BERITA DAILY LETTER: From Ravi Rathinam, via e-mail
May 9 saw our beloved nation coming together to make their collective voice known. It was a day when each individual refused to be defined by his skin colour or be held back by fear.
In the end, a small nation of 33 million of brave man and woman showed the world democracy at its best. What do the previous government and their supporters, diminished in numbers, do now?
Do they need to cower in shame, skulk in the shadows, switch parties or stand defiant in their loyalty to the previous government?
Najib Razak took responsibility for the loss of the party he spearheaded – he resigned. Other component leaders have also been scrambling to show that they are responding to the devastating losses they experienced by putting in place various changes.
MIC remains silent, drawing disdain and scorn but mostly indifference from the very community they had promised to represent.
Why is MIC not responding? Is it because time is needed to perform a proper post-mortem or is it because MIC knows not how to resuscitate a party that has been going downhill for a long time? The truth may well be that MIC has not learnt anything from the 2008 and 2013 general elections.
After each general election, internal bickering took precedence, causing the public to slowly lose confidence in MIC. Continued displays of rowdyism further cemented public’s perception of MIC as a party that was not in touch with the needs of the Indians.
Additionally, the long festering wounds caused by Maika Holding’s failures to deliver was another blow to the MIC leadership. Unsolved red IC matters only made things worst.
The inability of the MIC leaders to question other government leaders in matters of concern further caused people to lose trust in MIC.
Not that opportunities to do so were scarce; the community has been beleaguered by problems ranging from religion, Tamil schools, education opportunities, employment and many more.
Instead, the same underperforming, clueless leaders who had lost in previous elections were recycled in every election, drawing further ire from the people. In an environment where race-based politics were losing favour, MIC continued its emphasis on caste, providing opportunities to people of the same caste.
Capability and calibre were pushed to the side, posts in government and GLC companies given to those severely lacking in skills and the correct motivation. On top of all this, mismanagement of party funds and assets took place, expenditures going largely unchecked.
The Gatco land dispute in Negeri Sembilan alone was enough to seal the fate of MIC in Negeri Sembilan.
What needs to happen now?
The president and deputy president must step down immediately to pave the way for younger, more capable leaders to take on the mantle of steering the party in the right direction.
Communicating with other Indian-base parties and joining forces is needed; if we are all going to strive towards the same goals, it is definitely beneficial to work together.
Those above 60 years must vacate their posts in the party, the time is now right to let the younger members lead the party. We need to see fairness in every level of administration in the party.
This means, amongst others, strictly one person per post at a time, free and fair party elections without the president selecting who will contest.
Most importantly, those who lost in 2008, 2013 and 2018 general elections must step down and pave the way for others to contest in next party election and GE.
A proper investigation of the mismanagement of funds must be performed, in a transparent manner.
Let us start these remedial actions ASAP to win back public confidence in MIC leadership. Slowly but surely we can again become relevant to our community
The writer is the chairman of Kg NUPW Gatco MIC, Jelebu division