Feb 3, 08 malaysiakini
There are seven critical issues that have caused uneasiness among the
Indian community and the government must immediately take steps to
The seven are: 1. an equitable participation in the share market; 2. Indian intake in public universities; 3. better employment opportunities, especially in the public sector; 4. increase the number of government scholarships; 5. greater access to entrepreneurship training and micro-credit loans; 6. an effective urban poverty eradication programme; and. 7.
the establishment of a dedicated mechanism to monitor and evaluate the
delivery of public sector services in a just and fair manner. MIC
president S Samy Vellu, in listing out these seven grouses, urged the
government to resolve these issues immediately as they have hindered
the party's efforts to ensure the upward mobility of the Indians, Bernama reported. "The
Indians have very high expectations and are demanding from MIC greater
inclusion, access and their rights in the socio-economic development on
par with the other communities," he said at the MIC special convention
for branch chairmen at the Putra World Trade Centre today. The
Works Minister, who has come under increasing criticism for the
failures of the community, said that the Indians wanted just and fair
treatment from the government. The special
convention was held to prepare the MIC's grassroots machinery for the
upcoming general election. It was opened by Deputy Prime Minister Najib
Abdul Razak. About 3,700 MIC branch chairmen and the party's elected representatives attended the one-day convention. Elaborating
on the seven grouses, Samy Vellu said the MIC wanted the government to
ensure equitable participation in the share market through the
establishment of a special mechanism such as the Permodalan Nasional
Berhad (PNB) in order to attain the three per cent equity target by
2020. He also added that the MIC could only
complement the programmes provided by the government for Indians but
these initiatives were not sufficient to re-alter the socio-economic
disadvantage of the community. Serving effectively He
expressed his confidence that the government would take speedy action
on the seven issues which have been forwarded to the government several
months ago. "We have been continuously
discussing with the government to resolve these issues and I am
confident of a speedy solution," he was added. Samy
Vellu also said that the party was confident of repeating its 100 per
cent victory in the last general election. In 2004, the party won all
the nine parliamentary and 19 state seats it contested. He said that the present unhappiness among the Indian community would not dampen the party's resolve to retain all the seats. "With
the people's loyalty and support to the Barisan Nasional, the MIC
scored 100 per cent success in the 2004 general election. The Indians
realise the Barisan government had always served the people's interests
and had brought socio-economic progress to all races," he said. He
added that MIC's election machinery had been well-oiled and was in top
gear to swing into action when parliament was dissolved to pave the way
for the 12th general election. On today's convention, Samy Vellu said it was to discuss ways for the party to serve the Indian community effectively. As
grassroots leaders, he said, MIC branch chairmen must maintain close
ties with the people in their areas and to inform them the various
opportunities extended by the government to improve their livelihood.**************View to the polls: Should Samy Vellu stay or go?
The new Straits Times, Feb 03, 2008
KUALA LUMPUR: Should MIC party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu stay
on as party leader, or should he make way for a successor?
In political discussions, especially among the Indian community, this question has been raised frequently in recent weeks.
Why now, especially after Samy Vellu has headed the MIC for almost 30 years?
a commentary by Utusan Malaysia columnist Awang Selamat last week
articulated the thoughts going through many minds today.
noted that many long-serving Umno, MCA and Gerakan leaders had made way
to new faces, but Samy Vellu still insists that his services are needed
and that he will continue to contest and lead the party.
Outside the MIC, even among some of his colleagues within the
BN coalition, the question is being asked whether Samy Vellu may meet
the fate of leaders like Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu, long-serving Chief
Minister of Penang, and Tan Sri Wan Mokhtar, who led Terengganu from
1974 until 1999.
Both were removed by their constituents who felt that they had been too long in office.
his loyalists within MIC reject such notions, saying that such talk and
views are unfair to a man who has worked selflessly and devotedly for
the Indian community and the MIC.
Tebrau MIC division
chairman M. Soorianarayan said Samy Vellu's leadership was much needed
at times of crises like now because there was "no one as generous and
committed to the Indians and the MIC like Samy Vellu".
"He is like the ancient King Karna, who was well-known for his generous heart.
"People keep harping that because of him we only have one minister.
they forget that we have various others sitting in different ministries
as deputy ministers and parliamentary secretaries."
Territory MIC chairman and national information chief Datuk M.
Saravanan said MIC needed an experienced leader like Samy Vellu during
crucial times when the opposition was exploiting allegations that the
Indian community had not been well looked after.
He said Samy
Vellu had the experience and ability to counter the opposition and even
party members who refused to toe the party line.
With the whole
country gearing up for the general election, Saravanan said Indians
should focus on the election and not squabble among themselves.
Some of Samy Vellu's detractors are those who are no longer active in the party.
Former MIC central working committee member K.P. Samy believes that the
party chief should step down before the coming general election for the
sake of the Indian community and Barisan Nasional.
"He should call for a party election now.
"That would be his biggest sacrifice if he really cares for the party and the community," said the party veteran of 35 years.
He claimed that the Indian community was angry with Samy Vellu for
failing to groom capable leaders who could take over from him.
"He has been in the party for too long. It's time for him to step down."
But Samy Vellu has shown the qualities which show his value to the BN.
the agitation within the Indian community, he has managed to get
Thaipusam declared a public holiday in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya and
for the government to consider making it a national holiday as well.
also managed to get tens of thousands of people to turn up for the
Ponggal festival in the federal territory, graced by the prime minister.
Another former central working committee member and former Negri
Sembilan MIC exco member, Datuk M. Muthupalaniappan - whose differences
with Samy Vellu are well known - said that when a person had been in a
position for very long, he would suffer lethargy.
He said the rule that one should not continue to be in power for more than two terms must apply to all.
But in general, party insiders feel that they still need their leader - at least to lead them in this general election.
"Let's be realistic. We can't change horses in mid-stream.
need him now. But perhaps the time has come for him to consider
relinquishing his post and ensure a new leadership is in place before
the following general election is held," said a senior party leader
aligned to Samy Vellu.
Will that happen? Perhaps, that will be the subject of debate among MIC members after this election.