MIC No 2 says party cannot afford long-term bickering

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GEORGE TOWN: As MIC deals with internal strife and the Registrar of Societies’ (RoS) directive to hold fresh party elections, deputy president Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam said the party has to get its act together now or suffer the consequences in the next general election. With the Indian-based Barisan Nasional component party weakened since 2008, he said MIC can no longer afford any long-term bickering, feuds or infighting.

“As it is, the party has been weakened over the years since [the] 2008 and 2013 [general elections]. We are worried that if we do not get our act together by 2018, we might face a major problem,” he told reporters yesterday. The health minister was asked to comment on an incident late last week when former MIC Youth chief Datuk T Mohan and 500 supporters gathered around the MIC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, carrying banners and playing Tamil songs with “cynical” lyrics.

At the gathering, Mohan and several others made speeches, urging party president Datuk Seri G Palanivel, who was holding a central working committee (CWC) meeting at the time on the party’s predicament, to step down should he appeal to the RoS, which had declared the party’s CWC invalid.

The group also wanted the party leadership to call off the meeting since the CWC was declared invalid, following complaints by some MIC members about irregularities in the party election last year.

Palanivel’s detractors reportedly said he rewarded party members who previously moved to oust former president Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu. He was also accused of encouraging “thuggery and rowdiness” and losing touch with realities on the ground where MIC’s influence had been waning.

However, a source close to Palanivel reportedly dismissed the attacks against him and denied that the gathering was held against the party president. The source said most of the people at the gathering had turned up to show their support for Palanivel when they heard of attempts to disrupt the CWC meeting.

As the recent events have shown clear signs of unhappiness with the party leadership, Subramaniam said the party has to find a holistic solution by first recognising that MIC is facing certain issues.

Subramaniam said he and Palanivel themselves are heading a committee made up of party members, including the people who had lodged the complaints with the RoS, who are going to work out how MIC will move forward in addressing the issues and challenges.

“I am waiting for the president to call for the meeting,” he said.

He  said MIC is also looking into further democratising the party’s election process — The Malaysian Insider


This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on December 23, 2014.