Wednesday, February 20, 2008

MORE PICS & Video - SAMY Going, going, but when? If you Gota Go, Go Now – Do Not dilly dally anymore; Blame shifting - Underperformed Elected Reps

MIC goes for new blood

R.Surenthira Kumar and Giam Say Khoon
MIC's charge for the 12th General Election

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 20, 2008): The MIC today made sweeping changes to its list of candidates for state assembly seats, replacing 13 of the 19 incumbents. It also changed two of its incumbent MPs, dropping vice-president and Tan Sri Dr K.S. Nijhar (Subang) and switching another vice-president Datuk S. Veerasingam (Tapah) to the Sungkai state seat in Perak which he previously held.MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu will spearhead the party into the country’s 12th General Election at a most challenging time, aiming to secure a ninth term in Sungai Siput. He said he was not afraid as he had seen tougher fights in his long political career. He told a press conference the party was switching its Ijok state seat in Selangor, retained in a by-election last year, with the Bukit Melawati seat held by Umno. Samy Vellu announced the names of the candidates after holding a one-hour closed door meeting with his party central working committee and the new candidates in the Works Ministry, Majority of the new faces are lawyers while the others were a doctor, civil servants and businessmen.

Asked why Veerasingam was moved to a state seat, Samy Vellu said it was done so that the party vice-president can take care of Perak, following the departure of its long-serving state chief Datuk G. Rajoo. On Nijhar being dropped and his reaction, Samy Vellu replied: "I don’t know, I haven’t seen him. " He said Nijhar had served a two-term senatorship before he was brought into the party to serve the people.
Asked if the Indian community would continue to support MIC, he said he was confident they would because they realised that they needed a representation in the government. “All those who instigated them to ask all sorts of questions are those who cannot represent them in the government. If they feel they don’t want a representation, God also cannot help.”

On the effects of the recent Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) rallies, the veteran politician said: “Hindraf is because of me, everything they do is because of me. Only because of me everything has happened in this country. You can write it in your paper ... you write it, people will laugh at you lah. Those fellows are just madly going doing things. We are fighting. They are members of the Opposition. There will be a ‘pooja’ every evening somewhere, DAP will be doing a pooja under the guise ...”

He said they knew how to talk to Indian voters who now realised they had been misled with promises like getting RM1 million. “Many people thought if they keep supporting them (Hindraf) they might get RM1 million. The RM1 million made a big swing. I also can say if you support me I can give you RM2 million, but that’s not what we want to do. In any case, the BN government has promised many things, it will be done, it is being done.” Asked how sure he was that the MIC could get Indian votes, he said: “Maybe the Indian voters feel, ‘this fellow is getting lost’, so we must ... I think the Indians may not like me now. That is why I thought if I go maybe they give better support to BN, I take it that way. I know the Indians don’t like me now ... so let us see.”

The party's list of candidates and other highlights:

> Sweeping changes at state level - 13 out of 19 assemblymen replaced with newbies
> Maintained: President Samy Vellu to defend Sungai Siput
> Dropped: Subang MP and vice-president Tan Sri Dr K.S. Nijhar
> Demoted: Tapah MP and vice-president Datuk S. Veerasingam to his previous Sungkai state seat in Perak.
> Swap: MIC swaps Ijok state seat in Selangor with Umno's Bukit Melawati

MIC candidates:

Sungai Siput: Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu*
Tapah: M. Saravanan
Hulu Selangor: Datuk G. Palanivel*
Kapar: Komala Krisnamoorthy*
Subang: S. Murugesan

Kota Raja: S.A. Vickneswaran*
Cameron Highlands: S.K. Devamany*
Teluk Kemang: Datuk S. Sothinathan*
Segamat: Datuk Dr K.V.S. Subramaniam*

Bagan Dalam: P.K Subbaiyah*
Perai: L. Krishnan

Bukit Selambau: S. Krishnasamy
Lunas: S. Ananthan

Sabai: M. Devandran*

Jeram Padang: V. Mogan
Port Dickson: Datuk T. Rajagopalu*

Asahan: R. Perumal

Hutan Melintang: S.Thangeswari
Behrang: M. Ramasamy
Pasir Panjang: Dr P.S. Vasan
Sungkai: Datuk S. Veerasingam

Bukit Malawati: K. Partiban
Batu Caves: T. Mohan
Sri Andalas: Kamala Ganapathy*

Kahang: R. Vidyanathan
Tenggaroh: M. Sooriya Narayanan
Gambir: S. Asohan
Permas: M. Munusamy

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UPDATE: February 20, 2008 17:06 PM

Veerasingham, Nijhar Dropped As MIC Retains Seven MPs

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 (Bernama) -- The MIC has retained seven of its nine incumbent members of parliament and has brought in 13 new faces for the 19 state assembly seats to contest in the general election. Subang MP and vice-president Tan Sri Dr K.S. Nijhar was dropped to pave the way for Shah Alam division youth chief and Central Working Committee (CWC) member S. Murugesan (ABOVE) to vie for the urban seat.

MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said another vice-president and Tapah MP Datuk S. Veerasingam would be moved back to his previous Sungkai state seat in Perak.

His Tapah seat goes to MIC information chief Datuk M. Saravanan (ABOVE) . Samy Vellu, who will defend his Sungai Siput parliamentary seat for the ninth term in the March 8 general election, also said MIC would swap the Ijok state seat in Selangor with Bukit Melawati with Umno. Other MPs retained are deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel (Hulu Selangor), vice-president Datuk S. Sothinathan (Teluk Kemang), secretary-general Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam (Segamat), Wanita MIC chief Datin Paduka Komala Krishnamoorthy (Kapar) and MIC Youth chief S.A. Vigneswaran (Kota Raja).
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Samy has almost tried all his tricks in his books and finally came to face the reality that he has refused to accept. The Indians community has rejected him since Nov 25 2007 when the Hindraf had the historical rally.

He made use of the MIC youths, the MIC chairman 1-day meeting and an "evening with PM Abdullah" and all these failed to rescue him from the dwindling support he is now facing. Everywhere Samy goes; he is now confronted with mini demos and has finally accepted his days are indeed numbered. But he would like to go for the last round and taste defeat.

Meanwhile, Prima is now trying the last attempt to save him some face and put the blame squarely on the underperforming elected representatives. But who would believe them again?

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February 19, 2008 16:22 PM

I'm Prepared To Go If The Indian Community Decides They Don't Want Me, Says Samy Vellu
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 (Bernama) -- "I'm prepared to go even now if the Indian community does not want me anymore," MIC president Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu said today. However, he stressed that as a leader of the Indian community, the decision must be made by the community and not by outsiders. "If the Indian community decides that they dont want me...I'm prepared to go even now...I'm prepared," the Works Minister told reporters when asked to comment on the party's preparation for the March 8 general election after delivering his keynote address at the Pan Commonwealth Conference on Professional Services Trade here. Samy Vellu, who is the sole cabinet minister from the Indian community, also said that this might be the last election he is contesting. "Next term I wont go (to contest ). This maybe my last term," said the eight-term Member of Parliament for Sungai Siput.

The Johor-born first contested the Sungai Siput parliamentary seat in the fourth general election in 1974 and has held the seat since then. On his post as MIC president post, Samy Vellu said that he could not just leave the party but would give up the post at the appropriate time. Samy Vellu, who has been the party president since March 22, 1981, said that he was not going to lead the party forever. "If I just leave the party now, the party will go into disarray. It is not that I'm going to be there for 100 years. I dont live for 100 years. Everybody's got a time to go," he said.

To a question, Samy Vellu dismissed rumours that there is friction between him and his deputy, Datuk G.Palanivel, saying that he would not allow anyone to divide the party by spreading such hearsay. “If you want to destroy a party, you must divide the leadership in the party. There are a lot of people trying to do that. But we will not allow that to happen. I will hand over the party to the man next to me and go (when the times come)” he said. On the MIC's candidates list for the general election, he said it was finalised days ago but he did not discount last-minute changes.

“I'm ready to see the Prime minister (to submit the list), if he wants to see us today,” he said. Asked about the necessity to make last-minute changes, he said he wanted to pick the best candidates for the election.
It is like in a race. You first bet on a horse. If that horse does not make it and you find the other horse is better, you quickly change to other horse.

"It is not a question of betting on the other horse but the question of getting the best horse,” he said. Samy Vellu said he was very unhappy with the services rendered by some of the MIC elected representatives "and so I've decided to make a very big change".
"I'm putting in a lot of new faces…putting in a lot of professionals and putting in some members who are not highly qualified but politically active and who know how to do political work. "So these are the criteria I use,” he said.
Asked whether the current MIC MPs and state assemblymen who had served one term would be given another chance, he said it would depend on whether they had fared well.
Politics is a performance. You must be seen doing things. You can be a very good man. You just get the seat, win the seat and after that don’t act (work) at all. (Then) it can be (just) one term,” he said.
Samy Vellu also reminded MIC divisional leaders that seats were allocated for the party and not for the divisions. He said there had been cases of divisional chairmen claiming seats for themselves because the seats were in their divisions. “I said if you take that (argument, then) I can’t contest in Sungai Siput next time. The president of the party has no place to go (to contest) because I am at the headquarters,” said Samy Vellu who does not hold any post at divisional level.

ABOVE & BELOW:Everywhere Samy goes, he is now confronted with mini demos

He said he would still give a chance to those who had served more than two terms, provided that they had performed well. Asked on the incident in Butterworth last Saturday in which his car was obstructed by a group of people from leaving the compound of a school where he had earlier attended a function, Samy Vellu said the group was asking him to help them secure the release of those arrested at an illegal rally in Kuala Lumpur the same day. There is no indication that they hate me. They came to my car to ask me to tell the Prime Minister to release them (those arrested). That’s all they asked. They didn’t say anything about politics,” he said.

= == == = == = == == = = a final rescue attempt by Prima fro Samy
February 19, 2008 19:08 PM

We're Merely Rejecting Inefficient MIC Reps, Not Samy Vellu, Says Prima

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 (Bernama) -- The Indian community is only unhappy with MIC elected representatives who did not function efficiently and not with party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, says Federation of Malaysian Indian Organisations (Prima).

Its president A.Rajaretnam said the Indians were prepared to support the MIC as they did in the last general election but the community was concerned whether the candidates fielded in this election would discharge their duties responsibly and diligently. "I'm not saying MIC leaders have failed in their duties. We want responsible leaders to fight for the Indians' interests," he told reporters. On MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu's leadership, Rajaretnam said the Indian community still needed Samy Vellu to lead the party as he had proven his mettle to create opportunities and struggled for Indians' rights.
He also welcomed Samy Vellu's decision to infuse 80 per cent new blood for the party's 19 state and 30 per cent newcomers for the nine parliamentary seats. The MIC made a clean sweep of all the nine parliamentary and 19 state seats in the 2004 general election. It was reported that three incumbent members of parliament and nine state assemblymen would not be renominated to contest in this election. A total of 155 Indian-based organisations, with a membership of more than 500,000, are affiliated to Prima. Among them are Malaysian Indian Youth Council, Malaysian Indian Development Association, Malaysian Telugu Youth Association and Malaysian Tamil-Christian Rights' Association and Indian Women Association

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