MIC leadership row deepens

Leadership row in Malaysia`s largest ethnic Indian pol party is set to deepen with dissident group preparing to launch campaign to force MIC prez to quit.

Last Updated: May 29, 2010, 17:45 PM IST

Kuala Lumpur: The leadership row in
Malaysia`s largest ethnic Indian political party is set to
deepen with a dissident group preparing to launch a campaign
to force the MIC president to step down after years at the
helm.

Senior Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) leaders --
V.Mugilan, K.P. Samy, G.Kumara Aamaan and V. Subramaniam --
were sacked recently from the party by President Samy Vellu
for asking him to step down from the top post.

Party secretary-general S Murugesan yesterday openly
questioned the MIC president for sacking the four central
working committee members, saying the dismissals were against
the spirit of democracy.

73-year-old Vellu, who has been at the helm for 30
years, crticised Murugesan for questioning his decision as he
felt that secretary-general has gone against the `general`s
order.`

The party chief defended his decision to sack the four
central working committee members, saying they would have
created more trouble in the party if they had stayed.

Meanwhile, the anti-Samy Vellu camp has stepped up
efforts to bring together a large number of people to build
pressure on him to resign. Mugilan is expecting 15,000 people
to turn up for the meet on Sunday.

"Tomorrow (Sunday) is the day. It?s the struggle of
the Indian community. If there is a crowd, then the message is
clear. Vellu must step down.

"If there is no crowd, I will say Vellu must stay on
forever," Mugilan told reporters here.

The former MIC Youth deputy chief also promised to
make some sensational exposure about Vellu at the gathering.
MIC has about 630,000 party members and almost 4,000
branch chiefs.

The sacked leaders, meanwhile, have decided not to
appeal against their sacking if the gathering fails.

Meanwhile, MIC vice-president Dr S. Subramaniam said
he was disappointed with Murugesan.

Dr Subramaniam, who is also human resources minister,
felt the matter could have been discussed internally through
proper channels.

"We cannot allow external power or pressure to decide
the fate of our party. If we allow this now, it will not
stop...it has happened to Samy Vellu and in the future, could
happen to someone else," he said.

In a related development, Vellu said he had told Prime
Minister Najib Tun Razak about retiring in September 2011, but
would leave earlier if he was given `other responsibilities`
outside of the MIC.

PTI