On June 4, while the sometimes surreal MIC nominations process was underway at the party headquarters, a real-life drama was unravelling at Ward 21 on the fourth floor of the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.
Indian Progressive Front (IPF) president MG Pandithan was being wheeled into the intensive care unit on the VIP floor. Weak and hardly able to breathe, he was admitted after a week of high fever and a check-up at the National Heart Institute.
"He was in bad shape. We thought he was a goner," said a loyal aide, his eyes brimming with tears.