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Mar 31, 2008

Why Samy Vellu is lobbying for Hindraf 5

Today, he is still searching for a formula to win back the support of the Indians. Party officials say that the MIC needs rebranding to be relevant. So he has started workshops on rebranding the party.

Others argue that if the MIC manages to push the government to release the Hindraf 5, some credit could flow back to the Samy Vellu because it would show that the party was capable of responding to the demands of the community, even those demands which could open it to attack from Umno.

So Samy Vellu today said that 2 of the detainees should be freed soon because one was ill, R. Kenghadaran, and the other, M. Manoharan, has been elected as an assemblyman in Selangor.

He also downplayed the role of V. Ganabatirau and K. Vasantha Kumar, saying that they were not really involved in rally organised by Hindraf on Nov 25.

The fifth Hindraf leader under detention is lawyer P. Uthayakumar.

The MIC president said that he will raise the matter with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

This tactic could backfire on Samy Vellu and expose major differences between Umno and MIC over the handling of the Hindraf 5. The thinking in government all along has been that the Hindraf leaders raised a legitimate issue on the plight of Indians but did so in the wrong way. By appearing to throw their support behind the PKR-PAS-DAP alliance, Uthayakumar and friends are viewed as political adversaries by Umno leaders, and not members of a non-governmental organisation.more...


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