Malaysian Indian Congress convenes emergency meeting

Singapore, June 8 (IANS) The Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) has convened an emergency meeting of its central working committee (CWC) to discuss the party's organisational elections, including that of the president, and also the general elections in the country.

MIC president G. Palanivel said the meeting has been scheduled for June 18 at the party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian Star reported Saturday.

This follows after MIC strategic director S. Vell Paari wrote to party secretary general A. Saktivel to call the meeting in order to discuss the issue of party polls.

"I have asked for the CWC meeting not with any personal agenda but with an urgent need to save the party from getting entangled in a legal mess," Vell Paari was quoted as writing in his letter.

He expressed concern over reports that the party might face de-registration after one branch chairman complained to the Registrar of Societies (ROS) of that southeast Asian nation about the organisational elections scheduled to be held in 2014.

"This is a dangerous issue which must not build momentum. I believe it is time for all party members to forget individual differences and unite to save the MIC from any such problems," Vell Paari wrote.

Formed in 1946, the MIC is one of the oldest political parties in Malaysia. It is one of the three major constituents of Malaysia's ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, the other two being the United Malays National Organisation and the Malaysian Chinese Association.

The party last held its organisational elections in 2009 when S. Samy Vellu was elected president for a record 11th consecutive time.

He stepped down in 2010 and Palanivel took over as acting president.

The party was supposed to hold elections last year but postponed it because of the general elections in Malaysia held May 5 this year.

Despite high expectations, the party did not fare well at the hustings, managing just four parliamentary seats, the same number it held prior to the polls, and five state seats, down from seven it held earlier.

Ethnic Indians comprise a little over seven percent of Malaysia's total population of nearly 30 million.

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