Malaysian Indian Congress may pull out of government: Report

April 12th, 2009 - 12:15 pm ICT by IANS  

S. Samy Vellu Kuala Lumpur, April 12 (IANS) Unhappy over being given the same portfolios again in the government under Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) may withdraw from the ministry, media reports suggested.
The party, which represents the two million-plus Indian diaspora, has officially denied any plan to withdraw, but has acknowledged discontent among the grass root workers.

S. Subramaniam, who retained the human resource portfolio, has called media reports on the issue as “wrong and mischievous”.

But party officials, who were not be named, told The Star that a proposal to withdraw had been prepared and would come up for discussion at the highest level next Thursday.

Besides Subramaniam, the party also has two deputy ministers - M. Saravanan (federal territories ministry) and S.K. Devamany (prime minister’s department).

Party officials, not wishing to speak on record, claim his portfolio is considered ‘junior’ in political terms.

Past MIC nominees have headed the relatively more important transport and works ministries, they say.

Party officials said MIC had requested for works portfolio that was earlier held by its president S. Samy Vellu, but this was not accepted. Vellu lost the election held in March last year.

MIC is the third-biggest component of the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) and has shared power since independence in 1957.

“Even if we do withdraw our representatives, MIC will remain in Barisan but would concentrate on uniting the Indian community,” an official said.

Subramaniam, however, said: “If there are differences within Barisan, it will be discussed behind closed doors and resolved amicably.”

MIC information chief M. Saravanan said that while there was a general feeling that the party lacked strong representation in the cabinet, there was no way that the party would resort to such drastic action.

He said that increasing the quota for ministerial posts or reshuffling the cabinet posts was the prerogative of the prime minister and that no one but the party president Vellu could discuss the issue with the prime minister, New Straits Times reported.

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