Friday, January 19, 2007

Public Relations in Chennai

I am pleased to inform you that i will be away in Chennai from 19th January 2007 till 24th January 2007. I have been invited by the Public Relations Society of India's - Chennai Chapter to present a paper at the Public Relations Seminar on Travel, Tourism & Hospitality. This seminar would be held at the Accord Metropolitan, Chennai.
I would be presenting a paper tittled 'Public Relations in the Tourism Industry'.
It is indeed an honor and privilage for me and the Public Relations Industry in Malaysia for this invitation and to present a paper in this conferance is yet another recognition for me.
I will try my best to do some posting and keep all of you updated from Singgara Chennai and in the meantime, all the best and may GOD bless you and all your loved ones.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Malaysian Indians & Public Relations Industry

Receiving my Public Relations Award for Organising People's Pongal 2004
by HRH Raja Nazrin - Patron of IPRM

I was again invited to be a guest on Astro Tamil News on 17th January 2007. This time, the subject of discussion was Malaysian Indians and the Public Relations Industry.

Public Relations is a profession that I have passion in practicing. I am glad that I have decided in a profession which has thought me many good things especially in handling publics.

For your information, in Malaysia there are many great Public Relations Practitioners who are Indians. I look at them as my mentors in this Industry; Practitioners like Mr. K Haridass, Mr. Valentine Siva and the names can go on. But one person, who I really look up to in the industry is a great man by the name of DATO’ MURAD HASHIM. This man thought me Public Relations. This man gave me a break in Public Relations; this is the man – whom I label as a very liberal and open minded Malaysian. I salute him for teaching me and training me to be a good Public Relations Practitioners.

Having said all that, can Malaysian Indians do well in this Industry or is this Public Relations Industry is meant to be a position to fill the quota for Bumiputra in Malaysia. If there are anyone out there thinks that it’s a position that is to fill the Bumiputra Quota – You are wrong.

Public Relations Industry needs practitioners who are liberal in their thoughts and ideas. They have to be clear in what they objectives are. They have to know what is Public Relations is all about. Not every one has the passion in Public Relations; a person just cannot practice Public Relations because he or she likes it. They must have passion in practicing Public Relations.

Malaysian Indians can actually do extremely well in this Industry. We have the strength in Language (Most of us are at least trilingual), We are willing to work very hard and are most of the time, very honest and faithful to the job that we are paid to do. All we need to do is to get the right qualification, and then a proper training and you are on the way to become a Public Relations Practitioners.

I did mention during my interview that I am willing to assist and Malaysian Indians who would like to study Public Relations – I would love to see more and more Malaysian Indians in this Industry.

The Institute of Public Relations of Malaysia (IPRM) has actually embarked on an Accreditation system, whereby we want to ensure only qualified persons can practice Public Relations in the near future. It’s a very good scheme which was introduced 2 years ago and we have now 41 Accredited Public Relations Practitioners in Malaysia of which I am one of them.

By 2020 we believe that there will be more Public Relations Practitioners in Malaysia and we better start working hard, not only creating Doctors, Lawyers and Engineers amongst the community but also World Class Public Relations Practitioners.

I know I can be a World Class Public Relations Practitioner and so can you.

MY Views.. Public Relations Practice will teach you many things, not only practicing what you will learn, but also, it will help you to be a better person and I think the best thing I like in Public Relations is that – it teaches me to listen more than I talk.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Marco Polo ! In our own way.

My dear friends, it has been a few days since I last wrote in my blog. If you think, that I have given up – then you are absolutely wrong. I have not and I don’t think I will give up bloging. I am actually beginning to like this, especially when I get comments from many friends from near and far. I will continue my journey in this blog world as long as I think my opinions would make sense.

Now you may say ‘cut all this crab, why have you been lazy?’.

Well, I have been very much involved in organizing People’s Pongal. Its reaching the D-Day and there are plenty of things to do, YES PLENTY OF THINGS TO DO.

I thank GOD for giving me a great team, who is working not only very hard but they are so dedicated. I will surely write about each one of them soon, so that the world will know who they are and I believe that anyone who is working hard should be rewarded. Since I don’t have much money to give them, the least I can do is openly say THANKS to them.

We have been doing very well in Pongal this time around, as readers of my blog, I think you guys deserve the latest and I shall just let you know some secrets.

We will be the first country in the world to celebrate Pongal in the International Airport. According to reliable sources, even in Anna International Airport they have not done this yet.

YAB Prime Minister has given a special message for Pongal which will be announced to all Malaysians on the 14th January 2007 and the best thing is that. We will call this celebration as ‘National Pongal Festival’ beginning from 2008.

For your information, our Pongal Celebration story was on the headlines in leading newspapers in India, Indian Express and The Hindu.

From 2007 Pongal will feature as an event that must be organized in all IPTA’s (Public Universities).

I am proud and happy with this achievement and I will continue to work on new thoughts and ideas. I have plenty of them and with the team I have – I know we will be going great places.

Please pray for us to have a successful event. If you have some time, do drop by University of Malaya on 15th January 2007 staring from 9:30 a.m. and let us all celebrate Pongal together.

Pongal Nalvazhtukal!

My Views.. Let us all be‘MARCO POLO’ of our own and find new ways and means to strengthen our tradition and culture. We should not be competing amongst us to be famous or who is more powerful then the others. But let us work together for the benefit of the community, nation and race.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Disabled Trader Treated Harshly

Many of us may have read an article with the above title on the Malay Mail Newspaper Page 8 - Friday, January 5, 2007.

I had so many calls asking me what actually happened and since I was a councilor at the Selayang Municipal Council, I think it is only fair that I explain what actually took place.

I have known the members of the Independent, Living and Training Centre (ILTC) personally and they are one group of people who are not only hard working but will not keep quiet in fighting for their right. I salute them and their hard work and will continue to assist them in any possible way.

I know Mr. Murugan, despite his disability he wants to do something on his own. He is a person who would like to work and earn so that he can feed his family. He is a friendly chap and has never failed to smile whenever he meets me.

I was very sad to note that he underwent some very unpleasant moments at the Majlis Perbandaran Selayang branch office in Rawang.

I am very disturbed with the way Councillor Mr. M B Raja handled the matter.

YES, Mr. Murugan did not have a license, but the enforcement officers should have been kind to him and should have told him to leave and they could have gone further by getting a application form for Mr. Murugan to apply – It is not something that cannot be done. When I was a Councillor, we have always requested the officers to use commonsense policy – off course, in Mr. Murugan’s case – they did not use it at all. Does Mr. M B Raja know how many traders within the Majlis Perbandaran Selayang are trading without licenses? I am sure he knows that better than me and many others.

It was indeed sad to note that Mr. M B Raja went to the MPS Rawang Branch office only because the Council President requested him to do so but not to go and help the ILTC members.

Mr. M B Raja said that Mr. Murugan was fortunate as he did not have to pay RM250.00 summons and was lucky to have his belongings returned. Mr. M B Raja – Mr. Murugan got wet in the rain, he got humiliated and he also got his pants wet, isn’t that unfortunate.

Mr. Murugan is a disabled person, how is he going to see Mr. M B Raja who has a office in Rawang which is located in the first floor. All Mr. M B Raja could have done is at least offered to get the form – go and see Mr, Murugan at his home and get the application forms filled. But no, he wants Mr. Murugan to go and see him at his office.

The ILTC members called everyone they knew to help them, they also contacted Mr. S Vell Paari and he immediately contacted me and requested me to assist them in all possible ways. Infact Mr. S Vell Paari who is overseas now on an official visit called again to find out the situation.

We are trying to assist Mr. Murugan with the license and also trying to get him a permanent stall nearby the schools so that he would be able to continue his business.

Let’s pray not only for Mr. Murugan but everyone else at the ILTC and all their members.
I would also like to thank Mr. Stuart Michael from The Star who not only went there to cover the news but also bought them food as they have been in front of the MPS - Rawang branch office from 1.00 noon.
My thanks to Sangeetha Nair from Malay Mail for driving to Rawang within a few minutes to ensure that the disabled people's problems are highlighted and also Mr. Malayandy from Tamil Nesan for highlighting this issue in Tamil Nesan.

MY VIEWS.. As a councillor it is our responsibility to ensure that we become the bridge between the authority and the people. Many forget, they think, they are only answerable to the authority and not the people.

Friday, January 5, 2007

People's Pongal 2007

I would like to invite all bloggers and visitors of blog to visit a special website ( that has been created by a few good friends of mine to promote People’s Pongal which would be organized on 15th January 2007 at the University of Malaya.

For your information, People’s Pongal have been organized since 2003 and started as a small event at the Sree Veerakathy Vinayagar Alayam with a participation of 320 families.

People’s Pongal was organized with an intention to promote the strong culture and tradition that belongs to all Malaysian Indian – I saw Pongal as an event that would not only bring all Malaysian Indian together but it could also bring an Unity amongst all Malaysian.

Pongal is a harvest festival. We thank the SUN, EARTH and the FARMERS. In Malaysia, I am sure you will agree with me that not many Malaysian Indians are involved in paddy farming. That does not mean we don’t celebrate Pongal, we do, infact we made it look more like a religious festival.

So I and my friends realized that we have a festival that would show the generosity and the sincere thoughts of the Malaysian Indian’s thus People’s Pongal was created.

It has been 5 years we have been organizing this event and we have won several awards;

  • Malaysia Book of Records 2003, 2004 and 2005 – for organizing the Largest Pongal Festival in Malaysia

  • Institute of Public Relations of Malaysia’s Crystal Award for the best Multi Racial Events.
  • IPRM also gave me an award for creating People’s Pongal.

    Last year we organised People’s Pongal in Menara KL. We had more than 500 participants and more than 3,000 visitors witnessing and enjoying the celebration of this festival.

    We are now taking Pongal to another height. I guess, we would be the only country in the World to welcome visitors to a Pongal Ceremony…….YES; I will share this information with all of you soon.

    In the meantime, if you want to participate or help us please visit Pongal’s website and register your interest.

ASTRO Tamil News Interview

I was invited by Mr. Kanna Simathiri of ASTRO to talk about the reasons on why our Putran's shy away from the Ministry of Human Resources Funded Technical schools.

There was a news article recently saying that out of 20,000 places which was available nationwide only 400 places were filled by our putran's - which works out to be a mere 2%. For your information, the department has allocated 5,000 places for non-bumiputra students. Chinese students fill in about 800 places - They are also not to keen.
I did mention in that interview that Malaysian Indian based NGO's, Malaysian Indian Congress - Youth, Wanita and Puteri, Yayasan Strategik Sosial have always carried out awareness programmes to recruite our putran's and putri's to be enrolled in Government Funded Colleges like Giat Mara, IKBN and etc. This will continue.

Why are they not interested was the subject of the discussion?

My findings and thoughts which i shared with the viewers are as follows;

1. The courses offered by this Technical Schools are not subjects that would interest our Indian Students. I have noticed that our putran's prefer to be involved in trainings like mechanical, electrical or handy man and etc. They are not keen in subjects like interior decorations, cooking and etc. As such, parents would rather send their putran's to a private college to complete a certificate or diploma.

2. Some of these colleges are situated far away from the students home and parents are not to keen in sending their children far away from their sight. Not because they don't want to part away from them but they are trying to be protective so that their child would not be exposed to unwanted relationship with new friends.

3. Language should not be a barrier although it was found out by the Ministry that our students shy way when they are asked to talk in Bahasa Malaysia. I was shocked to hear that. I don't think there is truth in those findings. But if the findings are correct - i am shocked with this attitude or our Indian Children who shy away when it comes to taking in Bahasa Malaysia. Bangladeshi's, Nepali's and Pakistani's working in Malaysia have learnt the language fast and we are still learning - that's a disgrace.
4. Sad but the truth is, our putran's i was told are normally offered places where they have to travel quite a distance. Infact, at times there are colleges which is situated near, but they dont get a place there and when they ask why they were not given the place there. 'Tiada kekosongan dan semua dah penuh'......MACAM MACAM ADA.....

I have offered myself to help parents and children who want to enroll in these technical schools and if you know of any students who is keen, please do let me know.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Who are the moral guardians ?

It’s rather difficult for me to say if we have had a successful year in 2006, but one thing for sure – all of us did whatever we can do, to the best of our ability.

2006 has been a memorable year for me, infact every year that I have lived in this ‘Tanah Tumpahnya Darah Ku’ has never been short of any excitement and it will only continue and probably bring more surprises.

I met a friend by the name of Steven (his real name) and he shared one embarrassing moment he had experienced in Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia and I am sure he does not mind me sharing his experience with all of you.

During the recent fasting month Steven (Malaysian Indian) and his wife was out in KLCC – They were holding hands like any other happy married couple would do. He was smoking and they were having a nice stroll in the park. Then came the so called guardians of ‘Kesopanan dan Kesusilaan’ (The Islamic Department officers). They went to him and asked him to produce his Identity Card and he went to ask ‘Why?’ and they told that he has committed a crime by walking in in the park holding hands and that way on top of that smoking during the fasting month. (Please believe me – Steven doesn’t look like a person who should be fasting).

Thank GOD, Steven was prepared with some basic questions and I was glad that he did not loose his cool. Just imagine, if he had lost his composure and just given a knock on the head of the officer – I can’t imagine what would have happened.

However, the officers harassed him to the maximum and Steven stood firm in his decision in not giving his identity card and told them that he is ready to go anywhere to argue this matter.

Finally, the so called ‘guardian’s of moral’ left the place.

All this happening, just made me realize, that we need to be very careful with the system which has been adulterated by some officers of the law.

I must admit, that not all officers of the Religious authority are like that, there is a senior officer in Perlis who recently issued a statement with regards to his job and was later criticized for his decision by his fellow colleague’s.

What we need in this wonderful country of ours are broad minded Malaysian’s – we have to be liberal in protecting our race, culture, religion and rights in this country.

Malaysia has a good system – but when it comes to the implementation – We don’t fail badly but we fail miserably.

One of my wishes in 2007 is to identity the more Liberal Minded Malaysian.

Going back to Steven’s episode, we have to be ready and prepared for more situations like that. The question is – are we ready?

Do you know what your rights are?
Would you be able to be composed in such situation?
What would you do first when you are in such situation?
Do we deserve to be treated like that?

You must remember, every step you take, every move you make, someone is watching you. In Malaysia, it’s the same, but the problem is, they would not come to you and say “Smile – You are on Candid Camera” instead, they would say “Jom, ikut ke Balai!” maybe not that but something which is more like that.

My Views.. We need to be prepared and know what our rights are and how to react to such situation. But the most important thing – be composed, take a deep breath – count till 10, then begin your talking. Perhaps you would be able to handle – not only in those situations, but in any situation.