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Sunday, July 31, 2011

MIC want to remain sole Indian rep in BN

Palanivel said MIC would object to any other Indian-based parties joining BN as MIC is the main party for the Indian community.

PUTRAJAYA: The MIC has threatened to “walk out” of the Barisan Nasional (BN) if the ruling party allows other Indian-based parties to join the BN as direct members.

“We will object to them (other Indian-based parties) joining the BN as direct members. We will walk out (of the BN)… they can become associate members but not direct members.

“Umno does not allow any other Malay party to join the BN, the MCA also does not allow other Chinese-based parties to join the BN as direct members. Gerakan is a multi-racial party. If Umno allows other Malay-based parties to join BN as direct members, we do not mind,” MIC president G Palanivel said.

Speaking to the press after the party’s annual general assembly here this evening, he said the party, which boasts 640,000 members, is holding discussion with several Indian-based splinter parties.

“We want them (Indian-based splinter parties) to come back to MIC. If they are interested, then it is not a problem. But if they are not, then they can do whatever they want. We are talking to them. I have approached and spoken to them… some will join us.

“If they decide to merge with MIC, then we will become more powerful… some are talking to me and all will be revealed at the right time,” said Palanivel, who was appointed Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department yesterday.

Recently Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said that Indian-based IPF were close to become a BN partner. The splinter party from MIC had been long applying to join the BN but had failed to do so following MIC’s objection.

Electoral incentives

Palanivel also announced that MIC will not give up any of its seats under the BN’s seat allocation system.

The MIC is allocated nine parliamentary and 19 state seats to contest under the BN banner. At the 2008 general election, the party recorded a dismal performance, winning only three parliamentary and seven state assembly seats.

“If BN component parties want to swap seats with us, we are prepared to talk but we will not let go the nine parliamentary and 19 state seats,” he said.

Asked if MIC would request for additional seats in the next general election, he said the party would not do so unless there is a constituency delineation exercise.

“But I do not think there would be a delineation exercise before the next general election,” he added.

Palanivel also said he will give incentives like i-Pads and trips to Hindu temples in India to branch leaders who bring in 1,000 MIC members to be registered as voters.

“Currently, we have about 200,000 MIC members who have yet to register as voters… we have to go to the ground and register them. If we can do this, then the party would have 600,000 registered voters.

“Once this is achieved, we can show our strength. We can achieve a lot. We want MIC to become a powerful voting block. Although Indians are a minority in the country, we can become a powerful party if we register 600,000 of our members as voters,” said Palanivel.

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