KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5, 2016:

MIC has named seven new members of its Central Working Committee, bringing the total number of members to 45.

Its president, Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam, said he had made the appointments of members to the party’s supreme council based on the authority accorded to him.

The powerful CWC will now include the vocal Kota Raja division chief Datuk R.S. Maniam, former Deputy Minister Datuk T. Murugiah, former MIC deputy president Tan Sri Subramaniam Sinniah’s son Sunder Subramaniam, Kelana Jaya division chief Datuk S. M. Muthu and Sepang division chief V. Gunalan.

Others in the list include Ampang division chief S. Kalimuthu and former Selangor deputy liasion committee chief N.R. Krishnan.

“They will become members of the highest council and with the appointments, we will now have 45 members in it,” he told a Press conference after chairing a meeting with the committee at the party’s headquarters in Menara Manikavasagam here this evening.

The appointments were much awaited as the party struggled to reunite after a fractious party election this year.

The faction aligned to former president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel mostly stayed out of it, but some later accepted the olive branch offered by Dr Subramaniam.

Newly appointed Krishnan was with the Palanivel faction until recently and his appointment is seen as accommodating the faction and encouraging more members to return to the fold.

Subramaniam also said A. Saktivel would remain the party’s secretary-general while MIC strategic director Datuk Seri S. Vel Paari was appointed treasurer.

Speaking on a different matter, he said the legal child custody battle involving M. Indira Gandhi should not be treated as a religious matter, but a humanitarian one that involved the right of a mother to protect her children.

Indira is trying to gain custody of her three children who have been converted to Islam by their father.

Subramaniam said MIC’s stance on the issue was clear and it would continue to struggle for justice to be served.

He added that he had even met with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to discuss the matter.

“In principle, a mother has the right to protect her children who are young, especially those aged between two and three.

“And from the humanitarian and basic human principles, we believe that the right should be given to the mother.”

He added the party’s women’s wing would also hold talks with the Women, Family, and Community Development Ministry to gain its support on this matter.

“We do not view the matter as a religious one but are looking into what is actually the right of a mother, and how our country’s legal system can provide protection to mothers in such a situation.”

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