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Makkal Osai turned Ramasamy’s Apologist

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In an about turn, Makkal Osai Tamil daily today retracted their report of Professor Ramasamy’s announcement of the three female candidates for the coming 13th general elections.

“This is wrong (news). We would like to bring to the attention of DAP leadership that Ramasamy never provided such a news to our daily”, wrote P Rajan, the editor of Makkal Osai.

While absolving Penang deputy chief Minister  Ramasamy and regretted for causing a ruckus in DAP, the daily was unremorseful but rather tried to justify the news saying that it was well intentioned  and meant to promote more Indian women to contest in the election.

The daily, however, praised both Ramasamy and Karpal Singh for their contribution to the Indian community and requested good sense to prevail.

One wonders why it took more than two weeks for Makkal Osai to make corrections.

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The wrong news?

Rayer and gang the real traitors, says Indian NGO

 

Zefry Dahalan| December 13, 2011, FMT
 

“They declined to take an Indian exco seat when Guan Eng offered it in 2008.”

KUALA LUMPUR: A NGO representing Indian students has joined the DAP fracas over godfathers and warlords, branding a couple of Penang state assemblymen as traitors to the cause of Malaysian Indians.

The Malaysian Tamil Students’ Progressive Association (Matsap) said today that assemblymen RS Nethaji Rayer (Seri Delima) and A Tanasekharan (Bagan Dalam) were not fit to criticise Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy since they had refused to sit on the Penang executive council when Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng offered them the position in 2008.

“They are Indian traitors,” said Matsap’s secretary general, A Kalaimughilan.

He also did not spare DAP chairman Karpal Singh’s son Jagdeep Singh Deo, who is the state assemblyman for Dato Keramat.

“Most of the senior DAP leaders know that Lim initially offered two exco posts to Indian representatives in the state,” he said. “One was taken up by Ramasamy. The next slot was offered to Jagdeep.

“But I learnt that he refused, giving the excuse that he needed to take care of his family’s legal firm.

“Then the ball was passed to Rayer. He too gave the same excuse. Then, finally, the ball went into Thanasekharan’s court, the only other Indian rep from DAP. But he kicked the ball back to Lim, asking him to decide on the matter.”

Kalaimughilan said this was “clear evidence” that the three placed their personal interests above the Indian community’s interest.

Kalaimughilan said it was out of respect for the three as “fellow Indians” that he had kept silent over the matter for more than three years.

“But the moment they start attacking a respectable academician like Prof Ramasamy in public, I have a duty to tell the public that these men are not fit to criticise him.

“It was because of them that the Indian community was deprived of another exco post. In politics, you must grab every opportunity to fight for the community’s interest.

“I’m not a racist, but when a Chinese leader offers you an exco post even when you didn’t demand it and you refuse it, you’re clearly insulting not only the Indians but Lim as well.”

Kalaimughilan urged Penang DAP to choose Indian leaders who are fully committed to politics as candidates in the coming general election and not those who give a higher priority to their personal careers.

He also called on the DAP leadership to allow Ramasamy to continue with his job. “His service is still needed by the Penang Indians,” he said.

 
Has Rama become too big for his britches?
Jeswan Kaur | December 14, 2011, FMT

To stir controversy and not know how to douse it is only going to create problems for the DCM II and DAP.

COMMENT

The on-going altercation between DAP national chairman Karpal Singh and Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy serves as a costly lesson for both the party and the latter.

Ramasamy has been in the spotlight the past week for making a premature announcement in Tamil daily Makkal Osai on Nov 28 on party’s Indian candidates for the 13th general election.

This prompted the 71-year-old Karpal to chastise Ramasamy, who is also DAP’s national deputy secretary-general, for behaving like a warlord by promising seats for candidates of his choice.

Ramasamy, also the Penang DAP deputy chief, responded by calling the party to get rid of godfathers, in an obvious reference to Karpal.

Many party leaders and members felt Ramasamy’s godfather remark had undermined party elders such as Dr Chen Man Hin, Lim Kit Siang and Karpal.

While Karpal and Ramasamy are embroiled in a war of words, DAP’s arch enemy, Umno, is grabbing the opportunity to impress upon the rakyat, Penangites in particular, that the current internal crisis facing DAP is proof that unity is an asset this party cannot claim to have.

With Umno loyalists wasting no time scurrying about painting a bad picture of DAP, the rift between Karpal and Ramasamy needs urgent repair.

Karpal, once dubbed the “Tiger of Jelutong”, has been with DAP through thick and thin.

A former detainee under the now-defunct Internal Security Act (ISA), his affection for DAP is understandable and so is his anger towards Ramasamy for branding DAP veterans “godfathers” or “warlords”.

Ramasamy, an academician-turned politician, has miles to walk in politics. Perhaps it was his arrogance as DCM II that resulted in him making those remarks, which have backfired on him.

The no-nonsense Karpal give Ramasamy an ultimatum – either apologise or face the music for misbehaving. On Dec 11, at the Penang DAP convention, Karpal cautioned Ramasamy not to let power get to the former lecturer’s head.

The ferocious lawyer also demanded Ramasamy immediately retract and apologise for his godfather remark against the party’s veteran leaders, especially him.

Reminding Ramasamy that the position of DCM II was an honour to ethnic Indian community, Karpal said it was thanks to DAP that Ramasamy won in the 2008 general election.

Ramasamy has lots to learn as a politician

The incident brings with it hard lessons for Ramasamy who quit his lecturing job in Singapore to venture into politics. To stir controversy and not know how to douse it is only going to create problems for both him and the party.

Having labelled Karpal and the other veterans of DAP as “godfathers”, Ramasamy has given the impression that the party operates along the lines of “mafia-ism”, something which Karpal said was unthinkable as DAP is a party for all races.

If at all DAP works ala “mafia”, when really did Ramasamy realise this? Where did he gain the conviction that the very party which gave him his political break is all about mafia?

What about the sacrifices of veterans like Karpal and Lim Kit Siang? Do they amount to nothing?

Or has this DCM II become “too big for his shoes”, ambitiously confident about his future in politics?

Perhaps it has… for Ramasamy said he was willing to quit DAP if necessary and return to his hometown in Sitiawan.

Karpal is furious, too, that Ramasamy, with his announcement on party candidatures, had trespassed all party decorum, as it was seen as usurping the power of the central executive committee.

Ramasamy was also taken to task for promoting an unknown individual, lawyer K Mangaleswari, as a candidate for the Jawi state constituency.

Umno’s gain?

As it stands, Umno supporters in Penang have accused state Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng of performing poorly as a leader, so much so that they had the cheek to send him birthday cakes resembling human excreta.

Now, with the on-going spat between Karpal and Ramasamy, all these Umno opportunists need is to brainwash the people into believing that DAP is crumbling.

To MIC central committee member KP Samy, who also leads a group of former Hindraf leaders, the feud reflects the weaknesses of the Indian leaders in Pakatan Rakyat, the opposition coalition representing PKR, DAP and PAS.

Samy claimed that Pakatan won the support of the Indian voters thanks to the efforts of Hindraf but post-2008, nothing had been done to help the Indian community.

“Can they quantify as to what they had done for the community? They should put forth a detailed manifesto of their guarantees to the community in the next general election,” said Samy.

More tongues have started wagging over DAP’s ability to serve the rakyat. Something has to be done soon to get the message across that the party in no way tolerates saboteurs while Ramasamy must not forget that “biting the hand that feeds it” will bring severe repercussions.

One such example was how Karpal refused Guan Eng’s effort in getting both Karpal and Ramasamy to shake hands as a show of easing the feud.

“I can forgive but I can’t forget… because of his insult of party veterans with his godfather remark,” Karpal said later.

Jeswan Kaur is a freelance writer and a FMT columnist.

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