Thursday, December 2, 2010

Palanivel is the new MIC president

Datuk G. Palanivel is set to take over the MIC leadership from Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu next week, making him the eighth president in the party's 64-year history.

Samy Vellu, who has helmed the party for almost 31 years, is set to hand over the reins to Palanivel after the party's Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Monday.

"It's either going to be on Monday or at a special handing over ceremony on Tuesday," a party insider told Bernama here Friday.

MIC vice-president and Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam would assume the number two post, he said.

Palanivel, 61, the Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, had been informed of the transition, and was preparing himself to take over the number one post, he said.

Samy Vellu is expected to brief Palanivel on party affairs and give him access to all important party documents either on Monday or Tuesday, the party insider said.

Palanivel, a former editor with Bernama, takes over the MIC at a time when the country is preparing for a possible snap poll, which political observers predicted could be early next year.

The former press secretary to Samy Vellu, the Works Minister from 1979 to March 2008, would be faced with the task of remaking the party in time to face the 13th general election.

The MIC was only three years old when Palanivel was born. At that time, the party was helmed by Budh Singh, who led the MIC from 1947-1950, after which the presidency was assumed by K. Ramanathan for less than a year.

The first MIC president was John A. Thivy from 1946-1947. After Ramanathan, the party was helmed by K.L. Devaser who became MIC's fourth president. The fifth and sixth presidents were Tun V.T. Sambanthan and Tan Sri V. Manickavasagam.

The first four presidents had only ruled the MIC for a short period (less than three years) while Sambanthan presided over the party for 18 years (1955-1973).

Manickavasagam served for six years.

The seventh and current president, Samy Vellu, still holds the record as the longest-serving president, exactly 31 years since 1979.

Palanivel will assume the presidency from Samy Vellu upon which the MIC will hold its triennial presidential election either in March or April 2012.


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