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Nijhar Lashes Out At MIC Polls Opponents

Contributed by Anonymous on Tuesday, June 20 @ 10:19:18 CDT

MICJune 20, 2006 16:52 PM  

KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 (Bernama) -- Tan Sri K. S. Nijhar, who is defending his post of vice-president in the MIC elections on Saturday, has lashed out at his opponents, saying they are "desperate" for asking the 1,441 party delegates to reject him just because he is not a Tamil.

The majority of the delegates are aware that such tactics had been used and they had rejected them in the past. To me, such tactics are the tactics of people who are desperate. If a man is not desperate, he will design a strategy to show what he has done and what he can do.

"You can't stop a desperate man who is sinking from using desperate measures. So let him use them and let the delegates decide on the basis of track record and future performance," said Nijhar, who is of north Indian descent.

The 70-year-old Nijhar was commenting on the strategies of several contestants for the three posts of vice-president who have asked delegates to reject Nijhar because he is not a Tamil.

The race for the posts of vice-president sees a tussle among seven aspirants -- in*****bents Datuk S. Veerasingam and Nijhar, party secretary-general Datuk S. Sothinathan, Kuala Lumpur MIC chief Datuk V.K.K. Teagarajan, party veteran Datuk M. Muthupalaniappan, former Sri Rusa state assemblyman E. Yohevel and newcomer P. Thiagarasan, better known as Alex Thiagarasan.

Veerasingam, Nijhar and Sothinathan are the "preferred" candidates of MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu for the posts of vice-president. The party polls also sees a contest for the post of deputy president and 23 seats on the Central Working Committee.

In the race for the deputy presidency, long-time party No 2 Datuk S. Subramaniam is being challenged by vice-president Datuk G. Palanivel, who is the president's "preferred" choice.

Nijhar said he had always regarded himself as the "weakest" link among the vice-presidential trio because "I am not a Tamil candidate".

"Ninety-eight per cent of the delegates are of south Indian origin (who are mostly Tamils). By virtue of this, I am regarded as a weak candidate and this time they consider me weak as the other two (Veerasingam and Sothinathan) are both deputy ministers and I am only a backbencher.

"So, these are the two reasons but my main point to the delegates is to look at the track record of my performance. I also have a plan for the future which is in my manifesto," he added.

He said his opponents had used this point against him in past elections but the argument had never held water with the delegates.

An economist by profession, Nijhar entered politics in the early 1970s. He was appointed MIC treasurer-general in 1981 and a senator in 1985. He held the senatorship for the maximum two terms.

He became a member of the MIC Central Working Committee in 1994 and was appointed party secretary-general in 1997.

Nijhar was chosen as the Barisan Nasional candidate to contest the Subang parliamentary seat in the 1999 general election. In 2000, he won one of the three posts of MIC vice-president. He retained his post of vice-president unopposed at the last MIC polls, in 2003.

"Over and above that they (the delegates) know I was with the MIC when it was weak, when it had very few people to help it grow, both in the fields of education and economy. They know I am reliable. I believe they will give me their full support," said Nijhar, who was born in Kroh, Perak.

Asked about the reception of delegates at his campaigns, Nijhar said it had been good and that he had the opportunity to explain to them his work for the party and the community.

"I have also shown them that they can depend on me to perform any task given by the party as well as initiate new tasks on my own for the good of the party and community," he added.

He said his future plans for the community included securing a RM60-million loan facility for 6,000 Malaysian Indians to be involved in small businesses, securing 100 medical seats a year in recognised universities in Indonesia for the community, organising remedial classes for 6,000 Tamil school students and increasing the revenue of Tafe College by raising the number of full fee-paying students.




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