KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu denied today rumours that he will be stepping down this month after three decades helmsman of the Indian-based party.
“There are a lot of rumours. A lot of noise. It is just a rumour. There are a lot of people who are saying all sorts of things about me, let them.
“When I leave the party, I will have a meeting first, then I will announce my exit and I will also invite the press,” he told reporters after chairing MIC’s monthly meeting here.
Prior to this, Samy said that he would resign in January 2011.
Tamil newspapers had predicted that the party’s central working committee (CWC) meeting today will be his last because he is expected to resign at the end of this month.
The recently dissolved Gerakan Anti-Samy Vellu (GAS) had demanded his resignation by December, following his announcement in May to retire in September next year.
On May 18, Samy announced his plans to let go his position before the end of his term on May 21, 2012.
Samy Vellu has been the MIC president since 1979, over 11 consecutive terms.
He was also the longest serving Barisan Nasional (BN) MP to be a Cabinet member until his defeat in the 2008 general election.
The 74-year-old Johor native, announced that his deputy, Senator Datuk G. Palanivel will be taking over his post.
He also told reporters today that MIC is prepared for the upcoming General Election.
“We are ready for the 13th General Election, we will be having a number of discussions with branch leaders to go to the ground. It will also include leadership and management training to every division and branch leaders. We must show that we care about the people.
“In fact, we will register more Indian voters, open more service centres across the country and organise more ‘turun padang’ activities,” he said.
He is also confident that that the lost Indians votes are now finding its way back to the party.
“Since 2008, the Indian communities are now returning to MIC. Just take the Hulu Selangor and the Bagan Pinang by-elections we’ve won.
“So we are prepared for the next General Election,” he reiterated.
He said he hoped to see the government create more opportunities for the Indian community in this country.
“We hope that with the 2011 Budget announced recently, the government will provide more opportunities for the Indian communities, including efforts to increase more young entrepreneurs from the Indian community.
“As for education empowerment, we would like to see more preschool teachers in Tamil schools. With regard to the development of Tamil schools, MIC wants RM100 million every year to rebuild 140 schools.
“We hope that these suggestions will reach the prime minister’s attention in the next Cabinet meeting,” he said.