TEMERLOH: The sudden move to replace Pahang MIC chairman Senator Datuk R. Goonasakaren was strongly opposed by 12 Youth divisions.
Pahang MIC Youth chief S. Siva Kumaran said the move was illogical, flawed and contradicted the guidelines stipulated by the Registrar of Societies (RoS).
Siva Kumaran said the unilateral decision by MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel took them by surprise, forcing him to call for an emergency meeting with division youth leaders.
“All divisions with the exception of Raub and Cameron Highlands are against the move to replace Goonasakaren who have contributed much to the people and party.
“Since he took helm in 2013, many changes were initiated for the benefit of the people on the ground and all his hardwork should not be overlooked.
“Besides, the party is currently facing a leadership crisis and there is no necessity to replace him with another leader to shore up support,” he told StarMetro.
On Wednesday, Palanivel appointed Raub division chief K. Tamil Selvam to replace Goonasakaren to take charge of the state.
He also announced the list of the interim central working committee (CWC) following the Home Ministry’s order for the party to hold fresh elections.
Siva Kumaran urged the RoS to investigate and verify the validity of the latest appointment since all decisions made must be approved by the interim CWC.
He said based on his understanding, Palanivel did not have the authority to make new appointments or make decisions until after the party elections.
“We would like to stress that all the 12 youth divisions will not co-operate with the new leadership under Tamil Selvam,” he said, adding that majority of Wanita and Putera wings would also throw their support behind Goonasakaren.
In an immediate response, Tamil Selvam said he would accept his “new role” as it was the discretion of the party president in making changes to the state leadership.
“Palanivel has every right to change and remove any leader pertaining to appointment positions.
“He is not bound by the decision of the RoS as there was no contest for the president’s post in the last party elections,” he stressed.
Tamil Selvam said all but four divisions were behind him to lead the state MIC.
He said while Kuantan, Kuala Krau, Bera and Temerloh division chiefs were pledging their support to Goonasakaren, branch and other divisional leaders on the ground were not.
“I do not subscribe to threats and those who cannot work with me can choose to resign.
“We have capable leaders to replace them...not a problem,” he said, adding that all the youth wings in the party had to be re-elected again in accordance with the RoS directive.
Tamil Selvam also appointed a new state line up comprising Bentong chief R. Magendran as his deputy and Cameron Highlands N. Ravee as secretary.
Meanwhile, Goonasakaren maintained that he was still the “rightful” state MIC chairman as the new appointment was invalid.
Goonasakaren said Palanivel was now serving as the interim president and had no authority to make new appointments.
The MIC will need to hold elections for all elected posts between this April and July to avoid deregistration under Section 13 of the Societies Act 1966.
The leadership crisis erupted over differences of opinion after the RoS nullified the elections for the three posts of vice-president and 23 CWC posts at the party’s general assembly following complaints of irregularities.