Monday, 27 February 2012

Forum on “Article 153 of the Federal Constitution and the Equality of Ethnic communities” cum the launching of Kua Kia Soong’s New Book “Patriots and Pretenders - The Malayan Peoples’ Independence Struggle”

Forum on “Article 153 of the Federal Constitution and the Equality of Ethnic communities”  
cum
 the launching of Kua Kia Soong’s New Book “Patriots and Pretenders - The Malayan Peoples’ Independence Struggle”

Statement by Friends of Suaram Working Committee Johor

27 February 2012

Since the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) rally held on 25 November 2007, the majority members of the Indian community who are at the bottom level of our society have generally become more aware of their poor state of conditions. Under the leadership of their progressive leaders, Hindraf has begun to delve into the causes of the dilemma hitherto faced by the Indian community (particularly the laboring masses).

Hindraf has resorted to action by way of courageously voicing their demands for equality. As a consequence, Hindraf suffered brutal suppression by the BN government. Waytha Moorthy (right), the Chairperson of Hindraf, was forced to go into exile. But, he persists in leading the Hindraf struggle from abroad. 

In the meantime, he is seeking international support. In his capacity as the leader of an organization, Human Rights Foundation Malaysia, he submitted a Report entitled “Institutionalised Racism and Religious Freedom in Malaysia” to the US Foreign Affairs Committee, and Tom Lantos Human Rights Committee towards the end of last year [2011].

Of late, Hindraf has also launched a global e-petition, demanding for the repeal of Article 153 of the Malaysian Constitution; for the removal of all racist and religious supremacist policies; and for the fair treatment of all communities. The just action on the part of Hindraf, shows that the Indian community has taken the initiative to put forward its demands for equality on behalf of all ethnic communities as an urgent agenda.

Currently, apart from a forum on “Institutionalised Racism in Malaysia” held in Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) on 17 January 2012, no other political parties or organisations (even the Parliamentary opposition parties who claimed to be well prepared to topple the BN government), have yet to  show the necessary concern and support for the core demands raised by the Indian community represented by Hindraf. 

Friends of Suaram Working Committee Johor (FOS Johor) has decided to organise a forum on “Article 153 of the Federal Constitution and the Equality of  all communities” in March this year. We intend to invite some experts and scholars to present their views. Such decision was made after some thorough discussions, and after taking into consideration the abovementioned circumstances. It is hoped that the forum will arouse the interest of the audience in these important issues.

Fos Johor has invited Mr Waytha Moorthy, Hindraf’s chairperson to be one of the speakers. He may deliver his speech either via teleconferencing or through his representative. FOS Johor has also invited Dr Azmi Sharom (left), Associate Professor of Law studies of Universiti Malaya, as well as Dr Kua Kia Soong, director of Suaram as speakers. These speakers from the three main ethnic communities are well-known experts and scholars for their in-depth understanding of the national and social issues. We also hope to disseminate their papers at the Forum. 

In addition, FOS will take the opportunity to have a book launch of the Chinese rendition of Dr. Kua’s recent publication, Patriots and Pretenders - The Malayan Peoples’ Independence Struggle. In the book, Dr. Kua (right) expresses his clear-cut stand and critical views regarding the origins of the so-called “social contract” and “Malay dominance”. The book provides important reference and material for exploring the current issue of repression suffered by the ethnic minorities as well as the struggle and resistance put up by them. It is particularly an instructive book on the campaign launched by Hindraf to repeal Article 153 of the Federal Constitution and all racist policies and legislation, and to advocate equality for all Malaysians irrespective of race.

The new book will be launched by the veteran bilingual columnist Lee Ban Chen, who will speak in Mandarin. FOS has also invited a columnist, Yong Sun Yong to have a review of the book, to be written in Chinese.

The speeches by the speakers and the book review will appear in FOS Johor’s blog (sahabatrakyatmy.blogspot.com). They will also be forwarded to the media for publication.


The particulars of the Forum and the book launch are as follows:

·       Date : 18 March 2012 (Sunday)
·       Time : 2pm
·       Venue : Johor Tourism Information Centre (JOTIC)

FOS Johor welcomes the attendance of all citizens from all walks of life, who are concerned with democracy and human rights in our country. Admission is free. For further inquiry, please contact Ms Fang (016-7782707).

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