Najib finds new Indian allies, bypasses the MIC

(The Malaysian Insider) KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 — The invitation card is glossy, in gold colour and of superior quality, in keeping with the VIP who is guest of honour at the Oct 10 launch of the new kid on the block — the Parti Makkal Sakti Malaysia.

The VIP will be Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who appears to be signalling that he is not going to solely depend on Barisan Nasional (BN) stalwart parties like the MIC and MCA to reach out to the non-Malay communities.

He will launch the new Indian-based party formed by former leaders of Hindraf at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park in Serdang next month in a strategy which bears similarities to his father Tun Razak Hussein's move in the 1970s to welcome more political parties into the establishment fold.

For this reason, it is significant that Najib is launching the party which received recognition from the Registrar of Societies in a “matter of weeks” on May 11.

His presence indicates that in the changed political landscape after March 8, 2008 which saw BN allies like the MIC, MCA, Gerakan and PPP fall like tenpins, Umno is finding and creating new allies.

Leaders of the new party have already pledged to campaign for BN in the upcoming Bagan Pinang by-election.

With MIC's and even the PPP's failure to reform and reinvent under Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and Datuk M. Kayveas, Umno may well be searching for new partners. The Makkal Sakti party could well play such a role.

A lot is riding on the party formed by former Hindraf national co-coordinator R.S. Thanenthiran, 47, who is president.

The party has yet to make an impact but Thanenthiran said it has been working quietly to recruit over 50,000 members, getting the divisions established and setting up best practices.

“We made an impact at Kampung Buah Pala trying to save it from demolition. The Indian community knows about it,” he said.

He says Najib’s presence is an honour but claims that the party is independent and only wishes to serve the people.

Read more at: Najib finds new Indian allies, bypasses the MIC