Hindraf compromised? Dr Paraman responds

Posted on March 29, 2013

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I mentioned Dr Paraman twice in my “The uncompromising position of ABU, and a compromised Hindraf?” post.

I received an email from Dr Paraman this morning.

Whilst he did not dispute the factual context in which his name was mentioned, in his usual calm and courteous manner, he has taken exception to much of my views in my post referred to above.

As he has not asked that the contents of his email be made public, I shall refrain from doing so.

He has, though, requested that I reproduce here two articles he had previously authored and to link here a video clip of the Q&A session from the dinner presentation at the Crystal Crown Hotel.

You will find both articles and the video below.

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A solution to the blueprint-manifesto ‘spat– By Dr VS Paraman

There has been much heated debate going on in the reluctance of PR to have a binding endorsement with Hindraf regarding its 5-year blueprint. The Hindraf blueprint which is based on social justice as the foundation had proposed a specific, pointed and targeted programme of rehabilitation measures, quite similar to existing Felda settlers programme, to a specific group of community, Displaced Estate Workers (DEW). This covers proposal for intervention in six major problem areas that transcends racial and religious barriers:

  • 800,000 internally displaced estate workers.
  • 350,000 stateless people.
  • The denial of adequate and equal educational opportunities.
  • Unequal employment and business opportunities.
  • The impunity of the Royal Malaysian Police.
  • The standards of Human Rights practices.

PR leaders had agreed in principle to the blueprint but fell short of giving a binding agreement citing certain wordings and languages need to be reviewed. Hindraf had reciprocated by not only agreeing to go through with the PR team to review these issues but were even willing to debate allocations of the necessary budget to be allocated for the realisation of the various programmes in the blueprint proposal. Ironically PR till date has failed to come forward to iron out these details with Hindraf.

Recently Anwar Ibrahim had to do a damage limitation exercise of claiming that PR will include specific details of the Indian community’s needs into the PR manifesto. This was in response to pressure from mainly Hindraf leaders who slammed the manifesto for leaving out specific concerns of the Indian community while mentioning almost all other races. Anwar claims that PR will now include 5 points into the manifesto:

  • Resolving the ‘long standing issue of stateless people’ in Malaysia, without excluding Indians, in the first 100 days of Pakatan’s administration.
  • Technical training and job opportunities for school leavers, stressing the major beneficiaries to be the Indian community.
  • Ensuring all Tamil schools will be fully funded and infrastructure comparable to the national educational standards.
  • A government National Housing Board to build affordable homes that includes focus on helping build freehold homes for ex estate workers around the country.
  • The setting up of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

These points appear to have been taken in part from the Hindraf blueprint but are not comprehensive in nature. It also does not explain how it will be implemented considering the huge ‘BTN brain washed Umno bureaucracy’ hurdle that it will need to overcome to do so. On the other hand the Hindraf blueprint spells out clearly how to overcome this.

Both PR and Hindraf are not willing to give in regarding the requirement of a binding agreement of the Hindraf blueprint to bring about a political electoral pact in the coming general elections. Hindraf particularly is aggrieved that for the Tsunami that they created for PR in 2008, there has not been even a single attempt by PR in the past five years to engage with them into drawing up plans for the grouses of the 1.5million marginalised Indians that they represent. It is also very evident that pre election promises are seldom kept by politicians from both sides of the political divide. As such Hindraf feels that it is all the more important that a binding agreement is in place so that history does not repeat itself.

A solution to this predicament lies within the PR’s Buku Jingga itself which PR claims is its comprehensive and holistic policy document. It proposes a set of policies to lead the nation to a new and better future. A clause under the heading ‘Prosperity, solidarity and social justice with PR’ clearly states that PR will ‘set up a council of experts to formulate and change existing national policies with regard to key economic, political and social challenges’.

The Hindraf blueprint falls well within this jurisdiction and as such PR must activate the clause within the Buku Jingga and accept it as after all PR leaders have already claimed to have accepted it in principle. Failure to do so may invite doubts of credibility on the very foundations of the Buku Jingga. PR will also be able to prove to the nation that it has raised the bar in its credibility to its election promises.

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HINDRAF’s blueprint transcends racial and religious boundaries – By Dr VS Paraman

The HINDRAF’s 5 year blueprint document lays out specific institutional interventions necessary for the socio-economic development of internally displaced estate workers (DEW) which is believed to number over 800,000 today. The interventions cover several key aspects of development. They are comprehensive in their scope and permanent in their impact. Most of all it is not only viable but practical to be implemented in a manner reasonably similar to the existing FELDA program.

The internal displacement of estate workers occurred over a period of several decades and constitutes mainly Indians due to their historical background. These displaced estate workers eventually have force fitted into the urban community. They now constitute a significant section of the new urban poor and underclass and have become indistinguishable and unquestionable in the overall population segment of the Indian poor. Many however fail to realize that the HINDRAF blueprint is also open for all other races provided they can show valid proof of being a DEW or a descendant of one. Having done so they would then also qualify for: 1) DEW Land allocated contract farming program. 2) DEW Housing Program. 3) Rebuilding the DEW youth through retraining and reskilling. 4) DEW places of worship and burial grounds. They would also stand to benefit from all proposals arising out of the ‘the denial of adequate and equal educational opportunities’ and ‘unequal employment and business opportunities’ programs under the HINDRAF blueprint.

The benefit of correcting this inequality will contribute to economic stability for all Malaysians in more ways than just reducing crime.

The proposals made for the suspected 350,000 stateless Indians include:

1)    To identify all stateless Indians – those without Birth Certificates, those without MyKads, and those with non blue IC’s.

2)    All the stateless Indians with non blue MyKads are to be issued with full Malaysian citizenship MyKad status immediately unless if it can be proven without a doubt that the individual is from another country.

3)    All those without MyKads and Birth Certificates should be given simplified requirement of just 2 other fellow Malaysians declaring in a statutory declaration about their knowledge of birth and parentage concerned. This is to avoid unnecessary delay going through red tape hurdles of the BTN trained UMNO bureaucracy.

4)    There needs to be a permanent simplification of registration procedures to prevent a repeat of this problem.

If it needs be reminded, the stateless Indians in question transcend all religions. It even extends to those of mixed marriages with Indians and having documentation problems. In fact the proposals in place will also benefit the Chinese having red IC’s.

The proposals made in HINDRAF blueprint in reference to ‘the impunity of the Royal Malaysian Police:

a)     To set up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission immediately, according to the recommendations of the Royal Commission to enhance the Operation and management of the Royal Malaysia Police.

b)    Put in place effective measures to stop all extra judicial killing citizens in custody at the hands of the Malaysian Police immediately.

The benefit of these measures will be felt by all Malaysians and it goes without saying that it transcends all racial and religious boundaries.

The proposals made in reference to ‘The standards of Human Rights Practices’:

To sign and ratify:

International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights

International Convenant on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination.

To adopt the guiding principles as set forth in the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement by the United Nations.

Therefore if one were to view the HINDRAF blueprint document from a humanitarian aspect as well as with an unbiased view, it will be easily comprehensible that it truly transcends not only racial but also religious boundaries. What it only lacks in is the political will of the powers that be to accept it without reservation.

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