Tuesday, January 19, 2010

See, They Ain't Going To Last Long, Do They?

From Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: The leadership tussle in the pro-Barisan Nasional Makkal Sakti Party is expected to prolong, with nary a light at the end of the tunnel.

It appears that Makkal Sakti (Tamil for "People’s Power") does not even have the relevant people to power the party. The party, officially launched by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak just last

October, is in danger of becoming irrelevant even before it begins a mass membership drive.

Political pundits also predict that if the warring factions within the party do not make peace soon, Makkal Sakti will be dead in a matter of months.

Socio-economic analyst Denison Jayasooria said internal squabbles have discredited Makkal Sakti, which started with a bang and once captured the imagination of the Malaysian Indian community.

He said Makkal Sakti had fallen victim to a situation familiar to political parties aspiring to represent the Indian community. "They put personality conflicts and internal bickering as priority, instead of the plight of the community."

Dr Denison, a member of the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), predicts that it would be an uphill battle for the party to recover in the short term, unless its leaders "sit down or get an intermediary" to resolve the power tussle.

"Like many other Indian-based parties, personality conflicts and internal problems dominate over community interest," he said. "They are shooting at themselves and hope the community would still support them. So far, I do not see them as leaders of the community.

"When they launched the party, they managed to capture the imagination of the Malaysian Indian community. But, sad to to say, this has fizzled out."

Yesterday, the party’s central committee voted to kick out its embattled president, R. S. Thenenthiran, for failing to respond to several allegations levelled against him.

The decision to expel the 46-year-old president was made by 14 central committee members, said to belong to faction led by deputy president A. Vathemurthy and secretary-general Kannan Ramasamy.

Kannan said the party would inform the Registrar of Societies (ROS) of the outcome of the meeting in the next few days, and a new president would be named next month.

He also revealed that the party was trying to persuade Klang-based businessman Oms Thiyagarajan and Hindu Rights Action Force leader V. Ganabathirao to take up the vacant post.

Apart from informing the ROS, Vathemurthy’s faction also wants to inform the Prime Minister on the latest development, according to Bernama.

Makkal Sakti was launched by Najib with much pomp and splendour on Oct 10 last year. However, Thenenthiran, who is currently overseas, is not about to take this sitting down.

The first salvo from his side was issued by his brother, R. S. Ramesh, who is also Makkal Sakti vice president, when he said that Thenenthiran’s group would not recognise his expulsion from the party and insisted he was still the president.

He said Thenenthiran’s group would accept the sacking only if the ROS accepted it.

While this is easier said than done, an Indian political observer feels that even if the ROS decides on the matter, either faction would eventually challenge the decision in court.

It's a sure bet that the Makkal Sakthi party will not last long beyond six months, if you count from October onwards and it hit true when they decided to throw the president out of the party. Even the goodies that were offered Najib will not suffice enough for them.

In fact, Thenenthiran's sacking was already done since last month already. It was a matter of timing of when to trigger the event. In fact, it is now like another Tamil movie, akin to the Kayveas / Murugiah thing now. Of course this is giving Najib and BN more problems since he launched the party and lauded their BN-friendly stance.

My friend used to say of implosion in party. The component parties have shown signs of cracking up - in the last few months, from PPP, MCA, MIC and this. Of course they were some rough patches in order to stop it from getting from bad to worse, but it shows the inability to keep the cohesion of BN.

Some of us were right after all, though spoken in a sarcastic manner.

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