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South Indian Labour Fund
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·Promises that came to nought
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I Won't Be Cold-Storaged, Says Subra

Contributed by Anonymous on Tuesday, June 20 @ 10:19:51 CDT

June 20, 2006 19:50 PM

PETALING JAYA, June 20 (Bernama) -- MIC deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam does not think he will be "cold-storaged" in the party if he retains the post at the MIC elections on Saturday.

"I will be functional. I don't expect to be put in cold storage. I am in the party to serve. I will serve the members and the community if they re-elect me," he told reporters at his residence, here Tuesday.

"By democratic principles and with respect for democracy, when people elect, there is no other choice for anybody ... they have to accept (the decision). There is no such thing as cold storage for me," said Subramaniam, who has been party deputy president since 1981.

The 64-year-old is being challenged by vice-president Datuk G. Palanivel for the No 2 post. There will also be contests for the three posts of vice-president and 23 seats on the Central Working Committee.

This election has been billed as one of the most heated in the party's history after Subramaniam, fondly known as Subra in the MIC, challenged party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu for the top post in 1989.

This was because of the fallout between Samy Vellu and Subramaniam in the run-up to the polls. Samy Vellu had named Palanivel as his choice for deputy president.

Subramaniam, who is fighting one of his hardest political battles after being in the MIC for almost 40 years, said that though his rivals were eager to end his political life, he was bent on defending his position at all costs.

"There have been unkind remarks, uncultured campaigns; they are trying to dig my political grave. They (rivals) want to unseat me and kill me off from the political arena.

"It has been harsh, I have been bruised, attacked and humiliated. But I have not asked for any help. I have done it on my own and never cried for sympathy," he added.

The former Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs was left in the cold after he was not given a seat to contest under the Barisan Nasional banner in the 2004 general election.

He faced only one hard test during his long tenure as deputy president when Datuk S. S. Subramaniam, a vice-president then, challenged him for the party's No 2 post in 1994 and lost.

Political observers, both within the party and outside, fear that the contest between Subramanian and Palanivel would create an irreparable divide within the MIC -- a party which, despite its size, had delivered valuable votes for the Barisan Nasional's victory in every general election.

When asked whether the contest would hurt party unity, Subramaniam vehemently brushed aside the doomsayers.

"I will not contribute to any disunity in the party. Unity is of paramount importance and the Indian community's interests cannot be ignored. I am ready to work with the president.

"The psychological war and drama will all be gone. The community and delegates know my sincerity, my contributions and my loyalty. Ultimately, the truth will prevail," he added.

Following are some of the answers Subramaniam gave at the news conference:

Q: Why are you contesting for the same deputy (president's) post after being in the seat for more than 20 years?

A: I am only contesting for the second post ...

Q: What is in your manifesto?

A: I don't need a manifesto, the party has one and I give all my input at CWC (central working committee) meetings.

Q. Have the media been fair to you in this election?

A: Most media have been fair ... they have given ample coverage, including of my rebuttals. But there are two or three individuals (reporters) who take slants in their reports. One wrote a book for my challenger and asked me for an interview but this is not ethical.

Q: It is alleged that two Tamil dailies are aligned to you. Your comment?

A: They should also ask who owns the third Tamil newspaper.

Q: How are the campaigns going on?

A: There have been subtle attempts by unknown hands using dirty tactics. There is a fear that if I see delegates, they will vote for me.

Q: It appears that the contest is now between you and Samy Vellu. Is it true?

A: It is not Samy Vellu and Subramaniam, that is not the order. It is Subramaniam and his challenger (Palanivel).

Q: What is your next move if you don't win this election?

A: That thought has not crossed my mind yet ...




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