Saturday, March 29, 2014

Challenge MIC to support the building of the nation’s first Tamil secondary school



Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on Saturday, March 29, 2014

Challenge MIC to support the building of the nation’s first Tamil secondary school 

On March 24, Education Minister II Datuk Idris Jusoh came to Parliament to reply to education issues raised by MPs during their debates on the Royal Address. 

I had taken the opportunity to pursue on the question of Penang government’s request to the federal government build a Tamil secondary school.  

The Minister replied that the 1996 Education provides for the building of secondary schools which will have to use the national education syllabus and Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction. 

His answer means that unless amendment is made to the Education Act, a Tamil secondary school cannot be built. 

On Jan 8, Education Department director-general Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof has also written to Penang state government stating that there is no provision under the Education Act 1996 for the setting up Tamil secondary schools.

The letter stated that the Act only provides for national secondary schools to cater to the education needs of all races in the country.

Since the Penang state government has offered to set aside a piece of land for the building of the school, the only obstacle now is the nod from the Federal government as education matter is under the federal government. 

Any law can be amended in Parliament and so the Act itself cannot be an obstacle. 

I therefore challenge MIC to support the building of the nation’s first Tamil secondary school by proposing in the Cabinet that the necessary changes be made to the 1996 Education Act so as to remove the excuse used by BN government to reject the building of a Tamil secondary school in Butterworth.

DAP is only asking for one Tamil secondary school in the country and the location is Bagan Dalam in Butterworth as the Indian community makes up 24% of the total constituents.

DAP and Pakatan Rakyat MPs will give full support to the necessary changes if they are tabled in Parliament. 

The question is can MIC deliver ? 

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib has often talked about “Nambikei” and MIC leaders have always promised that BN will do their utmost for the Indian community. 

Let’s see if BN government can walk the talk on their promises and take the necessary steps to amend the necessary changes to the 1996 Education Act to allow the building of the nation’s first Tamil secondary school.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Kajang to bring about winds of political change – Koon Yew Yin

Side Views

Kajang to bring about winds of political change – Koon Yew Yin

Recently, I was asked to speak at a political rally organised by Pakatan Rakyat in support of the PKR candidate in the Kajang by-election, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

In my address to the crowd which I kept short, since I was sharing time with Kak Azizah, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and other leaders, I chose not to speak on the political issues which should influence the Kajang electorate.

Instead, I focused on my personal experience with MCA and explained why a vote for the MCA candidate was an exercise in futility. 

Political change in the air

That night was a memorable one. It was the first time that I have ever made a speech from the roof of a truck.

Second, I did not expect the large crowd. To be honest, when I made the trip from Ipoh to Kajang, I had expected election fatigue with the by-election coming so soon after the 2013 general election.
Instead, I saw sheer energy and commitment – from the top political guns to the volunteer party workers and all the way to the people gathered patiently at the padang.

More importantly, I felt a tremendous sense of camaraderie among the multiracial crowd.  I had been afraid of the sense of racial unity and solidarity in the opposition, given Umno's attempts to play the divide-and-rule game in Selangor by focusing on the “Allah” issue.

I was also concerned that PKR's and PR's credentials as a multi-ethnic and multi-religious party and coalition may have been eroded by the propaganda BN war.

I can say that what I saw took me by surprise – the multi-racial support for PR and PKR is not only strong but growing!

I left the rally that night fully convinced that if Kajang was an example of the political sentiment in the country, we will have a change of government at the next elections.

As it turned out, Kak Azizah won the by election with a handsome majority despite her campaign being heavily outgunned by the big spending and no-holds barred campaign of  Barisan Nasional.

Perhaps because the national spotlight was on this single election and the result in Kajang did not threaten BN's majority in Parliament, there have been fewer reports of dirty tricks attempted by the BN to ensure a victory for its candidate, Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun.

Beware of more dirty tricks ahead


Today, the BN coalition is in power despite receiving only 47% of votes cast in the 2013 elections.
During the next elections, we can expect that percentage to drop further. From what I witnessed in Kajang, the majority of Malaysians – Malays and non-Malays, Sabah and Sarawak and the peninsula – want political change and have the stamina to outlast BN.

 But at the same time, we must be fully prepared for even more unfair, unprincipled and unethical elections the next time.

Conviction of Anwar and Karpal

In fact the conviction of Anwar on the second sodomy charge and Karpal Singh for sedition can be seen as the opening shots by BN for the next GE.

The two charges are nothing else but pure political persecution aimed at removing two of the most charismatic and potent opposition leaders and sowing dissention in the ranks of PKR and DAP.

Much has been written by the international media on these two trumped-up charges which have led the United States State Department to issue a press statement expressing concern in the following way:
“The decision to prosecute Mr Anwar and his trial have raised a number of concerns regarding the rule of law and the independence of the courts. In this high-profile case, it is critical for Malaysia to apply the rule of law fairly, transparently, and apolitically in order to promote confidence in Malaysia’s democracy and judiciary.”

BN government's miscalculation

Anwar's conviction was arrived at with unprecedented and indecent speed by the Appeal Court – hence triggering Kak Azizah's nomination. If the government thinks that this will finish off Anwar and PKR politically, it has miscalculated.

During the Kajang campaign, ordinary people I spoke to were incensed that the government would stoop so low to using our courts to kill off the two highly regarded and veteran politicians.

The subsequent PKR victory showed the extent of the voting public's anger with this dirty trick.

In the months and years ahead, I am sure that Anwar's sodomy 2.0 conviction will prove to be a rallying point for Malaysians outraged with the way in which the courts are being treated as political courts to score points by the BN government against the opposition.

BN may appear to have won the victory, they will find out that they will lose the war. – March 28, 2014.

* Koon Yew Yin reads The Malaysian Insider.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.
 

Ministers/ Deputy Ministers must give responsible and accurate parliamentary answers



Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat on Friday, March 28, 2014

Ministers/ Deputy Ministers must give responsible and accurate parliamentary answers

Yesterday, Deputy Defence minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri admitted that when he told Parliament on March 26 that MH370 could have been ordered to divert from its Beijing-bound flight path, his remark was merely based on his own assumption, which was inaccurate.

He explained that it was only his andaian (assumption) and also possibilities that could have occurred.
“After carrying out checks, I wish to stress that my assumption was not accurate,” Abdul Rahim said in a two-paragraph statement issued by the Defence Ministry.

Although he did the right thing to admit his mistake, he has nevertheless committed a grave mistake for two reasons. 

Firstly, there has been widespread world media reports about the government’s lack of transparency in handling the MH 370 incident , such inaccurate answer only serves to increase the media doubt as well as strengthen the mistrust of some victims ‘ families in the Malaysian government.

Secondly, Parliament is the highest legislative and deliberative chamber of the nation and parliamentary answers by the government must be authoritative and accurate.  

It is not a place where a minister or deputy minister should give an answer based on assumption. Ministers and deputy ministers have a duty to provide responsible and accurate answers to the MPs.
The Prime Minister must seriously consider the option of sacking Datuk Abdul Rahim. 

Last week, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Juanidi had given an irresponsible, inaccurate and offensive answer in Parliament by saying that  non Malay communities being less sensitive to child rape . He was heavily criticized inside and outside Parliament. 

He later asked the Parliament to expunge his inaccurate remarks without offering an apology.

Since Datuk Abdul Rahim gave the wrong answer in the Parliament, he must at least admit his mistake in Parliament on coming Monday, if the Prime Minister is not prepared to sack him. 

Datuk Wan Junaidi was not gutsy enough to make an apology, let’s see if  Datuk Abdul Rahim will have the courage to admit his mistake and apologise in Parliament.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

'I fear not jail, I fear only Allah'

 |
March 27, 2014 
Anwar says ruling leaders are too detached from the real issues of rising cost of living.
anwar ibrahimPENAMPANG
: Even with a looming five-year jail sentence hanging over his head,
defiant Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim told supporters in Sabah
Wednesday he feared no one but Allah.

“I fear not to be jailed. I fear only Allah. They can send me to jail
again, and I will continue to speak up for the people and against Umno.
I will fight the corrupt Umno leaders till the end,” he thundered at a
Reformasi 2.0 gathering of about 500 at Kampung Ramaya in Penampang,
last night.

The PKR supremo blasted the current Umno-led federal government as
the most rotten regime Malaysians had ever witnessed. He said opposition
and hatred towards the Umno-led federal government is mounting by the
days and it would be unstoppable.

“Umno is ruining this country with corruption, indignity and incapability of good governance. The people must stop this rot.

“Stop Umno from playing racial and religious issues, and the only way
is throwing them away from Putrajaya,” said Anwar in his hour-long
fiery speech that captivated his responsive audience.

Anwar who is also the MP for Permatang Pauh said the result from the
Kajang by-election in Selangor showed that PKR and Pakatan Rakyat have
the support of 60% of the electorates and that PKR has the support of
the majority of Malays too.

“So all the talks by Umno leaders that PKR is only supported by the Chinese and Indian communities proved to be false.

“It is Umno and BN that are losing ground and is now trying to play
racist politics but which is being discarded by right-thinking
Malaysians.

He also accused Umno leaders of just being concerned with enriching themselves and their cronies.

“Umno leaders are not concerned with paddy farmers or the ordinary
folks like you. They give you RM500 for BR1M and that is it,” he said.

Fight injustice, youths urged

Anwar said the ruling leaders are too detached from the real issues
of rising cost of living, and this was evidenced by Prime Minister Najib
Razak’s “RM1 chicken” and “kangkung” statements.

“Where in the world we can get a chicken for RM1? If a trader sells
to a Prime Minister a chicken for a token RM1 that does not mean that
all of us can get a whole chicken for only RM1 in the market.

“The other day, when I asked a trader in Kajang for a RM1 chicken, he
only gave me a piece of chicken claw…” he said in jest, much to the
laughter in the audience.

The maverick opposition leader also asked the younger generation to
equip themselves with knowledge of real issues of life, and that they
should search for knowledge on internet search engines like Google.

“Dont’ just Google for Justin Bieber. Google real issues because the
baton is being passed to you the young generation to correct wrongs in
this country.

“Fight the injustice this regime had caused to the people including
in Sabah and Sarawak,” he said adding that knowledgeable citizens could
not be easily manipulated by Umno and BN.

Anwar said he would go to nationwide to launch a second-wave of
“reformasi” movement, and that he would be in Johor tomorrow and next in
Kota Bahru, Kelantan at the invitation of PAS leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat.

“Ten of thousands of our supporters would turn out at these reformasi gatherings in Peninsular,” he claimed.

Also present at last night function were Sabah PKR chief, Lajim Ukin,
his deputy Christina Liew, PKR secretary-general Saifudin Nasution,
Penampang MP, Darell Leiking, former Suhakam vice chairman, Simon Sipaun
as well as DAP Sabah secretary, Dr Edwin Bosi and representatives from
PAS.



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

இனவாதி வான் ஜுனைடி பதவி நீக்கம் செய்யப்பட வேண்டும் !

kula1-710712


 உள்துறை துணை அமைச்சர் வான் ஜுனைடி வான் ஜாபார், நேற்று நாடாளுமன்ற வளாகத்தில் கேள்வி ஒன்றிற்குப் பதில் அளித்து ஒட்டுமொத்த மலேசியர்களையே  முட்டாள்களாக்கி அவர் மிகவும் புத்திசாலி என்று எண்ணிக் கொண்டிருக்கின்றார்.
நாடாளுமன்றத்தின் உள்ளே இது போன்று வான் ஜுனைடி பேசியிருந்தால் அதற்கு உடனடியாக என்னால்  பதிலடி கொடுத்திருக்க முடியும். நாடாளுமன்ற வாளாகத்தில் இது நடந்ததால் பத்திரிகை வாயிலாகத்தான் இதற்கு என்னால் பதில் அளிக்க முடிகிறது.
கேள்வி : ஏன் மலாய்க்காரர்களிடையே பாலியல் வல்லுறவு அதிகமாக இருக்கிறது ?
வான் ஜுனைடியின் பதில்: மாலாய்க்காரர் அல்லாதவர்கள் பாலியல் வல்லுறவு குறித்து போலீசில் அதிகமாகப் புகார் கொடுப்பதில்லை.  அதனால்தான் புள்ளிவிவரங்கள் அதிகமான மலாய்க்காரர்கள் இக்குற்றத்தை புரிகின்றனர் என்று காட்டுகிறது.



Minister-Wan Junaidiவல்லுறவு என்பது மதம், இனம், மொழி பார்த்து வருவதில்லை என்பது துணை அமைச்சருக்கு தெரியவில்லை போலும். எல்லா இனங்களிலும் இது காணப்படுகின்றது. இது போன்ற அராஜகங்களைப் புரிகின்றவர்கள் எல்லா காலங்களிலும் எல்ல இனங்களிலும் இருந்துள்ளார்கள் என்பதுதான் உலகமறிந்த உண்மை.
உள்ளே சரக்கு இல்லாத காரணத்தால் கேள்விக்கு நேரடியாக பதில் சொல்ல தெரியாமலும், இயலாமலும் மற்ற இனங்களை வீணே வம்புக்கு இழுத்து பேசியிருக்கின்றார் இந்த ஜுனைடி.
மாலாய்க்காரார்கள் அதிகமாக இக்குற்றத்தைப் புரிகிறார்கள் என்பது ஆய்வின் அறிக்கை. அதை ஏற்றுக்கொண்டு, அதைத் தடுப்பதற்கு என்ன நடவடிக்கை எடுக்கப் போகின்றது அரசாங்கம் என்பதைத்தான் பொதுவாக பதிலாக எதிர்ப்பார்ப்பார்கள்.
எந்த ஓர் ஆதாரமும் இல்லாமல் மாலாய்க்காரர் அல்லாதவர்கள் பாலியல் வல்லுறவு குறித்து புகார் செய்வதில்லை என்பதற்கான காரணம் அவர்கள் இதைச் சாதாரணமாக கருதுகிறார்கள். அவர்களுக்கு இது ஒரு முக்கியப் பிரச்சனை அல்ல என்று கூறியிருக்கின்றார்.
முறைக்கேடாக பிறந்த குழந்தைகள், பாலியல் வல்லுறவு ஆகியவற்றை இஸ்லாம் ஏற்கவில்லை என்பதனால் அதிகமான மலாய்க்காரர்கள் போலீசில் இக்குற்றங்கள் குறித்து புகார் செய்கின்றார்கள் என்று அவர் மேலும் கூறியிருக்கின்றார்.
எல்லா மதங்களுமே (இஸ்லாம் உட்பட)  பாலியல் வல்லுறவு, குழந்தைகள்  முறைகேடாக பெற்றுக்கொள்வதை ஏற்றுக்கொள்வதில்லை. அப்படி இருக்கும் பொழுது துணைஅமைச்சர் பேசிய பேச்சிலிருந்து  இஸ்லாம் மதம் மட்டுமே இவற்றை எதிர்க்கின்றது; மற்ற மதங்களுக்கு இது ஏற்புடையது என்பது போல இருக்கின்றது.
இது அவரின் பொதுஅறிவின் ஆழத்தையும், மற்ற மதங்களில் உள்ள நெறிகளை அவர்  எந்த அளவிற்கு அறிந்து பாண்டித்தியம் பெற்றிருக்கிறார் என்பதையும் நன்கு வெளிப்படுத்துகிறது. அவரின் பொறுப்பற்ற பேச்சு, நாடளுமன்ற உறுப்பினர் என்ற வகையில் எல்லா இனங்களின்உணர்வுகளையும் அறிந்திருக்க வேண்டியவரே இது போல பேசியிருப்பது சக நாடாளுமன்ற உறுப்பினர் என்றமுறையில் நான் வெட்கமும் வேதனையும் அடைகின்றேன்.
இது போன்ற அமைச்சர்கள் பதிவியிலிருப்பதே ஒரு சாபக்கேடு. மூவினங்கள் வாழும் ஒரு நாட்டில் தன் சொந்த இனம் மட்டுமே ஒழுக்க சீலர்களை கொண்டுள்ளது,  மற்ற இனங்கள் வாழ்வு நெறி, பண்பாடு, மதம் இல்லாத மந்தைகள் என்று எண்ணும் இவர் போன்ற மண்டூகங்கள், அம்னோ அரசியல் வாதிகள், நாட்டில் இருப்பதால்தான் நாடு இந்த அளவுக்கு, முன்பு எப்பொழுதுமே இல்லதா அளவுக்கு,  ஒற்றுமையின்றி இருக்கின்றது.
புள்ளி விவரங்கள் அடிப்படையில், சரியாக மூளையைப் பயன் படுத்தாமல் வாயில் வந்ததை ஆராயாமல் உளறியிருக்கும் இந்தத் துணை அமைச்சர் எந்தவிதமான பின்னணியில் இருந்து வந்திருப்பார் என்று இப்பொழுது நம்மைச் சிந்திக்கத் தூண்டுகிறது. சரவாக் தேசிய முன்னணியைச் சார்ந்தவரான இந்தத் துணை  அமைச்சர் ஏற்கனவே , சரவாக் மலேசியவுடன் இணைந்த  1963ஆம் ஆண்டு உடன்பாட்டில் உள்ள சில அம்சங்களை வெளிப்படையாக விவாதிக்கக் கூடாது என்று எச்சரிக்கை விடுத்தவர் என்பதை நினைவு கொள்வது நல்லது. அரசியலையும் இனத்தையும் கேடயமாக  பயன்படுத்தி மற்ற இனங்களை நிந்தித்து கேள்விக்கு பதில் சொல்லத் தெரியாத இது போன்ற மூன்றாம் தர நாடாளுமன்ற உறுப்பினர்களை மக்கள் புறக்கணிக்க வேண்டும்.
இவர்கள் மிகவும் ஆபத்தானவர்கள். இவரை உடனடியாக பதவி நீக்கம் செய்து இருக்கும் கொஞ்சநஞ்ச மரியாதையும் அம்னோ காப்பாற்றிக் கொள்ள வேண்டும்.   மற்ற பாரிசன் உறுப்புக் கட்சிகளும் தங்களின் எதிர்ப்பை பிரதமரிடம் தெரிவிக்க வேண்டும். தெரிவிப்பார்களா?

Kula: Wan Junaidi not gutsy enough to say sorry

10:38AM Mar 26, 2014-Malaysiakini

Kula: Wan Junaidi not gutsy enough to say sorry 

DAP national vice-chair M Kulasegaran described the decision to expunge from the Hansard seemingly offensive remarks by Deputy Home Affairs Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar as “a tacit acknowledgment of error substituting for a craven refusal to apologise”.

“A half-measure is better than no measure,” said the MP for Ipoh Barat when commenting on Wan Junaidi’s request, granted by the speaker yesterday, to expunge allegedly racial remarks Wan Junaidi aired upon dilating on statistics on the incidence of statutory rape.

“He ought to have apologised but chose the pale substitute of conceding that he had erred, which is better than not conceding at all,” said the opposition legislator.

Wan Junaidi, in response to a question on the incidence of statutory rape and government measures to stem its rise, digressed from a straightforward airing of the statistics on the phenomenon to arbitrary inferences on the social malady’s causation and psychology.

This led to opposition MPs accusing the deputy minister, who is MP for Batang Lupar, of giving an unwarrantedly racial twist to a social phenomenon they felt transcended race and religion. They demanded he apologise.

When volleys of criticism were fired at Wan Junaidi from extra-parliamentary and feminist groups, an aide to him attempted to mitigate matters by saying that the deputy minister’s explanations had been grossly misunderstood.

The matter quickly became a hot button, making silence by Wan Junaidi unsustainable even as recantation, given the incorrigibility of the BN leadership cohort, appeared impossible.

Thus deletion from the parliamentary record became the next recourse which when granted by speaker Pandikar Amin prompted Kulasegaran, who along with his colleague Chong Chieng Jen (Bandar Kuching) had pressed for recantation, to muse on how discursive replies during parliamentary questions invited contretemps.

“The ministers and their deputies ought to just reply to the questions posed and not dilate on the matter which is where they get into trouble,” offered Kulasegaran.

“Digression not only engenders controversy, it also takes up valuable time which should be devoted to follow-up questions,” added the lawyer-legislator.

“In the ninety minutes allocated on a given day to parliamentary questions, only at the most 10 questions are fielded because of the reluctance to recognise brevity as the soul of parliamentary wit and digression as its enemy,” mused Kulasegaran.

“In Parliament, short, pertinent and sweet is preferable to windbaggery,” said the DAP leader.
 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Doing well despite unusual moves in Kajang

Malaysia

Doing well despite unusual moves in Kajang

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
March 24, 2014
PKR candidate Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail with her husband Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim after winning the Kajang by-election last night. Dr Wan Azizah fought off both Barisan Nasional and PKR factions to retain the seat for the party. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, March 24, 2014.PKR candidate Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail with her husband Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim after winning the Kajang by-election last night. Dr Wan Azizah fought off both Barisan Nasional and PKR factions to retain the seat for the party. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, March 24, 2014.

By all accounts, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail did well to keep the Kajang state seat for the party with a comfortable majority of 5,379 votes yesterday.

The Selangor ruling party wanted more than a 6,000-vote majority but a lower turnout of just 72.09% over the 88.4% that cast their ballots in the last general election 10 months ago put paid to that dream.
She did well although it was an unusual campaign in Kajang where her party's Lee Chin Cheh had quit for opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to contest the seat and join the state government.

The gambit, known as the “Kajang move”, did not sit well within PKR and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) for a while – causing internal dissension that hobbled their election campaign.

And while the Kajang by-election would not have changed the state government, Barisan Nasional (BN) threw money into the campaign by promising funds to upgrade the district hospital and other pledges to fight off PKR's hold on the seat famed for its satay or skewered
grilled meat.

In effect, Dr Wan Azizah was fighting both BN and factions in her party that would have been happy to see the “Kajang move” buried.

The party president was, after all, the last-minute candidate as her husband Anwar was rendered ineligible because of a sodomy conviction.

But she won. And managed to raise the party's majority by 2% and even increase support from the Malay electorate.

In other words, if the BN government in Putrajaya thought that the by-election was a barometer of better times for the Najib government, they should think again.

Since the May 5 polls, support among Malays for Umno has dropped by more than 10%. And the Kajang vote supports that trend seen in surveys done by several pollsters.

The reason is simple: the government’s abysmal handling of the economy after election 2013. The subsidy cuts, price hikes, weaker ringgit and stagnant pay packet.

This affects almost all strata of society, especially the bottom 40% and the middle class. Both these sections stay in Kajang, 10km from the gleaming Putrajaya administrative capital and 30km from capital city Kuala Lumpur.

Election promises are one thing and reality is another. The economy has been uppermost in people's minds after the May 5 general election and many are feeling the pinch.

So, they vote with their wallet.

In their case, for a party which runs the state government that has saved up RM3 billion in cash reserves since it took power in 2008. Not for a coalition that has racked up a considerable federal deficit.

Despite Dr Wan Azizah's victory, BN can only claim that its share of the Chinese vote rose from 18% in election 2013 to 25% in the Kajang by-election.

Is that an increase in absolute numbers or just percentage points due to a lower voter turnout?
BN must drill down its numbers. Kajang once again proves that people are voting for policies, not just personalities and parochial or personal interests.

Dr Wan Azizah triumphed against all that yesterday – in and outside her party. – March 24, 2014.

Wan Junaidi should not weasel out of it



Media Statement by M. Kula Segaran MP Ipoh Barat and DAP National Vice Chairman in Ipoh on  23rd March 2014

Wan Junaidi should not weasel out of it
 ---------------------------------------------------------

After being roundly denounced for making offensive remarksabout non-Malays over their supposed insensitivity to child rape, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar yesterday made a clarification via a press statement issued by his principal private secretary, Wan Hamzah Wan Paie.

I feel that the effect of the clarification magnifies rather than mitigates Wan Junaidi’s gratuitous insult to the non-Malays.  

Wan Hamzah’s statement clarified that when Wan Junaidi said“pihak lain kurang sensitif kepadanya (others are less sensitive to it), he was referring to people not being sensitive to the need of reporting child rape cases to the police which, Wan Junaidi’s aide was at pains to point out, is different to saying non-Malays are insensitive to the phenomenon of statutory rape.

Wan Junaidi studied law, a discipline that requires a certain rigor in the use of words to convey meaning. Hence the correct words to use, if one wants to describe any group or people as having a tendency not to lodge police report on any phenomenon, are the neutral sounding “less keen” phrase and not the more indicative “less sensitive” one.

Wan Junaidi, through his private secretary’s clarification, is trying to wiggle out of a situation he had inflicted on himself. 

He should not think that he can cast aspersions on a people’s morality and then insult their intelligence by splitting hairs about the actual meaning of words he had employed in doing so.

I have checked the Hansard and noted that the MP for Setiu’s question, which elicited the answer from Wan Junaidi that has landed the deputy minister in controversy, did  not request for any breakdown of child rape cases; it merely wanted to know the total number of such cases and what is being done to combat the phenomenon.

As contained in the Hansard,  the question was as follows:

Tuan Che Mohamad Zulkifly bin Jusoh [Setiu] minta Menteri Dalam Negeri menyatakan jumlah kes rogol bawah umur khususnya yang berusia 16 tahun ke bawah seluruh negara tahun 2013 dan nyatakan langkah kerajaan bagi membendung kes berkenaan.

Instead of confining his reply to the nub of the Setiu MP’s question, Wan Junaidi proceeded to give his own twist to a circuitous reply that has now landed him in a controversy of his own making.        

His aide Wan Hamzah has cited National Registration Department’s statistics for 2012 to 2013 on babies born out of wedlock. Among Malays aged 16 and below, illegitimate births were 1,490 compared with non-Malays’ 1,836 cases, while statutory rapes reported were 2,390 and 584 respectively.

Wan Hamzah’s statement uses these NRD figures to justify Wan Junaidi’s comments: “This is what it meant when Datuk Wan Junaidi said that the Malays were more sensitive in making reports to police while non-Malays were less sensitive in making reports to police.”

I wish to ask how are such statistics compiled by the National Registration Department (NRD).  

Child rape is an offence under the Malaysian law, so how can NRD claim to know such cases and not report them to the police?

Secondly, even if there are cases where the sex is consensual and the girl chooses marriage as a solution, they do not necessarily imply that the family or a particular race is less sensitive to thephenomenon of child rape.

Wan Junaidi must know he has gratuitously offended the non-Malays by imputing to them a lack of sensitivity to the issue of child rape. His only recourse is to retract his remarks and tenderan apology.

As he has given a wrong and offensive answer which is tantamount to misdealing Parliament, he must do the necessary rectification in the Parliament on March 24 via “personal explanation” as provided for under Rule 14 of Parliament’s Standing Order.

If he elects to be obstinate and tries to defend the indefensible, I shall move a motion under Standing Order (Rule 27) to refer him to the Committee of Privileges for misleading Parliament.