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MIC Elections 2009: NSTLive session with Datuk S. Subramaniam

Contributed by Anonymous on Wednesday, August 19 @ 11:21:06 CDT

Lokman:  Good afternoon, and welcome to today's NSTLive session with Datuk S. Subramaniam, who will be contesting for the Deputy President's post at the MIC party elections.
Lokman:  Our guest has not yet arrived. The session is scheduled to start at 3.30pm, but viewers can start sending in their questions and comments now. Thank you.

[Comment From KFTANG] 
A very good afternoon, Datuk Subra, En. Lokman and everyone else. Datuk, since you were ousted in the 2006 party elections and was not picked to stand in the 2008 12th General Elections, can you tell us what you have been doing all this while.
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  I was not picked to contest in the 2008 election and since then I have continued my services to the mebers and community through my positions in the party, as chairman of the MIC Seputeh division. I have also provided the necessary advice for the growth and sucess of Nesa Cooperative of which I am the president, the Malaysian Idnian Sports Council, Selangor Indian Association, a hundred year old organisation, of which i am the leader. All these have kept me very busy.
[Comment From Miss Rudd] 
Congratulations Dato. Wishing you the Best in your coming Elections. My burning question is this. Is MIC for all Malaysian Indians or Samy Velu's Family and cronies.
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  MIC as the founding fathers envisioned was meant for all Indians regardless of their religion, language or the place of origin in India.
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  Nobody can have or claim exclusivity of the party.
[Comment From Mrs.Athi] 
Do you truly believe that you can revive MIC?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  It's a big challenge. The MIC I believe is in one of its lowest ebb in terms of unity and strength. But there is hope. If the members are made to believe and are convinced, then the party can be revived. The Indians who are outside the party and who are waiting to get into the party should be encouraged and welcomed. No Indian should be kept out. It's everybody's duty to bring them in. They must accept that MIC is relevant and will continue to serve the interest of the Indian community.
[Comment From Veera] 
U have been missing from active MIC since 2006 and seldom meet branch leaders, do u still fill u have chances of winning....
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  I'm in touch with MIC leaders throughout the period. In my opinion over the last several years, Activities at the local levels have been on the decline, maybe not   much encouraged. Otherwise, I have met them at MIC and social functions. Im not a new comer to the MIC and members throughout the country know me, my character, my commitment to the party. They are aware Im a party loyalist. And I think they know that I have the capabilities to take the party forward, to unite the Indians and face the current challenges facing it.
[Comment From bbguy] 
why are you contesting for the deputy president again this time around and did not go for the no1 post?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  The number one post was held early this year in March 2009.After the general election in the 2008 when the party faced its biggest setback and defeat, obviously the party was in bad shape. There was disunity, low morale
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  and a sense of hopelessness. I put the party interest above everything else. I felt if I had contested for the presidency, the party will be pushed to an even greater weakness, disunity and dissaray. hence I refrained myself from the contest even though there was pressure from all quarters that I should   contest for the presidency.
[Comment From observer] 
the knives, it appears, are already out against you in the run up to your deputy presidency bid. Your view on this?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  This are normal tactics and strategies that are employed by my opponents in all the elections. I just want the elections to be a clean one, a democratic one where delegates can choose their deputy president.
[Comment From ipohmali] 
what will be your next move, if you lose?
[Comment From Mrs. Athi] 
I sincerely hope and wish that you will win in this election and bring some hope for the dying MIC
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  The question does not arise based on the broad based support I enjoy. I believe victory is not far off, unless underhand, unethical, undemocratic means are used.
[Comment From MIC Sri Manjung,Bhg Lumut] 
Advance Congratulations
[Comment From All For The Road] 
Good afternoon, Datuk and everyone at this NSTLive coverage. Datuk Subra, you are a very experienced politician. You were MP for Segamat from 1990-2004 and MIC deputy president from October 1979 to June 2006. You will be contesting the MIC deputy president post again against president-backed Datuk Palanivel and S. Sothinathan. How do you rate your chance this time around?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  The chances are very good.
[Comment From Veera] 
Why not u team up with Datuk Sothi, so that either one contest for Deputy President post, I storngly fill chances of winning is brighter..
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  Well, I am reclaiming the position that I held in the party for quite some time. My strength was the unity that I brought and maintained in the party. I have no problems with Sothi, but obviously, he too wants to be the deputy president for reasons unknown to me.
[Comment From nameless] 
why doesn;t anyone challenge the presidency post in MIC. Is datuk seri samy vellu that powerful? even those who challenges his presidency either changes their mind or have their dream are short-lived? kindly shed some light on this situation
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  I have fought the presidency once and secured more than 40 per cent of the votes at that time. Nobody is powerful for all times. Leaders come and leaders go. I exlpained why I did not contest in 2009. I should have because   now the president is taking me on for the post of deputy president as if he is the   fourth candidate.
[Comment From fence-sitter] 
you view on former VP Datuk S.S. Subramaniam joining PKR?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  I strongly believe the party must at all times endeavour to keep their members within the party fold. We have had enough people leaving MIC and forming new parties thereby not contributing to the Indian unity.
[Comment From vasugi] 
hi dtk subra. do you honestly think datuk seri samy vellu should stay or go?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  I think he has been the president of the MIC for 30 years and re-elected for the 11th term. That itself speaks volumes as to what he should do. Nobody is indispensable in the party.
[Comment From deviga] 
what are your plans for MIC if you win datuk'
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  My plans will be to pronged. One, on the party front, the party needs to ensure that indians are united. For this, the Indians who are outside the MIC should be encouraged to join MIC, so that MIC can truly represent the interest of the Indian community. Secondly, the community needs a new direction where every Indian genuinely feels he has a role to play to take the community to a new level. This way, the various issues facing the community - political, economic, educational and social - can be tackled systematically.
[Comment From vasugi] 
are you planning to contest in the next general election? or you have resorted to being a party loyalist?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  I have never declined to contest in the general elections. On the contrary, I was denied the rights to contest in the general election even though I was the deputy president of the party.
[Comment From Balasubramaniam] 
Maika Holdings was established as the Economic Front for all Indians in Malaysia. How many Indians have benefitted from this vehicle?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  It started off as a new hope for the Indian community in the economic field but became a sad story. 25 years ago, a RM108 million was collected from the Indian community especially the lower income groups to uplift the Indian community economically and provide them numerous business opportunities. It failed. Today, the shareholders are eagerly waiting for the refund of at least their share capital.
[Comment From Nada] 
As a Deputy President for more that 20 years, your contubutions toward MIC was very minimum..... and i fill u were only a passanger in MIC all the years.... do you aggree with it....
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  Do not insult the wisdom and intelligence of the MIC delegates. They will not elect somebody who has made little contribution. They are the judges. The biggest contribution that I have continously making to the party was unity. I had continously attempted to prevent the deluge of members from MIC to other parties or outside the party. For every project that the MIC started, I had done more than my fair share - for the Maika Holdings, MIED, Tafe College, Koop Didik and the Aimst university, in fact the project paper of the setting up of the MIED was done by the late Datuk K. Pathmanaban and me for the CWC's consideration.
Of course I could have contributed much more if the president had permitted. For example, even   the   Youth and Women delegates meetings were   opened and closed   by only the president.
[Comment From Prem Lata] 
Dato, my parents invested 5000.00 in Maika. Can you tell us when we can get our money back. Why dont you take the company and run it so that my parents can get back their money with some returns. Thank You Dato
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  The Maika Holdings directors are not taking any initiative to sell the insurance company. If they are, they are keeping it a secret. If it was sold to the buyer who came forward to buy it at a RM149 million, your parents would have got their money back. But, they just rejected the offer. Well, if the Maika directors give the responsibility to me, definetly your parents will get their money. But, they should do it fast and not wait for the company to plunge into depeer financial problems
[Comment From Appalanaidu] 
Dato, What do you think of caste politics in MIC?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  I do not believe in the caste system. All Indians are created equal. My political base has always been built upon my service and my relationship with all Indians which has no caste affiliations. But, it cannot be denied that there are caste organisations in the country. Sometimes, they are for cultural, social and educational objectives. Some politicians try to use them for their political agenda.If it suits them, they don't complain. If it is not going their way, they will shout "Caste Politics".
[Comment From KFTANG] 
Datuk Seri Samy Vellu has said his team of candidates for the 12 September, 2009 party elections represents a cross-section of the Indian community. Do you also have a team to garner the party top posts? If there is, who are your running mates for the important posts?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  There is no team at the moment. I may be forced to have one after the nomination day
[Comment From Manivannan] 
We always hear that there is a big problem of corruption in the political parties nowadays. It seems UMNO & MCA are voicing out their intent to weed this problem, but we have not heard MIC saying the same. Does this mean MIC doesnt suffer from problem or is there no intent to weed this problem out?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  Corruption if it exist anywhere or in any party, the government and the MACC has the responsibility to wipe it out. Action should be taken to wipe out corruption whether it is voiced out or not. Sometimes, there may be silence but MACC should carry on its job.
[Comment From Sakuntala Chanderasekar] 
The word around is that for many years you have had three generations of your family leaving under the same roof. Taking care of your family, your parents and your in-laws. How did you manage that Dato?
[Comment From sona] 
Dato.we congratulate you for your tenacity.You will get your chance eventually and you will be able to show what you can do as president and how the people have been shortchanged with the myopic leadership that they had top endure all these years.We pray for your success in the coming party elections and please stay the course and we will rally round you to move things ina big way.the current tyranny has to end.All the best
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  I believe in the institutions of family. It's one of the streght of the Asian communities, we have had my parents, my wife's parents living together until their last days. It helped my children in understanding family bonding and of the institution. My wife has been mainly responsible because she took care of all of them
[Comment From uncle boing] 
you support arsenal right so do you think they will win the epl championship this year?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  I support Arsenal because of their style of play but I enjoy a good game no matter what team is playing. They have a good chance
[Comment From svg69] 
Gd evening Dato..... other BN component party already changed their prsident many times in last 20 years.....MIC still the that mean that there no more capable indian leaders?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  Change brings about new dimensions and progress. Stagnation is one of the biggest problems for hopelessness. There are numeorous people who can lead the party and the community. We are not as clever   as   other   as component parties.
[Comment From visionary] 
Datuk, why is the Maika CEO so bent on attacking you in politics instead of finding a solution for Maika?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  This is an act of diverting the community's attention from the debacle of MaikaHoldings. Its done sometimes by the CEO and sometimes by the his father, the president of MIC. The CEO said he is not contesting in the MIC because he wants to find time to sell the OCAB insurance company and return the money to shareholders. Now that seems to have been pushed to the last priority and keeps making all kinds of political statements. Neither the community nor the Maika Holdings shareholders are buying it.
[Comment From Mrs David Lingam] 
Dato, My observation of MIC is that , Samy Velu has no respect for the women folk in MIC. Would you change that aspect of it during your tenure?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  Women in MIC form a very large number and I would accord them proper respect and status. I am not very clear of your allegation.
[Comment From unlimitedxces] 
i like your choice of words. are you saying its just a matter of time before samy lets go or is forced to let go?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  Let time be the judge of this
[Comment From KFTANG] 
What do you think of the newly-elected MIC Youth chief in T. Mohan and Wanita chief in Datuk Komala Krishnamorthy who were both backed by Datuk S. Samy Vellu? Do you think you can work with them if you were elected deputy president for the betterment of the party?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  I have no enemies in the MIC. And I respect the decision by delegates. Anybody who is elected by the delegates, must be respected and all cooperation must be extended. Congratuation to T. Mohan and the Wanita leader. It does not matter if Samy Vellu backed. I too supported and did not do anything against their victory.
[Comment From meena] 
you have not changed one bit from the person that we knew 10-15 yrs ago. i mean in looks. what is your secret
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  Thank you for the compliments. Actually I have put on a lot of weight. since giving up smoking about 5 years ago. Looks I attribute to Brahma, the creator and Sinniah and Muthammah, my parents
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  I exercise whenever I can by playing badminton, drink a lot of water every morning and never worry about anything
[Comment From A Sad Indian] 
cool answer on your looks Dato
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  Yes I do.
[Comment From EAT] 
On a lighter side, what do you do in you leisure? Do you jog and exercise? What is your favourite food and drink?
[Comment From Sunita] 
Wow!!!! that was indeed a very cool answer.
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  I enjoy reading, watching TV especially football, badminton and tennis. Favourite   food anything that is delicious. Its not the content but the taste. And I like teh tarik
[Comment From R.Nada, Manjung] 
What is your comment on the protest of "members" at MIC HQ recently regarding MAIKA Holding share?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  The government had recently said if anybody wants to protest, they will arrange for a place like the stadium to vent their feelings. And, here they gave a memorandum. At the same time, the CEo of Maika announced that he will bring the group to Nesa Cooperative building. My reply was, let us know the number and we will arrange a 'moor panthal' - a sour milk tent for them to rest and savour the moor.
[Comment From allaboutdmoney] 
would you agree that maika was and is still in the wrong hands?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  Most certainly.
[Comment From BigFan] 
Dato the real link is
[Comment From Alice] 
Aproom Datuk, do you think MIC should have and increased participation in the cabinet, ie more minister/deputy minister post?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  Without a doubt. Should have happened long ago. We had two members when the total Cabinet consisted of about 14. Now the total is about 30 ministers.
[Comment From anthony] 
u have been accused of being a stumbling block to the sale of one of maikas cash this true and if so why are u doing it
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  Some people absurdly believe that continuous telling of lies will make it true. I have repreatedly said that the injunction to prevent the sale is on two counts. One, sell it to an Indian company, cooperative or an individual so that the equity of the Indians will not be further eroded. Two, value the   insurance company and obtain the best price. The best price so far was RM149 million that was offered to buy the OCAB insurance. This was rejected by Maika   within   24 hours - offered received on 31 July 2008, rejected on 1st August 2008.
The court gave the injuction in its wisdom after hearing our agruments. If   you are aggrived, go to court. Anyway, I am told that apart from the injunction obtained by Nesa Cooperative to protect its 625,000 shares in Maika, there were 8 other shareholders who had taken injuction. But, no mention is made of them. Because both the CEO and his father are trying to put blame on me for political mileage.
[Comment From believer] 
Dear Dato, I hope you prevail victorious! There are many of us young malaysian indians, outside the party who believe in you. How can we support you to make the change?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  Thank you for your wishes and good thoughts. You can tell your friends who are delegates that when I win, join me in uniting the community.
[Comment From All For The Road] 
Will you be campaigning in the coming Permatang Pasir state by-election in Pulau Pinang? Were you asked by the party and BN? What do you think of BN chances in wresting the seat from PAS?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  I have not been asked by the party. The number of Indians is very small. Chances, I'm told is 50-50.
[Comment From Mr. kandasamy] 
As a young graduate you were responsible for the successful reorganisation of the MIC post 1969. Can you achieve the same if you take over the party now?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  I was the first Malaysian Indian graduate from MU who held a senior position in MIC. The re-organisation of the party and the ensuing success should be attributed to the late Tan Sri V. Manikavasagam, the then president. I was   executive secretary and later appointed as secretary general for a period of nine years. It was a pleasure to serve under him.
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  The 1969 was also a difficult and challenging time, Emergency was declared and went on until 1974. It was the late Tun Razak, then Prime Minister, who steered the nation to parlimentary democracy in a short period of four years, founded the Barisan Nasional by bringing in parties who were in the Opposition. The new economic policy was formulated during his period, giving hope to all races in the country. Now, it is a similar situation. The BN had faced a serious setback and the PM is the late Tun Razak's son, Datuk Seri Najib. I believe if we can bring about   the right changes and engage   the entire   population for   change, then we can bring about a similar situation.
[Comment From Mr. Achiah Rao] 
Dato, you guranteed Nesa Shareholders their monies in the bad times. Can you do the same for Maikka Shareholders?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  I guaranteed the Nesa shareholders their monies and it was successfully done. However, it took us about four years. In the case of Maika, I will do the same, provided the responsibility is given to me. Will they dare!
[Comment From A Sad Indian] 
My first remark and question was censored, maybe it was too heavy to accept the truth which is so true of us indians. Maybe what i would like to ask now is , "where have all our indian men with integrity, morals and family values " gone??? why are we bickering and quarrelling amongst ourselves as one family?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  There are many Indian men with intergrity,high morals and good values around. But there are also men who are without intergrity, immorality and no regard   for family values. Naturally, there will be bickering and quarelling because they are not the same. We need to support the right ones
[Comment From Darshini] 
You started an Educational fund for the Late Dato Padmanathan. Who is managing it now?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  Yes, a fund called Datuk Pathmanaban, named after the late deputy minister and vice-president was launched on the day of his memorial service that I had organised. The fund stands slightly above half a million ringgit and our target is to increase it to RM1 million. The board is chaired by me and its members are Dr Ranjan Pai, (CEO of Manipal College), Datuk V.L Kandan (Tan Sri Manikavasagam's brother), Mr Prashant Pathmanaban. The last member Mr R. Balakrishnan passed away a month ago, leaving a vacancy.
[Comment From BigFan] 
Sir can you explain your role in/on Hindraf movement? 1st you supported them, then at MIC AGM last year you dumped them saying they cheated your.. ANd now , of course, they ( Hindraf ) have dumped the community!!!
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  I had no particular role in Hindraf or the movement. However, I had read some of their religious activities especially the role they played in protecting wives who faced problems when their husbands converted to Islam. They had filed cases in court to defend the rights of the wives and their children. When there was a death of detainee in Brickfileds police station who was found in the Klang river, they championed his cause. Such activities filled a void in the community. No other NGO had championed such causes. So I had expressed my support of the movement and in fact encouraged some of my supporters to do so. But, when they became political and they made statements calling on hindraf movement and its supporters to back the opposition in the last election, I was surprised. The movement which was apolitical and religious in nature turned political.
[Comment From Ms Indian] 
Dato', Are your family members involved in politics? Will you bring in your children in the future, as most politicians think that the political parties are their dynasty and must be passed on to the family members!
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  none ofmy family memebrs are involved in politics. I have no intention to bring any family member into politics nor do my children have the interest.
[Comment From Raja] 
How much did your basic degree and masters thesis on the politics of Malaysian Indians help you in your MIC political career?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  My basic degree was an Arts degree from MU and my Masters   on the   Politics Of Indians in Malaya. It created a great interest and I was already executive secretary of the party then.  
[Comment From A Sad Indian] 
Dato, than please expose the other 8 shareholder for the benefit of others
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  I don't have their names. Maika CEO would certainly have their names as the injunctions would have been served on him.
[Comment From Krishnan] 
Gd wishes to you Dato. Can you make some efforts to consolidate all the Indian based organisations,NGOs,societies,associations,Cooperatives to get united under one umbrella so that there prevails unity and strength.tq
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  That is my mision.
[Comment From anthony] 
how come the MACC is not investigating Samy and his son for all their corrupt else could they have ac*****ulated so much money...
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  Please direct the question to MACC
[Comment From All For The Road] 
How is your present relationship with the party president in Datuk S. Samy Vellu? Many say it is strained to a point of no return. Is it true? How would you go about to mend fences with the president if you were to win the deputy president post on 12 September? Do you think both of you can work together for the welfare and betterment of the Indian community?
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  There is no personal relationship. I have no personal disagreement. However, he has vascillated in what he says and does. He has made allegations which are baseless and totally untrue. When he likes someone, he will be full of praises. When he doesn't, he will condemn to the core. Would he accept this if it is done to him? The party has deputy ministers, if he doesn;t like them, at any point of time, he will allege that they are good for nothing, made no contribution. What is the position of the Indian community today in the country vis-a-vis its support to MIC? Is the deputy president responsible for this? Will the president take responsibility for any debacle, at all? My disagreements and strained relationship are all based on such important matters, pertaining to the party and the community.
Datuk S. Subramaniam:  Thank you NST for this opportunity. I am a faithful reader of NST. I hope the online answers will clear any doubts that some of the readers may have had regarding my political career and any other matter. Thank you
Lokman:  Ladies and gentlemen, those remarks end our NSTLive session for today. Thank you very much to our guest Datuk S. Subramaniam for joining us today, and to you, our viewers, for your comments, questions and participation.
[Comment From KFTANG] 
Thank you.
[Comment From All For The Road] 
Thank you everyone.
Lokman:  Today's event will be available for replay on the nst online website, as well as the NSTLive archive. Stay tuned for future NSTLive events.
[Comment From A Sad Indian] 



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