By Baradan Kuppusamy, themalaysianinsider.com
GEORGE TOWN, Sept 1 – MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu is
singing a new tune as the Sept 12 MIC election enters the final lap –
praising Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to woo delegates
even as his former deputy and rival Datuk S. Subramaniam finalised his
While Samy Vellu’s team is for the status quo, Subramaniam’s rallying cry is “Matram” or change.
At the final leg of a gathering of voters in Penang on Monday night,
Samy Vellu outlined the issues before the delegates – MIC has suffered
massive losses, it needs to close ranks and re-invent itself and the
way out is to benefit from a new prime minister in Najib who is
listening to Indian woes and earnestly acting to give Indians the fair
share of the country’s wealth.
Najib has ignored Samy Vellu in his move to reach out to Indian
voters for Barisan Nasional (BN). At a recent rally in Batu Caves, the
prime minister spoke directly to the Indian community without the
presence of the MIC leader.
Sensing the return of some Indian support for BN as a result of
Najib, Samy Vellu is now attempting to portray himself as part of the
prime minister’s team.
“This is the time to stay united, work with me and my team and reap
the benefits from reforms the prime minister is introducing,” Samy
Vellu said urging delegates to return his team so that the team can
work with Najib.
Samy Vellu also criticised previous prime ministers for listening and promising but not doing enough for the Indian community.
“I have spoken up for the community so many times but it all fell on
deaf ears. But now we have a prime minister who is taking the right
“The MIC is at a crossroads and, if we elect the wrong people,
everything is lost … there is no future for us,” he said to about 200
delegates gathered at a hotel in George Town.
However the floor greeted the speech without any enthusiasm.
“We have heard it all before,” said a younger delegate from Penang. “He is trying to ride on the Najib wave.”
In Kuala Lumpur, Subramaniam was holding late night meetings to
finalise a list of candidates to face Samy Vellu’s line-up for the
September 12 election.
“We need major changes if the MIC is to survive and become united
again to lead the Indian community as it had done in the past six
decades,” Subramaniam told The Malaysian Insider.
“Our line-up is a fair balance of candidates from all backgrounds …
ours is a team for change, for the future,” he said. “If delegates do
not vote for change there is no future for us.”
In his list are prominent rebels like Klang businessman K.P. Samy,
S.P. Manivasagam and millionaire businessman Senthamil Segar, among
others, contesting for the 23 posts in the Central Working Committee.
Subramaniam is in a three-way fight for the deputy president’s post,
against in*****bent Datuk G. Palanivel, who is supported by Samy Vellu,
and in*****bent vice-president Datuk S. Sothinathan.
Subramaniam’s team received a boost today after Datuk K. Tangavellu,
a key leader in the Mukulathor caste association, whose members are
associated with Samy Vellu, declared his support for the former deputy
“He is experienced and able to reunite the party and bring back
Indian community support for the MIC,” Tangavellu told The Malaysian
“He is for change and we want change … the grassroots is crying out
for change,” he said explaining why he is backing Subramaniam. “The
country underwent a massive change in March 8, 2008. It is time change
sweeps through the MIC also.”
Samy Vellu has put together a team of mostly old hands, many of
whom, like himself and his deputy president candidate Palanivel, had
been rejected by voters on March 8.
However, his team also includes three new faces for the three
vice-presidents posts, namely Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S.
Subramaniam, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk
S.K. Devamany and Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk M.
Dr Subramaniam has a big lead in the contest but the other two are
struggling, MIC sources said. They are being challenged by the popular
Datuk S. Balakrishnan of Johore, Datuk V.K.K. Teagarajan of the Federal
Territory MIC and S. Subramaniam, a newcomer and former Selangor MIC
Youth chief.********The SunSothi: Samy's 'dream team' may not be endorsed by all
PETALING JAYA (Sept 1, 2009) :
MIC vice-president Datuk S. Sothinathan today took a swipe at his
former mentor and MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu for parading a
‘dream team’ to delegates for the oncoming party polls.
S. Samy VelluSothinathan, who fell out with Samy Vellu recently, told theSun that
the president's dream team may not necessarily reflect the aspirations
of the grassroots’ or the Indian community as a whole.
"One man’s dream team may not be the team endorsed by the grassroots," Sothinathan said.
"So one man’s dream team may not reflect the dreams of the community," he added.
Sothinathan, who is contesting the MIC deputy
president's post, said the Indian community wanted a change at the
leadership level and MIC must take necessary steps to bring about the
"We must respect the wishes of the community," he pointed out.
Sothinathan said although he was grateful for Samy
Vellu for bringing him into the MIC, he nevertheless remains firm in
his stand that the party must adapt to changes.
"We must step out of our comfort zone and stop
ignoring the wishes of the community. Change has to come…so that the
people are independent and free to choose whoever they want as
leaders…not just based on one man’s dream team," he said.
Sothinathan also urged delegates not to be guided by current cir*****stances within the party in electing their leaders.
The 49-year-old former Teluk Kemang MP said this
year’s party polls is very crucial as it will set the pace for things
to come, especially in winning back the hearts of Indian voters who
deserted MIC in the previous general elections.
Vellu had over the past couple of days, paraded his dream team in
Penang and Negri Sembilan, appealing to delegates to vote them in.
The dream team comprises in*****bent Datuk G Palanivel
for the post of deputy president and three new faces as
vice-presidents, namely Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S
Subramaniam, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk
SK Devamany and Federal Territories Deputy Minister Datuk M Saravanan.
Palanivel is challenged by former deputy president Datuk S Subramaniam and Sothinathan.
A total of 1,464 delegates will cast their votes in the Sept 12 polls.
MIC lost heavily in the 2008 elections – six out of nine parliamentary seats and 12 out of 19 state seats.
Among those who lost were Samy Vellu, Palanivel and Sothinathan.