Friday 21 March 2008

Hindraf's detainee, V. Ganabathirau

Tony Pua (blog link on one Hindraf's detainee, Ganabathirau

Tony Pua is now MP for Petaling Jaya Utara.

Please read this and forward it widely for the information of all.

Thank you..

The following is Tony Pua's take on one of the Hindraf's detainees.

Tony Pua wrote:

“Today is another sad and black day for Malaysia.
You would have read that 5 Hindraf leaders have been arrested
without trial under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA),
exactly two decades after thelast Operasi Lalang.

There appears to be plenty of such sad and black days in recent

Who would have thought that the seemingly genial Prime Minister,
Pak Lah, when he took over the reigns of the Government could have
been such an incompetent, uninspiring, sleeping and heartless leader?

But enough about Pak Lah, I've ranted enough 2 days ago here.
Now, I'djust like to provide a little more insight to one of those arrested,
a little known unsung hero, 34 year old lawyer, V Ganabathirau, who hit

the limelight recently as one of the core leaders of Hindraf.

As you may have read from the New Straits Times (NST) yesterday,
Gana is a DAP member. What makes the whole ugly episode we saw
today close to me, is that Gana is a member of DAP Damansara branch,
of which I'm the chairperson. Gana joined me in March this year, and
subsequently helped form the Taman Muda branch in Shah Alam, of
which he is the advisor.

Having known him for the past 8 months or so, I can't claim to know
himinside out.
But there are somethings which I will vouch for him with my life.

Gana is not a racist. He is not a religious fanatic and neither is he in
anyway at all, a terrorist as he is insinuated to be. Having known him
well in recent months, he is the complete opposite of what the Pak Lah
administration, through the mainstream mouthpieces will like to paint
him to be.

Gana is a full-blooded Malaysian, who strongly believes that all
Malaysians regardless of ethnicity must have equal opportunities to
succeed. While some may quibble over the fact that Hindraf could have
taken a greater multi-racial outlook in its position, no right thinking
Malaysian will deny them the fact that the overwhelming majority of
Indians in this country are severely marginalised and lives below or
near the poverty line.

The way politics in Malaysia are framed at this point of time, it is
unsurprising that the ethnic Indians found themselves having to
stand up and be counted. They really have nothing else to lose.

Some will argue that I can afford to spend some time on politics today
because I've made some money after having sold my company.
However, Gana, despite having just started his own fledging law firm,
found himself travelling frequently (i.e., at least weekly) between Teluk

Intan, his hometown and Shah Alam where he now stays, in order to
provide his community services to the needy and unfortunate. He even
rented and refurbished a service centre in Teluk Intan with his own
money, to carry out his services.

When I received cases at my own service centre in Damansara Utama,
and was in need of legal services to assist the complainants, Gana offered
his with absolutely no hesitation. For example, there was a group of 7
contractors who failed to receive payment from a housing developer,
Gana took up their case and offered legal advise pro bono. When legal
actions were required, I actually had to convince him to accept some
payment from these contractors!
Guess what, these contractors were all Chinese but race, as
should be the case for all right-thinking Malaysians, never

ever came into the picture.

Gana, the youngest of 3 brothers, is a son that would have made
any family proud. He belongs to the Indian Telugu community
and grew up in a poor family which just about made enough to
Gana never managed to have the privilege of completing his
education at one go.
After finishing Form 5, he had to take up various odd jobs to help
support himself and his family.

That however, did not prevent him from investing his earnings
and takingup part-time courses to pursue his ambition of becoming
an officer of the court.
His dream came true in his late twenties when he graduated

with a law degree from the University of London external
He plied his trade as a legal assistant with a law firm in Teluk
Intan before saving sufficiently to set up his own firm, having
moved to Shah Alam late last year.

But all these while, he held political ambitions, ambitions not
to further enrich himself by illegal and unethical means, but
ambitions to help play a part in the betterment of his marginalised
community as well as Malaysians in general. Having set up his own
firm, it provided him, for better or worse, the flexibility to spend time
on social and political causes. And he did it with all his heart and soul.

Gana was married not too long ago to a school teacher. And only just on
Merdeka day this year, his first, now barely 4-month old baby daughter,
was born. If Pak Lah has his way, by the time Gana is released from ISA
detention, his daughter would be more than 2 years old. When Gana first
pointed out his wife to me sitting in the court stands when he was being
charged with sedition in Klang sessions court, you could visibly see
tears in her eyes. Her fears have unfortunately come true.

Gana told me that his wife was a former Tamil school debater and is very
politically aware. In fact, in the earlier years, she used to tease him
that he only knew how to "talk" politics but never got his hands dirty.
More recently however, she will half-jokingly tell him that she
regretted having ever encouraged him to join the fight for a just cause.

Gana is a good man. He has sacrificed selflessly to help create a better
Malaysia for all Malaysians, particularly for the underprivileged and
marginalised community. He has rose quickly to prominence through sheer
tenacity, hardwork, eloquence and dedication to the cause. 30,000
Indians from all parts of Malaysia walked the streets of Kuala Lumpur
not because they had nothing better to do, but because they shared his
cause, and they believed that "enough is enough!"

For that, Pak Lah who is clearly unable to hear, accept and deal with
the truth, invoked the draconian ISA in the hope of sweeping all under
the carpet.

Thankfully, Gana has a kind and loving family members who will help take
care of the needs of the mother and child. The DAP, as announced by the
party secretary-general, will be setting up a fund to assist the
families of those who have been detained without trial.

My eyes were moist as I wrote this post. I firmly believe that Gana will
be a stronger man post-detention. You would not have heard the last of
him for a long time yet. I expect him to be a future leader of this
country, a rare breed of the much needed righteous, caring, intelligent
and dedicated kind who will only contribute immensely to creating a
better Malaysia for our future generations. His personal sacrifices must
not, and will not be in vain.

Share this story with others who need to see the other side of the coin.”

Posted by Tony Pua, now Tony is the MP forDAP Damansara.

Direct link to post is HERE

Image from mob1900

In dubio pro reo
- In doubt in favour of the accused. If there is a doubt about guiltiness, the judgement has to be in favour of the accused

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