Uphill task for MIC in GE14, says Subramaniam

MIC president Dr S Subramaniam says a good result in general election was important for party to regain its golden era.

PUTRAJAYA: The fate of the country’s biggest Indian party, MIC, will be determined by the number of parliamentary and state seats it can win in the 14th general election (GE14), said its president Dr S Subramaniam.

Admitting it would be an uphill task for MIC to win the nine parliamentary and 18 state seats it is likely to contest in GE14, he said a good result was important to regain the party’s golden era.

This, he said could be done with a stronger set of leaders and proper strategies to remain relevant to the Indian community in the country.

Subramaniam, who is also Health Minister, said a poor performance in the GE14 could result in a political fallout within the community and the national political context for the party which won four out of the nine parliamentary seats it contested in the last general election in 2013.

“Winning seven parliamentary seats is still our hope. Let us hope we can achieve that target. The election result is important for us.

“If we do better, it will strengthen the party. If we do worse than in 2013, then politically it is not good for us and the party’s image,” he told Bernama in an interview here recently.

Subramaniam said however, MIC was confident of winning seven parliamentary and 13 state seats from the 27 seats it plans to contest in GE14.

He said the national wave of anti-MIC and BN sentiments and seat demographics based on race was among the reasons why the party lost badly in the 2008 and 2013 elections based on a study conducted by the party.

“Based on this study, these reasons will also determine whether a seat can be considered as a risky or safe seat and therefore, many seats that MIC had and will contest are no more ‘safe seats’.

“The other contributing factors, based on the complains we received from the ground were grassroots MIC leaders not interacting with ordinary people,” Subramaniam said.

Wooing Indian community

To date, Subramaniam said the party had reached out to more than 500,000 Indian voters through the “Jalinan Rakyat” programme.

He said the government and MIC had been wooing the Indian community with various programmes, including the Malaysian Indian Blueprint (MIB).

“The blueprint must and will be delivered. This is no election gimmick or political rhetoric. The 10-year programme also received positive response from the community,” he said.

On strategies to attract more voters, Subramaniam said the party machinery had identified 20% of fence sitters and explained to them on the programmes and opportunities the BN government has created for the betterment of the Indian community.