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Thursday, November 29, 2012

‘For Indians’ sake, let’s talk to Pakatan’


MIC leader S Vell Paari is proposing that the party holds unity talks with Indian opposition and NGO leaders in order to address the community's woes.
KUALA LUMPUR: MIC, which is the largest Indian-based political party in the country, should initiate talks with Indian opposition and NGO leaders for the betterment of the community.
This suggestion was put forth by MIC communication chief S Vell Paari during the party’s recent Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting.
He told FMT that MIC should aggressively pursue the idea of holding unity talks with Indian leaders whether from DAP or PKR and work towards a united approach to solving the community’s woes.
“If Umno can invite PAS for such talks on Malay unity, why not MIC? The unity talk would only strengthen the community and enable it to make certain demands that is good for the community.
“A united front would be the way to go for Malaysian Indians.
“Mistakes were made in the past but we must ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated. If not our children and granchildren would face the same predicaments,” he added.
Citing the Hindraf rally in 2007, Vell Paari said that the movement had invited MIC to a discussion then but the latter turned it down.
“We refused Hindraf’s invitation just to defend Umno’s stand of banning Hindraf and declaring it an illegal movement.
“But today, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is ready to talk with Hindraf to gain votes in the upcoming election. Thus, it is clear that the current situation is different,” he said.
“I am sure those in the opposition also want a better life for the community. So let’s start by working together,” he added.
Vell Paari, who is the son of former MIC president S Samy Vellu, revealed that the CWC had not made a decision on his proposal.
He also stressed that the unity talk proposal was his personal stand.
“There are a lot of issues and grievances faced by the Indians. But no one is able to help them because we are divided into various group and ideologies,” he said.
Vell Paari said that when it came to the Indian community, there was a litany of political parties representing them.
“So it is the time for Indians to show their unity, high fighting spirit and motivation to ensure the future of the community in Malaysia,” he added.
Asked if the proposal would anger Umno, Vell Paari said Umno was now aware of how valuable Indian votes were.
“The 2008 election showed the voting powers of Indians. With the Chinese having washed their hands, Indians are Umno’s only hope.
“So Umno cannot threaten or overlook the Indians as it may backfire on them in the election,” he added.
Furthemore, Vell Paari said it had been established that half of the Indian voter population or some 500,000 voters were MIC members.
“But the question we need to ask ourselves is whether we are going to tell them to vote blindly or use this strength to make sure that the ballots are cast for the betterment of the community,” he said.

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