Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Samy-Subra feud a distraction for BN in Hulu Selangor

The nearly life-long feud between MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and his former deputy Datuk S. Subramaniam has escalated into an open war and as usual they are using their respective Tamil newspapers to fire salvos at each other.

The real victim of their never ending feud seems to be the Barisan Nasional which is facing a major battle with the Pakatan Rakyat for the Hulu Selangor constituency on April 25.

More specifically Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who wants to win  the constituency in a big way to show that national political momentum is behind him, is left holding the adverse results of their never ending feud.

In a statement yesterday Subramaniam attacked Samy Vellu and his Tamil Nesan newspaper in a uncharacteristic and frontal attack, blaming the party president for the ills in the community and accusing him of being a major handicap for BN.

He criticised Samy and Tamil Nesan for implying that he and his supporters were not backing deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel as the Hulu Selangor parliamentary by-election candidate.

“These articles in Tamil Nesan were written with a sinister and ulterior political motive to sow seeds of hatred and animosity among MIC and Barisan Nasional supporters,” Subramanian said.

He said the by-election should be used as an opportunity to unite the different factions in MIC and to bring them together to win the seat.

“The articles falsely implied that I was behind the move for the seat not to be given to MIC or Palanivel,” he said.

He said the newspaper had also alleged that he was plotting to defeat of Palanivel by instigating some independent candidates to stand against Palanivel.

Tamil Nesan in articles last week implied that Subramaniam was behind the independents — four mid-level MIC leaders — and said Subramaniam was continuing his feud with Samy Vellu and Palanivel by fielding these independents.

“He lost in a free and fair contest to Palanivel and should be man enough to admit the defeat,” Tamil Nesan managing director Vel Paari told The Malaysian Insider.

“He should know when to fight and when to close ranks,” he added. “We are fighting for Barisan victory now and must close ranks.”

Samy Vellu supporters told The Malaysian Insider that the Makkal Osai newspaper, owned by supporters of Subramaniam, had been constantly harping on alleged problems in Hulu Selangor, implying that  Palanivel did “nothing” as MP for four terms.

They also give prominence to the independents and any anti-Samy Vellu news, the supporters said.

The accusations were denied by Subramaniam supporters who said the newspaper was merely giving space to the legitimate grouses of the Hulu Selangor’s Indian constituents.

“It is a fact that Samy Vellu is unpopular and that Indian voters in Hulu Selangor don’t want Palanivel to contest,” said a diehard Subramaniam loyalist who declined to be named for fear of a backlash from the MIC.

Subramaniam fought Palanivel twice for the deputy president’s post and lost both times because of strong support for Palanivel from Samy Vellu.

In the 2009 contest Najib, when opening the MIC congress and election, gave a sterling speech for change that brought the delegates to their feet.

The animosity between the two camps run deep and have surfaced in the run-up to the Hulu Selangor battle.

For Subramaniam, who faces political oblivion, the by-election is a chance to smear his opponents but carefully without hurting BN or Najib.

For Samy Vellu the priority is to ensure that the MIC and Palanivel gets to contest and to win big to erase the humiliation of defeat and possibly retire with honour on a big win in Hulu Selangor.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

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