MIC MP for Cameron Highlands
Devamany should publicly apologize for his Aljazeera interview yesterday
belittling the Hindraf demonstration and condemning the demonstrators when
he should be deploring the police mishandling and excessive use of force in
firing tear gas and liquid chemicals against the defenseless and unarmed
by Lim Kit Siang
MIC MP for Cameron Highlands
Devamany a/l S. Krishnasamy should publicly apologize for his Aljazeera
interview yesterday belittling the Hindraf demonstration and condemning
the demonstrators when he should be deploring the police mishandling and
excessive use of force in firing tear gas and liquid chemicals against the
defenseless and unarmed in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
In the Aljazeera interview, Devamany joined the chorus of Barisan Nasional
leaders in running down the Hindraf demonstration, condemning it as
irresponsible with bad intention, making derogatory reference to the “type
of people” who came to join the demonstration – as if they were the
riff-raff and good-for-nothings when they in fact represented a fair
cross-section of the Malaysian Indian community from all over the country,
including professionals and among the most idealistic men and women for
whom the Malaysian Indian community and the Malaysian nation have every
reason to feel proud.
I actually gave Devamany an opportunity during parliamentary question time
this morning to apologize and withdraw his offensive and derogatory
remarks about the Hindraf demonstration and demonstrators, but he chose to
be obstinate and unrepentant, trying to argue and justify his offensive
As I had said during my supplementary question this morning that the
government failure to ensure equity has created the conditions for the
Hindraf demonstration, which was “a cry of desperation” by the Indian
community at their neglect and marginalization in the Barisan Nasional
nation-building policies which have made the Malaysian Indians into a new
under class in Malaysia after 50 years of Merdeka.
Never before in the past 50 years have Malaysian Indians felt so
discriminated and marginalized in the whole gamut of their citizenship
rights – political, economic, social, educational, cultural and religious.
It is precisely because MIC leaders in Parliament and government are not
prepared to give voice to the legitimate grievances of the Malaysian
Indians that the frustrations of Malaysian Indians are so deep-seated and
widespread – nurturing a grave sense of alienation among the Malaysian
Indians at being cut off from the mainstream of development and full
recognition of their legitimate aspirations and rights as equal Malaysian
The refusal by UMNO Ministers and Deputy Ministers in Parliament and
government to concede the validity and legitimacy of the grievances of the
Malaysian Indians which have led to the Hindraf demonstration is not
surprising, as this is part of the very serious denial syndrome of the
UMNO and Barisan Nasional political leadership.
However, the failure of MIC leaders to recognize the factors that have led
to the Hindraf demonstration yesterday or to have any good word for the
Hindraf demonstration and demonstrators is most deplorable and must be
condemned in the strongest possible terms.
The Cabinet on Wednesday must discuss the “cry of desperation” of the
Malaysian Indians symbolized by the 30,000 Hindraf demonstration yesterday
and the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi must “walk the
talk” of his pledge to be Prime Minister for all Malaysians regardless of
race, religion or political beliefs.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman