Malaysian Indian minister asked to resign by party

Monday, November 30, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR - A Malaysian Indian minister has been asked to resign from his post within two weeks by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), which had sacked him as its youth chief for rebelling against the party president.

T. Murugiah, deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, has been issued a two-week notice to resign by the PPP, party president M. Kayveas was quoted as saying by The Star newspaper Monday.

After Murugiah was sacked as PPP Youth chief in May, his faction ousted Kayveas at a meeting, but lost in the final vote count among the party delegates.

“We have already handed him the notice,” said Kayveas, also an ethnic Indian. He added that it would take effect as of Sunday.

The notice was issued after Murugiah gave the Registrar of Societies two weeks to reply to his appeal over its decision to uphold Kayveas as the rightful PPP president. Murugiah said he would otherwise seek legal redress.

“Since he is constantly bringing up issues that are closely tied to PPP, the party constitution should be applicable to him,” Kayveas said.

PPP has a significant presence of ethnic Indians but Kayveas said there were some misconceptions that PPP was an Indian-majority party.

“I have told the members to address this issue and garner more support from people of different ethnicity,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), the largest party of the ethnic Indians, said it has 630,000 members.

Ethnic Indians in Malaysia number an estimated 1.8 million and form nearly eight percent of the population. MIC deputy president G. Palanivel said it should function in a more productive way to woo more Malaysian Indians.

The MIC must become “a learning party, build its institutional capacity to function in a more productive way and meet challenges with the right tools,” Palanivel said.

He said in doing so, the party would become stronger and be able to attract the Malaysian Indian community to its fold.

“The challenges facing the MIC, the Indians and also the nation must be identified, discussed and debated to implement the best solutions.

“The electorate must see us as an entity that is willing to embrace its responsibility and deliver. Only then can we clear the misconceptions about us,” he said in his blog.

Palanivel also said that there was a new domestic political situation and the party could not afford to rest in the comfort zone of the past, reported Bernama, the official Malaysian news agency.

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