Ethnic Indian businessman keen to be No. 2 in Malaysian Indian Congress

November 18th, 2008 - 3:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Nov 18 (IANS) An ethnic Indian businessman has announced his candidature for the deputy president’s post in the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), saying the organisation that represents the two million-plus community in the country needs “fresh blood”.V.K.K. Teagarajan, 60, a former central working committee member of the MIC, announced his candidature Monday, though elections are to be held only in September next year.

He said the party needs to be rejuvenated after losing the support of the Indian community in the general election. MIC’s strength came down from 16 to three in parliament and its long-time chief S. Samy Vellu himself lost his ninth bid in the last general elections in March.

Teagarajan is a former president of the Malaysian Associated Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“I am declaring this after speaking to my supporters and party members in general. They feel that there should be new blood in the party, and I would like to offer myself for the position of deputy president,” Teagarajan said Monday.

Teagarajan, who joined the party in 1987, stood for one of the three vice-presidential posts in the last party elections in 2006, but came in fourth, Bernama, the official news agency said.

In 2003, he filed nomination papers for a vice-presidency, but withdrew seven hours later after being dissuaded from contesting by Vellu.

Teagarajan, who is also a former senator and served as party information chief in 2003, was elected to the CWC, the party’s highest decision-making body in 1997, and served on the committee until 2003.

“I know the elections are 10 months away, but we have to start somewhere… and I feel this is the start,” said Teagarajan.

Vellu has declared his 11th bid to the MIC president’s post and is being challenged by M. Muthupalaniappan.

The tussle for the party’s No. 2 position is expected to be intense, as Samy Vellu has apparently told several leaders that he would vacate the presidency soon after the September 2009 MIC elections, and let the deputy president take over as acting president, The New Straits Times said.

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