1st MIC Prez John Thivy
Blogger's Note: Many of us English educated Indians(a.k.a. Mangosteen Indians) think and talk as though we know a lot. We are also seldom members of MIC. This article is enlightening for all of us Malaysian Indians ( Jaffna Tamils included) to add to the little knowledge we might have of our community.
After the recent Hindraf rally and the subsequent political awakening of Malaysian Indians, MIC started to
claim that they are the only party that can continuously help Malaysian Indians. I was curious to know
about the history of MIC and started to do some research on my scarcely available free time. I was
surprised to find a lot of information that I have never heard or read before. Doubtless this information will
not be highlighted to the public, I decided to write a short article using the information I gathered.
After the recent Hindraf rally and the subsequent political awakening of Malaysian Indians, MIC started to
claim that they are the only party that can continuously help Malaysian Indians. I was curious to know
about the history of MIC and started to do some research on my scarcely available free time. I was
surprised to find a lot of information that I have never heard or read before. Doubtless this information will
not be highlighted to the public, I decided to write a short article using the information I gathered.
The chapters of this document are as follows:
1) 1st MIC President - John Aloysius Thivy
2) 2nd MIC President - Sardar Budh Singh
3) 3rd MIC President - K. Ramanathan
4) 4th MIC President - Kundan Lal Devaser
5) 5th MIC President - Tun V. T. Sambanthan
6) 6th MIC President - Tan Sri V. Manickavasagam
7) 7th MIC President - Dato Seri S. Samy Vellu
8) Maika Holdings - The Great Betrayal (Must Read)
9) Plea for the Future
MIC started as Malayan Indian Congress in August 1946. Its founding president John Aloysius Thivy was a lawyer who studied in London. When he was studying in London he met Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi a.k.a. Mahatma Gandhi and was inspired by Gandhi’s determination to fight for India’s Independence. On his return to Malaya, after getting his law degree in 1932, he became actively involved in Indian nationalist movements. Later, after the fall of Malaya to Japanese forces, Thivy's interest was rekindled by a speech given by Subash Chandra Bose in one his rallies in 1943. Thivy joined the Indian National Army in 1943 and subsequently took part in the INA’s Burmese campaigns. After Japans's surrrender, John Thivy was held at Changi Prison for anti-colonial activities and released soon after. After his release, Thivy founded Malayan Indian Congress in August 1946, to fight for India’s independence. The word ‘Congress’ in the name of MIC is related to Indian National Congress, the party that Mahatma Gandhi founded to fight for Indian independence. In 1947 India won its independence and in January 1948, John Aloysius Thivy became the first official appointed by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (India’s first prime minister), to represent the Indian Republic in Southeast Asia. Some reports also state that the first MIC president later on became India’s ambassador to Italy and the Vatican while several senior committee members of MIC became first ambassadors to other countries. This is the reason why; MIC’s founder president only remained in the post from 1946 to 1947.
The fact that Malayan Indian Congress was a party founded to fight for India’s independence is
hidden from us. Not many of us know this and a lot of people will continue to believe that MIC was
started to fight for Malaysian Independence.
[MIC only officially became known as Malaysian Indian Congress, after the formation of the Federation of
Malaysia in 1963.]
2nd MIC President – Sardar Budh Singh
The baton of MIC presidency then passed on to Sardar Budh Singh whose term as the 2nd President of MIC was from 1947 to 1950. The sentiment of the party during this period takes the path of anti-colonialism. Due to intense anti-British sentiment, Mr. Budh Singh and his committee did not rally the Indians in support of Malayan Union. Two of the key principles of the Malayan Union
concerning us Indians are:
Malayan citizenship with equal rights would be given to all citizens regardless of race.
Citizenship based on the “Jus soli ” principle for all Malayans
Jus soli (Latin for “right of the soil” or somewhat figuratively, “right of the territory”), is a right by which nationality or citizenship can be given to any individual born in the territory of the related state.
The Malays generally opposed the creation of the Malayan Union. Their opposition was due mainly to the
the granting of citizenship to non-Malay immigrants and their descendants who are born on Malayan soil,
based on the two principles mentioned above. Another factor for their opposition is the liquidation of the
Sultan’s powers under the Union. The Malayan Union ceased to exist on January 31st 1948. It was
replaced by the Federation of Malaya (Persekutuan Tanah Melayu) which recognised the position of the
Malays as the definitive citizens of Malaya as well as outlining stricter conditions on the granting of
The consequence of this is tens of thousands of Indians were refused Malayan citizenship. The refusal to
grant citizenship not only affected those who resided for decades in Malaya after migrating from India, it
also deeply affected the Indians who are born in Malaya. As a consequence, thousands of wealthy
Indians decided to leave Malaya, taking with them the economic cake that we Indians have yet to reclaim
till now. The MIC later joined the All Malaya Council for Joint Action (AMCJA) under Tun Tan Cheng Lok in opposition to the less liberal Federation of Malaya Agreement of 1948.
But the big question is:
Why on earth did MIC not support Malayan Union although the proposals were favorable to Indians?
Are they not supposed to fight for the Indians welfare as they claim to have been doing since their inception?
The fact that MIC opposed Malayan Union with the principles that would have given equal rights
and citizenship to all Indians born or residing in Malaya is another fact hidden from us Indians.
Despite the fact that several prominent Indians were nominated by the British to represent the community
at important meetings, their lack of a common stand on important issues weakened their political position.
The disunity among the Indian community’s leaders we see today is not such a new phenomenon
after all. It is a curse hounding our community from the beginning of Indian migration to Malaya.
A good example of this disunity was the citizenship issue. Unlike the Chinese leadership, the Indian
leadership of MIC was ambivalent about the citizenship issue. The first local member of the Indian
community to be appointed Indian Agent in Malaya, John Thivy (1st MIC President), clearly wanted the
Indian community in Malaya to be able to gain equal rights with other Malayans while at the same time,
retain political rights as Indian nationals.
The desire to have equal rights with other Malayans while at the same time, retaining the Indian
citizenship, language and culture, prevented the Indian leaders from taking a united stand on the
citizenship issue. This gave an opportunity to the other races to doubt the Indian’s loyalty to Malaya.
3rd MIC President – K. Ramanathan
The ambivalence on the citizenship issue was also prevalent in the attitude of MIC’s third president, from 1950 to1951, Mr. K. Ramanathan. His attitude was clearly reflected in the words of advice given by him in 1951, when he likened the issue of Federation of Malayan citizenship to that of wearing a silk shirt. He said there was basically nothing to lose because: “The silk shirt may be worn here; when we go back to India, the Khaddar shirt may be worn.” [He’s was probably of the opinion that all Malayan Indians will earn their money (silk shirt) in Malaya and go back to India to lead normal lives (Khaddar shirt).]
At the time, in 1951, the Malayan Indian community was politically influential. Due to the community’s
large number of registered voters in the urban areas, it possessed an electoral importance
disproportionate to its numbers. Owing to the Indians community’s electoral importance and its strength
in the public administration system and commerce in urban areas; the British were then prepared to listen
to their views.
The Indian leadership led by MIC failed miserably to capitalize on their strength and failed to make
a common stand on important issues; thus losing the opportunity to advance the interests of the
Indian minorities throughout the country. This is also another fact hidden from us.
4th MIC President – Kundan Lal Devaser
In 1951, the Fifth Annual Conference of MIC was held in Johor Bahru. This is when Kundan Lal Devaser, a lawyer of Northern Indian origin succeded K Ramanathan as the 4th President of Malayan Indian Congress. K.L. Devaser helmed MIC from 1951 to May 1955. It was during his period that MIC started
focusing on the fight for Malayan independence. Under his presidency, MIC had contested in the 1952 Kuala Lumpur Municipal Elections in partnership with the Independence of Malaya Party (IMP) under Dato’ Onn bin Jaafar and other noncommunal organisations against the Alliance.
Note: Dato’ Onn Jaafar is the founding president of United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) on May 1st 1946. Being a far sighted visionary and an idealist, he subsequently became disillusioned with what he considered UMNO’s communalist policies. He called for party membership to be opened to all Malayans regardsless of race, and for UMNO to be renamed as the United Malayans National Organisation. When his reccommendation was bitterly opposed by hardline elements in UMNO, he left the party on August 26th 1951, to form the Independence of Malaya party. If only his vision was adhered to, Malaysia would now be a better place with less friction between the races and more emphasis would have been shown on the idea of a Malaysian race in place of rampant communalism we see today.
The 1952 election were a failure for MIC as their coalition were thrashed by the Alliance. The Alliance,
then a political coalition formed between UMNO and Malayan Chinese Association (MCA), won 11 out of
12 seats. The defeat showed MIC that it stood a better chance by joining the ‘Alliance’ as it was the most
workable and effective form of political technique in the Malayan context. Thus, in 1954, MIC became the
third member of the ‘Allliance’.
The fact that MIC was not the founding member of the original Alliance, a pre-cursor to Barisan
Nasional is hidden from us. The Alliance was formed by UMNO and MCA in 1952 and MIC only
joined them in 1954 after being defeated in the 1952 election.
According to Rajeswary Ampalavanar, author of The Indian Minority and Political Change in Malaya
1954-1957, the MIC leadership was quite eager to join the Alliance but there was some resistance within
the party’s broader membership. They were willing to support the move if the party could secure some
concessions from the Alliance on inter-communal issues, particularly on education.
From its inception up to this period, the Indian community has been divided. The Federation of Indian
Organisations, formed in 1950, was an attempt by Indian Legislative councillors to raise support. It did not
succeed in attracting grassroot support and thereafter, Indian politics centered on struggles for control of
the MIC, which itself is more an arena of intra-communal rivalries than a symbol of a united community.
Serious infighting and rivalries is a phenomenon that continues to haunt MIC till today.
While K.L. Devaser was quite outspoken, his influence was largely among the urban-based Indian elite
and he lacked wider grassroots support. For the first eight years, the MIC leaders were either of North
Indian or Malayalee origin, and represented only a minority among the Malayan Indians. The majority of Indians (90%) in Malaya at that time were Tamils, mainly the laborers in plantations. Indian plantation workers, the main group of wageworkers in Malaya at the time, experienced enforced segregation because of plantation compound housing. The plantation labour system also worked against the integration of Indian workers into society at large and perpetuated racial and occupational differentiation. For one thing, they were unable to acquire skills that would facilitate their move to better paying jobs elsewhere.
Migrant plantation workers were therefore marginalized and polarized in Malaya. Their wages in the post
World War II era, which were around 50 cents a day, were tied to rubber prices, falling when the rubber
price fell, but never rising when prices rose. K.L. Devaser came under heavy criticism from the Tamil media for not addressing the pressing issues facing the community. Some in the party felt that there was a need for a leader with a stronger relationship with the party’s grassroots. In March 1955, reports in the local daily Tamil Murasu urged Tamils to boycott the MIC.
Even in 1955, the Indians clamored for a change in MIC’s leadership and a change did take place
because the president had the decency to recognize that he has overstayed his welcome and gave
way for change. [This gesture should be emulated by the present leadership, which refuses to
accept the fact that Indians had lost faith in them].
The MIC's main challenge then, was to reconcile the political aspirations of the middle class with the
needs of the labour class, who then comprised 84% of the plantation workforce.
5th MIC President – Tun V. T. Sambanthan
Sambanthan Thirunyana s/o Veerasamy, better known as Tun V.T. Sambanthan, then a state MIC leader, emerged during this period as an alternative candidate for the party leadership. At the Ninth Annual MIC Conference that was held in Teluk Anson (Teluk Intan), Perak in May 1955, Tun V.T. Sambanthan was elected as the fifth President of the Malayan Indian Congress. His term in office was from 1955 to 1973. Going by historical records, he was literally coerced into taking up the presidency.
Note: Another candidate, Palayil Pathazapurayil Narayanan, or better known as P.P. Narayanan, was
approached by party leaders but turned down their invitation because he wanted to concentrate on union
activities. A hostel called P.P.N. Hostel in honor of his name used to be near Malaya University to provide
cheap accommodation and food for poor Indian students from the plantations. It has been demolished a
few years ago and a condominium block is built on the site.
Sambanthan's father, M.S. Veerasamy who came to Malaya in the 1890’s, was a pioneer rubber planter
in Sg. Siput, Perak. He managed his estate along enlightened lines and owned several rubber
plantations. Sambanthan was born in Sg. Siput in 1919 and received his early education at Clifford High
School in Kuala Kangsar, Perak. Sambanthan continued his studies in economics at the highly respected Annamalai University in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. As a student at the Annamalai University during the turmoil of India's battle for independence, he was greatly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence and he closely followed the rise of the Indian nationalist movement. He even took part in some of the protests led by the Quit India Movement against the British and was injured in one instance.
He subscribed to the Gandhian philosophy of ‘ahimsa’ (non-violence) in achieving independence and was
attracted to the political ideas of independence fighter Subash Chandra Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru. Not
surprisingly, he became involved with the Youth Wing of the Indian National Congress. The ethnicity and
sectionalism in Indian society troubled him and this was to influence his later advocacy of racial tolerance,
harmony and cooperation in Malayan politics.
When his father died in 1942, Sambanthan was stranded in India as World War II raged. When the war
ended, he returned to Malaya in 1946 and took over the management of the family business that included
vast rubber plantations. The event that helped catapult Sambanthan to the forefront of MIC politics was a visit by Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, the younger sister of Jawaharlal Nehru. Sambanthan had befriended her when he was involved with the Indian National Congress while studying in India. On his invitation, she visited Malaya in 1954 and despite the ongoing communist insurgency, visited Sg. Siput where she officially opened the Mahatma Gandhi Kalasalai Tamil School that Sambanthan built. The meeting between Sambanthan and Vijaya Lakshmi in 1954 helped push the former into the limelight. In the same year, he was elected member of the legislative council for the Kinta Utara constituency. The constituency was renamed in 1959 as the Sg. Siput constituency. Upon being elected as the President of MIC, Sambanthan started a recruitment campaign among plantation workers, relying on patronage of Hinduism in its popular South Indian form, fostering of the Tamil language, and Tamil cultural activities.
But the Malayan Indian Congress under Sambanthan failed to reconcile the needs of labourers with the
political aspirations of the middle class. The traditionalists and the lower middle class strengthened their
hold within the party, while the upper class professionals and the intelligentsia moved away from it.
Subsequently, two paths to leadership emerged among the Indians - political and trade union - with very
little interaction between them.
Thus, the MIC under Sambanthan's leadership effectively became a Tamil party, and was largely
responsible for the transformation of the party from an active, political organization to a conservative,
traditional one, emphasizing Indian culture, religion and language. It was also the weakest of the three
main political parties in the Alliance. It had the smallest electorate - 7.4% in 1959; and it had little support
from the Indian community at large.
Sambanthan took over the mantle of the MIC during a period of turmoil in the party in 1955, barely
months before the first federal elections, and over time strengthened the party and consolidated its
position in the coalition. He did not always please his members, but was able to gradually unite a party
that had considerable internal splits. Following negotiations with the Alliance leaders, the MIC was
allocated two seats – in Batu Pahat, Johor, and Sg. Siput, Perak. Sambanthan contested the Sg. Siput
seat and won comfortably. The Alliance swept 51 of the 52 seats, the exception being a seat in Perak.
Following the election win, Sambanthan was appointed to the Cabinet and sworn in as Labour Minister in
the Alliance government. As president of a party that was a component of the ruling Alliance Party, he was appointed Minister of Labour (1955-57), Health (1957-59), Works, Posts and Telecommunications (1959-71) and National Unity (1972-74).
The Indian community was geographically dispersed and divided; it comprised less than 25% in any
constituency. Therefore, the MIC's overriding concern was to remain a partner in the Alliance and obtain
whatever concessions it could from the dominant UMNO. In the process, political and economic rights of
workers were sacrificed.
The fact that MIC had sacrificed the political and economic rights of Indians ever since it joined
the Alliance and still does under Barisan Nasional is a fact hidden from us.
Sambanthan was also given the title “Champion of the Poor” by the public. A great honor indeed as he
was the only MIC president deemed by the public to be genuinely concerned for the Indians welfare. No
other MIC president before or after him had managed to earn the common people’s trust as he did. He
fully deserved that acclaim for many reasons. During his presidency, Sambanthan, helped strengthen the party economically by selling about half of his father’s 2.4 km² rubber estate to help the Indian community as well as to provide financial strength to the party coffers.
To put it simply, Tun V.T. Sambanthan sacrificed his own wealth to serve the people. Only a
genuine leader with concern for his subjects’ will do that. Today in contrast, we have leaders who
only think of enriching themselves by taking a big piece of the pie for themselves before giving
the crumbs for the people whom they supposedly represent. You will learn more about this later
The greatest challenge that MIC faced during his presidency was the fragmentation of plantations, the
livelihood of almost all Indian workers. In 1960 Tun V.T. Sambanthan touted the idea of a social cooperative to help plantation workers. His greatest achievement in this area was the formation of the
National Land Finance Co-operative Society (NLFCS) in 1960 to provide an opportunity for land
ownership among Indian workers at a time rubber estates were being fragmented when British planters
sold off their holdings. It was the first cooperative to provide a solution to a real social problem, and would
later be a model for other national cooperatives. He toured rubber plantations to persuade workers to buy shares in NLFCS; a worker with a registration fee of $2 and a share costing $100 (payable in $10 installments), could buy a stake in a plantation. In the same year, Sambanthan and K.R. Somasundram worked closely to purchase their first estate, a 1,200ha Bukit Sidim Estate in Kulim. It was bought for RM3 million from its British owner without any government assistance. Before he died, Sambanthan managed to acquire for the cooperative, the building that had been Shell Malaysia headquarters. He predicted in his presidential address at his last NLFCS annual general assembly in 1978, that the five-storey building could eventually be converted into a high-rise building representing the growth of poor estate worker's asset base. Today, the NLFCS headquarters, Wisma Tun Sambanthan stands 27 storeys high. By the time of Sambanthan's death in 1979, the cooperative had bought over more than 20 estates, totaling
12,000ha, and had a membership of 85,000 workers. The Malayan Plantation Agencies administered the estates on behalf of the cooperative. His wife, Toh Puan Umasundari Sambanthan served as chairman and director of the National Land Finance Co-operative Society (NLFCS) from 1980 to 1995 and its president in 1995 and 1996. Tan Sri K. R. Somasundram has since taken over the Chairmanship of the company. Today NLFCS has 19 estates totaling 35,000 acres (142 km²), as well as investments in Palm Oil, Property and Banking.
Wisma Tun Sambanthan
NLFCS is a success story because it was managed professionally by principled leaders and
remained relatively independent of MIC. As a result of this, the subsequent rot in MIC leadership
caused no damage to NLFCS.
The MIC's success in the early years was due to the close personal friendship between Malaysia’s first
prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, and Sambanthan. For his part, Sambanthan ran the
MIC as a largely informal party, in deference to Umno, rather than as a political party with definite
programmes. Eventually, rising dissatisfaction with Sambanthan led to a prolonged leadership crisis in the
party. Sambanthan was accused within the community of failing to advance Indian interest prior to 1969 and of failing to protect them in the post May 13, 1969 riot. There was considerable concern that Sambanthan and MIC had failed to speak forcefully on the critical issue of citizenship and the related issue of work permits in the aftermath of the 1969 riots.
The continuous failure of MIC to fight for citizenship doomed thousands of Malayan born Indians;
leaving them stateless.
Thousands of Indians were only given a red ID. Malaysia had four different identification cards:
Blue for citizens
Red for permanent residents (They have no voting rights)
Green for limited-stay residents
Brown for ex-convicts and "political offenders".
Nearly 600,000 Indians and Chinese, who were born before 1952, were only given a red ID despite being
born in Malaya. Perhaps 60% of them had already passed away, being officially stateless all their lives.
Even now, tens of thousands of Indians born before 1952 in Malaysia still carry the red ID. Their
applications for citizenship were repeatedly rejected till many of them gave up the idea of ever gaining
The fact that MIC had failed Indians miserably in seeking the right of citizenship for many
thousands of Indians is hidden from us.
The fact that MIC had been too accommodating in their representation of Indian interest on critical
issues is hidden from us. The situation has remained unchanged till today.
In the early 1970s, internal pressure was applied on Sambanthan to resign but he resisted, leading to a
coup against him. Five senior leaders of MIC openly defied Sambanthan and played a key role in
persuading then Deputy MIC president, V. Manickavasagam to go for the presidency. One of the five
leaders is; Samy Vellu (of whom you will read more later on). In March 1973, Tun Abdul Razak negotiated
a deal with Sambanthan who agreed to quit on June 30, 1973.
Note: When Tun Abdul Razak Hussein succeeded Tunku Abdul Rahman as Malaysia's prime minister,
the MIC was forced to become much more responsive to the dictates of Umno. This was following the
May 13 incident and Razak was more assertive than Tunku, to demonstrate Malay Supremacy (Ketuanan
6th MIC President – Tan Sri V. Manickavasagam
Tan Sri V. Manickavasagam officially became MIC’s president on 30th June 1973 and remained in office till he died on 12th October 1979. He was also appointed as Minister for Communications. Under Manickavasagam, the party secretariat was reconstituted with Indian civil servants, professionals and academics dominating the policy committees. Representatives from state MIC and local branches were excluded from the central committees. This exclusion was made on the grounds that their petty rivalries and divisive elements would have threatened the deliberations taking place in the headquarters. The fear of challenges from within the party probably would have moved Manickavasagam to assume complete authority and alienate state and branch leaders thereby preventing a challenge similar to the one he made on Sambanthan. Hence, the state and branch leaders were left with little influence on decisions making.
The fact that continuous infighting and backstabbing exist in MIC from then to now is a fact
hidden from us.
With his presidential powers, Manickavasagam was able to use his authority to remove state presidents
who opposed change or displeased him. Manickavasagam removed no less than four state presidents,
including the influential N.T.S. Arumugam Pillai, the Penang MIC Chief. The late Arumugam Pillai was a business tycoon and philanthropist. He donated vast amounts of money for charity, built temples, schools, and donated land for charitable causes. Arumugam Pillai became a threat to the ruling elite of MIC due to his popularity among the public. Manickavasagam removed him on the grounds of corruption, inefficiency and his opposition to party reforms. The corruption charges were unfounded as Arumugam Pillai was only found guilty of income tax evasion. But to his credit, he conceded that his managers had conned and swindled the money that was supposed to be paid for taxes. The government confiscated the huge U.P. Estate in Sg. Petani from him even though he asked for a few days to settle the outstanding tax payments.
Proof of Arumugam Pillai’s immense contribution to society is recognized by the government and society:
A road named in his honor, Jalan Arumugam Pillai is now one of the main roads in Bukit
Mertajam town center.
The main hall of Bukit Mertajam Maha Mariamman Temple is built with his donation and is aptly
named Arumugam Pillai – Seethai Ammal Mandabam. (Seethai Ammal is his wife)
The government built a new skills training institute in Nibong Tebal using funds the dissolved
South Indian Labour Fund and named it the N.T.S. Arumugam Pillai Training Institute.
Arumugam Pillai – Seethai Ammal
Therefore, the only reason why, Arumugam Pillai was removed was because he became a threat to the
power brokers in MIC. The mentality of putting self-interest above and beyond service to the public has
taken strong roots in MIC leadership and the root had become stronger today.
The fact that an individual, whose contribution is widely recognized by the society and
government, and would have contributed more, was unceremoniously removed by corrupt MIC
leadership is hidden from us. The MIC’s central leadership at this time consists exclusively of the presidents’ men, lacking affinity to grassroots members whom they are supposed to represent, much like it is today. This is the beginning of the dark days for the Malaysian Indians.
One result of these developments was that they increased the volatility of the party. Thus, for example,
party meetings during this period were characterized by flying chairs, fists, and the need to call in Federal
Reserve Unit to restore order. A further weakness that crept into the MIC under Manickavasagam was nepotism. The president introduced his brothers into important posts in the party. For example, his brother V.L. Kandan was variously MIC Youth leader (1975), appointed to the state executive council in 1974, and elected member of the state legislative assembly in Selangor. During Manickavasagam’s rule, MIC had two ministers in the government. Manickavasagam was the Minister for Communications and the other minister was Athi Nahappan.
The fact that MIC used to have two full ministers in the government is a fact that most young
voters do not know.
MIC also sponsored the Nesa Multipurpose Cooperative and the MIC Unit Trust as part of its programme
for economic ventures, and also set up the MIC Education Fund for members children and the Malaysian
Indian Scholarship Fund for higher education as well as acquiring an Institute for training Indians in
technical and trade skills.
The most significant contribution of Manickavasagam is the drawing up of plans to uplift the Indian
community. Project Blue Book as this effort is called, is an orchestrated effort of a think-tank of top Indian
business, political and education leaders collaborating to augment the future of the Indian community.
Unfortunately, MIC did not have the financial capacity to implement the ideas in Project Blue Book.
In addition to this, Manickavasagam brought in new faces to the forefront: This was the time when Datuk
S. Subramaniam, Datuk K. Pathmanaban (a Harvard MBA holder), and several others entered the
political arena, and Manickavasagam gave them preference. Manickavasagam had personally maneuvered Subramaniam’s nomination to MIC Central Working Committee (CWC) in July 1973 and later to the post of Secretary General of MIC. Subramaniam’s position in the party was built with support from the professional groups, the youth movement, and the estates in Perak. Under political patronage from then Prime Minister, Tun Hussein Onn, Subramaniam rose rapidly in the government from Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Labour and Manpower after the 1974 elections, to Deputy Minister for Local Government and Federal Territory in January in 1978 Subramaniam’s rise caused jealousy and resentment in Samy Vellu and his faction; thus, strong opposition to Manickavasagam was brewing. MIC was once again plunged into a bitter power struggle. Senator Athi Nahappan, the deputy president and strong supporter of Manickavasagam, acted as a peacemaker during this turbulent time. His death in May 1976, robbed Manickavasagam of an important force of stability. Fearing that Samy Vellu would be a strong candidate for the vacant position, Manickavasagam attempted to delay the election of a successor to Athi Nahappan. However, by 1977, further delay had become impossible. Still determined to thwart Samy Vellu, Manickavasagam brought forth his own candidate.
S. Subramaniam was hand-picked by Manickavasagam to succeed him; however, Samy Vellu fought
back, literally, and in a closely fought contest in 1977, Samy Vellu defeated Subramaniam by a mere 26
votes to become the Deputy President of MIC. Manickavasagam clearly felt at ill with such a rival occupying the deputy presidents seat. To neutralize the Samy Vellu faction, Manickavasagam moved to attack their influence with a number of conspiratorial moves. For example, he divided the Selangor MIC by creating a Federal Territory MIC. This new entity was to see scenes of riotous behaviour on the part of rival MIC factions.
The fact that there has always been a power struggle between greedy leaders in MIC is hidden
from us. The fact that jealousy and power craze existed in MIC long before many us were born is hidden from us.
7th MIC President – Dato Seri S. Samy Vellu
Samy Vellu s/o Sangalimuthu, better known as S. Samy Vellu; is the longest serving president of the MIC. Samy Vellu; the eldest of three children, was born in June 20, 1936 to rubber tappers Sangalimuthu and Anggamah at the Rengo Malay Estate near Kluang, Johor. His father, who had arrived from India in 1919, moved between estates in search of better wages and was working as a labourer at the coal mines in Batu Arang, Selangor when the war ended.
Sangalimuthu later sold coconuts, fish and mutton at the Batu Arang market while his son Samy Vellu
went to various Tamil schools. After his mother's death in 1950, he left to Kuala Lumpur with his father.
There, he began work as a bus conductor with G.T.C. transport company, a forerunner to Syarikat Sri
Jaya (The blue colored bus with white stripes as the elder generation of KL will remember). He and some friends formed a theatre group that staged dramas in estates and small towns. The group's leading actors were Samy Vellu and V. Govindaraj (now Datuk V. Govindaraj). One of their earliest and most successful dramas was entitled Nattpu (Friendship).
Note: Ironically, both entered politics and stayed loyal to each other until they fell out dramatically and
played out a real-life drama in 1984 that ended with Samy Vellu expelling Govindaraj from the MIC.
Govindaraj, however, was readmitted in the party a few years later, and was appointed to the Central
Executive Committee where he served until 2006. Following his open support for Samy Vellu's opponent,
Datuk S. Subramaniam, he was again dropped.
In 1959, a year before he got married, he and Govindaraj joined the Batu Caves MIC branch as ordinary
members. Samy Vellu was 23, and winning the MIC presidency was his ultimate objective. (It took him
20 years to reach the top). Five years after joining the party, he was elected Selangor MIC committee
member and the head of the party's cultural bureau.
During the Indonesian Confrontation, he made headlines by climbing up the Indonesian Embassy's flag
pole, pulling down the flag and burning it. "I was charged in court and fined RM25," Samy Vellu later said.
Malaysian newspapers called him Hero Malaysia on the front pages.
Samy Vellu became a household name after he became a newscaster in the Tamil news of Radio
Television Malaysia (RTM), through the assistance of his friend Durairaju, the head of RTM’s Tamil
section. He would continue to read Tamil news over RTM from 1963 until he became a Member of
Parliament in 1974. Samy Vellu used this popularity to garner votes, and eventually, after five futile
attempts, won the Selangor MIC's secretary post on the sixth attempt, trumping V.J. Balasundram by 13
votes in 1967. Samy Vellu was 31 then.
In the early 1970s, he became the main instigator for the coup against Tun V.T Sambanthan, and then
fought against the next president Manickavasagam as highlighted earlier. On 12th October 1979, Samy Vellu’s ambition of becoming the president of MIC became a reality after Manickavasagam’s death. The new president came under considerable pressure to advance Subramanian to the vacant seat of Port Klang that used to be Manickavasagam’s constituency. But Samy Vellu resisted the pressure and nominated his own protégé, V.Govindaraju.
During his political advancement, Samy Vellu built his support within the party essentially through his
work with Tamil drama societies and caste groups. One consequence of Samy Vellu’s elevation,
therefore, had been the exacerbation of the caste divisions within MIC. Samy Vellu, a ‘Kallar’ was inclined
to use his caste and others to channel support.
Subramaniam, a ‘Gaundar’, received vociferous support from almost all the Gaundar’s in Malaysia. In
addition to this, he garnered more support with the assistance of M.G. Pandithan, another caste
conscious politician. M.G. Pandithan, the chairman of the Loke Yew/San Peng branch exploited caste to
such an extent that in may 1981, he had to face diciplinary action. The MIC leaders thus created a rift
within the Indian community. The damage that this caste based politics caused to Malaysian Indians are
The fact that MIC had enhanced the divisive elements in the Indian society through their caste
based power struggle is hidden from us.
By this time; MIC has deviated from serving the needs of the Indian community. It has become a
faction-ridden party rife with corrupt and greedy leaders who only serve their own needs,
abandoning the Indian community to depredation and humiliation.
Upon assuming the presidency, Samy Vellu moved rapidly in a brash manner, to purge the party of those
who had been loyal to Manickavasagam. In particular, he secured the fall of the late Manickavasagam’s
brother, Kandan, who held the position of MIC Youth leader. Samy Vellu clashed with the Menteri Besar
of Selangor, over his attempt to remove Datuk V. L. Kandan from the executive council of Selangor.
Since Samy Vellu was involved in two intense power struggles in MIC, he knew very well that
another strong leader in the party would pose a serious challenge to him. To eliminate any
challenge to his position, he decided to retain only one ministers position in the cabinet for MIC
and traded it for deputy minister’s position. Thereby he became the sole MIC minister in the
cabinet. (At the time of Manickavasagam, MIC had two full minister posts).
The fact that the current president’s absolute greed for power, had shortchanged the community
and reduced their voice in cabinet by having only one minister in the cabinet instead of two
previously, is hidden from us.
Samy Vellu’s dislike for Manickavasagam extended to Project Blue Book and the people who worked on
it. One of them, the late Dato K. Pathmanaban, was never allowed to get a foothold in the top leadership
echelon of MIC. What happened to Project Blue Book and its contents is not known.
Note: I have tried to find this document for months to no avail.
The fact that the present leadership of MIC did not want the Indian community to know about the
most important legacy of the previous administration, Project Blue Book and its ideas is hidden
Samy Vellu’s leadership soon attracted adverse comments from both within and outside the party.
Internal opposition to his rule focused around S. Subramaniam, and in 1980, a major power struggle
occurred between the two men. Its immediate causes lay in attempts by Samy Vellu to prevent the
election of Subramaniam to the presidency of the Federal Territory MIC, then to prevent him from
becoming the deputy president of MIC, and finally to deprive him of a government post by opposing his
selection as candidate for Port Klang parliamentary seat.
In the contest for the Federal Territory MIC chief, Samy Vellu brought forward D.P. Vijendran as his
candidate to fight against Subramaniam. However, Subramaniam fended off Vijendran’s challenge with
considerable ease. In doing so, he relied considerably on the support of the Tamil Malar newspaper. The
major sections of the Indian press at this time were owned by Samy Vellu’s faction and Tamil Nesan
firmly supported Samy Vellu.
In 1981, the Tamil Malar was suspended for purportedly publishing sensitive material, dealing a punishing
blow to Subramaniam. The suspension of a few other Tamil news papers has become a modus operandi
for Samy Vellu to silence the voice of dissent in MIC.
With regard to the position of deputy president, Samy Vellu simply refused to make an appointment until
growing anger within the party boiled. There were a number of extremely stormy MIC branch meetings
with the Federal Reserve Unit in attendance. Samy Vellu almost moved to sack Subramaniam. The crisis
brought pressure on Samy Vellu from the Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir, for a resolution to the crisis. In
October 1981, following a 20-minute talk, both came to some form of understanding and Samy Vellu
accepted the elevation of Subramaniam to deputy presidency of MIC.
The fact that the leaders of MIC are incapable of solving their own problems is hidden from us.
UMNO had to intervene on two occasions, 1973 and again in 1981 to solve the crisis within MIC.
On both occasions, Samy Vellu was deeply involved in the crisis.
The uneasy peace between the two factions in MIC prevailed for the next five years. It was during this
time that the Maju Institute of Educational Development (MIED), TAFE College and most importantly
Maika Holdings Berhad started.
Note: The discussion of Maika Holdings Berhad needs a whole chapter by itself. To do this, I have
dedicated a chapter called Maika Holdings – The Great Betrayal that you will read further down.
The power hungry MIC leaders did not remain contented for long and the in-fighting resurfaced. In 1988,
another fight ensued between Samy Vellu and M. G. Pandithan, a popular MIC leader. Pandithan was an
MIC vice-president, Member of Parliament for Tapah, and, Parliamentary Secretary to the Trade and
The fight ensued when Pandithan was issued a show-cause letter for allegedly practising caste-oriented
politics. Inter-ethnic caste politics was already being practised in MIC at this time. On July 16th 1988,
Pandithan was sacked after he started a fast-to-death effort in a bid to get the charges dropped. He also
brought a coffin to the MIC headquarters in protest. Pandithan tried to return to the party but was
unsuccessful and in August 1990, he formed Indian Progressive Front (IPF). (The two of them have since
reconciled their differences in July 2nd 2007.)
The power struggle between Samy Vellu and Subramanian erupted again in 1989. The two leaders were
locked in battle to settle the score. Samy Vellu won, and proceeded to cleanse the MIC of all opposition.
Almost half of the party's branches were suspended, mostly on spurious grounds. All the branches
affected were supportive of Subramaniam. Many new branches loyal to Samy Vellu were then formed to
replace the suspended ones. Having absolute power, Samy Vellu continued to ensure that no credible,
capable and independent minded leaders existed in MIC. He only appoints leaders that he can completely
In the following year, Samy Vellu dropped Subramaniam from the list of candidates standing for the 1990
General Election. Subramaniam however bounced back with the assistance of Malaysian Prime Minister
Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, who appointed him as a senator to regain his deputy minister's post. Realizing
that Subra’s political career is in jeopardy, a lot of his staunch supporters abandoned him and joined
Samy Vellu’s side.
This once again proves that MIC is filled with selfish individuals who will not hesitate to abandon
their self-respect and dignity to benefit themselves.
Samy Vellu’s enmity with Subramaniam has now gone from bad to worse. For the second time,
Subramaniam was dropped as a candidate for the 11th general election - three days before nomination
day. According to Samy Vellu, Subramaniam has enjoyed his time as an MP, parliamentary secretary and
deputy minister, citing "now it was the turn of others to taste such fame."
In the 2006 MIC elections, Subramaniam stood to defend his deputy president’s post in the 2006 party
elections against Samy Vellu’s candidate, Palanivel s/o Govindasamy. In the run-up to the election, Samy
Vellu again moved to counter Subra’s chances of winning. He arranged so that the branches supporting
the deputy president are struck off for the flimsiest of reasons, and rearrange new branches to be
beholden to him. Thus, in the 2006 party elections, Samy Vellu was eventually returned as president
uncontested and G. Palanivel trumped Subramaniam for the deputy president's post.
Maika Holdings – The Great Betrayal
Maika Holdings Berhad was incorporated on 13th September 1982 and started business on 31st January 1983.
Touted as an economic vehicle and a miracle to lift the Indian poor from the shackles of poverty, Maika was launched with much hype and hope. The poor Indians - traditional MIC supporters, the lower
middle-class and the working class Indians as well as a vast majority of plantation workers - were mesmerized into responding enthusiastically. The poor plantation workers put their life savings
into the venture, some scraping the barrel, others mortgaging their property and pawning the last of their jewellery. A vast majority also took loans at exorbitant rates to invest in a venture that promised
dreams of hopes and tantalizing prospects.
It’s not only the poor Indians who responded to this call to rally behind the MIC's efforts to secure seven
per cent of corporate ownership for the Indian community - which at that time had been stagnating at
under one per cent since 1960. Even the middle-class Indians who were wary of the caste and communal
politics of MIC came forward to participate.
Although the original plan by the MIC was to ensure that at least RM30 million worth of Maika shares
were subscribed, so successful was the promotion campaign that by 1984, a phenomenal RM106 million
was raised from almost 66,400 shareholders. A large majority of the shareholders are poor plantation
workers. The largest individual shareholder with almost 2.8 million shares was MIC president Datuk Seri
Samy Vellu. The amount invested in Maika was even larger than that obtained by the MCA’s Multi-
Purpose Holdings when the company commenced business.
When it started operations, Maika had one of the biggest cash reserves among Malaysian companies. At
a time when business conglomerates like YTL, Berjaya, Malaysian Mining Corps, etc were practically
unknown entities, Maika was already well known and if properly managed, would have been a billion
dollar company now.
However, in its twenty-five years of tortured history, Maika investors have known nothing but pain and
sorrow. The new dawn of a golden opportunity that was promised to the Indian poor never arrived.
Instead, each passing year only witnessed dashed hopes and broken promises that littered the
chequered history of Maika. Many of the investors had since passed away, their spirits broken by the
betrayal of the leader they trusted.
What went wrong for a venture that took off in such a blaze of glory? Why is it in shambles today?
It is a case of a noble intention that has gone awry through bad management, poor investment, sheer
arrogance and pure greed; which brooked no question and refused to be accountable to the
shareholders. If proper business ethics had been observed, if honest criticism had been tolerated and
accommodated, if from the beginning Maika was run by professionals rather than politicians, Maika
perhaps may not have nose-dived into the hopeless situation that it is in today.
In spite of a number of major acquisitions made into some important companies - like the United Asian
Bank (UAB), United Oriental Assurance (UOA), Malaysian Airlines System (MAS), Malaysian International Shipping Corporation (MISC), TV3 and Edaran Otomobil Malaysia Bhd (EON) - Maika’s performance has been mediocre. It registered a tiny profit from 1984 to 1986 - the total amount was nothing to shout about and amounted to RM16.5 million only - which enabled Maika to declare three dividends which totaled 11 sen per share.
Telekom Shares: The Betrayal
There wasn’t any fanfare when Maika was allotted 10 million shares of Syarikat Telekom Malaysia Bhd
(STMB). It was assumed in 1990 that Maika had been allotted all the shares it had subscribed to. No
details were made known at that time.
Sometime in the middle of February 1992, the shroud of secrecy surrounding the Telekom shares
allocation was ripped apart. Then, all hell broke loose.
A journalist from “Watan” disclosed that “there could have been some hanky-panky in the allocation of
Telekom’s shares to Maika Holdings. This was then followed by another report in a Tamil magazine, “Thoothan”, on 1st April 1992, which disclosed that there could have been some discrepancy in the distribution of the 10 million Telekom shares allocated to Maika by the Finance Ministry. Malaysians learned for the first time (two years after the share issuance), that Maika acquired only one million and not the entire 10 million shares that were allotted to Maika Holdings.
Samy Vellu, through the Tamil Nesan and at MIC meetings, tried to explain by insisting that the cash flow
problem faced by Maika did not allow Maika to take up all 10 million shares. But, one of the directors, a
one-time ally of Samy Vellu, Vijendran, issued a statement insinuating that the truth may not have been
When this matter was raised in parliament, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim disclosed that
since Maika had stated that it could take up only one million shares, the remaining nine million shares
were allocated to three companies proposed by Maika because to his “ministry's knowledge, the three
companies represented the interests of the Indian community” (The Star, April 30, 1992).
Note: At the time of share allocation in 1990, Tun Daim Zainuddin was the Finance Minister.
Maika Did Not Reject The Shares
The mystery deepened and bewildered the shareholders when another Maika director, Pasamanikam,
contradicted the statements made by Anwar and Samy Vellu. According to Pasamanikam, Maika did not
reject the Finance Ministry’s offer and did not propose that the nine million shares be allocated to any
other company. He further revealed that Maika had indeed raised a RM50 million loan to facilitate the
acquisition of the entire 10 million shares even before the Finance Ministry had withdrawn its offer. A tidal
wave of questions engulfed the share holders:
1) Why did the Finance Ministry cancel the initial offer of the 10 million shares and subsequently
allot only one million shares to Maika?
2) Who was responsible for the retraction of the original offer?
3) Who lied to the Finance Ministry?
4) Who informed them that Maika had recommended that the nine million shares be given to
5) Who supplied the names of these three companies?
6) Who coerced the Finance Ministry to change their mind?
7) Who aborted this offer? (There was no earthly reason for the Finance Ministry to change its
mind on its own after having allocated 10 million shares).
According to Tan Sri G. K. Rama Iyer, the Managing Director of Maika Holdings Bhd - as revealed in his
press release dated May 16th 1992 :
Samy Vellu was informed at 6.10 am on October 5th 1990, that Maika had been offered 10 million
STMB shares and of the probability of obtaining full loan financing and that Maika intended to take
up the entire allocation of 10 million shares. Indeed, a letter dated October 5th 1990, from Arab-
Malaysian Merchant Bankers Bhd. (AMMBB) - offering RM50 million to finance the purchase of the
10 million shares was received on October 6th 1990.
There Must Have Been A Mistake
He further clarified that Samy Vellu replied that “There must have been a mistake. The offer to Maika
should be for one million and not 10 million”. According to Dato Seri Samy Vellu, the remaining 9 million shares were for allocation to “other MIC bodies”. “Further, Dato Seri Samy Vellu stated that he would contact the Ministry to clarify the position.” It was then, after Samy Vellu had contacted the Finance Ministry; that the letter of offer was retracted and Maika’s allocation reduced to only 1 million shares.
Why did Samy Vellu prevent Maika from acquiring the 10 million shares?
Wasn’t Maika his brain-child to raise the corporate wealth of the Indian community so that their
economic welfare would be secured?
Wasn’t he the leader of MIC which launched Maika as a business venture to enrich the community
which had long been associated with deprivation and poverty?
This was God-sent wealth. Why did he prevent this wealth from reaching Maika?
Imagine how much Maika would have made from these shares for which it only paid RM5 per share.
When Telekom shares were first traded, it fetched a price of RM6.15 per share and that too during a
bearish market. By mid-1992 the Telecoms share price was hovering around RM11-RM13.
According to Ram, in an article in the Aliran Monthly - 1993:13(10):
Samy Vellu had taken away from Maika RM120 million in profits (which it would have attained had
it just held on to the 10 million shares until 1993).
They Don’t Deserve 10 Million Shares
Samy Vellu made it extremely clear that he personally decided to allocate only one million shares
to Maika. According to Samy Vellu, “I could have given all the shares to Maika Holdings if not for their
past business record. They don’t deserve 10 million shares because of the dismal performance of the
Maika management. They have to learn to do business on their own and not depend on shares and make
money out of it”. (New Straits Times 16th May 1992) His autocratic style and arrogance comes through so forcefully: “I could have given all the shares to Maika Holdings…,” he boasts. “They don’t deserve 10 million shares…,” he berates.
It is very apparent that he keeps a very tight hold on Maika. That being the case, how could Maika
undertake any business venture without his knowledge and blessing? Shouldn’t he be part of the debacle
that is haunting Maika today? Shouldn’t he also shoulder the blame for “the dismal performance of the
And why should he give nine million shares to three obscure companies?
Management Services Sdn. Bhd. and Advanced Personal Computers were in fact shell companies
with paid-up capital of RM2 each. The third company is Clearway Sdn. Bhd.
Samy Vellu decided on the shares allocation - not the Ministry of Finance! On what criteria did Samy Vellu decide that the three companies deserve to get the Telekom shares instead of Maika?
What business experience and success could these companies boast about to warrant their being
chosen from among all the other Indian businesses in the country?
Serious conflict of interest
There was a serious case of conflict of interest involved in this scandal. A director of Maika was also a
shareholder and director of one of the three companies, all of which divided the nine million Telekom
shares equally. Lim Kit Siang named this person as R Selvendra on 7th May, 1992.
Two of the three companies - Advance Personal Computers Sdn. Bhd. and S.B. Management
Services Sdn. Bhd. - shared the same business address: Level 2, Block F-North, Damansara Town
Centre, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur.
These two companies had the same Company Secretary: S. Balasubramaniam s/o M. S. Servai.
Significantly, S. Balasubramaniam s/o M. S. Servai and Sothinathan s/o Sinna Gounder were both
directors and shareholders of these two companies.
Note: Sothinathan Sinna Gounder is none other than S. Sothinathan, the present MIC Member
of Parliament for Teluk Kemang, Negeri Sembilan. In addition to this, he is also the Deputy
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.
Samy Vellu rewarded a person who helped him hijack the Telekom shares by making him a
Deputy Minister and could also probably groom him for future leadership of MIC.
Do we seriously need leaders like this????
If the 10 million STMB shares were allocated for the MIC, who would be the natural inheritors of these
shares on behalf of the Indian community - Maika with its 66,400 shareholders or three insignificant
private companies with six shareholders? Does this information in any way suggest that these three
companies represented the interests of the Indian community?
Who lied to the Finance Ministry that these “three companies represented the interests of the
What was the motive for diverting nine million shares to three private companies?
Those who sought to find the answers were threatened or beaten up. One brave soul who went on a
crusade to expose this scandal was stabbed in Penang. Whenever questions regarding Maika were
raised at MIC meetings presided by Samy Vellu, it was alleged that thugs would suddenly appear beside
the person asking the question and that would be the end of the affair to seek answers.
On May 13th 1992, the then Selangor Assemblyman for Seri Cahaya, Datuk S. Sivalingam (now
deceased), had also acted as a thug when he led an assault of Maika shareholders who were peacefully
picketing against the Maika Telekom shares hijacking scandal outside Maika headquarters.
In October 2006, the MIC Johor Assemblyman for Tenggaroh, Datuk S. Krishnasamy assaulted M.
Kulasegaran, the DAP MP for Ipoh Barat at the Maika Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Legend Hotel.
Even though Kulasegaran lodged a police report, no action was taken against S. Krishnasamy.
Some years ago, it was claimed that at one particular MIC meeting at the Dewan Sri Pinang in Penang,
chaired by Samy Vellu, a Maika shareholder wanted to know the position of Maika. It was alleged that
Samy Vellu told this shareholder that he would provide the answer after the adjournment for refreshment.
In the meantime two thugs confronted this shareholder and told him that if he wanted to return home in
one piece it was the right time to go home. When the meeting resumed, Samy Vellu reportedly called for
the shareholder to repeat his query. But since he wasn’t there, Samy Vellu continued with his meeting
without touching on the subject of Maika.
How these companies disposed of these shares and the manner the profits were channeled to Maju
Institute of Education and Development (MIED) were highly questionable. Millions of ringgit was given to
MIED in cash. In this day and age one has every right to suspect such transactions. Do you carry millions
of ringgit in your person to pay to an educational institution? For God's sake, there is such a thing as bank
Let’s for a moment try to be logical; How did these companies come to possess this amount of money
before it was handed over to MIED? They must have been paid in cheques when they sold the Telekom
shares. Does it mean that they went to the bank, cashed the cheques and carried the millions of ringgit,
presumably in a bag, as one crazy Malaysian guy did in Australia? This seems far fetched!
What is puzzling is the fact that in spite of so much overwhelming evidence, the Anti Corruption Agency
(ACA) after 17 months of investigation cleared Samy Vellu of any wrong-doing but unfortunately without
clearing the doubts in the minds of the Malaysians, as was observed by Aliran Monthly.
Who Benefited From Share Allocation?
The larger questions as to how and why political parties are allocated shares that are monopolized by the
connected few have not been addressed. These allocations are never revealed and it is not possible to
know which crony benefits and by how much. This system has led to abuses and effectively blocks the
wealth from reaching a wider circle of deserving citizens.
In 1994, the then Chairman of MIC Public Claims Committee, V Subramaniam – also known as “Barat”
Maniam – made a startling accusation publicly. He charged that the accounts were fabricated to make it
appear as if all the profits from the sale of the Telekom shares were channelled to MIED. In challenging
Samy to take him to court, he declared, “I have come out with this statement to prove that Samy Vellu is a
thief. He has stolen (Telekom) shares from the Indian community.”
Maika Scandal Refuses To Be Buried
In spite of 25 years of history, the Maika scandal refuses to be buried. It keeps on surfacing, haunting and
hounding the perpetrators of a crime that robbed the poor of their fair share of their due. The controversy
surrounding the Maika-Telekom shares scandal appears to be far from over.
Promises were made; time and again, that Maika shareholders will get their hard earned money back. But
not a penny was paid. At each Maika's annual general meeting, the shareholders continue to press for
answers. Often the meeting degenerates into violence as 'thugs' linked to MIC president, rough up those
who dare ask questions.
Not content with siphoning off the shares, Samy Vellu appointed his son, Vell Paari as CEO of Maika
Holdings in 1999, and remains so to date. He is now in the process of selling off the few remaining assets
of Maika Holdings.
Plea for the Future
I named this document: MIC - The Hidden History because I had strived to furnish details of MIC that
many of us are not aware of. This document is not by all means complete. It will take months of research
to write a definitive study of MIC, the result of which will definitely not be a pleasant reading material. I do
not have the luxury of resources to undertake such an effort. I sincerely hope that I have managed to convey the hidden truth of MIC and its greedy, corrupt leaders. Samy Vellu is very much in control of MIC, and he runs the party as a feudal organization where he makes all the decisions. He has systematically hounded many capable leaders out of MIC to maintain his iron grip in the party. His deputies and committee members are loyal minions who will not hesitate to do anything and everything he says. After years in power, MIC is now a rotting mass, particularly in the head. Instead of serving the Indian community, MIC has become a party that serves only its leaders while millions of Indians face untold misery. The poor Indians have remained poor while those close to Samy Velu became rich beyond their own expectations.
MIC exists for the benefit of its leaders, not the poor Indian community.
We have been supporting them for 50 years with nothing much to show. All I am asking from you, the
readers; is to join our community in the effort to make a change. We need new leaders; who are willing to
serve the community. To do that, we need to force the current leadership to quit en masse. Our repeated
calls for them to quit were continuously ignored. We can only force them out by defeating them in the election. The coming general election is our only weapon.
THINK OF YOUR CHILDRENS FUTURE!!!!!
CHOOSE YOUR DESTINY!!!!!
SHOW THE PEOPLE’S POWER!!!!!
MAKKAL SAKTHI!!! VALGA!!!
Sources that I used to write this document are:
Aliran Magazine (Extensively used for Maika Telekom Share Scandal)
Indian Communities in south East Asia – A. Mani & Kernail Singh Sandhu
The End of Empire and the Making of Malaya – Timothy Norman Harper
South East Asia Over Three Generations: Essays Presented to Benedict R.
The Indian Minority and Political Change in Malaya 1954-1957 – Rajeswary Ampalavanar
Please feel free to distribute this material in either electronic or printed form to as many Indians
It would be very helpful if someone can help translate this document into Tamil to
distribute to the older generation.