SERDANG – The new MIC leadership will extend an olive branch to the opposing camp, urging them to return to the fold.
Party president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said it was up to the â€œother sideâ€, including some division leaders, to consider the offer.
â€œWe will give them the opportunity to rejoin and help us strengthen the party.
â€œIt is time to close ranks and resolve two years of political infighting,â€ he said at a press conference after the partyâ€™s 67th annual general meeting yesterday.
Perak State Assembly Speaker Datuk Seri S.K. Devamany is the new deputy president, defeating Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk M. Saravanan in a close fight.
He polled 698 votes against 681.
The three new vice-presidents are former party Youth chiefs Datuk S.A. Vigneswaran and Datuk T. Mohan, and former MIC treasurer-general Datuk Jaspal Singh.
The polls also saw a total of 44 members vying for the 23 Central Working Committee seats.
Dr Subramaniam said he took a neutral stand in the contest for the No. 2 spot and congratulated Devamany on his win.
He said Devamany could help with the partyâ€™s struggles in education reforms.
Devamany said his victory was not something to celebrate but a heavy responsibility to help transform the party.
â€œMy main aims are to regain the support of the community and uplift the image of the party.
â€œWe will work as a team to continue the partyâ€™s struggles in socio-economic and education issues,â€ he said.
Saravanan said he respected the decision of the delegates.
â€œI am okay. I accept the defeat with an open heart,â€ he said.
Mohan said he was happy with the results and that the polls had been conducted in a transparent and orderly manner.
Earlier in his speech, Dr Subramaniam called for a ban on the word pendatang.
He said that it hurt Indians and Chinese greatly to be addressed as such.
â€œWe are born here, are not immigrants and are citizens.
â€œStern action must be taken against anyone, regardless of position or status, who disrupts the spirit of â€˜muhibbahâ€™,â€ he said.
Dr Subramaniam also called for more opportunities for Indians to join the civil service, more micro-funding for entrepreneurs, addressing the high number of Indian dropouts, ending racial polarisation, safeguarding vernacular education and building more Tamil schools. – Bernama