MIC to pledge support to ruling government

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Singapore, Jan 3: Over 15,000 ethnic Indian members of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) will pledge support to the ruling coalition of Barisan Nasional (National Front) and Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in a show of support, ahead of the coming general elections.

MIC president S Samy Vellu, who is one of the senior-most cabinet ministers, announced this today, saying the January 20 gathering would be followed up by more such pledge support meetings in other Malaysian states. MIC and Mr Vellu, who is holding the portfolio of Works Minister, are working on a ''damage-control'' exercise following the November 25 protest by Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), which highlighted the plight of ethnic Indians being left out of the Malaysian prosperity.

The Malaysian Prime Minister is expected to emphasise the importance of staying united in a multi-racial and multi-religious country during the January 20 gathering, Mr Vellu said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the MIC president also regretted a recent trend where some opposition leaders had used Hindu temples to hold political gatherings and raised the ethnic Indians problems.

The Ethnic Indian support for the Front and MIC has eroded, following the November 25 protest where police has used force on the protestors, according to political observers.

Malaysia has about two million ethnic Indians in a predominantly Muslim population of 26 million.

MIC represents the Indian interest in the Front, along with the Chinese being represented by the Malaysian Chinese Association and a number of other multi-racial parties.


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