Posted by SM Maulana
MIC deputy president G. Palanivel Friday (20 June) blasted Dr Mahathir Mohamad for calling party boss S. Samy Vellu a racist and reminded the former prime minister to remember his (Indian) roots. But Samy Vellu just laughed it off.
Trouble started when Dr Mahathir accused the former works minister for “exposing his deep racist sentiments” for sympathising with Hindraf (the Hindu Rights Action Front) in his blog Wednesday (18 June).
Mahathir is angry not only at Samy not only but also DAP lawmaker and chairman Karpal Singh and lawyer Param Cumaraswamy and accused all three of tarring him as a racist.
“Now Dato Seri S. Samy Vellu has joined Karpal Singh and Param Cumaraswamy in calling me racist,” he blogged.
“These three characters want the Government to free the Hindraf leaders from detention under the Internal Security Act”.
“They must know that Hindraf represents Tamil racists who still look to their old masters, the British, to protect them. They don’t believe in Malaysian institutions,” Mahathir blogged.
“And they speak not just of Indians but of Tamils as a separate race. They and their apologists are racist to the core”.
Seeing the death and destruction inflicted on Sri Lanka by the Tamil Tigers, they threaten to bring this kind of violent racial politics to Malaysia, Mahathir pointed out.
Hindraf orchestrated a massive protest against the government for its alleged mistreatment of Indians and is widely credited for turning the tide against the ruling coalition which lost heavily in the 8 March general elections. Both Samy Vellu and Palanivel and many Barisan Nasional leaders suffered shock defeats.
In a statement released Friday (20 June) in Kuala Lumpur, Palanivel said, “It is sad to note that former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is not aware of the fact that Hindraf, the informal activist movement, does not only represent Tamils but includes many non-Tamils and even non-Hindus.”
“He is wrong when he says Hindraf leaders only represent Tamil racists.”
Palanivel said Dr Mahathir should not simply make statements that would further fan racial sentiments and hatred.
The former Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development went on to say: “He should remember his own roots,” without elaboration. The country’s first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, had described Mahathir as of Indian descent. His father was a school teacher of Indian origin having migrated from the southern state of Kerala, while his mother was a Malay.
“People also recall that PAS, PKR and DAP were all with Hindraf during the recent elections. His most recent statement on Hindraf as Tamil racists will only further drive away Indian votes from the BN to Pakatan,” Palanivel said commenting on Dr Mahathir’s statement against MIC President S. Samy Vellu in his blog.
Palanivel described Dr Mahathir as having lost sight of the big picture in his efforts to wage a continuous war against Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Samy Vellu.
Meanwhile in Kota Baharu, Samy Vellu just laughed off the matter when to comment by reporters after the opened the Kelantan MIC meeting Friday.
“Who am I, only dust. I don’t want to say anything that may spoil his (Mahathir’s) name,” he said.
“He was my boss previously, he provided a strong leadership that brought about much development to the country, so I don’t want to say much.”
“When I read Tun’s blog, I just laugh. What can I do about it?” the former works minister said. (MySinchew)