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Anwar in ‘secret’ talks to lure MIC leaders

 | June 21, 2012

The opposition leader met several national and division leaders at PKR headquarters, according to sources.

PETALING JAYA: Opposition Leader and PKR de facto chief Anwar Ibrahim has stepped up efforts to woo MIC leaders to join the opposition party.

To this end, the former deputy prime minister held a “secret” meeting with several MIC national and division leaders at the PKR headquarters at Tropicana, Damansara, yesterday afternoon, sources claim.

If the claim is true and the leaders decide to switch camp, then it would be a bitter blow not only to the largest Indian-based political party in the country but also to the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

Last week, FMT reported that two MIC central working committee (CWC) members were on the verge of jumping ship to PKR.

Speaking to FMT, a PKR source confirmed the “secret” meeting between Anwar and the MIC leaders.

“There were three CWC members and five division chiefs at the meeting with Anwar. It began around 3.30pm and lasted for about an hour.

“Two of the CWC members are from Selangor, with another residing in Kuala Lumpur. The division chiefs were from Perak, Johor, Selangor and Kedah… two each from Perak and Johor, and one each from Selangor and Kedah,” said the PKR source.

He said six division leaders were expected to attend the meeting, but only five made it.

He added that the other division chief had called Anwar to inform him that he could not make it for the meeting.

The source refused to name the leaders who attended the meeting when pressed for names of these MIC leaders.

“We are still at an early stage. They have put forth their demands and Anwar has promised to look into them. We will definitely hold a press conference once the deal is done,” said the source.

‘MIC has become rusty’

Asked on the outcome and tone of the meeting, he said:” This would be a big blow to MIC and the BN.”

“Some leaders who attended the meeting feel that MIC has become rusty and is not moving. They feel more comfortable with the opposition. The average retirement age for employees is 55. The same applies to BN, which needs to be retired after 55 years serving the nation,” he quipped.

Apart from those who attended the meeting yesterday, the source said two MIC state leaders are also keen in joining PKR.

“Indians are fed up with the MIC leadership. They want immediate results while MIC is filled with bureaucracy-style leadership. The party needs to be vocal but now it seems like the party has pressed the mute button,” he added.

Meanwhile, a CWC member, who did not want to be named, admitted that he was invited for the meeting but did not attend it.

“Honestly, I am confused whether to join PKR or remain in MIC. Despite whatever Pakatan Rakyat (the opposition coalition made up of PAS, PKR and DAP) has done, they have yet to come up with a blueprint on the betterment of the Malaysian Indian community.

“If they do this and promise to implement it, if they come to power, then more Indian leaders from BN would jump ship,” he said.


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