The contest for all the
positions has drawn much interest but the closely watched tussle will
be that for the post of deputy president.
In*****bent Datuk G. Palanivel, who has Samy Vellu's backing, is facing a
challenge for the post of deputy president from vice-president Datuk S.
Sothinathan and former deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam.
Party insiders reveal that at nomination yesterday at the party
headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Palanivel garnered 184 nominations,
Sothinathan 10 and Subramaniam four.
The MIC constitution stipulates that each nomination paper must be
signed by one proposer and five seconders and that all the proposers
and seconders must be delegates eligible to vote at the party polls.
A party member requires only one nomination, signed by six delegates --
one proposer and five seconders, to qualify to contest the elections.
With the 184 nominations, Palanivel, 60, seems to be way ahead of
Sothinathan and Subramaniam on the road to retaining the post of deputy
Going by the nominations he has received, Palanivel has the support of
1,104 of the 1,464 delegates, considering that each nomination paper
must be signed by six delegates. Sothinathan and Subramaniam, on the
other hand, have 60 and 24 delegates in hand, respectively, for the
A simple calculation shows that 1,188 delegates have signed the
nomination forms, leaving 276 so-called fence-sitters who have yet to
pledge their support for any of the three candidates.
However, do the nomination statistics paint a clear picture of the
outcome of the election? Former party treasurer-general Tan Sri M.
Mahalingam does not believe so, and argues that while Palanivel seems
to be in the lead, "things could be different on the ground".
"Look at the scenario. The last time around, Subramaniam had only one
or two nominations but garnered some 400 or so votes. So, we cannot
make a conclusion based on nomination forms but they can be used as a
guide," said the veteran leader who was once a vice-president.
(At the last party elections, in 2006, Palanivel garnered 933 votes to beat Subramaniam, who secured 495 votes.)
A close aide to Palanivel, when contacted, said that while the
nomination papers did not provide an accurate picture of the outcome,
they could be used to gauge the delegates' support for the three
Asked about criticism that Palanivel was not seen mingling with the
delegates during nomination yesterday, as reported in an English
newspaper today, the aide said the in*****bent deputy president was busy
signing nomination papers brought in by delegates at the eleventh hour.
"He was all the while with the delegates who wanted his signature. He
had to satisfy them as they are the ones who will vote. He should not
be seen as arrogant as grassroots leaders had taken their time and
effort to put in nominations for him.
"The criticism is harsh and does not take into account the reality of
things. Palanivel, with the president's backing, is in the lead but
three weeks is a long way to go, so we cannot take things for granted,"
said the aide, who declined to be named.
On the other hand, both Sothinathan and Subramaniam are old hands at
party polls. It is learnt that both the contenders had started their
nationwide campaigning and are expected to roll full steam ahead in the
next 20 days.
Although Samy Vellu criticised Subramaniam at a press conference after
the nomination yesterday, the former deputy president is not expected
to relent in his campaigning.
Said Mahalingam: "He (Subramaniam) is taking it in his stride. Everyone
in MIC knows the bad blood between the two leaders from way back in the
1980s, so it's nothing new. The votes will continue to come in for
Subramaniam, but the dark horse here is Sothinathan.
"He is capable of obtaining a considerable number of votes too and
spoil the chances of Subramaniam. It can also work the other way round,
where Subramaniam could spoil Sothinathan's chances by splitting the
votes from fence-sitters and those undecided."
Subramaniam has his hardcore supporters, who are going out of their way
to canvass for votes for the 64-year-old veteran leader, who has said
that this would be his final attempt at reclaiming the deputy
Sothinathan, meanwhile, is banking on his past tenure as party secretary-general general and vice-president to capture votes.
The 49-year-old leader is the youngest of the three contestants and is
seen as a young and vibrant leader well-accepted by the Malaysian
"But whether the MIC delegates will accept him is another question. The
1,400-odd delegates are the ones deciding and not the Malaysian Indian
community. And Samy Vellu has his grasp on at least 60 per cent of the
1,464 delegates who will vote and that could tell you who might win,"
said a division leader who declined to be named.
Be a gentleman and shut up, Samy Vellu tells Subra
KUALA LUMPUR: "I will wallop him left, right and centre if he does not keep quiet. I don't give a damn about him."
MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu was in top form yesterday
slamming his former deputy, Datuk S. Subramaniam, after nominations
Samy Vellu, who was returned unopposed for an 11th
term as party president in March, added: "If he wants to be a
gentleman, he shouldn't open his mouth unneces-sarily."
Vellu said in 1979, when he took on Subramaniam for the deputy's post,
then president the late Tan Sri V. Manikavasagam had supported
(From left) MIC deputy president hopefuls Datuk G. Palanivel, Datuk S. Sothinathan and Datuk
S. Subramaniam after handing in their nomination forms yesterday.
"He may have forgotten that. I went through hell at that time.
There were even gangsters who threatened me to withdraw while he went
around the country like a bridegroom."
At a press conference
after nominations closed, Samy Vellu defended in*****bent Datuk G.
Palanivel, his choice for the deputy's post.
the backing of the party supremo, defeated Subramaniam for the post in
the last party elections three years ago. Another candidate vying for
the post is in*****bent vice-president Datuk S. Sothi-nathan.
While Subramaniam and Sothinathan were seen mingling with the more than
1,000 delegates and supporters, Palanivel greeted them only when the
names of contenders were announced at 1pm.
Asked to comment on this, Subramaniam said: "Well, I am the people's man and I am always with the people."
He also took a swipe at Samy Vellu saying that the president was behaving like he was the fourth deputy president hopeful.
"The best thing for him to do is to take this post, too. Then, there would be no disagreement."
Asked to comment on talk that the real fight for the post was between
him and Sothinathan, Subramaniam replied: "No. The real fight is
between me and Samy Vellu."
Samy Vellu earlier announced his
preferred list of 27 candidates for the 23 central working committee
posts, saying he named 27 candidates to offer delegates a choice.
His choices are Datuk G. Rajoo, Datuk R. Ganesan, Datuk K.R.A.
Naidu, S.S. Rajagopal, R. Ragumoorthy, P. Loges-wary, G. Vimala Nair,
S. Murugesan, K. Partiban, S. Saktivel, Datuk G. Jaspal Singh, N.
Ravisandaran, P. Palaniappan, G. Jayakumaraan;
Datuk T. Rajagopalu, V. Mohan, A. Ganesan, M.M. Samy, M. Asojan,
Datuk J. Randir Singh, Datuk R. Raghavan, Datuk Dr K. Rajapathy, Datuk
P.K. Subbiah, Datuk V. Saravanan, S. Ananthan, Datuk M. Davendran and
Datuk M. Panjamoorthy.
Another 38 people have also submitted nominations for positions on the CWC.