Samy Vellu, Malaysia's Mr Invincible
Despite being overtly vilified by detractors within his own party, the online and print media, fellow leaders in the ruling coalition, opposition parties and Malaysians in general, he has still managed to regularly cock a snook at all and sundry.
Although his personal political fortune is at its nadir, Samy Vellu even to this day remains as arrogant and recalcitrant as ever. Only yesterday he without consultation or justification sacked the MIC Youth deputy chief V. Mugilan who had demanded Samy Vellu's resignation. A few days ago he had similarly expelled MIC division chief V. Subramaniam for telling the MIC president that the party did not belong to him or his family. His haughty reply to those who oppose him is that he would "destroy" those who destroy the party before he steps down as party president next year.
No one, not even Najib can get away with such a unilateral display of arrogant power without paying a heavy price politically. There is a limit to dictatorial hubris and most politicians tend to steer clear from the type of controversial conduct that Samy Vellu revels in.
But the most annoying thing about this whole situation is that Samy Vellu is getting away scot free without any obvious political damage. It is as though he is being judged by a different set of standards which even the PM is not entitled to!
Just what is enabling him to cling on to power so long after the use by date? After all, he has his share of scandals and accusations of graft. Perhaps not as much as the multi-billion ringgit corruption charges involving Umno and the MCA, but still quite significant. The average Indian has only contempt for him and he has also completely lost the respect and support of the ruling coalition. Any other leader in this uncomfortable position would have been hounded into oblivion. Yet there he is, still flaunting his apparent invulnerability. Why? Does he hold secrets which the ruling elite in BN wouldn't want to be made public? Anyone out there who wants to hazard a guess?