Updated 6.40pm, 16 April 2009
KUALA LUMPUR, 16 April 2009: The MIC said today it has no intention of withdrawing its minister and two deputy ministers from the government as had been speculated in the media recently, purportedly over the lack of deserving treatment.
Party president Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu said the party wanted a stop to such speculation and now considered the matter closed after having heard the explanation of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“The appointment of MIC representatives to the cabinet and government administration is the prerogative of the prime minister, and we do not wish to make any comment,” he told reporters after chairing a three-hour meeting of the party’s Central Working Committee (CWC) at the party headquarters, here.
By way of explanation, Samy Vellu said the party had not sought the post of Works Minister in the cabinet as had been speculated but any senior post.
“I didn’t mention about the Works Minister but a senior minister (portfolio) as the MIC is the third senior party in the BN (Barisan Nasional),” he said.
He said he had also asked for the two posts of deputy minister to be retained and a third post of deputy minister to be given to a woman party leader.
In the new cabinet, MIC secretary-general Datuk Dr S.Subramaniam has been retained as the human resource minister while MIC treasurer Datuk SK Devamany and MIC information chief Datuk M Saravanan have been retained as deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and deputy federal territories minister, respectively.
Samy Vellu said it had been the case since the time of the first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, then Tun Hussein Onn and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, for the MIC to have been given a senior ministerial portfolio as it was the third senior party in the coalition.
“So, I was harping on that,” he said.
Over the past week, several news reports had quoted sources as saying that MIC leaders were dissatisfied with the allocation of one post of minister and two posts of deputy minister for the MIC in the new cabinet.
Asked whether he was worried about the party being sidelined, Samy Vellu said he was not worried about that because he believed that the party would live to a 100 years.
“I am not worried about the MIC being sidelined. The MIC can survive and we will always be relevant to the Indian community,” he said, adding that the party would give its fullest support to Najib and Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Samy Vellu promised that the MIC would continue to provide its services in order to gain more support, especially from the Indian community.
He said the MIC would hold monthly meetings in the constituencies it held to ensure that all promises were fulfilled and also to get closer to the constituents.
He also said that the party would launch a portal on 14 May to enable the people, both from among supporters of the party and those from the opposition, to interact with the party on issues. — Bernama