An Umno supreme council member has urged MIC to accept the reality that it is not the only political party representing the Indian community.
In calling on the Barisan Nasional (BN) component to back Parti Makkal Sakti Malaysia, Puad Zarkashi said the coalition’s interest should be seen as more important than anything else and that it was, therefore, appropriate to welcome the new party into the BN fold.
“If MIC is committed to democracy, it should celebrate diversity. It should not stifle support from the Indian community for BN via Makkal Sakti or even MIUP and IPF,” he told FMT, referring to the BN-friendly Malaysian Indian United Party and the All Malaysian Indian Progressive Front.
Puad was commenting on BN chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s statement that the coalition may field candidates from Makkal Sakti in the next general election (GE15). Zahid is also Umno president.
Makkal Sakti, founded by former Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders, is not part of BN but has been supportive of the coalition for years.
MIC had previously blocked all attempts by other Indian-based parties to become BN components with its veto power under the consensus system which requires all component parties to agree before an applicant is allowed into BN.
Puad said BN needed all the support it could muster if it intended to return to power.
“MIC must see the reality and make it easy for BN to woo supporters, add members and join forces with others.”
He said Makkal Sakti had demonstrated its patience and loyalty to BN for 13 years.
“When BN lost power in GE14, it did not desert BN like Gerakan, PBS, Upko and the others. Makkal Sakti remained supportive even though it was merely a friend of BN.”
Puad added that he believed Makkal Sakti president RS Thanenthiran should be appointed a senator.
Zahid’s statement on Makkal Sakti came a month after Umno questioned MIC’s loyalty during the Malay party’s spat with the Registrar of Societies (RoS), which said in August that Umno’s supreme council only had a caretaker role after the end of its tenure on June 30 and could not make any substantive decision.
MIC president SA Vigneswaran then called for Zahid’s replacement as BN chairman, provoking criticism from senior Umno leaders.