MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel is facing growing calls for his resignation, this time from the party's strategic director, Datuk Seri S. Vell Paari.
Vell Paari made the call after the Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Ahmad Shah, lashed out at Palanivel, who is the Cameron Highlands MP, for not addressing the problems plaguing the tourist spot.
The ruler also accused Palanivel, who is also the natural resources and environment minister, of not taking any action to solve the problem of mudslides in the Bertam Valley following a similar incident last year in which four people died.
Vell Paari said it was disheartening to read in today's newspapers about the sultan admonishing the MIC president.
"Perhaps the time has come for the MIC president to retire from politics," he said in a statement today.
Known for his outspokenness against his party leadership, Vell Paari insisted that his remark was not a plot to oust the MIC president.
"It is a case of simply stating the facts. And I am certain that my view is shared by many in the party.”
Early this month, an MIC central working committee member Datuk Henry Benedict Asirvatham also criticised Palanivel for his choice of candidates in the last general election for Penang.
Saying that MIC, a party with a rich and long history of representing the Indian community, had lost support and standing, he said the party needed a new president.
Meanwhile, Vell Paari said today, at this stage, MIC was in dire need of rejuvenation and a dynamic leadership in order to keep the party relevant in a rapidly changing Malaysian political landscape.
"We need a leader who can rise up to the challenges ahead of us," he said.
He added that many in MIC suspected that Palanivel, was unwell thus making him difficult to discharge his duties effectively.
This, he said was evident during the Sultan of Pahang's visit to Cameron Highlands yesterday when the MP was not present.
"It is common knowledge that the MIC president is absent-minded and experiences bouts of severe fatigue.
"His condition has given room to some people to influence as well as exploit him and dictate the direction of the party.
"This must end. The writing is on the wall."
He added that during the last party elections, for the same reason, many party members had wanted a showdown in the president's election but Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak overruled them.
"The PM's intention of preserving stability in the party was noble but it has now become a problem. "Some people are claiming that (there will be) another major swing in Indian votes towards the opposition, including disgruntled MIC members."