Criticism of MIC rebranding

May 29th, 2008 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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MIBA president again comes out with criticism of MIC and Samy Vellu. This is also echoed by KP Samy and an academician from UKM.

I agree that changing logo and uniform is meaningless. Probably some company will be making a tidy profit out of this exercise. Perhaps should follow the money trail as well.

No point changing the packaging when the content is still the same. Probably can deceive some of the people for a short period.

KUALA LUMPUR: Will spending RM500,000 on new uniforms, logos and letterheads really help the MIC to be more appealing to the Indian community? Many have their doubts.  After the party’s heavy losses in the general elections, it has come under intense pressure, particularly for the resignation of its president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.  Some have even begun to question the relevance of the party, especially in catering to the new generation. While the rebranding sounds like a good attempt to bring the party back to its glory days, many are questioning the need to spend on non-tangibles.Malaysian Indian Businessmen Association president P. Sivakumar said the RM500,000 allocation for the party’s rebranding exercise could be put to better use. It could be used as a start-up capital for small businesses or for those struggling to pay for their university entrance fees.   Sivakumar said the real issue facing MIC was leadership. “It’s time for the legend to give way to a younger person,” he said, alluding to Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu’s tenure as party president. He added, however, that Samy Vellu could remain as an adviser. Sivakumar also said the rebranding exercise should include putting to rest the controversy over Maika Holdings shares.

Many credit Samy Vellu for raising the status of MIC in his almost three decades in charge. However, they also say he needs to accept blame for the current state of the party. “How can you rebrand a party without any kind of rebranding in the leadership?” asked a member. This prickly question was, in fact, asked of Samy Vellu when he announced the party’s rebranding exercise. He had then replied that the party would know when it would rebrand its leadership.

Former MIC central committee member K.P. Samy is one of those who argues that merely changing the uniform colours and party song will not help MIC much.  “What is more important is for MIC to go to the ground and identify key people who can help to rebuild the image of the party. It doesn’t matter to whom they are aligned with.”

Samy said the party should also revive its defunct branches and invite expelled members to return to the fold.  Samy said that all Indian-based parties like IPF, IPF Bersatu, MIC Baru and even the Indian-dominated PPP should merge to become one strong representative of the Indian community. “Only then will the MIC be in a position to do something better to rectify the mistakes and capitalise on weakness of the opposition,” he said.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia academician and political analyst Dr Ahmad Nidzammuddin Sulaiman also said that a new leader was necessary, preferably one who was more vocal in fighting for issues of concern to the Indian community.  “The truth is, people are simply tired of him,” Ahmad said. “He is too authoritarian. People cannot accept him any more as they are looking for a leader who is accountable, transparent and exhibits openness.”

He said the Hindu Rights Action Force had exposed MIC by succeeding where the party had failed, despite championing the same issues. “They used a non-traditional way where they had repackaged the issues and used the principles of human and civil rights in their arguments.”  Ahmad said MIC must have more discussions with the grassroots and take into consideration their views before making any decision. “But, that is not happening now. Only Samy Vellu is seen making a decision.”

MIC central working committee member T. Mohan said the party needed to improve its public relations skills and work closer with the media. “We have done a lot of work, especially for the hardcore poor. We even paid their electricity bills or house rental. We have also done a lot of programmes for the youth and single mothers, but not many people know of this. “People who do not know of our work often criticise that we did not do anything. But, with good PR skills, we will be able to tell the people through the media what we have been doing.”

Another central working committee member, S. Murugesan, agreed that MIC should engage the community more in the decision-making process.


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  1. Killer says:

    It it funny we see the same old guys being featured whenever there was anything on MIC ?

    Funny how these 2 guys seems to be so vocal nowadays but before the Hindraf incident they were strangely silent. Could it some personal and business reasons involved behind the scene ?

  2. VJ says:

    not one or two but all Indian NGOs and political parties were silent before Nov25 . Hindraf opened eyes and ears of these people .

  3. Killer says:

    Yeah right…opened their ears and eyes and then what ? HINDRAF only succeded in dividing and weakening the community.