Friday, February 27, 2015

'Political Fanaticism Can Undermine Spirit Of Sharing Among Malaysians, Say Analysts', Bernama, 27 February 2015


By Erda Khursyiah Basir

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- Political fanaticism and the insensitive attitude of certain quarters have in one way or other undermined the concept of sharing long nurtured by Malaysians, according to analysts.

Dr Mohd Ainuddin Iskandar Lee Abdullah, a senior lecturer at the Centre for International Studies at Universiti Utara Malaysia's Faculty for Legal, Government and International Studies, said all parties should practice moderation in politics, even if their directions were varied.

"Currently, certain quarters are deliberately raising disputes and challenges that are closely intertwined with political interests and sensitive issues.

"This matter must be given due attention in order to safeguard the sensitivities of the various enthnic groups in this country and enable the noble quality of sharing to thrive and be preserved," he told Bernama.


At a talk by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad titled "The Malaysian Dilemma" on Feb 12 during a forum organised by non-governmental organisation Centre for a Better Tomorrow, the former prime minister spoke, among other things, about how political and economic power sharing by all races could be the best formula for Malaysia to attain developed nation status by 2020.

Urging more Malaysians to practice the sharing spirit, and acknowledging that it had already long existed in this country, Dr Mahathir said it would help Malaysia to become more successful and prosperous.

However, the dilemma most Malaysians are confronted with now is whether they should continue sharing economic and political power on the back of the success attained thus far.

"If they want to share, the Malays must give up some of their political power to the other races while the Chinese should surrender their economic dominance. This is why this country has never been controlled by a single race. Malaysia is ruled by the three major races. If we agree to sharing, then this is the best way for our nation," explained Mahathir.

Commenting on this, Mohd Ainuddin said he wondered to what extent the Chinese were willing to surrender the power they wielded over the economy, and whether they could match the Malays, who had sacrificed their political dominance.

He said the cession of Malay supremacy and economic legacy of the Chinese must be studied and analysed from various dimensions because it would have a major implication on the question of political and economic survival in Malaysia.

"Barisan Nasional's (BN) existing political formula is adequate enough... it cannot be denied that UMNO had in the past given its seats to the MCA based on the racial breakdown of voters in those constituencies, and even Cabinet posts. UMNO did this in the spirit of friendship within BN.

"Now the question is, have the Chinese ever surrendered their dominance in the business supply chain to the Malays? During Tun's (Dr Mahathir) era of liberalisation, several nouveau riche people were created and added to the ranks of tycoons, as a result of the opportunities given to them by the government then," he said.

All these, stressed Mohd Ainuddin, testified that the Malays had made a great deal of sacrifices in the past, and also proved the community's high level of tolerance towards their fellow non-Malay citizens.

"If only the Chinese community is willing to relinquish their economic dominance in certain sectors to the Malays, it will take the concept of sharing to new heights and help create a more dynamic, progressive and advanced society," he added.


What does sharing entail in the context of promoting racial tolerance?

Mohd Ainuddin, who is also a lecturer in ethnic relations, replied that many people were not aware that the seeds of racial tolerance were first sown when the country was on the threshold of independence, that is during the era of political consensus, as it was known then.

He said the New Economic Policy (NEP) era had, rightfully, seen an adequate level of economic sharing, which had a positive impact on the political and economic well-being of the nation.

"During the NEP era, the government helped uplift the status of the Malay community by establishing FELDA, FELCRA and other development programmes. Even the non-Malays enjoyed spillovers from the NEP because their contractors helped to open up new land, build roads, instal irrigation canals, supply equipment and provide various other services.

"The NEP-era sharing benefited all parties and led to the creation of a Malay middle-class, which saw the emergence of Malay professionals in various fields who were as competent as their non-Malay counterparts," he said.

Mohd Ainuddin also called on the various races to share their knowledge and expertise as it could contribute to narrowing the economic gap between them, adding that it would also lead to equality in terms of professional achievements.


Asso Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, a lecturer at Universiti Sains Malaysia's Centre for Social Science Studies, said while all parties played an important role in understanding the concept of compromising and sacrificing, they should uphold the values they had in common, instead of pinpointing their differences.

"Sharing enables us to move forward together, but it should be done in an honest and sincere manner without suspicion. We should look for common values that connect the Malays and non-Malays.

"In the context of our plural society, we must understand that there are limitations to what we can do and can't do, based on the principle of respect we have for others," he said.

Asked to comment on moderate-minded people who preferred to remain silent and keep their views to themselves rather than make an effort to tame the political fanatics, Sivamurugan said the time has come for them (the moderates) to change their attitude and act accordingly.

"The truth is, in keeping quiet, they are allowing the political fanatics to feel free to act as they like. As such, we also need to hear the voice of the moderates as it can neutralise the agenda of the fanatics and prevent them from destroying all that we've have built over the years," he said.


On the role of the social media in nurturing the concept of sharing, Mohd Ainuddin said due to the explosion in information technology and the ease at which information could be retrieved, social media should be utilised as a platform to promote the concept of sharing.

Pointing out that views and comments shared on social media sites should be sensible and not emotionally-charged, he said they should also not cause racial disunity and political instability.

"There are people who abuse the social media... in fact some are using it to give vent to their emotions without considering the repercussions on society.

"The posting of views and comments which carry no bias or prejudice towards any ethnic group can, indirectly, contribute to interracial harmony and lend a positive aura to the nation's socio-political, and even economic, development," he added.


'Taksub Berpolitik, Gugat Amalan Berkongsi Antara Kaum - Penganalisis', Bernama, 27 Februari 2015


Oleh Erda Khursyiah Basir

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- Ketaksuban berpolitik dan sikap tidak sensitif segelintir pihak di negara ini sedikit sebanyak menggugat konsep perkongsian yang sekian lama dipupuk dalam masyarakat, demikian menurut beberapa penganalisis.

Pensyarah kanan Pusat Pengajian Antarabangsa, Kolej Undang-Undang, Kerajaan dan Pengajian Antarabangsa, Universiti Utara Malaysia Dr Mohd Ainuddin Iskandar Lee Abdullah berkata bagi mengatasi perkara itu, semua pihak perlu berpegang kepada konsep wasatiyyah atau kesederhanaan dalam berpolitik meskipun berbeza haluan.

"Tuntutan dan cabaran semasa pada hari ini berkait rapat dengan kepentingan politik dan isu-isu sensitif yang sengaja dibangkitkan oleh segelintir pihak.

"Perkara ini perlu diberi perhatian dalam konteks menjaga sensitiviti kepelbagaian etnik di negara ini supaya nilai perkongsian itu terus mekar dan melestarikannya dengan baik," katanya kepada Bernama.


Pada 12 Feb lepas, bekas Perdana Menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad dalam ceramahnya bertajuk 'The Malaysian Dilemma' antara lain menyebut bahawa perkongsian kuasa dan ekonomi antara semua kaum adalah formula terbaik bagi Malaysia melangkah ke arah mencapai status negara maju menjelang 2020.

Katanya rakyat Malaysia perlu terus mempraktikkan semangat sedia berkongsi kerana semangat yang dipupuk sekian lama itu mampu menjadikan Malaysia berjaya dan makmur.

Namun, yang menjadi dilema rakyat Malaysia kini ialah sama ada mereka perlu terus berkongsi kuasa politik dan ekonomi berikutan kejayaan yang dicapai.

"Kalau mahu berkongsi orang Melayu perlu melepaskan sebahagian kuasa politik dan orang Cina pula perlu melepaskan sebahagian kuasa ekonomi. Sebab itu, negara ini tidak pernah dikuasai satu kaum sahaja. Malaysia dikuasai ketiga-tiga kaum majoriti. Kalau kita bersetuju kepada perkongsian, maka ini cara terbaik untuk negara ini," tegas Dr Mahathir dalam satu forum anjuran badan bukan kerajaan, Centre For A Better Tomorrow di ibu negara baru-baru ini.

Tidak menolak pendapat bekas perdana menteri itu, Mohd Ainuddin berkata persoalan yang timbul ialah sejauh mana masyarakat Cina bersedia untuk menyerahkan kuasa ekonomi mereka, berbanding pengorbanan kuasa politik yang telah diberikan oleh orang Melayu.

Katanya soal penyerahan hak ketuanan Melayu dan legasi ekonomi Cina merupakan perkara yang perlu diteliti dan dikaji dalam pelbagai dimensi kerana ia memberi implikasi besar dalam soal survival politik dan ekonomi Malaysia.

"Formula sedia ada dalam politik Barisan Nasional (BN) sudah memadai... tidak dinafikan dahulu UMNO pernah menyerahkan kerusi kepada MCA dalam perkiraan jumlah pengundi mahupun jawatan dalam kabinet, dan UMNO sebenarnya memberi lebih kerusi dengan mengambil kira semangat setiakawan dalam BN.

"Persoalannya, pernahkah penguasaan ekonomi dalam rantaian bekalan perniagaan Cina diserahkan kepada orang Melayu? Era liberalisasi zaman Tun (Dr Mahathir) banyak melahirkan golongan orang kaya baharu dalam komuniti taikun Cina hasil daripada peluang yang diberikan kerajaan pada masa itu," katanya.

Tindakan tersebut secara tidak langsung membuktikan pengorbanan besar dan tahap toleransi yang tinggi kaum Melayu terhadap rakan-rakan bukan Melayu.

"Sekiranya masyarakat Cina bersedia 'melepaskan' penguasaan dalam sektor-sektor dominan tertentu kepada orang Melayu, benteng perkongsian dapat dileraikan ke arah pemupukan sebuah masyarakat Malaysia yang lebih dinamik, progresif dan maju," kata Mohd Ainuddin.


Apa sebenarnya yang wajar dikongsi dalam memupuk toleransi antara kaum?

Menjawab persoalan itu, Mohd Ainuddin yang juga pensyarah bidang hubungan etnik berkata ramai pihak tidak menyedari bahawa sejarah toleransi yang wujud antara kaum telah tersemai sejak era ambang kemerdekaan, yang dikenali sebagai era permuafakatan politik.

Katanya pembangunan Dasar Ekonomi Baru (DEB) sebenarnya memperlihatkan nilai perkongsian ekonomi yang cukup tinggi kepada rakyat dan membawa impak positif daripada sudut politik mahupun ekonomi negara.

"Pada era DEB kerajaan membantu masyarakat Melayu dengan menaik taraf hidup mereka melalui penubuhan FELDA, FELCRA serta rancangan pembangunan yang lain. Golongan bukan Melayu pula menerima limpahan kemakmuran DEB melalui pembukaan kawasan-kawasan baharu oleh kontraktor bukan Melayu termasuklah penyediaan peralatan, membuat jalan, memasang tali air dan pelbagai lagi perkhidmatan.

"Perkongsian era DEB memberi manfaat kepada semua pihak dan kewujudan masyarakat Melayu kelas menengah dalam bidang-bidang profesional berupaya menandingi kumpulan profesional bukan Melayu," katanya.

Berpendapat perkongsian ilmu dan kepakaran antara etnik penting bagi tujuan merapatkan jurang ekonomi antara kaum, Mohd Ainuddin berkata ia boleh membawa kepada kesamaan dalam soal pencapaian terutamanya dalam bidang profesional.


Mengulas perkara sama, pensyarah Pusat Pengajian Sains Kemasyarakatan di Universiti Sains Malaysia Prof Madya Dr Sivamurugan Pandian berkata semua pihak perlu memainkan peranan di samping memahami konsep kompromi dan sedia berkorban.

"Perkongsian akan membolehkan kita bergerak bersama ke hadapan namun ia harus dilakukan dengan jujur dan ikhlas tanpa ada sifat prasangka buruk demi mencari titik keseimbangan antara orang Melayu dan bukan Melayu.

"Dalam konteks masyarakat majmuk, kita harus memahami bahawa ada batasan tertentu ke atas apa yang boleh dilakukan dan tidak boleh dilakukan, berlandaskan prinsip hormat-menghormati antara satu sama lain," katanya.

Beliau berpandangan bahawa dengan memahami dan mematuhi batasan tertentu, ia akan membawa kepada titik penyatuan kaum.

Menyentuh golongan berpendirian sederhana yang lebih selesa berdiam diri berbanding berkongsi pendapat dan pendirian mereka bagi mengimbangi pandangan golongan taksub berpolitik, Sivamurugan berkata mereka harus melakukan perubahan dan bertindak seiring dengan keperluan semasa.

"Hakikatnya, tindakan berdiam diri akan membuatkan golongan taksub berpolitik merasakan mereka bebas berbuat apa sahaja. Justeru, suara-suara sederhana harus keluar dan bergerak bersama untuk memastikan tiada agenda golongan taksub politik mengganggu-gugat apa yang terbina selama ini," katanya.


Dalam zaman teknologi maklumat masa kini, Mohd Ainuddin berkata pengaruh dan kuasa media sosial hendaklah dimanfaatkan sebagai platform untuk memakmurkan konsep perkongsian.

Selain pandangan dan komentar yang dikongsi di media sosial dilontar secara berhemah dan tidak beremosi sehingga mengenepikan fakta, ia juga perlu menolak unsur-unsur yang mendorong kepada perpecahan kaum dan ketidakstabilan politik.

"Ada pihak menyalahgunakan media sosial termasuklah menjadikan ia sebagai gelanggang melepaskan emosi tanpa memikirkan akibatnya kepada masyarakat.

"Selain itu, pandangan dan komentar yang dilontarkan tanpa memihak kepada etnik tertentu secara tidak langsung boleh menyumbang kepada keserasian kaum dan membawa aura positif terhadap perkembangan sosio-politik mahupun ekonomi negara," katanya.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

'Should BN Refrain From Contesting In Chempaka?', Bernama, 19 February 2015


By Erda Khursyiah Basir

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- Whilst Malaysians were still in mourning following the demise of PAS Spiritual Leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, who was respected by both friends and foes, there was suggestion that the Barisan Nasional (BN) need not field a candidate in the Chempaka state by-election in Kelantan.

Political analysts, however, said the BN should only arrive at a decision after thoroughly studying the consequences.

Today, the Election Commission announced that the by-election for the Chempaka state seat, which was held by Nik Aziz, will take place on March 22, while March 10 has been fixed as nomination day.


Md Shukri Shuib, who is a senior lecturer in political and international studies at Universiti Utara Malaysia, said even if the Umno leadership were to decide against the BN's participation in the Chempaka by-election, the party should consider the consequences of not fielding a candidate there.

"Not taking part in the by-election may lead to a weakening of Umno's image as the main political party in the ruling government," he said.

He felt that the public perception of Umno would be worse if the BN announced its decision not to contest the Chempaka seat even before knowing who PAS was fielding as candidate.

"The people may think that there is no match for Kelantan under PAS rule. And, they may also view Umno as a weak party, bereft of candidates of integrity.

"This is not a question of winning or losing, but the question of maintaining the party's dignity and perception. But if its leaders are expressing such a view (not to contest in the Chempaka by-election), it might hinder Umno's efforts to portray itself as a strong party worthy of ruling Kelantan.

"It will also strengthen the perception that Kelantan is PAS and PAS is Kelantan," he told Bernama.

On Feb 14, Kelantan Umno Liaison Chairman Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed had expressed his personal view that if the BN abstained from contesting, it would make it easier for the federal government, as well as BN and PAS, to carry out post-flood rehabilitation works in Kelantan. Several Umno leaders, include those from the Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings, have also echoed Mustapha's views.


Some quarters have also expressed their opinion that there was no point in the BN contesting the Chempaka state seat owing to the strong voter sentiment towards Nik Aziz, who passed away on Feb 12 from prostrate cancer. He died at his residence in Pulau Melaka, Kota Baharu, Kelantan.

Asso Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, who is a lecturer with Universiti Sains Malaysia's Centre for Social Science Studies, offered a different view, saying that if the BN decided not to contest in Chempaka, it could be construed as a mark of respect for the late Nik Aziz.

"By not contesting in the Chempaka state seat, BN can focus on enhancing its cooperation with the state to deal with the after-effects of the floods. This will, over the long term, help the BN to secure more support," he said.


On the impending by-election in the Permatang Paul Parliamentary seat in Penang, Md Shukri said it was the right of the voters to elect their representative, and that Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) was free to choose who they wanted to field as candidate.

"If rumours stating that the incumbent's (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) daughter Nurul Nuha will be chosen as the candidate are true, it won't be proper because it will be akin to ignoring the integrity of the party's existing leaders, particularly those from PKR Permatang Pauh.

"I also feel that PKR is not willing to sacrifice Permatang Pauh by fielding a PAS candidate there, as there is talk that PAS Deputy President Mohammad Sabu is being considered as a possible candidate," he said.

Md Shukri said he was confident that Permatang Pauh would return to PKR because, as it was generally known, the by-election involved Anwar in his personal capacity.

He added that if the DAP intended to strengthen its dominance in Penang, as well as the opposition bench in the Dewan Rakyat, it should consider fielding a Malay candidate in Permatang Pauh.

"Maybe Dyana Sofea Mohd Daud, who stood as the DAP candidate in the Teluk Intan by-election previously, should be given one more chance as she will appeal to the youth," he said.

Anwar, 67, is set to be disqualified as MP within 14 days from the date the Federal Court dismissed his final appeal against his conviction for sodomising his former personal assistant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, and upheld his five-year jail term. The court passed the ruling on Feb 10.

However, if Anwar files a petition for royal pardon within 14 days of the apex court's ruling, his disqualification will only take effect when the petition is disposed of, as provided for under paragraph (c), clause (4) of Article 48 of the Federal Constitution.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

'Kenyataan Demi Kenyataan Tidak Bantu Selesai Krisis, Penganalisis', Bernama, 14 Februari 2015


KUALA LUMPUR, (Bernama) -- Lebih dua minggu sudah berlalu sejak Presiden MIC Datuk Seri G. Palanivel mengumumkan bahawa beliau dan timbalannya Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam akan "berdiam diri" bagi mewujudkan "suatu tempoh bukan dalam keadaan krisis" bagi menyelesaikan kemelut parti.

Bagaimanapun, melihat kepada kenyataan demi kenyataan yang kerap dikeluarkan beberapa pemimpin parti, ternyata jangka waktu berkenaan bukanlah "suatu tempoh bukan dalam keadaan krisis" yang dihasratkan kedua-dua pemimpin utama MIC.

Apatah lagi bila ada kenyataan terkini melibatkan pertukaran dan pelantikan baharu pemegang jawatan parti.

Moratorium yang dimaksudkan Palanivel sebagaimana kenyataannya pada 29 Jan lepas, sebenarnya adalah peluang terbaik bagi beliau menyelesaikan isu-isu berbangkit bersama timbalannya. Namun, adalah tidak begitu jelas sama ada Palanivel dan Subramaniam sudah bertemu atau pun tidak untuk berbincang bagi menyelesaikan krisis parti.


Pemerhati dan penganalisis politik Prof Madya Dr Sivamurugan Pandian berkata hakikat bahawa kedua-dua pemimpin berkenaan mengeluarkan kenyataan masing-masing tanpa berunding antara satu sama lain menunjukkan bahawa kurangnya komunikasi antara mereka berdua.

"Sebenarnya masalah kurang komunikasi inilah yang menjadi punca krisis parti," katanya kepada Bernama.

Sivamurugan, yang merupakan pensyarah kanan Pusat Pengajian Sains Kemasyarakatan di Universiti Sains Malaysia, berkata kedua-dua pemimpin berkenaan sepatutnya berkomunikasi secara bersemuka dan bukannya berterusan mengeluarkan kenyataan.

Beliau menggesa kepimpinan parti itu supaya fokus kepada arahan Kementerian Dalam Negeri dan Pendaftar Pertubuhan (RoS) terkini, yang bertarikh 9 Feb, untuk mengadakan pemilihan semula parti bagi semua jawatan.

"Kenyataan adalah penting untuk memaklumkan perkembangan terkini kepada semua orang tetapi dengan secara berterusan mengumumkan perubahan dalam parti akan menimbulkan kekeliruan dan kekecewaan di kalangan anggota parti," katanya.

Pada Isnin, Palanivel dalam satu kenyataan berkata beliau telah melantik anggota Jawatankuasa Kerja Pusat (CWC) Sementara Datuk S. Sothinathan, sebagai Setiausaha Agung parti.

Semalam, Palanivel mengeluarkan kenyataan bahawa selaku Presiden MIC beliau mempunyai hak tunggal dan prerogatif mutlak untuk melantik setiausaha agung parti, bendahari agung dan pegawai penerangan seperti mana peruntukan Perkara 46.5 dan 49 Perlembagaan MIC.

Beliau juga berkata bahawa notis mesyuarat tergempar CWC Sementara MIC yang kononya diadakan hari ini adalah "menyalahi undang-undang, batal dan tidak sah," dan tindakannya itu telah menimbulkan kemarahan pemimpin dan anggota parti.


"Pemerhati MIC tertanya-tanya mengapa parti ini sukar untuk menguruskan masalahnya dengan teratur," kata Sivamurugan, dan menambah kata bahawa melakukan terlalu banyak perubahan dalam tempoh singkat boleh menyebabkan kekeliruan kepada anggota parti, kecualilah kalau perubahan yang dilakukan itu merupakan sebahagian daripada strategi atau suatu kaedah untuk memberi nafas baharu parti.

"Walaupun parti berhadapan krisis, ia sekurang-kurangnya harus menyampaikan tanggapan bahawa ia masih berfungsi, untuk mengelakkan masyarakat India daripada mempunyai persepsi 'kekurangan perwakilan'."

Sivamurugan menggesa CWC Sementara supaya segera mengadakan pertemuan dan memutuskan bagaimana untuk mengadakan pemilihan semula dengan lancar.

Sementara itu, wartawan yang membuat liputan perkembangan MIC turut mengalami kesukaran untuk mengikuti setiap perubahan dalam parti.

Seorang wartawan, yang enggan dikenali, berkata: "Kadang-kadang, adalah sukar bagi kami untuk mengikuti perkembangan dengan tepat berhubung siapa yang memegang jawatan apa kerana ia berubah setiap masa."

Menteri Dalam Negeri Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi baru-baru ini berkata parti berusia 68 tahun itu perlu mengadakan pemilihan semula bagi semua jawatan bermula April hingga Julai bagi mengelak pembatalan pendaftaran parti.

Krisis dalaman MIC tercetus selepas RoS membatalkan pemilihan bagi jawatan tiga naib presiden dan 23 anggota CWC dalam perhimpunan agung MIC di Melaka pada November 2013, berikutan aduan berlakunya perkara yang melanggar peraturan parti.

Dalam surat bertarikh 5 Dis 2014, RoS mengarahkan parti itu mengadakan pemilihan semula bagi jawatan berkenaan dalam tempoh 90 hari.


'Issuing Statements Won't Solve Crisis, MIC Leaders Told', Bernama, 14 February 2015


KUALA LUMPUR, (Bernama) -- More than two weeks have passed since MIC President Datuk Seri G. Palanivel announced that he and his deputy Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam would "stand down" to pave the way for a "period of non-crisis" to resolve the party crisis.

However, going by the statements that were issued by the various party leaders every other day, it does seem that the past couple of weeks had been far from a "period of non-crisis" the top guns had envisaged.

Some of the more recent statements pertained to replacements and new appointees to party posts.

The moratorium that Palanivel mentioned in his Jan 29 statement was, obviously, a good opportunity for him to settle the various outstanding party matters with his deputy. It is, however, unclear whether or not he had met up with his deputy to thrash out the issues.


Political observer Asso Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said the fact that the leaders were issuing their own statements without consulting each other showed that there was still a lack of communications between them.

"It was this lack of communications that had triggered the party crisis in the first place," he told Bernama.

Sivamurugan, who is a senior lecturer at Universiti Sains Malaysia's Centre for Social Science Studies, said instead of issuing statements continuously, the leaders should start having face-to-face communications.

He also urged the party to focus on the directives from the Home Ministry and the Registrar of Societies (RoS), dated Feb 9, to hold fresh elections for all posts.

"Statements are important to keep everyone updated but continuously announcing changes in the party can lead to confusion and disappointment among members," he said.

On Monday, Palanivel said in a statement that he has appointed a member of the interim Central Working Committee (CWC), Datuk S. Sothinathan, as the new party secretary-general.

Yesterday, he said that as MIC president, he had the sole and absolute prerogative to appoint the party's secretary-general, treasurer-general and information officer under Articles 46.5 and 49 of the party constitution.

He also dismissed a notice that had been issued with regard to a purported emergency meeting by the interim CWC today, saying that it was "illegal, null and void", and his action has provoked the ire of other party leaders and members.


"MIC observers are wondering why the party is struggling to keep its house in order," said Sivamurugan, adding that instituting too many changes in a very short period could confuse party members, unless the changes were part of a strategy or tool to rejuvenate the party.

"Although the party is in crisis, it should at least relay the impression that it is still functioning, to avoid the Indian community from having a 'deficit representation' perception."

Sivamurugan urged the interim CWC to meet as soon as possible to decide on how to conduct the fresh elections smoothly.

Meanwhile, journalists covering the MIC are also having a hard time keeping track of all the changes in the party.

One reporter, who did not want to be identified, said: "Sometimes, it is difficult for us to keep track on who is holding what post since it is changing all the time."

Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi recently said the 68-year-old party should hold new elections for all elected posts between April and July this year to avoid deregistration.

The crisis had erupted over differences of opinion after the RoS nullified elections for the three vice-presidential and 23 CWC posts at the party's general assembly held in Melaka in November 2013, following complaints of irregularities.

In a letter dated Dec 5, 2014, the RoS ordered MIC to hold fresh elections for these posts within 90 days.


'Death May Split Pas, pakatan', New Straits Times, 14 February 2015

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