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Palanivel leads in nominations
Posted on Wednesday, June 07 @ 05:32:38 CDT
Topic: MIC
MIC07 Jun 2006
By M.K. Megan , The New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk G. Palanivel, 1,110; Datuk S. Subramaniam, 12.
This is not the election result for the MIC deputy presidency, but an estimate of the nominations they have received for the post.

On Nomination Day on Sunday, Palanivel received 185 valid nominations. With each nomination having one proposer and five seconders, this totalled 1,110 delegates.

In*****bent Subramaniam received two nominations, translating into 12 proposers and seconders.

The nominations are not expected to influence the elections, as delegates are not bound to vote for the candidates they nominated, and a close fight is expected between the two.

Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, who has thrown his support behind Palanivel, is expected to campaign for his protege upon his return from his one-week visit to India with Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Subramaniam, who has been deputy president for 20 years, said it was part of his strategy to keep nominations to a minimum because he did not want his supporters to be hounded and harassed by his opponent’s supporters.

"We do not want to reveal our supporters. There may be some who may go on a witch hunt," he said, alleging some delegates were "forced" by branch and division leaders to sign nomination papers supporting Palanivel.

"Let’s wait until election day to see if Palanivel can obtain 1,110 votes," he said.

Palanivel said although the number of nominations he received looked convincing, he would not be taking things easy. "I will continue my campaign and meetings with delegates until the day of election."

Election steering committee chairman Datuk K. Vijayanathan said one valid nomination was all that was needed to contest any post except for the president’s position, which required at least 50 nominations. Fifty-three candidates are vying for the 23 Central Working Committee positions.

June 07, 2006 14:33 PM  
Campaigning In MIC Picks Up Pace

By S. Retnanathan

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 (Bernama) -- Campaigning and lobbying for positions in the upcoming MIC election, scheduled for June 24, have picked up pace with candidates travelling to various locations nationwide to garner support of delegates.

The election, touted as the most heated after the 1990 party polls, will see party vice-president Datuk G. Palanivel taking on in*****bent deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam for the MIC No 2 post.

This is the first time in nearly a decade that the 62-year old Subramaniam will be challenged, and this election will decide the MIC long-time deputy president's political future.

It is learnt that Subramaniam, who became the MIC deputy president in 1981, had been meeting many of the 1,441 delegates individually or in small groups of 5 to 10 delegates, visiting houses or holding small gatherings at homes of leaders aligned to him.

Palanivel, 57, the anointed candidate of party supremo Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, meanwhile had been openly canvassing for votes meeting delegates from one or two divisions at one go, either at his house or at clubs nationwide.

Palanivel, a former journalist and former Press secretary of Samy Vellu, it was learnt had been moving aggressively on the ground explaining his vision for the party and telling delegates of his contributions to the community as a whole.

"It is Subra (Subramaniam) who has to do most of the coaxing and explaining. Palani (Palanivel) had been sending updates to all branches of his contribution in the MIC and the community on a monthly basis over the last few years.

"The delegates know of his contribution...for him now it's just a matter of meeting people and telling them his plans and vision for the party," said a party insider who declined to be named.

Judging from the number of nominations obtained by the two candidates, Subramaniam has an uphill task of retaining the deputy presidency, which he has held on for the last 25 years.

At the nominations last Sunday, Palanivel obtained a total 185 nominations as opposed to Subramaniam's two.

The MIC election steering committee head Datuk K. Vijayanathan in revealing these figures yesterday, however, said it would be naive for anyone to use the numbers to gauge support.

Bernama also learnt that the popular short messaging system (SMS) was also being used in the campaigning with catchy rhymes and proverbs asking delegates to throw their support for certain candidates.

While the SMS style of campaigning is not effective as the "human touch" method of canvassing, it has created a stir to a certain extent as it is also being used by some quarters to smear names of candidates vying for positions in the party polls.

The vice-president race in this election will see seven candidates putting their political future on the line.

The veep candidates are in*****bents Datuk S. Veerasingham and Tan Sri K. S. Nijhar, party secretary-general Datuk S. Sothinathan, Kuala Lumpur MIC chief Datuk V.K.K. Teagarajan, former CWC member and former Si Rusa state assemblyman E. Yohevel, MIC veteran Datuk M. Muthupalaniappan and P. Thiagarasan, a relatively unknown candidate from Shah Alam.

Sothinathan obtained the highest number of nominations last Sunday with 168, followed by Nijhar (157), Veerasingham (148), Muthupalaniappan (3), Teagaran (2), Vohevel (2) and Thiagarasan (2).

A record 52 aspirants are also vying for the 23 Central Working Committee seats. The CWC is the party's highest decision-making body.

Samy Vellu had put up his "preferred" list of candidates with Palanivel for deputy president, and Veerasingham, Nijhar and Sothinathan for vice-president.

While the party chief's preferred vice-presidential candidates appear to be ahead of the other four aspirants in the contest, they too are not taking it for granted.

Forming alliance with other "preferred" candidates of the CWC, they have been touring the country in search of votes.

It has been a norm in the MIC for the president to spearhead the campaign for the preferred leaders. Samy Vellu introduced his preferred list of candidates for deputy president and vice-president a few months ago by going on a tour of the country.

"That was the first round, but after the nominations he has not gone on any campaign. He is expected to start the canvassing once he gets back from India on June 13," said an aide to Samy Vellu, who is also Works Minister.

The MIC president left for India yesterday accompanying Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on a five-day official visit.

Samy Vellu on his return is expected to go on a tour of the country with his preferred candidates, and in the process is expected to come up with a few surprise revelations which could swing votes for the chosen few.


I Too Have A Dream, Declares Teagarajan

By P. Vijian and S. Retnanathan

KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 (Bernama) -- Despite numerous political and personal financial hurdles over the last few years, which hampered his political career, Kuala Lumpur MIC chief Datuk V.K.K. Teagarajan now aims for one of the three vice-president seats in the MIC, which will hold its election on June 24.

"At age 57 now, if I want to make a mark, this is the time to go for it. This is my last boat. If I don't get in, I won't be able to achieve it.

"I have reached the pinnacle of my service and have been exposed to world leaders. I have about 20 years' experience in the chambers (he was ex-president of the Malaysian Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry). I have the knowledge and can contribute positively to the party and the Indian community," he said in an interview with Bernama.

Teagarajan, a well-known businessman, with more than 20 years' experience in MIC politics, is confident of his chances in the election, where he will face six others.

The other six aspirants are vice-president in*****bents Datuk S. Veerasingham and Tan Sri K.S. Nijhar, party secretary-general Datuk S. Sothinathan, MIC veteran Datuk M. Muthupalaniappan, former Si Rusa state assemblyman E. Yohevel and Shah Alam's Alex Thiagarasan.

Veerasingham, Nijhar and Sothinathan had been named by MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu as his preferred candidates for the vice-presidency, while the other four candidates had been dubbed "outsiders".

"I rate my chances as very good. I have received positive response from at least 70 per cent of the delegates I have talked to. I need to (put extra) work in Johor and Melaka," he said.

The party, he said, had undergone tremendous structural changes over the years, with leaders and delegates becoming more "politically aware" of national and community developments.

"The maturity has always been there but this time many are going to exercise their independent views. I wouldn't use the word subservient, but there was a sense of 'follow the general' trend in the past.

"But now I think it has given way and there are 50 per cent new faces in the party...the party has grown to 4,000 branches and the delegates are well-informed. Now we not only have quality but also the quantity," said Teagarajan, who regards Samy Vellu as his political mentor.

Describing seven candidates vying for three veep seats as "too many", Teagarajan said contestants aspiring for positions must have contributed to the party and community.

"I believe no candidate should be prevented from contesting. But you should have contributed positively and be confident that you can contribute, then you join the fight.

"Don't simply jump into the fray as humiliation will follow. If you have a past record of what you have done, you can go to the people and say 'give me this opportunity'," said Teagarajan.

He is also certain that this election, which would see vice-president Datuk G. Palanivel taking on MIC long-erving deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam for the MIC No 2 post, would not split the party.

"I had joined some great battles, the greatest being in 1977 and 1989. Of course some disgruntled members will leave, but the party will be intact and they will come back and accept the chosen leaders," he said.

This will be Teagarajan's first attempt in vying for a national position in the party. In the 2003 election, he filed his nomination for the veep race but pulled out after being "coaxed" by the MIC supremo.

This time around, Teagarajan who has declared that he is now on a sound footing in both politics and business, is steadfast in his resolve to fight for the position.




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