Take me on, Muthu dares Samy Vellu

By R. Sittamparam, NST

A day before he is supposed to face MIC disciplinary proceedings, Datuk M. Muthu Palaniappan took a swipe at the MIC party president, accusing him of "hiding behind" the committee. 

Muthu alleged that party supremo Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu was afraid to take him on for the party president's post and was using the disciplinary committee to oust him.

The 66-year-old, who faces the disciplinary committee today for allegedly making statements detrimental to the party said: "Samy Vellu had previously claimed he could take on 100 contenders for the presidency, so why isn't he taking up my challenge?"

The former MIC vice president said having been terrorised by the party leadership over the past 10 years, he was not power-crazy.

"I'm a genuine MIC man and I want to put a stop to Samy Vellu's leadership which has brought much disappointment to the community.
"I can't bear to see the community moving away from MIC to join other parties and the hundreds of branches being suspended and members expelled by Samy Vellu."

He was speaking at a press conference which was also attended by former MIC division chiefs of Klang and Sungai Siput, Alex Thiagarajan and M. Loganathan who had been sacked by Samy Vellu.

Muthu said ever since he announced his decision to contest against Samy Vellu, he had been receiving encouragement everywhere he went.

"The critics said that I would not be able to get the 50 required nominations as branch chiefs would not dare to oppose Samy Vellu.

"But hundreds of branches have come to support me. They don't want me to back down."

Muthu also alleged that the "charges" against him, for which he will face the disciplinary committee today, were baseless.

He said the charges were based on excerpts from a Nov 11, 2008 Makkal Osai newspaper article and from an interview with Malaysiakini the following month.

"I don't recognise the excerpts. The committee has refused my written request for a copy of the complaint and the full text of the statements alleged to have been made by me."

Muthu said he would make an appeal for a special independent committee to look into the complaint.