Media Conference Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang at Penang DAP Hqrs on
Tuesday, 12th February 2008 at 12 noon:
Samy Vellu seems
to have “lost his marbles” making him to publicly declare “DAP telah
MIC President and
the sole Malaysian Indian Cabinet Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu
seems to have “lost his marbles” (to do something senseless or stupid)
making him to publicly declare “DAP telah mati”.
I don’t ordinarily watch television news but last night I caught a
snippet of television news and saw Samy Vellu in a rampage against the
DAP with the ultimate swear term: “DAP telah mati”.
DAP has been active, productive and vibrant for 42 years in Malaysian
politics and is looking forward to the “battle of the century” in the
upcoming general election. DAP will not die just because Samy Vellu
What I am more concerned is how the longest-serving Cabinet Minister in
Malaysia could so embarrass himself as to make a fool and public
spectacle of himself over national television with such intemperate
language and conduct.
Samy Vellu has never been under greater pressure as he is fighting for
his political life.
The last straw must be Sunday’s announcement by the bearer of one of the
most illustrious names in MIC history, more famous than the name of Samy
Vellum, Ishwar Nahappan, joining the ranks of the DAP.
Ishwar’s parents, Athi Nahappan and Janaki, were not only
founder-members of MIC, their contributions to freedom, justice and
integrity are written in gold in MIC and Malaysian history. Janaki
joined the Indian National Army (INA) at the age of 17 and rose to
Captain and Second-in-Command of Rhani of Jhansi Regiment, the only
woman’s regiment in the INA. Athi Nahappan will forever be remembered
for his life-long commitment to democracy immortalized by the Athi
Nahappan Report on Local Government calling for restoration of local
government elections (which Samy Vellu has still to honour).
If not for the tragedy of the early demise of Athi Nahappan in 1976, a
few months after being appointed as Minister in the Prime Minister’s
Department in charge of the law and justice portfolio (a second Indian
Minister in Cabinet together with Tun V. T. Sambanthan), Malaysian
Indians and Malaysia would have been spared the “tragedy” of Samy Vellu
as MIC President and sole Malaysian Indian Cabinet Minister for over 28
years – presiding over the progressive political, economic, educational,
social, cultural and religious polarization of the Malaysian Indians
into a new underclass in Malaysia!
Samy Vellu should not “lose his marbles” over Ishwar’s denunciation that
MIC under his leadership had failed the Malaysian Indians and the
Malaysian nation. Many Indian leaders, including both current and former
MIC leaders, have contacted and congratulated Ishwar for his bold and
courageous decision to stand up for the marginalized Indians and other
He should respond to Ishwar’s powerful statement about the
marginalisation of the Indian community under Samy Vellu’s 28-year watch
as the sole Malaysian Indian Minister, viz:
- There are
less than 3-4% Indians studying in the Govt Universities.
- Indians comprise less than 1% of those who were given the opportunity
to study Nursing in the various Government Nursing Colleges.
- Malaysian Indians have, over a fifteen year period, comprised less
than 2.5% of the annual student intake of teacher training colleges.
- Malaysian Indians have received less than 1% of all scholarships
awarded by Govt and Govt-related bodies.
- Less than 1% of those training as officer cadets in Military Colleges
- For the last 15 years, Indians have numbered less than 2% annually of
those who underwent training as police officers.
- The situation in the Malaysian Civil Service is even more grim and
appalling. One can walk into any Govt department and you will be hard
pressed to find an Indian or Chinese in the clerical and administrative
sections. For example, in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, in
KL, out of 400 staff, there are only 2 Indians and 3 Chinese.
- The KTM, which was a traditional source of employment for the Indian
Community, is recruiting less than 3% Indians on an annual basis.
- As of 6th Feb’08, the total market capitalization of the KLCI was 764
Bln ringgit. I estimate the Malaysian Indian Community accounts for less
than 1% of the listed Corporate wealth of the country.
Instead of losing
his marbles publicly and embarrassing himself, there are two choices
before Samy Vellu:
• Turn over a completely new leaf by making amends for his failures for
the past 28 years to defend the right of Malaysian Indians to an equal
place under the Malaysian sun, end his, MIC and Barisan Nasional’s
denial complex refusing to recognise the crisis of marginalization of
Malaysian Indians and immediately announce a New Deal for the
Marginalised Indians to reintegrate them into the mainstream of national
development and get the five Hindraf leaders released from ISA detention
immediately and unconditionally; or
• Resign as MIC President and Cabinet Minister, which is the increasing
demand not only within the MIC but also in UMNO and Barisan Nasional.
Kit Siang, Parliamentary
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman