Monday, June 30, 2008

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

Understandably, the recent events surrounding Anwar Ibrahim has overshadowed much of the other headlines in the news. I wanted to, however, not let go without some commentary the fact that the MIC Youth Chief, SA Vigneswaran, had quit his post and membership in the party. As reported in Malaysiakini, Vigneswaran had apparently become dispensable to Samy Vellu and was being pressured to quit his party post. As K. Kaliban of Malaysiakini writes, and I quote:

'Once seen as a blue-eyed boy of the president, his fortunes continued to tumble when Samy announced wide ranging reforms in the party, a move that could sideline Vigneswaran further.

The final straw came when Samy announced that Vigneswaran should step down from being the youth chief as he had exceeded the party constitutional age limit of 40.
Vigneswaran, who is 42, refused to do so, on the grounds that he was elected and he would finish his term which would expire next year.'

The report also notes that Vigneswaran called on Samy Vellu to ‘relinquish’ the post of party president. As you may know, Samy has actually expressed a desire to continue as party president for another term.

Vigneswaran, let me welcome you to the other side of the tracks where the majority of Malaysian Indians reside and opt not to be subjected to the repugnant and obnoxious manipulators within the party. Yes, I’m glad you saw the light and walked away from the tentacles of the debilitating world of Samy Vellu, and to the world where we are free from the abuses and exploits of a ‘gangster-style’ maniacal and self-consumed president. I say, better late than never. Yet, I have to admit, what surprises me is why it seems to take individuals like you so long to recognise the obvious! Well, let’s not dwell on that issue.

I must, however, make a plea to you to help raise further awareness and to speak out against the kind of debased politics that seem to have contaminated the highest office of the party. As citizens, we have an obligation to speak out. As you have made clear, you desire to continue to work for the advancement of the Indian community in the country. I commend you for your commitment. I also urge you to ‘educate’ your fellow Malaysians about the problems that plague your former political party. Mind you, I am not one who, by any stretch of the imagination, feels invested in the MIC. As my readers will know from my prior commentaries about the party, I would prefer to see it self-destruct. I know we Indians would be better served without it. And that is why I call on you and all other self-respecting present and former MIC members to join hands and educate your fellow Malaysians why they have no future by investing their energy and resources in such a party.

Unless you and others like you speak out more regularly and vociferously – and as we have also seen from recent unrelated events surrounding Anwar Ibrahim - the more things change, the more they will stay the same.

G. Krishnan