THE JOURNAL consists of selected, most notable and newsworthy POSTINGS OF THE DAY.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

> Palanivel is Deputy President of MIC

Incumbent G Palanivel retained the MIC deputy president post by fighting off a strong challenge from rivals S Subramaniam and S Sothinathan.

Palanivel (left) garnered 629 votes against former deputy president Subramaniam, 547, and former vice-president Sothinathan, 280. His margin of majority was rather slim - 82 votes.

All three candidates endorsed by MIC president S Samy Vellu have also been elected to the three vice-president posts in today's party polls.

Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam was the top vote getter with 1,260 votes, while deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department SK Devamany came second with 1,122 votes and Federal Territories deputy minister M Saravanan joining the other two with 1,030 votes.

It is also learnt that most of Samy Vellu's men have won the lion's share of the 23 seats in the party's central working committee.

Samy Vellu feeling 'much better'

A visibly distraught Sothinathan said he accepted the verdict from the 1,469 party delegates.

"Even after what the prime minister had said today, they don't change. What can I do? Everybody knows the situation. The public know but still..."

Meanwhile, Subramanian supporters looked dejected and there appeared to be an air of disbelief among them.

Some expressed anger, saying that MIC would never change and that they might as well support the Pakatan Rakyat opposition.

MIC supremo Samy Vellu, when asked how he felt, laughed and said: "Much better... much better."

A close aide of had earlier told Malaysiakini that the party boss visited a temple just before the elections to 'invoke the armies of Hanuman' (monkey god) to help his team win.

Subra mobbed by dejected supporters

In an immediate reaction, Subramaniam said he accepted the decision of the delegates although he was disappointed.

He however expressed surprise that the delegates had failed to heed Najib's advice this morning.

"I don't know if they did not understand it or refused to listen but they have decided and I shall accept their decision," he said.

He was mobbed by his somber supporters as he came out of the counting room. He urged his supporters to remain calm and leave peacefully.

Subramaniam also said that he needed some time to think about what he would do next. He also refused to comment if he will be leaving MIC for another party or form a new party.

"Give me some time. I will answer all these later," he said.

He blamed his defeat on money politics by the president's team.

"So much of money was given. They did not stop giving," he lamented.

KP Samy: We'll form a new party

Some of Subramaniam's supporters were in tears after the unofficial results indicated his defeat.

A few blamed Sothinathan for splitting the votes and playing the spoiler in the deputy president race, while others were angry with Samy Vellu for orchestrating their leader's defeat.

While Subramaniam is silent about his future in MIC, many his loyalists said their man's political future lies outside the party that had rejected him today.

Subramaniam left the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) where the MIC 63rd AGM is being held before the official results were announced.

A highly emotional KP Samy, who is a staunch supporter of Subramaniam, vowed to leave MIC.

"We will form a new party and teach these people a lesson. We will tell the PM not to rely on this fellow (Samy Vellu)," he said.

Jubilant Samy sings

After the election commission steering committee head K Vijayanathan announced the results, a jubilant Samy Vellu thanked the delegates and broke out into a song.

A few minutes later, he returned to the microphone and asked for the music to be turned down in the hall.

The president then thanked the media representatives and called on the delegates to give them a resounding applause.

Samy Vellu also argued that there had been changes in the party line-up.

"They wanted changes and I have made them. About 18 out of the 23 CWC members are new. All three vice-presidents are new.

"The deputy president is only three years old while the president is 73-years-old," he quipped.

"I will take care of them, train them, so that they can run a strong party."

Following this, Palanivel thanked the delegates for voting him. Responding to a question, he denied that the election has caused fissures in the party.

"There is no split in the party. The party is united."

Balloting lasted three hours

Earlier today, the 1,469 MIC delegates took three hours to complete their voting in what is considered as the most tense and most watched polls in the party's 63-year history.

According to Vijayanathan, who is also MIC secretary-general, there were 54 polling booths and 28 ballot boxes.

The balloting, which kicked off at 1pm, came to a close at 4pm.

The ballot boxes were taken to Bilik Pangkor, on the third floor of the PWTC, for the counting of votes.

At 4.25pm, the contestants emerged from the main conference hall.

Subramaniam was greeted with a resounding applause while the reception was a little muted for his key rival, Palanivel. Some of Subramanian's supporters shouted "give change a chance".

However, most of the delegates have decided to back their long-time president, who has led the party for 33 years, and his men.

OFFICIAL RESULTS

Deputy president

G Palanivel* - 629
S Subramaniam - 547
S Sothinathan - 280

Vice-president (3 posts)

Dr S Subramaniam - 1,260
SK Devamany - 1,122
M Saravanan - 1,030
S Balakrishnan - 471
VKK Teagarajan - 220
P Subramaniam - 215
P Mariayee - 61

* Incumbent. Those in bold are MIC president S Samy Vellu's men.

Central Working Committee (23 seats)

1. KR Partiban
2. M Asojan
3. VS Mogan
4. RA Ragu Moorthi
5. S Murugesan
6. M Devandran
7. A Saktivel
8. Randhir Singh
9. Jaspal Singh
10. KRA Naidu
11. K Ganeson
12. S Ananthan
13. MM Samy
14. SP Manikavasagam
15. M Paanjamoorthy
16. AGaneson
17. VK Suppiah
18. S Ganesan
19. KP Samy
20. SS Rajagopal
21. N Ravisandaran
22. P Palaniappan
23. Madhu Marimuthu

- Malaysiakini.