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Sunday, July 31, 2011

A big yawn for MIC delegates

There is a distinct lack of excitement during the debate on the president's speech at the MIC's 65th AGM.

PUTRAJAYA: The MIC’s 65th annual general assembly (AGM) turned out to be a mild, mundane, boring and tame affair. The only sparkle of excitement was when Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced that party president G Palanivel will be made a minister next week.

In the morning session, delegates debated the president’s speech, where Palanivel listed 30 wishes for the betterment of the Indain community as well as the return of the Indian votes to the Barisan Nasional.

However, the turnout for today was low. Delegates and branch chairmen numbered fewer than 2,000.

Said party central working committee member, V Madhu Marimuthu: “Normally, attendance is lower on the second day of the AGM.”

However, party vice-president and Deputy Minister in Prime Minister’s Department SK Devamany said the morning session was interesting.

“Many delegates spoke about issues mentioned by the president,” said Devamany.

Meanwhile, the debates in the afternoon session were somewhat hampered when AGM chairman, K Kumaran, tried to limit the speakers’ time.

When Devamany wanted to elaborate on the controversy surrounding the Public Service Department award of scholarships, Kumaran cut him short. This prompted the delegates to jeer at the latter.

Except for praises for Palanivel and Najib, the delegates did not raise any interesting or new issues. Some topics like the problems of the Tamil schools have been brought up many times in previous AGMs.

One branch chairman, who declined to be named, had one complaint to make: Palanivel’s lacklustre performance with the press.

“He cannot be media-shy. How can he be a minister if he shuns the press?” he asked.

He also criticised the new resolutions passed at this year’s AGM. “What happened to the old resolutions?”

“We are not told about the status of the old resolutions and yet we passed new ones,” said the branch chairman who has been a MIC member for the past 18 years.

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