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
"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
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
"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
"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
October 07, 2009 15:24 PM
Makkal Sakti Sees Change In Government Towards Indian Community
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
"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
"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
"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
"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,"
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
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