Malaysian Indian Congress seeks to reinvent itself

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Kuala Lumpur, May 7 (ANI): The resurgence of Malay-Indian support in favour of the ruling coalition Barison Nasional has brought the subject of succession within the Malaysian Indian Congress into the limelight.

The tide of Malay-Indian support of MIC is being attributed to the fielding of a young, more proactive candidate.

Long-time MIC President S. Samy Vellu president is facing pressure to retire sooner than the expiration of his term in May 2012.

According to the Star, the Barisan's top leadership is confident it can sway Indian voters but only with a new man at the helm of the MIC.

"A new leadership and a new era would bring hope to the voters. The Barisan is also changing rapidly and we can't talk change with the political veterans clinging on. A new era requires a new leadership MIC," said a senior Barisan leader.

MIC deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel, who gave up his seat in favour of the younger P. Kamalanathan, was made a senator on Monday and has said he is ready to helm the party.

"I am ready to take charge," Palanivel said recently but added, "Samy Vellu has to give way."

His appointment as senator, and possibly a minister later, gives his political career a major lift and prepares him to take over from Samy Vellu.

According to former vice-president Tan Sri K.S. Nijhar, one of Samy Vellu's closest allies Samy Vellu has expressed his willingness to give up the presidential post in to make way for younger candidates time and again.

"I am confident the MIC leadership will make the transition smooth and soon," he said.

A stable and intelligent power transition is necessary in the MIC to ensure that the Barisan capitalises on the momentum generated by the Hulu Selangor by-election. (ANI)

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