Liberal Friends of India (LFI) needs to be reformed

Sydney, 28 August, 2018

liberal_friends_of_india

Liberal friends of India (LFI) is a great group which, if managed smartly, can be a great platform for networking among Indian Australians, who support Liberal party in NSW. These people don’t necessarily have to be members of Liberal Party, as long as they support Libs.

As we know, Liberal Friends of India was launched at the NSW Parliament LFI by the Hon Julie Bishop MP, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and Shadow Minister for Trade in the Jubilee Room at NSW Parliament on 17 April 2013. This is Julie’s speech. https://www.juliebishop.com.au/address-to-liberal-friends-of-india-launch/

 Liberal Party website describes this group in these words “The Liberal Friends of India is a member-led group designed to strengthen and foster the relationship between the Liberal Party and the Australian-Indian community by championing the culture, success and values of the Australian-Indian community and developing stronger relationships between Australia and India.”

LFI, with The Hon Philip Ruddock as the Patron and Matt Kean, MP for Hornsby and Nihal Gupta, as the Co-Chairs, started with a great agenda, energy and enthusiasm, but the dysfunction inside LFI, largely due to unsatisfactory dynamics among Deputy Chairs and lack of vision among some of them, has not allowed it to deliver much.

Some deputy Chairs have poisonous relations with one another, which prevents LFI to be a productive platform. As a result, there has been hardly any activity under the banner of LFI of late. This example below will throw a lot of light on the inner working of LFI. A particular Deputy Chair, who has very little knowledge of, or networking in, the community, played a lot of undesirable politics in choosing the guests for invitations for a LFI meeting in which the Federal minister, Mr. Christopher Pyne, was the distinguished guest a few years ago. Several members, including many founding members, of LFI were intentionally not invited and several Labor supporting members of the community were invited. This particular Deputy Chair is totally out of depth and literally has no idea about our community. After being briefed by the competing Deputy Chairs about the game plan of this particular deputy Chair, I contacted the Chair of LFI, Matt Kean, who overruled that Deputy Chair and invited me and others. That particular deputy Chair was ignorant about the fact that I was in the launch of LFI and attended the subsequent special dinner with Julie Bishop as a guest of LFI Chair, Matt Kean. This deputy Chair was not even in this meeting. A minister, who supports this particular Deputy Chair of LFI quite blindly, got involved in this saga, leading to a terse email from me to that minister. Even after having the invitation from the LFI Chair, I chose not to attend because I felt sick and tired of the politics played by this particular deputy Chair. Because of short sightedness and lack of vision from those deputy Chairs, LFI has become totally inactive and non-productive. This result is because of those deputy chairs, who are self-centred, unable to work with one another and lack leadership.  They are not able to put the interest of Liberal Party above and ahead of their partisan politics in the community. They are obviously not the bright stars of Liberal Party and certainly not of our community either.

There’s no doubt in people’s mind that the Australian Labor Party (ALP) is much smarter in networking with Indian Australians. They have a much better relations and networking with Indian community as compared to Liberal party.

It is a no brainer that the Liberal Party should get its act together and reform LFI to make it a platform for networking and influence in our community in Sydney. Remember, the federal election and NSW State election are due within next few months and it is always good to network among Indian Australians, who form a substantial chunk of votes in many seats in Western Sydney. I have written about these topics before too. Here is the link. https://www.theindiansun.com.au/2014/09/08/australian-political-parties-indian-community/

If I were to offer a few suggestions to the Liberal Party, these suggestions would be as follows.

1. All current deputy chairs should be removed,

2. The Chair of LFI should be an influential Liberal Party Minister, who should have time, energy and enthusiasm to run and supervise the LFI,

3. The Chair should have about 5 informal advisers, who should guide him in regards to how best to run LFI for the maximum impact and productivity,

4. LFI should have a calendar of events throughout the year and these events must include Indian Independence Day celebration, Diwali, Australia Day and Indian Republic Day and a few more key events, which should be attended by the top political and government leaders from the Liberal Party.

My view is that there are a lot of positives in having an active and dynamic platform like LFI.

 

I would be remiss if I do not make a comment or two about similar platform in Australian Labor Party. Labor members of Indian community should run this group, not persons of non-Indian heritage, and should be those who are people of influence and have vision. They should have the intellectual capacity to understand that ALP’s interests come above and ahead of their own interests.

I hope that the Liberal Party’s director, Chris Stone, and current chair of LFI, Mat Kean, will act thoughtfully and reform LFI to make it a productive platform for Liberal Party’s influence and networking among Indian Australians.  The very same comments are also applicable to Labor Party’s Kaila Murnain and Luke Foley.

 

Dr Yadu Singh

www.facebook.com/DoctorYaduSingh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

 

 

 

Chand Raat Eid Festival in Sydney was hugely successful

Sydney, 14 June, 2018

I was honoured to be invited to attend The 20th Chand Raat Eid Celebration in Rosehill Gardens, Rosehill, NSW. 20,000+ people attended the event. Premier of NSW, Gladys Berejiklian MP, Minister for Multiculturalism, Ray Williams MP and Lord Mayor of City of Parramatta Council, Andrew Wilson were in attendance, along with many MPs and Councilors.

It was a hugely successful festival with jam packed crowd.

Congratulations, Syed Atiq Ul Hassan. And thank you very much for the invitation.

Eid Mubarak!

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/DoctorYaduSingh

Our team work for Keep NSW Safe achieves a successful outcome on section 20D of Anti-Discrimination Act

Sydney, 5 June, 2018

FIAN LOGOFederation of Indian Associations of NSW (FIAN) is pleased that NSW Government has decided to amend section 20D of NSW Anti-Discrimination Act. FIAN is a key and founder member of Keep NSW Safe keep-nsw-safe-logo-6.png team, which has worked actively, effectively and collaboratively with all stakeholders over last several years to achieve this spectacular result. http://www.keepnswsafe.com/

This will PROTECT DIVERSE COMMUNITIES from individuals who incite or threaten violence against people based on their race, religion, sexuality and HIV/AIDS status, and will carry a maximum three-year jail sentence and a fine of $11,000. The legislation will create a new offence in the Crimes Act of publicly threatening or inciting violence against people on the these grounds.

The path of success was difficult, because a few ministers were not keen to amend section 20D, but active work by ministers like Ray Williams and Mark Speakman has overcome the resistance.

I was made aware of this development by Multicultural Minister on 26 May, 2018, when he addressed a multicultural community forum in Strathfield, but was requested to not make it public. I kept my word.

It is indeed great to see NSW Government has listened to the concerns of our communities and responded to them in a positive way. Nobody can be allowed to harm the harmony among the communities in NSW. Punishment will be given if anyone tries to incite violence against others.

“The new laws send a very clear message to offenders that we will not tolerate behaviour which risks people’s safety”, Mr Ray Williams, Minister for Multiculturalism said, and we wholeheartedly support him.

Attorney General, Mark Speakman’s press Release is here. Mark Speakman press release on 20D

Thank you to Premier, Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Government, especially Minister for Multiculturalism, Ray Williams and Attorney General, Mark Speakman for this much needed and overdue action.

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/they-will-not-go-unpunished-three-year-jail-terms-under-new-race-hate-laws-20180605-p4zjn0.html

Dr Yadu Singh

fianinc1@gmail.com

Federation of Indian Associations of NSW (FIAN)

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Israel’s 70th Independence Day celebration in Sydney

24 April, 2018

I participated in the celebration of Israel’s 70th Independence Day in Sydney yesterday. NSW Jewish Board of Deputies organized the celebration at Four Seasons hotel in the CBD, which was attended by the Premier of NSW, Gladys Berejiklian, Minister Ray Williams, many MPs, MLCs, Leader of Opposition, Luke Foley, diplomats from more than 20 nations, multicultural community leaders and faith leaders. Israel’s Ambassador, H.E. Mark Sofer, was in attendance too. He spoke and outlined the achievements of Israel in the field of innovation, technology and agriculture. Premier described the close relationship which NSW has with Israel in a variety of fields. There was a short video speech from Israel’s Prime Minister, H.E. Benjamin Netanyahu.

Like previous years, this event was a high profile celebration. The typical Israeli cuisine and select top grade wines were enjoyed by the guests. The hospitality was excellent. As would be expected, the security was elaborate and tight.

I was pleased to be at the celebration and caught up with many including the Premier, Leader of Opposition and MPs and MLCs.

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.facebook.com/DoctorYaduSingh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

Multicultural Media awards create healthy competition for quality and standards

Sydney, 30 August, 2017

It was great and a matter of privilege to be invited to attend NSW Premier’s Multicultural Media Awards tonight at the Waterview, Bicentennial Park, Sydney Olympic Park, NSW.

These awards honour the quality journalism from the thriving and highly competitive multicultural media in NSW. Multicultural journalists won top awards under various categories. Indian Link media, as before, was finalist in many categories. Gurcharn Singh Kahlon, a Punjabi journalist, was a finalist too. Congratulations to all finalists especially Tia Singh (Indian Link) and Vijay Badhwar (The Indian Down Under), who were the winners in their categories.

Wonderful to catch up with the Premier of NSW, The Hon Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Multiculturalism, The Hon Ray Williams, along with so many media people including our own community media personalities and friends.

One thing which was very clear was that these awards are very important as they create healthy competition and help improve the quality and standards in multicultural media in NSW.

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.facebook.com/DoctorYaduSingh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

Happy 69th Independence Day, Israel

Sydney, May 2, 2017


I was privileged to be invited to join Jewish community of NSW for the celebration of 69th Independence Day of Israel at Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney.

Premier of NSW, Gladys Berejiklian, NSW Leader of Opposition, Luke Foley, many ministers and MPs, key community and business leaders were among approx 500  invited guests.


Israel is the only successful and working democracy in the Middle East.

Israel is a world leader in innovation in the field of Defence, health, water and agriculture.

I am a friend and supporter of Israel, just like millions of Indians all over the world.

Best of Israel: https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=qeVvuph2WAQ

Happy 69th Independence Day, Israel!

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.DoctorYaduSingh

http://www.twitter.com:dryadusingj

Welcome reception for NSW Minister of Multiculturalism, Ray Williams MP 

Sydney, 22 March, 2017


I attended the reception for new minister for Multiculturalism, Ray Williams MP at NSW Parliament today. NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian MP, was present. There were about 100 key community leaders in attendance.

Dr Harry Harinath and Hakan Harkan (Chair & CEO of Multicultural NSW respectively) were the key officials.

Ray was sworn in as the minister for Multiculturalism 6 weeks ago.

Dr Yadu Singh

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