KUALA LUMPUR, 19 Feb 2009: The MIC presidential election will be held on 12 April, with nomination slated for 22 March, the party’s central working committee (CWC) meeting decided today.
Party president Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu said since the date was fixed, all matters pertaining to the presidential election would be handled by a five-member MIC election steering committee headed by Datuk K Vijayanathan.
Speaking to reporters after the monthly CWC meeting at the party headquarters here, Samy Vellu, in jest, said “Maybe”, when asked if he would contest in the presidential election.
Apart from the presidential election, MIC will also hold elections for other national positions later this year. Other posts up for grabs are deputy president, three vice-presidents and 23 CWC members.
The date of that election has yet to be fixed.
Samy Vellu, who has helmed the party since 1979, late last year announced that he would defend his position for the 11th consecutive term, making him the longest serving MIC chief ever.
However, former MIC vice-president Datuk M Muthupalaniappan has thrown down the gauntlet for the post.
Samy Vellu said the MIC presidential term would expire on 26 Feb and an election for the post must be held by 25 May.
“From now, all the necessary arrangements for the presidential election will be handled by the election steering committee. We will leave it to them from here,” he added.
When contacted, Muthupalaniappan said he was glad that the election and nomination date of the presidential election was fixed.
“I confirm that I intend to contest at the forthcoming presidential election. I hope it will be a fair and just election.
“I also trust that the election steering committee will be fair and since dates have been announced, I am going to collect nomination forms for the presidential election from the MIC headquarters tomorrow.
“The electoral list should also be ready. I hope they will be able to furnish me with that, too. Since the dates are very near, I need to meet the branch [chairperson] to get the nomination forms signed.
“I hope they will give me the nomination forms and create a level-playing field in the contest,” he added.
An MIC presidential aspirant wanting to contest the post must firstly be a branch chairperson. He must also obtain 50 nominations and each nomination form must have a proposer and five seconders.
All proposers and seconders must also be branch chairpersons. A total of 3,700 branch chairpersons will vote for the party president.
Vijayanathan, when contacted, said the nomination forms were currently being printed for distribution.
“We now have a time frame. The nomination forms are being printed and will be distributed by the MIC headquarters as soon as it is ready. The election steering committee will meet soon to iron out the details.
“We have to also wait until all branches complete their annual meetings before we can come up with the electoral list,” he said.
MIC branches are currently holding their annual meetings and this is expected to be completed by the end of the month.
On another matter, Samy Vellu said he was willing to “open” all files related to the awarding of contracts in the construction and maintenance of MIC’s Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology (AIMST) to the media.
“We are willing to open up our account books. We can have an accountant and an auditor present to answer all queries by the media,” he added.
The accounts of the construction and running of AIMST, which opened its doors last year in Semeling, Kedah, has been mired in controversy after the project’s cost ballooned from RM230 million to RM500 million.
Samy Vellu has asked Maju Institute of Educational Development (MIED) chief executive officer (CEO) P Chitrakala Vasu to go on leave while investigations are underway.
MIED, the MIC’s educational arm, runs AIMST.
Asked if he planned to initiate disciplinary action against Chitrakala, he said he would not do so but she could expect a “more drastic” action.
He also said that Chitrakala had not been sacked as CEO of MIED. — Bernama