Winds of change sweeping through MIC?

T N Alagesh

KUANTAN: MIC's upcoming party elections to pick a new leadership line-up next month will be highly anticipated following the party's dismal performance in the 14th General Election(GE14). In a bid to revive the confidence of the Indian community, several current office bearers will not seek re-election in the MIC polls, paving the way for new faces to be part of the new line-up. Former MIC vice-president Tan Sri S.A. Vigneswaran, who was the sole nominee in the presidential election in June, got the ball rolling after he won uncontested as the new MIC president, replacing Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniamin who choose not to defend his post.

Talks are rife that several aspiring new faces are gunning to replace the party's office-bearers, with many from the existing line-up choosing to retire and not re-contest.

A party insider said Datuk SK Devamany will not defend the deputy president’s post and Datuk S.Saravanan, a former vice-president, who lost to Devamany in the party polls 2015, was likely to throw his hat into the ring, especially being among the two members of parliament from MIC who won their respective seats in GE14.

He said Devamany was retiring while another possible candidate - Central Working Committee Member Datuk S.Sothinathan - was no longer with the party, leaving Saravanan with a bright opportunity to helm the deputy post.

"The GE14 outcome served as a severe blow to the party and some candidates who initially planned to seek re-election have chosen not to contest in the new term. The newly appointed president is aware that a formidable and trustworthy line-up will be able to strengthen the party and Indian community.

"Those going for positions in the party are well-aware of the current situation and it is very different from during the Barisan Nasional ruling days. The last few months have been quiet and once the new line-up is announced in October, MIC is expected to make several plans and move aggressively," he said, adding that the new office bearers’ concern should be how to reform the party, and not use their positions to secure a ticket to contest in the next general election. Meanwhile, another source said it was still too early to speculate about the possible candidates as the aspiring ones had yet to openly make any announcement. "The division elections were completed earlier this month and next will be the Youth, Wanita, Putera and Puteri wings nominations tomorrow(Sept 8) in MIC headquarters followed by elections on Sept 15. The nationel-level Youth, Wanita, Putera and Puteri chiefs and their deputies will be announced on Sept 15," he said.

While former vice-president Datuk Jaspal Singh will not be seeking re-election for the new term, current MIC vice-president Datuk T. Mohan and MIC Youth chief Datuk C. Sivarraajh are among those tipped for the three vice-president post. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd