Dato Seri Samy Vellu leaves his fate to Branch Chairman

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By : Suganthi Suparmaniam, NST, April 11, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said only the MIC branch chairmen can decide if he should stay on as the party's president.
"Whether or not I remain as the president is not for me to decide.
"Let the branch leaders decide because they are the voters," he said yesterday.
"If they say 'No' and I have to leave, I'll say okay, bye-bye. That afternoon itself, I will pack up and go away.

"I will never even use Ipoh Road anymore," he said in an apparent reference to the location of the party headquarters at Menara Manickavasagam, Jalan Ipoh. He added that if he were to continue using the road, people might think he was creating trouble for the MIC.
Samy Vellu said this in response to calls by several MIC members for him to resign.
On the question of bringing back former deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam, he said Subramaniam had never left the party.
"I didn't bring Subramaniam back. He did not go out of the party and has always been there.
"The only thing that we are doing now is working together. But, if all the MIC members feel that we should not work together and continue fighting, okay, then we will keep on fighting," he said.
Samy Vellu has invited Subramaniam to help revive the party's fortunes.
The two leaders went their separate ways in 2006 when Samy Vellu backed Datuk G. Palanivel in the contest for the deputy president's post against the incumbent Subramaniam.
Samy Vellu was speaking after attending special prayers at the newly-renovated MIC office on the 6th floor of Menara Manickavasagam yesterday.
Asked to comment on proposals to rid the country of race-based politics, Samy Vellu replied:
"Very good. I also like it. I will be the first person to support such raceless political institutions provided others also follow. If they stop, I will also stop.
"Maybe we will then change the name of the party from Malaysian Indian Congress to Malaysian some other Congress."
However, he said, the MIC could not do this when the entire party system in the country was based on race.
"No race, no party," he said.
He criticised political parties that claimed to be multiracial when 95 per cent of their members were made up of one particular race.
"I also can say that the MIC is multiracial because we have 15 to 20 Tamil-speaking Chinese members who are married to Indian girls," he said.
Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu also confirmed that Datuk Denison Jayasooria had resigned as director of the Yayasan Strategik Sosial, the social welfare arm of the MIC.
"He is going for a better position. He wants to do new things and church work," he said.
Samy Vellu was clearly irked when he was asked to comment on a report in a Tamil newspaper that Denison was believed to have quit following a misunderstanding.
He said Denison was not a politician and did not want to make his resignation a political issue.
"But, it is a good story for you. Write-lah that because he hated Samy Vellu, he had resigned or that he is at loggerheads with Samy Vellu, so he has thrown in the resignation letter and walked away."
When contacted yesterday, Denison said there was no misunderstanding between him and Samy Vellu.
The people should not speculate, he added.

MIC calls for integration programme

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KUALA LUMPUR: A strong integration programme should be formulated to strengthen the Barisan Nasional and its individual component parties, said MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.
"The MIC would like to call upon the prime minister and BN chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to formulate the programme."We must not delay this exercise as it is important to regroup and reorganise our strategies and directions to regain the people's trust and confidence," he said.Samy Vellu said the programme should entail policies for the respective communities and be executed immediately. He called upon Abdullah to expedite assistance to the 30 per cent of the Indian community who were still living in poverty.
"I suggest that a committee headed by the prime minister and his deputy be formed, with its members consisting of all BN component parties leaders."The time has come for us to build a truly united Malaysian nation," he said.


Study shows why BN lost media war

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Barisan Nasional’s apathy towards the use of the Internet was a major contributor to its losses in the recent general election, a new study revealed. The study by Zentrum Future Studies Malaysia, conducted from Feb 20 to March 5 and involving 1,500 respondents aged between 21 and 50, showed that the alternative media had a big influence on voters.
Universiti Malaya Media Studies department senior lecturer Dr Abu Hassan Hasbullah said in the recent election, BN lost in the “information war” due to its misjudgment on the importance of the alternative media.
“Young people are relying more on these new alternative media rather than the conventional ones like newspapers and television,” he said at a forum themed “Society and Media in the 2008 Election” yesterday.
In the study, 64.5 per cent of those aged from 21 to 30 years trusted blogs and online media for reliable information compared with 23.1 per cent who relied on the television and only 12.4 per cent on newspapers.
Of those between 31 and 40 years, 61.7 per cent believed that the information in the blogs and online media was true while 23.5 trusted the television and 14.8 per cent the newspapers.
But the older generation, those who are from 41 to 50 years old, seemed to trust the traditional media more than the new media.
“Realising how powerful the new media is, the opposition parties have used the opportunity since 1998 when the Internet started to penetrate the country.
“In the mid 2000, the opposition had more than 7,500 blogs and websites while the government had only three,” said Abu Hassan who is also a researcher for the study.


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