Grip of Infamy. Episode 19. By R. Sittamparam

Episode 19 (Scroll down the Literature section to read earlier episodes of this serialised Malaysian novel)

The following day reports of the fracas at the MVP meeting was splashed on the main pages of the various alternative media.

The People’s Voice headline screamed: `Sanggaran’s Way’ – MVP boss shuts out deputy, rewards enforcer.

It carried a smartphone shot photograph of Datuk Seri PG exiting the conference hall protected by supporters amid flying chairs, cups and plates.

`MVP Mafia Kicks out Mr Clean’ was Clean Merekasia’s header with photographs of Thana gesturing menacingly and Wira Pandian flinging his fist in the direction of Datuk Seri PG.

Even The Alliance owned Status Quo daily chose to fully milk the story.

It carried a single column, side story on the front page with a cartoon sketch of Sanggaran Velu walking out of the meeting in a huff.

`President Storms Out Of CWC Meeting’ its headline read.

The main story titled, `New Blood For MVP’ with the picture of flying chairs, took up half of the second page space.

The story written by Seema described the MVP fracas as an overboiling of tempers between two factions within the party.

It also carried Sanggaran Velu’s speech in full and Thana’s comments lambasting Datuk Seri PG’s faction and pledge to support his president’s leadership.

Another right leaning English daily, The Phoenix in its usual diplomatic tone ran a front page article minus photographs entitled, ‘PG Dumped – New blood for MVP’.

A stand-alone photograph of the chair hurling fracas  appeared on the 3rd page.

The daily’s political columnist summed up the incident quoting insider views of MVP veteran S. Manika Devar throwing in anecdotes to indicate she was a well trusted political analyst who many politicians would confide in, to voice their aspirations and grievances.

Manika her old time contact believed he had seen several upstarts like Datuk Seri PG in MVP over the decades – who with their uppity, too-good-to-be-true image had caused minor hiccups in the party – only to eventually fade into oblivion.

He was quoted saying: The Indian community is a melodramatic lot, only a beguiling, heavy-handed leader like Tan Sri Sanggaran Velu can reign them in.

I too had my run-ins with him in my younger days but you can’t deny it – ultimately his way is the best.

Sanggaran Velu was at the Prime Minister’s private residence at 9am that day.

The meeting with Prime Minister Tan Sri Bakar Adam ended with the full endorsement of Sanggaran Velu’s proposed list of electoral candidates.

Sanggaran Velu was the long serving Cabinet Minister of Infrastructural Development who had reliably procured a steady flow of projects to feed the party’s corporate cronies and The Bigger Alliance leaders’ proxy businesses.

The past few months in preparing for the General Elections, Sanggaran Velu had been busy fast forwarding hundreds of Infrastructure projects – from the building of small wooden bridges in far flung villages, residential multipurpose community halls right up to billion dollar superhighways and a public rail service throughout the country.

Kickbacks from the projects this time around were not shared among the division leaders of The Bigger Alliance component parties – the lion’s share gobbled up by Parti Ketuanan as was usual, but channelled directly into The Bigger Alliance party election funds

The early morning meeting at the PM’s home was a weekly closed door pre-election meet of party chiefs from Parti Ketuanan, Merekasian Chenggong Party (MCP), MVP; Rakyat Pulau Party (RPP);  Mix and Match Party (MMP); Parti Pohon Seberang (PPS) and Parti Tangki Serawan (PTS).

Sanggaran Velu knew well that the Prime Minister would not refute his choice of candidates although Bakar had advised him to be careful not to jeopardise The Bigger Alliance’s Indian vote bank in any way.

Bakar had also mentioned about Thana whose underworld involvement was known to the Police and general public even.

He warned that the Opposition would use this fact to work against Thana and MVP in the elections.

Sanggaran Velu managed to convince Bakar that the seat he had picked for Thana was a safe one which had been well taken care of by MVP over the decades.

He also promised to talk to Thana to clean up his image in preparation for his candidacy including helping him settle the issue over the viral video of the shooting incident.

More so now with the sidelining of Datuk Seri PG, Sanggaran Velu knew well that keeping Thana by his side was crucial. To maintain his iron fist handling of MVP and ensure personal security.

He had already envisioned infusing the MVP youth wing with Thana’s gang members, to always be on standby to diffuse difficult situations especially during election proceedings.

Bakar had also announced during the meeting that he would be dissolving the Parliament to make way for the General Elections the following week.

Sanggaran Velu had been instructed by Bakar to push his ministry’s project partners to deliver all their contributions to The  Bigger Alliance by the weekend latest.

With the deadline just four days away, Sanggaran Velu would have to put party matters in the hands of MVP secretary Vettrivel Gaunder and his two vice presidents.

Anyway with Datuk Seri PG out of the way, he would have a free hand in working out his election strategy.

All the events and characters portrayed in this serialised novel are fictional and any parallel with real life events or persons is purely conincidental.

Sittam Param

Writer, poet, dramatist and former journalist. I have passion for art in all its forms hence my involvement in this portal.

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