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Stallion Subra still very much in the race

Contributed by Anonymous on Friday, May 19 @ 10:18:00 CDT

May 19, 06 3:05pm Malaysiakini

Two recent articles in malaysiakini on the upcoming MIC elections for the deputy president’s post have done a disservice, not so much to the party or the candidates, but to the writers themselves, Baradan Kuppusamy and P Ramasamy.

Their contention, that the outcome of the elections is a foregone conclusion, is in fact contradicted by their own arguments and is based on an admixture of fiction, fallacy and fantasy.

And, in the case of Baradan, misplaced metaphors as well. Baradan likened party president S Samy Vellu to a busy bumble bee and deputy president S Subramaniam to a docile Barbie doll. Unlike a honey bee, the bumble bee is a rather slow worker that lacks sting. On the other hand, a Barbie doll is capable of becoming anything she wants - astronaut, surgeon, or even a presidentialcandidate, judging by the variety of career costumes she comes with.

Both writers predict an easy victory for deputy president contender G Palanivel, based on the unsubstantiated argument that Subramaniam is too soft, too docile, and not aggressive enough. The corollary of this argument then must surely be that Palanivel is hard, tough and aggressive. Fact or fallacy?

The writers also say Palanivel is working very hard at the grassroots level, a fact that will turn in the votes, come election day on June 24. Is being seen to be working hard a few months before elections more indicative of the measure of a man than working silently for the last 17 years as Subramaniam has been doing since his narrow defeat in the 1989 presidential contest?

Is it what Subramaniam does right now that matters or is it what he can do in the future, based on what he did in the past? Aren’t his personal qualities of maintaining and upholding the sanctity of the family unit, personal integrity and honesty as well as his personality who inspires quiet confidence important?

Is electioneering more important than subscription to the higher principles of betterment of the community? Previous MIC leaders, the late V Sambanthan and the late V Manikavasagam were statesmen first and politicians second. And still they achieved much.

The MIC voter is not a lover of rabble-rousing, sloganeering, gutter politicians. He needs a proven, mature leader with a sound record. Subra is today the longest-serving member of the Barisan Nasional supreme council with a track record as long as Samy Vellu in the MIC central working committee. Is that the trait of a failed politician?

Despite not holding public office or being given the opportunity to shine in the party, Subra has been able to hold on to his post of deputy president for two decades. Is this the mark of a failed politician?

Baradan calls Subra a ‘sanitised’ politician. Isn’t this the quality of a trustworthy rather than a failed politician? He also says Subra became so isolated in MIC that not one person in the 23-member Central Working Committee would speak up for him. Yet, he was not dislodged from his deputy president’s seat in the CWC all these years. Is this indication of a failed politician?

Ramasamy says Samy Vellu has ‘waited long to oust Subramaniam’. Does Samy’s failure to dislodge him make Subramaniam a failed politician? Or rather the opposite? Ramasamy says Subramaniam’s patience has been his weakness. But history is strewn with the corpses of politicians who realised too late the folly of impatience.

Baradan claims Subramaniam’s ‘wait-and-do-nothing’ strategy has finally caught up with him. This is convoluted logic. The election is not over yet. Ramasamy says Subramaniam is hanging on the coattails of Umno. This is a mischievous allegation buttressed not by hard facts but by other allegations, equally baseless, and irresponsible in that the Barisan Nasional government practices racist policies.

So then, what is the reading of the political seismic activity on the ground? How are Palanivel and Subramaniam faring in the run-up to the elections? At this stage of the game each side is second guessing the other, but there are some tell-tale signs.

Just as the 2004 US presidential elections when the early electoral votes in the state of Ohio were pivotal, the results of two recent MIC branch chairmen’s elections could be crucial indicators.

In Samy Vellu’s parliamentary constituency of Sungai Siput, party members voted in a new divisional chairman a candidate who was not the president’s choice and had defied the
president’s wishes.

In Telok Kemang, the parliamentary constituency of party secretary-general S Sothinathan, the divisional chairman’s post also went to a person not directly allied to the president.

In the end, what matters most is what the people want. And they know who can deliver. In the race to the finish, the experience and stamina of the stallion is no match for the colt.



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