May 26, 2010 by
Filed under Articles, Kadir Jasin
S. SAMY Vellu’s position as MIC President is clearly becoming more desperate and growingly untenable. It could plunge the MIC into another round of crisis.
Desperation is making him intolerant. Just day after V. Mugilan, the MIC Deputy Youth Chief, blamed him for the party’s poor performance in the 2008 general elections, Samy Vellu sacked him.
Mugilan had also claimed that party members and the Indian community at large had grown weary of Samy Vellu’s promise to step down.
The MIC president said he would stick to his decision to step down “eight or nine months” before his term expires in May 2012, despite a call for him to quit immediately.
Flexing his muscles, he summarily expelled Mugilan without referring him to the party’s disciplinary committee.
In my Other Thots column published in the May16-31 issue of the Malaysian Business magazine, I made the following remarks about the MIC president:
“IT’S time for the MIC president of 31 years, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, to make good his promises to turn the party over to his anointed successor, Datuk P Palanivel.
“Given the boost enjoyed by the MIC in recent weeks, sans his active participation, the passing of the baton now should give the party enough time to regroup and recoup lost grounds.
“Samy Vellu has no more reason to whine and to delay his departure. Thanks to the correct choice by the Barisan Nasional, the MIC novice candidate, P Kamalanathan successfully recaptured the Hulu Selangor parliamentary seat.
“Though Kamalanathan was not Samy Vellu’s choice, his victory over the Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim was a strong indication that the MIC still has a role to play in the BN.
“The BN, in particular the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, did not altogether ignore Samy Vellu’s wishes when Palanivel was made a Senator and may soon be given a governmental post.
“If Samy Vellu makes a graceful exit now, there is still time for the MIC to strengthen itself and regain the support of the Indians in the three-year before the next general elections.
“I am sure if he makes a graceful exit, the Prime Minister will show the government’s usual appreciation by suitably honouring him like other retired heads of BN parties.
“After three decades of tumultuous leadership, which saw his edging out countless promising MIC leaders, and finally suffering a rout in the 2008 general elections, the time could be running out for the party unless Samy Vellu makes way for younger and untainted leaders.
“Kamalanathan’s victory showed that Malay and Indian voters were more amiable towards a younger MIC leader than Samy Vellu’s ally, Palanivel.
“If the outcome of the Hulu Selangor by-election is any indication, the ties between Umno and the MIC are a binding one.
“That the Malays, who form 54 per cent of the voters, would support an MIC candidate at the time when the Chinese support for the DAP was becoming entrenched, should not miss the attention of the BN leadership.
“The Malays, Indians, the Orang Asli and the natives of Sarawak and Sabah have many things in common — the most prominent being their inferior economic status and widespread poverty.
“Also, given the higher birth rates and lower tendency to migrate, the Malays, Indians, the Orang Asli and the natives of Sarawak and Sabah will in future form a much larger proportion of the population.
“The New Economic Model and all other policy initiates of the government cannot be considered to imbue the spirit of 1Malaysia if the interest of these communities are not safeguarded and promoted.”
FOOTNOTE: Of the main Barisan Nasional parties in the Peninsular, only the MIC is yet to have a new leader after the 2008 general elections debacle. Umno, the MCA and the Gerakan have all elected new leaders — the MCA twice.
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