Multi-racial approach to tackle Malaysian Indians’ issues: Vellu

August 10th, 2008 - 6:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Aug 10 (IANS) Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) president and former minister S. Samy Vellu Saturday said the problems facing the Indian community could only be resolved through “a multi-racial approach”. The MIC has traditionally spoken for Malaysia’s estimated 2.6 million Indian community. Vellu, who has been with the MIC since 1959, has faced dissension after he lost the March general elections. With that Vellu also lost the ministership in the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

“There must be understanding and respect among all races. There must be a give-and-take attitude. Only then can we all survive as a Malaysian race,” he was quoted as saying in The Star newspaper.

Vellu stressed that the MIC would remain a party that represents Indians and would bring up matters concerning the community before the government.

“We will only ask what is rightfully ours without infringing upon the rights of the other communities.”

Indians form eight percent and the ethnic Chinese are 33 percent of the 28-million Malay-majority population.

Vellu earlier opened the second phase of the party’s re-branding exercise involving hundreds of branch chairmen and party workers from Kedah and Penang states.

Dogged by dissidence within MIC, whose younger leaders and cadres want him to go, Vellu has stayed on and plans to contest the next party presidentship as well, to go on till 2013.

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