Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rift emerges between MIC, Umno over candidate

With less than 48 hours before Barisan Nasional announces its candidate for the Hulu Selangor by-election, there appears to be rift over who should represent the coalition.
A high-ranking MIC source told Malaysiakini that the choice now boiled down to party deputy president G Palanivel (below) and its deputy youth chief V Mugilan (left).

This was discussed in what was described as a heated BN management committee meeting late yesterday, chaired by BN deputy chairperson Muhyiddin Yassin.

According to the source, Muhyiddin, much to the ire of senior MIC leaders, told the meeting held at the Parliament House last night that Mugilan was the BN leadership's choice.

MIC president S Samy Vellu then rose to defend the party leadership's choice of Palanivel followed by a 'lively exchange' between the MIC leaders and the others present.
"If Mugilan is named as the candidate, the MIC leadership will sack him for lobbying for the seat as well as for carrying out underground activities to tarnish Palanivel," said the source.

The party insider said Samy Vellu was unwilling to compromise on the choice of MIC's candidate because an agreement had already been reached between him and BN chairperson Najib Abdul Razak.

Najib had met Samy Vellu early last week on the matter before he left for Hanoi and later Washington DC.

MIC grassroots unhappy with DPM

The source said that it was 'unthinkable' for MIC to nominate anyone other than Palanivel as he was poised to take helm of the party.

"Currently, morale among party members is very low because of SMS rumours and news reports over a possible change of the MIC candidate," he said.

MIC leaders are increasingly worried that should Umno gets its way in having Mugilan picked as the BN candidate, it would set a precedent for other parties to interfere in MIC's affairs.
Several Hulu Selangor Umno leaders have previously objected to Palanivel's candidacy, citing his purportedly bad track record.

Former Selangor Umno liaison chief Mohd Khir Toyo (left) has also openly objected to Palanivel's nomination.

As Saturday's nomination day draws closer, several MIC leaders are already taking pre-emptive action against a possible change in the MIC candidate.

Tomorrow morning, MIC central working committee A Saktivel will be holding a press conference to protest against Muhyiddin's alleged insistence on Mugilan.

"We want the party's choice, not Umno's choice, as this is a matter of pride," he said when contacted.

Mugilan, when contacted, refused to comment on reports that he was being backed by Umno for the Hulu Selangor candidacy.

"There are many speculations. I can't say anything," he said.

Muhyiddin is scheduled to announce the BN candidate at a function in Hulu Selangor at 3pm on Thursday. 

courtesy of Malaysiakini

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