File photo of MIC president, Samy Vellu (center) with recipients of MIC President Merit Award 2009. (Photo:MIC)

File photo of MIC president, Samy Vellu (center) with recipients of MIC President Merit Award 2009. (Photo:MIC)

MIC President Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said on Saturday that he was not popular, and whatever he had done and was doing for the Indian community, was not aimed at becoming a popular leader.

“I am not popular…I do not work to become popular. I work for the people,” he said when asked to comment on the speech by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when opening MIC’s 63rd annual general assembly here.

In his speech, Najib reminded all Barisan Nasional (BN) component party leaders that it was pointless for them to be popular only among party members but not among the people, to the extent of losing their support.

Najib, who is BN chairman said, in a parliamentary democracy, the people had the absolute power and it was they who determine BN’s fate in every election.

“I am not a man who want to be popular among the people. But I want to be loved by them (people) for my services and contributions,” Samy Vellu said on the sidelines of the general assembly.

The former minister also said that the Indian community did not vote BN in the last general election because they were fed-up with BN and not with him.

“There was a blame…people said that during my time, they were fed-up with me…Indian community doesn’t vote for BN. People are not fed-up with me but they were fed-up with BN,” he said in rejecting the largely held view among Indian community and political observers in the country that he had failed to effectively champion the cause and aspirations and that he had overstayed as the party president.

“We cannot forget one important point…the Indian community was wounded for many years. No approaches by government to see what was the problem. Now they (the government) are very interested to see something done. If we had done it five, 10 or 15 years ago, what is happening today would not have happened,” he said.

On the Key Performance Index (KPI) for MIC as stated by Najib — to win back the Indian community’s support for BN — Samy Vellu said the party was already working on it.