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Veera, Sothi, Nijhar -- The President's Choice For MIC Veep

Contributed by Anonymous on Thursday, March 02 @ 22:24:45 CST

MICMarch 02, 2006 15:32 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 (Bernama) -- MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has openly endorsed in*****bent vice-presidents Datuk S. Veerasingham and Tan Sri K. S. Nijhar, and party secretary-general Datuk S. Sothinathan to fill the three MIC veep positions, up for grabs at the party polls in June.

"These are the three vice-president candidates that I feel should be put in," said the MIC supremo, who is likely to retain his party presidency for a record 10th term on Sunday, when the party holds its presidential nomination.

It is a norm in the MIC for the president to come up with a list of preferred candidates to contest national positions in the MIC elections, held every three years.

The largest Indian-based political party in the country will hold its presidential election this month, provided there is contest, and election for national positions -- deputy president, three vice-presidents and 23 central working committee (CWC) members -- in June.

Late last year the MIC numero uno said he preferred another in*****bent vice-president Datuk G. Palanivel to be his party deputy, sidelining in*****bent MIC deputy-president Datuk S. Subramaniam, 62.

Speaking to reporters after the official welcoming ceremony for Iran President Dr Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Parliament, Samy Vellu said the three veeps he preferred, each had a role to play for the betterment of the party and the Malaysian Indian community.

He said Nijhar in his capacity as the Subang Member of Parliament, would be able to voice the grouses of the community in Parliament while the other two are deputy ministers.

Veerasingham is the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs deputy minister while Sothinathan is the Natural Resources and Environment deputy minister.

"They should be given the post because anybody who holds position in government must have some party strength. That is why I am putting them," Samy Vellu added.

Speaking specifically on Sothinathan, known as Sothi in the party circles, he said the MIC secretary general had never contested in any party election before and that "is why I am asking him to contest now as I don't want him to be an appointed man all the time".

"They all have to test their own strength. If they don't test their strength, it would be something like when they mature they won't have a standing in the party. This is a process they have to go through," he said.

Samy Vellu, who turns 70 on March 8, said he had undergone the process of election since 1963 and this was nothing new for any budding politician.

Asked who would replace Sothinathan, as the party secretary general, Samy Vellu said he had yet to decide on the person for the post.

"I have not decided on the candidate but there are a lot of young leaders who have the capablity. We want to give the young leaders a chance as they can deliver," he said.

To a question if MIC grassroots would accept the three new MIC vice presidents as proposed by the president, he said he carried out a survey through short-messaging-system (SMS) and telephone calls.

"I am a grassroot man. Everyday I do a survey. Mine is SMS and telephone survey and I also do a lot of visits and during the visits I talk to people and ask them their views on my choice. I don't want to impress my views on them. Many have said that they would support these candidates," he added.

On Palanivel, the MIC president said he had supported the Women, Family and Community Development deputy minister for some time now and that he needed "a person whom I could work with and hand over the party at an appropriate time".

He said he would pick the list of CWC leaders he preferred at a later date.

Asked of the contest for the three veep positions, he said he would not ask any MIC leader not to contest the positions as it would be undemocratic to do so.

"It is their right to try their positions. I will not say you don't do this and that. It is undemocratic to tell anybody you don't contest. They can contest, do whatever they like. If they have the support of the people and deserve to be elected, then they would be elected," Samy Vellu said.




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