Malaysian Indian Congress faces internal conflict

Kuala Lumpur, May 23 (IANS) Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) President S Samy Vellu’s announcement to quit the post late next year has triggered a crisis in the party.

A movement is building up within the party even as Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, who heads ruling alliance Barisan Nasional (BN), of which the MIC is a key constituent, has refused to ‘interfere in the party’s internal affairs’.

Najib Saturday acknowledged that the party problem was getting hotter, The Star newspaper said.

‘I see that this is now resurfacing again and I hope that they will be able to resolve this problem,’ he said, calling on the MIC to give confidence to the people.

Vellu, who has been heading the party since 1979, announced earlier this week that he would quit in the second half of next year, eight months ahead of the end of his term in 2012.

But he threatened to ‘destroy’ his critics in the time left for his 11th term as chief of the party that represents the country’s 1.7 million ethnic Indians.

He sacked V. Mugilan, deputy chief of the party’s youth wing who demanded that Vellu should quit immediately.

Mugilan now heads a group of disgruntled MIC leaders and announced an ‘Anti-Samy Vellu Movement’.

Mugilan said the movement, to be launched May 30, will explain to party members and Malaysians in general, why Vellu must resign as president immediately.

The movement will start in Kuala Lumpur and move on to other cities, he added.

‘We will explain to the people and conduct a signature campaign,’ said Mugilan.

‘I have no personal agenda against Samy Vellu. My agenda is the poor Indians and MIC members who have been cheated,’ said Mugilan, adding that the movement was multiracial and ‘anybody who does not like Samy Vellu is invited to join’.

He claimed that he had the support of the people and several MIC ‘top guns’.

However, Vellu has vowed not to accede to the unprecedented demands to leave immediately. ‘I will step down next September. Not a day earlier,’ media reports Sunday quoted him as saying.