S. Samy Vellu former president and strong man of MIC passed away at the age of 86. It was first announced by the former president of MIC S. Subramaniam in his Facebook describing his death as passaging away of a legend and mentor.
He was the member of parliament for Sungei Siput in Perak from 1974 to 2008.
He retired from politics in 2010 to be appointed as a special envoy for South Asia. His position was terminated after PH came to power in 2018.
Samy Vellu was tough with the party members by giving the impression of party unity and all was well with the Indian community.
For many he was undisputed leader of the MIC and by understanding the Malaysian Indian community. There were no credible challenges to his stewardship of the party.
However, there are questions to this very day whether these institutions do indeed serve the poor of the Indian community. Under Samy Vellu, the party came out with some ambitious financial schemes to help the Indian poor.
The establishment of Maika Holdings with much fanfare to pool the resources of the community was one such instance. However, due to mismanagement, the company failed to take off financially as expected. There were other failed economic and social ventures whose performance was not up to the mark.
Samy Vellu was brave Indian leader who had his heart for the Indian community. He might have been sincere and forthright in doing things for the benefit of the community, but they did not work out the way it was envisaged.
But he was unapologetic and unforgiving.
He was great orator in Tamil language perhaps something that he acquired from his drama performing days. Samy Vellu might not have effectively bargained for the betterment of the Indian community, but at least he took the responsibility by accepting criticisms.
The MIC today is nowhere compared to the time of Samy Vellu. Samy Vellu might have had limitations in fulfilling the demands of the Indian community, but his leadership in MIC was undisputed.
Samy Vellu might not be with us anymore.