Thursday, May 16, 2013
The decision to give P. Waythamoorthy a federal post shows that there are no “permanent enemies” in politics, MIC’s S. Vell Paari said today.
The MIC strategy director noted that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was willing to set aside Waythamoorthy’s previous criticisms against Barisan Nasional (BN) and prioritise the development of the Indian community instead, by appointing Waythamoorthy as a deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
“Moral of the story, ‘there is no such thing as permanent friends or enemies in politics’,” said Vell Paari (picture) in a statement today.
“As far as I am concerned, the more Indians in government posts, the merrier,” added the MIC central working committee member.
The appointment of Waythamoorthy, who had fought for Indian rights through the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), appears to be a reward for his role in returning Indian support for BN.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the Indian vote in Election 2013 was evenly split between BN and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parties.
Less than three weeks before the May 5 general election, Waythamoorthy signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the BN government that was also headed by Najib then, purportedly to improve the Indian community’s economic position after negotiations with PR failed.
In 2007, Hindraf’s mass protest against the BN administration under then prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi led to the community’s rejection of BN in the 2008 general election.
Today, Vell Paari said that Najib had shown the importance of MIC by giving the health, as well as natural resources and environment Cabinet portfolios to MIC deputy president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam and president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel respectively.
MIC vice-president Datuk M. Saravanan was appointed as the deputy minister of youth and sport, leaving his previous post as the deputy minister of the federal territories and urban well-being.
P. Kamalanathan, the party’s Putera co-ordinator, will be taking up the post of deputy minister II in the Ministry of Education and Higher Learning, after the two ministries were merged for the 13th Cabinet.
In the recently-concluded Election 2013, MIC won four out of nine federal seats contested ― one more than its three-seat victory in 2008 and the same number it had before polls. But the Indian-based party only took five of the 18 state seats contested, fewer than its 2008 win of seven seats.
Vell Paari, however, stressed today that MIC needed to revamp itself to remain relevant to Malaysians.
“We have to rebrand MIC’s platform for Malaysia and GE14 which is about at most 1,900 days away,” said the outspoken MIC leader.