KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 (Bernama) -- The evocative glimpses into the past, contained in the book "Samy Vellu - As We Know Him", clearly and collectively depicts a man whose life has been dedicated to serving the nation and the people, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.
In paying tribute to the MIC president and Works Minister, the Prime Minister said: "From the diverse set of personal perspective, we are able to intimately relate to the human side of the struggles, triumphs and achievements of one of the nation's longest-serving leaders.
"In this regard, this publication is indeed a testament in the way Datuk Seri Samy Vellu has touched the lives of many Malaysians," he said in his foreword in the coffee table book.
Abdullah said: "I have learnt much about my old friend and cabinet colleague of many years that I had previously not known. As it has been for me, I hope this book will interest all those who have in some way or another, crossed path with Datuk Seri Samy Vellu.
"More than anything this compilation indeed demonstrates the Malaysian spirit of a belief that in this land if we are prepared to sacrifice and commit to maximising our potential, we can achieve anything," he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in his message, said "Samy Vellu - As We Know Him", was bound to take the reader back in time, not just 10 or 20 years, but as far back as 50 years, as it unveiled the personal and official stories of scores of people acquainted with Samy Vellu.
"The reader is entertained with accounts that are amazing and at times, amusing, as he or she is persuaded through pages and pages of text and rare photographs that cannot but invite nostalgia.
"One cannot escape identifying similarities as well as differences between the accounts in the book and those that have been one's own experiance.
"While the book allows the reader to reminisce, it informs as well, as books are meant to," Najib said.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the book brings to the fore personal qualities of Samy Vellu which have helped him rise from humble beginnings to being an able and efficient leader that he is today in both politics and government. "These are traits that mirror a seasoned politician and senior Cabinet minister and are worth emulating by anyone who wants to climb the ladder of success," he added.
Compiled by Chitra Vasu, the book was launched today by Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim at Dewan Merdeka of Putra World Trade Centre.
The book, published by MPH Group Printing (M) Sdn Bhd, will be sold at RM140 a copy.
It contains 79 short stories of people from different life backgrounds of their first meeting with Samy Vellu while the rare pictures in the book are sourced from private collections of contributors.