NST, By : V.
Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu (right) enjoying a cup of white coffee at
Teratai Cafe in Sungai Siput.
The NST follows Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu as he campaigns in
Sungai Siput. The MIC president and works minister is going for his ninth term
in the constituency, which he has served for 34 years
1.40pm: Teratai Cafe
Travelling in a convoy
of three vehicles, Samy Vellu's first stop is for white coffee and toast at his
"I haven't had breakfast or lunch," said the
71-year-old MIC president.
Shop workers rush to serve him knowing that
their VIP customer is always on the move. Samy Vellu picks up the tab for
2.25pm: Kampung Pulau
Mentimun community hall
Only two villagers turn up to meet their MP
but he is cheerful. A woman approaches him for help. Samy Vellu is on his mobile
phone for about 20 minutes while the hall fills up. The village Umno branch
chief, Mohd Soho Yasin, apologises profusely for holding Samy Vellu
"Sorry, Datuk Seri. The villagers are tired after working on their
smallholdings," he says.
Samy Vellu gives a five-minute speech and
explains who his opponents are.
"Don't listen to the propaganda spread by
Parti Keadilan Rakyat and the independent candidate. You are my brothers and
sisters and you know what I have done," he says to shouts of "Hidup Barisan,
Hidup Datuk Seri".
3.10pm: Kampung Maa-mor community
About 100 people greet Samy Vellu.
"This is the kampung
where I first campaigned in 1974," he says, adding that Sungai Siput has been
transformed from a sleepy hollow to a vibrant town 30 years later.
Vellu reminds the villagers he cannot promise any development projects or
approve allocations because this is against the election law.
Felda Lasah 2 community hall
Samy Vellu runs through the list of
projects which had been approved. He then shows the crowd an artist's impression
of the Al-Gufraniah mosque to be built in Sungai Siput.
"I drew the plan
and this mosque looks like the Taj Mahal. The government has approved RM7
million for it."
He also assures them the project will be awarded to
4.05pm: Felda Lasah 1 community hall
elderly man approaches Samy Vellu with a letter from the Ipoh Hospital. The man
has a urinary tract problem.
Samy Vellu calls Dr Vasan Sinnadurai, the
Barisan Nasional's MIC candidate contesting the Pasir Panjang state seat.
The conversation lasts about five minutes. He then tells the man he
would be sent to the Penang Hospital for an operation if the medication
"Anyone else sick here? This is Dr Samy Vellu."
then touches on the RM40 billion petrol and diesel subsidies and urges voters
not to be duped by the opposition's sweet talk.
5pm: Felda Lasah
He notices there is no fencing. "We must fence up the
area to protect life and property," he says as he jots something in the
5.15pm: Kampung Tok Bisan community
About 100 people greet him. His main message is that foreigners
should not enjoy the fruits of Malaysia's development, explaining that
Thai-registered vehicles are using Malaysian highways to export fruits and
vegetables to Singapore.
Samy Vellu says Prime Minister Datuk Seri
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is impressed with the development in Sungai Siput while
opposition leaders Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang have nothing kind
to say although they know the country has prospered under
6pm-6.45pm: Samy Vellu returns to the BN operations centre in
Taman Tun Sambanthan and meets party workers.
7.15pm: Sungai Krudda
Community leaders heap praises on Samy Vellu's achievements
since he took over the party leadership in 1979. Samy Vellu admits that MIC
candidates are facing a tough battle.
He reveals that just before the
1974 election, some advised him to contest elsewhere because the then MP Tun
V.T. Sambanthan was upset with him.
"But I told my critics that this is a
traditional MIC seat. I am not a coward and would rather fight and lose here."
8.25pm: Sungai Rela estate
Meets a handful of voters and
asks them when the polling date is.
They reply: "March 8."
Vellu: "Who will you vote for?" Crowd: "Barisan."
Samy Vellu goes on a walkabout at a night market in the
housing scheme before attending an Indian cultural show.
the BN candidate for the Jalong state seat, Cheah Chee Kuan, to the
10pm: Calls it a day and heads back to Ipoh.