Malaysian Indian Congress elections this year

Singapore, May 13 (IANS) The Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) will hold its organisational elections, postponed due to the country’s general elections May 5, later this year.

According to MIC vice-president Datuk M. Saravanan, the party’s highest decision-making body, the Central Working Committee (CWC), will announce the dates for the various branches, the Malaysian Star newspaper reported Monday.

Formed in 1946, MIC is one of the oldest political parties in that southeast Asian nation and is one of the three major constituents of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, the other two being the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and the Malaysian Chinese Association.

In the general elections this year, MIC retained four parliamentary seats, the same it had held earlier and five state seats, down from the seven seats it had held earlier. The dismal show had drawn criticism from various quarters with some also suggesting that the party should start grooming younger leaders for party leadership.

“We will start with branch and divisional elections before the presidential election, all of which have to be completed by this year,” Saravanan was quoted as saying.

The party last held its organisational elections in 2009, with then president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu retaining the president’s post for a record 11th consecutive time.

The elections are due now as each term is of three years.

Samy Vellu had stepped down from the presidency in 2010 and Datuk Seri G. Palanivel took over as acting president.

Saravanan said that, in case of a contest, the party’s 4,000 branch chairmen across the country will elect the president.

The deputy president, three vice-presidents and 23 CWC members will be elected by 1,500 delegates who will attend the party’s annual general assembly, the report said.

Ethnic Indians comprise a little over seven percent of Malaysia’s total population of nearly 30 million.

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