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Feb 28, 2008

Youths got drunk, Opposition got blaimed ... Ayoyo Samy

'Drunken youth disturbing Malaysian Indian Congress rallies'
Kuala Lumpur, Feb 28: Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) chief S. Samy Vellu has blamed the opposition for providing alcoholic drinks to Indian youths to create a "ruckus" at his party's functions.

"It has become a new technique. They get the youths drunk. So they come and make noise in the streets," he told the media.

Vellu said 70 percent of the youths, who created a ruckus at the MIC functions, were not registered voters.

"We are not frightened by their scare tactics. Nothing is going to move me. We have more youths than them but we do not resort to such demonstrations," he was quoted as saying in The Star Thursday.

He said opposition parties were also using the controversial outfit, Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), as their cover to get the youths to cause disruption.

He said the MIC has launched an advertising campaign in the newspapers in the run-up to the March 8 general elections to counter the charges that it has not done enough for the two million-plus Malaysians of Indian origin.

Vellu, the country's works minister, is also facing criticism from some critics inside the party who say he has stayed too long. Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) has also criticised Vellu.

There have been reports of Vellu being asked questions at poll meetings. Vellu has been hitting back, asking his questioners whether they read the Tamil dailies or were staying abroad. Most Malaysians of Indian origin are Tamil.

"Maybe the newspapers do not write about programmes carried out by MIC and they have, therefore, come to the conclusion that we are not doing anything."

He said this when asked to comment on the full-page advertisement headlined "MIC Cares ... The power of the truth" Wednesday which detailed the benefits enjoyed by the community because of the MIC's efforts.

"The advertisements are the first of four strategies to counter negative claims," Vellu told media after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Masterskill College Of Nursing and Health and the MIC's Education Bureau.

Vellu is contesting from Sengkai Siput for the ninth time.

MIC owns educational institutions that cater to the Tamil speaking populace that is its principal vote base.

The MoU will see the setting up of a 1 million ringgit ($312,148) Masterskill Intellectual Development Fund to provide scholarships to poor students planning to study at the college.

--- IANS


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