Samy Vellu meets Najib over Hulu Selangor race

By G. Manimaran (Malaysian Insider)
KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu today met Datuk Seri Najib Razak to discuss the party’s choice for the upcoming Hulu Selangor parliamentary by-election.
“I will meet the Prime Minister again in two, three days,” he told The Malaysian Insider when contacted.
The parliamentary seat fell vacant following the death of its MP Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad last Thursday.
Samy Vellu made light of an alleged tussle between the Indian-based party and its Barisan Nasional (BN) sister party Umno, saying it was not an issue.
Hulu Selangor has traditionally been held by the MIC and was last won by MIC deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel before losing it to PKR in the 2008 general election.
The former Cabinet minister added that Najib as the BN chairman would decide who the coalition’s candidate would be.
Bernama reported Samy Vellu had denied allegations that voters in Hulu Selangor were not interested with MIC candidates for the upcoming by-election.
He said he was confident the situation on the ground had changed since the landmark Election 2008.
“If we look to prioritising voters, there is no place in the country where an Indian can stand for elections.
“The Indian community does not have a majority in any constituency. They can only remain voters and this will cause all sorts of other problems.
“We have stepped out of the problem now and I hope the community will try to forget what has happened before. Do not try to remind them… that’s not good,” he told reporters after launching a new Tamil school building at Jalan Tepi Sungai in Klang today.
Samy Vellu had earlier rebutted hearsay that voters in Hulu Selangor preferred a candidate from Umno to one from the MIC to stand for the by-election.
The ex-works minister nominated Palanivel to represent the BN.
Palanivel had been the Hulu Selangor MP from 1990 until his defeat in the last general election two years ago.
Asked if he had any other candidates in mind other than Palanivel, Samy Vellu jokingly said: “We could field an 18-year-old or a 19-year-old.”
Samy Vellu explained that Palanivel’s nomination was based on the Indian party’s “hierarchy”.
“Hierarchy must be respected if not society will think I do not respect the decision of the majority.
“Palanivel is the deputy president today because of the decision of the majority,” he said.
Samy Vellu added that the MIC No. 2 had a good chance to snatch back the seat as he had encouraging support from the Hulu Selangor MIC division as well as Umno branch leaders in the area.