This is the story Malay Mail says MalaysiaToday hijacked/stole before its press time release. Malay Mail editor-in-chief Ahirudin Attan, the blogger behind Rocky’s Bru is hopping mad to know that Malaysia Today stole this Malay Mail scoop which the Malay Mail has been working on for days and had saved it for today’s front page. What a pity! See here what Rocky has to say and he has even seen his lawyers on this scooped scoop.
Ex-MIC strongman says he ‘cheated’ in 1977 party polls
(The Malay Mail) – FORMER MIC strongman Datuk V. Govindaraj has made public a dark secret that could have altered the presidency of the party.
Govindaraj has confessed that he pocketed 30 votes meant for Datuk S. Subramaniam in the contest for the deputy president’s post against Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu 31 years ago.
Subramaniam ended up losing to Samy Vellu by a mere 26 votes and the latter became president when then president Tan Sri V. Manickavasagam died in 1979.
Govindaraj, 76, an elder statesman of the Indian community who broke his silence to Malay Mail, said he acted “on the spur of the moment” and was “not instigated by anyone”.
The former MIC vice-president said he was speaking up after all these years because he wished to make peace with himself and let everyone know what happened on that polling day in 1977.
“I am the one who stole 30 votes that delegates had cast for Subramaniam.
“I really did not plan it… it was on the spur of the moment when I took a stack of three bundles of 10 votes each and put them in my pocket.”
However, he said, he apologised to Subramaniam and the late Datuk K. Pathmanaban on the same day and both of them “forgave me”.
“Although he was magnanimous and forgave me I still want to go on record and say ‘Subra, I am really sorry’ because he would have been president after Tan Sri Manickavasagam’s death and not Samy Vellu.”
Govindaraj said he had also informed Samy Vellu, whom he backed for the deputy presidency, of the incident as well.
Samy Vellu could not be reached for confirmation.
When contacted, Subramaniam acknowledged that Govindaraj confessed to him and Pathmanaban that he stole the votes to allow Samy Vellu to win.
”We are still friends. I forgave him a long time ago… I do not think about it or wallow over the misfortune I suffered,” he said.
Subramaniam, then the secretary-general of MIC, was hand-picked by Manickavasagam to become deputy president and succeed him.
Relating the incident, Govindaraj said: “I was wearing a batik shirt and was in front of the table with the bundle of votes of 10 each.
“When the scrutineers’ attention was focused on a commotion I took three stacks of 10 votes each meant for Subra and put them in my pocket. I knew those votes were for Subra.
“The history of MIC would have taken a different course if not for my wrong-doing,” said Govindaraj, who was removed from the party Central Working Committee in 2006.
Govindaraj also said he was making this dark secret public because he hoped his confession would ensure that balloting in the Sept 12 polls would be fair and the counting above board.
He proposed an independent body be set up to ensure voting was fair and free from any pressure and interference.
A total of 73 candidates are contesting for the posts of deputy president (three candidates), vice-presidents (seven going for three spots) and Central Working Committee members (63 people vying for 23 seats).
Govindaraj, a former staunch supporter of Samy Vellu and the person credited with introducing him to politics, said the autocratic system of political administration under the current leadership is not good for the country and the party.
Samy Vellu is the longest serving president of the MIC, having held this post for 11 consecutive terms since 1979. He was also the longest-serving Cabinet Minister until his defeat in the 12th general election in March 2008.