There are four political parties in Malaysia who cater for the two million people of Indian origin in Malaysia. Leading the group is of course MIC, followed by IPF or Indian Progressive Front, PPP, People’s Progressive Party and finally MIUP or Malaysian Indian United Party.
Besides three of the parties that solely claim support from the Indians, PPP is supposed to be for all Malaysians, although the party has an Indian background of – 7 Presidents including the present are Indians. Even the Supreme body of this has more Indians that others although the party is supposed to be made of 48% Indians, 32% Chinese and 13% Malays and the rest of other ethnicity.
MIC is led by the evergreen Samy Vellu, IPF by Jayashree wife of the late M G Pandithan, PPP by Kayveas and K.S.Nallakarupan heads the MIUP.
MIC has a long history dating back to 1946, and so does PPP which originated in 1953. Pandithan’s party: Pandithan’s name will be there for a long time, he being the founder. IPF originated sometime in 1990 and MIUP was a late starter in 2007.
MIC and PPP were formed with original objectives and truly stand out as strong parties in the political arena, PPP once nearly took over the Perak State Government in the days of the Seenivasagam brothers of Ipoh. The brothers were real giants both in Parliament and the courts – they were lawyers.
MIC and PPP experienced defeats, that nobody ever imagined, in the last elections, and political observers comment they may become extinct if no remedial action is taken by the leaders.
Pandithan started his IPF when Samy Vellu sacked him from MIC.
K.S, Nalla had a tiff with Anwar and started his own party.
Having said all these, I am curious to know how many Indians are card carrying members of the above parties. MIC claims it has 630,000 members, IPF claims 380,000 members, PPP has 300,000 members and 3000 branches, whereas MIUP sits there with 250,000 members.
Are all these figures correct or are they fictitious numbers indicating the delusions of grandeur by the leaders. I meet quite a number of Indians and find rarely any one coming forward to claim membership in any one of the four parties. For me this large group of members in the Indian political parties may be having a cult culture, secrecy everywhere, special symbols and maybe even secret initiating ceremonies. It is a mystery for me.