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MIC – “Muthu, talk with facts”

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SEREMBAN  –  Negeri Sembilan MIC officials have reacted angrily to defector M Muthu Palaniappan’s recent accusations against the party and its leaders, saying he was talking only about himself in his statements about greed for power and wealth.

Negeri Sembilan MIC chief T Rajagopalu and his predecessor VS Mogan, who is the party’s only assemblyman in the state, made their counter accusations in a special interview with FMT.

Rajagopalu and Mogan have alternated as state MIC chairman since July 2010, when the latter replaced the former, who had served in that capacity since September the previous year. Rajagopalu took back the chair in September 2011 following leadership changes at the national level.

Rajagopalu won the Jeram Padang state seat in 1999 and the Port Dickson state seat in 2004. He served as state executive councilor for two terms.

Mogan is a first-term state exco member. He is also national information chief for MIC.

FMT’s interview with the two was conducted following a similar interview with Muthu, who is now a PKR member.

FMT: Former Negeri Sembilan MIC chief Muthu Palaniappan said current MIC leaders work only to enrich themselves. Do you have a comment on this?

Rajagopalu: We have had many state MIC chiefs before and since Muthu. I can tell you that none of us, including me and Mogan, have worked for personal gain.

We never took any piece of land. Muthu worked under Menteri Besar Mohd Isa Samad. Ask Isa how much land was given to Muthu through cooperative and individual companies.

He also owned a block of shop lots in Jalan Rasah near Seremban General Hospital. He was the one who enriched himself, not any of us.

No state MIC chairman has accumulated as much wealth as Muthu. Muthu is a millionaire.

Muthu said MIC will be finished off in the coming general election, especially in Negeri Sembilan.

Rajagopalu: Muthu talked without facts. I can give you the facts.

I was the MIC election director for the 2009 Bagan Pinang by-election.

In the 12th GE, Barisan Nasional candidates lost at all Indian-majority polling stations in Bagan Pinang, which are Siliau Estate, Atherton Estate, Bradwall Estate and Sua Betong Estate.

However, during the 2009 Bagan Pinang by-election, BN won at all these polling stations. We brought back all the Indians votes, and yet Muthu says Indians won’t vote for MIC or other BN candidates. He talks blindly.

Since Najib Tun Razak became prime minister, he has been helping Indians a lot, especially when it comes to the education and business needs of the community. For 2012 alone, he has allocated RM12 million for Tamil schools in Negeri Sembilan. Actually, I requested this fund last year.

For next year, I have already requested RM16 million for Tamil schools in the state and I’m confident Najib will approve it.

Under the Tekun loan scheme, a total of 68 Indian individuals involved in small and medium size businesses have benefited this year, with loans given out to them totaling RM800,000. Negeri Sembilan MIC helped them get this loan.

The government allocated RM30 million last year and RM80 million this year for Indian businesses under the Tekun scheme.

Through Amanah Ikhtiar, we have also helped Indian ladies doing small businesses. We helped only 20 of them two years ago, but now we have already helped 140, all in Negeri Sembilan. And the numbers is increasing. Many of them have been approaching MIC on a weekly basis to get the loans.

We open our special welfare counter at the state MIC headquarters every Sunday. Once a month, welfare officers will come down here to interview the applicants.

With all these, do you think Indians will not support us?

What’s Muthu talking about? His claims and allegations are all wrong. We will win all the seats in Negeri Sembilan that we are contesting—one parliament seat and two state seats.

One of the things Muthu said was that MIC leaders had made millions of empty promises.

Rajagopalu: He is a frustrated leader. He is greedy for position. When you jump from one party to another, no one has any respect for you.

Muthu is no longer qualified to talk about MIC. If you’re not in MIC, you have no right to talk about our party. We know how to take care of our party.

Anyway, I can tell more about what we are doing in Negeri Sembilan.

Three new Tamil schools are coming up very soon.

The Bukit Bertam Tamil School from Linggi will be relocated to Bandar Seri Sendayan on a 6-acre land, even though it currently has only four students.

Next we are going to relocate Perhentian Tinggi Tamil School to Taman Thivy Jaya at Rasah Jaya on four acres. This school currently also has only four students. The land belongs to Koperasi Pekerja Jaya, whose chairman is former MIC president S Samy Vellu. Samy donated this piece of land for the new building.

Another school that will be relocated will be the Ladang Sungai Sebaling Tamil School. It will move from Jeram Padang to Taman Desa Puteri in Bahau on a six-acre land.

Each of these schools will be constructed at a cost of RM2.5 million.

The new Labu Tamil School building has been completed. It cost RM1.9 million. Recently the government allocated RM268, 000 for the school to buy the necessary furniture. The new school building will be inaugurated on the 22nd of January, 2013.

Furthermore, at national level, MIC has managed to get millions in funds for temples throughout the country from the federal government.

Starting 2013, the government will allocate 500 places in government polytechnic colleges for Indian students who score only three credits in SPM. After they have received their diplomas, these students will be put on a fast track system, where they can further their studies for bachelor’s and master’s degrees at local universities. The government has assured places for them.

Recently, (MIC President) Palanivel announced that 1, 500 places have been allocated for Indians students in matriculation colleges.

These are not empty promises as Muthu claims, but the real thing. Maybe he is blind.

Mogan: Since he has already left MIC, why does he want to talk about MIC anymore? He should be talking about his new party instead of being a busybody.

We managed to get Najib to approve RM1 million for the construction of the Port Dickson crematorium and RM625, 000 to construct another crematorium in Jempol. We also have requested funds for a crematorium in Tampin, which I believe the government will approve without any problem.

MIC, through the government, is doing all these things for Indians in Negeri Sembilan. So I don’t see any reason why they will not support MIC.

Muthu alleged that MIC has not done anything about the low recruitment of Indians into the civil service.

Rajagopalu: When he was MIC vice president, what did he do?

Our prime minister has directed the civil service to increase the intake of Indians. There is an all out campaign by the civil service commission to encourage Indian participation in government jobs.

Mogan: Recently, the National Registration Department hired 107 Indians as temporary workers.