Thursday, April 08, 2010
Newspaper war on Subra: Vell Paari orders ceasefire
Tamil Nesan chief executive officer S Vell Paari has instructed the daily to stop attacking former MIC deputy president S Subramaniam and urged it to focus on the upcoming Hulu Selangor by-election instead.
On the same note, he called on the Subramaniam-aligned Makkal Osai to refrain from publishing disparaging articles about MIC deputy president G Palanivel, the party's nominee for the Hulu Selangor seat.
“I hope to see him (Subramaniam) campaigning in Hulu Selangor for Palanivel. Let us all work together to ensure victory for the Barisan Nasional candidate,” he said in a statement.
Vell Paari is the son of MIC president S Samy Vellu, whose fued with Subramaniam is legendary, spanning over three decades.
On Tuesday, Subramaniam expressed outrage over articles published in Tamil Nesan, which accused him of undermining Palanivel's chances.
He criticised Samy Vellu for fanning hatred, instead of using the by-election as an opportunity to bring opposing forces together.
Subramaniam claimed that the MIC president was “desperate” and looking for scapegoats to blame in the event BN loses in the by-election.
'Let's work together'
Meanwhile, Vell Paari said the decision to impose a ceasefire was made after considering various factors, especially the need to mobilise the entire MIC machinery to win the by-election.
In view of this, he said: “I have advised the Tamil Nesan editorial team to focus only on the by-election and to refrain from taking potshots at any individuals.”
“I wish to stress here that the decision was made after careful consideration and not made under pressure from any quarters,” he added in the statement.
On the same note, the MIC Youth adviser said he welcomed Subramaniam's statement calling on all quarters to work together to ensure a victory for BN.
Vell Paari also underscored the importance of the Hulu Selangor by-election, saying that it is crucial for MIC to emerge victorious in order for it to remain relevant.
Nomination for the parliamentary seat is on April 17 while the by-election will be held on April 25. The seat fell vacant following the death of PKR's Zainal Abidin Ahmad.
In the 2008 general election, Zainal defeated Palanivel by a razor-thin majority of 198 votes. The Malay majority seat also has a significant number of Chinese and Indian voters.
However, there is widespread speculation that Palanivel could be dropped, with Prime Minister and BN chieftain Najib Tun Razak opting for a younger MIC candidate.