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Feb 17, 2008

Lihatlah, orang-orang Sungai Siput!

The Star (17/2/2008): MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu was prevented by a group of people from leaving a function here.

The group, believed to be Hindu Rights Action Force supporters, surrounded his car last night and demanded for an undertaking for the release of women and children who were detained during a Hindraf rally in Kuala Lumpur yesterday morning.

Mob demand: The angry crowd preventing the car carrying Samy from leaving the function in Butterworth last night. (Ihsan The Star)

They also locked the door of SJKC Chung Hwa Pusat 3 in Taman Senangin here where a Chinese New Year function was being held.

They relented after Samy Vellu said he would talk to the relevant authorities.
After 15 minutes, police came and cleared the way for Samy Vellu to leave.
It is understood that the group had been misinformed that some 100 children had been detained by police during the rally in Kuala Lumpur.

Police, however, said no children except for an 11-year-old girl were detained. The girl was later released.
J. Balamurugan, 31, one of the spokesmen for the group, said they only wanted to ensure that children were released.

Another supporter, M. Ravindran, 37, said the group did not want to hurt Samy Vellu or cause any problem.
Earlier, Samy Vellu was also jeered by a group when he was giving a speech at a meeting with Rukun Tetangga and Umno branch members at Chai Leng Park here.

After the function, he approached the people and listened to their problems.

The Star (15/2/2008): The sounds of traditional Indian drums and music welcoming MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu came to an abrupt stop shortly after he alighted from his Mercedes Benz and was swamped by a group of unhappy men.

Even before he could grace groundbreaking ceremony of the SJK Seaport Tamil School in Kampung Lindungan, Petaling Jaya, Samy Vellu’s mood had changed.

Tough job: Samy was visibly upset when the men began jeering during his speech. (Ihsan The Star)

He had been seen earlier smiling and chatting with his deputy Datuk G. Palanivel when both arrived together.

Samy Vellu spent about ten minutes listening to the claims made by the men, some of whom were carrying placards alleging unfairness and claiming that the land allocated for the new school had shrunk from 2.8ha to 0.6ha.

It was Samy Vellu’s second event after Parliament had been dissolved. The guest-of-honour at the ceremony was Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo who arrived 30 minutes later.

Samy Vellu and Dr Khir were also present to give away allocation grants to Tamil schools and temples in the state, which has over 800 temples, many of them unregistered, and some dilapidated Tamil schools.

Samy Vellu thanked Dr Khir for giving the Tamil schools a breath of fresh air.

He also said he had requested for funds from the Second Finance Minister on Wednesday morning and received approval at 4.20pm the same day for RM30mil for Tamil schools.

Touching on the proposed Seaport Tamil school he said, “I drew the school plan as I am an architect and I know what is good for the Indians.”

He said the three-storey school would have 18 classrooms and toilet facilities on each floor and would be able to accommodate some 410 pupils.

When Samy Vellu switched to Tamil, the event turned sour as the group of men who had earlier demonstrated began jeering and shouting “Makkal Sakhti” or People’s Power.

A visibly upset Samy Vellu stopped his speech and said, “You can shout and shout until your throat tears but I’m not afraid of your tactics or anybody.

“You do not represent the people but the crowd here is what People’s Power is,” he said, adding that there was no proof to their claims that the school had originally been allocated a larger plot of land.

Samy Vellu said he expected such disturbances at his functions from now on and he would not be frightened.

Dr Khir later explained that the original allocation for the Seaport school was 0.4ha and RM600,000 and it has been increased to RM1.2mil now

Dr Khir was saddened to see some people in Selangor resorting to unruly behaviour at an official function and he took a swipe at the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) group.

Dr Khir announced that he was giving actual cheques and not mock cheques of RM2mil to Tamil schools and RM1mil to Hindu temples in Selangor.

Mohd Khir left before the school groundbreaking ceremony, which was performed by Samy Vellu under heavy police presence and he was later escorted to his car.

The function also saw a huge turnout of aspiring MIC candidates who stood close to the stage and Samy Vellu’s car to make sure the party chief noticed them.

According to an Umno member who was at the event, this was an unusual turn of events.

“If this is an indication of how the campaign trail is going to be, it is not going to be a smooth one,” he said.

Elders at the function applauded Samy Vellu for his might at getting things done for the community but it will take more than his valour to impress the youngsters.

In Selangor, MIC only has four parliamentary and three state seats allocated to it and there are many young and enterprising individuals vying to be candidates.

Also present at the gathering was Samy Vellu’s son Vel Paari, who is Maika Holdings chief executive officer, fuelling talk that he might also be contesting.

Currently, MIC deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel occupies the Hulu Selangor parliamentary seat while MIC national youth chief S. Vigneswaran and Wanita chief Datin Paduka Komala Krishnamoorthy are the Kota Raja and Kapar incumbents, respectively. Tan Sri K. S. Nijhar is holding the Subang seat for the fourth term. more...


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