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 it...you 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
"I am not surprised...I knew all along what decision he would
take. We had many discussions. I know his sword...it'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
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
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
"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
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
"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
"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
"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
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.