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Commotion during Samy's visit to BN ops centre in Bagan Dalam

Contributed by Anonymous on Tuesday, February 26 @ 07:43:14 CST

National: Politics
By : Sharanjit Singh and S. Arulldas
Tues, Feb 26, 2008 NST
There was a slight commotion when embattled MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu was about to leave the BN operation centre in Bagan Dalam here today. A group tried to gatecrash the function but were prevented by police men on standby everywhere Samy Vellu went. Several women were heard screaming that they wanted to meet him. The group eventually dispersed.


Earlier, Samy told the party’s candidates to toil for every vote as the campaign for the 12th general election heats up. “They have to slog it out. The MIC along with our BN partners will help them by going from house-to-house,” he said. “We will convince voters to continue supporting us.”

Citing the Bagan Dalam and Prai state seats that the MIC is contesting in Penang as examples, he said the level of support for the party candidates was slowly improving. “I am happy that we have recovered slightly in Bagan Dalam where our candidate was getting below 50 per cent support previously,” he said. “It has now gone up slightly and this is good. The situation is different in Prai but it is also recovering.”

Samy Vellu earlier visited the Taman Chai Leng wet market and met residents at a community hall there. The MIC has fielded in*****bent P.K. Subbaiyah to contest in Bagan Dalam where the state executive councillor is facing the DAP’s V. Tanasekharan.
In Prai, MIC newcomer L. Krishnan is facing the DAP’s Professor P. Ramasamy in what is fast turning out to be a bruising battle for the hot seat. Both seats have come under the spotlight as candidates from both sides struggle to win over voters, especially the sizeable number of Indians in the constituencies.

Samy Vellu said many grouses and complaints raised by people in the constituencies had been resolved. Among the issues that had been raised were malfunctioning lifts at the Taman Teluk Indah flats which had been out of order for the past few years. The 21-storey flats only had four working lifts in the six blocks housing about 5,000 families who will be voting in Prai.

Samy Vellu said the state government had allocated RM1 million while the federal government had come up with another RM3.5 million to repair the lifts. The government had also allocated another RM4 million to upgrade the Taman Chai Leng wet market.

Asked why the problems were only being attended to now, Samy Vellu said a decision to repair the lifts was made six months ago. However, he said the money was released by the Treasury to the local council before it was redirected to his ministry. “This was not something that could be done in a day or two. Nevertheless, the problem is resolved now,” he said.

On the situation in other states, Samy said he was going all over to help MIC candidates in the campaign.

“I am spending one day in Sungai Siput and every other day elsewhere to help campaign for the other MIC candidates,” he said. “I am especially happy with the situation in Johor where the Menteri Besar had taken charge by helping out the MIC’s campaign.”
*****************
Samy: Not shoe, they threw atomic bomb Beh Lih Yi | Feb 26, 08 6:34pm MIC president S Samy Vellu today denied that shoes were thrown at him during a recent visit to Penang.Quizzed on this at a press conference in Butterworth, he quipped: "They threw an atomic bomb at me...I threw the atomic (bomb) back." However, he conceded that an argument erupted between him and the local Indian community when he visited Perai, in Butterworth, two weeks ago."Nothing happened. They didn’t throw a screwdriver at me. If they threw a screwdriver, I will take the screwdriver and use it for my car," he said, drawing laughter from local MIC leaders who were present. Samy Vellu was met by reporters at the Batu Kawan MIC election operations room - one of his three stops at Indian-majority seats during a one-day visit to Penang. He was asked to comment on rumours that an Indian woman had thrown a shoe at him when he was speaking to the crowd in Perai, which is an Indian-majority seat, on Feb 16.According to rumours, the shoe did little to unnerve the seasoned politician, who purportedly replied to the crowd that he was not afraid of an atomic bomb, let alone a shoe. This was said to have resulted in a second shoe being thrown at him.The media had reported that some 60 people blocked Samy Vellu’s car while he was leaving the function and criticised him for not helping the Indian community.It was also reported that the MIC president was stuck in the car for about 30 minutes before being whisked away to safety by policemen.Argument over arrestsCommenting further on the incident, the 72-year-old politician said there was an argument over the mass arrests in connection with the ‘roses’ demonstration organised by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf). "They wanted me to tell the prime minister to release all of them, I said I can’t do that because I don’t have the power, so that’s the argument. "Of course during the argument, somebody ‘bang, bang, bang’, all sorts of talk. We all human beings, when someone gets angry, they lose their heads," he said.On that note, Samy Vellu promised that he would not prevent the people from approaching him to air their views."When I come here. I am an Indian, they are also Malaysian Indians. I have to allow them to talk to me, I don’t want anyone to block (the people)," he said.Soon after this, an Indian trader was reportedly stopped by MIC members from approaching Samy Vellu during his brief visit to a market in Perai at his second stop in Penang.According to eyewitnesses, the man who tried to approach Samy Vellu was shoved aside - and almost fell - while police personnel told the man to raise the issue at a nearby school hall, where the MIC president was holding a meet-the-people session. Heavy police presenceSamy Vellu was escorted by a heavy police presence and flanked by MIC state leaders throughout his visit.In Batu Kawan, at least six patrol cars and about 30 policemen accompanied him throughout his 45-minute programme with some 200 Indians from a residential area there. Security was stepped up when he arrived in Perai, where a truck of light strike force personnel were also deployed to prevent any untoward incident.The hall where he held his meet-the-people session was half-empty and some of those who turned up were also spotted in Batu Kawan earlier.On his way out of the hall, Samy Vellu stopped several times when the locals tried to seek his help to solve their problems. During his last stop at Bagan Dalam, a woman and her family tried in vain to seek the MIC president’s help to secure the release of her son who is being held under the Emergency Ordinance.According to eyewitnesses, the woman later hurled abusive words at the MIC leader as Samy Vellu was getting into his car. *************
MIC, Indians ties 'like husband and wife' Beh Lih Yi | Feb 26, 08 8:29pm The relationship between the Indian Malaysian community and MIC is like husband and wife, according to party president S Samy Vellu today.

In this relationship, the husband should not ask what the wife has done for him, said the embattled veteran politician.

“The wife prepares morning tea, lunch and dinner for him, cleaning, taking care of the children. Whatever happens in the house have been taken care of by the wife, so the husband shouldn’t question what she has done for him.

“Similarly, the Indian community should not ask what the MIC has done for them because we have shown them what we have done,” he told reporters after a meet-the-people session at Batu Kawan in Penang today.

He said these examples include MIC helping the community in problems relating to higher education and instances such as difficulties in sending their children to school.

“If there is any question (from the community), we (MIC) have the answer,” a tired-looking Samy Vellu said.

Following the Nov 25 Hindraf rally, there was an unprecedented wave of dissatisfaction over the performance of Samy Vellu and MIC as well as issues linked to discrimination and marginalisation of the community.

If I remain in gov’t...

The 72-year-old MIC leader also welcomed the election manifesto launched yesterday by the Barisan Nasional - of which MIC is a component party - which promised security, peace and prosperity for all Malaysians.

“Based on the manifesto, I am very confident that the government will do, have to do (what it has stipulated). A manifesto is a promise to the people. A manifesto is something for implementation.

“I have filed it (manifesto) in my own file. If I remain in the government, I will bring it up from time to time to tell the government what it has promised, which have to be done,” he said.

Earlier, Samy Vellu addressed about 200 people from the area.

Batu Kawan is one the three stops in his visit to Penang today. The two others are in Perai and Bagan Dalam, all of which are in Penang’s mainland and have sizeable Indian voters.

There was heavy presence of police throughout his visit, possibly to deter incidences where Samy Vellu was accosted by angry voters from reoccurring.

****************
How will Buntong Indians vote? Andrew Ong | Feb 26, 08 4:14pm The Buntong state seat in Perak which Barisan Nasional had let slip several times in the last 11 general elections is likely to see another keen contest this time round. Coupled with the fact that Buntong has 46.2 percent Indian voters - the largest in the country in terms of percentage - the outcome on polling day would definitely be closely watched. Buntong, a former mining town, began as a Chinese new village after World War II. In the 60s and 70s, new Indian settlements were built around the area to house local council workers and Telekom staff during the People's Progressive Party reign of local councils in the area.DAP's A Sivasubramaniam (right) is giving the seat a second try. He would meet MCA newcomer Lee Tung Lai, 52, as in*****bent Yik Phooi Hong would be taking on the Ipoh Barat parliament seat. All three are local boys. In 2004, Sivasubramaniam lost to Yik's by 2,382 votes. In all, he had managed to reduce Yik's majority by about 1,000 votes. There are 21,682 voters in the area.Other than the Chinese supporters of DAP, Sivasubramaniam is hoping to cash in on the new wave of anti-government sentiments among Buntong's 10,131 Indian voters and finally wrest back the seat, which DAP held in 1990, from the BN. Subramaniam has a lot going for him. He is known locally as an aide to Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran and has been keeping his Buntong service centre running since 2004. Buntong is one of the three state seats under the Ipoh Barat parliament constituency. "If I am elected then all your rubbish and drainage woes would be resolved. Why? Because that is the carrot Barisan would dangle to win back this seat," Sivasubramaniam told a crowd of 300 during a ceramah near the Buntong market last night. MCA rookieHis opponent Lee however, despite being an rookie, is no pushover. Lee is a MCA branch chairperson and has been active in local politics, local guilds and parent-teacher associations for the past 20 years. Met in Buntong today, Lee (left), who runs a small engineering firm near Buntong, appeared to be still soaking in the fact that he had been made a BN candidate. "I was hosting a dinner for a friend from overseas when I received the call from (MCA secretary-general) Ong Ka Chuan. After he said that I have been made candidate, I was so stunned I couldn't even finish the rest of my meal," said Lee with a smile when asked on his unexpected candidacy. Lee said "it should be okay" when asked on his chances of retaining the seat for Barisan and that his track record as a local activist would bode well to win substantial support of Buntong's 10,190 Chinese electorate. However, he appeared less confident when quizzed about Indian voters. "There will be a difference (in the way they vote this time)," said Lee, who plans to tackle this by banking on his MIC comrades to help introduce him in an intensive house-to-house campaign. Lee also brushed off suggestions that a recent confrontation between disgruntled Indians here and Menteri Besar Tajol Rosli was reflective of the entire Indian community in Buntong. During the Feb 19 incident, a group of Indians jeered Tajol during a meet-the-people session. Other victims of public dissatisfaction included Perak MIC chief G Rajoo and Yik. An egg was also thrown on stage but missed all three VIPs. "There are only a small group of people who are causing trouble," said Lee.

 
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