KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 (Bernama) -- MIC deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel has thrown the ball back to party chief Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu on when the long-serving MIC president will vacate the post.
"Many questions and pressures have been exerted on the transition of power in MIC. I have been working closely together with Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu for many years now," he wrote on his blog on Wednesday.
"He has been preparing me for the top post for many years. In fact, during several campaign meetings he declared that I have experience, maturity and the capability to take over from him and lead the party," said Palanivel who retained his post at the recent MIC elections.
Since the polls, there has been no let up over how long Samy Vellu intends to stay after being returned unopposed for an 11th term.
It heightened further over the weekend with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak saying that he would discuss a successsion plan with Samy Vellu.
The outspoken MIC leader, who has been at the helm of MIC since 1981, said he was prepared to hand over the leadership of the party if Palanivel was ready.
"I'm certain he must have a good plan in his mind, especially after having supported me as the deputy presidential candidate for the second time in the Sept 12 elections. He will know when will be the best moment to hand over the reins," Palanivel said.
A former journalist who became Samy Vellu's press secretary before entering politics, Palanivel praised the MIC leader as "an iconic leader in Malaysian history" who had led the Indian community through some trying times.
"A lesser man would have perished long ago," he said.
Palanivel was confident that members would continue to support him after the crucial party elections in which an overwhelming majority of candidates backed by Samy Vellu won.
"The new leadership is made up of many new faces and the delegates have voted smartly by bringing in change where they saw fit. It is a good mix of experience and young blood," he added.