Other parties not a threat, says Samy Vellu

(NST) KUALA LUMPUR: MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu yesterday brushed off the political aspirations of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf).

He said in 64 years of MIC's existence, many quarters claiming to champion the cause of the Indian community had come and gone.

"So many Indian parties have come, talked and were dismissed," he said after the launch of MIC's web portal here.

He said despite the emergence of various Indian political parties over the years, the MIC continued to remain strong. "Anybody can form a political party, it will not be a threat."

He said Hindraf, which is seeking to turn itself into a legitimate political party, could not gauge its popular support from the demonstrations it had led.

Samy Vellu said MIC was now more open in its dealings with the Indian community.

The former works minister did not close the door to talks with Hindraf. "I will not say it will amount to a dialogue but we are willing to talk."

On DAP's M. Manoharan's refusal to join MIC, Samy Vellu said his party had not wooed Manoharan or other Hindraf leaders to join Barisan Nasional.

He said MIC secretary-general Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam had only said the party was willing to consider Hindraf's views on ways to alleviate the plight of the Indian community.

"He (Manoharan) is a DAP man and will always have an opposition attitude, while we will always have the BN culture."

said MIC was looking to building a new party headquarters in Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya. It will consist of two 23-storey blocks.

"The building will be based on a green technology concept and will also have Multimedia Super Corridor status."

He said the party's annual general assembly would be held on Sept 12 while state-level elections would take place from the end of next month to July 31.