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I Too Have A Dream, Declares Teagarajan

Contributed by Anonymous on Friday, June 16 @ 10:52:22 CDT

MICBy P. Vijian and S. Retnanathan

KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 (Bernama) -- Despite numerous political and personal financial hurdles over the last few years, which hampered his political career, Kuala Lumpur MIC chief Datuk V.K.K. Teagarajan now aims for one of the three vice-president seats in the MIC, which will hold its election on June 24.

At age 57 now, if I want to make a mark, this is the time to go for it. This is my last boat. If I don't get in, I won't be able to achieve it.

"I have reached the pinnacle of my service and have been exposed to world leaders. I have about 20 years' experience in the chambers (he was ex-president of the Malaysian Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry). I have the knowledge and can contribute positively to the party and the Indian community," he said in an interview with Bernama.

Teagarajan, a well-known businessman, with more than 20 years' experience in MIC politics, is confident of his chances in the election, where he will face six others.

The other six aspirants are vice-president in*****bents Datuk S. Veerasingham and Tan Sri K.S. Nijhar, party secretary-general Datuk S. Sothinathan, MIC veteran Datuk M. Muthupalaniappan, former Si Rusa state assemblyman E. Yohevel and Shah Alam's Alex Thiagarasan.

Veerasingham, Nijhar and Sothinathan had been named by MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu as his preferred candidates for the vice-presidency, while the other four candidates had been dubbed "outsiders".

"I rate my chances as very good. I have received positive response from at least 70 per cent of the delegates I have talked to. I need to (put extra) work in Johor and Melaka," he said.

The party, he said, had undergone tremendous structural changes over the years, with leaders and delegates becoming more "politically aware" of national and community developments.

"The maturity has always been there but this time many are going to exercise their independent views. I wouldn't use the word subservient, but there was a sense of 'follow the general' trend in the past.

"But now I think it has given way and there are 50 per cent new faces in the party...the party has grown to 4,000 branches and the delegates are well-informed. Now we not only have quality but also the quantity," said Teagarajan, who regards Samy Vellu as his political mentor.

Describing seven candidates vying for three veep seats as "too many", Teagarajan said contestants aspiring for positions must have contributed to the party and community.

"I believe no candidate should be prevented from contesting. But you should have contributed positively and be confident that you can contribute, then you join the fight.

"Don't simply jump into the fray as humiliation will follow. If you have a past record of what you have done, you can go to the people and say 'give me this opportunity'," said Teagarajan.

He is also certain that this election, which would see vice-president Datuk G. Palanivel taking on MIC long-erving deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam for the MIC No 2 post, would not split the party.

"I had joined some great battles, the greatest being in 1977 and 1989. Of course some disgruntled members will leave, but the party will be intact and they will come back and accept the chosen leaders," he said.

This will be Teagarajan's first attempt in vying for a national position in the party. In the 2003 election, he filed his nomination for the veep race but pulled out after being "coaxed" by the MIC supremo.

This time around, Teagarajan who has declared that he is now on a sound footing in both politics and business, is steadfast in his resolve to fight for the position.




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