Been there, done that

If less than 20 pages is ‘too lengthy’ then I really do not know what to say. They should be reading at least 100 to 150 pages a day or go through a 300-page book in two or three days. Some PhD students here in the UK, Malaysians of course, told me that they hardly read a book a year save for their text books.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Hindraf has laid out six conditions for both Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional to agree to before it decides which of the two coalitions it will support in the coming general election. Five of those six conditions were actually addressed in The People’s Declaration exactly five years ago in February 2008.

In fact, The People’s Declaration is in even more detail because it comes to almost 20 pages. The problem is most people did not read it because, according to them, The People’s Declaration is too lengthy.

If less than 20 pages is ‘too lengthy’ then I really do not know what to say. They should be reading at least 100 to 150 pages a day or go through a 300-page book in two or three days. Some PhD students here in the UK, Malaysians of course, told me that they hardly read a book a year save for their text books.

That is pathetic. And these are the same people who whack Umno and blame Umno for the ‘poorly educated’ Malaysians. I just don’t get it how you can blame Umno for your low-level education when you refuse to read a book a year and you declare that 20 pages are too lengthy to read.

Anyway, save for item 2 in Hindraf’s list of six demands, five of these demands have actually been addressed in The People’s Declaration, as you can see below.

I admit that The People’s Declaration is not specific to ‘Indian issues’, as it tries to address policies to make things more equitable, and so that the beneficiaries of these policies would be on a need basis rather than race-based. Nevertheless, if there were any particular ethnic group that is in need, then it would automatically become that beneficiary.

For example, if you build houses for the needy, and if the Indians are in need of houses, then the Indians become the beneficiary of those houses since the spirit of The People’s Declaration is to do away with race-based policies in favour of need-based policies.

Many people have asked me what is the source of what they view as my ‘falling out’ with Anwar Ibrahim in late 2010 and why two months later I started ‘whacking’ Anwar Ibrahim.

Well, if they were to view that video of our meeting in London in 2010 on Youtube then they need not ask this question. In that meeting I stressed that Pakatan Rakyat had signed an agreement that they will adopt The People’s Declaration and later, in Australia, Anwar did a U-turn and rejected it.

Basically, what Hindraf is asking for has already been laid out and agreed by Pakatan Rakyat (plus PSM, mind you) five years ago in February 2008. And The People’s Declaration has more details. Will Pakatan Rakyat now say yes to Hindraf when it has said no to The People’s Declaration — after saying yes earlier?

Anyway, while we await a reply from Pakatan Rakyat, maybe in the meantime you can compare what Hindraf wants to what was agreed back in February 2008.


Hindraf: 1) Stop displacing Indian plantation workers and provide reasonable compensation as well as offer skills training to them.

The People’s Declaration: Form a framework of tripartite consultation that is effective, just and democratic, and amend laws relating to labour, trade unions and industrial relations consistent with it; fix a reasonable monthly wage for estate workers and seriously implement a housing scheme for estate workers; and introduce re-training programmes for retrenched workers.


Hindraf: 2) Resolve Indian stateless issue.

The People’s Declaration: None.


Hindraf: 3) Provide equal education opportunities to all Indian students via meritocracy;

The People’s Declaration: Establish a National Education Consultative Council to ensure that the practice and implementation of the national education policy and philosophy is both effective and just; allocate the education budget in a fair and equitable fashion, without neglecting any group; provide more scholarships and other financial assistance on the basis of need; and increase the number of mother tongue schools and upgrade their facilities according to need and demand.


Hindraf: 4) Provide equal job and business opportunities to Indians;

The People’s Declaration: Establish an investment fund, under-written by the government, for the development of small and medium enterprises and allocated according to performance and not political favouritism.


Hindraf: 5) Stop police brutality and death in custody, and set up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

The People’s Declaration: Sign and ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; restore the image and status of the Royal Malaysian Police by means of a permanent committee as the Police Commission to receive and consider petitions by the people on police behaviour; improve the quality and effectiveness of human rights education at all levels of education and institutions of higher learning as well as training centres for public servants; and improve prison administration and conditions in line with international standards.


Hindraf: 6) Stop institutionalised racism and ratify United Nations convention against racial discrimination.

The People’s Declaration: Immediately dismantle any and all remaining practices of “divide and rule” in public administration from the days of the BN administration; put in place an affirmative action programme at Federal and all State levels to eradicate poverty and marginalization from amongst the weak and backward groups irrespective of race, social background and religion; and establish an independent Ethnic Relations Council, reporting directly to Parliament to help in building a united Bangsa Malaysia.