JOHOR BARU - Johor MIC leaders have lashed out at suggestions for the Barisan Nasional secretariat to take over the party's administration, with Segamat division chairman Datuk A. Nadarajah saying the party is perfectly capable of conducting its own affairs.
"They should not have made such a decision without the presence of the party president at the meeting," he said.
Pulai division chairman S. Siva Shanmugam shared similar sentiments, stressing that MIC was fully capable of taking care of itself.
"There is no need for them to run the party," he said.
Sri Gading division chairman V. Murugan said that while Barisan could act as advisors, they should not intervene in administration.
"Although I agree that Palanivel's reason for not attending the meeting was unacceptable, Barisan should leave it to the party leaders to continue running the party," he added.
Gelang Patah division chairman S. Kanan, who was in disbelief over the latest development, said MIC would continue to manage its own affairs.
"Barisan is welcome to only observe during meetings until the election process concludes in July," he added.
Negri Sembilan MIC chief Datuk A. Ganesan described the move as "not good for the MIC".
"We welcome the noble intention of the PM and DPM to advise us and help us resolve the crisis amicably. However, the administration of the party, including the re-election, should be left to us," he said.
In Kuantan, newly-appointed Pahang MIC chairman K. Tamil Selvam said the secretariat should just serve as observers and not take over anyone's role.
Tamil Selvam said the state MIC would accept the assistance rendered by Barisan component parties to act as a mediator.
However, his predecessor Senator Datuk R. Goonasakaren disagreed with outsiders taking over the administration aspects.
"This is going to be very shameful for MIC, party members and the community since we are the third biggest party in the country," he said.
Penang MIC chief M. Karuppanan welcomed the involvement of Barisan and the Prime Minister in solving the crisis.
"Barisan being the mother body has an advisory role to play. If this is the best solution for both parties, then we have to accept it," he said, though he also questioned whether the formation of the Barisan secretariat was at odds with MIC's constitution and by-laws.
"While MIC is a component party of Barisan, it is also an independent society registered under the Societies Act and is subject to provisions of the Act, its own constitution and by-laws."
Malacca MIC chairman Datuk M.S. Mahadevan said the Barisan intervention would spell more trouble to the party.
While respecting the decision by the top Barisan leadership, Mahadevan felt the move would trigger widespread dissent from the grassroots.
"The party president should still be given the chance to resolve the crisis. The move by Barisan to intervene is unprecedented and will go down as a dark day in MIC's history. I hope this bitter episode will teach MIC members about the consequences of infighting."