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Indian NGO claims Seberang Prai councillors abuse powers, will lodge report with MACC

NIBONG TEBAL: An Indian-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) has alleged that several Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) councillors have abused their powers by calling on the authorities to not allow them to proceed with the annual Deepavali carnival here.
Northern Indian Corridor Association (NIC) founder and president G. Rajasegar claimed a DAP councillor had shared a photo of him, state Umno liaison committee chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman and Umno Bagan division chief Datuk Dr Shaikh Hussein Mydin in a WhatsApp group with all MPSP councillors and heads of department.
Rajasegar has claimed that the DAP man had allegedly said that as he (Rajasegar) was no longer on the Pakatan Harapan team, all department heads should put any applications from him on hold.
The DAP councillor further said that this to ensure that Rajasegar would not abuse his power as a power councillor.
"Why are they (MPSP councillors) spreading my photo and claiming that I am no longer a friend of Pakatan Harapan? They are also using that to deny me from helping the Indian community. This is something I won't tolerate as it touches on racial sensitivity.
"What the councillors have said about me has affected my good name and that of NIC. If their actions are not tantamount to abuse of power, than what is?
"I want to stress that NIC is an NGO and not a political party. We are organising this Deepavali carnival to help the Indian traders," he told newsmen at NIC's office here today, where he showed them the exchanges among the councillors in the WhatsApp group, which he claimed he got from a friend.
Rajasegar, a former MPSP councillor in 2014 and 2015, said he would lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) next week against the councillors for abuse of power.
He said he had organised similar Deepavali events in the last four years without any issues.
"Whatever it is, I will still go on with the Deepavali carnival as I have obtained the necessary approval from the police and the Land Office," he added.
Meanwhile, several Indian traders who took part in the previous carnival, said it was a good platform for them to provide the best deal to their customers to prepare for the Festival of Light.
R. Murugesvary, 41, from Bollywood Fashion, said business had been brisk whenever she participated in the carnival.
"We don't understand why the councillors are giving us a hard time. We are just here to do business.
"Please let us go on like previous years," she said when met by the New Straits Times.
Another fashion accessories trader, G. Vasandra, 55, said the carnival allowed them to market themselves to customers as far as Kedah and Perak, as the fair did not only draw those from Penang.
This year's Deepavali carnival has been slated to take place from Oct 7 to 17.
In last year's carnival, the traders raked in close to RM500,000 in sales, a huge jump from previous years.

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