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The Samy Vellu whirlwind

Contributed by Anonymous on Friday, February 29 @ 06:35:06 CST

Samy VelluNST, By : V. Anbalagan

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 favourite outlet.

"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 everyone.
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 up.

"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 hall

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.

Samy Vellu reminds the villagers he cannot promise any development projects or approve allocations because this is against the election law.

3.35pm: 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 local contractors.

4.05pm: Felda Lasah 1 community hall

An 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 fails.

"Anyone else sick here? This is Dr Samy Vellu."

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 day-care centre

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 visitors' book.

5.15pm: Kampung Tok Bisan community hall

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 BN.

6pm-6.45pm: Samy Vellu returns to the BN operations centre in Taman Tun Sambanthan and meets party workers.

7.15pm: Sungai Krudda estate

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."

Samy Vellu: "Who will you vote for?" Crowd: "Barisan."

9pm: Taman Orchid

Samy Vellu goes on a walkabout at a night market in the housing scheme before attending an Indian cultural show.

He introduces the BN candidate for the Jalong state seat, Cheah Chee Kuan, to the crowd.

10pm: Calls it a day and heads back to Ipoh.



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