MIC Youth chief: We can call UMNO 'biadap' too

KUALA LUMPUR: MIC Youth chief T Mohan today expressed regret that Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin chose to use the word "biadap" (insolent) against S Vell Paari, the son of MIC president S Samy Vellu.

"For a man of his position, stature and age, he should not have used such a word. We can also call them the same thing, but we have respect for their positions," he told FMT.

Mohan said he has been receiving calls from MIC members from all over the country who have expressed their anger with Muhyiddin for using such a word.

The deputy premier had criticised Vell Paari over his statements which appeared in FMT, where the MIC central working committee (CWC) member accused Umno of backing the campaign to oust his father.

Several other Umno leaders have also lambasted Vell Paari and demanded an apology.

Vell Paari had also blamed Umno and its "discriminatory" policies for the swing in Indian votes to the opposition in the last general election.

However, Mohan said Vell Paari was merely expressing his personal views and his critics should have countered him with arguments, facts and figures.

"They (Umno leaders) should have challenged his views and not resort to calling him names. This is not the proper way to do things," he added.

Vell Paari: I will not back down

Meanwhile, Vell Paari also refused to apologise for his statements regarding the issues afflicting the Indian community.

"Umno claims it is not involved in the campaign against my father. I am ready to apologise if I had wrongly accused them. But I would not back down on the other issues.

"You call me rude, fine. But Umno remained silent for two years on reports claiming that Umno wants my father to step down. You allowed others to use your name to undermine MIC," he told FMT.

"If they say I am rude, then imagine how the non-Malays must have felt when Perkasa chairman Ibrahim Ali unsheathed a keris on stage and said all those things," he added.

Perkasa, a right-wing Malay pressure group, is said to be an "extension" of Umno but the party has denied any links to it.

The group's president has been taken to task by various quarters over Perkasa's hardline stand on Malay rights but Umno leaders have remained silent on the matter.

Recently, Ibrahim came under fire from MCA and Gerakan when he labelled the Chinese voters in Hulu Selangor as ungrateful for backing the PKR candidate in the recent by-election there.

'We accept suggestions, not interference'

In a related matter, Mohan said MIC is willing to accept suggestions from Umno, which is described as the "big brother" in BN, but not interference into its affairs.

"The Umno leadership might not be involved, but there could be others such as division or state leaders lending their support (to the anti-Samy Vellu campaign) and this reflects on Umno as a whole

"I got calls from some Umno leaders, saying they are not against Samy Vellu and so on," he added.

Yesterday, Mohan said a check by MIC Youth revealed that the Putra World Trade Centre hall, where the Gerakan Anti-Samy Vellu (GAS) campaign is to be launched on Sunday, was booked by Umno.

Howver, his sacked deputy V Mugilan, who is leading the campaign, disclosed a receipt today to prove otherwise.

But Mohan remains sceptical, saying that there is a possibility "it (the document) could have been backdated".

The MIC Youth chief said since GAS is being allowed to hold its gathering in PWTC, which also houses the Umno headquarters, then there should be no double standards in future.

"From now on, opposition parties or even Hindraf and other groups that may sprout in future like GUN or GAY should also be given the privilege of using the PWTC hall," he added.

Mohan said a precedent should not be set where a democratically elected president is forced to step down by a group of people under the very nose of the BN leadership.

"BN must take action. What would happen if a rebel leader from Umno does the same tomorrow and MIC joins him... action must be taken.

"Furthermore, GAS is an unregistered body. But I won't be surprised if it is registered (by the Registrar of Socities) in the next three days," he said.

"There has been a case where a political party was registered in eight days," he quipped.

Mohan was referring to the Malaysian Makkal Sakti Party (MMSP), a Hindraf splinter group, backed by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

It was said that Najib wanted the BN-friendly MMSP to be an alternative to MIC but the plan fell flat after the fledgling party was torn by internal strife.

Commenting further on Umno's alleged backing for GAS, Mohan said: "They (Umno leaders) say they are not supporting it, but they keep silent (not criticising it either). It is this silence which is being construed as tacit support."

On rumours that Umno grassroots leaders, vexed with Vell Paari's statement, are mobilising people for the multi-racial GAS rally, the MIC Youth chief replied: "Let them do it if they want to."

Similar gathering will not be held

Mohan also told FMT that MIC Youth had scrapped its plan to hold a similar gathering at the MIC headquarters here to show support for Samy Vellu on the same day.

"We can bring double the number that Mugilan claims he can bring. Unlike them, we don't have to pay these people to show up. These are hardcore supporters of the president.

"Just from Kedah itself, we can bring 20 busloads. But we decided against it due to safety reasons. Then again, why should we compete with him (Mugilan)?" he said.

"Numbers don't mean a thing. We may do some other events to express our support to the president," he added, dismissing speculation that the gathering was called off out of fear that they would not be able to muster the numbers.

A source close to the president told FMT that Samy Vellu had shot down the idea.

"One, because of security, and two, because he did not want to break up the Indian community further," he said.

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