However, the Works Minister said he was confident that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would keep his word and deliver the promises made to the community under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP).
Samy Vellu - who was always considered a close ally of Mahathir during his 22-year rule - said this in his speech at an MIC gathering in Johor yesterday.
The veteran politician stressed that if the community does not get what is promised under the 9MP, ‘we will make noise and demand for it’.
Samy Vellu said he had suggested to the government that a special quarter be set up to monitor what was being received by the community.
Following this, he said the Prime Minister’s Department had assigned an official to look into the problems faced by the community.
According to Samy Vellu, the prime minister had instructed that all issues pertaining to the Indian community be discussed with the MIC first.
The party president stressed that MIC was here to look after the welfare of the community. Sothinathan’s suspension
Samy Vellu also touched on the action taken against the party’s secretary-general and Teluk Kemang MP, S Sothinathan.
Last June, the Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister was suspended
from his cabinet post without pay for three months when he broke rank with the government over the de-recognition of the Ukraine-based Crimean State Medical University (CSMU).
He was said to have breached the Code of Ethics for BN members when he supported an opposition motion which questioned CSMU's de-recognition.
CSMU has a large number of Indian Malaysian students.
Commenting on this yesterday, Samy Vellu said Sothinathan 'was hit' instead of him.
He then asked what action had transpired when Backbenchers Club head and Umno politician Shahrir Abdul Samad broke rank
and supported an opposition motion in Parliament recently.
Shahrir has since resigned from the BBC and is not expected to face any further action. Tamil dailies claim 'Samy said it'
May 18, 06 2:36pm
Tamil dailies Makkal Osai
and Malaysia Nanban
are unfazed by MIC president S Samy Vellu’s threat to sue them for alleged false reporting.
The dailies said they have proof that the veteran politician had made the disputed remarks
about former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Yesterday, both newspapers reported that Samy told delegates at a convention in Johor on Tuesday that Mahathir did not give the Indian community anything.
He was quoted as saying that the former premier promised ‘this and that’ under the Eighth Malaysia Plan (8MP) but later said 'Nehi
' ('No' in Hindi) and left without giving anything.
However, newspapers today quoted the veteran politician as claiming that the reports were false and the dailies had purposely distorted his remarks to create unnecessary friction between him and Mahathir.
He explained that during the convention, a delegate had raised the issue of the three percent equity for Indians in the country and he had mentioned that it was Mahathir who initiated the target which could not be reached under the 8MP.
Samy Vellu, who is also works minister, said he had instructed his lawyer to initiate legal proceedings against the two dailies. ‘We have it on tape’
Contacted today, both Makkal Osai
and Malaysia Nanban
stood by their reports.
“Our JB reporter has confirmed that the MIC president said this (the disputed remarks) in his opening speech (at the convention) and we have it on tape,” said Makkal Osai
general manager SM Periasamy.
He said the newspaper was willing to face Samy Vellu in court if the matter came to that.
Meanwhile, Malaysia Nanban
chief editor M Rajan said the daily also had a recording of the speech.
“Our reporter was there (at the convention). We reported what he (Samy Vellu) said. We have no intentions of creating any friction between him and Mahathir.
“As far as we are concerned, we did nothing wrong. We are ready to face legal action,” he added.