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Bagan Pinang: MIC Makes Inroads In Estates In Bagan Pinang

Contributed by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 07 @ 04:10:14 CDT

PORT DICKSON, Oct 7 (Bernama) -- Over the last 10 days, the MIC's election machinery bulldozed its way into the four estates in the Bagan Pinang constituency and appeared to be holding the "Indian bastion" from slipping into the opposition hands.

MIC president Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu said the MIC wanted to keep its pledge to deliver as many Indian votes as possible to the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the Oct 11 Bagan Pinang state by-election.

He said that since nomination day last Saturday, almost 1,000 party members, including those from the Youth, Wanita, Puteri and Putera wings had "literally camped" at the predominantly Indian populated estates.

"We have maintained our position in the estates even before nomination day and have assured the Indian voters (in the estates) that the government will continue to bring changes and progress to them," he said after concluding another six straight hours of campaigning in Bagan Pinang Tuesday night.

Bagan Pinang, which is the Teluk Kemang parliamentary constituency, has 30 per cent non-Malay votes.

Twenty per cent or 2,834 of the voters are Indians and are mostly concentrated in the four estates -- Bradwell, Atherthon, Siliau and Sua Betong -- and 10 per cent or 1,498 are Chinese scattered in the constituency.

The Malays account for 62 per cent or about 8,500 of the voters, including postal voters.

Samy Vellu said his confidence in getting the Indian voters' support for the (BN) candidate would be further strengthened by Human Resources Minister and MIC vice-president Datuk Dr. S.Subramaniam's scheduled announcement tomorrow on his (Dr Subramaniam's) meeting with officials of Sime Darby which own the four estates.

Dr Subramaniam had said that he would announce details of his discussions with the plantation giant last Monday on the solutions to many of the estate workers' woes.

Samy Vellu who is leading the MIC charge in Bagan Pinang, admitted that the Indian voters were not only concerned with developments but also wanted their rights to be protected by the government.

"We have held several discussions with the residents in the estates and they are happy with the initiatives being taken by our prime minister.

"They are very clear now. They know for a fact that the government has taken steps to bring progress to the Indian community and that it can only continue if the BN is given a stronger mandate," he said.

Samy Vellu said other MIC leaders like deputy president Datuk G.Palanivel and Dr Subramaniam, who have also been campaigning daily, had managed to "break the barrier" with the Indian voters since the last general election where many of them had supported the PAS candidate.

"The environment and mood among the Indian voters is now different compared with the last general election," he said.

He said the MIC expected a big turnout at the party's Deepavali open house tomorrow at 8pm at the Sua Betong estate which would also be grced by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and other top BN leaders.


October 07, 2009 15:24 PM Makkal Sakti Sees Change In Government Towards Indian Community By: Ramjit--> By R. Ravichandran

SHAH ALAM, Oct 7 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Makkal Sakti Party which will be launched on Saturday, is not only confident of winning Indian support but also securing a future for itself in the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition government, but not the Opposition.

Party founder and national president R. S. Thanenthirran said the three-month-old party had attracted 50,000 members and predicted that it would reach 100,000 by year-end, going by ground sentiment.

"We believe that by working closely with the present government, it would bring greater benefits to the community," he told Bernama in an interview at the party headquarters.

Thanenthirran rejected the possibility of a partnership with the Opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR), a loose pact of Parti Keadilan, DAP and PAS, saying that PR had failed miserably in solving problems of Indians in states ruled by PKR like Penang and Selangor, and cited the Kampung Buah Pala issue as a case in point.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is scheduled to launch the party at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park in Serdang, The event will be attended by 5,000 members.

Thanenthirran denied that the government was behind the setting up of the party and that was why the prime minister was invited for the launch.

"We invited him in his capacity as the prime minister. He is the prime minister for all the people and not just for BN members, we're humbled and honoured with his acceptance," he said.

Makkal Sakti, he said, had noted Najib's responses to the problems of the Indian community since taking office, and if the government was sincere in helping Indians, the party would cooperate with the government.

"I can see the change (brought by Najib) in the system...a real and meaningful change for the betterment of the Indian community and the people," he said.

Najib had addressed issues besetting the community, raised by Makkal Sakthi such as the allocation of land for a Tamil school in Lukut, processing of long overdue citizenship applications and funding for Tamil schools.

The prime minister had also moved to increase Indian equity in unit trusts and participation in the civil service, education and social development.

"He is serious, sincere and sensitive to solving issues of the Indian community...he doesn't sit or sleep on issues but confronts to solve and get the results," noted Thanenthirran.

But for now, the party is not mulling to seek a place with the BN, although it would consider if invited, as the party focuses on building itself.

"It is not in our mind presently, the important task ahead is gaining and winning the support of the Indian community. We leave it to the political parties to judge our strength and service to the people," said Thanenthirran.

He may be new to politics but said he had the pulse of the grassroots from his days as the national coordinator with the now banned Hindraf activist group that took him through the length and breadth of the country for 514 days.

Besides, he also has 20 years of community service as national treasurer for the Malaysian Youth Council and Hindu Youth Council.

The estate-born Thanenthirran, who hails from Kedah, said he initiated the formation of Makkal Sakthi from a need to have a strong platform to serve the Indian community.

"We identify ourselves not as leaders but as the people's servant. This is not a one-man party or a one-man show. All decisions are collectively made. There is enough room for democracy," he said when asked how he would diffentiate Makkal Sakti from other Indian-based parties in the country.

The new party has nothing to do with MIC or other Indian-based parties, he stressed.

"Let them do their job and we do ours. Let the people judge for themselves," said the 47-year-old businessman.

Without disclosing any names, he claimed that several leaders from Indian-based parties had indicated they wanted to join Makkal Sakti.

They were welcome, he said, as long as they supported the party's struggle for the people and wanted to create more political awareness of their legitimate rights and bring them into the mainstream of the country's development.

The party stood for transparency, accountability, integrity, truth and and 'dharma' (justice), said Thanenthirran.

He said half of the party's 33 central committee members were from professional groups such as IT experts, businessmen, lawyers and corporate people.




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