May 23, 06 5:19pm Malaysiakini
Raj's letter Stallion Subra very much in the race seeks to refute my arguments about the MIC's deputy president S Subramaniam's role in the coming MIC elections for the number two post in the party. While Raj is entitled to blow his trumpet for Subramaniam as the most ideal candidate, he should know that my piece on the MIC elections was not meant to praise Subra or the other candidate G Palanivel.
I merely asked the two candidates to move away from their patrons and provide vision for the advancement of the Indian community in the coming years. Subra might have waited patiently for many years to seek the coveted post, but without really understanding the real politics of the MIC. He might come from a good family, he might have integrity and he might be a very patient man, but I am not sure whether these qualities would automatically grant him the number two position.
He had the opportunity to challenge Samy Vellu many times in the past, but he was not prepared to take the risk. He assumed that by waiting patiently and putting up with all the insults, the number one post would go to him one day. To ensure this, he tried to cultivate amicable relationships with Umno leaders and always sought to present scenarios that contests for top party posts in the MIC would be divisive for the Indian community. He was able to check Samy Vellu to some extent during the time of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, but he is not in a position to do so now under the new prime minister.
Given the structure and feudal politics of the MIC, it is foregone conclusion that Palanivel, with the open backing of Samy Vellu, stands to win the coming contest. It will not be clean sweep for Palanivel as some elements sympathetic to Subra and those not happy with Samy Vellu's choice for his deputy would gravitate towards Subra.
It really does not matter to me who wins the number two post in the coming contest. What matters to me most is whether the MIC, under a new leadership, would be able to tackle some of the serious woes of the Indian community. This is why in my piece that I requested both the contestants to make pronouncements on the future of the community.
If Raj really thinks that Subra is better and more capable a leader for the MIC, then he should come out with a more realistic analysis as to why the mantle of leadership should be passed on to Subra rather than Palanivel. Instead, he does a great disservice by saying that Subra should be remembered for his qualities, qualities that would hardly ensure him the number two post.