The President of the political party which representing ethnic Indians the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) Dato Seri G. Palanivel wanted Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak to boycott the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which would be held in Sri Lanka in three days time.
Published: Tuesday November 12, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday November 12, 2013 MYT 7:21:03 AM
Palanivel wants Najib to boycott CHOGM
KUALA LUMPUR: MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel intends to meet Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Friday to urge him not to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka, which will take place from Nov 15 to Nov 17.
Critics of Sri Lanka have alleged that its government was responsible for the deaths of up to 40,000 civilians in the civil war in 2009.
An AFP report said that the prime ministers of Canada and India would not be attending the summit.
The Malaysian ethnic Indians of Tamil background should be saddened if not anguish of their kins in Sri Lanka killed throughout years of civil war.
However they must also appreciate that Malaysia is a member the exclusive club of nations comprises of former British Empire, colony and protectorate known as Commonwealth, just like Sri Lanka. There are 53 members of the Commonwealth.
Malaysians have to respect that Sri Lanka is the collective choice to host this round’s biennial CHOGM.
MIC should have raised this matter when Sri Lanka was offering their nation to be the host for this round’s CHOGM and state their protest via then the Minister representing the Indian ethnic in the Cabinet instead now. Then, Wisma Putra representatives could have forwarded Malaysia’s stance and opinion for Colombo to host the event where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is expected to attend.
The decision to accept Sri Lanka’s offer to host CHOGM was decided in the meeting in Post Spain, Trinidad and Tobaggo four years ago. In the CHOGM meeting in Perth, Australia in December 2011, it was reaffirmed that Sri Lanka would have the honour for this round’s.
It is unsure if the killing of 40,000 Tamil ethnic Sri Lankans was raised when the Foreign Minister reported to Cabinet on the 2013 CHOGM venue back in 2009. However, for the MIC leader to do it now looks more like a dramatic scene of a Bollywood film than being genuinely anguish for the death of their fellow Tamil brothers.
It is very important for Malaysia to maintain its strong diplomatic relationship and cordial friendship with fellow Commonwealth siblings, for the purpose of trade, international clout outside the Commonwealth circle, network for the far flung regional reaches and probably defense too. In the past, Malaya and eventually Malaysia benefitted immensely from the tight Commonwealth brotherhood during the insurgency and emergency warring years and the formative years when this nation was born.
Commonwealth nations have supported Malaysia in many issues, throughout the past 56 years as a sovereign nation. For the record, Kuala Lumpur was the host for the 1989 CHOGM and Langkawi was the venue for the retreat.
It is a matter of priority for the MIC President, to present the interest of the Malaysian Indians as part of the bigger Malaysian family or ethnic sentiments to ‘Motherland’ is more prominent. Probably Palanivel should state whether he is Cabinet Minister if not Malaysian first instead of Tamil first.