Sunday, September 13, 2009
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 – MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu showed Malaysians who is boss in the MIC tonight with his men practically winning the lot in one of the party's most hotly contested elections ever.
But among the Indian community and the broader Malaysian society, his era is over. The signs are not good for MIC either.
When opening the MIC AGM hours earlier, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak told delegates that leaders should be popular with the public and not just be champions in their own party.
Samy Vellu may have shown once again that his vise-like grip on the party is unshakeable but MIC will pay a heavy price when facing the Indian community, the majority of whom now lean towards Pakatan Rakyat.
When a dejected Datuk S Subramaniam left the PWTC tonight, many of his supporters mobbed him and urged him to join the Pakatan Rakyat.
"Datuk, the MIC is a sinking ship…let’s join Pakatan,” delegates were heard calling out.
Subramaniam, who had lost the deputy presidential contest to Datuk G Palanivel, did not say a word. He only gave a wistful smile.
The victory of Palanivel, by 87 votes, also indicates Samy Vellu will continue as president until the end of his 11th term in 2013 because Palanivel, who owes his victory to Samy Vellu, is unlikely to challenge his benefactor.
The mood for change in the MIC was just not big enough today to turn the tables on Samy Vellu.
Another reason for the loss is that the anti-Samy Vellu votes were split between challengers Subramaniam and newcomer Datuk S. Sothinathan, and this allowed the “official” line up to win.
It now appears that Sothinathan was key to victory for Samy Vellu’s official line up. He helped reduced Palanivel’s majority from 483 to just 87 – votes that could have gone to Subramaniam.
Despite his defeat, Subramaniam’s “Change for the better” theme remains relevant for the MIC which is caught in the throes of a leadership change.
Palanivel’s victory clears the way for him to take over the party when Samy Vellu, who has vowed to stay until 2013, retires. The big question is when?
The defeat does not spell the end of Subramaniam’s career because he polled a respectable 546 votes, indicating his standing in the MIC as the “alternative” leader to Samy Vellu remains.
Subramaniam, 65, who is Siputeh division chairman, is expected to remain in the MIC despite the loss but he faces possible expulsion from the party for allegedly tarnishing the MIC’s image over a number of issues.
Samy Vellu announced earlier in the week that Subramaniam will be issued a show-cause letter to answer the charges.
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 – Outraged supporters of Datuk S. Subramaniam mobbed him as he made his way out of the Putra World Trade Centre hall tonight, even before the official results of today’s MIC elections were announced.
“I accept the results, the delegates have spoken.” he said, although he expected to win and expressed shock at being defeated by incumbent deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel.
Subramaniam said the prime minister had given the delegates a clear message to unite the party but today’s results were “for the benefit of one man”.
It was clear he was referring to his foe, party president Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu.
His supporters, some who were wailing and others teary eyed, were heard shouting for him to join PKR.
However he told supporters to remain calm and give him time.
“I will make an announcement after a short break.” he said and refused to say if he was leaving the party.
Subramaniam said he was ready to face the music for mounting a challenge against the president’s candidate.
“The president can do what he wants. “ he said, adding he was ready to face disciplinary action or expulsion.
Subramanian also claimed that money politics was used during the elections, adding that this had come out in the press but nothing had been done.
Some 200 supporters, visibly upset, continued to expressed their despair over his defeat as he made his way to his car before driving off.
1. The most interesting MIC election in recent times concluded today and as anticipated, Samy Vellu and his merry man won the contest hands down. Let me the first to congratulate PR for the wins as it means, that the Malaysian ethnic Indian will continue to be divided. This will weaken BN and indirectly BN will win. Congratulations, again.
2. I am celebrating in joy that Samy has manage to reinforce his position again. It has nothing to do with politics. He will continue to provide the much needed entertainment in the Malaysian political scene. A few years ago we had Lim Keng Yeik of Gerakan and Samy. Since Keng Yeik retired, the entertainment has been reduced tremendously. Anyway with Samy still around until at least 2012, we all can enjoy this man antics. Ask Lat, he knows what I meant.
3. I believe Mahathir and Najib must be really pissed and upset. While Mahathir played his part outside the hall, Najib gave a very direct speech. Fortunately, the delegates could not understand Najib high powered Bahasa! Najib told them to make sure that they are elect people that is popular among the people and not just within the party. Eureka, they did the wise thing i.e. listening to the sound of Money and not Najib.
4. Now with Sothinathan lost his seat, I am sure the Negeri Sembilan MIC will be weakened tremendously. They will be demoralized unless Sothi was used by Samy Vellu to split the votes. We can see that Sothi votes could have made a difference to the outcome of the No 2 contest and this has proven to be effective. I believe PR should send Sothi a big thank you card and some Indian sweets.
5. With the upcoming by-election in Bagan Pinang which is expected to take place around the corner, PR chances have improved tremendously. In Bagan Pinang, nearly 20% of the voters are Indian and slightly over 10% are Chinese. Despite a big concern with regards to the Military votes, I think with the latest development in the MIC, the competition is expected to be stiff and PR has a good chance to create an upset.
6. Certainly Subra also has a strong influence over the Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Johor delegates. With his loss, I believe Samy will now find a way to get rid this thorn in the flesh. Like Sothi, Subra loss is expected to cause some impact on the Indian voters in Bagan Pinang. Who knows, PR might just win Bagan Pinang and the State Assembly position will have 16 PR reps and 20 BN reps. Could a repeat of Perak happens in Negeri Sembilan after that? I believe this probability cannot be ruled out.
8. Lastly my sincere congratulation goes to the delegates whom had made the right decision. All is not lost for some since they probably have enjoyed the Chinese food and the various goodies in the last few weeks. Syabas again to PR.
- to Become The MCA President
By I Love Malaysia
He congratulated Datuk G. Palanivel for retaining the post of MIC deputy president as well as the other MIC leaders, adding that the result was not surprising and had been expected.
"The result that was announced had been expected. There were no surprises although support for the other candidates was rather strong.
"Nonetheless, based on my speech this morning, I believe this is the beginning of their efforts to win the support and heart of the Indian community," he told reporters after attending a breaking of the fast and handing over of Hari Raya contributions at the Masjid Felda Chini 4, here today.
Palanivel defeated former MIC deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam and former vice-president Datuk S. Sothinathan in the MIC election today.
Najib, who is also Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman, said the elected leaders must give their full concentration to ensure that the MIC could rise up again as a relevant party and subsequently support the BN particularly in areas where the Indian community formed the majority.
Asked to comment whether the result reflected the support for MIC president Datuk Seri Samy Vellu, Najib said: "The result was expected because of the nature of the MIC delegates."
Asked whether the result would cause a split among the MIC members, Najib said that the losers must accept the decision.
What was more important was solidarity in the MIC to face a bigger challenge, that is, to win the hearts of the Indian community, he said.
"What is important now is for the present leaders to meet the aspirations of the Indian voters. They must know the needs and requirements of the Indian community, must be prepared to do whatever it takes to win their support," he said.
Earlier in his speech, Najib said the national economy was expected to register positive growth in the fourth quarter of the year after registering negative growth during the first three-quarters of the year.
He said the various measures introduced by the government including the stimulus package worth more than RM67 billion and the commitment of the people had succeeded in realising the national economic recovery.
For example, Najib said, with the improved economy, Felda settlers would also receive more good news including a bonus if Felda succeeded to maintain its excellent performance.
He later presented Hari Raya contributions to more than 3,000 recipients including single mothers, senior citizens and orphans.
I Am Not Popular - Samy Vellu
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 (Bernama) -- MIC President Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said on Saturday that he was not popular, and whatever he had done and was doing for the Indian community, was not aimed at becoming a popular leader.
"I am not popular...I do not work to become popular. I work for the people," he said when asked to comment on the speech by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when opening MIC's 63rd annual general assembly here.
In his speech, Najib reminded all Barisan Nasional (BN) component party leaders that it was pointless for them to be popular only among party members but not among the people, to the extent of losing their support.
Najib, who is BN chairman said, in a parliamentary democracy, the people had the absolute power and it was they who determine BN's fate in every election.
"I am not a man who want to be popular among the people. But I want to be loved by them (people) for my services and contributions," Samy Vellu said on the sidelines of the general assembly.
The former minister also said that the Indian community did not vote BN in the last general election because they were fed-up with BN and not with him.
"There was a blame...people said that during my time, they were fed-up with me...Indian community doesn't vote for BN. People are not fed-up with me but they were fed-up with BN," he said in rejecting the largely held view among Indian community and political observers in the country that he had failed to effectively champion the cause and aspirations and that he had overstayed as the party president.
"We cannot forget one important point...the Indian community was wounded for many years. No approaches by government to see what was the problem. Now they (the government) are very interested to see something done. If we had done it five, 10 or 15 years ago, what is happening today would not have happened," he said.
On the Key Performance Index (KPI) for MIC as stated by Najib -- to win back the Indian community's support for BN -- Samy Vellu said the party was already working on it.
|ull List Of MIC Office Bearers For 2009-2012|
Money Politics Did Me In - Subra
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 (Bernama) -- Datuk S. Subramaniam, who lost in his bid to regain the MIC deputy president's post, attributed money politics as largely contributing to his defeat.
He said, money was openly given, a minimum of RM300 to each delegate.
"I accept the defeat. It was very disappointing. I did not expect (the loss)," he told reporters.
Asked whether he would join another party or form a new political party, or what his next move would possibily be, the once long-time deputy president said: "I will take some time to think about it (next move).
Asked whether the prime minister's 'message' today was not heeded by the delegates, Subramaniam said: "I think the prime minister made an important call. I think the message got lost."
Asked to comment on the possible disciplinary action against him as he had been referred to the disciplinary board for making a statement on party elections held in 1977, Subramaniam said he was not bothered about it.
"I will know what to do," he said.
Meanwhile, many of Subramaniam's supporters were in tears. They vented their anger by shouting that money politics was the cause of the defeat and urged him to join other parties.
Meanwhile, another deputy presidential candidate, Datuk S. Sothinathan, said he accepted the defeat.
"Despite what the prime minister said this morning...delegates made their decision and nothing has changed," he said.
Palanivel Urges MIC Leaders To Close Ranks
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 (Bernama) -- MIC deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel, who retained his position in the party at MIC's polls on Saturday, urged members, delegates and leaders to close ranks following a bitter 20-day election campaign period in the run-up to the election.
"We are one team which has to be united always...there should not be any infighting between us in the party," he said after being declared winner of the deputy president contest in the polls held at the Putra World Trade Centre.
Palanivel beat former deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam and outgoing vice-president Datuk S. Sothinathan with a 82 vote majority in the election.
Thanking delegates who voted for him, Palanivel, who was former Women, Family and Community Development deputy minister, attributed his victory to the faith of delegates in him.
"The victory is also because I always emphasised on unity among members. This the delegates value," he added.
Meanwhile, the three "preferred candidates" of MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu also triumphed in the vice president race. They were Human Resource
Minister Datuk Dr. S Subramaniam, deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk S.K. Devamany, and Federal Territory deputy minister Datuk M. Saravanan.
Dr. Subramaniam when met by reporters thanked the delegates for the win and promised that he would work hard for the party and the Malaysian Indian community.
"I will not dissapoint them. I will carry out my responsibility and duties diligently," he said.
Devamany, meanwhile, said the line-up picked by delegates at this election was "the best team the MIC ever had" in years.
"We will work as a team to carry out the aspirations of the delegates", said Devamany, who was visibly delighted with the win.
Saravanan said while the party was ready to work for the people especially the Malaysian Indian community, the federal government too had to assist the party in this effort.
"We can't do it alone. We now need to win back the community. The Indian community must start trusting the government. And for this the government must be forthcoming with its assistance," he added.
The release of the federally sanctioned report on the sexual abuse of Penan women and girls has prompted contrasting reactions from Sarawak government leaders.
Take a look at the Borneo Post, which reports that Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu, who had not seen the official report, took a swipe at the messengers, the “negative NGOs”, while casting aspersions on the contents:
Doubts over KL Penan rape report
By Churchill Edward
Jabu says negative NGOs could have a hand in federal government finding
KUCHING: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu yesterday questioned the credibility of a government report about allegations of rape of Penan women.
Although he has not seen the actual report from a special task force set up by the federal government as of yesterday, he believed negative non-governmental organisations (NGOs) could have a hand in it.
“There may be a report, but you must remember that negative NGOs were strongly behind it,” he told reporters when told that the report indicated that rape cases as well as sexual exploitations occurred in Ulu Baram where the Penans live. Full report here.
Is this a case of denial syndrome?
If the NGOs are too “negative” for Jabu’s liking, perhaps he might want to consider commissioning a more “positive” report on this issue. It would make for interesting reading…
Jabu’s position seems to be at odds with his cabinet colleague, Land Development Minister James Masing, who is “shocked” and “stunned” and wants immediate action taken, according to this report in the Eastern Times. (Why is he so shocked though?)
Masing: “I am stunned”
KUCHING: Land Development Minister Dato Sri Dr James Masing said he was shocked and stunned by findings which confirmed that many Penan girls were indeed raped by timber workers in Ulu Baram.
“I am stunned! I am shocked! The perpetrators of this hideous crime should not be left to freely roam around among us. They must be punished in accordance with the laws of this land. The authorities concerned must take this matter seriously and find them regardless as to who or where they are,” he said in his signed press statement yesterday.
“Malaysia is not a rogue state, therefore, we cannot simply arrest anybody seen within the vicinity of the Penan communities in Ulu Baram without facts.
“We need all the details to catch the perpetrators of this dastardly deed. Therefore, I would like the Ministry which did the study, the NGOs, the Penan community, and most important of all, the alleged victims, to supply all the details to the authorities. Do not hide them,” he urged, adding that he was confident that the relevant authorities would accord the rapists the punishment they deserved. Full report here.
All three candidates endorsed by MIC president S Samy Vellu have also been elected to the three vice-president posts in today's party polls.
Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam was the top vote getter with 1,260 votes, while deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department SK Devamany came second with 1,122 votes and Federal Territories deputy minister M Saravanan joining the other two with 1,030 votes.
It is also learnt that most of Samy Vellu's men have won the lion's share of the 23 seats in the party's central working committee.
Samy Vellu feeling 'much better'
A visibly distraught Sothinathan said he accepted the verdict from the 1,469 party delegates.
"Even after what the prime minister had said today, they don't change. What can I do? Everybody knows the situation. The public know but still..."
Some expressed anger, saying that MIC would never change and that they might as well support the Pakatan Rakyat opposition.
MIC supremo Samy Vellu, when asked how he felt, laughed and said: "Much better... much better."
A close aide of had earlier told Malaysiakini that the party boss visited a temple just before the elections to 'invoke the armies of Hanuman' (monkey god) to help his team win.
Subra mobbed by dejected supporters
In an immediate reaction, Subramaniam said he accepted the decision of the delegates although he was disappointed.
"I don't know if they did not understand it or refused to listen but they have decided and I shall accept their decision," he said.
He was mobbed by his somber supporters as he came out of the counting room. He urged his supporters to remain calm and leave peacefully.
Subramaniam also said that he needed some time to think about what he would do next. He also refused to comment if he will be leaving MIC for another party or form a new party.
"Give me some time. I will answer all these later," he said.
He blamed his defeat on money politics by the president's team.
"So much of money was given. They did not stop giving," he lamented.
KP Samy: We'll form a new party
Some of Subramaniam's supporters were in tears after the unofficial results indicated his defeat.
While Subramaniam is silent about his future in MIC, many his loyalists said their man's political future lies outside the party that had rejected him today.
Subramaniam left the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) where the MIC 63rd AGM is being held before the official results were announced.
A highly emotional KP Samy, who is a staunch supporter of Subramaniam, vowed to leave MIC.
"We will form a new party and teach these people a lesson. We will tell the PM not to rely on this fellow (Samy Vellu)," he said.
Jubilant Samy sings
After the election commission steering committee head K Vijayanathan announced the results, a jubilant Samy Vellu thanked the delegates and broke out into a song.
A few minutes later, he returned to the microphone and asked for the music to be turned down in the hall.
The president then thanked the media representatives and called on the delegates to give them a resounding applause.
"They wanted changes and I have made them. About 18 out of the 23 CWC members are new. All three vice-presidents are new.
"The deputy president is only three years old while the president is 73-years-old," he quipped.
"I will take care of them, train them, so that they can run a strong party."
Following this, Palanivel thanked the delegates for voting him. Responding to a question, he denied that the election has caused fissures in the party.
"There is no split in the party. The party is united."
Balloting lasted three hours
Earlier today, the 1,469 MIC delegates took three hours to complete their voting in what is considered as the most tense and most watched polls in the party's 63-year history.
According to Vijayanathan, who is also MIC secretary-general, there were 54 polling booths and 28 ballot boxes.
The balloting, which kicked off at 1pm, came to a close at 4pm.
The ballot boxes were taken to Bilik Pangkor, on the third floor of the PWTC, for the counting of votes.
At 4.25pm, the contestants emerged from the main conference hall.
Subramaniam was greeted with a resounding applause while the reception was a little muted for his key rival, Palanivel. Some of Subramanian's supporters shouted "give change a chance".
However, most of the delegates have decided to back their long-time president, who has led the party for 33 years, and his men.
G Palanivel* - 629
S Subramaniam - 547
S Sothinathan - 280
Vice-president (3 posts)
Dr S Subramaniam - 1,260
SK Devamany - 1,122
M Saravanan - 1,030
S Balakrishnan - 471
VKK Teagarajan - 220
P Subramaniam - 215
P Mariayee - 61
* Incumbent. Those in bold are MIC president S Samy Vellu's men.
Central Working Committee (23 seats)
1. KR Partiban
2. M Asojan
3. VS Mogan
4. RA Ragu Moorthi
5. S Murugesan
6. M Devandran
7. A Saktivel
8. Randhir Singh
9. Jaspal Singh
10. KRA Naidu
11. K Ganeson
12. S Ananthan
13. MM Samy
14. SP Manikavasagam
15. M Paanjamoorthy
17. VK Suppiah
18. S Ganesan
19. KP Samy
20. SS Rajagopal
21. N Ravisandaran
22. P Palaniappan
23. Madhu Marimuthu
The 73-year-old politician lamented that he was often made the scapegoat for the dismal results in the last general election, which saw MIC nearly being dealt a fatal blow.
“It is not that they are fed-up with me. They are fed-up with BN,” stressed Samy Vellu who was defeated in his parliamentary stronghold of Sungai Siput in the March 2008 polls.
The MIC lost six out of nine parliamentary seats it contested in the election as well as 12 out of 19 state seats.
The outspoken politician stressed that he was not afraid of stating this fact. “I (will) say right in front of anybody's face,” he told reporters when he visited the media room at the Putra World Trade Centre.
The former works minister, who was the sole Indian representative in the cabinet until last year, said MIC had tried to improve the lot of the Indians but the attempts always hit a brick wall.
“The amount of resolutions that we had pushed, the amount of letters and talking to departments, nothing will materialise. It has been going on year after year,” he added.
On Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's opening speech which took a swipe at him when the premier said leaders should not only be popular in the party but also among the people, Samy Vellu replied: “If you are not popular in your party... how can you become a leader?”
“Everybody was popular until the tragedy came in 2008,” he added, pointing out that he came into power in 1979 and won every election prior to last year's.
If Samy is PM, he would get same applause
Quizzed on the thunderous applause from the delegates for the premier's speech, Samy Vellu made light of the situation, saying one should not read too much into it.
“Najib is different, he is the PM. If Samy Vellu is PM, he will receive the same applause. Do you gauge on applauses?” he added with a smile.
As for the efforts to woo back the Indian community, the MIC president said while many measures are being employed, one important thing should not be forgotten.
“The Indian community was wounded for many years and there was no pragmatic approach by the government to see that what were the problems...
“And now we are very interested to see that something is done (for the community). If we did that five, 10 years or 15 years ago, what has happened today would not have happened,” he said.
Samy Vellu conceded that the government's assistance had come a 'little too late' but pointed out that it was better late than never.
“It is a bit late but it's still good. It indicates that the new PM and government want to have a relook at the Indian problem,” he said.
During the impromptu press conference, Samy Vellu was also quizzed on his ongoing spat with former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Among others, he said that he did not realise that the former premier did not like him all these years.