“If there are other responsibilities, I will go earlier.”
MIC president Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu, hinting at a revised timeline for his departure as party chief. He earlier said he would relinquish the presidency to his deputy Datuk G Palanivel some “eight or nine months” before his term ends in May 2012.
Samy Vellu has sacked party leaders who have openly asked him to quit sooner, or who have disagreed with his use of presidential powers to expel members as a first rather than last resort. Samy Vellu has maintained that his leadership is needed until next year to strengthen the party. He has led the MIC since 1979. (Source: Samy ready to leave?, The Star, 30 May 2010)
“I am not going to direct the government [after retiring].
“The government can go on and do what is directed by the [new] leader. [I’m] not a back-seat driver.”
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, prior to his retirement in October 2003 after 22 years. He was asked whether after retirement he would remain active in government from behind the scenes, like Singapore’s former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.
However, Mahathir went on to become a leading critic of his hand-picked successor, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Abdullah eventually resigned mid-office in 2009, completing only one full term in power. (Source: Mahathir: I will not be ‘back-seat driver’ after retirement, AFP report in Malaysiakini, 5 Oct 2003)
“I am not going to change my mind. [My supporters and I] have discussed that the reason for my resignation is to pave the way for the younger generation of leaders to take my place.”
MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik on his resignation, which was seen as a way to end the party’s factional crisis between him and his deputy Tan Sri Lim Ah Lek, who also resigned with Ling. Ling led the MCA for 17 years. (Source: Ling confirms resignation, tightlipped on successor, Malaysiakini, 22 May 2003)
“Thank god, at last I can retire. I am leaving the party post willingly and without any hesitation. I have served the party for almost 30 years. It’s time to leave.
“Unlike government servants who will automatically retire when they come to an age, politicians must learn how to sacrifice when the time comes. All party members must learn this culture.”
Ah Lek, on his resignation as MCA deputy president, which he tendered together with president Ling. The coordinated resignations were part of a peace plan to unite the MCA before the 2004 general election. (Source: Ling hints at Ong-Chan leadership, Malaysiakini, 23 May 2003)
“After so many years at the helm, it is time I pass on the baton to my fellow comrades, who I remind that the struggle of the party is far from over … I will serve in other capacities when needed. However, it is time new leadership takes over.
“My first advice [to Koh as advisor] is don’t ask for my advice. Do what you feel is right.”
Gerakan president Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik, speaking at a special party congress to bid him farewell. Keng Yaik had announced his departure well ahead of time to prepare the party and his successor, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon. Koh was acting president and retained the presidency uncontested in party elections in 2008.
For the most part, Keng Yaik has refrained from publicly criticising or directing Koh, although he has acknowledged that Koh is struggling politically and had to be “careful” to avoid a revolt within the party. (Source: Goodbye Dr Lim, hello Dr Koh, Malaysiakini, 8 April 2007)
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