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30 May 2010

Samy Vellu should surrender leadership

Amid the current political turmoil in the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), several political analysts opined one of the best ways for the party to regain the support of the Indian community was for its president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu to make way for new leadership.

Universiti Malaya Media Studies Department associate professor and founder of Zentrum Future Studies, Dr Abu Hassan Hasbullah said for one to better understand the real picture behind the current crisis faced by the party, one has to look at the influence and perspective of the Indian community in Malaysia.

"The Indian community has rejected the MIC, which was obvious during the 12th general general election of 2008, when the party produced tragic results. Almost all of the MIC's candidates failed to win.

"MIC has gone through a reformation for quite some time. What it needs now is a metamorphic process which can only be done with the resignation of Samy Vellu. His resignation would show him to be a responsible person," he said.

Confident that MIC's internal crisis will see an end only with Samy Vellu's resignation, Abu Hassan asked: "Why is there a crisis in MIC only now? Why didn't it happen back in the 80s?

"This is because MIC is not ready for the challenges of the 21st century. MIC's political strength is not in line with those challenges.

"One way to solve this problem is by surrendering his leadership to politicians who are more suited to lead the party into the future. It has to be a 'liberal relative' leadership and not authoritarian. The future leaders of MIC should be intellectual, pragmatic and practical. Young leaders such as P. Kamalanathan and V. Mugilan fit the bill," he said.

Abu Hassan urged MIC members to not only think about Indians but other races as well because they all depended on each other.

"Political power is not only determined by the minority, but also by the majority. Leaders, on the other hand, must have the nation's interest at heart."

He noted the current MIC leaders have been in the party since the time of Malaysia's late second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and said they must give way to new leadership.

On the Anti-Samy Vellu Movement (GAS), he said the movement was a reflection of some MIC members love and appreciation of the party.

"The people who started the movement feel there should be a new leader and they have no channel to express their opinion. Thus, they formed GAS. It is not wrong to start such a movement because this is a democratic country.

"What MIC needs to do is to react to GAS. MIC members have to study what went wrong with the party. They have to believe the Indian community needs change," he said.

A political scientist at Monash University, Wong Chin Huat, thinks the core issue is MIC's existence.

"In today's environment, politics is going out of fashion. More parties are attuned to serving the entire nation.

"If MIC wants to defend the Indian community's interest, they need to frame their outlook within a national context. It is a known fact that Samy Vellu is not very popular among Indians. Thus, by stepping down, he will solve part of the problems in MIC.

"At the same time, however, if external help such as assistance from Umno is used to remove him, then MIC will risk looking like a puppet."

Wong also thinks Samy Vellu should be replaced by someone who has no link to any factions so as to gain legitimacy for MIC.

"MIC deputy-president G. Palanivel and former deputy president S. Subramaniam are considered viable options."

On GAS, he said the movement on its own would not be effective because Samy Vellu has a very strong hold on MIC.

"If GAS receives Umno's support, Samy Vellu would have no choice but to go."


Most of the component parties in BN has been a puppet for too long, thus losing the confidentiality of their communities. Everybody knows that BN has a very strong foundation and have rule the country. With domination of the rakyat's rights and needs, the sensitivity arose and they have lost trust with their community leaders. BN has been the voter's choice for the past generation and this perception has changed with today's matured and educated voters. The people needs major chances especially when most of our politicians are with the mindset of the Merdeka governess. The political conception has changed and the voters want better mileage & accountability in our expenditure, eradicating of our corrupt practices, freedom of press, eradicating political warfares that cause hatred, neutralization of our Judicial system, MACC, Election Commission, Police and last but not least a harmonic and peaceful country.

The current political scenario are chaotic with MCA being dormant by their community and this has worsen with the infighting in MIC. If both the main component parties in BN are weaken and turning to be irrelevant, it's like forcing the voter's in the communities to park their votes in a safe haven or stay as fence sitters in the next GE. BN should take the lead and several round table meetings between all parties, must be discuss with openness and sincerity. If they are not prepared for a 'realistic' change for a new political landscape, the end results will be severely felt in the next GE. Domination kills in our matured multi-cultural and religious society.

We don't need analysts or experts to tell us what is glaringly obvious. Of course their consensus helps to accentuate the already obvious. Say what you want but other races too apart from Indians are seeing and saying the same thing. MIC can say mind your own business but politics is public and people take note of the threatics. MIC has become pungent and emanates a lot of attention. Things have come to a stage where even a graceful exit might not be attainable for Samy. He should have left at the time when his constituents rejected him in the 2008 GE. What inspired him to cling on generated a lot of speculation and especially unwarranted ones.

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