KUALA LUMPUR: The crack in MIC seems to be widening by the week, as more branch chairmen and members are quitting the party.
Just weeks ago, two branch chairmen together with 250 of their members left the party, with half of them joining Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR). It is learnt that many others are expected to quit MIC, retire from politics altogether or join other political parties. Former Kampung Sungai Dua branch chairman A. Balakrishnan was among those who left the party, resigning two weeks ago with 124 of his supporters. "I thought he (party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu) might leave after losing in the recent election but he is still there as the president."
Balakrishnan said he had expected Samy Vellu to step down as president after his defeat in Sungai Siput. And when he did not do so, Balakrishan resigned instead. He said he was also not happy with Samy Vellu's attempt to bring back his former deputy, Datuk S. Subramaniam, into the higher ranks of the MIC again. "Let the members, not Samy Vellu, decide who they want as the next president." He said he had not joined any political parties as he still harboured hope of the MIC being able to function as before, minus Samy Vellu. "I hope to come back once he leaves. Until then, I will wait. After all, we don't really need a party to serve the people." Balakrishnan is not alone. Several other branch and division chairmen have "finally found the courage" to speak up against Samy Vellu who has been heading the party for almost three decades. MIC members are now asking Samy Vellu to accept the responsibility of the party's dismal performance in the general election and resign. Local Tamil dailies are also filled with calls from MIC members asking Samy Vellu to step down and to allow a new person to lead the party. Also joining the exodus from MIC was former Taman Kinrara Section 3 branch chairman S. Murali. He and 133 members joined PKR last week. Murali said for years people and leaders like him were afraid of going against Samy Vellu but that changed after the Hindraf rally last year. "Since then, we have come to realise that Samy Vellu is not so invincible." Murali said it was increasingly difficult to organise programmes under the MIC banner as people on the ground were not supporting them and did not want to participate. "People don't like Samy Vellu and because of him, they don't like the party either." Murali said that like many others, he had hoped that Samy Vellu would give room for another person to lead as he has held the post for years. Murali added that he was forced to quit MIC and join another party as he saw no future for himself and the party. Asked if his move would render him as an opportunist, Murali said each politician must ensure his own political survival. Last month, a group of some 50 branch chairmen gathered to discuss MIC's dismal election performance and the party's future. At the meeting, many had openly asked for Samy Vellu to step down or risk losing party members, and that they would no longer tolerate the intimidation and his abrasive style of leadership. Petaling Jaya Selatan division chairman V. Subramaniam, also known as Barat Maniam, who was one of the three who chaired the meeting, said Samy Vellu had to graciously leave the party. Two years ago, a group of MIC members, in their dissatisfaction with the leadership of Samy Vellu, formed a new party called "Marumalarchi Indian Congress Baru" or MIC Baru. Led by businessman P. Gannapathy, the group had claimed to have the support of some 100,000 former MIC members. MIC central working committee member T. Mohan, when contacted, labelled those who had quit MIC, joined other parties or formed another party as disloyal. He labelled those who joined other parties as "opportunists" and claimed that they had left because they were offered positions, such as councillors. "If you are unhappy with the leadership and you are eligible, then stay and contest against him, not run away and join another party," he said. "People like Bharat Maniam and even Datuk S. Subramaniam are still party members and loyal to the party. "Even though they had a lot of differences with the party leadership, they never left to join another party."
It shall be a case of TOO MANY COOKS SPOILED THE SOUP and the NEVER ENDING STORY as far as MIC (the largest but sadly, not the only Indian party) is concerned. To many Malaysian Indians, the PROBLEM lies with MIC is not only the SO-CALLED, SO-PORTRAYED unfairness diversification of Malaysian Indian rights and interests in too many things, in too many areas by too many parties. But also about the failures of the people who supposed to do something about it via this largest Indian-based party called MIC. Indian leaders seemed to share and have more and more HIGHLIGHTS on tv and other mainstream medias, highlighting so many issues from development to environment, with the like of Samy Vellu appearing about a dozen times a week. But when comes to the main agenda of promoting Indians, they seem totally lost and need (more than often) other community leaders to talk on the topic. To many Indians, it looks like, without this so-called OTHERS to talk on behalf, things will not happen. Even the Taipusam holiday needs Abdullah Badawi to tell the whole Indian, face on. And that too was somewhat a victory to Samy Vellu who claimed to be championing for Thaipusam to be made a National holiday (but he got Wilayah only). Sadly, he has been CHAMPIONING THE WRONG AGENDA. And yet still claiming to be doing enough about Indians to Indian community. One of the fact that is true and widely acknowledged is the progress of Indian community in Malaysia for the past 10-15 years, which compared to others, is slow and getting smaller in terms of its supposed given attentions. While Indian representatives in the government are growing ever since (not including this year Cabinet line-up), the voices heard within that block were getting smaller and smaller. Although being the THIRD LARGEST PARTY in Barisan Nasional (BN) sounds big and intimidating enough, the fact in having numerous other Indian represented parties within and outside BN made MIC the mockery in claiming to be the only voice of Indian community. What more, if one is to combine Indians within PPP, IPF, KEADILAN and DAP; it can easily out-numbered even the MCA in total. But as long as they (those Indians) remain outside the party which has the access to the government like MIC, the likelihood of getting ALL AGENDAS ALL DONE ALL RIGHT, is far from near. It hurts to be treated in such ways by other majority controlling parties, but being the last in population percentages (by far) among the three main races in multi-races country like Malaysia, or perhaps anywhere in the world for that matter, has its own wicked price. What worsened it, that smaller entity left, is becoming even smaller and smaller, when the Indians started mushrooming themselves with too many Indian-based parties and organizations. Whenever they had problems within their society or group, they broke up that union by forming another and so on. At the end of the day, by doing so, they achieved absolutely NOTHING other than another Indian majority or based party and NGO. And it all back to square one. The blessing in disguise in MIC failing the Malaysia general election (PRU 12), is that the Indians are willing to UNITE AND LISTEN to each other NOW MORE THAN EVER. This is the right time for the Indians and MIC to accept and embrace each other. But since then, the majority of them wanted a new leader to lead MIC and Indians. Or in simple words, wanted SAMY VELLU TO GO. ( A problem-liked disease spread all over other BN's coalition members too). But to groom a leader to the height and intense of Samy Vellu is not an overnight thing. For any good he was or CROOK he does, Samy Vellu has established himself as the one-face famously known and well accepted by leaders of other communities or parties especially UMNO. Hence, i do think if MIC and Indians want to fight for their right rather than vanishing their angers; Sammy Vellu has to stay at least for another term. He may not be the best and only man for the Indians, but he certainly the best and only man bold-headed enough to be their voice, as for now. But of course Indians and MIC know better. Just hoping not to see another party born out of nowhere.