I happen to think that Rocky is a pretty good journalist when it comes to breaking news. But an opinion piece? Spare me. This one about HINDRAF is so very much spun on one side that it's almost dizzying.
It's incredible how Rocky and his faithful stalwarts consistently ignore the reason for HINDRAF's uprising.
No one wakes up one morning and decides to go on a march to demand one's rights. HINDRAF is no exception.
HINDRAF used to write very polite but grammatically incorrect letters to the government since 3 years ago.
I once joined a Malaysian Indian yahoogroup and I used to read with torrid fascination (at the grammar - these guys are supposed to be lawyers, afterall) the protests they made (and posted online) over the injustice of the government against the marginalised Indians.
Those letters were addressed to some place in Damansara - that I clearly remember.
Frankly, when they started out they were actually quite civil, but their pleas went to deaf ears. I think those letters to Damansara made a beeline for the trash can.
I don't know when, but at some point, their language started to get more aggressive. Maybe it was brought on by the "diligence" of various authorities in systematically tearing down temples.
Maybe it was the body-snatching. There have been more than a few cases where a particular Indian had allegedly converted to Islam. Upon his death, the religious authorities were quick to grab the corpse and bury it according to Islamic rites.
Personally, I see no justification in strangers burying the body. A funeral, in my opinion, is for the family to pay their last respects. But the religious authorities, backed by the government, showed absolutely no respect for the dead or his living relatives.
It may not have been the blatant discrimination, denying them of birth certificates that drove them down this path. Not the lack of opportunities to get an education. Not poverty.
I think it was that assault against their religion that was the final straw.
A wise government of a multiracial country will walk the path of moderation when crafting and exercising policies affecting all. In this country, and for that matter any other plural one, poverty isn't just the province of one race.
All suffer collectively and so the solutions should apply collectively. For lorry drivers, newspaper vendors, estate workers, housewives and shop assistants to suddenly come together and walk peacefully even in the face of water cannons and tear gas, something must have reached its limits.
In its zealous haste to bring the Malay citizens into the fold of development to stem their marginalisation, Umno as the linchpin of Barisan has marginalised the Indian citizens.
Knowing how many of them have been silently suffering for decades from towns to farms, it is not benign neglect. It is malignant neglect.
If Barisan was honest about wanting to improve the lot of the Indians, would there have risen a HINDRAF yesterday that they are quick to suppress today?
Now the political posturing is on the roll - don't say it isn't. But where was the government when the dirt poor Indians needed them?
Now HINDRAF is not perfect. Far from it. They do silly things and have the tendency to be myopic.
But are they relevant?
More than ever, I'd say. I believe in their cause to improve the rights of the marginalised Indians, but I also believe it should be inclusive of all races, and not just the Indians.
In fact, I've newly discovered that the Penans are being abused as well.
But as for HINDRAF, I have read most of their memorandums and heard their speeches. They have plenty of room for improvement when it comes to rhetoric, but I'm yet to be convinced it incites hatred towards others.
Besides, the last time I checked, they haven't been flinging molotov cocktails around, burning establishments or going around killing people. The worst they have inflicted on a fellow human being are what ... a bunch of roses and a teddy bear?
Malaysians thrive on exaggeration. And drama.
Teresa Kok was unfairly detained under the ISA. She had the sympathy of a lot of people, all fully deserved. But she wasn't served dog food, regardless of what she may claim, unless of course I can now claim to having eaten dog food before.
Am I offended? Hardly. More amused than anything, but if she continues on that vein, she's going to lose credibility, just like HINDRAF.
But was it exaggeration? Hell yeah, with a capital E! We're the drama mamas of Asia. The police report on behalf of the egg drives home my point.
And if I got a ringgit every instance a random Malay warns, "Don't play with fire" over some racial discussion he can't win through logic, I'd have William Henry Gates III polishing my shoes right now.
In fact, for the next Olympics due to be held on 2012 in London, someone ought to compose a song entitled "Don't Play With Fire" to be played while the torch is passed on, courtesy of the Malaysian delegation.
But that's the Malaysian mentality for you. And the sorry situation of the Indian.
The authorities don't think twice about bullying an Indian because he has no political or economic clout whatsoever. There are heaps of Indians with no birth certificates, no education and no one to stand up for them.
You think that's spin? Then read someone else who has been to ground zero.
Just one thing worries me. The Indians, under the banner of HINDRAF have finally lost their fear of dissent. Arresting their leaders barely does anything to quench their spirit.
Heck, they've been heckled, punched, tear-gassed, sprayed with chemicals, and you think a bunch of cops, who are afraid of being based in Lorong Haji Taib will intimidate them?
I fear violence. But HINDRAF has learned, unfortunately, that it is not civil politeness that gets them widespread attention, but excessive demands. The meek Indian is no more, today he boldly exchanges insults with policemen.
I wish they would put aside their differences and come together under one banner. But their cultural and socio-economic differences draw a huge chasm that is difficult to plug. I wouldn't know how to engage them - sometimes I feel I can barely even relate.
I was at the anti-ISA candlelight vigil yesterday. While chatting with Walla, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, a couple of HINDRAF supporters viewing me with mild suspicion.
Interestingly, in Malaysia, it is the average Indian who is most repulsed by his fellow brethren within HINDRAF. I've trawled the web and I see many making apologies on behalf of them.
Personally, I think HINDRAF goes overboard often and some of their juvenile temper tantrums do merit a proper bitch-slapping.
But their cause, and the other side of their story deserves to be told, if not purely for factual accuracy.