Having lost his own seat on March 8, then scurrying out of the hall where he had awaited the poll result with a surly ‘goodbye’ to the media and his adoring fans, Samy Vellu, the former works minister and long-time Mahathir Mohamad lackey – until their recent falling out – is back, and bigger and better.
Who needs Bollywood when Samy has a cult-like status that would make the late South Indian movie great, MGR, squirm in embarrassment. Or envy. Somehow, Bollywood actors can make a Lazarus-like return from the brink of impossibile imponderables look like child’s play. So here’s Samy … again.
He says he will press the tattered Barisan Nasional regime to give the Indian community their due.
“We are even more determined than ever to ensure that Indians achieve greater success and be on par with the other races. The MIC will continue to demand from the government what is rightfully ours,” Samy was quoted on April 12 by Bernama.
Yeah, right. Let’s start with Samy declaring his personal wealth, including his immediate and extended families.
It is amazing, even now, after the poll, that Samy and the old regime’s henchmen and women still use Bernama to put out their populist spin. It is time Bernama is dismantled for its barefaced intent, apparently in the name of “journalism”. How pitiful.
In case Samy has forgotten, however conveniently, he was the fellow, with his tug of jet-black transplanted hair, who used his party, the Malaysian Indian Congress, as his own vehicle to personal political power and wealth accumulation for his family and cronies.
In case he has forgotten, this party, led by Samy, was decimated at the last poll. And the fact that Samy still leads the party says an awful lot about rank-and-file party membership. One would have thought that they have would tossed Samy out of the party on his head for leading such a demolition job on his own party and, worse, for crudely and unremorsefully attacking the rights of Malaysian Indian citizens through the massively corrupt and incompetent Mahathirist and Abdullah Badawi regimes.
No action from Samy before
What did Samy do, for example, when the Umno regime – in cahoots with the Malaysian Chinese Association, also decimated at the last election and also riddled with corruption, sexual and other scandals – went about bulldozing Indian temples? Did anybody see Samy stand in front of the bulldozing brigade of Malay Umno cadres who performed such heroic acts behind the skirts of the regime’s security forces in an episode that resembled more like Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution?
Did anybody see or hear of Samy going up to the weak-kneed Abdullah, his new boss, to say the Umno-led barbarism has to stop? Did he say to Abdullah that the Hindraf-Five should not be arrested, that the police’s brutality unleashed on Indian street demonstrators should not be employed, because they were justified in struggling for their rights, in their own country, as citizens?
All hail Samy now? Or should that be ‘all hair Samy now’? Get real. Samy was always a waste of space in Malaysian national politics. In fact, not one politician in the BN regime since 1969, save for a handful, has been worth his or her salt. Look at Rafidah Aziz. She wins her seat but Abdullah bones her from his cabinet. Why not earlier? Why not others too? Why not Samy long before the poll? And why didn’t Mahathir bone his entire incompetent and corrupt cabinet?
Vested interests, that’s why. Samy’s job, as described to him by Mahathir, was to ensure Malay-bumiputera businesses, or coprorates, and government-linked companies, be given hugely lucrative state infrastructure contracts. Further, their profitability was to be ensured at all costs, even if that means these businesses put up fees and charges and prices. Take, for example, the road and bridge tolls fiasco. Not only were the toll firms milking the public for every cent, they were also protected by the regime, which ignored the people’s justifiable howls of protests against being ripped off.
And who’s to say that, in the process, the politicians and bureaucrats, dominated by Malays, did not handsomely line their own pockets? Surely even Anwar Ibrahim would testify to this. And he has. But Anwar did nothing when he was in power in the Mahathir regime. He, too, conveniently chose silence – until he was dethroned from power. Now he’s promising a clean alternative?
Is this the same clean alternative that Mahathir saw of Abdullah. Mahathir said he did not know how clean Abdullah was until he learnt that his handpicked protégé bathed 15 times a day? Too much water on the brain, I say. Because the Abdullah regime has been nothing more than a joke. And Samy was part of that joke. What idiotic fools Malaysia developed as its leaders, and what laughing stock they became internationally.
Read Samy’s press conference with Bernama and you’ll note two things. One is that this press conference was entirely stage-managed to give Samy some credibility and a legacy to leave behind. The other is that it is the same old tired spiel that one has heard about a hundred million times.
The government has been benevolent. Opportunities were given to the Indians. They should have grasped them with both hands and feet – a little like clambering up coconut trees. Only through hard work can success amongst Indian be attained. Get it? It’s just populist dribble that does not inspire anything other than dismay, anger and abhorrence for politicians and their foul lies.
Where was Samy when these opportunities were being created and the Indians weren’t grasping them with their hands and feet? Why wasn’t he exhorting them? And, for that matter, where were Samy’s underlings, his so-called deputies? Too busy eating tosei?
If these opportunities were so freely available, why did ordinary Indians take to the streets to protest against the regime? Why did Samy allow the regime’s security thugs to beat them up? Why did Samy allow Abdullah to haul the Hindraf-Five to jail under the Stalinist Internal Security Act?
If Samy is serious and genuine, he would demand, first up, that Abdullah releases the Hindraf-Five immediately and unconditionally. He would demand the Hindraf-Five be given financial compensation for the brutality meted out to them by the regime’s cowardly and corrupt security forces. He would demand that the Inspector General of Police be sacked for gross incompetence and criminal negligence.
Let’s see if Samy has real gumption in this respect. I’ll bet bottom dollar that he is just as he has always been: all talk, hot air and plainly gutless. No Indians in their right minds would for a second believe anything that Samy Vellu says. He’s still in cahoots with his Umno bosses. He is, after all, MIC president. This press conference was just what it was intended to be – to hoodwink the Indians yet again.