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Hindus angered by Deepavali jeer from Khairy...

Media Statement
by M. Kula Segaran


(Kuala Lumpur, Tuesday): UMNO Deputy Youth Leader and the Prime Minister’s son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin has offended Hindus and the Indian community by attacking Indian newsvendors at the recent UMNO General Assembly.

We are outraged when Khairy blamed Indians as the cause why UMNO President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s presidential address at the UMNO General Assembly was not published on Thursday which is Deepavali day and a press shut down day.

It is foolish to blame newsvendors for your own foolishness to fix the UMNO assembly on a Deepavali day.

Why were the UMNO officers so slack? Everybody knows that Deepavali is a pore shut down day and there will be no newspapers. But UMNO and Datuk Seri Abdullah when ahead and now blame the poor vendors.

Khairy said: “Today is the first time the UMNO president’s speech is not being read by the masses because a particular ethnic group controls the distribution line of newspapers and they are on holiday.”

Yes, true. Who is to blame, UMNO or the poor newsvendors?

The holding of the UMNO General Assembly during Deepavali, a gazette public holiday, had also upset many Malaysians, both Hindus and non-Hindus, as it seems to point to a growing pattern of insensitivity by the powers-that-be in the country.

If the MIC, MCA or Gerakan had held their annual party assemblies during Hari Raya holidays, it would have been regarded as highly insensitive, offensive and unacceptable – and undoubtedly pressures would have been brought to bear to move such assemblies to another date.

Why wasn’t the same consideration given in the case of this year’s UMNO General Assembly clashing with Deepavali – as the excuse that Abdullah had a “tight schedule” is simply just unacceptable?

Newsvendors wake up at 3am to start distributing newspapers from 5am. They work very hard and their labor should be admired and respected not belittled.

Khairy should apologies to the Indian community for his uncalled-for and most unwarranted aspersions on the Indian community yesterday.


*M. Kula Segaran, DAP Vice Chairman & MP for Ipoh Barat

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