KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 (Bernama) -- An MIC vice-president said Friday the party needs a strong leadership comprising team players for it to address the present and future challenges of the Malaysian Indians.
In an interview with Bernama, Datuk S. Veerasingam, who is also Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Deputy Minister, said party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu needed leaders who could assist him in drawing up plans and implementing programmes for the benefit of the community.
"These leaders are the ones picked by Datuk Samy Vellu as his "preferred" candidates for the June 24 party elections," he said.
The MIC elections will see contests for deputy president, three vice-presidents and 23 central working committee (CWC) members.
Samy Vellu had named vice-president Datuk G. Palanivel as his "preferred" deputy. The Women, Family and Community Development deputy minister is taking on in*****bent Datuk S. Subramaniam in a tight tussle for the deputy president's post.
For the three vice-president's posts, the party supremo had named in*****bents Veerasingam, Tan Sri K. S. Nijhar and party secretary-general Datuk S. Sothinathan in his line-up.
The presidential trio will be challenged by Kuala Lumpur MIC chief Datuk V.K.K. Teagarajan, former CWC member and former Sri Rusa state assemblyman E. Yohevel, MIC veteran Datuk M. Muthupalaniappan and P. Thiagarasan, a relatively unknown candidate from Shah Alam.
Fifty-one aspirants have entered the fray for the 23 elected seats in the CWC, the party's highest policy-making body.
"The president usually comes up with ideas to uplift the community. He then presents it to the CWC where we discuss and fine-tune the plans and programmes. What is most important is the implementation stage.
"If the idea is good but the implementation is poor, then the whole thing is a waste. Apart from the many other reasons, at least for this reason the president must be given a strong team. A team which can join hands and implement the programmes," Veerasingam stressed.
Veerasingam began his political life in the MIC as an ordinary member of the Jalan Kampar MIC branch in Perak in 1965.
The sixty-four-year-old leader was picked to contest the Sungkai state seat in the 1990 general election which he won comfortably.
He successfully defended the seat for two terms before moving up to contest in the Tapah parliamentary constituency in the 1999 general elections.
The Tamil school teacher-turned-politician held on to the seat for the last two terms, winning both elections with comfortable majorities.
He became an MIC vice-president in the 2000 party elections, garnering the highest votes among the three vice-presidents. In 2003, Veerasingam, Palanivel and Nijhar retained their vice-presidency unopposed.
Asked on the grassroots' response to the president's "preferred" candidates, Veerasingam said all candidates in the "president's menu" received good support.
"I am grateful to the delegates. Most of them have voiced their support to the president's team. I don't see a problem," added Veerasingam who has been tagged as a "sure win" candidate in the polls.