New Malaysian Indian Congress chief next year

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR - The Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) will have a change of guard next year, its longtime chief S. Samy Vellu has announced.

Vellu, who has been party chief since 1979 and is now in his 11th term, said he would make way for a successor in the third quarter of next year, well before his term ends in May 2012.

The new chief will lead the party, which claims to speak for Malaysia’s 1.7 million ethnic Indians, into the next general election.

Vellu said: “I will hand over the leadership to the next generation of leaders. This is what I told the Prime Minister (Najib Tun Razak) when I met him before the Hulu Selangor by-election.

“Before (vacating the top post), I want to revamp the party completely, starting with the branch and state leaders. People have asked me when I would leave the post and this is the time-frame I have set.”

He didn’t name his successor. The party constitution, however, dictates that the deputy shall move up should the top post be vacated, New Straits Times said.

Vellu also vowed that before stepping down, he would “destroy” those who destroyed the party.

“I’m not going to go like a fool from the MIC and I will make a good decision before I leave. I want all party members to know that the transformation of the MIC will continue. The transition of power in the MIC will be smooth.”

MIC is a key constituents of the ruling alliance Barisan Nasional (BN).

The BN and the MIC fared badly in the last poll in March 2008. The MIC, founded in 1946, won just seven of the 18 state seats contested.

Vellu himself lost his ninth re-election bid by a narrow 146 vote margin. He has fended off pressures to quit since then.

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