MIC, the only party that represent the Indian community in Barisan Nasional (BN) is going back to the drawing board – that is going back to where it started – new election to choose the right leaders.
With bad performance in the 2013 general election where it won only four parliamentary seats and five state seats, the party needs a fresh outlook and image – young and vibrant leaders to tackle young voters from all communities, not just Indians.
In 2008 general election, the party won three parliamentary seats and seven state seats. In short, the party has not made any progress to win the hearts and minds of the community as it depended on support of other component parties in Barisan Nasional (BN) to win.
The party has to embark on charting a new course in a new socio-political environment where race is no longer take centre stage but economic and educational well-being and daily needs top the political agenda.
While other coalition parties are changing ‘skins’ – promoting young leaders and new ideas to regain lost influence and ground, MIC has yet to have plans to rejuvenate and take its role from the disbanded non-governmental organisation (NGO) Hindraf which before 2008 swept away MIC’s influence in the country.
MIC lost and currently has yet fully regain ground and influence as the party leadership has yet to take new initiatives to make it more attractive and credible.
Datuk Seri G. Palanivel does not seem to have any control over theÂ party as party members go about doing their things freely to the extent the Registrar of Societies (ROS) had to direct the party to hold a fresh election.
The decision was made following complaints from members that the party election held last year contained faults where members from unregistered branches took part in the voting process
With the fresh election coming up, Palanivel’s position seems very volatile – he may face challenge to his presidency post – and he does not know who his ‘enemies’ are.
Son of former president Val Parri is vocal against Palanivel but until now he has yet to show that he is interested in the president’s post.
Another contender is Health Minister Datuk S. Subramaniam, who had wanted to contest the post last year but withdrew and stayed to defend his deputy presidency.
At the age of 64 and at a time when all the political parties in the country are talking about putting up younger leadership, Palanivel is obviously in a dilemma over whether to defend his post in the upcoming fresh election or wait until 2016 when the party election is scheduled.
Palanivel seems weak and out of touch with the party members as well as the Indian community as they continue to have distrust towards Palanivel as party president to uplift their socio-economic status.
The real problem in MIC began during the presidency of Samy when Hindraf succeeded in winning the hearts and minds of the community, leaving Samy and MIC in a lurch, a party without followers.
When Samy passed the baton to Palanivel in October 2010, the party is already in disarray without direction and capable leadership.
Palanivel’s leadership does not reflect the kind of leadership Samy had and Palanivel’s leadership is far from P.Uthayakumar’s leadership of Hindraf.
In fact, Palanivel does not even have a place where he can call his base or bastion as Cameron Highland was Datuk S. K. Devamany’s base where Palanivel took and won with just a 420 votes majority.
Thus, the coming fresh election which probably may be held next year will not see any changes in the party unless Palanivel and the rest of the party leadership see the importance of promoting younger set of leaders to lead.
And right now, there is no young leaders in the party that can rally support of the Indian community which may see the party further losing the support of the community.
The question is will Palanivel has the energy to lead MIC in the next general election when his age is 68 and he stll has no control over the party?MYNEWSHUB