KUALA LUMPUR, 7 June 2009: Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator Datuk T Murugiah, the sole People’s Progressive Party (PPP) representative in the government, has thanked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for having trust and confidence in him.
He was commenting on Najib’s statement at a press conference after opening the PPP’s 56th General Assembly, that Murugiah was supportive of the government and that he could continue to hold the post until it was sorted out.
Najib was referring to Murugiah’s sacking from the party by Datuk M Kayveas, who was recognised as the lawful PPP president by the Registrar of Societies (ROS).
The sacking has put Murugiah’s job on the line as he now does not have a party platform. The PPP faction led by Kayveas wanted Murugiah to be replaced by one of their own.
Murugiah told Bernama: “As long as I am still the deputy minister, I assure the prime minister that I shall go to the ground and work hard, even on my off days, to regain Indian [Malaysian] support for the Barisan Nasional.”
He insisted that the party’s general assembly today was invalid, and that most of those who attended were non-PPP members.
“From my information, many of those who attended were schoolchildren, college students and factory workers.”
Murugiah claimed that originally, he had no intention of challenging Kayveas as the party president.
“All I wanted was to contest the post of vice-president, but Kayveas derailed my plans when he arbitrarily sacked me, without giving me an opportunity to defend myself,” he said.
He also claimed that the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) held on 24 May, which elected him PPP president, was valid “because it was done, according to the party constitution”.
He explained that the party, despite holding elections every five years, should also hold an annual general meeting, adding, however, that the PPP had failed to do so.
The PPP’s last AGM was on 21 Oct 2007, and the next one should have been held by 21 April this year.
“Since this was not done, the next course of action was for the party to hold an EGM where fresh elections could be called since the old committee’s mandate was nullified.
“This explains why some concerned party members called for the EGM, where I was duly elected as the new president to replace Kayveas,” Murugiah said. — Bernama