BUTTERWORTH: A protest by rival faction marred the Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party (MMSP) embattled president RS Thanenthiran's function in Dewan Mariamman, Butterworth today.
The small protest led by rival Group of 14 (G-14) faction central committee (CC) member S Sanjeeviramah @ Sanjay nearly turned ugly when several Thanenthiran’s supporters attempted to attack certain protestors.
A Thanenthiran supporter AK Anand threw a punch at one protestor - S Krishna Nair, 47, who is also known as Mak Mandin Kumar.
However, Kumar was not hit as timely intervention by plain clothed policemen and uniformed personnel managed to diffuse the situation and disperse the protestors.
Following police advice, Sanjay and some 10 protestors left the place.
During the 10-minute protest held outside the hall, Thanenthiran was in the hall launching the party’s ‘IMalaysia’ education fund for Tamil school pupils in Penang.
The protestors arrived at the site at 10.30am and chanted anti-Thanenthiran slogans and held up placards against the beleaguered MMSP president.
This agitated Thanenthiran supporters, who were outside the hall, triggering a shouting match between the rival supporters.
But police swiftly brought the situation under control by dispersing the protestors to leave the place before any untoward incident could take place.
No one was hurt or arrested in the commotion.
The G-14 group’s political, strategy and election bureau head Sanjay said the protest was organised to publicise to the people in Butterworth that Thanenthiran was no longer MMSP president.
Sanjay pointed out that the CC meeting ‘sacked’ Thanenthiran on Jan 17 as party member.
“He could no longer claim to be party president when he isn’t even a member,” said Sanjay.
Thanenthiran in turn has ‘sacked’ the rival G-14 as party members a few days later, which Sanjay described as a “bad joke.”
The political crisis had split the party, launched by Barisan Nasional chairman and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak last October, into two.
Both teams A & B are now staking claim of party leadership.
Both teams have both sought the intervention of Umno president Najib to resolve the crisis amicably.
But the solution has not been forthcoming until today.
Talking to press later, Thanenthiran said the people can now see for themselves the low mentality of his rivals for holding a protest during a noble function for school children.
He dismissed the protest to have been “carried out by small fries without people’s support.”
“I can crush them easily,” he said
Initially MMSP was hailed as the new political movement for the Indian Malaysian community.
However, after only a few months, the party is now in shambles.
Critics warned the crisis would be the beginning of the eventual demise of MMSP, which was formed by Thanenthiran-led splinter group from the Hindu Rights Action Force.