Archive for March 2011

MIC supports INTERLOK as Malay literature text book

March 31, 2011

This afternoon I received a phone call from a teacher who heard his headmaster announcing in the school morning assembly that the INTERLOK book has been accepted by MIC and supported by all the penal members to review INTERLOK. The ministry will be making the 19 corrections recommended shortly and the book will be used as literature textbook. In view of the ministry decision, no student or teacher is allowed to criticize or talk against the decision. Students’ bags will be check off and on to ensure that they do not carry any fliers that are against the use of INTERLOK. The teacher added that all headmasters were briefed by state director of education department to make sure that all students accept the usage of INTERLOK without any problem. Headmasters are required to send back reports on the actions taken to ensure that students do not carry any fliers against INTERLOK to school.

This decision by minister of education shows clearly the MIC leader’s double act as champions of Indian community but at the same time supporting the UMNO’s and GAPENA’s proposal to continue using INTERLOK as textbook. Ministry of education is going ahead because MIC and the Penal members accepted the book. The fact that 3 Indian representatives walked out of the penal was totally negated and disregarded. The parliamentary debate on INTERLOK clearly showed the resentment and bitterness of Indian parliamentarians over the use of this book. Despite all the noise and expressed wishes of Indian NGOs against the use of INTERlOK, the ministry of education still gave the go ahead to use INTERLOK book. Does that mean the whole penal formation to review was a show and protocol to give legitimacy to whatever decision taken by ministry of education on this matter? It’s amazing how UMNO has shoved through a gridlock matter as though it is accepted by people. MIC and other Indian based BN parties have been pandering for over 50 years and therefore have become weak and spineless to stand up against UMNO. MIC and BN Indian parties have mortgaged the dignity and pride of Malaysian Indians for the selfish benefit of its leaders. MIC has buried all moral authority to lead Malaysian Indians.

Malaysian Indians and other minority communities will not accept the INTERLOK as textbook simply because it has no positive educational value. This book does not foster racial unity nor enrich students’ mind. A novel with many amendments on content, grammar and factual errors should be replaced. It seem to be an organized effort by UMNO racial spinners to systematically institutionalize the immigrant status of non Malays. This approach of BN government is in congruent with the ketuanan melayu concept upheld by UMNO and its racist NGOs. While upholding such racist sentiments BN and UMNO can gloat all over town the concept of 1malaysia. This shows the incredibly hypocrisy of BN/UMNO to built a one Malaysia.

Senator S. Ramakrishnan 29/3/2011

 

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Ng Yen Yen: Finance Ministry says No to tourism promo presentation

March 24, 2011

The Finance Ministry was today blamed for interfering in the over RM381 million tourism advertising and promotion contract.

Senator S.Ramakrishnan questioned the Ministry of Finance as to why the Prime Minister who is in charge of the Finance ministry directed the tourism ministry to skip the actual presentation as claimed by tourism Minister Datuk Ng Yen Yen.

She made this statement in Parliament last week.

The Minister had said that the Finance Ministry had decided to do away with the actual presentation as the submissions were “good enough” in the RM381 million in the tender process for the advertising and promotions contract.

“This is not a transparent process as claimed by the Finance Ministry which was told to have open tender process in place for transparency and credibility especially when Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak who is also the Finance Minister announced that tender processes in the Government will be open and transparent.”

This change in whole tender process in the last tourism tender award to five new companies and the withdrawal of award winning company ISC cast suspicion and doubt to the tender award.

Ramakrishnan asked: “Since no actual presentation, who read all the proposals, listen to the jingles and viewed the TV commercials that are usually submitted in such major advertising and promotion selections?

“Who in Malaysia Tourism promotion Board (TM) is qualified to select creative work by just looking at the documents? Why the agencies being notified verbally by Malaysian Tourism Promotion board’s and not given the chance to present their proposals? ”

Furthermore, it took 8 months to finally select the agencies despite one key step which is the presentation process was by-passed.

The Association of Accredited Advertising Agents (4As) vice president Tony Savarimuthu said that the calling for final presentation is an established industry practice before a decision is made on the winning bid.

He added that to ascertain the quality of actual presentations, it is conventional to see final presentations followed with a question and answer session between the clients and agencies.

To ensure greater transparencies and to avoid disputes, the services of pitch consultants or independent parties should be roped in to oversee the pitching process said Tony Savarimuthu.

“Upon the advice of MOF all these best practices in the industry were overlooked by the ministry of tourism.

“Who, when and Why did the ministry of finance direct the removal of the actual presentation which is an industry established best practice? ” Ramakrishnan queried.

“The personnel/department who instructed the skip instruction in MOF must come out in the open and clarify all the aspersions casted and redeem the reputation of MOF and its practices. Isn’t it prudent to view the submission in actual presentation as to the creativity, content, color, voice, background and so on?”

In this matter the Ministry of Tourism should have advised ministry of finance as they are technical experts handling advertising and media related work. The MACC should reopen the investigations on the negligence and misguidance of MOF and Ministry of Tourism.

 

MIC president is unable to lift Malaysian Indians to face the new reality

March 17, 2011

The MIC president’s recent call to poor urban settlers to go back to estate indicates that the MIC has lost touch with ground reality of the Indian community. Malaysian Indians have long ago left estates at the constant persuasion of MIC leaders. This urban exodus started in early seventies. In 1974 the then MIC president Datuk Seri Samy Velu made the assurance that all workers leaving estates will be given new skills training to find suitable jobs in towns. That was the last time we ever heard of skill training from Samy Velu and MIC. Now, after 37 years, the next president replacing Samy Velu advices those who came to town but still couldn’t get a footing in the urban settlement to go back to estates! An advice that is sure to fall on deaf years.

The country has moved from agricultural to industrial and service economy since the seventies. Malaysia attracted FDIs and factories grew all over and estates were converted into housing schemes. The economy grew by leaps and bounds. The Malaysian government was busy and focused on implementing NEP in every sector possible including civil service. Government departments treated Malaysian Indians as third class citizens. Plantation workers could not get anywhere with their problems be it red IC, birth certificate, employment, small business opportunities, scholarships and educational opportunities. Only after 2008 elections, the BN government did initiate programs to win back Indian votes like MYDAFTAR and TEKUN.

Malaysian Indians were completely neglected in the nation building and mainstream economic and political activities. The BN government shut out Malaysian Indians from all its plans and left them with MIC to manage. Plantation worker’s children need more job opportunities and skill training especially the small Indian businesses. Plantation children need more access to higher education and financial support. The federal government must treat Malaysian Indians as citizens who can contribute to the economic and social welfare and not third class citizen of this country. Institutionalized racism and corruption within the bureaucracy drove them away into poverty and crime. Discrimination in sports and studies in national schools marginalized Malaysian Indians further into predicament which MIC could do nothing but give excuse for UMNO.

The remaining Indians in estates are workers doing gardening and other housekeeping work and no more harvesting palm oil and tapping rubber. These works are undertaken by foreign workers. The foreign workers can go to the plantation early morning at 3 am and work till evening. Malaysian Indians who have family will not do better than foreign workers and estate owners are also no more interested in Malaysian Indian workers. The Indians left in estates are on the way out. Felda Negeri Sembilan in Jempol still has empty lots to be taken up. MIC president should urge the prime minister for those vacant lots for Indian community currently worked by foreign workers from Thailand. The MIC president should reach out to FELDA management and help out those Indians keen to settle down in FELDA instead of asking Indians to go back to plantation work.

MIC and its president are totally out of sync with the needs and wants of the Malaysian Indian community. MIC must show the way forward and not regress backward. MIC by bending backward to please UMNO, is mortgaging the plantation workers plight and their children’s future.

Senator Dr. S. Ramakrishnan

16/3/2011

 

Exclusive Interview with Senator S. Ramakrishnan – The Star

March 13, 2011

With MIC bending backward to please UMNO, Malaysian Indian’s position become more hopeless

March 11, 2011

In the Merlimau “buy election”, MIC was effectively used by UMNO to secure Indian votes to strengthen UMNO’s political grip. MIC and their other cohorts like IPF and PPP served Malacca CM Ali Rustam and UMNO well to get the Indian voters. They effectively used Minnal FM, TH Raga, 1Malaysia T-shirts, small goodies worth about RM30 each, dinners and promises of Tamil school and temple to deceive plantation workers to vote for UMNO. Besides the handouts, MIC also ensured that the Indian voters don’t listen to PR leaders. They hire buses to take out voters for dinners, trips and RM50 cash each. Many Indian voters received goody bags five or six times during the short campaign period. The poor plantation workers are kept ignorant and in fearful state. Therefore with MIC around, Malaysian Indians don’t need enemies. The plantation based Indians will remain poor for a long time to come.

The UMNO victory in Merlimau and Kerdau is hard work at all cost. Credit must be given to BN for their tireless effort in using all government machinery from PM office to local councils, media, police and money. Everything at their disposal was utilized to the maximum. Cabinet members and BN chief ministers were present meeting the people throughout the one week campaign period. The roads were tarred and the town cleaned with blockages in drains all removed within the short campaign period. Flower decorations were arranged along the main roads. Merlimau would have never seen such a make-shift before. PAS was not only contesting against UMNO but also the entire government machinery. At this rate it is Impossible to defeat BN in a buy election. BN wants to win by hook or crook. PR is just making their presence felt because they were never visible in these areas working on the ground before. Even the voters will tell that they have never seen opposition working like this before.

Against such a formidable opponent, PR component parties do not have the resources. PR activities were meek and lack pomp and splendor to attract younger voters and crowd. Their public rallies were crowded with non voters from surrounding areas.  There were no coordination nor central command, monitoring the whole operations for PR. PAS has support in certain Malay kampongs while PKR has no grass root presence. DAP’s presence are in Chinese areas which is small in Merlimau. Indian voters were left to DAP and PKR Indian leaders to handle. But everybody did their best in making their campaign work. The results may not be immediate in view of the mighty BN money and machinery but their presence were made. Voters in Merlimau could not resist the goodies delivered by BN left right and center.

Since the PR candidate was from PAS, they have to appeal to both non-Malays and Malays. PAS is so insulated by their Islamic ideology that they are unable to understand the feelings and wants of non-Malays. Their religiousness is so entrenched that they seem to overlook the economic and political reality. UMNO can easily hoodwink the poor Malay and non Malay voters by giving them pittance and in return secure their votes to rule this country. PAS has to outgrow and look at the larger issues like good governance, corruption, economic growth for all Malaysians if it aspires to reach Putrajaya. Hardliners in PAS are more concerned about policing the moral behaviors of Malays in valentine dinners and gambling outlets. They are driving away the moderate Malays, educated Malay women and non-Malay voters. PAS will be accepted by all Malaysians when the moderate leaders lead the party. The moderate leaders of PAS are Prime Ministerial Candidates. Will the hardliners allow moderate leaders to lead the party? Only time will tell if this is possible.

Defeating BN in a by election is not possible when the election commission turns the other way at every abuse of BN. However, the presence of PR is exerting pressure on BN to deliver and voters are benefiting from it. By elections are becoming expensive affairs and can BN maintain the expensive buy elections? How the voters vote in the General elections will be interesting to look for.

Senator S.Ramakrishnan

8/3/2011