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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Has MIC got the ‘political guts’ to ask Umno for Rantau?



MIC should step out from its political comfort zone and tell Umno loud and clear that the party wants to contest the Rantau state seat in the coming by-election.

Has MIC got the political guts to do so? If not, show your political guts. MIC must be ready to face Umno in all circumstances. This will earn back the trust and support of Malaysian Indians. There is a lot of lost ground to recover.
Only by voicing and making strong demands, can MIC make a political comeback. MIC leaders cannot resort to ‘Ok Bossku’ culture and be silent for fear they would offend Umno bosses. Otherwise, we may have to write an obituary for the party.
MIC, being an Indian Malaysian political party, should stand tall, speak out and fight for its rights.
Similarly, Umno must uphold the spirit of BN co-operation. It must preserve the coalition’s tradition of mutual respect between component parties.
Umno must be seen as a more multiracial party, not only in words, but in deeds.
Now with the Rantau by-election to be held within the next 60 days, Umno should change its mindset, and show respect by letting MIC contest the Rantau state seat.
Umno can no longer leverage on its traditional Malay base of supporters as the Malay votes are split.
MIC should concentrate on a multiracial agenda instead of continuing its focus on the Indian community. Go for a genuine multiracial agenda and clean governance.
Losing respect for MIC
Understandably, people are getting tired of MIC. Most Indians have lost hope in MIC and moved to support other parties.
If there is no respect for MIC, there is no point for MIC to stick with BN. How do you solve your community issues when you don’t even have the guts to ask for a state seat in return for two lost parliamentary seats?
Malaysian Indians were shocked when MIC conveniently gave up its right to contest two parliamentary seats to Umno, first in the Port Dickson by-election last year and Cameron Highlands by-election early this year.
Umno, a bully in BN, has recently been very arrogant and sarcastic towards MIC. Umno feels MIC has lost its touch in regaining the Indian vote.
Umno acting president Mohamad Hasan had recently accused MIC and MCA leaders of being afraid to be questioned by journalists on the motion to dissolve the BN coalition.
Several years ago Mohamad said there was no need to give any seats to its component parties in Negeri Sembilan, and that Umno-BN could still win big without their help.
Just a few days ago, BN secretary-general Nazri Abdul Aziz allegedly called for vernacular schools, Tamil and Chinese, to be closed down. Of course, now he gives the excuse that his speech at the Semenyih by-election campaign was taken out of context.
Today, Umno seems to be cooperating well with only PAS and is least bothered about the component parties. Umno has failed to understand that BN lost the 14th general election due to the arrogance and insolence of Umno leaders.
After being rejected by the Indians and Chinese, Umno has now sought refuge with PAS. In the long run, Umno’s marriage of convenience with PAS may not last long.

The Rantau by-election must be held within 60 days and the EC is to hold a special meeting to set a date for the by-election soon. On Feb 16, the special Election Court declared the win by BN’s Mohamad Hasan in GE14 as null and void. 
Will MIC leaders vow to fight on and promise that there will be no more ‘banana leaf local mutton curry parties’ in MIC political meetings, till it nurtures the young Malaysian Indians to sustain the party’s influence in the country’s political scene?

M VIVEK served as an aide to several former MIC deputy ministers. - Mkini

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