KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 12 (Bernama) -- In a "tell-all" biography, former MIC
president Datuk Seri Samy Vellu revealed how he tried in vain to stop
the demolition of a Hindu temple in 2007, which the author describes
sowed the seeds of a revolt against the party.
"A Life. A Legend. A Legacy" written by award-winning author Bernice
Narayanan reveals Samy Vellu's greatest achievements and setbacks as
well as "behind-the-scenes" events in his almost 50 years of active
The biography, which was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun
Razak here Sunday, reveals how Samy Vellu had pleaded with the "powers
that be" at that time to stop the demolition of the Sri Maha Mariamman
temple in Padang Jawa, Shah Alam, just three days before Deepavali.
"That incident paved the way for an uprising of the Indian community,"
the author said in the book, referring to the now banned Hindraf
movement, which some political observers believe had led to many Indians
voting against the Barisan Nasional in the 2008 general election.
Samy Vellu also explained about the controversial Maika Holdings
Berhad, the MIC's investment arm which became unsuccessful many years
after its launch, and has since been taken over by another company with
shareholders getting back their investment.
He said among his greatest achievements were to build the Asian
Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology (Aimst) in Kedah and the
Tafe College in Negeri Sembilan.
The 200-page book traces the remarkable life journey of Samy Vellu, who
rose through the years from being a rubber tapper's son and who started
work as an ice cream seller and later bus conductor to Malaysia's
longest serving Cabinet minister until his election defeat in 2008.
With every story of his life told in graphic detail, many never-before
published pictures of the 74-year-old "legend" with kings, presidents
and prime ministers adorn the book.
The author in the concluding paragraphs of the book writes: "Samy Vellu
is MIC and MIC is Samy Vellu. There's no running away from this.
"He has no hidden agenda, no cloak-and-dagger political manoeuvres and
certainly no masquerades. His life is an open book. This is the book".
The book will be sold at a leading book stores throughout the country
soon. Some 5,000 copies of the book were distributed free to the guests
at the launching ceremony.
Meanwhile, in his speech at the launching of the book, Samy Vellu said
he was proud of achieving what he had set out to do when he took over
the MIC leadership from the late Tan Sri V.Manickavasagam in 1979.
"Today, I am happy to see a more vibrant and dynamic community of
Malaysian Indians who have carved a name for themselves and the nation.
"I am glad to have been part of the great transformation of the
Malaysian Indian community. I am confident that they will continue to
move forward as the country progresses, and achieve Vision 2020," he
Samy Vellu conluded his speech by saying: "Politics may be my past, but
my interest is in the future. After all, as the old saying goes I am
going to spend the rest of my life there".