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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Samy Vellu says to retire next August or September - The Malaysian Insider

By Baradan Kuppusamy

KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said today he would step down “eight or nine months” before his term expires on May 21, 2012.

He told The Malaysian Insider today that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had already been informed about his decision.

“I have told the PM and now I am telling you,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

“I don’t want to stay a day longer,” he said.

Samy Vellu (picture) has been president of the MIC since 1979, holding for the post for 11 consecutive terms.

He has held off all challenges to his position and was the longest-serving member of the Barisan Nasional (BN) Cabinet until he was dumped from Parliament in Election 2008.

The MIC president has been accused of abuse of power and being a dictator by his party rivals.

He has also been blamed for his party’s poor electoral performance by the Indian community as well as Umno, which sees him as major liability.

Since assuming the BN chairmanship and becoming PM last year, Najib has taken extraordinary steps to bypass the MIC in reaching out to Indian voters.

Samy Vellu’s retirement plan is not likely to appease his detractors who want him to quit immediately.

They want his immediate removal so that the MIC can make the transformation to become a more energised political party able to win the support of the Indian community for BN.

Samy Vellu said today that he wanted to first reorganise the party and ensure branches are more active before he leaves.

However, MIC sources say he may use the remaining period to reshape the party and ensure he controls the party from behind the scenes.

Despite Samy Vellu’s announcement, his No. 2 Datuk G. Palanivel cannot be certain that he will take over as party president, party sources said.

Palanivel was unceremoniously dropped as a BN candidate in the recent Hulu Selangor by-election because of objections from Umno.

MIC vice-president Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam is also fast shaping up as a presidential contender.

It is understood that Umno favours the hard-working human resource minister to become the next MIC president.


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