MIC gave up Cameron for one Senate seat and some land: Ramasamy

    (Updated )

    MIC had given way to Umno in the Cameron Highlands parliamentary by-election in exchange for another Senate seat, claimed DAP's P Ramasamy today.

    In a statement, he said this was what had been speculated as the reason for MIC's decision to stay out of the by-election for the seat which has been traditionally held by them.

    "If the MIC president S Vigneswaran wishes to lie then he must come out with a credible one, not something that does not make any sense at all.

    "It does not make the slightest sense for him to say that MIC opted to stay out of fielding a candidate in this by-election due to the Seafield temple fracas.

    "He said that the temple fracas resulting in the death of the fireman had tarnished the image of Indians in the country especially in the eyes of the Malays. Thus fielding a MIC candidate might not get the support of the Malays," Ramasamy said.

    He then continued to lambast Vigneswaran saying that MIC's confidence was shaken after the High Court declared that the result of the 14th general election for the Cameron Highlands seat was null and void.

    "However, the real reason why the MIC gave the Cameron Highlands seat to Umno might not be clear. But there is speculation that the party was promised a Senate seat and a piece of land in Pahang if the parliamentary seat was given to Umno.

    "Now if the Seafield temple fracas was the reason why MIC did not want to contest in Cameron Highlands, then what is the reason it refused to contest earlier in Port Dickson, supposedly a seat meant for the party?

    "Was there a similar temple fracas that prevented the MIC from contesting the seat? Thus, it makes no sense for Vigneswaran to say that it was because of the Seafield temple incident that the party declined to contest Cameron Highlands," said Ramasamy.

    He added that there could be other reasons behind MIC's decision "that we might never know".

    On Thursday, BN announced that it would field Ramli Mohd Nor, a former top police officer from Orang Asli community as their candidate for the by-election.

    This ended speculation over BN's choice of who to run for the seat which had long been held by its Indian-based component party.

    Malaysiakini has contacted Vigneswaran and MIC secretary-general Vell Paari for comments.

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