Will Tsu Koon and Gerakan wilt
under ultimatum by Hishammuddin threatening severance of ties as to
dissociate from and penalize Paranjothy and even to apologise to UMNO Youth
when Paranjothy’s only fault was to speak the truth?
by Lim Kit Siang
UMNO Youth leader has issued an
ultimatum with the threat of severance of ties to the Acting Gerakan
President, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon to explain the statement by the
Gerakan Youth vice chief S. Paranjothy on Friday that the 30,000 Indians
had taken part in the November 25 Hindraf demonstration in Kuala Lumpur
“to express their frustrations and anger” because the community has been
“marginalized, oppressed and ignored”.
Paranjothy blamed UMNO leaders, particularly the UMNO Youth Leader
Hishammuddin and Deputy UMNO Youth Leader Khairy Jamaluddin for racial
posturing and inciting racial sentiments among Malays to gain political
mileage – citing against the former the keris-wielding episodes and
against the latter his berating of the Indian news vendors when the UMNO
presidential address of Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was not carried in the press the next day as UMNO
general assembly fell on Deepavali, with the next day an annual press
Paranjothy had described the Indians as “fourth-class citizens” who form
the most neglected group in economic terms, as shown by key performance
indicators such as tertiary education.
He said: “Where the Indians predominate over their fellow Malaysians is
mostly in prison, violent crimes, gangsterism, suicide and social ills.
Government policies have failed to improve (their situation).”
Paranjothy also criticized the government’s hard line stance against
public demonstrations, hitting out at the government for practising
double-standards in the issuance of police permits.
He said: “I have participated in street demonstrations and rallies
organised by Barisan Nasional Youth, spearheaded by UMNO Youth, to
handover a memorandum... over certain issues that had taken place (abroad)
which I believe would not have benefited Malaysia.
“Did BN Youth obtain a permit to hold the rallies or demonstrations? Looks
like the government is one-sided when it came to the issuance of permits
for public gatherings. BN started this culture of street demonstrations
and now others have emulated it.”
In his ultimatum which appeared in today front-page of Mingguan Malaysia,
“Kata dua Hishammuddin kepada Gerakan”, Hishammuddin
threatened a break of ties by UMNO Youth and Barisan Nasional with Gerakan
if Tsu Koon fails to give a reply or his explanation is unsatisfactory.
Mingguan Malaysia reported:
MACHANG 22 Dis. – Pergerakan Pemuda UMNO mendesak Pemangku Presiden Parti
Gerakan, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon segera memberi penjelasan berhubung
kenyataan Naib Ketua Pemuda parti itu, S. Paranjothy yang mendakwa UMNO
adalah salah satu punca mengapa kaum India terpinggir.
Ketuanya, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein menegaskan, sekiranya
penjelasan tersebut gagal diberi atau tidak memuaskan, tidak mustahil
hubungan Pemuda UMNO serta Barisan Nasional (BN) dengan Parti Gerakan akan
“Buat masa ini kita tidak mengeluarkan sebarang pendirian berbentuk
mengutuk dan sebagainya tanpa terlebih dahulu mendapat penjelasan Gerakan
kerana bagi BN, apabila timbul isu dari kalangan parti komponen, kita
perlu dengar penjelasan.
“Namun ini bukan bermakna Pemuda UMNO beralah. Sekiranya penjelasan tidak
memuaskan, kita sanggup putuskan hubungan. Hal ini bukan main-main,”
At the DAP forum on “ISA
arrests of Hindraf 5 – Ops Lalang2 coming?” at the Kuala Lumpur-Selangor
Chinese Assembly Hall on Friday, I had commended Paranjothy for stepping
forward to speak the truth although it has taken him one month after the
30,000-strong Hindraf demonstration on Nov. 25 to find his conscience and
voice, but it is better late than never.
I had asked when Samy Vellu and the MIC leaders will wake up to the truth
and find their conscience and voice.
This question must be widened to Tsu Koon, Gerakan and all other Barisan
Nasional component parties and their leaders as the marginalization of the
Malaysian Indians as a new underclass is not just a Indian problem but a
national problem. But Tsu Koon and Gerakan has a more pressing question to
answer - Will Tsu Koon and Gerakan wilt under the ultimatum by
Hishammuddin threatening severance of ties as to dissociate from and
penalize Paranjothy and even to apologise to UMNO Youth when Paranjothy’s
only fault was to speak the truth?
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman