would only undermine the coalition’s unity and dampen its chance of winning.

“The dispute is unwarranted. It would only portray a wrong picture about unity in BN,” he added in a statement.

Suresh was referring to recent statements from Jerlun MP Mukriz Mahathir, an Umno Youth chief aspirant, and several Kedah Umno leaders calling on the BN leadership to allot the seat to Umno.

“Local Umno leaders should stop issuing irresponsible statements that would undermine BN’s credibility and solidarity as well as hamper the coalition’s chances of winning back the seat,” he said.

Kedah Umno leaders felt that Umno had a better chance of winning the seat since MIC had lost its credibility among its traditional Indian voters.

Support for Umno declined as well

However, Kedah MIC disputed this, arguing that the party lost the seat in the previous general election because the traditional supporters of BN had deserted the coalition due to various reasons.

Bukit Selambau is one of the two state seats under the Merbok parliamentary constituency, the other being Tanjung Dawai.

Kedah MIC had retorted that Umno too had lost substantial support among the Malays with its defeats in Merbok and Tanjung Dawai against both PKR and PAS.

Kedah MIC chief V Saravanan, 67, who is among the favourites to contest, said BN’s defeat in the two state seats as well as Merbok showed that the coalition had lost more than 50 percent of support from each community across the constituency.

Bukit Selambau, a semi-urban constituency, has little over 50 percent Malay voters, with about 30 percent Indian and 20 percent Chinese.

With its sizable number of Indian voters in the constitutency, Bukit Selambau had been traditionally contested by MIC on behalf of the BN coalition.

In the last March general election, MIC’s S Krishnan lost by 2,362 vote-margin to PKR’s V Arumugam.

Arumugam, 54, resigned abruptly from both his assembly seat and executive councillor post early this month, paving the way for the by-election.

Nomination day is on March 29.

Meanwhile, Suresh said the tussle for seat between Umno and MIC was unhealthy and would only gift the Pakatan Rakyat with ammunition to fire at BN.

He said BN’s policy had always been to back all its electoral candidates notwithstanding from which component party they came from.

“Instead of disputing the candidacy, BN coalition partners should close ranks to ensure victory for the candidate. Let the top leadership resolve the issue,” he added.

Hindraf’s Mano allowed to visit unwell daughter-Malaysiakini

Internal Security Act detainee M. Manoharan was given an hour’s grant to visit his 11-year-old daughter Shivaranjini after she was admitted into hospital for breathing difficulties.

She was sent to the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre at 1.15am on Thursday after she started gasping for breath when she learnt that her father would not be released from detention due to the denial of his habeas corpus appeal recently.

Manoharan, who is also the Kota Alam Shah assemblyman, arrived at the centre accompanied by Special Branch officers at the ward at 2.50pm.

“I was informed about my daughter after my wife (S. Pushpaneela) contacted the authorities at the Kamunting detention centre at about 10.30pm on Thursday,” he said when met at the paediatric ward Friday.

“I did not sleep well at night as I was very worried about her,” added Manoharan, who made a get-well-soon card for Shivaranjini out of paper, flowers and a few feathers while in detention.

He said his daughter was very close to him and cried each time she had to say goodbye at the end of the family’s weekly visits to the Kamunting detention camp where he is being held.

“Last year in December, she came to the detention camp all by herself by bus just to visit me. I was shocked but very touched to see her,” said Manoharan.

Asked how she felt about seeing her father at the ward, Shivaranjini said she felt happy that he was there but sad at the same time because he still had to return to the camp.

Manoharan said his next habeas corpus hearing on Feb 17 would be based on the grounds that he was a representative elected by his constituency and therefore was not a threat to national security.

“If I was chosen by the people even while I was being detained, how can I be a threat?” he said, adding that he was still passionate about serving the rakyat (people).

He said his wife was currently shouldering the responsibility of overseeing his constituency while he is under arrest.

He also hoped the authorities would allow him to attend the next state assembly seating on March 10 as he deserved the right to raise questions in the interest of the public as an assemblyman.

Also present at the ward was Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah.

Karpal and the royals: ‘Blame Dr M’ -Malaysiakini

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng defended Karpal Singh and blamed former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for the uproar over the DAP national chairman’s plan to sue the Sultan of Perak.

He said Karpal was merely stating a matter of law that the Sultan could be taken to court.

Lim, who is Penang Chief Minister, said it was Dr Mahathir who was behind the 1993 constitutional amendment that allowed Rulers to be stripped of their immunity from prosecution.

“If we look at history, the person who made this law was from Umno itself. If you want to place blame, then blame the Umno person who is responsible for the deed,” he told pressmen before receiving a courtesy call from the Penang Bar Committee at his office in Komtar Friday.

Asked whether public support was waning for the DAP stemming from Karpal’s outburst against the Sultan, Lim retorted that it was only Umno who was angry with the party leader.

“What wrong has been committed by Pakatan Rakyat or Karpal Singh?” he asked.

Nizar sues Dr Zambry, wants injunction against him-Malaysiakini

Former Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin has filed a suit against current Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, saying his swearing in last Friday was illegal and unconsitutional.

In suit filed at the High Court here at 11:30am Friday, Nizar is also seeking an injunction against Dr Zambry to stop him from performing his duties and by way of judicial review, a declaration that Nizar is still mentri besar.

Only Dr Zambry was named as respondent after Pakatan Rakyat decided not to name the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, in the lawsuit.

It was the Perak Ruler who asked Nizar to step down as mentri besar and whom swore in Dr Zambry after he declared that Barisan Nasional had the majority in the state legislative assembly.

This came about after three Pakatan assemblymen quit their parties to remain independent, while a fourth jumped back from PKR to Umno, barely 10 days after he first quit Umno to join PKR.

While that tied Pakatan, which took over the state government after the 12th general election last March, and Barisan with 28 seats each in the 59-seat assembly, Sultan Azlan Shah said Barisan had the confidence of the assembly after the three independents pledged their allegiance to Barisan.