Sunday, March 09, 2008

End For Samy Vellu's Legacy After Historic Loss At Sg Siput

March 8 was his birthday but what he did not bargain for was the unexpected birthday gift from "his" voters in Sungai Siput which had been his bastion since 1974.

The man in question is none other than MIC President Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, who turned 72 yesterday, and was trounced resoundingly in the 12th general election.

He may not have seen it coming but for many, especially in the last few months, the writing had been on the wall.

The relationship between Samy Vellu and the constituency goes back a long way when he was picked to contest in 1974 as a young aspiring politician.

Sungai Siput became synonymous with Samy Vellu and it was his stronghold for there was a general notion that he could never be defeated there.

But the impossible did happen on his ninth attempt to stand in Sungai Siput when Dr D. Jeyakumar, contesting under the Parti Keadilan Rakyat ticket, coasted to victory on Samy's "special" day.

As if this was not enough, the entire MIC line-up formulated by the veteran politician for this election was nearly wiped out by the Opposition, including the party's deputy president and vice-presidents.

With the damming defeat, the MIC now becomes the only party, with its top leaders -- president, deputy president (Datuk G. Palanivel) and three-vice presidents (Datuk S. Sothinathan, Datuk S. Veerasingam and Tan Sri Dr K.S. Nijhar) -- will not have parliamentary seats to their names.

The MIC was allotted nine parliamentary and 19 state seats to contest. Only three MIC candidates won parliamentary seats while a mere seven won state seats.

MIC candidates who emerged victorious in the parliamentary seats were MIC information chief Datuk M. Saravanan (Tapah), S. K. Devamany (Cameron Highlands) and secretary-general Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam (Segamat).

The party's candidates were wiped out in Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor while the seven who managed to cling on were the four state assemblymen in Johor, one in Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Pahang.

Political observers said MIC's dismal performance in this polls was to be expected as the "tell-tale" signs were there but were never noticed by party leaders.

It began when certain segments of the 1.8 million Indians unhappy with the way the party was addressing the woes of the community, sparked an uprising of some sorts by organising a street demonstration in Kuala Lumpur in November last year.

Despite the intense pressure, Samy Vellu vowed that he would make changes to the MIC line-up in this election. He did make changes but they were minimal. He brought in new faces only in Saravanan and S. Murugesan (who contested the Subang constituency and lost).

It is without doubt that the veteran leader, who was appointed as Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister in 1978 and subsequently Works Minister in 1979, has to leave the Cabinet, in which he was a member for many years.

Samy Vellu, who once worked as a bus conductor, office boy and a newscaster in RTM, climbed the party's ladder the hard way.

After becoming an MIC member in 1959 at the Batu Caves branch, he clawed his way up as the acting president in 1979 following the death of Tan Sri V. Manickavasagam, the then MIC president.

The eldest son of rubber tappers Sangilimuthu and Angammah, he took the helm of MIC in 1981. He has held on to that position despite facing strong challenge many a time.

After serving the community for nearly 30 years, the man, who as a kid, moved from estate to estate with his parents in search of employment, had a hard decision to make in the light of the current circumstances.

Will he step aside in the party or plod on, will he be made a senator and retain his works minister's portfolio, one time will tell. (Bernama)

***** I doubt that many will mourn his defeat. By his dictatorial ways he has left the MIC with no credible second rung leader. By selfishly bartering away one cabinet post to strengthen his stranglehold on the MIC, he had substantially reduced the voice of the Indian community at the highest level.

Now they are left with crumbs to assume positions in government. The
secretary-general Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam, a dermatologist by profession is basically not a politician and Indians in the know say that he is in politics today because of his own family's ambitions. He is also a tight-fisted person and definitely not pemimpin material. Under his watch, his own friends say, all of Semi Value's earlier achievements like the AIMST, Tafe College and others would slowly crumble, wither and disappear.

By not retiring earlier like Lim Keng Yaik did, Samy Vellu has done a great disservice to the Indians in this country. It's a pity after so many years in the public eye, all he would be remembered for will be his arrogance and reluctance to quit when the going was good.

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Blogger KY said...

It is indeed a glorious day today. :)

10:48 AM GMT+8  
Blogger bayi said...

JKR lorry relegated to being a lori hantu, without registration plates!

If I have a say, I would sell this lorry to the recycling dump for a dollar and give the dollar to a charity!

11:35 AM GMT+8  
Blogger kittykat46 said...

He could have retired earlier when he was still riding high - he's made enough money hasn't he ?
In the end he had to be kicked out in a most undignified manner.

1:33 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous thegodfather said...

For the Malaysian Indians, Deepavali is 8 March. the day the arrogant villain was destroyed.

3:33 PM GMT+8  
Blogger gangeticus said...

Presumably he'll now return to being a "draftsman" at his Perth ranch, contemplating on how to build that wooden bridge for his cows to cross...

9:39 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dude.. where do u get ur facts from...tip for you.. journalists.. bloggers.. should leave out when in doubt..

10:51 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Purple Haze said...

Spare no tears for the man. He should have quit while the going was good but now will be remembered for infamacy.

8:19 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A befitting END for him! Kudos to the ppl of Sg.Siput!! Finally the demon had been slayed!.. In the comming days, MIC will need to truly re-invent itself from being sent to political wilderness a.k.a Political-Self-Exile... Now the RAKYAT have spoken, either you obey the ruling and reform or disband into non-entity! Choice is urs!... Valga Makkal Sakti!

11:22 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dato Sri Samy....resign as Party Leader & dont hope to come back into cabinet as sanator. Leave the party to your deputy president. You have selected and groom him as your replacement.
Barisan Senior Members please make wise decision by removing Samy & not by appointing him as sanator & cabinet minister.
Please look into future of BARISAN NASIONAL.

2:39 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I was uncle Sam, I would be soooo ashamed... malu, dont know where to hide my face.... unlesshis a** is big enuf, then there is a place :-) at long last, malaysian indians can taste progress

5:39 PM GMT+8  

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