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Najib helps strike deal in MIC

 | August 20, 2013

Prime Minister averts a contest between G Palanivel and his deputy Dr S Subramaniam for the party's top post on Sept 22.

UPDATED

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak averted a contest between party president G Palanivel and his deputy Dr S Subramaniam for the party’s top post on Sept 22.

In a late night meeting on Sunday, Najib, who is also the BN chairman, managed to pacify both parties and ensured they agreed to a peace deal and an amicable transfer of power in the future.

Sources close to Palanivel and Dr Subramaniam confirmed that the duo had received instructions to “tone down work” on the ground and they have stopped canvassing for votes.

FMT learnt that Palanivel and Dr Subramaniam will not face contests for their respective positions in the party this year.

Although the presidential election would be held next month, election of other national office bearers – deputy president, three vice presidents and 23 CWC members, would be held in November.

To contest for the party top post, a candidate needs to get 50 nominations. Each nomination must be proposed by one branch chairman and seconded by five other branch chairmen.

In all, a candidate for the party top post needs to obtain support of 300 branch chairmen to contest.

“Dr Subramaniam has made a sacrifice. The deal is that Palanivel will stay on for another term which is until 2016.

“Dr Subramaniam will take over after that. He is making a sacrifice…he has decided not to contest when he has already obtained enough nominations to make a bid for the party’s top post.

“He also knows that he stands a good chance of winning but he is giving it up…he is taking a huge risk as anything can happen within the next three years,” said the source.

Sources revealed that Najib met Palanivel, Dr Subramaniam, party vice presidents M Saravanan and SK Devamany at his official residence Sunday night.

“Dr Subramaniam was asked to reconsider his decision to fight for the top post for the sake of party unity. He gave his word that he will not fight. But they have also worked out other things…such as ensuring a smooth transition of power in 2016.

“Dr Subramaniam will from now have an added edge in the party. He would now become the de facto president. Palanivel will be warming the chair for the next three years,” said the source.

Both Palanivel and Dr Subramaniam are expected to hold a press conference on Thursday to explain their stand.

Palanivel confident of no contest

Meanwhile Bernama reported that Palanivel was confident he would retain the post of the MIC president.

He said he also believed that Dr Subramaniam would be returned as deputy president unopposed as well.

“This is because there will be no powerful challengers to the posts of president and deputy president,” he said, adding that Dr Subramaniam would not be contesting the post of president as speculated.

Speaking to reporters after launching the Asian Mining and Energy Investment (AMEI) Forum 2013 here, he said “more people” would be contesting the three posts of vice-president and the 23 posts in the central working committee (CWC).

The MIC president will be elected by the party’s 4,200 branch chairmen nationwide. The deputy president, three vice-presidents and 23 central working committee (CWC) members will be elected by 1,500 party delegates.

Palanivel said he had received 1,500 nominations (for the post of president) so far, and added that the nominations could reach 1,800 by tomorrow and might exceed 3,000 by next week when nomination closes.

“Things look good. I don’t think there will be a contest,” said Palanivel, who took over as president of the party, which boasts 680,000 members in 3,988 branches nationwide, from S Samy Vellu in 2010.

On party matters, Palanivel said party leaders were working on constitutional reform to bring about major changes to strengthen the MIC so that it would not be seen as a party on the decline.

“Every state chairman must be elected, and not appointed. This includes the office bearers like the secretary and treasurer. Appointing them will not work. We need to elect them to strengthen the party. That is what we need, similar to Umno’s system of electing division chiefs,” he said.


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