Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has dropped a bombshell today saying that if the Indian community wants to see real changes they should make an all out effort to remove Dato Seri Samy Vellu as president of MIC.
If they want to see such changes they should elect capable and talented leaders ,he said in an exclusive interview with Tamil daily Makkal Osai.
He said that as far as the MIC was concerned Dato S.Subramaniam was a suitable, capable and a fair minded leader.
The reason the Malaysian Indians turned to the opposition parties was all because of Dato Seri Samy Vellu.
He has overstayed as leader and he has not allowed anyone else to rise as leaders . He has systematically removed or destroyed them.
If they want to see change and development they will have to be daring to remove him. They must elect in place good and trustworthy people.
He was speaking at an exclusive interview with the paper’s chief editor M.Rajan at his office at the 86th floor of Petronas Twin Towers where he is advisor to the national oil corporation. The paper had posed questions relating to the forthcoming MIC elections on Sept 12.
In his replies Tun Mahathir said that capable leaders should be elected and Dato S.Subramaniam , who is contesting the deputy presidency in a three- cornered fight, said that Dato Subramaniam was in his opinion a very suitable person.
He is fair minded and he would be able to embrace everyone. He handles everything calmly and judiciously. He has been in MIC for a very longtime and he should have been the leader a long time ago but the opportunities were not given.
During my premiership he has been a long time deputy minister. There has to be leadership changes in the Indian community and capable leaders should be elected. The Indian community has no grudge with the Barisan Nasional.
They have always voted for BN and during all the long years of my premiership they have loyally voted for us. It was because of their discontentment with Samy Vellu that they voted for the opposition in the last general election.
Even UMNO made changes to the leadership when the feedback was given to them. Similarly,if the Indian community wants to see changes they will have to be daring enough to remove Samy Vellu.
In this respect Dato Subramaniam is very suitable as a leader, he said.
What Samy said:
MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has levelled another accusation at his former deputy Datuk S. Subramaniam, saying the challenger for the MIC deputy presidency had disgraced the party by seeking the endorsement of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said Subramaniam’s move to seek the help of Dr Mahathir was a “desperate act”, claiming that this had incurred the wrath of many branch and division leaders.
“How cheap and desperate can a man be?” he asked, referring to a report in the Tamil daily Makkal Osai which quoted Dr Mahathir as saying that MIC delegates should vote for Subramaniam.
“It appears that Subramaniam has lost his support in the MIC and has to seek outside help to prop up his support among the delegates. He has lost whatever credibility that was left in him,” Samy Vellu said in a statement.
He said that he was both extremely angry and sad that Subramaniam had allowed an outsider to meddle in the party’s affairs, especially during a crucial election for the MIC.
The party supremo pointed out that when Dr Mahathir was in power, he had said that the Barisan Nasional could not interfere in the internal affairs of a component party.
“But now he interferes in our party matters,” he said.
He said the MIC was holding its elections through the democratic process to allow delegates to pick their leaders and “is not facing any problems for outsiders to get involved.”
“I urge MIC delegates to condemn the actions by Subramaniam and his supporters in getting an outsider involved in our party matters.
“If we allow this to happen, in future, outsiders will continue to interfere in our affairs and we will lose our dignity and respect,” Samy Vellu said.
Any constructive criticism and comment that would contribute to fair, frank and informed discussion on this posting to help achieve our national objective will be most appreciated. We need to have more open exchange of ideas on this sensitive but important subject in the context of the national vision and security.