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Politics: Is it all over for PPP’s rising star?

Contributed by Anonymous on Thursday, May 14 @ 09:06:53 CDT

National: Politics
Thursday May 14, 2009,
The Star
It is never a good idea to cross swords with the chief, and Senator Datuk T. Murugiah, the party’s most visible face these days, looks to be facing checkmate. Is it jealousy, fear or both? That is the question that PPP members and others are asking in the wake of the ongoing clash between party president Datuk M. Kayveas and his former ally-turned-nemesis Senator Datuk T. Murugiah, the very vocal and energetic deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department charged with redressing public complaints.


While Kayveas, after crashing to defeat in Taiping in the 2008 general election, brooded at the party office in Jalan Kampung Attap, Murugiah burned the midnight oil as the party’s most visible public face. On hindsight, he might have worked too hard and in the process sidelined the president and nearly all of his men (and women) who populated the party’s supreme council and state PPP. In the media, Murugiah, 46, was a familiar face, courting controversy, locking horns with the police, civil service, prison authorities and even Barisan Nasional leaders in his crusade to right the wrongs, advance his status as a national leader and be the type of pro-active leader the post-March 8 political conditions demanded.
"Kayveas should know the old ways are gone. He should encourage Murugiah instead of sacking him." - PPP BRANCH MEMBER CLOSE TO MURUGIAH
When he was first made senator and deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s department 13 months ago, he was not known outside PPP circles. But he has since made sure he is known to each and every Malaysian. Among memorable events associated with Murugiah was his support for Seputeh MP Teresa Kok when she complained police gave her poor quality food during her brief detention under the Internal Security Act last September. He was at the Selayang Hospital morgue in January when family members and political supporters allegedly stormed the morgue to examine the body of A. Kugan, the youth who died under suspicious cir*****stances while in police custody. Earlier this month, he inspected drains in Lebuh Ampang with the media in tow, to force City Hall to clean up. Whenever he runs into problems for his outspoken manner and no-nonsense style, he takes shelter behind the Prime Minister’s name, saying Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wants him to act firmly to right the wrongs. When he ran foul of Kayveas, he again said he would see the Prime Minister to explain, although he could have said he would meet the president to settle the party matter amicably. “What is this … I am the party president. This is a party matter, why is he seeing the Prime Minister?” an indignant Kayveas asked. As the public face of PPP, Murugiah may be well known but in the party, it is Kayveas who is the master, and a slighted and angry master at that. Now the master is determined to teach his underling a lesson – it never pays to lawan towkay (take on the boss), especially when you are still weak in the party. It is speculated that Murugiah might challenge Kayveas for the party presidency but this is really far fetched because, while he was Youth leader before, he is now only an appointed supreme council member. He has many rungs to climb in the party hierarchy, party members say. “We are all very upset that he never drops by for party meetings or takes directions from the party president. He always stays aloof,” said Federal Territory PPP chief A. Chandraku-manan. “He is the party’s representative in the Government. Somehow, he has forgotten that,” Chandrakumanan added. While Murugiah is fighting shy of responding to the charges, his aides are quick to defend him, saying he is always fully focused on his work to alleviate public grouses. “The current political cir*****stances are different. While before, political leaders issued media statements from their office, today people want to see the leaders stomping the ground,” said a PPP branch member close to Murugiah who declined to be named. “Kayveas should know the old ways are gone. He should encourage Murugiah instead of sacking him,” he said. But Kayveas is making more serious charges against Murugiah, like money and pork-barrel politics to win support from division chiefs and the people. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission visited the PPP headquarters on Tuesday and is demanding all the details from Kayveas to open an investigation. At the same time, Kayveas is readying the supreme council to sack Murugiah. It now seems Murugiah’s branch has been unregistered for some years and this can mean he cannot contest in the June 7 party election for any post, let alone the president’s post. It looks like it’s checkmate for Murugiah in the party, but not yet in the Government.PPP records in disarray, Kayveas slammed By ROYCE CHEAH
KUALA LUMPUR: A former People's Progressive Party (PPP) supreme council member has blasted party president Datuk M. Kayveas for failing to ensure the party’s financial and office-bearer records were updated at the Registrar of Societies (ROS). Dr N.A. Shanmuganathan claimed he had conducted checks which revealed that party office-bearer lists and financial records had not been sent to the ROS since 2002. “I have been made to understand by the registrar that they are just waiting for the go-ahead to deregister the party,” he told a press conference Thursday. The Star is attempting to confirm his claims with the ROS. Dr Shanmuganathan also alleged that he had been “removed” as a supreme council member after receiving a fax from Kayveas which said he had been replaced by PPP member Sunny Goh. “This is wrong because it was not done according to procedure and furthermore, I have done nothing wrong,” he said, adding that he has been a member of the PPP for 12 years. Dr Shanmuganathan said the sacking of Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Senator Datuk T. Murugiah, was also invalid because there was not enough quoram at the meeting which decided to sack him. “Going by the list in the ROS now, there are only seven genuine PPP supreme council members,” he said. He claimed that the recent move by Kayveas to also sack R. Rajandran, who was the senior private secretary to Murugiah, was because Kayveas felt threatened by Murugiah’s popularity. Towards the end of the press conference however, another supreme council member, Kamal Batcha Noor Mohideen, confronted and questioned Dr Shanmuganathan repeatedly on whether he was a bankrupt or not. Dr Shanmuganathan said his lawyers were in the final stages of overturning his insolvent status. The latest allegations come in the wake of troubling developments within the party, with Murugiah having been accused of being involved in “money politics” or vote-buying, and members lodging police reports over death threats.

 
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