PUTRAJAYA – A high-level meeting today proposed the setting up of a special secretariat by the Barisan Nasional (BN) to help the crisis-plagued MIC to clean up its divisions and branches and hold fresh party elections, said BN secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.
It was proposed that the secretariat be chaired by BN executive secretary Datuk Abu Khamis and its members be drawn from non-Indian BN component parties such as MCA and Gerakan, he said.
Tengku Adnan said the proposal was made at a meeting attended by BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak; BN deputy chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin; MIC deputy president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam and himself.
He said MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel did not attend the meeting, held at the Prime Minister’s Office, but sent a text message to Najib saying that his wife had chest pains.
Palanivel sent MIC vice-president Datuk S. Sothinathan to represent him, but the latter was not allowed into the meeting.
“The proposal was accepted by Dr Subramaniam. Palanivel has yet to state his agreement. We hope that the matter can be agreed to by today,” Tengku Adnan told a special news conference here.
He said the BN top leadership wanted to meet with only Palanivel and Dr Subramaniam, and not Sothinathan, to help resolve the MIC crisis.
“After the meeting, I informed Sothinathan, who was waiting outside the meeting room, of the proposal to set up the secretariat. He said the proposal would make the president powerless,” he said.
Tengku Adnan said it was also proposed that the MIC 2009 Central Working Committee (CWC) be taken into account until the fresh elections, and that all the nine president-appointed posts in the 2009 CWC not be considered.
“It was also proposed that during the period of the fresh elections, the president cannot appoint anyone to the nine posts,” he said.
“Only after the secretariat completes the cleaning up of the divisions and branches will we ask Tan Sri K. Kumaran (chairman of the 2013 presidential elections committee) to chair the elections committee and conduct the elections,” he said.
Tengku Adnan also called on quarters in the MIC to stop issuing statements to the media, but come together to discuss how to resolve the party crisis as best as they could.
Asked what if Palanivel did not agree to the proposal to set up the secretariat, he said: “We will leave the matter to the discretion of the Registrar of Societies (RoS). We are a party that adheres to the rule of law so that all problems can be resolved amicably.”
On calls for Palanivel to resign as president, Tengku Adnan said: “I do not know about that. Whenever there is a crisis in the MIC, quarters will want to show who is stronger. I call for a stop to all these.
“We proposed the setting up of the BN secretariat to ask the 2009 CWC to meet and resolve the problem,” he said.
On Feb 9, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said MIC had to hold fresh elections for all posts between April and July this year to avoid being deregistered.
The crisis emerged following a dispute after the RoS nullified the elections for the three posts of vice-president and 23 posts in the CWC, held in Melaka in November 2013, following complaints of irregularities.
In a letter dated Dec 5, 2014, the RoS instructed MIC to hold fresh elections for these posts within 90 days.
Palanivel asked the RoS to withdraw all its letters by tomorrow, saying they were contrary to the Societies Act and the party constitution, and threatened the RoS with legal action. – BERNAMA