Malaysian Indian legislator retracts resignation

April 1st, 2008 - 4:39 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, April 1 (IANS) An Indian origin legislator in Malaysia’s Perak state has retracted his resignation that had threatened to reduce the slim majority in the newly formed legislature held by an opposition coalition. A. Sivasubramaniam of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) attributed his hasty action to a misunderstanding and apologised to all quarters.

“I apologise because my action was due to a misunderstanding. I hereby withdraw my letter of resignation,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama, the country’s national news agency.

Sivasubramaniam was unhappy at not being included in the executive council, or the ministerial team as a representative of the DAP.

In his resignation letter sent to DAP, he had said that he had “lost confidence” in the party leadership in Perak.

The sole Indian executive councillor is A. Sivanesan, who holds the health, environment and human resource portfolio.

The DAP, along with Parti Keadalin Rakyat (PKR) and the Pan Islamic Malay Party (PAS) won 31 seats in the March 8 general election, while the Barisan Nasional (BN) took 28.

The simple majority had been made even more critical with the resignation.

“DAP does not respect the voice of Makkal Sakti (people’s power). The outcome is a ‘big slap’ and a lie to the Indian community in Perak as the party’s victory was gained from the voice of Makkal Sakti,” Sivasubramaniam wrote in the letter.

He said his victory in the Buntong constituency was a mandate given by the Indian community, and he therefore could not accept the decision of the party.

This constituency has the highest concentration of Indian voters at 45.3 percent. Sivasubramaniam won with a majority of 10,311 votes over his opponent Lee Tung Lai of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA).

Speculation was also rife that another Indian origin legislator, S. Kesavan of PKR, was also resigning, but PKR information chief Tian Chua refuted it.

Hutan Melintang is also another state constituency with high Indian community population - 30.9 percent of the voters are of Indian origin.

In the 12th general election, DAP won 18 seats, PKR seven and PAS six.

Barisan Nasional (BN), the ruling coalition at the national level, was quick to react to the dissensions in the opposition coalition.

Leader of BN’s Indian constituent, Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), S. Samy Vellu accused all opposition-led states - Penang, Selangor, Perak and Kedah - for “cheating” the voters as only one Indian executive councillor was appointed in each of the states.

“The Indian exco (executive council) members will not be able to contribute effectively to the community, especially with the BN ruling the federal government,” he said.

Vellu himself lost his old parliamentary seat and the MIC was reduced to three seats in parliament in last month’s election.

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