KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has said this may be the last time he is contesting a parliamentary seat.
'I will contest this term and next term I won't go for it. This may be my last term,' he said.
Samy Vellu, 72, said that if the Indian community decided they did not want him he was prepared to go even now.
'I am prepared but that decision must be made by the Indian community and not by outsiders because I represent the Indians in the government,' he said.
MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, who is also Housing and Local Government Minister, said last week that this general election would be his last.
Speaking to reporters after attending the Pan-Commonwealth conference on professional services trade on Tuesday, he said there was no rift between him and his deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel.
Samy Vellu said certain Tamil newspapers were trying to destroy the MIC by reporting there was a leadership rift.
'There are also lots of people trying to do that (create a rift) but we will not allow that to happen,' he said, stressing that he would hand the party to his deputy when the time comes.
'I will give way at the opportune time. If I just leave the party now, the party will be in disarray.'
'It is not that I wish to go on for another 100 years. Everybody has a time to go,' he said.??? Samy Vellu also said he was unhappy with certain elected representatives who had failed to carry out their duties.
'I have decided to put in new faces, including professionals and party members, who are very active in political work even if they are not highly qualified,' he said.
On reports that certain MIC divisions were asking for locals to be fielded in MIC state constituencies, Samy Vellu said the seats did not belong to the divisions but to the party.
'There are only three seats in Selangor but there are 18 divisions in the state. We give opportunities to each division chairman,' he said.
On the Hindraf supporters who blocked his car in Prai last Saturday, he said they 'asked me to tell Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to release the 180 people detained for taking part in an illegal assembly in Kuala Lumpur.'
'They did not talk anything about politics. This does not indicate that they hate me,' he said. -- THE STAR/ANN