Tuesday, September 15, 2009

MIC : In Their Own World

That would summarise what happened over the weekend during the MIC Annual general Assembly. In what should have been a major change in party structure in order to rejuvenate the party, what we saw was the same old faces helming the top leadership.

Almost all other BN parties have seen changes in their leadership but despite massive failures in the general elections, MIC members are adamant that the current failed leaders are still needed.

Datuk Subramaniam failed challenge of Datuk Palanivel has been expected but this is certainly not a measure to rejuvenate the party, as these two politicians are nothing but spent force. Many thought Subra’s win can bring some hope of change, but this is not to be. Sothinanthan worked as the spoiler to Subra’s plans. While Sothinanthan is still young, Subra’s political career can be considered as good as over.

Subra may still have some options but he is unlikely to move to opposition, not after decades in BN.

Samy Vellu can proudly claim that he still commands support in the party, but the fact remains that more than half did not vote for his choice for Deputy. Even the vice presidents of his choice, won due to their own popularity, owing to decent performance in their respective government post, though they were nominated to the government post by Samy Vellu.

My only regret is that Dr Subramaniam ( the Human Resources Minister) should have contested the Deputy President post. He is credible, fluent in all three languages and appear to be well liked by all, not only in MIC.

The only consolation is that some young leaders have been appointed as Secretary General, Information Chief and Treasurer.

With this development, things can only go down hill for MIC. There’s nothing for Samy to be proud of. Almost approximately 70% of Indians voted for the opposition in the March 8 elections, and even with the Najib feel good factor, more than half Indians voters, mostly young voters, are still leaning towards the opposition. The main reason is they hate Samy Vellu and to a lesser extend BN.

Najib and even Mahathir’s hint for change was not heeded by the delegates. My interaction with the grassroots, right after the MIC elections, indicates that none will return if Samy remains. That’s a fact and majority Malaysians would agree. Many Indians only have harsh and disgusting words for Samy Vellu. His son and daughter-in law’s involvement in the party has only further infuriated many. They see this an attempt to turn MIC into Samy Sdn Bhd.

Pakatan Rakyat’s further decline in performance and lack of initiatives for Indians will ensure some votes return to BN. With this development, it is as if MIC has chosen to keep them out of the equation.

Rightfully members should be discussing on their lost of support and perhaps the outcome of the post mortem further to the general elections in the annual assembly, none happened and Samy Vellu summed up the issue by saying MIC lost support due to BN and not him. And the MIC delegates accepted that. That says a lot about their ability to gauge public sentiments. No further debates on this and they appear to be contented with President’s argument and some BN bashings throughout the assembly.

They appear to be happy with their current standings in the eyes of people. They appear not to be bothered with various criticisms and onslaught by Hindraf and Pakatan Rakyat Indian leaders. They appear to in their own world.

Unless some drastic change happens, MIC is likely to be completely wiped out in the next elections and they will eventually be where they want to be, in their own world.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

1Malaysia Overdose

I am increasingly irritated by the 1Malaysia campaign. Not sure why people are so into this slogan as if this is something new. Even the corporate sector joined the bandwagon and riding on the catchy slogan with their glossy advertisements in the mainstream television.

While Najib’s massive campaign may have been positively welcomed by the rakyat, it has become an irritant and more so when his own party members are still within the old mindset as reflected in some of their speeches and not to mention various articles in Utusan Melayu.

While everyone blames Utusan Melayu for racist centric articles, the same can be said with Tamil newspapers and I was told, even Chinese newspapers. It’s just that all Malaysians can read Utusan while not all Indians or Chinese Malaysian can read Tamil or mandarin newspapers, what more Malays.

Unless Najib’s own party members reflect the slogan in their actions, this 1Malaysia will soon end up like “Gemilang, Cermerlang and Terbilang” in the next general elections.

1Malaysia maybe nice and catchy to some people, especially the kids, but it’s pointless if people chose to segregate themselves and the fact that we have a system that segregates children from young. And we all know that this systematic segregation is well supported by the same people who champion for 1Malaysia, Malaysian Malaysia and others similar slogans that are not popular.

On the other hand, if Malaysians really wants to be united, not just be seen to be united, they have to make sacrifices, I mean big sacrifice here. That would be the current generation’s biggest contribution to the next, and they will certainly be remembered centuries to come.

I am, of course, referring to the single stream school idea which has been reignited, read here.

If Najib and Muyiddin is serious about 1Malaysia, they should do their best to float a workable idea towards establishing one single school stream. It may not be appealing to Chinese and Indian educationist, or rather chauvinist, but an attractive and quality national school may work to attract non Malays back to national school. This may include introduction of English medium schools, which I believe will definitely attract all races.

With the race and racist sentiments hitting high notes recently, I had a first hand look on old 1Malaysia in one small cowboy town called Paloh in Johor. I attended a function held by my father’s friend, an Indian Malaysian. Whilst it was a small function, it was well attended by multi-racial crowd within the neighborhood. What was surprising it that, the non-indians outnumbered the Indians.

I had the opportunity to have a chat with the folk there. I gathered that most of them work in saw mills, estates, factories, transportation and small businesses catering to the residents there. I also realized that being in a small town, they, regardless of race, depend on each other for job, business and daily needs.

When they started talking about politics, one of them turned to me and said that ‘you educated people are the ones who are creating all kinds of problems for this country’. He further added that there have not been any racial problems in the small town ever. He also mentioned that their biggest problem ever was with the communist insurgency back then when Paloh was known to be one of the communist stronghold back then in Johor.

I was taken aback but not surprised with the accusation against KLites as there are certainly lots of truth in that statement. Throughout the conversation, everyone showed genuine warmth towards each other, as they have been for decades, something that I hardly see in KL. Life there is simple and slow but people are enjoying themselves and would not want a complicated life such as in KL even if given millions of Ringgit.

So 1Malaysia is certainly not new, but an old wine in a new bottle. And according to the folks in Johor, educated Malaysians chose to deliberately crack and eventually break the old bottle over the years.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Only Najib Can get rid of Samy Vellu

Samy Velu continues to be the most valued comedian in the country. However in the recent weeks, he has been under pressure, mainly from his former deputy, Datuk S. Subramaniam, who is seeking to retake his deputy president post.

Unlike in any other party where top leadership will not openly support any candidates, Samy Vellu went on and announced his preferred candidates for all post available at the central level. The list has numerous political deadwoods and over the hill loyalist of Samy Vellu or rather his ‘yes men’. Talk about rebranding.

It is said that MIC have gained some currency recently. It is mainly due to the fact that BN still gives ‘face’ to them, and also it’s long standing membership in BN. It is no secret that many leaders in BN component party thinks that Samy Vellu is an embarrassment to BN and prefers to see him out.

Pathetic Performance of Indian ADUNs and MPs from the opposition also led to Indian Malaysian looking up to MIC again, though in small numbers. Majority fence sitters and sympathizers will return only if Samy Vellu is no longer there.

Instead of indicating his path of retreat, he is now saying that he may remain up to 2015. He also roped in his daughter in-law to become’s Puteri’s deputy chief. His son, Velu Paari is already the so-called advisor to MIC Youth although it has been said that he calls the shots. Most of those in upper echelon of the party are already his relatives and close friends. There is no chance for outsiders and he might as well rename the party after his own name.

If Najib really bothered about sentiments on the ground, he should pressure Samy Vellu to give way as soon as possible or else MIC would still remain a liability to BN. Only Najib is in a position to do so and he'd better do it soon.