Saturday, October 06, 2007

Ex-Anwar's buddy Nalla forms new Indian party

S Nallakarupan, who achieved fame as Anwar Ibrahim's former tennis partner, today announced that he has formed a new Indian political party.

Unveiling the Malaysian Indian United Party (MIUP) to some 100 people present at a press conference in his Kuala Lumpur residence this morning, Nallakarupan said that the party would cater for the Indian community in the country.

He explained that he received the inspiration of forming a new party to cater for Indian Malaysians after quitting PKR, of which he was a member for almost a year.

Nallakarupan quit PKR in May following his realization that the party has marginalized the Indian community.

"I had high hopes and enormous ambitions of being able to do my part to uplift the Indian community through PKR. However, after some time I realized that PKR was not the right platform," Nallakarupan said.

"In the past three to four months, after doing much thinking and getting feedbacks from my family, friends and supporters, I have formed this party," he said.

"The party was approved by the government on Sept 14. I will be the party president and I have identified a team of capable leaders who will help me run it," he said, adding that the primary aim of the party will be to 'bring up' the Indian community which is lagging in economic, political and social development.

'20,000 members in three months'

He also vowed to uplift the standard of living of rural Indians and to help socially problematic Indian youths like those involved in gansterism.

Nallakarupan said that MIUP has 100 members to date, and he will gather 3,000 to 4,000 members by next month. He also vowed to bring in at least 20,000 new members in three to four months time.

Asked if he will get the support of the Indian community, he replied in the affirmative. "They will definitely back me."
"If I could bring in 10,000 members into PKR after I joined the party, I would be able to do the same now," he said, adding that he will travel across the country after Hari Raya to recruit members.

He said MIUP is presently an independent party, but left the option to either join the Barisan Nasional or the opposition front open.

Nalla also explained that he has not thought about contesting in the coming general election "but may consider doing so if his supporters want him."

"It is not for me to decide. I need feedback from party supporters."

Queried on the need for another Indian party, Nallakarupan said: "We can have 10 Indian political parties. But I have formed this party to do my part for the community.

'Loyal to the country'

"This party will be loyal to the country. It will also be the voice for the Indians in this country," he said

Explaining the three colours (yellow, red and blue) in the party flag, Nallakarupan said: "Yellow symbolizes the sun that shines on the party's struggle to uphold the Indian community, red means bravery in the struggle and blue reflects the happiness and harmony in the community."

Former PKR Youth chief and Gerak chairperson Ezam Mohd Noor, who was also present at the press conference, said he was there to lend support to Nallakarupan as an "friend."

"I'm here as a NGO representative. I support any party, especially those with a clear objectives to fight graft in the country."

The official launching of the party will be held at the Putra World Trade Centre next month.