The Tami daily submits memo to PM’s Office calling for suspension of the deputy minister for his role in a fracas

KUALA LUMPUR: Tamil Malar today urged Prime Minister Najib Razak to suspend MIC central committee member M Saravanan as Deputy Youth and Sports Minister until investigations into a recent fracas at the Tamil daily’s office are completed.

Tamil Malar legal adviser K Sarawaswathy said it was unbecoming of Saravanan to have brought a group of thugs to the office to intimidate the local daily’s staff.

“We are handing over a memorandum to the prime minister urging him to suspend Datuk Saravanan’s position as Deputy Youth and Sports Minister until the investigation is complete,” she told a press conference here.

She said there was plenty of evidence that Saravanan was at the scene together with the thugs who were attacking and intimidating her and other staff.

“It is unbecoming of him; therefore, Najib must intervene and take stern action against Saravanan,” she said.

Last Friday, Sarawaswathy branded Saravanan a liar and demanded that the deputy minister show proof that the Tamil daily was lying in its news reporting.

She said Saravanan had lied multiple times to the media in his effort to deny his involvement in the fracas last Tuesday.

“Saravanan is a big liar. Firstly his assistant snatched my mobile phone and smashed it, but to the media he said he was not there. When images of him were published he changed his version saying that he was there to stop the fighting.

“Then he said he came from the MIC building which was located a couple of blocks away. That does not make any sense. The time frame of the incident shows it all. A deputy minister is trying to lie and fool everyone. ”

Speaking further today, Sarawaswathy also demanded that MIC president Dr S Subramaniam act against errant party members.

“Such behaviour must not be allowed in any political party. We hope investigation can be completed soon and those involved in the attack can be tried in court,” she added.

Media reports have quoted Saravanan as denying his involvement in the quarrel between two groups.

“I have nothing to do with it. Some people told me of the incident and it so happened I was at Wilayah MIC’s office, which is near the daily’s office. So I went to look into the situation. I did not bring anybody with me to the place.

“When I was at the location, the two groups were pushing each other and I was present to prevent it from worsening,” he said.

Dang Wangi district police chief ACP Shukri Kaman confirmed that police have recorded Saravanan’s statement but no arrest has been made so far.