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Samy Vellu Slams Opposition For Using Temples To Campaign

Contributed by Anonymous on Monday, February 11 @ 08:50:24 CST

Samy Vellu
OHOR BAHARU, Feb 11 (Bernama) -- MIC president Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu Monday took to task an opposition party for using temples to conduct their political campaigns.

"They go in and pray for just five minutes but talk politics for 50 minutes," the Works Minister told reporters at the launching of the Permas Jaya Second Bridge project, which was also attended by Johor Menteri Besar Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, here today.

"Never in my life have I seen a political party using temples for their campaigning," he said.

Asked to comment on claims by Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang that the DAP would be able to deny the Barisan Nasional (BN) a two thirds majority in the upcoming election, Samy Vellu said the BN would win "100 per cent" as it was a government which fulfilled its promises and had brought much prosperity to the people and nation.

"The people in return will vote back in the BN government in a show of gratitude," he said.

On talk that the MIC would be fielding more young faces this time, Samy Vellu jested that he would have their blood samples sent for laboratory testing to determine if they were truly young.

"Just name want young of the A, B or O blood type," he joked.

He also said that he had yet to submit the names of MIC's candidates to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as he still had time to do so.

"When I get a call from the Prime Minister, I will send the list," he said.


Tsu Koon's Decision No Surprise To Me, Says Keng Yaik By Alan Ting

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 11 (Bernama) -- Gerakan national adviser Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik is not at all surprised over his protege Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon's decision to contest a parliamentary seat in the upcoming general election.

"I am not surprised...I knew all along what decision he would take. We had many discussions. I know his's easier for me to fly kite instead of Tsu Koon to fly kite.

"However, the final decision is his own. Now coming out from his mouth, it is not flying kite anymore. You see my point? Of course, it is part of the strategy," the veteran politician told Bernama in an interview.

The Energy, Water and Communications Minister said he knew all along that the acting Gerakan president would go for a parliamentary seat in this election after being the Penang chief Minister for 17 years.

Confirming yesterday that he would move to a parliamentary seat in this election, Koh said he met Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Saturday and informed him of his decision.

Keng Yaik said he had deliberately announced in December last year that Dr Koh should remain in Penang, Gerakan's power base, to force force the present Gerakan leadership and Central Committee (CC) to decide on the Penang chief minister's succession as the general election was fast approaching.

"That was my reaction to the attack by DAP and PKR on Gerakan for not deciding on the chief minister's successor. Once we felt confident that the candidate is ready, Dr Koh can go elsewhere," the outspoken politician said.

Asked why he had to go public as he had the choice of passing the message to the party leadership through the CC, the party's highest decision-making body, he said: "It was my instinct". As party adviser, Keng Yaik is also a CC member.

The minister, who is retiring from politics after the election, refused to be drawn into speculation on who would succeed Dr Koh as Penang Chief Minister.

The names of Deputy Information Minister Datuk Seri Chia Kwang Chye, who is also Gerakan secretary-general, and Health Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Lee Kah Choon are being bandied about for the post.

"Whoever is Tsu Koon's choice for the CM's post will be the person to fulfil the mandate of the BN and the people of Penang. At this moment, in order not to speculate, I am in no position to mention by preference as to who should fill the void left by Tsu Koon," he said.

Pressed further on the matter, Keng Yaik said Dr Koh's announcement yesterday was good for the party and "I believe that he believes the Penangites would want to see a new face there."

"We know the strength of the various potential candidates. Not for the sake of the party but for the sake of the Penang people. Gerakan has not failed in its duty to identify the right person to lead the state.

"It is good for Penang to have a new face as Tsu Koon has served four terms. He has fulfilled the party's role, he has fulfilled the wishes of the Penang people." said Keng Yaik, adding that he supported Dr Koh's decision to move to federal level.

"I supported him. I asked party members to support his decision. If I give my opinion, it doesn't mean I would stick to my opinion. The opinion could be given for strategic reasons," he added.

Keng Yaik, who had helmed Gerakan for 26 years, also ruled out the notion that the new Penang chief minister must be a Penangite, saying "this is not important".

Citing himself as an example, Keng Yaik said he was born in Tapah, raised in Ipoh, but ended up contesting in the Beruas parliamentary seat.

"It is not like father and son (referring to DAP's national adviser Lim Kit Siang and his son Lim Guan Eng (party secretary-general), just come to Penang and make more for themselves or their party rather than having the welfare of the people of Penang at heart," he said.

Apart from Chia and Lee, the name of a Gerakan vice-president Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nam, who is also a Penang state executive councillor, had also surfaced.

The speculation had gained steam after Dr Koh said yesterday that he had given three names to the Prime Minister to be considered as his successor.

For "strategic" reasons, the announcement on who would be the next Penang chief minister should not be made now, but only after the nomination day and that too should the need arises, Keng Yaik added.




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