PETALING JAYA: MIC president S Vigneswaran has described Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor as an inexperienced leader who doesn’t have the ability to “socialise” with other races.
He also warned that MIC would not arbitrarily support Sanusi in the 15th general election (GE15) for the sake of political interests.
“Our modus operandi (at MIC) has changed. We would rather live with our dignity than focus on Parliament and state assembly seats,” he told FMT.
“The way he carries out his duties shows that he has no experience and ability to socialise with other races,” he said.
Vigneswaran added that Sanusi’s decision to ignore the racial, cultural and religious diversity in the country will affect the party’s position in GE15.
Claiming that MIC had no “personal problem” with the Kedah MB, the party president said, however, that it would be difficult to work with PAS in Kedah because Sanusi was seen as insensitive about issues affecting the Indian community there.
He reiterated that many NGO leaders had urged Sanusi to retract the decision to cancel the Thaipusam holiday in the state on Jan 28, a move the MIC leader called “unreasonable”.
Vigneswaran was asked to comment on the relationship between MIC and PAS as allies in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government following the party’s dispute with Sanusi, who is also Kedah PAS deputy commissioner.
While he did not elaborate on the matter, Vigneswaran stressed that in Kedah, MIC is finding it increasingly difficult to continue its cooperation with Sanusi because the MB often ignores the interests of the Indian community.
“After the temple issue and so on, it is quite difficult (for us) to explain to the (MIC) grassroots about Sanusi’s actions,” Vigneswaran said, referring to the demolition of the Sri Raja Muniswarar Temple in Taman Bersatu, Kuala Kedah by the Alor Setar City Council (MBAS) on Dec 1 last year.
At the time, Sanusi defended the council’s action, saying the temple was built without approval and that it had disregarded the eviction notices issued.
Vigneswaran and other MIC leaders, however, accused Sanusi of treading on Hindu rights.
The latest dispute between MIC and Sanusi erupted after the menteri besar canceled the Thaipusam holiday in the state in light of the movement control order (MCO) to curb the spread of Covid-19.
MIC deputy president M Saravanan previously accused Sanusi of being arrogant and ignorant in doing so, considering that many Hindus will still celebrate Thaipusam at home.
In defending himself, Sanusi said the decision was made from a public health perspective and accused MIC of following “DAP’s racist dance” to gain support from Indian voters.