MIC treasurer S Vell Paari should stop seeking cheap publicity by asking Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to explain why he had taken photographs with a suspect detained by the MACC in connection to the undersea tunnel project probe, said P Ramasamy.
In a statement, the Penang deputy chief minister II said there are "better, and more urgent things" for Lim to do as the head of the state government.
"Even if Lim had taken a photograph with this individual some time back, it is uncertain whether he would know in detail about the individual, as alleged by Vell Paari.
"Leaders of governments have the habit of posing for photographs with groups and individuals they hardly know well," Ramasamy said.
This, he added, was because elected leaders must be seen as "friendly" to those who approach them.
Ramasamy was referring to Vell Paari's statement seeking Lim's explanation on why he was photographed with an Indian businessperson, earlier detained by the MACC, in connection with the undersea tunnel project investigations.
The MIC man also said that he and another party leader had exposed the said suspect, less than two years ago, as having cheated the Indian community in a foreign exchange scam.
The suspect was allegedly paid RM19 million by the main contractor of the tunnel project, Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd, to get the MACC to stop pursuing its investigation into the project.
On Vell Paari's assertion that Lim explains why he had taken photographs with an alleged conman, Ramasamy, asked if so, how come the said suspect was not arrested and prosecuted.
He said if Lim had indeed taken photographs with the suspect, it would probably have taken place before the "expose" by Vell Paari.
"Is Vell Paari telling Lim that he should have the premonition that the suspect was about to do something bad later and that he could have avoided the photograph with him?" the Perai assemblyperson asked.
According to Ramasamy, several BN leaders, including those from MIC, have also had their photographs taken with the suspect on "business matters", and said "evidence" in his possession will be released to the public in due course.
The real culprit in cheating Indians, alleged Ramasamy, was BN, including MIC, which had taken Indians for "a long ride over 50 years".
Lim's office had called attempts to link him to the suspect as a "disgusting" attempt to smear the CM's name.