MIC president S Samy Vellu has made a surprise visit to Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) national coordinator RS Thanenthiran, who has been hospitalised after suffering from a heart attack on Saturday.


"I was caught by surprise when he (Samy Vellu) and his aides suddenly came to see me,” said Thanenthiran, who is also seeking treatment at Penang’s Gleneagles Hospital for a heart and collar bone disorder.

hindraf thanethiran samy vellu hospital visit 010409"Samy told me that he was concerned about my health and he would pray for my speedy recovery," he told Malaysiakini.

The embattled MIC chief had apparently set aside his busy campaign schedule in Bukit Selambau by-election to visit the local Hindraf leader yesterday at the hospital.

Thanenthiran was one of the many potential candidates overlooked by PKR in the April 7 Bukit Selambau by-election.

The party eventually picked greenhorn S Manikumar to fight against MIC’s veteran S Ganesan and 13 other Independents.

This led to Hindraf openly calling for a boycott of the by-election.

hindraf thanethiran in hospital 010409 01The Hindraf leader said he was “pleasantly surprise” to see Samy Vellu even though Hindraf and MIC were bitter rivals in championing the plight of Indian Malaysians.

MIC’s massive electoral defeat in the general election last year was largely attributed to Hindraf’s aggressive campaign for the rights of the minority Indian community.

Barisan Nasional leaders have since argued that Hindraf’s army of saffron-clad supporters were among the major reasons for the ruling coalition’s electoral reverses in the national polls.

The opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition, comprising PKR, DAP and PAS, has made unprecedented political gains in the general elections, denying BN its two-third parliamentary majority and winning five state governments.

No visit from Pakatan leaders

Thanenthiran is however bitter that no top leaders from the opposition Pakatan Rakyat had bothered to pay him a visit.

hindraf thanethiran in hospital 010409 03"There was not even a courtesy phone call from (PKR leader) Anwar (Ibrahim) or anyone," said Thanenthiran, who is wearing a cervical traction to help straighten his body alignment and ease pain in his neck muscle.

Meanwhile, the human rights group’s Penang deputy coordinator R Sanjeeviramah slammed PKR leaders of being “ungrateful”.

"Anwar and other PKR leaders have forgotten Hindraf’s sacrifice and contributions to the party’s political cause.”