The Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC or Kongres India Se-Malaysia) is a Malaysian political party and is one of the founding members of the ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional, previously known as the Alliance that has been in power since the country achieved independence in 1957. The MIC was established in August 1946, at the end of World War II, to fight for Indian independence from British colonial rule. After India gained its independence, MIC involved itself in the struggle for the independence of Malaya (now Malaysia which was achieved in 1957. |
It positioned itself for representation on behalf of the Indian community in the post-war development of the country. The MIC joined the National Alliance comprising the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) in 1954 which became the Barisan Nasional in 1973 with further expansion in the number of component parties. The current head of the MIC is President Datuk Palanivel Govindasamy. Like the other racially based political parties in multi-racial Malaysia, membership in MIC is limited to ethnic Indians, the majority being Tamils descended from Indian migrants.
At the outset, MIC was founded to represent the interests of ethnic Indians in Malaya, the majority of whom had been brought to the country from South India as indentured laborers by the British. The party's founder John A. Thivy (1946-1947) also sought to check social problems such as low literacy level, alcoholism and family violence faced by the Indian community. At the outset, the party was committed to positive inter-racial harmony and cooperation and obtaining a fair share of the economic cake for the Indian community. It was the intense anti-British sentiment that made the MIC under the leadership of its second president Budh Singh (1947-1950) critical of the Malayan Union, which did not obtain Indian support. Under its third president, K....