New venue to be blamed for the poor turnout, say delegates as minor hiccups and a 'Makkal Osai' surprise greet members.
“Many couldn’t make it to this year’s AGM because it is being held in Putrajaya unlike in previous years where it was in the heart of the city in PWTC,” said a number of those present.
G Palanivel, who stepped into the hot seat as party president in January this year, kick-started the AGM at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC).
Palanivel, hoping to introduce a new style of leadership with an open and inclusive policy, departed from tradition on the dress code for the AGM.
A deeply devout man, Palanivel wore a pink saffron top despite a reminder sent out to delegates that the dress code for the meeting is be to all an white attire.
MIC disciplinary committee chairman, KS Nijhar, also made a grand entrance in yellow.
Meanwhile, food also became buzzword after string hoppers (Idiyappam) was served without curry. Lunch also was an issue as it was served without utensils.
“I’m only ate white rice with curry,” said a delegate, adding that the organiser was simply not concerned about food allocations for many members who are vegetarians.
Many of the delegates were also taken aback when ‘Makkal Osai’, the Tamil daily was distributed in the hall to all attendees.
This is was the first time the newspaper is being distributed freely in the hall instead of the the party’s official newpaper, Tamil Nesan, owned by former president S Samy Vellu.
Makkal Osai is owned by former deputy president S Subramaniam, who was defeated by Palanivel at the last party election.
MIC’s former deputy minister S Kumaran played the speaker role for the first time and urged delegates not to debate on the controversial Interlok issue.
He appealed to the delegates confine their debates to the annual report only, inspite of pressing concerns on matters like Interlok, Tamil schools and the economy.