Malaysian Indian Congress bids for by-election

Saturday, March 27, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR - The Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), a member of the ruling alliance, hopes to field its deputy president to re-claim a parliament seat which Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has said it is capable of winning.

The MIC has indicated its choice of G. Palanivel, a journalist-turned-politician, to contest from Hulu in Selangor state which he held between 1990 and 2008.

The by-election was necessitated after the death of Zainal Abidin Ahmed, the opposition nominee who defeated Palanivel in March 2008.

The prime minister Friday said that the political situation had changed considerably since then as indicated by three opposition lawmakers quitting to turn independents.

Hulu has been an MIC stronghold.

The Daily Star Saturday quoted MIC chief Samy Vellu as saying: “Palanivel is the best choice. He is the coordinator for the constituency and has been working continuously since the March 2008 general election. He knows the people in Hulu.”

Vellu leads a party that claims to speak for Malaysia’s nearly two million ethnic Indians. Vellu lost his re-election bid in March 2008 and the MIC came down to three seats in parliament.

Palanivel said he would work hard to wrest the seat back for the ruling alliance. “I’m ready to contest. I have been working and serving the people non-stop and am confident that they will make the right decision.”

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