Samy calls it a day after serving as president for 31 years

Samy resigns Wooing the people Samy the "Matchmaker"

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has officially resigned as MIC president after 31 years.

He tendered his resignation at the special sitting of the party’s central working committee and handed over the reins to his deputy Datuk G. Palanivel, who is now the eighth party president.

“The moment I leave this room, I am no longer the president,” he told a packed press conference at the MIC headquarters here yesterday.

He said the committee had also endorsed party vice-president Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam as the deputy president.

Samy Vellu took over as acting president in October 1979 and was elected president for a record 11th term in 2009 for a three-year term ending March 2012.

“I have made this decision as I want to give adequate time for my successor to make the necessary preparations to face the next general election, which is scheduled any time.

“I am still an MIC member and will continue to help Malaysian Indians,” he said.

Samy Vellu hoped that the Palanivel-Subramaniam partnership would take the party to greater heights and would be able to woo back Indians to support Barisan Nasional in the next general election.

“I am happy that I am leaving the party to Palanivel. I felt that there should be a leadership change in the party and I was ready for this,” he said, adding that his successor, who was not new to the party, would be able to face all challenges.

However, he added that he would assist Palanivel to run the party should he ask for help.

On his legacy as MIC president, Samy Vellu said he wanted to be known for bringing a mindset change in the community, especially in education.

On reports that he had been appointed an envoy in charge of infrastructure, he said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak should make the announcement, adding that he was willing to take up the post if requested.

He said that he had visited several countries including India over the past few months to obtain projects for Malaysian contractors.

“I had discussions on projects for PLUS, Hopetech and UEM, in India. Even Middle Eastern companies have approached us for joint ventures with Malaysian companies,” he said.

On his immediate plans after retirement, Samy Vellu said he would concentrate on the Maju Institute of Educational Develop­ment, the party’s education arm, of which he is still the chairman.

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