By S. Chandravathani & Prem Kumar Panjamoorthy
KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 (Bernama) -- To win back the trust of the Indian
voters for the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, the MIC is on an
impassioned overdrive to put its heart and soul for the 13th general
MIC president Datuk G. Palanivel will steer the party in this direction.
This weekend, the man will deliver his maiden opening speech as party president at its 65th Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Ahead of the AGM, party secretary-general S. Murugesan said: "We (MIC)
have widened our voter base by holding voter verification and
registration exercise in all its 4,300 branches nationwide.
"The immediate priority is to ensure the registration of more than 100,000 party members as voters.
"With the help of the Election Commission, the MIC would also register
new voters," he told Bernama in an exclusive interview at the MIC
Currently, MIC has more than 630,000 members.
Furthermore, Murugesan said the party would also study UMNO and MCA's
plan on broadening the voter base, and work hand-in-hand with Barisan
Nasional's (BN) component parties to secure Indian voters in the general
election, as was done in the past.
"However, we did encounter some difficulties...which is, if there is a
single error in the application, the Election Commission will not
register the applicant and the system will reject invalid applications,"
In not wanting to let the cat out of the bag, the party
secretary-general remained tight-lipped on a surprise announcement by
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for the Indian society at the
For the first time, the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC)
will be the venue for the two-day AGM, beginning July 30.
In previous years, MIC held its AGMs in their traditional venue, namely
Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC). More than 4,000 branch chairmen and
delegates are expected to attend this year's AGM.
On possible agendas, Murugesan said the MIC president, who took over the
reins of the party, late last year, was expected to propose to Najib, a
mechanism to win back the trust of the Indian voters for the BN
coalition, which is currently deeply divided.
The majority of Indian groups deserted BN at the last general election in March 2008.
On former party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, Murugesan described
him as a "great leader and an inspiration for grassroots leaders". He
said Samy Vellu would attend the AGM as a special guest.
"An appreciation event has been planned to honour the leader who had
inspired MIC with his thoughts, deeds, words and actions over the past
As part of Palanivel's initiatives to the party's rebranding exercise,
the party secretary-general said, MIC, for the very first time, would
issue about 4,000 membership-*****-authority cards bearing the MIC logo,
at the AGM.
Without revealing the actual cost, Murugesan said each card would cost
about RM5, with magnetic strip and barcode, and be issued in phases. In
the first phase, the cards will be issued for branch chairmen and
delegates, while the second and third phases were meant for
office-bearers and members, respectively.
"In future, the party would include the existing insurance scheme in the
card and have talks with big shopping malls, airlines, travel agencies,
hotels and related firms to allow members to enjoy benefits and
privileges," he said.
The party will also launch two of its new products. They are MIC Times,
which will be published in a hardcopy format, and MIC TV, a web-based TV
at the MIC website as part of Palanivel's outreach programme, with
emphasis on retraining and empowering the party and the Indian
community, at large.
MIC Times will be published once every two months, in both Tamil and
English, with its main content focusing on the party president's vision
to rejuvenate and reinvent strategies, ideas and changes to help the MIC
relive its glory days.
"For now, MIC Times will be distributed within the party and mailed to
all branch chairmen. MIC Times will also give information to branch
leaders on the government's existing and future policies, specifically
for Indians, for example the Tekun loan scheme and study loans.
"We will also welcome articles related to the Indian community at the
grassroots-level, aiming to create a sense of belonging," he said,
adding that the first edition would be distributed at the AGM.
On the MIC Web TV, with "a shoestring budget", Murugesan said it served
to highlight activities and contributions which were convenient and
valued by all sectors, with high quality information to reach the
audience, especially Indian society.
MIC Web TV, which will be operated from MIC headquarters through appointed staff, will be accessible round-the-clock.
Palanivel shies away from revealing AGM bill
FMT, K Pragalath, July 28, 2011
Total expenditure for the party's annual event this year will be disclosed in the annual report, says G Palanivel.
KUALA LUMPUR: MIC president G Palanivel declined to reveal the total cost of hosting the party’s 65th AGM at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) this weekend.
It was reported that unlike previous AGMs, which was traditionally held at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur, the bill for this year’s event may run into the millions.
“All will be revealed in the annual report. We are transparent,” said Palanivel when asked during a press conference held at the MIC headquarters this morning.
MIC treasurer Jaspal Singh later explained that PICC was picked for the AGM because the convention centre could accommodate the bigger crowd expected this year.
Palanivel, who will be chairing his first AGM since taking over the helm of the party in January this year, also announced an allocation of RM800,000 for party branches.
He was, however, reluctant to discuss his presidential address which he will deliver to about 4,000 delegates this Saturday.
“I will lay out a new political map for the party and the community,” he said, adding that more than 30 requests have already been forwarded to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.
“MIC supports BN but I can’t say that all Indians do. If the PM helps, Indian support (for BN) will surely rise, and the Indian votes will return,” said Palanivel.
Bags are only RM46 each
The MIC had its worst election run in 2008, resulting in only three of its reps in Parliament.
“We have 600,000 members of which 390,000 are voters. If we can increase the numbers, Indians will decide the winners for the general election,” added Palanivel.
As for the party’s priority Palanivel said: “We want MIC to show support for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and to show that Indians are with MIC.”
Division and branch chairmen are expected to be provided with expensive briefcases and goodies to boost their image and ‘empower’ them when meeting with members.
Palanivel also refuted reports that the bags for about 3,700 of them cost about RM200 a piece, saying each bag with a pen and writing pad included cost only RM46 each.
Asked if his deputy and human resources minister, Dr S Subramaniam’s call for the release of six PSM activists mirrored MIC’s stand, he said: “I made the call to the PM a few days ago.”