Aliran is NOT alone in their thoughts on this:
“Typically commendable for critical journalism in accreditation to its independent status, Malaysiakini’s “MIC evolving to meet rising expectations” left much to be desired. The main problem with the piece—or perhaps it was the choice of headline—is that at no point were readers informed on how the MIC plans to bring this statement to fruition. Despite “an exclusive interview” with MIC candidate S. Murugesan in his car, the candidate is allowed to offer vague musings on the way in which the MIC will remain relevant to voters. The report stated that S. Murugesan “chose his words carefully when posed with sensitive questions”; however, as he could not possibly walk away from an undesirable question, the car-ride interview was a perfect opportunity to scratch beneath the surface.
Yet, S. Murugesan got away with blanket statements, such as: “MIC will rise to the occasion and remain relevant to the Indian community” and “new ideas and new way of thinking have to come up…and it is coming up” [sic]. While stressing that he wants to “[inject] new ideas and strategies” into the party, S. Murugesan was not pressured to offer or outline any of these ideas or strategies (or if he was, Malaysiakini did not provide a ‘refuse to comment’ notice). The grittiest the interview got was when S. Murugesan agreed that “the problems confronting the Indian community were far more complex [than Tamil schools and temples]”; but rather than getting into the complex issues, S. Murugesan blurted out that “Tamil schools and temples are also important”. Thanks, Captain Obvious.
The interview ventured into a discussion on youth concerns, providing more blanket statements, such as: “we must look at employment and business opportunities. We have to make sure that the Indians, especially the youths, must learn how to be self reliant”. S. Murugesan added that Indian youth must “think out of the box and venture into the business sector”.
Here, a multitude of questions could have been addressed: how does the MIC plan to tackle the problem of illegal foreign workers? What strategies will MIC employ to help Indian youth become more self-reliant? Will they sponsor workshops? Provide scholarships? Oversee training and apprenticeships? How can one possibly “venture into the business sector” without adequate knowledge, training and access to loans and other resources needed to start a personal business?
But alas, these questions went unasked, and thus, unanswered. The reader is left with little more critical insight than if they had been perusing a mainstream publication. For the party’s sake, I hope the 40-year-old candidate has more ideas up his sleeve than Malaysiakini could unfold; if not, the only thing he’ll be injecting into the MIC’s veins is air.”