The dailies reported that Samy Vellu told MIC delegates at a party convention in Johor on Tuesday that Mahathir did not do anything for the community and had failed to keep his promises made under the Eighth Malaysia Plan (8MP).
“For the information of malaysiakini
readers, I hold Mahathir as a high-esteemed leader in my heart. Anything he ordered, we did right away,” said Samy Vellu, who is also works minister.
“He (Mahathir) is a great leader who has helped us (the Indian Malaysian community) a lot,” he added.
Among others, Samy Vellu said, the former premier had given the community RM120 million to build a university, RM8 million for the Tafe college in Seremban and money to build 60 Tamil schools nationwide.
“On several occasions, he (Mahathir) had done his best for the community,” he stressed
“It was unfortunate that down the line some of these were not carried out and we did not achieve the three percent equity target under the 8MP,” he added The real ‘Nehi’
As for his speech at the Johor convention, Samy Vellu maintained that he was misquoted by the two dailies. “I never said that Mahathir did not do anything for the community.”
He said the matter cropped up when a delegate had asked about the three percent equity.
The minister explained that he was telling delegates that on several occasions, MIC had requested the government to have a monitoring unit in order to check that decisions concerning the community were implemented.
And it is to this, Samy Vellu claimed that he said ‘Nehi
’ (‘No’ in Hindi) - as in the request did not materialise.
The two dailies, however, quoted him as telling delegates that Mahathir said ‘Nehi
’ to the allocations for the community under the 8MP.
“I said (in the speech) that we have taken this (the monitoring unit request) up with the (present) government and the PM (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) agreed.
“I understand that a senior officer had been assigned (for this task). This is actually what I said,” he told malaysiakini
. Subra behind it?
Meanwhile, Samy Vellu claimed that his estranged deputy S Subramiam could have had a hand in this controversy.
“These two dailies (Makkal Osai
and Malaysia Nanban
) are aligned to Subramaniam and they have been twisting and turning news for a long time. There have been many seriously defaming articles about me in these papers,” he said.
“These people are angry because I am looking for a new deputy because Subramaniam cannot serve the community. I have to look for a new man who is capable to do work for the community with me,” he added.
Subramaniam could not be reached for comment.
Samy Vellu has openly endorsed vice-president G Palanivel for the number two post. The contest for deputy presidency will be held on June 24.