Palanivel planning graceful exit?

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PETALING JAYA: The MIC leadership is working on a face-saving solution to the strong pressure on the party to hold fresh elections, say sources within the MIC. “[Party president G] Palanivel should not be seen to be losing out here, hence the face-saving solution,” a senior party leader said on condition of anonymity. “He may announce ... that a re-election will be held, even before the RoS makes its decision,” the leader said.

A decision has yet to be made on what positions would be up for re-election, he said. “This is where the president can use his trump card. The current lull is actually time for his backroom boys to come up with a strategy,” said the leader.

However, other MIC leaders who spoke to The Edge Financial Daily expressed doubts about the re-election movement group. One senior leader said the group lacks a vision and a proper plan on how to take the movement to the next stage.

“They cannot agree on many things and decisions seem to be made by a select few. There are no brainstorming sessions among the senior members,” the leader said.

He said most are stuck in the mindset of merely criticising the conduct of the leadership and hoping it would result in changes. “Some have even cited the GAS movement that pressured [Datuk Seri S] Samy Vellu to leave early as an example,” the leader said, referring to the Gerakan Anti Samy Vellu group that emerged briefly in 2010 to pressure the then MIC president to step down.

He said what many fail to understand is the dynamics behind the GAS movement led by V Mukilan, the then deputy MIC Youth chief.

“The situation was ripe then and the prime minister also played a part in it but right now, there is nothing. They don’t even have a name for the movement,” said the leader.

Another leader said the movement’s objectives seemed vague.

“Some call for re-election while others call for Palanivel to be removed. [Former MIC Youth chief Datuk T)]Mohan himself says Palanivel has to resign if re-election is called. They have to get their act right if they are to have any chance at all,” he said.

The leader said the party president has immense powers and easily commands the support of at least 800 delegates from a total of about 1,500 delegates. “Even in a re-election, do they think they can win easily? It’s going to be an uphill task,” he opined.

The leader suggested that for the group to succeed, it needs a visionary leader who is willing to listen.

“Change does not happen on its own. It comes from planning and strategies, which this group does not have, much to the benefit of Palanivel,” he said.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on December 1, 2014.