Separating diplomacy and ethnic sentiments

The President of the political party which representing ethnic Indians the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) Dato Seri G. Palanivel wanted Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak to boycott the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which would be held in Sri Lanka in three days time.

Published: Tuesday November 12, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday November 12, 2013 MYT 7:21:03 AM

Palanivel wants Najib to boycott CHOGM

KUALA LUMPUR: MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel intends to meet Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Friday to urge him not to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka, which will take place from Nov 15 to Nov 17.

Critics of Sri Lanka have alleged that its government was responsible for the deaths of up to 40,000 civilians in the civil war in 2009.

An AFP report said that the prime ministers of Canada and India would not be attending the summit.


The Malaysian ethnic Indians of Tamil background should be saddened if not anguish of their kins in Sri Lanka killed throughout years of civil war.

However they must also appreciate that Malaysia is a member the exclusive club of  nations comprises of former British Empire, colony and protectorate known as Commonwealth, just like Sri Lanka. There are 53 members of the Commonwealth.

Malaysians have to respect that Sri Lanka is the collective choice to host this round’s biennial CHOGM.

Perth CHOGM, December 2011

Perth CHOGM, December 2011

MIC should have raised this matter when Sri Lanka was offering their nation to be the host for this round’s CHOGM and state their protest via then the Minister representing the Indian ethnic in the Cabinet instead now. Then, Wisma Putra representatives could have forwarded Malaysia’s stance and opinion for Colombo to host the event where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is expected to attend.

The decision to accept Sri Lanka’s offer to host CHOGM was decided in the meeting in Post Spain, Trinidad and Tobaggo four years ago. In the CHOGM meeting in Perth, Australia in December 2011, it was reaffirmed that Sri Lanka would have the honour for this round’s.

It is unsure if the killing of 40,000 Tamil ethnic Sri Lankans was raised when the Foreign Minister reported to Cabinet on the 2013 CHOGM venue back in 2009. However, for the MIC leader to do it now looks more like a dramatic scene of a Bollywood film than being genuinely anguish for the death of their fellow Tamil brothers.

The Kuala Lumpur CHOGM 1989

Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad addressing the Kuala Lumpur CHOGM 1989

It is very important for Malaysia to maintain its strong diplomatic relationship and cordial friendship with fellow Commonwealth siblings, for the purpose of trade, international clout outside the Commonwealth circle, network for the far flung regional reaches and probably defense too. In the past, Malaya and eventually Malaysia benefitted immensely from the tight Commonwealth brotherhood during the insurgency and emergency warring years and the formative years when this nation was born.

Commonwealth nations have supported Malaysia in many issues, throughout the past 56 years as a sovereign nation. For the record, Kuala Lumpur was the host for the 1989 CHOGM and Langkawi was the venue for the retreat.

It is a matter of priority for the MIC President, to present the interest of the Malaysian Indians as part of the bigger Malaysian family or ethnic sentiments to ‘Motherland’ is more prominent. Probably Palanivel should state whether he is Cabinet Minister if not Malaysian first instead of Tamil first.

Published in: on November 12, 2013 at 23:59  Comments (16)  

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16 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Commonwealth siblings??? so all these countries are the children of the great queen mother???. Just because of your racial biasness you are willing to accept her as your mother??? instead of a community that helped to develop Malaysia. I like your thought my friend. You may not post this. But at least you will read this and think for the sake of the future of our beloved country. Bersatu Teguh bercerai roboh. We Malaysian if we bersatu we will be teguh, That’s it.

    • Thank you.

      Commonwealth is a family of nations.

      Majority of Commonwealth states share very similar laws, judicial and parliamentary system, administrative and law enforcement system, local government and even military traditions and practices.

      Some still maintain the Privy Council as the utmost legal recourse.

      That sort of very close ties, in our books means ‘family’.

  2. Silly low caste leader!

    You dont see top echelon UMNO leaders demand foreign minister or prime minister to boycott ASEAN summit or meetings whenever so many ethnic Patani, Moro or Acheh are killed in insurgency with the armed forces of corresponding countries.

    Is MIC trying to be as militant just like HINDRAF or Tamil Tigers, to get international recognition and validation?

    A really pathetic call.

    • I’m of the same wavelength with Malborough House.
      I’m from the border areas with Thailand. As much as I’m disgusted at what Thailand had done to my kin, I do not agree that they demand for a separate homeland of their own. I too do not want Siamese Malaysian to demand the same from Malaysia, either. However I insist that Thailand should treat the Malays there, like we treat the Siamese Bumiputera here.

      To us the Malays, we have no sense of homage or yearning to go ‘balik-kampung’, except maybe, during Raya festival to meet our old parent and relatives. Although we are not Arabs, our only ‘connectivity’ with other foreign land is maybe, Saudi Arabia, when we usually visit, at ripe old age, just about to die, some hoping to be buried there, in the soil of our Prophets. Anyway today, the Land of the Prophets is the most undemocratic country in the world. The country is ruled according to stick Syariah laws by the King and his relatives. No elected representatives. Women folks are not allowed to drive or roam the streets, alone. Yet, they are the best of friends for Uncle Sam, the world’s champion of Democracy.
      You see, DAP is also a Democratic Action Party. ‘Action’ is when a film director shout, to get his crew, acting. So Democracy is just what suit anybody best.

      The next country that we yearns for a visit is, maybe Singapura. But every-time, I was there, even on transit, there is some sense of ‘lost’ of tanah tumpah darah ku’. Lost to the Brits, thanks to the greed of our fore-fathers and their rulers.

      To most Malays, Indonesians are probably the closest we gets to feel as our foreign brethrens or ethnic sentiments but after they began to hurl human feces towards our embassy and burnt our flag, we are somewhat disheartened. To Chinese Malaysian, they have China. Indian Malaysian, have India. Of-course they are a loyal citizen of Malaysia, but there is no doubt, whatever happen in China or India, to some extent, still have a tingling sense of heart-felt effect. Don’t be surprise, some of our countrymen are known to have better knowledge of politician and lawmakers in China and India, rather than in their homeland, Malaysia. Maybe there are more news about it, in their vernacular news-papers. I don’t know because I can’t read them.
      That is why, when there are clashes between ethnics of different faith, in India or China, our media or the Malaysian Government will usually not highlight the issue too much.

      In Malaysia today, everything is still about race, race and race. Even when there are shoot-outs between cops and criminals, race is still the subject of scrutiny and disputes. I guess Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan would takes a very long time to be realized.

      • 1. What right has Siamese Malaysians to demand the same from Malaysia as the Malays in south Thailand?

        2. “we have no sense of homage or yearning to go ‘balik-kampung’, except maybe, during Raya festival to meet our old parent and relatives.” – please speak for yourself.

        3. You go to Mecca and think about politics, too?

        4. ” sense of ‘lost’ of tanah tumpah darah ku’ when in Singapore – you don’t blame Tengku A Rahman for giving it away FOC to LKY?

        5. “In Malaysia today, everything is still about race, race and race.” – Care to comment on who started it? And how to resolve it? Nothing to do with the chauvinist and racist DAP hogging the so-called Malaysian Malaysia slogan? Wanting equality without acknowledging the Special Position of the Malays and the Bumiputeras of Sabah and Saeawak? Known as anti-Malay and anti-Islam since they caused the race riots of 1969? Google “13 May 1969: A Tragedy, National Operations Council, October 1969” and you’ll get the details.

      • Re Isa’s point 4 – I dare say that LKY did quite a good job with what he and his colleagues were handed.

        Not really FOC, mind you. There’s a little matter of water supply agreements and the revenue accruing therefrom.

        Fast forward to 2013 and you have Hassan Marican working for Temasek Holdings’ Pavilion Energy. It’s good to know that the “brain drain” down south is not mono-ethnic in nature!

        Anyway, I am being mischievous. Couldn’t resist the impulse to tweak Isa’s pomposity!


  4. Looks like Malaysian just can’t get rid off ones’ past. how to become 1Malaysia, like this. If Najib were to follow Palanivel’s request, his 1Malaysian is just rhetoric after-all.

    • I can just forget about the past if you arrange for status quo pre Franncis Light and influx of pendatang. Otherwise, they all honour the Social Contract, be loyal to this country fully, no “twin-rooted” (said billionaire Robert Kuok), Penang people no thinking of Sun Yat Sen getting rid of the Monarchy/ Emperor system in China, putting up a building named after him and Lim Guan Eng officiating the opening.

      • But I agree with the point that the problem in Sri Lanka has nothing to do with Malaysia.and certainly doesn’t deserve Malaysia boycotting the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting.

      • In any case, the PMs of Canada and India are “no shows” at CHOGM 2013.

        And David Cameron has said he will have “tough words” with the Sri Lanka President.

        We are mindful of the fact that there are vociferous and well-organized Tamil lobbies in India, Canada and the UK.

        Who can freely say what they want to say, without being told to shut up.

        Perhaps that’s something that President Rajapaksa isn’t used to!

  5. Hi Bindog.
    MIC’s intention is utter ridiculous and most unpatriotic. Are they Malaysians first or just exploit that position for personal profit?
    Whatever happened in Sri Lanka is entirely the internal problem of that country.
    Malaysia is an independent nation and member of the Commonwealth. The ethnic problems in Sri Lanka should not impair Malaysia”s role in the Commonwealth despite there are Malaysians of Tamil origin who should think and act as Malaysaian first not otherwise.

    • Bloody good points, dzulman.

  6. Big Dog,

    It was reported that another Minister has said words to the effect that he is a Muslim first, a Malay second, and a Malaysian third, so why are you upset that Palanivel would think of himself as Tamil first?

    • No wonder you are so concerned that people don’t ask about your name. You thinking is funny.

      Kamon la fella, even if what you say is true, he didn’t go to the extent of asking to boycott CHOGM, did he?

      Context la, kawan, context. And reasonableness.

  7. Both, Singhalese/government and Tamil forces (mainly LTTE) committed genocide and extensive breach of law of armed conflict. That’s an established facts.

    The differences is first – the former is a democratically and legitimately elected government while the later are internationally recognized as rebels and a terrorist organizations. Second differences is one is the victor and the other is the vanquish.

    Going by Palanivel logic, then we should boycott events hosted by India much more than those hosted by the Sri Lankan government. Question is should we?

    Jangan jadi Bodoh…

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