Archive for November 2012

Segamat Constituency / Dr. Subramaniam

November 28, 2012

06

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Labis Constituency

November 27, 2012

07

Batu Caves Condo

November 24, 2012

08

Critics pan Petronas’ Deepavali advertisement

November 16, 2012

Critics pan Petronas’ Deepavali advertisement

 
  • M Krishnamoorthy
  • 8:36AM Nov 6, 2012
 

This year’s Petronas advertisement wishing Hindus ‘Happy Deepavali’ is a far cry from the affectionate, meaningful and memorable works of film maker Yasmin Ahmad.

The three-minute video clip ‘Let’s do the Dappan’ – a musical depicting people dancing in the streets – is in bad taste, according to viewers who were interviewed.

*Wikipedia explains ‘Dappan Koothu’ as: ‘A folk dance and music genre with an emphasis on percussion performed in Tamil Nadu, India. It has become one of several popular genres employed in film music …

‘A percussion instrument called the Tharai thappattai drum, resembling a tambourine without the jingles, is often used …

‘This instrument can be heard being played in houses where death has occurred to reduce or to suppress the sound of crying or to inform others about a death in Tamil villages. The particular beat employed is called Saavu Adi.

‘It may also be used to express joy. Mostly, this dance form is pretty much accompanied by ‘Gaana Songs’ – a typical song genre that goes along with this dance type. Like in Local Chennai they say, “Like Liquor and Pickle, DappanKuthu and Gaana go together”.’

Launched on YouTube on Sunday, the advertisement is expected to hit the airwaves this weekend, but has already drawn negative comments.

One comment on YouTube states: “For God’s sake, do some research on the Indian festive season… Seriously, in what way does this represent Indian culture?”

Another notes: “This is worst ad I have ever seen for Deepavali. It is a disgrace and insult.

“It’s a thumbs down for the one who conceptualised the ad. Please don’t ever play this ad on TV. I miss Yasmin Ahmad’s ad.”

Former Malaysian Hindu Sangam president A Vaithilingam said: “It is a controversial advertisement from the start. It shows gangster-like Indian characters causing havoc in the community.

“The clip stereotypes Indians negatively as the ones creating traffic jams by dancing in the middle of the street.

“It is something typified with the Hindraf movement and Bersih 3.0 to insinuate that Indians are to be blamed for causing traffic jams. This should be stopped and removed from YouTube immediately.”

Advertisement ‘targeted at youth’

Senator S Ramakrishnan said although the Petronas advertisement is targeted at the youth, it glorifies a passing trend.

Ramakrishnan said the clip does not represent the more than 5,000-year-old Indian culture or the sentiment of celebrating Deepavali among Hindus.

“The advertisement does not portray Indian culture, but is based on the current trend of Tamil films that depict violence, gangsterism and (cult) worship of film stars.

“At the end of the advertisement, the hero emulates Rajinikanth, a Tamil cinema superstar. (The clip) portrays Indians as being a nuisance to society, who should not be taken seriously.”

Although the advertisement appears to be an attempt at hilarity, Ramakrishnan said it puts Indians in bad light by showing them as street urchins and delinquents.

A film director who has seen the advertisement said it is quite clear that it was produced by a team of non-Indians or poorly-advised Indians who do not really understand Indian culture and values.

 

Batu Caves condo opens BN pandora box of deception

November 15, 2012

The announcement by PM Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to scrap the 29 storey condominium has turned the condo issue into open BN PR row. By making the announcement, Najib has flexed his muscle to impress the Indian community into believing that he can better serve them than the PR Selangor government. But he contradicted himself by transferring out the president of Majlis perbandaran Selayang (MPS) for disclosing the minutes of 2007 meeting which clearly showed that it was BN councilors who approved the project. If not for the PR government in Selangor state, the PM would not have bothered to come to Batu Caves and called to scrap the project. UMNO leaders were never bothered about Batu Caves before 2008 election.      

The authority to issue and cancel the development order of the 29 storey condominium, lies with MPS and the state government and not with Prime Minister. Being a PM he must respect the rules and regulations and promote good governance. Why in the first place the PM did not express his displeasure at those who approved the project and call for action against guilty parties. Looks like Najib wants to politicize the condo issue to win the Indian votes. Since MIC has become a liability to BN, PM Najib has to use his authority win the Indian votes.  

This project was approved without the environmental impact assessment and no thorough consultation with all the stakeholders. It is unfortunate that all these deficiencies in the approval process did not bother the PM. He was only concerned with scrapping the condo project and applying for UNESCO heritage listing. He should have expressed his concern over the approval and need to improve good governance. He failed to use the condo project to highlight the larger issue of corruption and disregard for the sanctity of the temple by the relevant government departments during the approval process.           

If Najib is really concerned about the temple and Batu caves issue, he must initiate an investigation into the temple management committee and appoint respectable people in the temple management committee. The current committee is self appointed does not reflect the wish of the community. The 1930 court order has to be done away with and let the committee come under a new Hindu endowment board. Batu Caves is a heritage and environment issue. It is a site and legacy that must protected.  Therefore the temple committee must be headed by a respectable public figure who is more transparent and accountable.

The Selangor Menteri Besar has appointed Datuk N.Sadasivam to review the whole condo project approval along with all other projects approved in the vicinity of Batu Caves. This is timely and a professional approach to a lasting solution. PM Najib should emulate the Selangor government way of handling the Batu Caves condo controversy created by BN government. PM Najib should not look at Indian community from vote bank perspective but as minorities who has equal rights.

Deepavali Greetings

November 12, 2012

09

MIC RELEGATED TO IRRELEVANCE

November 9, 2012

The Edge financial daily carried a 2 part interview with Datuk S.K. Devamany the deputy minister in Prime Minister Office? He was saying that Indians should not blame MIC for all their problems but instead change their attitude and take advantage of the various programs launched by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. He finally insists that Indians have no choice but to still depend on MIC to defend and carry on the community’s interest. Let us look at what MIC and their fellow component parties are doing right now during the deeepavali seaon.

As Malaysian Indians are celebrating Deepavali, MIC, GERAKAN and PPP have started their main annual activity of giving rice bags and provision hampers all over the country on behalf of UMNO. In places where UMNO is not welcomed due to unfulfilled promises and neglect, MIC, GERAKAN and PPP will go and soft talk the people into accepting UMNO. Then to cement the strained ties with UMNO these Indian parties in BN will give hampers and rice bags and in return get their pledge to vote for BN.       

As a case to mention, in a small town called Tenang in the labis parliamentary constituency, the people are upset because of Tenang by-election in January 2011 unfulfilled promises. The temple in tenang was promised RM500000 by Menteri Besar office is not fulfilled till date.  In another estate temple a hall was promised but in actual a hall ¼ of the original size was built. Collected Signatures submitted to Datuk Devamany during the Tenang by election was not even submitted to SAJ, the Johore water concessioner. House breaking, extortion and poor responses from police in arresting the culprits are hurting the people. The current Member of Parliament for Labis Datuk Chua Tee Yong has not done anything for them. The M.P. gives MIC/MCA/PPP branches their annual allocations to appease them. MIC branches in Labis are dysfunctional, so the PPP branches have moved in to soft talk and sweet talk these simple folks into accepting 5 kilo rice bags and hampers and support BN. This is the case all over Malaysia. UMNO and MCA know how to get Indian votes.

Even though Indians have come a long way and are more politically aware but there are still some gullible people who run after hampers. BN component parties even take photos and publish in Tamil papers that they have given 5 kilo rice bags and hampers. Is this something we should be proud off?  MIC has made Indians addicted to rice bags and hampers. MIC will keep poor Indians run after hampers. 

 Indians have to be part of decision making process which they are not. MIC has made them politically irrelevant. To be relevant Indians must be informed but BN controls the flow of information. Fortunately alternative media saved us. Sad to say even the Indian students in local universities are not spared by MIC. These students are misinformed and persuaded into believing that Indians are taken care of by UMNO/BN by MIC youth. MIC leaders are mercenaries of UMNO. Besides the 1 Malaysia slogans chanting, our PM could not walk his talk. Even the DPM don’t believe in the PM’s 1Malaysia slogan.   

These 5 kilo rice bag and hamper handouts to Indians during deepavali have downgraded our image in the eye of other communities. The years of deprivation have made the poor very short sighted, insecure and self centered. This also shows how easily Indians can be satisfied and made contented. Indians have an image problem. Thanks to MIC/BN. The Indians in US, Europe and even Africa are well respected. But the long apartheid policy of UMNO has robbed us of our self dignity. Indian working class children suffer from no self confidence and poor self esteem.  

Therefore what Datuk S.K. Devamany said is all hot air without any substance. It’s another attempt to keep UMNO happy and make MIC relevant. But on the ground MIC have lost all credibility and respect from Indians. It’s BN’s handout programs that keep them relevant. In fact MIC may see its end in the forth coming elections.

MIC/BN has become the past. The future has to be more inclusive politics where all are equal and we walk with our heads high. No more being treated as strangers in our own country of birth. Able and talented individuals regardless of our ethnicity and religion are called to serve this country. Only then will this blessed country will see its day. People like Datuk S.K. Davemany can’t do it. Therefore they have to make way politely.