Malaysia

In battle with Samy, Mugilan says only one will be left standing

By Baradan Kuppusamy
May 29, 2010

Mugilan has thrown down the gauntlet to Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu in a David against Goliath battle to the bitter end. — File picMugilan has thrown down the gauntlet to Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu in a David against Goliath battle to the bitter end. — File picKUALA LUMPUR, May 29 — In calling for the head of his party president, V Mugilan, 35, the former deputy MIC Youth leader, has thrown down the gauntlet to the iron-fisted, 74-year-old veteran president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu in a David against Goliath battle to the bitter end.

“This is a war and it’s either him or me standing at the end of it,” Mugilan told The Malaysian Insider in an interview.

While the entrenched MIC leadership and others who had benefitted from Samy Vellu’s 31-year rule are still hanging on to the party president, believing their fate and fortunes are tied to him, the youths in the party are with Mugilan.

“I have been getting hundreds of SMS and calls from all over the country and from Malaysians in general. They all tell me they are with me. “They say, take him on...don’t give up’,” Mugilan said while showing his hand phone filled with text messages.

“Some callers even say prayers for our success,” said Mugilan who launched the Gerakan Anti-Samy Vellu or GAS movement last week. The first inaugural meeting is at the Mines Wonderland in Sungei Besi at 2pm on Sunday.

“The gathering is an opportunity for all Malaysians to show their displeasure, to tell Samy Vellu to leave now,” he said adding he expected 15,000 people, mostly MIC members and ex-members, to turn up.

Former MIC deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam had estimated that up to 100,000 Indians had been expelled from the MIC since Samy Vellu took office as president in 1979, on the death of then President Tan Sri V. Manicavasagam.

Mugilan, a University Malaya graduate, said if people did not turn up in large numbers, he would close GAS and call it a day.

“If people don’t turn up and show their unhappiness it means they are happy with Samy Vellu...it means they are ok with him continuing as MIC president, happy with him handing over the party to his son Vel Paari,” he said.

“If this is the case, there is no need for GAS anymore,” he said. “We just close shop.”

Mugilan, married with a five-year-old daughter, said he will go back to his construction business and dabble in agriculture as he likes seeing things grow.

“I am a agriculturist at heart...it gives me peace and a sense of purpose to grow things,” he said adding her was unexpectedly thrust into the limelight and had to prepare and steel himself “virtually on the run.”

“I am learning everyday and at a tremendous rate for the role I have taken for myself as rebel leader,” he said.

Mugilan is ironically well prepared for the job for he has two heroes — the late LTTE leader V. Prabakaran and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“Prabakaran taught me to fight injustice and not to fear. Win or lose the struggle against injustice is important,” he said. “I have his example as a guiding light.”

As to Tun Mahathir, he said: “I was born, went to school and matured as a young man with Tun as the Prime Minister. I am the generation moulded by Tun Mahathir. He is my idol,” he said.

His parents were estate workers in Kerling estate and after schooling in Kerling and KKB, Mugilan entered University Malaysia and studied Social Science.

On graduating, he joined the Information Department where he worked for six years. His job, as an Information Officer was to convince the people through dialogue, engagement and other methods to support the Barisan Nasional.

“I was trained and attended many courses to prepare for my work. Part of it included psychological warfare,” he said.

It is his training that is helping him to take GAS to prominence and staying ahead in the battle of wits against a formidable opponent like Samy Vellu.

Can he pull it off on Sunday?

Mugilan first stated that he expected a crowd of 7,000 than upped it to 10,000 and on Friday said, 15,000.

Samy Vellu and team are doing everything within their means to scuttle the gathering.

In the end it does not matter really whether 10, 000 or 15,000 people turned up. What matters is that the cat is out of the bag and a daring young man is ready and willing to bell it.

In the end it is not the size of the crowd that will force Samy Vellu out. The protest will tip the balance against Samy Vellu by persuading more CWC members that the wind of change is blowing and that their interest - political and financial – is in seeing Samy Vellu out now and not in September 2011.

When the tipping points arrives, an emergency CWC meeting would be called to out-vote Samy Vellu and send him packing.

For a CWC meeting against Samy Vellu to be convened and for a majority to take shape against the veteran president, one of the big four has to step out and take the risk by putting his head on the chopping block.

The four are deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel, senior vice-president Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam, vice-presidents Datuk S. Saravanan and Datuk S. K. Devamani.

A crowd tomorrow is not going to oust Samy Vellu. He will brush it off like brushing off a fly and carry on. Only the CWC, which is packed with his loyalists, can force him to step down.

This can happen sooner than expected because the loyalties of the majority of the 35-members of the CWC are already wavering after Mugilan’s challenge and the founding of GAS.

Several CWC members have also come out and spoken up against Samy Vellu.

Sunday’s protest will add to the mounting pressure against Samy Vellu.

Whatever and however the outcome, the stars are shining bright for Mugilan.