Home English News “Samy Vellu might be remembered fondly” – Ramasamy

“Samy Vellu might be remembered fondly” – Ramasamy



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.

Samy Vellu was the longest serving MIC president for 31 years.
Cabinet Minister from 1983 to 2008, served in two ministries.
He was well known as the minister of works and public amenities.

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 managed the party as the way he sought fit. He did not brook any opposition. Some of the popular MIC leaders were either sidelined or ousted from the party.

Samy Vellu had the full control of the party to the extent dissent essential to the functioning of democracy was muted in the party. His supporters toed the line set by the president. For their loyalty, they were rewarded with posts in the party and the government.

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.

While he was strict on party matters, he was not seen to be tough with Umno leaders. In fact, because he gave in to Umno, he was not seen as ineffective leader of the Indians.
In fact, Indians in the country, under the MIC gradually lost their bargaining power. Samy Vellu might be credited with the establishment of AIMST University in Kedah, the Taffe College in Negeri Sembilan and the Maju Institute of Education.

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.

Samy Vellu’s style and manner of leadership might have created uneasiness among some party members aligned with rival factions.

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.

Relatively, compared to the present, the MIC was in a much better shape under Samy Vellu. The party had more access to parliamentary and state seats compared to the present. In fact, Samy Vellu was considered and respected as senior leader of the BN.

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.

But there are many good things that we need to remember about him and his style of leadership and his achievements.