Kuala Lumpur, Feb 18 (IANS) Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), the country’s largest Indian-based party, has a new secretary general in S. Murugessan who was appointed with immediate effect amid speculation of early parliamentary polls.
The move by MIC president G. Palanivel may not go well with S. Samy Vellu, who stepped down recently as the party chief ater 30 years, The Star said Friday.
The outgoing secretary general T. Rajagopalu returns to helm the MIC unit in Negri Sembilan state where, Palanivel told a meeting, the support among the Indians was declining.
Malaysia is home to 2.1 million ethnic Indians, a bulk of them Tamils who settled here during the British era. They form eight percent of the country’s multi-racial 28 million population.
Negri Sembilan state chief V.S. Mogan has been appointed as MIC information chief, replacing Murugessan.
The state has one of the larger concentrations of ethnic Indians and is crucial to MIC in any election.
MIC is a major constituent of the ruling Barisan Nasional alliance and has ministers in the government of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.
An official, who attended a five-hour meeting of the party’s top executive, said Palanivel “wants Rajagopalu to concentrate on the state for the next general election. He also wants to revamp the state leadership, which is said to be divided into several factions”.
The appointment of Murugessan, who contested and lost the Subang parliamentary seat in March 2008, is expected to ruffle some feathers as he was removed from the secretary general’s post last May for dissension against Samy Vellu.