Subramaniam Sinniah

Subramaniam s/o Sinniah (Tamil: சி. சுப்ரமணியம், romanized: Ci. Cupramaṇiyam; born 26 October 1944), or S. Subramaniam as he is known to his supporters, is a Malaysian politician of Indian origin who was deputy president of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), a major component party of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), from 1979 to 2006. He was also Member of Parliament for Segamat and served as Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs.

S. Subramaniam

சி. சுப்ரமணியம்
Member of Parliament
for Segamat
In office
26 April 1982  20 March 2004
Preceded byLee San Choon (MCA (MIC)-BN)
Succeeded bySubramaniam Sathasivam (Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC)-BN)
Majority11,007 (1982)
6,529 (1986)
2,521 (1990)
17,567 (1995)
10,429 (2004)
Deputy President of the Malaysian Indian Congress
In office
12 October 1979  June 2006
Preceded bySamy Vellu Sangalimuthu
Succeeded byG. Palanivel
Personal details
Subramaniam s/o Sinniah

(1944-10-26) 26 October 1944
Political partyMIC (1964-now)

Political history

When V. Manickavasagam became president of the Malaysian Indian Congress, he decided to introduce new faces to the party in leadership positions. This was the time when Subramaniam, K. Pathmanaban, a Harvard MBA holder, and several others entered the political arena to infuse new blood into MIC, and Manickavasagam gave them preference. They were young, well-educated and ambitious but lacked grassroots experience.

This made Samy Vellu bitter as he was one of the five leaders who dared defy former president V.T. Sambanthan and propel Manickavasagam to the presidency of the party.

Subramaniam, then the Secretary General of MIC, was hand-picked by Manickavasagam to succeed him; however, Samy Vellu fought back, literally, and in 1977 party elections edged over Subramaniam by a mere 26 votes to become the Deputy President of MIC.

When Manickavasagam died suddenly on 12 October 1979, Samy Vellu became the Acting President. But it was a divided party that Samy Vellu took over, with the rank and file on his side, and much of the Indian intelligentsia backing Subramaniam. In the ensuing years, Samy Vellu worked hard to remake MIC in his image. In 1981, Samy Vellu almost moved to sack Subramaniam, but following a 20-minute private talk with the latter, both came to some form of understanding, and peace prevailed in the party for the next five years.

Bad blood with Samy Vellu

Subramaniam is known for not to be in good terms with MIC's president, Dato' Seri S. Samy Vellu as Subramaniam was dropped as a candidate for the 11th general election by Samy Vellu - three days before nomination day. According to Samy Vellu, Subramaniam has enjoyed his time as a Member of Parliament, parliamentary secretary, and deputy minister, citing "now it was the turn of others to taste such fame."

Subramaniam stood to defend his deputy president post in the 2006 party elections, but Samy Vellu went around campaigning that a vote for Subramaniam was a vote against Samy and that he endorsed Dato' G. Palanivel. In the 2006 party elections , Samy Vellu was eventually returned as president uncontested and Dato' G. Palanivel trumped Subramaniam for the deputy president's post. Samy Vellu's image started to tarnish and he lost ethnic Indian support after Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) organised a rally on 25 November 2007 in Kuala Lumpur demanding 18 points to prevent further discrimination against ethnic Indians, who had been marginalised for 50 years since the country's independence. As a result of this, Samy Vellu lost the Sungai Siput parliamentary seat.

Only 3 out of 9 MIC candidates for the 12th general election were selected. This was the worst defeat for MIC since the party was formed. However, Samy Vellu claimed that he was not responsible for MIC's lost. According to Australian political analyst, the Indian community did not reject Malaysian Indian congress but only Samy Vellu and his cronies . Many branch members agreed that the next man who can save the party is Dato Subra but the problem arose when the present president is not vacating the post. Many tricky methods and pressure were implied to corrupt Dato Subra's image because this is the only way for Samy Vellu to remain in the post. However, the new generation are educated and broad minded. All the foolish attempt against Dato Subra has been reflected. It is also predicted that the Samy Vellu could destroy MIC and lead the Indians into his slavery. According to some political analyst a shift of power will take place soon and Dato Subra will bring a fresh air for Indians. Resignation of MIC youth chief S.A. Vickneswaran is another blow for Samy Vellu. Dato Subra stated a blog to communicate with all Indians from all background. The blog can be found on For 2009 MIC deputy presidency election likely to be held on 12 September and it is a three corner fight between Dato' Subra, Palanivelu and Sothinathan. Some political analyst believe that Sothinathan was planted by Samy Velu to split Dato Subra vote and gain easy win for Palanivel. Dato Palanivel won the deputy post for the second time with a narrow majority.

Maika controversy

Officials said about 900 shareholders including Subramaniam, Samy Vellu and Democratic Action Party member of Parliament M. Kulasegaran attended the Maika (MIC's debt-ridden investment arm) annual general meeting, the first time that such a huge number had turned up in the company's history. Abdul Rashid, the CEO of Maika had a tough time controlling the crowd. One faction aligned with MIC president Samy Vellu and the other with Subramaniam, shouting at each other. Despite the heated exchanges, the meeting went on smoothly, with Abdul Rashid replying to the questions put forward by the various shareholders including DAP's Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran. At about 1pm, the shareholders were asked to vote on the various resolutions including one calling for the sale of the insurance company Oriental Capital Assurance Berhad (OCAB) for RM129.8 million.

Maika's management claimed that the sale of OCAB would enable the company to clear its outstanding debts and repay the shareholders who wanted to withdraw their investments. Speaking to reporters later, Subramaniam said he was pushed when he tried to put forward a suggestion at the meeting. He said he was not opposed to the sale of OCAB but wanted Maika should give the first option to an Indian community-linked company or cooperative so that its majority stake would remain in the community's hands. Subramaniam then lodged a police report.

Election results

Parliament of Malaysia
Year Constituency Votes Pct Opponent Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1974 P086 Damansara, Kuala Lumpur Subramaniam Sinniah (MIC) 9,763 51.22% Hor Cheok Foon (DAP) 5,362 28.13% Unknown 4,401 Unknown
K. C. Cheah (PEKEMAS) 3,935 20.65%
1978 Subramaniam Sinniah (MIC) 18,239 40.31% V. David (DAP) 21,461 47.43% Unknown 3,222 Unknown
Syed Ibrahim Syed Abdul Rahman (PAS) 5,386 11.90%
Thinakaran Rajakannu (PEKEMAS) 161 0.36%
1982 P100 Segamat, Johor Subramaniam Sinniah (MIC) 20,932 66.37% Tan Tien Lim (DAP) 9,925 31.47% 32,845 11,007 79.58%
Hee Moi @ Hooi Kai (IND) 683 2.17%
1986 P115 Segamat, Johor Subramaniam Sinniah (MIC) 18,644 59.13% Chan Yiek Nung (DAP) 12,115 38.42% 32,450 6,529 73.74%
Abdul Razak Daud (PAS) 771 2.45%
1990 Subramaniam Sinniah (MIC) 20,070 53.35% Simon Tong Tiam Hock (DAP) 17,549 46.65% 38,775 2,521 73.68%
1995 P125 Segamat, Johor Subramaniam Sinniah (MIC) 28,710 70.72% Yaakob Jantan (DAP) 11,143 27.45% 42,031 17,567 72.75%
Lim Wah Kin (IND) 741 1.83%
1999 Subramaniam Sinniah (MIC) 26,350 62.34% Tee Gey Yan (DAP) 15,921 37.66% 43,566 10,429 71.67%


Honours of Malaysia


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