Malaysia

Samy Vellu says Dr M cost him seat in 2008

Samy Vellu said Dr Mahathir campaigned against him in 2008 as payback for blocking IPF’s entry into BN. — File picSamy Vellu said Dr Mahathir campaigned against him in 2008 as payback for blocking IPF’s entry into BN. — File picKUALA LUMPUR, April 8 — Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has blamed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed for his loss in Election 2008, and accused the former prime minister of sabotaging his political chances.

The former MIC president further alleged that Dr Mahathir had “instigated” Malay voters to vote against him back in the last general election.

He said this resulted in his loss of the Sungai Siput parliamentary seat to Parti Sosialis Malaysia’s (PSM) Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj by a 1,821-vote majority.

“He (Dr Mahathir) had a personal grudge against me. But I don’t hold a grudge against him; I always think of him as the greatest leader of this country... the greatest experience I had was working with Dr Mahathir for 22 years,” Samy Vellu was quoted by the New Sunday Times (NST) as saying.

“Dr Mahathir, prior to the (2008) election, told the people ‘Don’t vote for Samy Vellu.’ Where did the 1,001 spoilt votes come from? Because of his advice (to) Malay voters.

“He told Umno (members) ‘don’t vote for Samy Vellu,” said the former works minister.

Samy Vellu said that although he was “upset” when he found this out, he understood the reasons why Dr Mahathir did it.

“You see, there are reasons he (Dr Mahathir) felt hurt. He wanted to bring the IPF (Indian Progressive Front), (the late Tan Sri M.G) Pandithan’s party into Barisan Nasional. Everybody (other BN component party leaders) agreed (but), I said no.

“That is the reason why our friendship is gone. It’s because of the IPF. Nothing else,” said the longest-serving former MIC president.

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