PUTRAJAYA, Sept 15 (Bernama) -- Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin
Yassin wants MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu to take action
against the MIC delegate who had suggested placing a 'garland of
slippers' on the portrait of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir
He said this was because the suggestion was considered to be
disrespectful to the leader, and 'the faster action is taken, the
"This is because we don't want relations between us (Umno) and the BN (Barisan Nasional) component parties to be strained.
"It is important at this stage that we strengthen solidarity, how
we can strengthen further the Barisan Nasional and help each other. And
if there is such a view, the party concerned must act to avoid
tension," Muhyiddin said after chairing a meeting between the Higher
Education Ministry and the Malaysian Islamic Development Department
(Jakim) on the direction of the religious stream, here on Tuesday.
He said this when asked to comment on the suggestion made by a
delegate at the MIC general assembly following the statement by the
former prime minister which was claimed to be interfering in the
internal affairs of the MIC.
Muhyiddin said the suggestion was certainly rude and disrespectful to the leader.
Asked on Samy Vellu's statement that the Indians were upset with
the BN and not him, Muhyiddin said: "I don't think that is quiet
correct, but of course he has his own right to speak the way he spoke."
"You say that it is not a rejection of the MIC but a rejection of
the BN. The MIC is very much of component of the BN, and the BN is a
bigger party comprising all the component parties."
Muhyiddin said the fact was that there were indications that many
Malaysians, including the Indian community, had expressed their
observation that there were weaknesses within the MIC.
"I'm not going to go into detail on this. What is important at
this moment, as was mentioned by (Prime Minister) Datuk Seri Najib (Tun
Razak) when he officiated the MIC delegates conference is for the party
to regain the lost ground, the loss of confidence and trust," he said.
********MIC Delegate Suspended Over Shoe Remarks
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 (Bernama) -- MIC president Datuk Seri S.Samy
Vellu said Tuesday the delegate who made a disparaging remark against
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the MIC general assembly last Sunday has
been suspended pending further action by the party's disciplinary
"I have decided to use the powers vested in me as president under
the MIC constitution to suspend the delegate," he said in a statement
He said he had discussed the matter with other senior MIC leaders, and they agreed that a suspension was necessary for now.
He said the disciplinary committee would make recommendations to
the party's Central Working Committee on any further action to be taken
against the delegate.
Samy Vellu hoped that with the decision to suspend the delegate, the issue would be settled.
However, he did not revealed the identity of the delegate.
Meanwhile, MIC vice-president Datuk Dr. S.Subramaniam, in
supporting the suspension, said none of the party leaders condoned the
"Although the delegate was upset with what appeared to be Tun Dr
Mahathir's direct interference to determine the results of the (MIC)
elections, they all (the MIC leaders) felt upset with the delegate for
making such a statement which is against the fundamental basis of
Indian culture," he said.
Dr Subramaniam, who is Human Resources Minister, said the party
would ensure that appropriate action was taken against the delegate.
"It must also be noted that the delegates who spoke after him
condemned his (the delegate's) suggestion and told him that it was
contrary to the Indian civility,' he said.
Samy Vellu's Malay dilemma
By Baradan Kuppusamy
Seri S. Samuy Vellu holding up his vote towards the media before
casting it during the recent election for the post of Vice President at
the MIC general assmbly in PWTC on Septemeber 12, 2009 - Bernama
LUMPUR, Sept 15 — Flushed from a major victory, Datuk Seri S. Samy
Vellu is now twitching like a beached fish under Umno's glare over an
emotional outburst by a MIC delegate who had wanted to garland Tun Dr
Mahathir Mohamad with slippers for criticising the party president.
Umno leaders and Malay organisations have taken umbrage over the remark and have demanded a personal apology from Samy Vellu.
It is now a dilemma for the veteran Indian leader who is caught
between appeasing the former prime minister and Umno or staying firm
with the anti-Mahathir grandstanding he himself had created.Samy Vellu
has offered to sack the offending delegate, believed to be from
Selangor hoping the storm would blow over. But that offer conflicts
with comments made by other MIC leaders responding to the Malay demand
for a personal apology.
The president's son, Vel Paari, who is also a MIC Youth wing
co-coordinator, has tried justify the anti-Mahatihr invective by saying
the delegates were worked up by Dr Mahathir's criticism of his father.
MIC Youth chief T. Mohan added his two cents in a statement carried
prominently in the Samy Vellu-owned Tamil Nesan asking Umno to take
disciplinary action against Dr Mahathir for “interfering” in the
internal affairs of the party. By all accounts, Samy Vellu appears to
want to settle the prickly issue of Dr Mahathir by sacking the delegate
but is reluctant to offer a personal apology to keep is “tough and
afraid of anyone” image among his diehard supporters.
Dr Mahathir was seen as an “interfering enemy” by Samy Vellu and his
camp ever since the former prime minister told the Makkal Osai, a Tamil
daily owned by losing deputy presidential candidate Datuk S.
Subramaniam’s supporters, that the long-serving party president was
destructive, had failed the Indian community and was the reason they
abandoned the Barisan Nasional for the Pakatan Rakyat in Election 2008.
Dr Mahathir, who spoke to the vernacular newspaper in the run-up to
the Sept 12 MIC election, had also urged party delegates to elect good
leaders like Subramaniam.
Once a close ally of Dr Mahathir, Samy
Vellu worked quickly and hard to head off the impact of the statement
on delegates by using his Tamil Nesan newspaper to attack the former
leader as a person unfit to advise the MIC because he had disposed off
his own deputies.
He also attacked Subramaniam as “disgraceful” for bowing to Dr
Mahathir and using him to get votes in the MIC. “Shame!” was the
one-word headline of the Tamil Nesan newspaper on the eve of the poll
to reflect Samy Vellu's opinion of Subramaniam, who was once his deputy.
After the president's men swept through the party polls last
Saturday despite criticisms from Dr Mahathir and Umno-held newspapers,
MIC delegates on Sunday criticised the former prime minister in what
was seen as an organised manner with Datuk A. Muneandy from Ampang
wanting to pass a resolution condemning Dr Mahathir for interference.
But Samy Vellu interjected to say such a resolution was unnecessary
adding Dr Mahathir, although interfering in MIC affairs, should be
respected because he had brought the country to great heights.
However other delegates keep coming back to the subject and the
“garland of slippers” speech was made when Samy Vellu was not in the
party assembly ironically held in Umno's Putra World Trade Centre.
Incensed with the attacks, Dr Mahathir renewed his criticisms of
Samy Vellu in his blog - although not naming him - saying “there are
politician who think if they as party president then they can win in
the general election.” “So they try to win by sacking members opposed
to them using money to buy support or use their power to threaten or
offer any promises to win support,” said the Umno veteran who was prime
minister for 22 years.
He noted that they can win through this means but will lose support among the people because the people would notice their abuses.
GARLAND OF SLIPPERS FOR DR M: MIC must act against rude delegate
The Malay Mail
Tuesday, September 15th, 2009 06:34:00
SO, just to clarify: An MIC member wants a garland of slippers to be
placed on the portrait of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad
at the PWTC.
Outright rude, but to be sure, the party would never do it.
However, the MIC’s response to this uncouth proposal has been tepid
at best, although it has outraged citizens across the country.
Instead of the party and the rogue delegate apologising immediately
to Dr Mahathir, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has merely
The soon-to-be formed MIC’s disciplinary committee will be very busy
with defeated deputy presidential candidate Datuk S. Subramaniam’s
indiscipline charges top of the list.
Shouldn’t the “garland of slippers” issue take priority? Because:
● an immediate apology will defuse a volatile situation.
disciplinary action against the delegate means the apology to Dr
Mahathir has to wait until a new disciplinary committee is formed.
● the committee has to then issue a show-cause letter to the delegate who will probably have 21 days to respond.
● the matter will be forwarded to the Central Working Committee for further action.
Lawyers said the authorities should investigate the “garland of
slippers” incident under the Criminal Procedure Code which provides for
intentional insult to provoke breach of peace.
“This is a case of grave provocation,” said J.A. Azman.
“In instances like this, shouldn’t an apology be made immediately?” asked Indian political analyst Dr Ravindran Savrimuthu.
“It’s about respect and decorum in the BN.” Ravindran said the
suggestion by the delegate smacked of mindless gabby ignorance and
emotional incontinence and “delaying an apology could trigger more
anger within the MIC and BN component parties”.
Several MIC stalwarts, speaking to Malay Mail, noted that while
certain MIC politicians held themselves up as exemplars of moral
rectitude, they tended to be pompous and oversimplified complex
They said they felt humiliated that the delegate chose to insult Dr
Mahathir, prime minister for 22 years, at the PWTC, home of Umno.
Dr Mahathir was quoted by Tamil daily Makkal Osai that Samy Vellu
had done nothing for the well-being of the Indian community in this
He had given his views on the MIC, Samy Vellu and the decision of
former MIC deputy president Subramaniam to contest the post of deputy
president at the MIC general assembly held on Saturday and Sunday,
which had angered several MIC members.
Umno leaders have described such a “garland of slippers” suggestion as rude, excessive and extreme.
by vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, they said MIC
members must show that they respected others, respected leaders and
were individuals who valued culture and tradition.
The leaders said appropriate action must be taken to uphold decorum in BN.
Kedah Umno said there were many other ways to express one’s
displeasure and the suggestion reflected that the Indian community in
the country did not appreciate Dr Mahathir’s contributions.
Ravindran said a garland of slippers, “if ever there was one”, was similar to slipper or shoe throwing.
He said a garland of slippers is viewed in all cultures as an insult.
“Frustrations and anger could be displayed in various ways and any
demeaning act associated with footwear goes against all cultures.”
Ravindran said such acts were usually associated with hate and anger.
He said: “We should learn to respect everybody as a human and not manifest our political dislikes through such actions.”
In many cultures around the world, if you want to escalate a
situation, the word “shoe or slipper” adds serious insult that can
cause grave provocation, Ravindran said.
He said it’s that cultural significance that added real sting to the “garland of slippers” incident.