Monday, December 17, 2007

Thoughts on the ISA arrests of Hindraf leaders

There is an online petition movement to protest against the use of ISA to detain the 5 Hindraf leaders. In a departure from procedural norm, the 5 were sent directly to Kamunting detention center to serve 2 years without recourse to a day in court for an open trial. I've written earlier that I would not be surprised this will happen considering how the entire government machinery (TV, radio, newspapers, etc.) have been mobilized to demonize Hindraf in any way possible, including the ultimate specious claim of their links with the Tamil Tigers (LTTE). One of the leaders, V. Ganabathirau, is a fellow party member whom Tony Pua would vouch for his strength of character and integrity.

If there is anything positive to be gained from the incarceration of these 5 men fighting for the downtrodden fellow Malaysians it would be the awakening, finally, of the Tamil Indian Malaysians from their deep slumber. Enough of the false sense of hope and belief that MIC and Umno is there to help them, let alone be their only hope for salvation. If that has been the case, 30,000 of their fellow citizens would not have braved chemical-laced water cannons and tear gas on that fateful November 25th Sunday morning. Let this serve as a wake up call and alarm that Indian Malaysians need to break the political shackles they've been locked to all this while. Let them realize that their consistent votes for the MIC and Umno all this while has been in vain. Let them realize that it's time to break out and join other fellow Malaysians in supporting and bringing about a shift in the political paradigm to an inclusive multi-racial one. Let them support leaders and parties who have that vision and are the only real solution to the troubles inflicting our country now. If there is any indication of this change, let the recent PKR ceramah in Jalan Kebun last Thursday be that as apparently more than 80% of the crowd were Indian Malaysians (I got this piece of news from the print edition of Sinchew, 15 Dec 2007). But most of all, do not let the sacrifice of the 5 Hindraf leaders be in vain. Indian Malaysians must wake up, unite with other fellow Malaysians, and act together for a better Malaysia for all.

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