Friday, January 30, 2009

How Many MIC Chums Does it Take to Change a Bulb?

Maybe you did not do a double-take when you saw the news caption, ‘Samy's Challenger Reinstated’, but I did. Now I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not necessarily the sharpest knife in the rack, so it took me a few minutes to make some sense of the instatement of sacked MIC presidential candidate M Muthupalaniappan back into the party. Then after I read the article, it all became so clear to me. The candidate himself welcomed the decision of the party’s so-called Central Working Committee, but of course that was to be expected. After all, Muthu had been claiming he did nothing wrong to warrant expulsion from the party in the first place!

No, that was not surprising. But then I read the following in the news report: “It is learnt that the committee decided to reinstate the renegade leader in order not to give the impression that action was taken against him to prevent him from contesting for the top post. This is also the reason why he was not slapped with a suspension either.

Ah, then I got it! I know, you’re thinking what la, this fellow; a seven year old could have anticipated this issue would weigh heavily on the MIC’s illustrious Central Working Committee. Now, now…you all know how highly I regard the MIC jokers. If you’ve followed my commentary, you surely know my deep admiration and regard for all the ingenious and brilliant ideas and comments we repeatedly hear flowing so eloquently and articulately out of the mouths of some of these characters on the MIC’s Central Working Committee – led in no small part of course, by the illustrious president of the party himself.

I suppose when you have a party desperately trying to resurrect its image when its credibility and reputation is almost non-existent, I should have known that “not to give the impression that action was taken against him [Muthu] to prevent him from contesting for the top post” would be paramount, if not imperative, in re-thinking the expulsion. Any wonder that political expedience – once again – seemed to have trumped other considerations, especially one having to do with merit?

If Muthu was indeed expelled for legitimate and valid reasons; if his actions were indeed so severe as to warrant expulsion, then wouldn’t the principle of the matter warrant that these illustrious Central Working Committee characters uphold the integrity of their disciplinary process and the penalty imposed? But of course my question is merely rhetorical. The answer to it is self-evident, even for someone as slow as I.

But of course political expedience would take precedence, especially at a time when the MIC could least afford more ‘bad publicity’ about how power is truly wielded in the MIC. Yes, it’s not that the MIC found it had erred in expelling Muthu or that it’s disciplinary process was somehow flawed, or perhaps it had over-reacted in expelling Muthu. Not quite. The MIC decided to reverse its expulsion because of the apparent “impression” this might convey that the expulsion itself was politically motivated.

And these jokers would have us believe that reversing Muthu’s expulsion now does not give the impression that the U-turn was not politically motivated?

Machiavelli is quoted to have said, “the first means for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.”

Hmmm, Samy Vellu - the MIC’s Central Working Committee.... I leave it to your imagination.

G. Krishnan