Kuala Lumpur : A major dissident leader has ended an unsuccessful bitter battle with Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) president S. Samy Vellu saying it would help make the party relevant again for the Indian community.
Former party vice president M. Muthupalaniappan had lost the race for the party presidentship in March after weeks of mutual acrimony among the partymen who claim to speak for Malaysia’s two million strong ethnic Indian community, New Straits Times reported.
The two met and sorted out differences. Muthupalaniappan said Samy Vellu should continue to lead the party.
“On the request of many people who are genuinely interested in the well being of the Indian community, I and Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu had a fruitful heart-to-heart discussion for an hour (last week),” Muthupalaniappan said in a statement here.
He said his desire to mend ties with Samy Vellu was to find ways to revitalise MIC and to make it a relevant party again for the Indians.
“Knowing the prevailing conditions in MIC and the situation of the Indian community, I feel that Samy Vellu is the right person to continue leading the community,” Bernama, the official Malaysian news agency, quoted him as saying.
The development comes amidst a growing perception that there are too many parties floated by the Indian community, dividing their energies in the process, as compared to the Chinese, the larger of the ethnic minorities.
In an analysis titled “Indians divided by politics”, Baradan Kuppusamy wrote in The Star newspaper Tuesday: “For a small community, the Indians are in danger of being overrepresented politically as numerous parties are claiming to fight for their rights.”
At least six more Indian groups are waiting for the Registrar of Societies to approve their application to form parties.
“The Malaysian Indian United Party was formed last year and so far this year two Indian political parties were launched, including the Makkal Sakthi Malaysia Party,” Kuppusamy said.
“There are just too many political parties for a community which comprises of just eight percent of the country’s 27 million population.
“Many Indian community leaders are asking if more Indian political parties are necessarily better to help the community whose problems include access to education, scholarships as well as upward economic and social mobility,” Kuppusamy said.