Updated at 7.20pm, 15 July 2009
PUTRAJAYA, 15 July 2009: MIC president Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu has endorsed incumbent deputy president Datuk G Palanivel to defend the party’s No 2 post at the MIC elections in September.
Speaking to Bernama in a telephone interview today, Samy Vellu said he has also endorsed Human Resource Minister and MIC secretary-general Datuk Dr S Subramaniam, Deputy Federal Territories Minister and MIC information chief Datuk M Saravanan and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk SK Devamany for the three posts of vice-president.
The MIC elections on 12 Sept are for the posts of one deputy president, three vice-presidents and 23 Central Working Committee (CWC) members.
At the presidential election in March, Samy Vellu won the post of president, uncontested, for the 11th term.
Palanivel has announced he would defend the No 2 post at the party general assembly, which would be attended by 1,400 delegates.
Former deputy president Datuk S Subramaniam and incumbent vice-president Datuk S Sothinathan have also announced their intention to contest the deputy presidency.
“I want to announce that I am endorsing Datuk G Palanivel for the No 2 post because he is a very efficient, strong and simple man of the people. I hope members and delegates will throw their support behind him for continuity,” Samy Vellu said.
“I want a team which will deliver and strengthen the party and, as such, I am also endorsing Subramaniam, Saravanan and Devamany for the three vice-president seats,” he added.
He said all the three whom he endorsed for the posts of vice-president were holding government positions and, therefore, were in a good position to better serve the Indian Malaysian community.
Samy Vellu also said he was drawing up a list of candidates for the 23 CWC posts and that he would endorse “several new faces”.
“I will announce the complete list soon. I am announcing my line-up now to inform members and delegates that this is the team that will manage the MIC business more effectively and take the party closer to the community,” he said.
Samy Vellu said he has taken care of the party for the past 29 years and built it from 120,000 members to 630,000 members, and from 700 branches to 3,300 branches nationwide.
“All this was possible through constructive team effort which I established amongst my top office bearers.
“I feel that as a leader I have a responsibility to hand over the party to the right person. I have been giving it a lot of thought during the last two months as to how I want to conduct the elections and I have concluded that I will support the team which will support the MIC for a better future,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sothinathan said he will not withdraw from contesting the deputy president’s post. “I will contest the post as I have been campaigning since announcing the intention on [30 May],” he told Bernama later.
However, Negeri Sembilan MIC chairperson Datuk T Rajagopalu, who had announced earlier that he was contesting for a vice-president’s post, is taking the cue from Samy Vellu’s announcement to pull out of the race.
“I will follow the party president’s directive as I am a party man and am ready to give way to the president’s choice. I will give full support to the president’s choices.
“However, I will discuss with Samy Vellu for another position as he knows what position I am qualified for. I have been on the supreme council for 10 years and and am always ready to contribute to the party,” he said. — Bernama