MIRI, May 19 (Bernama) -- MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu Friday accused his deputy of "back-stabbing", saying Datuk S. Subramaniam's game was up and he would now start to play his game.
"I firmly believe he (Subramaniam) had a hand in everything. So it is time to see either it is you (Subramaniam) or me. You want to take the MIC through the back door, I will not allow it... you want to contest against me I will allow you to challenge me. I don't mind calling for a (presidential) election again for you to contest (against) me but don't do this sort of nasty job," he said.
In the last 25-years he had been president, Samy Vellu said he had taken all the "beatings", suffered from "subversive activities" and was attacked "left and right" but he had remained patient.
"They tried to prove I am a man not worth to be president, you (Subramaniam) had your game, now I will play mine. It is time for the MIC delegates to think whether they wanted these subversive elements to continue in the party," he told Bernama and TV3 in a joint interview here.
Although it is public knowledge that there is no love lost between the top two MIC leaders, Samy Vellu's remarks Friday were the harshest against his deputy since Subramaniam challenged him for the presidency in 1990, where he lost narrowly.
The two MIC leaders had since then patched up their differences but late last year, Samy Vellu dropped a bombshell saying that Subramaniam was undermining him and efforts to improve the MIC. He also said he preferred party vice-president Datuk G. Palanivel as his deputy.
Samy Vellu fired the latest salvo in the run-up to the MIC polls on June 24 during a visit here in support of Barisan Nasional candidates for Saturday's state election.
The MIC held its presidential elections in March this year, where Samy Vellu was elected unopposed for a record tenth term. The largest Indian-based political party in the country will hold elections for the deputy president, three vice-presidents and 25 central working committee seats.
This latest outburst by the MIC supremo followed front page reports on Wednesday by two Tamil newspapers, which Samy Vellu says were aligned to Subramaniam, quoting Samy Vellu as saying that former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad did not do anything to uplift the status of the Indian community during his tenure as Prime Minister.
The reports alleged that the MIC president made the remarks at the Johor MIC convention on Tuesday following a question from a delegate on why Malaysian Indians failed to achieve the three per cent share equity under the Eighth Malaysia Plan.
"I explained to the delegates that while Tun Dr Mahathir had assisted the Malaysian Indian community in various means and ways, we had not yet achieved the set target under the previous Malaysian Plan. I said on the increase in share equity we had not achieved the target... I said "neihi" (No in Hindi)... that is all I said.
"But the next day, the two papers which were close to Subramaniam reported that I said Tun Dr Mahathir had not done anything for the Indian community during his tenure as Prime Minister... this action was to kill me from the back," he added.
"I also know of a MIC leader who tried to call Dr Mahathir (on Wednesday after the news reports were published) who was in Turkey at that time but thank God I had already called Tun Dr Mahathir to explain that was not what I said. I told him he did a lot for the community during his tenure as Prime Minister," Samy Vellu added.
The MIC supremo said he was not irresponsible or lacked gratitude to accuse Dr Mahathir of not doing anything for the community.
The 70-year old Samy Vellu said he had instructed his lawyers to file for legal action against the two Tamil newspapers, which had since claimed that they had records to prove that Samy indeed said what was reported.
"Where are the records... play it. When I did not utter those words how are you going to show records. If someone acts like me then it is a different matter," he added.