I read a comment somewhere in blogosphere that Dapsters will link, with the name “Ibrahim Ali”, just about any Malay individual who is in the DAP crosshairs.
In other words, anything Malay that the Dapsters are against will be conveniently tarred with the Ibrahim Ali brush.
Well it appears that the phenomenon is not confined to Dapsters alone but found in Malaysiakini as well, and with an added twist now. See the portal’s news headline today: ‘So Hindraf will now campaign for Ibrahim Ali‘ (screenshot below).
Hindraf MoU with BN, and “pariah”
On the Malaysiakini page, the last paragraph of reader Proarte’s featured comment reads:
“Pakatan is for all Malaysians. What is “unimaginable” is that Hindraf has agreed to drop ‘racism towards Indians’ and ‘custodial deaths’ in their MOU (memorandum of understanding) with BN.”
However if you were to go to the readers’ comment section, you will find that Malaysiakini had edited out Proarte’s actual concluding paragraph which read, “Hindraf is treating Indians as ‘Pariahs’.” (see screenshot below)
What kind of people are they?
The “pariah” word – used by Dapsters on Hindraf chairman P. Waythamoorthy and his movement’s followers – has flowed like hot lava erupting from the Pakatan fiery volcano.
Malaysiakini subscriber ‘Proarte’ who used the “pariah” word in the Malaysiakini readers section (screenshot above) has been mentioned once before previously in my blog.
Proarte came to the attention of my blog posting ‘Ekoran ketetapan muktamad PAS atas kalimah Allah‘.
Proarte had said:
“It is sad to see Malays like ahmed being led by the nose by Biro Tata Negara, Jakim, UMNO and half baked PAS leaders who pervert Islam with false and ignorant notions about Allah. They are able to do this because most Malays have no personal knowledge of the Koran or Arabic and have been so dumbed down by the political, educational and religious culture in this country that they do not have the confidence to form even simple or independent opinions about their faith.”
Malaysiakini used Proarte’s remarks as the banner comment in its latest report ‘So Hindraf will now campaign for Ibrahim Ali‘.
In a separate comment earlier this year, Proarte was similarly featured in another Malaysiakini article – ‘Teach PAS a lesson for behaving like Umno‘.
These Malaysiakini commenters are typical of ABU.
“PAS is showing itself to be unelectable. They speak with forked tongues and persist is displaying a penchant for ‘ketuanan’ and duplicity. How is this different to the Umno modus operandi? PAS is just the reverse of the Umno coin.
“The ‘Allah’ issue with their vacillating positions or should I say blatant lies is a pointed reminded of what PAS would be like in government. […] The Chinese New Year ‘guidelines’ underscore the sex obsession of PAS which is simply disgusting and paradoxically shows their immoral mindset, let alone their duplicity and intellectual bankruptcy.”
The negative opinion of Dapsters with regard to Malays and to Muslims is clearly demonstrated.
They accuse Ibrahim Ali and Zulkifli Nordin of insulting Indians. But the insults that the Dapsters themselves have been spewing at Hindraf Indians are much, much more vicious.
Frequently asked questions about latest developments with Hindraf and their new relationship with Umno/BN
By N. Ganesan
- Is it not a betrayal of the Indian cause to team up with Umno/BN?
What is the Indian cause if it is not an expression of the yearning of the average Indian for a shot at an equal and dignified life? Inequality and indignity are systemic outcomes caused by the skewed distribution of the national resource of this country. The Indian cause is not served by political alliances per se, but by what the alliance will deliver. There is no religion to this, as some armchair progressives will have us believe. The negotiations around the blueprint over the last several months are really all about that. The Indian cause in Malaysia is best served by a political alliance that delivers the Indians the means for a better life. If BN/Umno can deliver that and when Pakatan has plainly refused to, what would be a betrayal to the Indian cause not to take it up or to have gone with Pakatan in spite of their known negative policies towards the Indian poor.
- Has Hindraf given up its principles in partnering BN and gone with hat in hand to them, in spite of the bashing Hindraf supporters took on 25 Nov 2007?
Hindraf’s primary objective is to bring the Indian poor into the national mainstream of development. This objective is based on the principles of social justice, equality and dignity. In 2007 the bashing that the Indians received on the streets was the beginning. It was a major emotional event for the Indians. From that painful start Hindraf has been through many challenges to get to where it is today – with potential and credible solutions in hand, though and with an unexpected partner. When these plans get implemented in the next 5 years there will be tangible changes to the lives of the marginalized Indians. We have been absolutely guided by our principles in this journey. We have gone to BN not with hat in hand, but with wisdom in our minds and integrity in our hearts.
- Is this a sellout of Hindraf by its leaders?
What has not been possible for 56 years is being accomplished right under our noses now by some very skilful leadership within the span of a few months. A new relationship with a past enemy for mutual benefit cannot be a sellout. Was there a sellout when rapprochement occurred between France and England who were at war with each other for a hundred years or between Russia and the US the Cold War foes, or between Germany and Japan on the one hand and the US on the other, the Second World War foes. Purveyors of the sellout theme must have some very personal reasons that they cannot see these developments in a positive light.
- Has there been a secret pact between the leaders of Hindraf and leaders of BN?
The entire process of these negotiations has been transparent from when we began in August last year with the return of Waytha Moorthy. The calls to both sides PR and BN have always been transparent. If there had been any secret pact Umno/BN, then that tack taken would have been inappropriate. For, if Pakatan had come through with the endorsement earlier, it would have screwed up any secret arrangements that may have existed. Pakatan did have the first shot, after all. They did not come through. Serious discussion started with Umno only on the 25th of March, barely a month ago and they came through on the 18th of April. Up till the 15th of April we were ready for discussion with Pakatan, but they totally failed. Secret pact, hmm….
The conspiracy theorists from Pakatan have been working overtime on this theme of a secret pact. This way they want to confuse the people on this historic deal. We will see the result of all this on the 5th of May.
- Hindraf has been extremely critical of Umno’s past policies, what happens to all that criticism now? Has Hindraf forgotten the 56 years of Umno’s policies that have resulted in the marginalization of Indians?
The past will not go away. Our views of the past will also remain. What will change will be the way those views will determine our future actions. We will continue with our push for change. Hindraf will continue as a Human Rights NGO regardless of any involvement in Government. Our current priority is the economic program for the upliftment of the Indian poor with this blueprint. We will continue our Human Rights work, only we believe we will now have more leverage over national policy in these areas, given our experience. We will continue to be change agents. Our detractors will shoot this down as highly improbable, that is their preroragative.
- Will BN honor their part of the agreement?
No Malaysian Prime Minister has ever apologized publicly to the Indians for past lapses. No Malaysian Government had ever signed anything like this in full public view. 1.8% of the Annual Budget of the government for the next 5 years to solve a longstanding and nagging problem is a very small price. The opportunity to hold Hindraf responsible for the delivery of the blueprint plans is a gift.
All the BN Government needs to do is to provide the funds, the authority and supervise for consistency with all the rest of what they do.
Why will they now want to play around, especially with Hindraf who is known to be able to kick up storms quite readily, unless they mean what they are signing up to?
Besides, in a recent risk analysis that we performed BN came out 2 to 1 better in the risk rating compared to Pakatan in the risks of implementation. Yes there is risk, but we have assessed the risk and think it is worth taking, considering the potential benefit.
About the relationship with Pakatan
- Pakatan stands for change, why are you not embracing change?
Pakatan say they stand for change. The change they talk about at best will only serve the business community, not the poor, not the Indian poor for sure. From the squirming we have experienced with Anwar Ibrahim, we are convinced that all talk of change is no more than mollifying rhetoric. And look at how Lim Guan Eng promotes mega projects in Penang despite noisy protests from the people. Opinions of the people do not seem important in their worldview. So, what change are we talking about?
We are for change. But Pakatan is not the change that we need. Pakatan is not the change the country needs. We need changes in policies, not in names and faces only. We have no problems embracing true change. However Pakatan does not represent true change to us.
- Pakatan stands for multiracialism, that is why they could not accept Hindraf’s blueprint?
Pakatan says they stand for multiracialism. If that were really the case they should dissolve their individual parties and merge into one large truly multiracial party, why do they not? So, are they really all that multiracial as they say, or is it just some more rhetoric?
The way they handled the recent Pakatan manifesto shows the big gap between what they say and what they do. They said it transcends racial boundaries when it clearly did not, and then go and eat humble pie when they have to run and add a few more pledges to the Indians, making the manifesto no more race blind [and] contradicting their earlier protestations.
Then DAP plagiarizes our blueprint, which in the first place they said was a racially orientated document and call it a grand declaration violating their policy of transcending race. They do not mean any of what they say when it comes to the affairs of the poor Indians.
- Has Hindraf been inept in dealing with Pakatan?
We had 24 meetings with Pakatan, all at our behest. We saw how they were bungling in the way they went about the meetings. The words did not match their thoughts. Left hand did not know what right hand was doing. We had to deal with 3 different paradigms. There either was no understanding of the Indian problem or there was only a slanted understanding, at best. In spite of all these setbacks we did not give up. If calling out impostors as “mandores” amounts to ineptness and that is the reason for the failure, all I can say is this is a very convenient way of passing off something fundamental as a minor aberration.
About the Memorandum of Understanding between BN and Hindraf
- The MOU is an understanding it is not an agreement. So what is the worth of the MOU signed between Hindraf and BN?
The MOU clearly states that it is a binding agreement between BN and Hindraf. Further we consider it binding when the document is signed in full view of the whole country. All the naysayers, say there is no honor in BN. Afterwards they say BN will just leave you high and dry, despite the agreement statements and the high profile signing.
However our recent experiences and analysis brings us to other conclusions. In Umno’s worldview they do not see the Indians in the country as a threat to their hold on long-term power. Their fears come from elsewhere. We have just been party to collateral damage in the past, and the blueprint now helps to address that collateral damage.
This MOU document, further serves as a record our understanding of the changes that we have agreed upon. When it comes to implementation this document will be the reference. Will there be differences later on in the interpretation? I am sure there will be. But we do not consider that a major risk. The major risk is whether there is honor behind the words. From what we see now, there does seem to be [honor behind the words].
- Why did the Prime Minister not sign the MOU, why Tengku Adnan? And who is Tengku Adnan?
The agreement is between Hindraf and Barisan Nasional. Tengku Adnan is the Secretary General and the administrative head of Barisan Nasional. It is well within legal norms for him to be the signatory. The Prime Minister was the witness to the event.
- Is the MOU valid as it is signed only by the caretaker government?
The MOU is not signed by the caretaker government. It is signed by Tengku Adnan on behalf of the Barisan Nasional coalition.
- What if there is a change in the Leadership of Umno/BN – will the MOU still be valid?
The MOU is between two organizations and their successors in titles and P. Waytha Moorthy and Tengku Adnan signed respectively for their organizations.
- Why did we give up on items 5 and 6 of the original Hindraf blueprint?
Though it looks like we have given up on those two items, the IPCMC and police brutality and the UN covenants, we have just postponed those issues for later so it will help move on the other more urgent economic issues that affect the Indian poor now. Besides the way we see the world moving it is inevitable that these changes are going to happen, BN or Pakatan. It is the times. And we will continue to be agents of change.
- Is the MOU a mockery of the Hindraf blueprint?
The MOU is no mockery of the blueprint. It is a document that takes into account the reality of today’s situation. The moral issues underlying the blueprint are important and we have taken the tack to address them obliquely, for the immediate.
When the poverty situation is addressed effectively, social development will occur as a direct consequence. This will see a reduction of the involvement of Indian youth in crime. Today many of the killings in custody can be traced to a complex web between these youths, crime syndicates, their bosses, the police and even some who are well placed in society. But when we reduce the input into that web, the problem will reduce significantly. This is the oblique opportunity we have today with the current plan.
As for the UN covenants on Human Rights, the proposals when completely implemented will reduce the racial discrimination in the system that the Indian poor will face. We have established a clear quota-based regime for all benefits deriving from the Government on the basis of the participation in numbers in the population. As for bringing the laws of the country to be consistent with these international norms of Human Rights, we believe social values will have to first change. And we plan be involved in that effort too.
- What happened to the proposal on the Ministry of Minority Affairs proposal?
We have had to concede that point in our negotiations, only to be replaced with a unit in the Prime Minister’s department with full executive authority under the leadership of a Hindraf nominated and PM approved individual.
- Why was the MOU signed only after the dissolution of the Parliament?
The negotiations with the PM only began in late March and we were combing through many details of the Hindraf blueprint amidst the heavy schedules on both sides. It took us all of 24 days to finally nail down all the details of the agreement and that took us into the period after the dissolution of the Parliament. There was no hidden agenda here.
- Who should be signing the memorandum – the Government or BN?
Given the circumstances the MOU was signed with BN. There is only a caretaker Government now and that clearly would not be the party for Hindraf to sign an MOU with. The MOU is needed because the cooperation is before the election of the Government but the delivery of the blueprint is after the election of the Government, so an agreement is needed between BN and Hindraf.
- Is the MOU just some more election promises, but in a different form? Is the MOU practically useless because it is not only not legally binding but also made by parties unknown?
Whether the MOU is mere election promises or not is not defined by the document itself. This is defined by the parties involved in the agreement. If they want to view it as being mere election promises, then that is what it is.
I think Pakatan thinks along those lines given what Khalid Ibrahim had to say recently on election promises. But if they viewed it as a morally binding document and with legal significance, then that is what it becomes. Given the direction of the liberalization of our country, we believe that the MOU will be viewed as more than just election promises. The naysayers will have all sorts of arguments against this. It is just their opinions against ours. We all, after all, believe what we want to believe, don’t we?
The MOU is between BN and Hindraf, both legal organizations with members. The respective representatives of both organizations signed on behalf. How much clearer can it get? As they say in Tamil, you can wake up someone who is truly asleep but not someone who is pretending to sleep. Questions like these can only come from people who pretend to be asleep.
- Does the DAP’s Gelang Patah Declaration have more teeth in than this MOU?
There was absolutely no legal force to the Gelang Patah DAP declaration. There could have been some moral obligation. Given the Pakatan take on election manifestos and election promises, even that goes out the window. So whoever thinks that the Gelang Patah Declaration has more teeth than this MOU obviously is hallucinating [and] do not know what they are talking about.
- What happened to the 18-point demand, why only 4 now?
The 4 proposals of the blueprint are the detailed out proposals for the upliftment of the Indian poor and cover more than 50% of what is in the 18 points demand of Hindraf. The remaining pertain mostly to the human rights objectives of Hindraf which we will continue to work with the Government and other human rights organization to attain in the longer term.
- Why did Hindraf not reveal the registration of Hindraf promptly?
The registration of Hindraf happened on the 8th of March and the notification came to us sometime in the second week of March during Mr Waytha Moorthy’s hunger strike. We ere reserving the announcement to be made at the national convention scheduled for the 21st of April. That is all.
After all the grand revelation of this piece of information was done by Jayathas who got the information from me anyway, three days before he made a big deal of it in a press conference. There is no skeleton in this cupboard, sorry.
- What happens to the case against the UK government?
The case against the UK Government on their negligence of the Indians in the country when the Brits left in 1957 is still in progress and will continue regardless of developments here in the ground. The legal process in the UK courts weaves and meanders and takes all sorts of time. We will be hearing more of it in time.
This partnership with BN does not change our tack on the case. In fact some of the paperwork for the case was handled by Mr Waytha Moorthy on the 1st and 2nd of April right after he came out of his hunger strike.
- What about Hindraf’s position on cases like Zulkifli Nordin and death in custody in the future?
Issues like this are not going to go away nor the politics associated with it. We definitely condemn the utterances by Zulkifli Nordin.
Deaths in custody probably will not go away straight off the bat either with this new relationship that we are establishing. We will seek permanent solutions to these kinds of occurrences in time but today as we enter the relationship we have to enter with our eyes wide open to all these that do not change overnight.
What all of this also suggests is that the old and the new will coexist for some time to come during a period of transition. We represent the new and these incidents represent the old. The old will certainly only go away after the new has firmly taken hold. And that is what we will do, consolidate our position, grow our credibility and work on all these other contentious and complicated issues and seek permanent solution which will become our hallmark.
Considering that Pakatan is making such big politics out of this look at an even more serious analogous situation on their side. Anwar was Agriculture Minister (1983) and later Deputy Prime Minister up to 1998. What about holding him responsible for all that he did to the Indian poor during that time?
I know that he was directly or indirectly responsible for the pushing out displaced estate workers from their shanties into what has become urban slums today. He threatened to stop all temple bells from ringing if the Indians of Kampung Rawa of Penang did not comply with his ruling. How long ago was that? Has he apologized for any of this?
In summary, Hindraf is moving positively towards its stated objectives in a plain, transparent and thoughtful manner. Hindraf does not care to play to the gallery of experts in cyberspace. What is important for Hindraf, it does. It will continue to be the bold agent of change it has always been.
We hope the more discerning readers will be able to see the wisdom beyond the loud noises of our detractors. Our supporters do not participate in the cyber discourse and it may appear there is little support for our position, but come to the ground and see.
14 thoughts on “The Ibrahim Ali brand name / Hindraf explains the MoU”
Interesting answer by Ganesan, I must say. At least it shows that Hindraf, evolving to be more practical & realistic. At least there’s a huge change in diplomacy from the way he answered the questions.
I still find it hilarious that after 24 meetings between Hindraf & Pakatan, PR find it hard to agree and sign on the dotted lines. Come on, twenty bloody four is a lot and I am sure Hindraf would agree to shelve some of their demands (like they did with BN) for the bigger picture, but No-o-o-o, PR chose to act all superior & mandore like by just verbally agree (which conveniently can be forgotten in due time): Talk about honor.
I wish that this partnership with BN will resulted in a better Malaysia and a better life for the Indian community (it’s about time, anyway). I think some melayu like me who are exposed to poverty can really understand what the Indian community are going through.
Dear anakjamil, beyond an interesting answer, it is the truth and real answer that had escaped most of us for those majority neglected ones amongst the lower rung of the Malaysian Indians in the past. Must appreciate that BN acknowledges the shortcoming and ready to work with HINDRAF in remedying it.
The DAPsters are the real pariahs. You don’t need to be ethnic indian to be pariahs.
You know what irritates the bloody heck out of me about them DAPsters?
They’re commenting and ridiculing Hindraf or Indians in cyberspace in the comfort of their 250K and above houses, with good salary/pay, decked in branded goods and they fucking dare to talk about ‘racism’ & poverty.
They’re the one that scream bloody murder when RON 95 increases and bitch about being a victim. Victim of what? Victim of mass consumption, more like it!
YESSS! That’s my beef with the Dapsters too. They ridicule everyone other than their own group.
Indians are only good for causes that will cement their notion of a corrupt and unscrupulous government, for example the death of indian detainees, indian temples.
Have you seen Dapsters fight for the basic rights of any non-Chinese? Do you notice the difference between how far they would go for Teoh Beng Hock and how quickly they turn on Uthayakumar? Please, just because the DAP is loud doesn’t mean they are right.
Something for you to ponder, i.e. the Dapster in groups/out groups.
Among the groups the Dapsters hate the most is the mamak, esp. in Penang where the boycott Nasi Kandar campaigns were carried out, and the attacks on CAP’s S.M. Mohd Idris by dragging in his mamak ancestry.
The Indians (except those living in Bangsar and SJ) are vilified as drunkards on samsu, and lately ever since the Hindraf deal, “pariah” slurs have been gushing.
Chinese converts are mocked. Even those of us who are not Muslims are given fictitious ‘bin or binti Abdullah’ names if we fail to toe their Jerusubang supremacist line.
Chinese chauvinism coupled with Christian zealotry is the new, extra potent cocktail.
Another slur is uneducated keling.
Really Frank? What does master spinner Helen has to say about you?
Lim guan eng tokong call them pureeee…..purrr like pussies at tokong legs
I am happy that finally, the plight of the Indian poor is getting the attention it so rightfully deserve.
And it is true when he says,
“We hope the more discerning readers will be able to see the wisdom beyond the loud noises of our detractors. Our supporters do not participate in the cyber discourse and it may appear there is little support for our position, but come to the ground and see.”
The Indian kampung in front of my house is filled to the brim with BN flags and banners. The Indian youths were all decked in BN blue yesterday during nomination to show support. This was not the case in 2004.
We need a sincere working government led by a strong humble leader. We do not need self righteous pricks who do nothing but talk down on others and call others names when they do not agree with them, and yet have the audacity to call others racists.
The Indian you see interacting in cyberspace, majority of them are not of Tamil origin. They might be of Indian origin but not Tamil. They may seem to speak on behalf of the Tamil, but in reality no they do not understand the plight of Tamil in Malaysia.
Likewise the Indian faces you see in PKR are not Tamil. N. Gobalakrisnan is Tamil but he left long time ago. No room in PKR for Tamil also.
Who helps Indian of Tamil origin all this while? (the one that hindraf are championing). Its BN via MIC (which has been dissapointing in term of implementation by MIC to say the least).
Lets open a new page and better days for Tamil in Malaysia via Hindraf through non-confrontational approach.
I quote N Ganesan ad-verbatim:
“However our recent experiences and analysis brings us to other conclusions. In Umno’s worldview they do not see the Indians in the country as a threat to their hold on long-term power. Their fears come from elsewhere.”
How true and agreed 100% . HIndraf should ask why it has taken them so long to realize that !
Everyone not in the same book with the ABU crowd is considered as a traitor, whore, tramp, filthy and anything busuk. Just read what the commentors labelled to the Malaysiakini writer Susan Loone who wrote about the Karpal’s warning to the two independent DAP candidates.
(http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/227549) I don’t know why they get angry with the news?
This happens to Raja Petra Kamaruddin as well. RPK used to help the ABU cause, now he is the pariah. Same as Hindraf.
Indians and non-Chinese will be discarded once Dapsters make full use of them. Just like what happen to the incumbent of Seremban. Dapsters now in need of Malay DAPs to act as puppet menteri besars should they win a state with sultan.
Melon head, Mamu Wed and Zack….
True…true and true…. I just wish the DAP going back to the era where their representative has been quote as The Gentleman Opposition. All this guy doing such a good job that a lot of people still remember them. But good guys dies young right. At the end, some of this guy quit or thrown out from DAP…. and for me it a SIGN…
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