iMOL Archives - Samy gets his way
Welcome iMOL Archives



Home 2SubscribeTrigger HappyEthnic ClashForumHistorySocialPoliticsEconomyEducationPlantation WorkersAbout me
Silence is not an option when things are ill done - Lord Alfred Dennings
Search   in  

 Create an AccountMain Home | Submit News | Your Account | Content | Topics | Top 10  

· Home
· Advertising
· AvantGo
· Feedback
· Forums
· Private Messages
· Recommend Us
· Search
· Statistics
· Stories Archive
· Submit News
· Surveys
· Top 10
· Topics
· Your Account

Who's Online
There are currently, 8 guest(s) and 0 member(s) that are online.

You are Anonymous user. You can register for free by clicking here

Select Interface Language:

Random Headlines

Tamil Dailies
[ Tamil Dailies ]

·New Tamil daily Thina Kural to be launched Feb 9
·Subra tormentor ‘leaves’ Tamil Nesan
·Tamil blady's
·Kogilan trashed Malaysian Tamil Dailies
·Makkal Osai back on the stands on Saturday
·Makkal Osai Wants Explanation On Non-extension Of Publishing Permit
·Makkal Osai loses licence
·Publishing License denied for Makkal Osai
·Subra saddened by daily's suspension

Samy gets his way

Contributed by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 28 @ 21:15:08 CDT

MICBaradan Kuppusamy
Jun 27, 06 3:52pm Malaysiakini
Now that G Palanivel is safely ensconced as MIC deputy president and now that MIC president S Samy Vellu need not fear a stab in the back and now that his former deputy S Subramaniam has fallen to the ocean floor, it is time Samy Vellu lay out a plan for his eventual retirement.

But at the close of the 60th general assembly of the party at the PWTC on Sunday, Samy Vellu declared he will quit only when he is ready. ‘When the right time comes, I will announce it myself’, he said with a hearty laugh when asked about his Gerakan counterpart Dr Lim Keng Yaik’s decision to resign next year.

“That’s his view. That’s his party and I can’t say anything about his views," said Samy Vellu who has been the MIC president since 1979. When his current term as president expires in 2009, he will have completed 30 years as president.

Nothing can be more obscene then this, said a Subramaniam supporter as he left the assembly on Sunday. No one should hoist himself on the community for this many years.

But shame or not there is little sign of Samy Vellu handing over to his anointed successor Palanivel who has promised to work with and support him as a loyal deputy through thick and thin.

The oft spoken argument is that Samy Vellu is so hard working and so dynamic and so mentally alert that the party cannot do without him. There is simply no one to replace him, party treasurer general M Mahalingam told me recently.

No one else

The wisdom in the MIC is that Samy Vellu will consider handing over after he has completed the new headquarters for the MIC that is nearly 16 years in the making. Samy Vellu has told some part loyalists he won’t retire until the 35-storey building is up. His critics joke each floor might take a year to complete and that makes for another 36 years as president.

While before Subramaniam waited for the path to the top to be clear for him to ascend, it is now Palanivel’s time to wait. While he waits, he would do well to consolidate and expand his support base in the MIC.

The 935 votes he got on Saturday was exemplary but how much of that is really his? How much is the block support that Samy Vellu claims as his own? No doubt Palanivel’s victory had a lot to do with the backing Samy Vellu gave him. But this is not to deny that Palanivel also slogged for months, if not years, to prepare himself for the decisive moment.

His clean, hardworking image, a no nonsense style and deep, and sometimes, radical thinking helped him defeat a formidable candidate in the form of Subramaniam who held the post for a quarter of a century no less. Palanivel made at least four crisscross rounds across the country meeting nearly every delegate. On one night, he travelled non-stop all the way to Bukit Kayu Hitam on the Thai-Malaysian border just to meet and convince one delegate to vote for him.

Simply put, there was nobody else in Samy Vellu’s line up who could have stood up to and defeated Subramaniam except Palanivel. But defeating Subramaniam is one thing. Inheriting the party’s leadership is another, anointed successor or not.

There are others who can, given time, stake a claim to the successor’s mantle. Sothinathan who emerged first among the three vice-presidents polling 1,153 votes is one such person. An MIC insider told me Sothi - as Sothinathan is called - is the ideal candidate to pick up all of Subramanian’s 500 votes in the MIC if the former deputy decides to call it quits after Saturday’s defeat.

Sothi and Subramaniam are from the same kounder caste and their community is close-knit, financially strong and able to articulate views well compared to other castes in the MIC. Like Samy Vellu’s Dewar caste the kounder, too, are dominant in the MIC and cannot be ignored.

If Subramaniam chooses to retire, Sothi will inherit the 500 vote block that was Subramanian’s, said the insider. He already has a head start. These two - Palanivel and Sothi - are the men to watch in the years ahead simply because they are natural-born rivals.

Rising frustration

This general assembly also saw two disturbing developments. One is money politics and the other is the generally hostile tone of the debates from the floor. The devil of money politics has emerged, one delegate said during debate. “We only want a chapatti and a drink not a 12-course dinner with huge prawns that shoot up our cholesterol levels,” he said.

Samy Vellu himself introduced the lavish dinners to the delegates at astronomical costs. One such dinner was enough to build one Tamil school, another delegate told me. Do we need to spend like this and still talk about the problems of the bottom 30 percent of our community, he asked.

Many contestants then took the cue from the president and spent lavishly. The rich offered gifts, cash and kind for a vote while the poor begged and pleaded. Eventually a time will come when money and a new kind of ‘in-your-face’ campaigning will decide the winner, nothing less.

Another disturbing development is the rising frustration among delegates at the failure of the government to make the minority Indians feel as part of the national family. Delegate after delegate raised the problems of the Indian community and inevitably they accused the Malay- dominated government for not looking after the minority’s interest.

The Malays have a whole bureaucracy to look after them, we have nothing. To see one Indian officer in the government is like seeing an endangered Sumatran rhinoceros, a delegate said. “Why the discrimination? Are we not citizens also?” he asked.

It is clear that there is great disenchantment with the government at the rural or lower levels. It will get worse.

BARADAN KUPPUSAMY is a veteran Malaysian journalist. This is the final part of a special series of articles on the recent MIC elections.

BARADAN KUPPUSAMY is a veteran Malaysian journalist. This is the final part of a special series of articles on the recent MIC elections.



Don't have an account yet? You can create one. As a registered user you have some advantages like theme manager, comments configuration and post comments with your name.

Related Links
· More about MIC
· News by sound

Most read story about MIC:
Foul play in Malaysian actress death

Article Rating
Average Score: 5
Votes: 1

Please take a second and vote for this article:

Very Good


 Printer Friendly Printer Friendly

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the authors and comments on this website are the sole responsibility of the writers themselves. The writer will take full responsibility, liability, and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The accuracy, completeness, honesty, exactitude and factuality of the articles and comments are not guaranteed by iMOL.

If you do not wish any of your writing republished here, please send mail to sound20[at] Allow us one month to remove it. Thanks. Copyright © 1998 iMOL

Page Generation: 0.25 Seconds