Breakdown Of Makkal Sakthi
Breakdown Of Makkal Sakthi
By Baradan Kuppusamy
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 28 — The newly formed Makkal Sakti Party which Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is hoping will help him win over the Tamil working class, is heading for a major split over what some senior party leaders say is “the Samy Vellu-style, dictatorial” tendencies of president R. S. Thanenthiran. The leaders, who requested to remain anonymous, told The Malaysian Insider, accused Thanenthiran, who has just returned from a holiday in Bali, of high-handedness and failing to share decision making with other senior leaders. The senior leaders have requested an emergency general meeting of the 27-member Central Committee when they hope to debate the issue and resolve differences. While one faction of the CC says they want to table a vote of no-confidence against the president and remove him, another faction said their intention is to thrash out all differences and shortcomings with Thanenthiran to end the squabbles.
“We want to close ranks and save the party,” a senior leader said. “This party was hard to get (registered) and there is so much work to do to help the poor Tamil people. We don’t want to waste this golden opportunity by squabbling among ourselves.” Party secretary-general Kannan Ramasamy told The Malaysian Insider that CC members have requested him to call a emergency meeting to discuss various “outstanding issues” but he declined to go into the details. He said any nine members of the CC can write to him requesting an emergency meeting. “I have called for a meeting next week and my role is more like a mediator aiming to resolve the outstanding issues,” he said. The meeting is expected to be held on December 2 at the party headquarters in Shah Alam, sources said.
Thanenthiran could not be reached for comments but a CC member allied with him said the president is aware of the grouses and lobbying with CC members to “head-off” the December 2 emergency meeting. When contacted many CC members appeared divided over the issue. While some criticised Thanenthiran others were more anxious to contain the split and close ranks. Among the grouses critics have levelled at Thanenthiran was that he conducted the October 10 launch by Najib and the inaugural congress that followed in an autocratic manner. He refused to share the limelight with other senior leaders, a CC member said. Thanenthiran allegedly gave preference to himself, his wife and a brother while sidelining senior party leaders, said another CC member. “He also did not account for the funds used to organise the function,” said a CC member adding there was “big over spending”. But the main grouse seems to be that Thanenthiran dominated the Oct 10 launch and the general assembly that followed “the way Samy Vellu dominates the MIC.” “We are against this kind of arrogant leadership…we are not stupid people to line up and nod our heads to Thanenthiran. That’s why we reject the MIC,” said a CC member.
Many leaders among the Indian community had expressed shock that Najib had even consented to launch the party because they saw its leaders as political novices. They also said Thanenthiran did not have the political maturity or leadership acumen to lead the party and wondered aloud how far the party would go before heading south. The founders of Makkal Sakthi Party, including Thanenthiran, were either former mid-level leaders in the Hindraf movement or came into the limelight after the founders of Hindraf were detained under the ISA leaving a big leadership vacuum in the movement.
The former Perak Hindraf co-ordinator who is now deputy president of Makkal Sakthi party, A. Waythamoorthy, said party leaders were ready to discuss and resolve all issues. “There is so much to do and so little time to achieve success that we cannot waste the time squabbling among ourselves,” he told The Malaysian Insider. “We have our work cut out for us, we have the Prime Minister helping us and we need to close ranks to achieve our aims to help our community,” Waythamoorthy said. He declined to go into the unhappiness some CC members are expressing against the party president. “It is best we resolve matters among ourselves and get on with our main task,” said Waythamoorthy.
No comments yet.