Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Samy Vellu: Humpty Dumpty Sat on the Wall…

How impressive indeed that Samy Vellu is apparently citing the MIC constitution to explain the party’s decision to remove its youth wing’s chief, Vigneswaran. In a previous column on my blog (which also appeared on Malaysiakini: ‘The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same'), I called on individuals like Vigneswaran to continue to speak out about the flawed leadership of the MIC. I could not help but be struck by Samy Vellu’s recent comments on why, constitutionally, Vigneswaran had to make room for younger members in the leadership of the youth wing. It was quite moving to read Samy Vellu’s words on the Malaysiakini report. Well, would you believe me, if I said I almost teared-up as my eyes welled (wink, wink). I mean before my eyes welled-up, I almost fell off my chair reading that Samy Vellu had uttered the following words:

“This is MIC central working committee’s interpretation of the MIC constitution on the age limit for Youth members. If we do not follow this, I fear that several hundreds, if not thousands of youth members may not be able to move up the hierarchy.”

I thought, ‘what ever happened to the political thuggery in the MIC that the Malaysian public had become so accustomed to?’ My goodness, Samy Vellu citing the party constitution to rationalise his actions? Well, it took a moment or two to sink in. I suppose in this age when we can pretend to be guided constitutionally while we round-up bogus evidence to go along with trumped-up charges and prosecute our enemies in kangaroo courts – that is, the age of Mahathirism – is it any wonder that Samy Vellu, in this instance, ensured the political demise of his youth chief on ‘constitutional’ grounds.

And let us also not overlook the fact that Samy Vellu was especially concerned that “several hundred, if not thousands of youth members may not be able to move up the hierarchy” if Vigneswaran did not make way for another leader. Hmm…. I suppose it never dawned on Samy that in hogging the president’s post for decades he has also had the effect of displacing numerous other – arguably much more genuinely capable and qualified – from ever having an opportunity to rise up ‘the hierarchy’?

Clearly, the desperate moves of a desperate politician to reinvent himself, and to desperately try to make himself still relevant, continue. But the dubious tactics are indeed hard to abandon. While it may take some time to cleanse our public culture of this corrupt politics, let me remind Samy Vellu and his cadre of cronies that when Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, all the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again.

G. Krishnan