Challenge him, face the consequences

(NST) – Those intending to challenge MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu may do well to study party history.

any who went into the battle without the benefit of doing so found themselves out in the cold before they knew it.

Former MIC Klang division chairman Alex Thiagarajan was sacked last year for questioning the former Sungai Siput member of parliament over the alleged "hijacking" of Telekom Malaysia shares.

Thiagarajan, who had thrown in his hat to fight Samy Vellu for the top post in March, was called in for an enquiry and subsequently sacked.

Another case saw one-time Samy Vellu supporter and Sungai Siput division chairman M. Loganathan expelled from the party — but not for challenging Samy Vellu for the top post.

His misdeed was ignoring the party supremo's advice not to contest the divisional chief's post in 2006 and unexpectedly winning it.

He was also accused of being aligned to former party deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam, who has had a difficult relationship with Samy Vellu since the 1970s.

Datuk V. Govindaraju, a party veteran and erstwhile friend of Samy Vellu, was twice expelled from the MIC for going against the party chief.

In 1988, Samy Vellu's blue-eyed boy, the late Tan Sri M.G. Pandithan, was sacked from the party for practising caste politics. But many say the real reason for his expulsion was that Samy Vellu suspected Pandithan was working hand in glove with Subramaniam to topple him.

Subramaniam's strong supporter, K.P. Samy, was expelled together with Pandithan in a move many perceived as reducing Subramaniam's strength in the party.