KUALA LUMPUR – MIC deputy president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam Sunday announced that he will be contesting the president’s post at the party’s upcoming elections.
With his announcement, this will be first time the Number One post will be challenged in 22 years. Saturday, MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel had confirmed that he would be defending the post.
Speaking to reporters after meeting his supporters at a convention centre here, Dr S.Subramaniam said:”I am making this decision after seeing the state MIC is in, it is in the interest of the Indian community, MIC members and to ensure the party has a brighter future.”
By his side were MIC vice-president Datuk M.Saravanan, MIC Youth chief C. Sivarraajh and MIC Wanita chief M. Mohana.
More than 2,000 MIC members including division and branch heads had turned up for the gathering to show support for Dr Subramaniam, who is also Health Minister.
The last time the 68-year-old party held a presidential election was in 1993 when the then MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu was challenged by S. Subramaniam.
However, Samy Vellu won.
Dr Subramaniam said the decision was taken following the party grassroots losing their faith and confidence in Palanivel when he failed to resolve the crisis which has beset MIC.
On Feb 9, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the Barisan Nasional (BN) component party needed to hold a re-election for all elected posts between April and July this year to avoid getting the party deregistered.
Dr Subramaniam alleged that the party did not see any positive changes and had been in inertia in the last five years.
Dr Subramaniam, who is also the MP for Segamat, said the MIC crisis should be resolved quickly to garner the support and confidence of the Indian community for the next general election.
On Palanivel’s statement that the membership of former secretary-general A. Sakthivel had been suspended, Dr Subramaniam said it should not have happened and that Sakthivel had not officially received any letter on the matter.
The MIC crisis arose following differences in opinions over the Registrar of Society (RoS)’s cancellation of election for three vice-president posts and 23 Central Working Committee posts held at its annual general assembly in November 2013 following complaints of malpractices.
In a letter dated Dec 5, 2014, RoS ordered MIC to hold its election again for the posts in 90 days.
Party conflicts broke out when Palanivel wanted RoS to withdraw all its letters before Tuesday and alleged they contradicted the Societies Act and the party’s constitution and threatened to take legal actions if RoS did not do so.