Malaysia's Indian Congress turns 60
The Indian-based political party was formed on August 2, 1946 in a bid to end the British colonial rule.india Updated: Aug 02, 2006 12:14 IST
Malaysia Indian Congress (MIC), the largest Indian-based political party in the country, turned 60 on Wednesday.
MIC, touted to be one of the oldest political parties in Malaysia, was formed on August 2, 1946 in a bid to end the British colonial rule and the need for Indian representation in the government during the post-war era.
The current president is S Samy Vellu, who is also the Work Minister. Samy Vellu said the MIC's prime objective was to protect and preserve Indians' interests and well-being.
Indians, mainly from Tamil Nadu, were brought to Malaysia by the British to work in rubber plantations, build roads and the railways.
Though several returned to India, thousands stayed back and today ethnic Indians comprise seven per cent of the population.
MIC's founder, John A Thivy, became the first president at a time when the party was committed to fighting for independence and democracy, national news agency Bernama reported.
The baton of leadership was later passed on to Budh Singh who helmed the party from 1947 to 1950.
After realising the futility of non-cooperation with the government the MIC in 1954, under the tenure of fourth president KL Devaser, became the third partner of the ruling alliance comprising the Malay Umno and Malaysian Chinese Association.
The third phase of the party's history started under the leadership of VT Sambanthan from 1955 to 1973.
The party's finest hour was on the country's independence day on August 31, 1957, when the Merdeka (independence) Agreement was signed with Sambanthan as a signatory, Bernama said.