Sunday, March 22, 2009

Samy Vellu retains MIC president's post uncontested

Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu retained the post of MIC president uncontested for the 11th consecutive term at the close of the party's presidential nomination in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, according to sources.

The nomination papers of his challenger Datuk M. Muthupalaniappan were rejected.

Muthu’s bid looks bleak

MIC presidential aspirant Datuk M. Muthupalaniappan faces a snag in his bid to challenge incumbent Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, says MIC officials.

According to them, many of the branch chairmen who nominated the former MIC vice-president also nominated Samy Vellu.

“MIC divisional chiefs who checked with the branch chairmen claim that too many nominations secured by Muthupalaniappan had dual nominees (Samy Vellu and Muthupala-niappan).

“Such nominations would be deemed as null and void.”

They said Muthupalaniappan, 66, who had many of those nominations, may not have the sufficient number to submit his papers for the president’s post today.

MIC presidential election steering committee head Datuk K. Viji-yanathan said the party’s constitution and by-laws stated that a branch chairman can only propose or second one candidate.

“If there are instances where a branch chairman nominates more than one candidate, then his nomination would be null and void. If there is more than one nomination by a branch chairman for one candidate, then only one nomination would be taken into account,” he said.

The officials said some branch chairmen had given their nomination to Muthupalaniappan to spite their ineffective division chairmen.

They said some of these chairmen realised their folly when the division leaders sought their nominations for Samy Vellu. “By then, Muthupalani-appan had already taken the forms from them and they could not withdraw their nomination for him.”

The officials said Samy Vellu had 540 nominations, while Muthupal-aniappan claimed to have secured 51.

A candidate needs to secure 50 nominations, with each nomination needing a proposer and five seconders, all branch chairmen, to be eligible to contest.

The MIC president will be picked by the chairmen of the 3,700 branches who would be required to vote in their respective divisions.

The party has fixed today for the nominations and polling on April 12.

When contacted, Muthupalani-appan said the branch chairmen who proposed and seconded him did so on their own accord.

“I did not coerce any of them to nominate me,” he said.

Muthupalaniappan said there were behind-the-scene attempts to get branch chairmen to withdraw their nominations for him.

“Some requested me to give back their nomination forms as they were afraid of being victimised,” he said.

An aide to Samy Vellu said he would respond to any allegation after the nominations.

Seven As student cut out to be a doc, not cut grass

GEORGE TOWN: Eighteen-year-old S. Somaraj may be a top student, having scored 7As and 3Bs in his recent SPM examination, but he is forced to help his father with his part-time job of cutting grass on weekends.

Somaraj, a Penang Free School student, hopes to become a doctor in a private hospital here, where his father, M. Sangkaran, 46, works as an ambulance driver.

“I want to make my parents proud of my achievements. But it will cost more than RM250,000 for medical studies. I hope my parents can raise the money somehow.

“With me helping my father on weekends, he can earn about RM300 extra a month in addition to his RM1,700 salary at the hospital,” he said, adding that his mother K. Dharamambal, 39, earned RM800 monthly as a factory worker.

Luckily for Somaraj, who is a keen football player, his plight has caught the attention of state MIC youth treasurer J. Dhinagaran,

Dhinagaran, who is Penang Indian Football Association president, visited Sangkaran upon learning that he, Somaraj and another son Sartish were cutting grass outside a house in Batu Lanchang, here, yesterday.

He presented RM2,001 in aid to Sankaran and suggested that Somaraj pursue his medical studies at AIMST University in Sg Petani.

Sangkaran said the aid would be used to partially finance a foundation course at the university. “I’ve heard the one-year foundation fee at the university is about RM17,000. I hope I can raise enough money for that,” he said.

Dhinagaran said he would support Somaraj’s application for a scholarship from the Maju Institute of Educational Development (MIED), which runs the university.

“Somaraj has a bright future,” he said.

Those interested in giving Somaraj a helping hand can contact Dhinagaran at 012-4879030.