Independents not giving up without a fight


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 10 May 2003

BY A. LETCHUMANAN

KUALA LUMPUR: The results of the MIC polls today may be a forgone conclusion but the 10 “independent” candidates lined up against the president’s men for the 23 CWC seats are not giving up. 

There have been several anonymous letters sent to delegates while a VCD has been distributed carrying “tales” about one of the candidates endorsed by party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu. 

Most of the 1,497 delegates from the various states received a copy of the VCD, sent through Pos Laju, on Thursday. 

This last-minute tactic is a far cry from the orderly and co-ordinated campaigns undertaken over the past eight days. 

THANK YOU: Samy Vellu gesturing to the crowd on his 67th birthday and election as MIC president. He is flanked by (from left) R. Ganesan, Chandrasekhar, both are contesting for the CWC, and Veerasingam.

One of the 10 independent candidates, who declined to be named, said the group was fighting against all odds, and conceded that a victory was impossible against the presidential endorsement. 

“However, we don’t want to give them victory on a silver platter. One must fight for the post he wants in order to serve effectively. Otherwise, the victory will be meaningless,” he said. 

The various states held their own campaigns late on Thursday, with calls for them to vote for the president’s men. 

MIC vice-president Datuk S. Veerasingam was confident that the 23 would make a clean sweep. 

Political analysts, however, said there might be two casualties, one from Selangor and another from Negri Sembilan. 

“There are strong moves behind the scenes for the two to be booted out from the official line-up,” one analyst said, adding that assemblyman for Si Rusa E.M. Yohevel and former policeman turned lawyer and psychology graduate James Selvaraja, contesting as individuals, having the edge.  

Another outsider is professional equity trader S. Paramasivam of Subang. 

In Selangor, Datuk G. Palanivel, who is the state chairman, reminded the delegates to ensure that all their five candidates were voted into the CWC. 

“In the last elections, we lost one seat when Sepang division chairman C. Krishnan failed to make it. We must ensure that such a thing does not recur. The state would be the major loser,” he said. 

Palanivel and two others, Veerasingam and Tan Sri K.S. Nijhar were returned unopposed as vice presidents for a three-year term effective May 2003. 

FT assistant secretary Datuk Chandrasekhar Suppiah said the 23 official candidates should be returned to ensure that they were accorded due respect by the other component parties.  

“Most of the incumbents hold positions in the government and would be able to effectively represent the party interests as CWC members, “ he said, adding that the group is a well-balanced one representing all the states. 

Chandrasekhar, who was the first Asian to be the student union leader at the University of Buckingham said Samy Vellu was instrumental in forging a disciplined party. 

“We can proudly say that MIC is a cohesive and united party vis-a-vis the other component parties in Barisan Nasional. Our members are proud to be in the party,” he said. 

Veteran politician Tan Sri G. Vadiveloo admitted that internal bickering could cost some votes for the president’s men but was not sure whether it would have a great impact on the outcome of the polls. 

He said the chances of the sole woman candidate for the CWC, Vimala Nair, might not be good. 

“There are already three women in the CWC, all of them holding positions in the government. I don’t think the delegates would want to bring another woman who had not received the endorsement of the Wanita wing,” he said. 

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