KUALA KUBU BAHARU, April 9 (Bernama) -- Hulu Selangor MIC on Friday
expressed confidence that about 70 per cent of the 12,453 Indian voters
in the parliamentary constituency would support the Barisan Nasional
(BN) in the by-election on April 25.
Hulu Selangor MIC division's information Chief Raily Muniandy said the
MIC division would be able to achieve the target to make up for the
dismal performance of the BN component party in the general election in
"In the last general election, we only had 30 per cent support. This
time (in the by-election), we are confident of the support of 70 per
cent of the Indian voters to ensure a BN victory," he said when met
The Hulu Selangor seat was represented by MIC deputy president Datuk G.
Palanivel since 1990. He lost to Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad of Parti
Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) by 198 votes in the general election in 2008.
The by-election is being held following the death of Dr Zainal Abidin
on March 25.
Raily Muniandy said the BN stood a good chance of recapturing the seat,
based on the sentiments of the constituents, particularly the Indians,
who had previously shied away from the MIC.
The BN has announced that it would nominate a candidate from the MIC to
contest the seat.
The candidate is expected to be identified on April 15, two days before
nomination for the by-election.
Friday April 9, 2010
Will Palanivel finally prevail?
Comment by BARADAN KUPPUSAMY
The Star Former Hulu Selangor MP Datuk G. Palanivel may be
battling negative perception but he has the upper hand because of his
track record compared with a newcomer as Barisan ponders on the right
candidate for the hot seat.
THE DOUBLE-STOREY house in Bukit
Beruntung that overlooks a valley is stacked with hundreds of files
detailing former Hulu Selangor MP Datuk G. Palanivel’s work since he won
the constituency in 1990. Also in the house are files showing
welfare support for the hardcore poor, scholarship applications and
medical help given to many people when he was deputy minister of
Welfare, Women and Family Development.
candidate: Palanivel’s camp is hoping his hard work, sincerity and
scandal-free life will help overcome any reservations
files may be an authentic record of Palanivel’s work but unfortunately,
they are of not much help as he fights to restart his stalled political
career. He is facing two issues – detractors in MIC who are
unhappy with his rise to power and public perception that he had only
warmed his seat as MP since 1990. By far, the fight against
public perception is more difficult to handle. Public perception
is everything in politics. Some leading universities in the world are
advocating that public perception is in fact the political reality and
hard work doesn’t mean a thing when public perception turns against you.
Palanivel, 61, a former consumer advocate with CAP who later became a
journalist in Bernama, has a public relations problem which is a major
handicap for a politician, no matter how hard working and scandal free
he or she is. Although he had won the constituency with big
majorities since 1990, he lost to PKR Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad in the
last election by 198 votes. The defeat stalled his political
career in MIC and raised doubts whether he would inherit the MIC from
President Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu who has lead the party since 1979.
Palanivel fought off two challengers – former deputy Datuk S.
Subramaniam and vice-president Datuk S. Sothinathan last October to
retain his MIC deputy president post but it was a close fight. That
slim victory marked an uphill battle in his effort to restart his MIC
career and inherit the party’s mantle when Samy Vellu retires later this
year. There is also market talk that Barisan Nasional is
considering other candidates for Hulu Selangor besides Palanivel. He
was appointed the constituency’s Barisan co-coordinator to wrest the
seat back from PKR when it was known that Zainal was very ill and was
fighting for his life before he passed away last month. Palanivel
has a head start not just in preparing for the by-election but also as
the constituency’s former in*****bent, he knows the ground, the issues and
Barisan machinery. It is too late for Barisan to change horses
and enter into a major fight with Pakatan which is marshalling all its
resources to win. Both coalitions want a big victory in Hulu
Selangor as a forerunner to the next general election. The
Pakatan has heavyweights like Datuk Zaid Ibrahim and local boy Dr Halili
Rahmat to choose from and its choice will be announced on April 13, two
days before Barisan names its candidate. Prime Minister Datuk
Seri Najib Tun Razak told the Selangor Barisan Nasional convention on
Wednesday that the candidate would come from MIC and that once he had
decided as Barisan chairman, he urged everyone to close ranks. Speculation
is rife that new candidates are being considered for the seat although
the MIC top leadership has shrugged off the speculation. They
admit that Palanivel has a perception problem and that he is not an
extrovert like Samy Vellu who can sing, dance, cry and hug his way into
people’s hearts. Palanivel is too reticent for a politician. He
would have made an excellent academic, his aides admit. But they
also say political protocol and seniority are important factors to
consider. Palanivel is the party’s deputy president and heir
apparent, they say, and the MIC Central Working Committee had selected
him as its sole candidate. “At stake also is the whole succession
question. If he does not contest and win, then the MIC’s succession is
thrown into confusion,” said a former MIC vice-president. “Samy Vellu
cannot handover to a deputy who is not a minister and MP.” Palanivel’s
camp is hoping that his hard work, sincerity and scandal-free life
would help to overcome any reservations. “It is better to bet on a safe
horse than experiment with newcomers,” said a Palanivel aide. They
also hoped that voters would see the warmer side of Palanivel. But
public perception is hard to ignore and Najib has an unenviable task of
weighing the pros and cons before deciding on the candidate. But
as it is, Palanivel has an advantage because of his track record and
experience as a former MP compared with a newcomer especially when there
is so much at stake in the by-election.
Indrani steps into Samy-Subra row
By Baradan Kuppusamy
KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 — Datin Seri Indrani Samy Vellu has joined
the fray in her husband’s damaging feud with Datuk S. Subramaniam by
calling on the former MIC deputy president and his supporters to leave
the party if they were unhappy.
It is an idea — leaving MIC — that Subramaniam and his supporters are
toying with as the power realignment in the MIC is changing
dramatically with his rival and MIC deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel
tipped to contest in the upcoming Hulu Selangor by-election.
If Palanivel emerges victorious he returns to the MIC politically
strengthened to claim the president’s mantel from the retiring Samy
Vellu to the exclusion of rivals like Subramaniam who has aimed to be
president for a long-time but without success.
The doors to that ambition would close permanently for Subramaniam if
Palanivel is nominated candidate and wins.
Indrani, without directly naming Subramaniam, said in a long article
in the Tamil Nesan
accused her husband’s rival of being the
hidden hand behind criticism and attacks on her husband from the time of
Tan Sri V. Manicavasagam who once groomed Subramaniam to take over as
She said the attacks started from that time and has been continuing
She accused the Makkal Osai
Tamil daily that is controlled
by Subramaniam’s group, of vicious attacks to the extent of dragging her
and her family into the mud and tarnishing their image.
“This has been going on from the time of Manicavasagam,” she said.
In an immediate reaction K P Samy, a Klang businessman and diehard
support of Subramaniam, told The Malaysian Insider
Indrani had “no business” to tell “us to leave the MIC.”
“She is neither a MIC leader nor the party president. She can’t make
such statements,” he said.
Samy however refused to deny that Subramaniam’s camp was considering
“political options” in the wake of the Hulu Selangor by-election and its
significance for MIC’s power alignment.
“We might en-masse migrate from MIC,” he said. “This is a possibility
we have to discuss in depth.”
Despite strong support from Manicavasagam, Subramaniam lost to Samy
Vellu in the fight for the deputy president’s post in 1977.
Samy Vellu won by 26 votes but allegations surfaced later that his
ally Datuk V. Govindaraj had pocketed 30 votes during the counting to
give Samy Vellu the edge against Subramaniam.
In September 2009 Govindaraj admitted to cheating and apologised but
Samy Vellu denied that such an incident had happened.
Subramaniam suffered another setback in 1979 when Manicavasagam
unexpectedly died and power in the MIC shifted to Samy Vellu, the acting
All attempts by Subramaniam, since then, to unseat Samy Vellu has
failed and the final act is now being played out in the Hulu Selangor
Indrani said Samy Vellu’s rivals have been harassing him for years
and without mercy.
There are concerns that their feud is damaging Palanivel’s chances in
Hulu Selangor and giving ammunition to opponents to attack Barisan
Nasional in the campaign.
On Thursday Tamil Nesan CEO S. Vell Paari instructed his editorial
team to “refrain from taking pot-shots at any individual”, in an
apparent reference to recent articles in the Tamil Nesan accusing
Subramaniam of fielding independents in the by-election to split BN
Vell Paari, who is also MIC Youth advisor, said he decided to call
for a truce so that his paper could focus on ensuring BN’s victory in
His statement follows Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s
announcement that an MIC candidate would be fielded in the constituency
after weeks of speculation.
“The Hulu Selangor by-election is our priority now. Winning this
by-election will ensure the party remains relevant,” Vell Paari said.