Samy Vellu appointed as special envoy to India

74-year-old Vellu stepped down last week as president of Malaysia's largest ethnic Indian political party, the Malaysian Indian Congress, which he headed for more than three decades.

Prime Minister Najib Razak made the announcement of Vellu's new posting while launching his biography entitled 'A Life. A Legend. A Legacy' here yesterday. Samy Vellu's role as special envoy with ministerial status will come into effect next month. Vellu was held the portfoio of Works Minister in the cabinet of former premier Abdullah Badawi.

Najib said Malaysia did not want to lose Vellu's talent and many local companies would surely benefit from the appointment. The 200-page book was written by  Bernice Narayanan is filled with pictures that describe the illustrious journey of Samy Vellu, from being a humble rubber tapper's son, to becoming one of Malaysia's prominent leaders.

Samy Vellu took over the party as acting president on Sept 13, 1979, following the death of his predecessor V Manickavasagam. Najib said it would be difficult to find another like Vellu.

"I am not sure in 1,000 years that we will have another Datuk Seri Samy Vellu. Whenever he says something, it is not what he says, but how he says it. He makes it very interesting for all of us to listen whenever he makes his point. He never fails to raise the issue of the Indian community during Cabinet meetings," Najib said.

Vellu had contributed immensely to the development of the party, Indian community and the country and was one of the two most colourful politicians in the country, the other being former Gerakan president Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik, he said.

Vellu's appointment as a special envoy for infrastructure for India and South Asian countries is effective from January 1 next year and comes with ministerial status.

Comments (+)