Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Speech when debating 2014 Budget

Speech by M. Kula Segaran, DAP MP for Ipoh Barat when debating on the Budget 2014 in Parliament on 29th October, 2014

1.      Call on the government to boycott CHOGM meeting.

Malaysian Government must  seriously consider boycotting the CHOGM meeting in Sri Lanka which is scheduled to take place between 15-17th November.

The present political leaders of Sri Lanka are said to be one way or the other involved in the ethnic cleansing of the Tamils. If the Prime Minister attends CHOGN meeting, it will mean the war crimes committed and the violation of human rights in Sri Lanka is irrelevant.

Over 100,000 innocent people were killed in the civil war and many due to their ethnicity. Many thousands have also disappeared.

DAP Central Executive Committee adopted a resolution to ask the PM to boycott the CHOGM event. Many NGOs and locals are also openly calling for boycotting of the event.

The Canadian Prime Minister has openly announced the boycotting of the event. This is what he said:-
“When Sri Lanka was selected to host the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Canada was hopeful that the Sri Lankan government would seize the opportunity to improve human rights conditions and take steps towards reconciliation and accountability. Unfortunately, this has not been the case.

“Canada is deeply concerned about the situation in Sri Lanka. The absence of accountability for the serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian standards during and after the civil war is unacceptable.

“Canada noted with concern the impeachment of the Sri Lankan Chief Justice earlier this year, and we remain disturbed by ongoing reports of intimidation and incarceration of political leaders and journalists, harassment of minorities, reported disappearances, and allegations of extra judicial killings.

“Canada believes that if the Commonwealth is to remain relevant it must stand in defence of the basic principles of freedom, democracy, and respect for human dignity, which are the very foundation upon which the Commonwealth was built.

“It is clear that the Sri Lankan government has failed to uphold the Commonwealth’s core values, which are cherished by Canadians. As such, as the Prime Minister of Canada, I will not attend the 2013 CHOGM in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This is a decision that I do not take lightly.
“Canada will continue to monitor events in Sri Lanka and urge the government to implement fully the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, promote respect for human rights and the rule of law, and undertake an independent investigation into alleged violations of the human rights of thousands of civilians at the end of the conflict.
“Canada will continue to work with our partners and through the United Nations to draw attention to the situation in Sri Lanka. I have also asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs to review Canada’s financial contributions to Commonwealth programs and the Commonwealth Secretariat.

“The Honourable Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights, will represent Canada at the meeting in Colombo.”

The Malaysian Government is a member of the UN Human Rights Council. Malaysia did not oppose the resolutions brought by the US:-
1) on how the Sri Lanka Government will address the alleged violations of international Humanitarian law
2) asks how Sri Lanka will implement the recommendations of an internal inquiry into the war
3) Encourages the UN human rights office to offer advice and assistance and the Government to accept such advice

In view of all these, it will be most appropriate if our PM does the honorable thing by boycotting the CHOGM meeting. It will convey a strong a clear message to Sri Lanka government that Malaysia abhors abuse of human rights values.

On July 3rd, Komas Staff Ms Lena Hendry was arrested for screening the documentary titled “No fire zone, the killing fields of Sri Lanka” .The departments which raided included the Home Ministry, the police and the Immigration.

On the same day, the movie was also screened in Parliament house which was organized by the Caucus for the Displaced People of Sri Lanka of the Malaysian Parliament. Over 20 MP’s attended the event.

It is now a widely known fact that the Sri Lankan Embassy tried to put pressure on KOMAS and KL Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) to stop the screening. They even sent a letter to KLSCAH and the Ambassador himself came over to KLSCAH.

The Sri Lankan Embassy, in a fax letter, accused the organizers for supporting the Tamil Tigers (LTTE), for trying to create bad relationship between the people of the two countries and within Malaysia. The Sri Lankan embassy also noted down in the fax that they have contacted Ministry of Foreign affairs and the censorship board.

I was present during the raid and it looks like we are bowing to the Sri Lankan embassy pressure. Is this true? I urge the authorities to drop all charges against Lena and others immediately.  

2.      Slaughter of Cows in school compounds.

Recently a number of public places and even schools have been turned in abattoirs. It is shocking to learn that national schools which have multi racial children have witnessed the slaughtering of cows.

Cow is sacred to Hindus and Buddhists. To slaughter these animals openly especially in schools is most unfortunate. Many parents take great objection to this and this in no way promote integration of the students or promotes good educational values.

What would be ideal is to teach our children to care for animals. For by interacting with animals they will behave better and especially towards other people.

I appreciate the second Deputy Minister of Education Kalamanathan in coming out to support the call to stop slaughtering of cows in schools. But his view has now been openly contradicted by Second Minister of Education Datuk Idris Jusoh.

Is the Minister under pressure from PERKASA which Youth leader has said it’s nothing wrong to slaughter cows in schools? He said” if a school has a lot of Muslims among the students and the teachers, and there is no place to carry out the slaughter, what is wrong is using the school”. He further said the ban was insulting the Muslim festival.

PERKASA has got everything wrong. For a start.
1) no one  in the right mind objects to the slaughter of cows if it is done according to law namely in a abattoir.
2) it is highly improper and complete failure to appreciate that we live in a multi racial, religious and multi lingual community and we have to be sensitive to other races especially the non Muslims.
3) National schools has all different races studying there, thus it is best not to openly slaughter cows

Further why is the circular prohibiting the slaughter of animals in schools not strictly adhered to?

Finally the absolute silence by the Minister of Education and Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin conveys a very wrong message to all. Is he in favour of the slaughter?

I am not surprised by the DPM’s conduct as the DPM had formerly said he is Malay first and Malaysian second in direct contradiction to 1Malaysia concept!     
In 2007, in appreciation of the former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah's marriage, some BN MPs decided to slaughter cows in Malaysian Parliament grounds.

I raised this matter and criticised the open slaughter of cows and turning Parliament into an abattoir and the failure to be sensitive to Hindus. Dewan Speaker Tan Sri Ramli said cows were slaughtered everywhere. He was then asked if some "other" animals were also slaughtered in Parliament grounds, would this be acceptable. He didn't respond to this suggestion. But the open slaughtering has stopped since then.

3.      What have happened to 2012 Budget promises to help the Indian community?  

For this year, the Government has allocated RM 100 million for the Indian community. This allocation is meant for the improvement of the community. PM Datuk Najib said this allocation is to say a great thank you " nomba naandri" apparently because the Indians had given full support to BN in the last General Elections.

But recent studies shows 65% of Indians had in the recent election supported PR.

But I want to know what happened to the allocation promised for the Indian community in the 2012 budget promises.
1) RM 50 million was promised for the training of 3200 Indian youths,
 2) RM 50 million for TEKUN loans for Indians and
3) RM 100 million for Tamil schools.

Why is there a general feeling that these 3 promised allocations have not been effective and millions are not spent or used? Many Indian youths were not given the opportunities to participate in the retaining of youths.

To make matter worse, Deputy Minister Wathamorthy’s MOU with the Government raised a lot of hopes and great expectations. But the promise of awarding 2200 Matriculation seats for the Indian community never materialize. The MOU is just an eye wash. 

4.      Cameron Highlands tragedy 

In the recent incident, 3 innocent residents died. Was this avoidable?

This incident was in the coming as all has been due to the human's excessive destruction of the natural surroundings.

For years, Cameron Highlands has been suffering with floods, soil erosion etc but the authorities turned a blind eye to this. We have an MP for Cameron Highlands who is also the Minister of Environment.

RM 40 million has been specially allocated for the tragedy. How will it be spent?
 Will the Government make public the findings of the recent tragedy with a white paper to be presented in Parliament? 

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