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GAS cracks emerge

Contributed by Anonymous on Thursday, June 24 @ 22:33:41 CDT

June 24, 2010
KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — Major differences are emerging among the three top leaders of the Gerakan Anti-Samy Vellu or GAS movement started by former MIC Youth deputy chief V. Mugilan to pressure long-time president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu to step down.

Sources close to the GAS movement said if the differences are not ironed out, a split in the movement was inevitable and would be a boon to Samy Vellu, who has announced he will only retire “about” September 2011. His term expires in May 2012. The differences are partly because of a clash of egos and partly because some leaders are having second thoughts after jumping onto the anti-Samy Vellu bandwagon. Another reason, sources said, is that some GAS leaders have other agendas other than ousting Samy Vellu like joining up with Pakatan Rakyat (PR) if the attempt to dislodge the party veteran fails and their re-entry into MIC is permanently blocked. The differences are mainly between founder Mugilan (picture) and expelled CWC member Kumar Amman on one side, and Klang businessman and another expelled CWC member, K.P. Samy. GAS sources told The Malaysian Insider their differences had been there from the beginning when GAS was formed and held its first rally on May 30 which did not see the anticipated 15,000 people turning up and was dismissed as a non-starter. Simmering differences surfaced today when K.P. Samy issued a statement in the Makkal Osai newspaper, in which he has an interest, distancing himself from Mugilan. K.P. Samy said he had nothing to do with GAS plans to distribute 500,000 CDs and posters detailing Samy Vellu’s alleged misdeeds over the past 30 years. He also said the CDs would not be distributed at the second GAS rally in Klang on July 4, which is organised by him. GAS supporters were shocked by the announcement as they had been looking forward to receiving the CDs and making the July 4 event a success. “I have no connection and have nothing to do with the CDs,” K.P. Samy said in the statement published in Makkal Osai. The statement will come as sweet music to Samy Vellu who has been looking for a chink in the GAS armour to exploit and defeat the movement. At the GAS press conference a fortnight ago, K.P. Samy did not voice any objection when the CDs and other GAS plans to attack Samy Vellu were announced to the press by the three leaders, who sat jointly together on the same table. “I have to consider the legal implications,” K.P. Samy said when contacted today while declining to explain why he did not raise objections to the CD plan at the press conference. Additionally, the July 4 gathering that K.P. Samy is organising is not promoted as a GAS protest rally — as the May 30 gathering was —but as an “Indian awakening” forum to decide on the “future of the Indian community”. A tall order for an expelled MIC CWC member, a GAS supporter said. Also, no mention is made of GAS, Samy Vellu or CDs in advertisements that are appearing in the Makkal Osai newspaper to promote the July 4 gathering. Additionally, the July 4 gathering in Klang has also come under attack from the Tamil Nesan newspaper owned by Samy Vellu’s family, who are calling the gathering an anti-Barisan Nasional and “society destroying” event. Mugilan and Kumar Amman could not be contacted for comment but their aides say they are working hard not to let the differences split their GAS movement. “While Mugilan is focused on the mission which is to oust Samy Vellu, K.P. Samy is distracted by other issues like legal implications,” said an aide of Mugilan. “We are unhappy with the differences. There are only three of us and we can’t see eye to eye. “You should have thought of the legal implications before jumping into the GAS movement,” he said, referring to K.P. Samy’s statement today de-linking from the anti-Samy Vellu CDs. He accused K.P. Samy of having other political agendas like jumping ship to PR if the GAS movement fails and his re-entry into MIC is permanently blocked. A staunch supporter of former MIC deputy Datuk S. Subramaniam, K.P. Samy has links with DAP vice-chairman and Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran, who is on the lookout for “good” candidates in the next general election and thinks K.P. Samy fits the bill. In contrast, Mugilan and Kumar Amman are staunch MIC/BN men focused on getting Samy Vellu out and rehabilitating and reforming the MIC and winning Indian support in the next general election. While GAS is heading for a likely split, the political pressure over Samy Vellu’s retirement is also undergoing a change. It seems unlikely that Samy Vellu can be pressured to step down earlier than September 2011 and the BN political establishment also appears to have come to terms with that deadline. The camp of deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel, which was also focused on pressuring Samy Vellu to step down through lobbying the media, has eased off the pressure after Palanivel was made a deputy minister and “endorsed” as successor. If these changes hold, the GAS movement could become irrelevant over the next 15 months as Samy Vellu’s reaches his retirement at his own pace.



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