Wednesday, January 23, 2008

MORE PICS & Video – Partial Boycott Effective on 2008 Thaipusam at Batu Caves; 1 Million visitors Failed to Show; Stall paying RM3 -6K reported Losses

Offbeat - UPDATE: Day 8 – RCI - January 24, 2008 13:38 PM - another Tall Story from Lingam

Lingam-Eusoff Trip Was Coincidental, Court Told
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24 (Bernama) -- Lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam told the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the controversial video clip Thursday that his holiday with former chief justice Tun Eusoff Chin in New Zealand in 1994 was a coincidence. Lingam, 57, denied that he stayed at the same hotel with Eusoff in Auckland and Christchurch. He said he did not follow Eusoff everywhere in New Zealand except for a few accidental meetings at the zoo and bird park in Auckland and a few other places. "I cannot recollect the exact time we decided to visit New Zealand but we (Lingam and his wife) thought that it was the best time since it was the Christmas and New Year holidays. "Because I was so busy, as well as my wife, who is running her dental clinic, our relatives who just got back from New Zealand told us we should visit the place," Lingam said. The inquiry is to determine, among others, the authenticity of the video clip purported showing Lingam brokering judicial appointments over the phone.

= = == ===

January 24, 2008 12:00 PM
Lingam Must Answer Questions On His New Zealand Trip With Eusoff
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24 (Bernama) --The Royal Commission of Inquiry ruled Thursday that lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam, who is implicated in the controversial video clip, must answer questions relating to his 1994 holiday trip in New Zealand with former chief justice Tun Eusoff Chin. The five-member panel headed by chairman Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noor unanimously allowed the Malaysian Bar's application to question Lingam on the matter. Bar representative Robert Lazar had said that evidence on that trip was relevant to show the close relationship between the two men to prove the existence of interference in judicial appointments and case fixings. Lazar had said that those facts should be allowed into the inquiry because they were referred to in the conversation in the video clip and therefore were within the scope of the commission's terms of reference.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry was set up to determine, among others, the authencity of the video clip allegedly showing Lingam brokering judicial appointments over the phone. However, Lingam, in his testimony, said he was unable to say whether the man talking on the phone in the clip was him and his stand was that "It looks like me, It sounds like me". Lingam's counsel, R.Thayalan, had objected to the line of questioning on the New Zealand trip, saying that the evidence on the trip was beyonde scope of the commission's terms of reference and that the inquiry should be be confined to evidence on the appointment of judges. Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, counsel for former chief justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, purported to be the man on the other end the telephone, and conducting officers Datuk Nordin Hassan and Datuk Azmi

Ariffin adopted a similar stand.
The conducting officers said it was certainly not the purpose of the establishment of the commission to ascertain or determine the truth or otherwise of all matters mentioned in the transcript of the conversation in the video clip. Today, Eusoff's recently-appointed counsel, Zamani Ibrahim told the commission that they also took a similar stand as Thayalan. Previously, Eusoff, who was questioned on the trip when he took the witness stand last Friday, was not represented by counsel. The commission put off his testimony to allow him to engage counsel.

= == == = == = =
MORE PICS & VideoPartial Boycott Effective on Jan 23 2008 Thaipusam at Batu Caves; Million visitors Failed to Turn up; Stalls paying RM3000 - 6000K reported Losses ABOVE: The entrance to Batu Caves was not overcrowded the day before Thaipusam BELOW: The adjacent side of steps
BELOW: The statue of Lord Murugan fronting the main steps
To say there was a complete boycott of the Thaipusam festival at Batu Caves would be not correct as the more religious people would still observe the significance of it. According to SKThew - Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (Jan/Feb). The festival commemorates both the birthday of Lord Murugan (also Subramaniam) and the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a vel (lance) so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman.

ABOVE: The almost unpatronized stall and BELOW: The empty ones not taken up

Our PKR info Chief Tian Chua took a drive early morning on Jan 23 08 and reported “I could note a notable drop in the attendance. Last year I was here at the same time, the entire highway was jammed up. This time, Batu Cave was remarkably quieter compared to last year. This year I didn’t sense the mood of ‘Happy Thaipusam’. Indeed there is nothing to be happy about”

ABOVE & BELOW: The unfilled empty 272 steps leading to the temple proper just like a normal tourist day

The wire agencies put the turnout in tens of thousands whereas the Official Spin media still had the 1 Million figures swelling perhaps to 1 Million. Whatever it is the pictures tell the story. On the day before the big event, the crowds were not there and a number of the larger stalls were still unoccupied.

ABOVE: The temple official explanationThis year we had reduced the number of stalls to give people more walking space.. and the charges of the stalls were from RM100, to RM300 depending on the sizes.

ABOVE & BELOW: Two of the stall owners were complaining the stall cost RM3000 (above) & almost RM6000 (below)in rental and both suffered losses this year due to the partial boycott.

= == == = == == = = = == = == = == =

ABOVE & BELOW: However the crowds did pick up with the arrival of the Chariot carry Lord Murugan from ChinaTown temple and the kawadis

= == = == = == = == == = == = ==== = == =

ABOVE & BELOW, BELOW: More Kawadis arrived at the Batu Cave Temple

As to the SMSs that were floating around the whole of the week before Thaipusam, Samy Vellu had this to say of them:

These are nasty, nasty low graded fellows. Their mind is not the high quality mind – low quality mind. They don’t have the capacity to think, capacity do things in a manner that complies with the law & order
= == = == == = = === = == = == =listen to his nasty words from a Nasty man in the Video Clip

January 23, 2008 14:52 PM

Call To Boycott Thaipusam In Batu Caves Ignored, One Million Turn Up

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 (Bernama) -- Calls made to Hindus through short messaging service (SMS) to boycott Thaipusam festival in Batu Caves fizzled out as hundreds of thousands of devotees thronged the Sri Subramaniaswamy Temple here to pay their annual homage to Lord Muruga. As of noon Wednesday, not less than 500,000 people, both locals and foreigners, flocked to the temple to fulfil their vows, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said. He added that SMSes sent out by irresponsible elements instigating devotees to hurl slippers at him as he is addressing the crowd, werealso ignored.

"I don't think religious people pay any attention to naughty SMSes," he told reporters when asked to comment on the crowd turnout at Batu Caves following the SMSes calling on the Hindus to boycott the Thaipusam festival in Batu Caves. Describing the SMS senders as "people of low-quality mind", Samy Vellu said these sort of vicious SMSes would not dampen the spirit of the Indians to be steadfast in their belief and conviction. Samy Vellu urged the Indian community to unite in support of the Barisan Nasional (BN) government, which had protected the rights of all races inthe country.

"Don't be hoodwinked by the opposition," he said, imploring Indians to change their mindset to emerge as a progressive race in this multiracial nation. The opposition should be ashame of themselves for stooping so low as to use places of worship for their political campaign, he exclaimed.
The minister expressed his gratitude to the government for declaring Thaipusam a public holiday in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya as more than 800,000 Hindus lived in the Klang Valley. Samy Vellu said he would ask Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam to consider declaring Thaipusam a public holiday in the state. He refuted talk that declaring public holiday for Thaipusam was an election gimmick by the government to shore up Indian community's support for the ruling coalition. "Indians are not stupid to be easily swayed by gimmicks and political dramas," he said. The Works Minister expects the crowd to swell to about 1.1 million by this evening. Some 1,000 policemen from the Federal Reserve Unit, General Operations Force and traffic were deployed to maintain rule and order.

= == == = from AFP; Jan 23, 2008

M'sian Indians boycott Thaipusam festival

KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIAN Indians stayed away in droves from a popular Hindu festival on Wednesday, in a boycott linked to allegations of discrimination by the nation's majority Muslim Malays. The colourful Thaipusam festival, during which devotees pierce their bodies with hooks and skewers, usually attracts more than a million people to Kuala Lumpur's Batu Caves temple, set in a spectacular limestone cavern. But this year activists called on Hindus to celebrate elsewhere, accusing temple managers of assisting police who cracked down hard on a demonstration there last November, using tear gas and water cannons. The crowds were thin on Wednesday, numbering only in their tens of thousands, thanks to the boycott call and the prospect of more trouble.

SMS spread

A series of SMS text messages had called on ethnic Indians who did turn up to use their sandals to pelt political leaders including Samy Vellu, the leader of the Malaysian Indian Congress which is a member of the ruling coalition. The veteran politician, who has sided with the government and been accused of neglecting the interests of his constituents, insisted there were at least half a million people at the complex and a million the day before. '

I have come to Thaipusam since I was 11 years old. I know the crowd. It is the same as before,' he told reporters at Batu Caves. 'I don't think religious people who went to pray to Lord Murugan will listen to all the naughty fellows,' he said of the SMS campaign.
'Who can threaten us? Anyone who threatens us we can find out where he is.' 'It takes only five hours to find out where he is. They can't run away from us.'

ABOVE & BELOW & BELOW: The smaller stalls were opened and literally "pak wu ying" - catching flies all the time with so few people

Stallholders and devotees lamented the small turnout and said ethnic Indians should work together to promote their cause. 'The crowd is normally double or triple this size. Now it's so small, so there is not so much of a great mood this time,' said N. Kumaran, 41, a civil servant who has taken part in the festival for the past 14 years. Sweet seller Joga Singh said that with the crowds so thin he and other vendors were not making any money this year. 'I think many people are afraid to come because of the SMS to boycott. Our business is suffering because of it,' he told reporters.

ABOVE: The crowd on Thaipusam day was not full capacity, see the gaps in the steps

At least 3,000 ethnic Indians gathered in the temple grounds to protest in November, and more than 8,000 people massed elsewhere the following day in unprecedented scenes that shocked the government. In December it jailed five ethnic Indian activists under draconian internal security legislation that allows for detention without trial. Malays, who make up 60 per cent of the country's 27 million population, control the government while ethnic Chinese, who make up 26 per cent of the population, dominate business. Ethnic Indians, who make up 8.0 per cent of the population, complain they run a distant third in terms of wealth, opportunities and education. – AFP

= == = =Watch the Video Clip 2 mins + & See the Invincible "crowds" & Celebration at Penang

= == = == == = == == = == = == =

= == = = == =

UPDATE:January 23, 2008 20:34 PM

Thousands Throng Temples In Celebration Of Thaipusam

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 (Bernama) -- Over a million Hindu devotees thronged temples across the country in celebrating Thaipusam today.
In KUALA LUMPUR, almost 500,000 devotees and tourists made a beeline to the Sri Mariaman temple in Batu Caves in celebrating the three-day festival, which began yesterday. It was a joyful occasion despite the presence of about 1,000 policemen, including from the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU), who were on standby for crowd control and ensuring no untoward incidents happened. Up to noon, traffic heading towards Batu Caves was mostly at a crawl owing to the huge turnout. The temple's caretaker, Kubiran Subramaniam, 26, told Bernama that some 1.5 people turned up during last year's festival. "We expect a repeat turnout (this year) as so far, almost 500,000 people have come. More will be coming in the evening and night and also tomorrow," he said.

In IPOH, over 20,000 devotees thronged the Arul Subramaniar temple in Gunung Cheroh since yesterday in conjunction with the festival. State Unity and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Datuk G. Rajoo, who is also Perak MIC chief, and Datuk Tan Chin Men, the State Health, Environment and Human Resource Committee chairman, also participated in today's celebrations. The highlight as usual was the procession involving the silver chariot in the image of Lord Muruga from the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Sungai Pari to this temple. Needless to say, traffic jams in the city were commonplace today.
In SELANGOR, Thaipusam in the state this time around was described as more meaningful following it being declared a public holiday in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. State Unity and Estate Workers Permanent Committee chairman Datuk Kamala Ganapathy said celebrations were more focused at Batu Caves, apart from Port Klang and Kuala Selangor. "From the feedback I received, the celebrations (in Selangor) are going smoothly," she said when contacted in Shah Alam.
Klang police chief ACP Mohamad Md Yusuf said the festivities in Klang and Port Klang were going smoothly and no untoward incidents were reported.
In PENANG, some 50,000 devotees, mostly from the northern region, flooded the Sri Arulmigu Balathandayuthabani temple in Jalan Kebun Bunga to fulfil their vows. Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, who was accompanied by State executive councillor P. Subbaiyah also joined the festivities. Tourists also flocked to the temple to witness the occasion, which is also promoted in Penang's tourism calendar. Thaipusam falls on the full moon day when the Pusam star (one of 27 cyclical stars in the Hindu horoscope) reigns. On this day, the alignment of the sun, the moon and the planets is said to be conducive to spiritual enlightenment. Devotees head to temples to pray for divine help and when their prayers are answered, they return on Thaipusam to fulfil their vows with penance and pay homage to Lord Muruga as thanksgiving.

= = == == = = and from Down South - S'pore

ABOVE: About 20,000 devotees are expected to witness the consecration of the Sri Sivan Temple in Geylang East Avenue 2 tomorrow (Jan 26 08) . Such a ceremony is held once every 12 years, following extensive renovations


Blogger bakaq a.k.a ~penarik beca said...


Allow me to use a few photos from your blog for akhbar Siasah. Please email me at if there si any problem.

1:40 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Get complete protection against viruses, worms and Trojan horse programs – CA Anti-Virus 2008! Click here for cheap hotels
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from Multidimid. Make your own badge here.
Blogroll Me!

Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

Add to Google Add to Google