MIC may withdraw its lone minister, deputies from Govt

(The Star) – The MIC is studying a proposal for the party to withdraw its one minister and two deputy ministers from the Government as a protest over the lack of importance accorded to the Indian community, said a senior party official.

The official, who declined to be named, said the proposal was drawn up at a meeting of top party officials on Friday.

“The proposal will be tabled in the party’s central working committee meeting on Thursday where it is expected to be endorsed,” he said.

MIC’s sole representative in the new Cabinet is Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam who was reappointed the Human Resources Minister.

The party also has two deputy ministers namely Datuk M. Saravanan (Federal Territories Ministry) and Datuk S. K. Devamany (Prime Minister’s Department).

“The MIC as the third largest component member in the Barisan Nasional had not been given due respect or accorded the deserving treatment by the new government.

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

He said party members were unhappy that their request for a senior ministerial portfolio in the Cabinet had not been accepted despite repeated appeals to the then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and later to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“MIC had requested for the Works Ministry portfolio – a post held by party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu until he lost the Sungai Siput parliamentary constituency in the last general elections,” he said, adding that former MIC president, the late Tan Sri V. Manickavasagam had held the Transport Ministry portfolio.

The official said the Human Resources Ministry is considered a junior post in the Cabinet and did not fit the party’s status as the third largest component party in the Barisan.

“The MIC brought back Indian voters to the Barisan in the recent Bukit Selambau and Bukit Gantang by-elections.

“The administration line-up will further erode the support of the Indian community for the coalition,” he said, adding that the MIC was disappointed that other component parties were given more and better positions.