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Is it National Security?

Contributed by Anonymous on Saturday, December 15 @ 02:21:51 CST

National: Politics
Saturday, Dec 15, 07
A peaceful street demonstration is not a threat to national security. Malaysia would not be celebrating 50 years of independence if not for street demonstration. A peaceful street demonstration is justified when legitimate change cannot be achieved through a corrupt system of government. A peaceful street demonstration is a democratic way for Malaysian Indian to demand change from a government that neglect minorities. The peaceful street demonstration is a democratic way for Malaysian Indian to ask for change when the Badawi government fails to stop temple demolition.

A peaceful street demonstration is a democratic way for Malaysian Indian to ask for change when Badawi government fails to address the economic neglect of Malaysian Indian community. The peaceful street demonstration is a democratic way to ask for change in direction and to show people power when ballot box fails. Democracy allows peaceful street demonstration when majority enjoys preferential treatment in the expense of minority suffering. Democracy itself was born out of street demonstration in many countries.

Only in Malaysia a peaceful protest about the government neglect of its own citizen becomes a national security threat. Let analyze the phrase National Security. Generally, the phrase National security refers to the requirement to maintain the survival of a country through the use of economic, military and political power. The national security is about securing a country and its citizen against foreign and domestic aggression and invasion. All of the Hindraf members are Malaysian citizens. Their aim is to make the government pay attention to Malaysian Indian problem at home. The Hindraf demand does not threat the national security. In contrast, the national security would have strengthened if Hindraf demand is resolved. However, for the Malaysian government, the national security is only synonymous to Bumiputera and UMNO security. That is why in the last twenty five years, ISA was used to silence political opposition in the name of national security. In reality it is about Bumiputera and UMNO security.

Badawi just arrested Hindraf leaders. They will be out of public and media eye for at least two years but not forgotten. Badawi may appear to have the upper hand now. But this will be short lived. Every Nov 25, Malaysian Indians must remind Badawi about Malaysian Indian security. Malaysian Indians must tap Badawi shoulder in next general election and show him that Malaysian Indians’ votes are stronger than ISA. Malaysian Indians must tap Badawi shoulder in next election and remind him that the change we hoped from him did not happen.


Don't Misconstrue ISA Detention For Extremist Leaders - Dr Khir

SHAH ALAM, Dec 15 (Bernama) -- Local and foreign investors have been urged not to misconstrue the government's decision to detain five leaders of an extremist movement under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo said the government invoked the ISA on them for masterminding illegal assemblies in Kuala Lumpur last month and for raising highly inflammatory issues that could cause racial tension among multiracial Malaysians.

"Those who demonstrated, they are actually extremists, and the government treated them as extremists despite their beliefs and religion.

"I don't want our investor friends to have a negative perception of the arrests," he said, adding that the government did not only take harsh action against Hindu extremists but also Islamic extremist groups like the Al-Mauna a few years ago.

"The detention of the five who were behind the illegal assemblies is justified to maintain peace and stability in the country," he said at the Selangor Industry Award and Investors' Appreciation 2007 here last night.

Five Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders were slapped with a two-year ISA detention on Thursday while some of their supporters were charged in court for attempted murder last week.

Dr Khir said the state government never neglected any race in the state regardless of their race, culture and religion.

"All are treated equally as Malaysians or as Selangorians. We never deprive any race or religion in this country, especially in Selangor.

"They were detained for their unhealthy political actions," he said.

Certain parties claimed the Indians were marginalised in Malaysia but the highest poverty rate among Malaysians was still among Bumiputeras, especially the indigenous groups in Sabah and Sarawak, at 8.3 per cent.

According to figures confirmed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) resident representative in Kuala Lumpur Dr Richard Leete the poverty rate among Indians was 2.9 per cent and 0.6 per cent Chinese, Dr Khir said.

At the event, Dr Khir presented awards to this year's winners of the state industrial awards.

Two companies -- UMMI Manufacturing Sdn Bhd and OPCOM Cables Sdn Bhd won the Selangor Product Excellence Award, while Hartalega Sdn Bhd and Kendek Industry Sdn Bhd bagged the Selangor Innovative Excellence Award.

The Selangor Product Brand Excellence Award went to Cass Technology Sdn Bhd and Deligateaux (M) Sdn Bhd, while Madetill Industries (M) Sdn Bhd grabbed the Selangor Design Excellence Award.

The four winners of the Selangor Quality Management Excellence Award are Sunway Medical Centre, Huber+Suhner (M) Sdn Bhd, Indkom Engineering Sdn Bhd and KEU Megamech Sdn Bhd.

Strategic Products Sdn Bhd, Pantech Steel Industries Sdn Bhd and Flextronics Technology (Shah Alam) Sdn Bhd romped home the Selangor Export Excellence Award for Manufacturing.

The Selangor Industrial Award introduced in 1999 is open to local and foreign firms operating in the state. Twenty-three finalists vied for for the six-category award this year.



Indian-Based NGOs Happy Over Meeting With PM

PUTRAJAYA, Dec 14 (Bernama) -- The leaders of 13 Indian- based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have expressed happiness over the frank and open meeting they had with Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the Prime Minister's Office here Friday.

They felt that similar discussions should be held regularly, allowing them to put forward their views on thorny issues concerning the Indian community.

"It was a very fruitful meeting. All of us were given a chance to speak and the prime minister was willing to listen to our grievances. We spoke about various issues including sensitive ones. He was very receptive and we're glad that he wanted to hear us out," Malaysian Indian Business Association president P. Sivakumar told Bernama after the two-hour meeting.

Other NGOs present at the meeting were the Malaysian Hindu Sangam, Malaysian Hindu Dharma Mamandram, Malaysian Hindu Association, Sri Murugan Centre, Malaysian Hindu Youth Council, Malaysian Tamil Youth Bell Clubs Council, Malaysian Associated Indians Chambers of Commerce and Industry, National Land Finance Cooperative Society, National Union of Plantation Workers (NUPW), Malaysian Tamil School Headmasters Association, Child Information Learning and Development Centre, and Social Strategic Foundation.

Also present were Works Minister and MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and Suhakam Commissioner Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam.

"We all were given the opportunity to speak. The prime minister had his say and he listened to us. Everyone present pledged to work with the government to solve issues confronting the community," said Malaysian Indian Youth Council president A. Rajaratnam.

He said the NGOs also wanted unity and integration of races in the country strengthened.

Suhakam's Siva Subramaniam said the meeting was "frank and cordial" and that apart from the Hindraf issue, racial integration came under spotlight at the meeting.

"Although they (the NGOs) put forward their views, they stressed that unity should be of paramount importance. They want a united Malaysia," he said.

NUPW secretary-general Datuk G. Sankaran wanted more such meetings with the prime minister as they would be useful to iron out thorny issues that could not be discussed in the open.

"This will not only bring us closer but also let us have a better understanding of the government's constraints. We'll be able to put forth our problems and give suggestions on how we like these problems solved," he said.

Malaysian Hindu Association president Datuk R. Nadarajah said the meeting did not just touch on normal issues like Hindraf as it also went deeper into matters pertaining to race and religion.

"This is good. It's not often that you get to meet the prime minister and tell him the problems of the community. I hope such a meeting can take place once every three months or so," he said.



Najib: ISA For Five Not A Surprise

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 (Bernama) -- The detention of five men who were behind the unlawful assemblies in the federal capital last month under the Internal Security Act (ISA) on Thursday did not come as a surprise, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The deputy prime minister said the government had been very tolerant of them and had given them enough advice on the need to obey the law and refrain from threatening national security and public order.

"The public wanted the government to take a stern action much earlier but we were very patient and tolerant. We wanted to see how things develop, giving people a chance to conform with the requirements of the law.

"We gave sufficient warnings and advice. People must obey the law as nobody is above the law. When the ISA was invoked, it should not have come as a surprise to anyone," Najib, who is also Defence Minister, told a press conference after the 36th General Border Committee Malaysia-Indonesia (GBC Malindo) meeting here today.

On November 25, the five -- P. Uthayakumar, M. Manoharan, R. Kenghadharan, V. Ganabatirau and T. Vasanthakumar -- leading a group called the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), held an unlawful assembly and marched to the British High Commission to hand over a petition containing allegations that the Indian community in the country had been sidelined and accusing the Malaysian government of ethnic cleansing.

On Bersih, which organised an illegal rally on November 10 to ask for free and fair elections, Najib said it was up to the Election Commission (EC) to consider its demands.

"The EC can look into whatever suggestions but most people think that our elections are free and fair," he said.




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