‘Our People’ power rises to oust Samy Vellu

By Baradan Kuppusamy (The Malaysian Insider)

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 — A new grassroots force has emerged that could potentially influence the outcome of the hotly contested MIC elections and, party insiders say, possibly defeat the “official line-up” and hasten the departure of longtime president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.

The movement is called Nammavar, or Our People, and refers to the lower rungs in the Hindu caste hierarchy who are the majority in the MIC but lack the political or economic clout wielded by the upper caste who dominate the party and the perks.

Their battle cry is Matram or change.

They want to send the current MIC leadership packing, abolish caste-based politics and open the party to all Malaysian Indians irrespective of religion, ethnicity or caste origins.

The way they hope to achieve the desired change is to influence and persuade the majority of the 1,500 delegates to the MIC elections to vote against the official line-up fielded by Samy Vellu.

Instead they want the delegates to vote for a new “Matram line up” they are choosing, led by former MIC Deputy President Datuk S. Subramaniam.

Specifically, the Nammavar movement is targeting an estimated 480 “Our People” delegates said to be of lower caste origins among the 1,500 delegates.

“We can influence them and with their support added to support from Subramaniam’s gounder caste followers and together with others sympathetic to change, we are confident we can defeat Samy Vellu’s lineup,” said one of the founder members of the movement. “They are playing caste politics to divide and rule but we are only rallying our people to defeat them and create a new and inclusive MIC for all Malaysian Indians,” he said.

Nammavar leaders are openly campaigning across the country to rally lower caste “Our People” delegates to their cause.

Nammavar was founded in April last year, at a gathering of over a dozen successful businessmen, all from the lower caste group, at the Le Meridien Hotel here.

Some are MIC members but others are not.

Read more at: ‘Our People’ power rises to oust Samy Vellu