Monday, June 16, 2008

MALAYSIAKINI - Anwar: MCA MPs will defect to Pakatan

PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has dropped the clearest hint yet of impending crossovers to Pakatan Rakyat.

I can safely say that several MCA MPs will join us soon,” he told journalists yesterday, after opening a service centre in Bayan Baru, Penang.However, as with previous assertions of the same variety, that was all he was prepared to reveal. Anwar has been keeping the public on tenterhooks since the general election on March 8, with repeated claims of crossovers by Barisan Nasional (BN) parliamentarians, especially those in Sabah.He said that discreet meetings have been held in Hong Kong, Manila and Singapore, to avoid scrutiny, and that “even a cabinet minister met me”.
At a night rally held in City Stadium, George Town, the former deputy premier worked up the crowd with similar promises.“It’s about time that we take over. It’s only a matter of time for us to take over. We are so close to Putrajaya,” he said to roars from some 15,000 people.“It’s very soon. I will not say how (soon). But it will happen soon.”
He stressed that defecting MPs would have to accept the Pakatan tenets of good governance. Anwar used the rally to obtain a ‘referendum’ on replacing the federal BN government and taking over as premier from Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
He and other Pakatan speakers exploited the escalating cost of living triggered by the fuel price hike, to bombard the BN government and raise the tempo of a disenchanted crowd.“I can guarantee you all today that if Pakatan Rakyat were to form the federal government today, we will bring down the oil price tomorrow,” said Anwar.
Salvoes against BNPenang Chief Minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, DAP advisor and Ipoh Timor MP Lim Kit Siang and PAS leader Mohamad Sabu also spoke at the rally.Anwar said the BN government is still in a state of denial over the electoral debacle and that it has remained arrogant.
It has further betrayed the people’s trust with an unreasonable and inhumane fuel price hike, he said, although it has contributed to this through economic and financial mismanagement.Anwar also wondered aloud as to why BN partners are supporting Umno’s weak political leadership and wrongdoing.
Saying that BN has run out of ideas in overcoming inflation, he said only Pakatan could save the country.“Let’s join force to topple this irresponsible and arrogant government. If enough numbers support us (in Parliament), we will form the next government. The people of Penang must lead others in backing us for change to a better life,” said Anwar.Hinting that Abdullah could dissolve Parliament in a sudden move to “save his skin”, he cautioned Pakatan leaders and members to be ready for a snap election.“We must fight to win till the end,” he said.

Friday, June 6, 2008

MIC Youth to get more independence

IPOH: MIC Youth wings will no longer be part of their branches as part of the rebranding of the party, said Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.

He said that with the current arrangement a branch chairman would end up choosing family members to helm the respective wings.

“All this nonsense must go,” he told reporters yesterday after opening Datuk Dr S. Vasan’s orthopaedic and adult reconstruction surgery clinic at a private hospital here.

Samy Vellu said that the youth wing would be allowed to set up their own branches and have their own functions.

“This is to give them greater independence,” said the party president.

He also said that the party would go all out to attract Malaysians of Telegu, Malayalee and Sri Lankan ancestry to join the MIC.

The current number of Telegu, Malayalee and Sri Lankan members in the party was still small, he added.

“We want to harness their capabilities,” he said, adding that they would be allowed to set up their own branches.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Indian bloggers to be awarded by Putera MIC

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Indian bloggers will be given recognition and honour through an award initiated by Putera MIC.

There are nine categories under the Manya Blogger Award which would be decided through online voting for a one-month period starting noon on Friday.

Putera MIC coordinator P. Kamalanathan said this is the first time such an award for the Malaysian Indian bloggers is being held.

“We want to encourage more Malaysian Indians to blog and share information on the Internet,” he said Thursday at a press conference here.

He said there were about 1,000 Malaysian Indians bloggers, mainly in the 20 to 24 age group actively giving their views on various issues.

Kamalanathan said they had already shortlisted the finalists for the nine categories. Sixty per cent of the votes would be taken from online voting while another 40% would be decided by a panel of three judges.

“The online voting would be on for one month and the judges would take two weeks to make a decision and we hope to have the award ceremony in August,” he said.

He said Putera MIC would also have an online readers' award where the surfers would be required to submit their choice, irrespective of race.

“We have also created a Putera MIC award which would be given to a blogger whom we feel has created a longstanding following amongst the bloggers. It can be a disabled person or even an eight-year-old boy who is blogging,” he said.

Kamalanathan said each of the finalists would be given a certificate of participation while the winners would be given a trophy and cash prizes.

Those who want to vote can go to to cast their votes.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Report card for all MIC branches

BUTTERWORTH: MIC branches nationwide will soon be accorded performance ratings under the party’s rebranding exercise, says party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.

He said there were four categories in the rating system to evaluate the effectiveness of each branch in delivering the party’s aspirations and promises.

“The system will help the branches improve their performance and delivery to the people,” he told reporters at the Penang MIC convention held at Dewan Sree Mariamman yesterday.

The four categories are P1: Extraordinary; P2: Performing; P3: Below-average and P4: Inactive.

In addition to the rating system, a “People Satisfaction Index” (PSI) will be introduced in July to help gather feedback from the grassroots.

“The index will help us gauge people’s reaction and satisfaction towards our rebranding exercise.

“The PSI can also be used to evaluate the performance of branch leaders and branches. A form will be distributed to the public, especially MIC members, to gather feedback,” he explained, adding that feedback would be evaluated every six months.

Part of the re-branding effort would also see 3,600 branch leaders being sent for 36 courses, to update themselves.

“They will be briefed on the party’s new style, and how to increase delivery to the people and make the party more dynamic.

“MIC is now reviving between 300 and 400 defunct branches with new leaders,” he said.

Samy Vellu added that the party aimed to recruit 50,000 youth members this year as part of efforts to inject new blood into the party.

When queried, Samy Vellu said many young people were eager to join the party.

“I am very happy to note that many of them want to work (for the party) but I’ve told them to hold on and let us finish with the rebranding exercise first,” he said.

MIC hires IT experts to tackle online allegations

KUALA LUMPUR: The MIC has hired two information technology (IT) specialists to rebut allegations against the party on the Internet.

“We would make sure that the allegations are replied to within 24 hours,” president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said here at the 62nd Selangor MIC delegates conference here on Saturday.

The IT experts would also attend to the complaints through the party's call centre. The centre, currently under renovation at its headquarters, is expected to be operational next month.

“They would also refer the problems to the respective MIC leaders who would raise them with the relevant government agencies if required,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Malacca on Friday, Samy said a privilege card would be issued to the MIC's 630,000 members as part of the party’s re-branding exercise.

The card, called Dhana (meaning wealth in Sanskrit), would allow members to enjoy at least 20 benefits and privileges including special healthcare programmes, mobile phone offers and discounts to buy motorcycles and cars.

Speaking at the opening of the Malacca MIC delegates conference here on Friday, Samy Vellu said it would be the first political party to offer such a card.