Hindraf and indigenous parties in East Malaysia to join forces?

By Neville Spykerman
The Malaysian Insider

KOTA KINABALU, Dec 1 – The Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) may soon team up with indigenous parties in Sabah and Sarawak to form a third force, one neither aligned to Pakatan Rakyat (PR) nor Barisan National (BN), ahead of the 13th General Elections.

Exiled Hindraf chairman P. Waythamoorthy, who has been abroad since the movement was banned following street protests in 2007, and former PKR vice-president Datuk Jeffrey Kittingan met in Singapore earlier last month, while another meeting is planned in Britain next month.

“An initial understanding was reached that a third force is needed to take on both PKR and BN in the next general elections,” said Waythamoorty in a phone interview with The Malaysian Insider.

Hindraf’s influence has been on the wane after successfully uniting the marginalised Indian community against the BN government in the run-up to last year’s general elections.

Several splinter parties led by former leaders have emerged from its shadow.

Any coalition will include Hindraf’s political wing, the Human Right’s Party (HRP) led by Waythamoorty’s brother, former Internal Security (ISA) detainee Uthayakumar, with parties from Sabah and Sarawak.

“We are leaving it to Jeffrey to mobilise the parties in East Malaysia,” Waythamoorty said.

Jeffrey, who heads the Common Interest Group (CIG) in Sabah and Sarawak, described the talks with Waythamoorty as “exploratory.”

“Discussions are still at a preliminary stage but in politics anything is possible,” said Jeffrey, when asked if the “tie-up” would pave the way for him leaving PKR to form a third political force in Malaysia, similar to the Liberal party in the United Kingdom.

The idea of the third force is to protect the rights of marginalised and indigenous groups while providing an alternative choice to the people, said Jeffrey.

He did not discount the possibility that the non-partisan CIG, which he described as a civil society movement, could evolve into a third force with Hindraf.

“It depends on what the people want,” he said.




The Penang legislative assembly today passed a resolution condemning the demonstration staged by a group of Barisan Nasional youth leaders and supporters yesterday afternoon.
DAP backbencher RSN Rayer (Seri Delima) tabled an emergency motion this morning to pass the resolution to condemn the high noon 45-minute protest held outside the august House.
The resolution was passed after all 29 Pakatan Rakyat assemblypersons supported it with 11 Umno assemblypersons voting against it.
BN youth leaders claimed the demonstration was held to express public disgruntlement and dissatisfaction against perceived incompetence, inefficient and indecisive Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng state administration.
Led by Penang Umno Youth chief Norman Zahalan, the protesters carried banners and placards condemning the state government for failing to resolve issues such as Kampung Buah Pala, Mak Mandin Rumah Hijau and the controversial conversion of a foreshore land status.
An unidentified protester had stomped and torched a poster of Chief Minister Lim.
Earlier today, PKR state youth movement deputy chief Ahmad Azrizal Tahir lodged police report at Lebuh Pantai police station calling on the police to probe and nab the culprits behind the allegedly illegal demonstration held by BN youth.
In his report, Azrizal alleged that the demonstrators have also hurled abuses, racial taunts and carried banners and placards that were provocative.
He also complained that the protestors have wrongly accused the state government of deceiving and lying to the people of Penang.
Azrizal urged the police to act independently and professionally without any double standards to nab the perpetuators behind yesterday illegal demonstration.
Newly appointed PKR state youth chief Amir Ghazali condemned the burning of Lim’s poster during the demonstration.
He described it as “unruly and unethical” to stomp and torch a state government leader’s poster.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy said Kampung Buah Pala issue,  was a closed chapter.
He said the state government was helping the remaining nine residents to receive their rightful compensation.
“We want the residents to cooperate with the state government to finalise the negotiations,” he told a press conference during a lunch break at the assembly.
The newly formed Kampung Buah Pala ad-hoc committee head R Karunakaran, who is also a DAP member, meanwhile condemned the demonstration and criticised the protestors for using the village issue for their political mileage.
“I hope from today no one will use Kampung Buah Pala issue for their own gain,” he told newsmen.
Karunakaran praised the state government for compensating the residents with double-storey houses.
Another former Kampung Buah Pala resident M Santha criticised the Kampung Buah Pala Residents Association chairperson M Sugumaran for handing over a memorandum to the Chief Minister Lim yesterday.
“I don’t want the state government to help Sugumaran and others to get compensation,” she said.
Rayer condemned Sugumaran as a man without principles for seeking the state government help for the compensation after originally refusing the double-storey house.


Will Queen Elizabeth II of England pay for the 150-year suffering of Indian Malaysians?

Plea for Malaysian Indians
Azly Rahman


The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labour – not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules. – Albert Einstein in ‘Why Socialism?’ (1949)
What do I think of Western civilisation? I think it would be a very good idea. – Mohandas K Gandhi

Will Queen Elizabeth II of England pay for the 150-year suffering of Indian Malaysians? How would reparations be addressed in an age in which we are still mystified by newer forms of colonialism – the English Premier League, Malaysian Eton-clones, Oxbridge education, and British rock musicians such as the guitarist-astrophysicist Dr Brian May of the better-than-the-Beatles rock group Queen (and recently appointed chancellor of a Liverpool university)?

Who in British Malaya collaborated with the British East India company in facilitating the globalised system of indentured slavery? Will the current government now pay attention to the 50-year problems of Indian Malaysians?

We need to untangle this ideological mess and listen to the pulse of the nation. We are hyperventilating from the ills of a 50-year indentured self-designed pathological system of discriminatory servitude of the mind and body, fashioned after the style of colonialism.

We need a crash course in the history of reparation, slavery, and the declaration universal human rights. We need to understand the style of British colonialism as it collaborated with the local power elites of any colony it buried its tentacles in and sucked dry the blood, sweat and tears of the natives it dehumanised and sub-humanised.

We need to calculate how much the imperialists and the local chieftains gained from the trafficking of human labour – across time and space and throughout history.

In short, we need to educate ourselves on the anatomy, chemistry, anthropology and post-structurality of old and newer forms of imperialism. British imperialism has successfully structured a profitable system of the servitude of the body, mind and soul and has transferred this ideology onto the natives wishing to be “more British than their brown skins can handle”.

We need to encourage our children to read about the system of indentured slavery – of the kangchuand kangani and how the Malays were also relegated to becoming ‘reluctant’ producers of the colonial economy. The Malays’ reluctance led to the British designation “lazy native”.

We need to also learn from the Orang Asli and the natives of each state and how their philosophy of developmentalism is more advanced that the programmes prescribed under the successive five-year Malaysia Plans. A philosophy of development that respects and is symbiotic with Nature is certainly more appropriate for cultural dignity that the one to which we have been subjected; one that exploits human beings and destroys the environment under the guise of ‘progress’.

Caged construction

Our history lessons mask the larger issue of traditional, modern and corporate control of the means of production of Malaya. We see the issue of race being played up from time immemorial; issue of convenience and necessity to the sustenance of the status quo and the proliferation of modern local oligopoly and plutocracy.

Our history classes have failed our generation that is in need of the bigger picture; ones that will allow us to see what is outside of our caged construction of historicising. Our historians, from the court propagandist Tun Sri Lanang to our modern historians written under the mental surveillance of the ruling parties, have not been true to the demand of the production of knowledge based on social and humanistic dimensions of factualising historical accounts.

We need to study the political-economy of the rubber and canning industry and the relationship between the British and the American empire as industrialisation began to take off.
The Indians in Malaysia have all the right to ask for reparation and even most importantly they have the rights as rightful citizens of Malaysia to demand for equality and equal opportunity as such accorded to the ‘bumiputera’. Every Malaysian must be given such rights.

Failure to do so we will all be guilty of practising neo-colonialism and we will one day be faced with similar issue of reparation; this time marginalised Malaysians against the independent government of Malaysia. How are we going to peacefully correct the imbalances if we do not learn from the history of international slavery, labour migration and human labour trafficking that, in the case of Hindraf, involved millions of Tamils from Tamil Nadu province?
I once wrote a piece calling for all of us to help the least privileged of our fellow Malaysians – the Indians. The piece called for the leaders to stop fighting and to help each other as well.

I wrote a passage on the need to help each other in the spirit of selflessness and collaboration: “It is time for the other races to engage in serious and sincere gotong-royong to help the poorest of the poor among the Indians. It is time that we become possessed with a new spirit of multi-cultural marhaenism. The great Indonesian leader Ahmed Soekarno popularised the concept of marhaenism as an antidote to the ideological battle against materialism, colonialism, dependency and imperialism. The thought that the top 10 percent of the richest Malaysians are earning more than 20 times compared to the 90 percent of the population is terrifying. What has become of this nation that promised a just distribution of wealth at the onset of Independence?”

Not a Hindu problem

Now we have a better scenario – we have the rights group that is beginning to pull together,-close ranks and demand for their basic human rights that have been denied. Not only their rights to be accorded places of worship and economic justice, but also the rights to look at history and ourselves and interrogate what actually happened and who actually was responsible for the misery, desolation and sustained abject poverty to which they have been subjected.

It is not a Hindu problem – it is universal problem that cuts across race and religion. If we believe in what religion has taught us about human dignity and the brotherhood and sisterhood of humanity, we will all be speaking in one voice rallying for those who demand for their rights to live with dignity.

In Hindraf, I believe there are Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Catholics, atheists, Buddhists, Sikhs, Bahais, Jains, etc rallying for the cause. In other words there are human beings speaking up for peace and social justice. It is the right of every Malaysian to lend support to their demands.

We have let the Indians in Malaysia suffer for too long. We ought to have a programme of affirmative action in place. We ought to have a sound programme for alleviation of poverty for the Indians and radically improve their conditions through political action, education and cultural preservation. We ought to extract the enabling aspects of culture though and perhaps reconstruct the our understanding of the relationship between culture and human progress.

But can the current political paradigm engineer a solution to the problems of the Malaysian Indians, as long as politics – after 50 years – is still British colonialist-imperialist-oppressive in nature? We have evolved into a sophisticated politically racist nation, hiding our discriminatory policies with the use of language that rationalises what the British imperialists brutally did in the open.

But our arguments cannot hold water any loner. Things are falling apart – deconstructed. The waves of demands, the frequency of rallies and the excavating of issues drawn from the archaeology of our fossilised arrogant knowledge – all these are symptoms of deconstructionism in our body politics. It is like the violent vomit of a rehabilitating cocaine addict undergoing treatment in a Buddhist monastery somewhere in northern Thailand.

We cannot continue to alienate each other through arguments on a ‘social contract’ that is alien from perhaps what Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote about some 300 years ago – a philosophy that inspired the founding of America, a nation of immigrants constantly struggling (albeit imperfectly) to meet the standards requirements of equality, equity and equal opportunity especially in education.

How do we come together, as Malaysians, as neo-bumiputeras free from false political-economic and ideological dichotomies of Malays versus non-Malays, bumi versus non-bumi and craft a better way of looking at our political, economic, social, cultural, psychological and spiritual destiny – so that we may continue to survive as a species for the next 50 years?

As a privileged Malaysian whose mother tongue is the Malay language and as one designated as a bumiputera, I want to see the false dichotomies destroyed and a new sense of social order emerging, based on a more just form of linguistic play designed as a new Merdeka game plan.

Think Malaysian – we do not have anything to lose except our mental chains. We have a lot to gain in seeing the oppressed be freed from the burden of history; one that is based on the march of materialism. We are essentially social beings, as Einstein would emphasise. Our economic design must address the socialism of existence.

Let us restructure of policies to help the Indian Malaysians – they are our lawful citizens speaking up for their fundamental rights. Let us help restructure the lives of the poor before they restructure the lives of the rich.


What does UMNO have to say about unlawful conversions

S Banggarma’s lawyer has written a legal letter demanding the federal welfare department in Kuala Lumpur to furnish documented evidence to substantiate its claims that Banggarma was converted on Nov 30, 1983 in Rompin, Pahang.
In the letter dated Wed Nov 25, counsel Gooi has demanded the welfare department director-general Meme Zainal Rashid to submit to his client the alleged letter of consent given by Banggarma’s parents for the alleged conversion when she was one-year-old.
He also demanded the director-general to submit his client the court order obtained under the 1947 Juveline Courts Act to house Banggarma under a welfare home – Rumah Kanak Kanak Taman Bakti – in Kepala Batas.
“We have also demanded all other relevant documents to substantiate the director-general claim that Banggarma was converted by her parents, not by the welfare home,” Gooi told Malaysiakini today.
Banggarma claimed that she was converted unwittingly on Dec 28, 1989 by the Penang welfare department before officers from Islamic authorities when she was seven-year-old girl.
Now a 27-year-old mother of two, the conversion took place while she was living in children’s welfare home.
Banggarma, whose Muslim name is Siti Hasnah Vangarama Abdullah, refuted Meme’s claim that she was converted in 1983 by her natural Hindu parents, plantation worker B Subramaniam and Latchumy Ramadu.

Meme has also claimed that Banggarma was enrolled into the welfare home in March 1990, which was also denied by Banggarma.
Gooi has claimed that Meme’s claim had discrepancies and contradicted the contents of the conversion certificate issued to Banggarma.
He is now preparing to file the case at the Malaysian civil courts seeking a judgment to nullify Banggarma’s conversion as illegal.
He said under Article 12.4 Federal Constitution, a minor can only be converted to another religion with consent of the person’s parents or guardian.
“This is civil court case because it involved unconstitutional and unlawful conversion of a minor.
 “This is not case of a voluntary Muslim convert seeking to renounce Islam,” Gooi explained when asked whether he had to seek justice at the Muslim-governing Syariah Court instead.
Gooi, also the PKR Kedah youth deputy chief, said he has also written a letter to the welfare home seeking a meeting to discuss and explore an amicable solution to the controversy.
However, he said the welfare home had been tight lipped over the issue.
“An officer from the home told me yesterday that the case was being handled by the KL welfare office,” he said at his office today.
Gooi said he hoped the welfare department would save everybody’s time, money and energy by observing the constitutional law and allow his client to be a Hindu rightfully and legally.
“Otherwise we will have no choice but to challenge the conversion in the court of law,” he said.


SPM: Tamil and Tamil literature not allowed by UMNO.

SPM: Tamil and Tamil literature not allowed by UMNO.


A group of Indian NGOs’ want to burn the effigy of the MIC Mandore Cabinet Miniter because the Education Minister cum Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has made a decision terminating the earlier decision to allow 12 subjects in SPM which in effect would preclude Indian students from being able to take and sit for the Tamil literature subjects (NST 28/11/2009 at page 8). At best this MIC Indian Mandores could only say “I have been calling for the government to allow Indian students to take 11 subjects during cabinet meetings and also through the MIC we are still in talks with the authorities”. It is so plain and obvious that though he is a Cabinet Minister, he is power less under the UMNO controlled Malaysian government. But here UMNO has succeeded in cheating the Indians for 52 years.








No 7As’ from Tamil school MSRM. Appreciation ceremony (Refer NST 28/11/2009 at page 8)

No 7As’ from Tamil school MSRM. Appreciation ceremony (Refer NST 28/11/2009 at page 8)


The MIC Mandore Minister handed out rewards to 14 pupils from Sekolah Rendah (Tamil) Kubu who scored 7As’ in UPSR at a appreciation ceremony. But this MIC Mandore minister is powerless to present letters of offer to any of the 817 Tamil school pupils who scored 7As’ to the 12, 440 places at the MRSM or the fully residential schools. But the mainstream NST newspaper puts a big picture of the 14 high achieving 7As’ Tamil school pupils all in smiles but no to MSRM! This is UMNO’s racism and religious extremism against in particular the Indians UMNO has succeeded in doing this for 52 long years.






Indian mini market denied licence. (Tip of iceberg of Indians denied licences).

Letter to Prime Minister and Minister of Housing and Local Government dated on 1/12/2009






Re: Indian mini market denied licence. (Tip of iceberg of Indians denied licences).


We refer to the above matter where Mr.G.Subramaniam, a longstanding and dying breed of Indian mini market owner at Jalan Besar, Lanchang, Pahang was denied his right to continue with his 26 year old mini market business, by being denied his license. (The Star 25/11/09 at page N4). Even the Indian MIC ADUN for Sabai meeting the President of the Temerloh Municipal Council did not work (NST 28/11/09 at page N22). The President refuses to take the instructions of this ADUN boss because the boss is an Indian. This is a fact and reality even at the lowest levels of government administration in Malaysia. Even though Mr.G Subramaniam had his license for 25 years because he is a  businessman of old. Almost all the current generation Indians have been denied not only mini market but the various licenses to do business.


Over the years we have received thousands of complaints from the Malaysian Indians who have been denied licenses to do even petty trading vis a vis denied business opportunities. In the 2010 Budget RM 8.8 Billion has been allocated for the small and Medium Scale( SME) Entrepreneurs to benefit 46,000 SMEs,’ and RM 200 Million for Tekun small business loans (NST and Star Headlines 23/10/09).


But let alone these loans even the basic license to do business has been denied. To the contrary thousands of illegal immigrants especially Indonesians  and Rohingya, Muslim Myanmars and Bangladeshis are allowed to trade and do business freely for example  at the Pasar Borong Selayang, Kerinchi food stalls, in numerous fruit and food stalls in pasar malams etc nationwide.


Article 8 of the Federal Constitution provides for equality before the law and the Malaysian Indians in particular should not be excluded from the National mainstream development of Malaysia. We note that there are almost zero Indians owned outlets, for example Petronas , Shell, Esso Stations, KFC, Mc Donalds, A & W outlets, low rentals Highway Rest area food tidbit and fruit stalls and the various Municipal Council Mara, UDA etc food court and other shop lots nationwide.


The mid-term review of the Ninth Malaysia Plan reports the creation of 67,533 new (Malay/Muslim) entrepreneurs, 10,618 micro, small and medium sized (Malay/Muslim) industries, upgraded, 24,449 micro businesses (UM 26/6/08 at page 20)


But almost all of the deserving Indians have been excluded. Why exclude the Indians in especially these areas of the national mainstream development of Malaysia?


The crime and gangsterism problem among the Indians can be drastically brought down if only if the Indians are also given the very same business opportunities like the Malay Muslims.


Shooting dead suspected Indian criminals is not the answer. Giving them these business opportunities as given to the Malay Muslims is the answer and certainly the way forward. We are saddened that even after 52 years of independence and Malaysia having developed so well to the point of having the world’s tallest twin towers, and a black Obama being elected the President of the world’s most powerful country, we are still plagued by racism and religious extremism at every level of society.


We hereby urge your good self to direct the Lanchang Municipal Council to issue the yearly renewed Mini Market license to the aforementioned Mr. G. Subramaniam backdated from 2005 to 2009 and continuing indefinitely thereafter.


We urge your good self to issue a directive to especially all the City, Municipal and Local Councils and all other government business regulating authorities to stop their direct and indirect discriminatory practices against in particular the deserving Malaysian Indians but to grant them the necessary licenses and permits and facilitate their businesses accordingly.


Kindly revert to us accordingly.



Thank You,



Your Faithfully,




Secretary General (pro-tem)









Through these columns I intend to present a picture of the marginalization of the Indian poor in Malaysia and also try and put forth a coherent explanation of how it happened. I am going to do this in several parts. I am doing this to break the myth that what has happened to the Indian poor in the country is inevitable. That it all happened because they lack values, they lack religion, they watch too much Astro, they are basicaly violent and such other myths as our current day theoreticians both within the community as outside the community will have us believe.

Here is the first part.

First some basic information that will help us understand the story that will be presented a little better.

Basic data of Malaysia

Population by ethnic group Malaysia, 2010



Other Bumiputera
















As can be seen from this data  Indians form 7.4% of the total population of Malaysia in a census projection from the Department of Statistics, Government of Malaysia. The Indians are a minority group, a distinct minority group.

During the period since the Independence the per capita Gross Domestic Product ( GDP),  an indicator of the economic progress and status of a country – just like your salary, rose from about RM 2500 per year in 1960 to RM15,000 in 2008. Quite a  performance. The economy changed from being primarily a commodity producing & agricultural economy (like production of rubber and palm oil) to a manufacturing orientated economy. See table below:

% of GDP









The Indians were largely involved in the rubber plantations as tappers in a relatively modern form of agricultural production at the inception of the nation. Though it is not food, that was produced, it was a cash crop and it was grown – so we call it agriculture. Since then there has been a tremendous shift in the structure of the economy. The plantation economy slowly gave way to an industrial economy. Factories started to replace the rubber estates as the main feature of the economy.

While this was happening Malaysian politics also went through significant change. The 4 key phases in the development of the politics are the period 1957 – 1969, 1969 – 1981. 1981 -2004, 2004 – 2008.  Each of these phases is characterized by key historical phenomena that  both chronicles what has happened in Malysian politics as well as explain how it all happened.

While these were occurring, the Indian population, a minority to start with, coupled with the fact that they were in the lowest rung of Malaysian society experienced significant outward push from the mainstream of all these developments –economic, political and social.

The Indians have not benefited in equal measures as the other communities in spite of the rapid economic development that the country experienced in this period. In these columns I will try to set out the various forms of the push out or marginalization that the Indian poor faced in these various phases and why this has happened. Essentailly we all know what has happened – but we know them as sporadic and separate events. What I will attempt to do is to connect all these events, join the dots so to speak, and draw a big picture for you all to see – hopefully making the truth clearer.

But first let me start with what marginalization means:

In sociology, marginalisation is the social process of becoming or being made marginal – to be sent to the fringes, out of the mainstream; or to confine to a lower social standing. make seem unimportant “the marginalization of the underclass” is a clear example. In its most extreme form, marginalization can exterminate groups.

Many communities experience marginalization. As a result of marginalization, communities have lost their land, were forced into destitute areas, lost their traditional sources of income, and were excluded from the labour market. Additionally, communities have lost their culture and values and lost their rights in society .

Today the Malaysian Indian community is marginalized from Malaysian society as a result of the development of practices, policies and programs that only meet the needs of the power elite but not the needs of the marginalized Indian poor.  This marginalization is also significantly connected to the power elite maintaining and enforcing ways by which we think and talk about things. The way we have been conditioned by the information trickling to us, or by way people talk around us, we may even have difficulty acknowledging that marginalization has occurred to the Indian community in Malaysia.

This is my task, to make it very clear, what has happened and why it has happened.

The marginalization experienced by the Indians in Malaysia is multifaceted. Specifically they can be categorized into:

1) Economic marginalization

To be denied opportunities for participating productively in the economic development of the nation. To have been pushed out of the mainstream of economic development.

2) Political marginalization

To be denied equal opportunity to participate in the decision making processes relating to allocation of the national resource or the social and economic development of the community. Political clout taken away by virtue of the political processes of the country. In the process losing political rights as a citizen and as a minority community.

3) Social marginalization

To be cast aside socially as the dreg with the social stereotypes as labourers, drunks, untrustworthy individuals, black and smelly fellows, dependent and always complaining to name a few of the stereotypes usually associated with being Indian poor in Malaysia. The result of all this is the blocking of the Indian poor from developing pride as worthy individuals, and as a community of poor being denied the opportunities for practicing and developing the salient culture of the Indians.

I will discuss each of these aspects of marginalization in the subsequent parts. I will also discuss the sociological basis of all of this. I will try to break the stereotyped explanations offered for the state of the Indian community and show how through the progress of the development of Malaysian society, this outcome has occcurred. It has nothing to do with the Indianness in all of us – as current discourse will have us believe. It has only to do with the political economy of the country.

Keep reading.


Reaching out to all, Hindraf’s theme for third year

Malaysiakini  – Vox Populi

Kris Khaira: Timber companies in Borneo steal from the vulnerable through illegal logging because of profit. For the same reason, oil palm plantations pay their workers of all races, including Indians, obscenely low wages. The common enemy here is capitalism, a system that prioritises profit over people.

Gibran: Hindraf is not racist; it started by taking up the plight of the suppressed Indians. If they are successful, the ramifications will be great because this allows other marginalised communities like the disabled, single mothers and the like to bring up their issues.

Hindraf’s success is pertinent – we could best equate it with the civil rights movement in US in the 60s, once the African-Americans obtained equal rights other marginalised groups started fighting for their rights too. Let us support this movement.

Paradox: Dear Penan brothers, be prepared! Hindraf will join forces with you to help your struggles. Now, this is what we call the real ‘Bangsa Malaysia’. Kudos to Hindraf!

Pau Line Yaacob: Hindraf is on the right path. Many misunderstand them as being a race-based organisation but there is no harm in raising the issues of your community.

Pairin raises KadazanDusun issues as well. Would you call him racist and not seeing larger Malaysian issues? Similarly Hindraf speaks for the marginalised Indians. In fact they are going a step further to incorporate the natives from Borneo. Well done.


Kg. Buah Pala:Where’s the compensation?

Athi Shankar
Nov 30, 09
Their houses in Kampung Buah Pala were demolished in September, but nine residents are still waiting for compensation.

Today, their representatives submitted a memorandum to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng during a break in the state assembly sitting, urging the state government to expedite settlement.

Residents association chairperson and senior citizen Draviam Arul Pillay, 84, managed to meet Lim in the compound of the building, where an exhibition is being held. 

NONELim smilingly received the memorandum from Sugumaran (left) and shook hands with Draviam.

Some 10 residents had planned to accompany Sugumaran, but were stopped by security personnel at the front gate.

Lim’s political secretary Ng Wei Aik tried to receive the memorandum from Sugumaran, but the latter insisted on handing it to the chief minister.

“It has been nearly three months since our houses were demolished. It’s unfair to exclude us from compensation when others from Kampung Buah Pala were duly compensated,” said Sugumaran.

He indicated the residents may resort to legal action if the state government refuses to entertain their call for an amicable solution.

Asked to comment later, Lim declined to respond.

‘Talks in progress’

Sugumaran later told journalists that Deputy Chief Minister (II) P Ramasamy had refused to entertain his request a month ago for a meeting to negotiate compensation.

“Ramasamy told me that there would be no more negotiations with us,” he claimed.
hindraf gathering 251109 p ramasamyRamasamy (right) declined comment on the allegation, but said the state government is holding talks with the developers to end the stalemate.

“I am confident we will reach an agreement soon,” he told Malaysiakini.

Kampung Buah Pala, once known as the Tamil High Chaparral, was demolished to make way for a luxury condominium project called the Oasis.

The joint-venture project is undertaken by the landowner – Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang – and private developer Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd.

They have agreed to build 24 double-storey houses for the former villagers, excluding the nine residents who have opted for a cash settlement.