Tun Samy Vellu, longest serving president of the Malaysian Indian Congress, has passed away at the age of 86

Tun Samy Vellu s/o Sangalimuthu, the longest serving president with the Malaysian Indian Congress and one of the longest serving Cabinet-ministers in the country’s history, has passed away earlier today (September 15th, 2022). The tragic news was shared by another former MIC president, Dr S Subramaniam through his official Facebook page. He was 86-yeas-old.

Tun Samy Vellu has passed away at age 86

A Johor native, Tun Samy was born in the town of Kluang on March 8th, 1936 and was an active participant in local politics as far back as in 1961, when he first contested for the MIC seat in the state of Selangor but lost. He would then subsequently go on to become head of the MIC Cultural Bureau at the age of 26 and assume the role of Secretary to MIC five years later.

Tun Samy Vellu has passed away at age 86. Image credit: FMT

Most notably, Tun Samy would eventually take up the position of MIC’s 7th President in 1979, at the age of 43, according to the Indian Malaysian. He would go on to hold the position for a whopping 31 years, before finally announcing his retirement from politics in December 2010 at the age of 74.

Asides from his work with the MIC, Tun Samy is also one of the most well-remembered members of the Malaysian Cabinet, having held multiple ministerial positions across a 29-year period. From 1978 to 1979 he was Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing. He subsequently took up the position of Minister of Works from 1979 to 1989, before going on to serve as the Minister of Energy, Telecommunications and Posts from 1989 to 1995. Finally from 1995 to 2008, he served as Minister of Works.

Most notably remembered for the Penang Bridge

Tun Samy Vellu standing next to Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah and Tun Mahathir during the opening of the Penang Bridge. Image credit: Darah Satria
Tun Samy Vellu standing next to Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah and Tun Mahathir during the opening of the Penang Bridge. Image credit: Darah Satria

From September 1974 to March 2008, he served as Sungai Siput’s Member of Parliament (MP) for eight consecutive terms. As a Minister of Works, he is most notably remembered for the construction of the Penang Bridge, which linked the island to the mainland, as well as the privatisation of highway construction in Malaysia, which led to the completion of the 900km North-South Expressway, according to Hindustan Times. 

Asides from his political career, he is also chartered architect who held a membership with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) as well as the Malaysian Institute of Architects.

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Also read: Did you know Queen Elizabeth II was the first British monarch to visit Malaysia, and did so on 3 separate instances?

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