Samy Vellu yet to apologise, says Mahathir

(Bernama) – Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was glad the prime minister’s Hari Raya open house had returned to Seri Perdana, the official residence of the prime minister, after a five-year lapse.

The elder statesman, clad in a pinkish baju Melayu, attended the Hari Raya open house hosted by the prime minister and cabinet ministers, with wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah at about 2.45pm and spent about 30 minutes at Seri Perdana.

“I am glad (Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) decided to host the Hari Raya reception here. There was no such reception over the last five years.

“The public like to come here (Seri Perdana) as this is one of the places they like to see. This place belongs to the people,” he said when approached by reporters at the event.

Over the last five years, the Hari Raya open house was held at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur, when Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was the prime minister.

Speaking on another matter, Mahathir said he met MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu at Istana Negara this morning at the Hari Raya reception hosted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

“We shook hands. No, he did not apologise… I think that (the apology) is not necessary,” said Mahathir with a smile when asked whether Samy Vellu had apologised to him.

Last week, Mahathir said that Samy Vellu should step down as MIC chief after helming the party since 1981 and that the MIC supremo was a liability to the ruling Barisan Nasional.

Prior to his call, a delegate at the MIC annual general assembly last weekend had suggested that a slipper garland be hung around Mahathir’s portrait for interfering in MIC’s affairs.

The delegate has since been suspended from the MIC and Samy Vellu publicly announced that he would apologise to Mahathir for the delegate’s statement.