KUALA LUMPUR, 25 Jan 2009: MIC presidential aspirant Datuk M Muthupalaniappan, who was expelled from the party by the MIC Disciplinary Committee, said he will appeal against the decision to the party’s Central Working Committee (CWC).
He said the majority of MIC grassroots leaders had contacted him over the last 24 hours to say they were dissatisfied with the decision taken by the Disciplinary Committee.
He said they also conveyed to him that if the MIC was not going to mend its ways, then the party was headed for doom, taking into account the decline in the Indian community’s support for the MIC as demonstrated at the March 2008 general election.
Yesterday, the 68-year-old former MIC vice-president announced he had received his expulsion letter signed by MIC Disciplinary Committee chairman Tan Sri G Vadiveloo, following the committee’s hearing against Muthupalaniappan on 20 Jan.
Muthupalaniappan was earlier given a show-cause notice by the committee for issuing media statements deemed to be against the interests of the party.
At the hearing, the veteran MIC leader alleged that he was denied the right to bring witnesses to argue his case and for a new date to be set for the hearing.
He had also wanted Vadiveloo to be removed from hearing the case, as the latter was one of the witnesses to the charge, but this too was rejected.
Muthupalaniappan today revealed that his expulsion letter was dated 21 Jan, just a day after his hearing on 20 Jan.
“Vadiveloo had said the committee would decide on the matter in a few days after the hearing. But just the very next day they had signed the expulsion letter. This only goes to show that they had all along wanted to just expel me. The hearing was a mere eyewash to satisfy the procedures,” he said.
“The committee is under instructions from (MIC president Datuk Seri S) Samy Vellu. He is running scared that I would challenge him and win. If that was not the case, why then take action for something that I have not done. I did not receive a fair and just hearing,” he added.
Muthupalaniappan said he would file an appeal against the decision although he knew that the MIC CWC would uphold the Disciplinary Committee’s decision.
The party constitution requires Muthupalaniappan to file an appeal with the CWC within 14 days from the date of the expulsion letter.
“This is because the CWC is made up of Samy-Vellu’s yes-men. They can say a lot of things outside but when they face Samy Vellu, they all just nod their heads. And this will be the downfall of the party…there is no check and balance. What Samy Vellu says is taken as god’s words,” he alleged.
The veteran MIC leader also said many of his supporters from branches and divisions were now thinking of quitting the party to join the opposition as they felt that the Barisan Nasional (BN) condoned the “dictatorial rule” in the MIC.
“I will also be going on a whirlwind tour of the country to explain to members and my supporters my stand and what had transpired so far. I do not want them to switch to the opposition as this would be detrimental to the BN.
“We have been with the ruling government for such a long time and the coalition is not to be faulted for the follies of the MIC. I have to convince them but I can’t offer them an alternative. It is about time the BN did something about the MIC leadership,” Muthupalaniappan said.
Muthupalaniappan announced his intention to contest the party’s top post in November 2008. Samy Vellu, who has been at helm of the MIC since 1979, had said he would defend his position for the 11th consecutive term, at the presidential election expected to be held in April or May 2009.
Since then, Muthupalaniappan had been issuing press statements on his candidacy and the weaknesses in the MIC, which claims to have some 600,000 members.
Samy Vellu on the other hand has come under intense pressure from the community to resign and give way to younger leaders to lead the MIC, formed some 62 years ago.
The MIC supremo was reported by Tamil newspapers as saying that he would hand over the top post to his deputy, whoever it might be, after the election of other top MIC office bearers at the party general assembly expected in Sept 2009. — Bernama