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