G. Palanivel

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In this Indian name, the name Govindasamy is a patronymic, not a family name, and the person should be referred to by the given name, Palanivel.
Yang Berhormat Datuk Seri
G. Palanivel
Malaysian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
Assumed office
16 May 2013
Prime Minister Najib Razak
Preceded by Douglas Uggah Embas
Constituency Cameron Highlands
8th President of the Malaysian Indian Congress
Assumed office
6 December 2010
Deputy Subramaniam Sathasivam
Preceded by Samy Vellu
Malaysian Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
Modernisation and Management, Public Administration, Public Complaints
In office
9 August 2011 – 5 May 2013
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Hulu Selangor
In office
Preceded by Subramaniam Sinniah
Succeeded by Zainal Abidin Ahmad
Personal details
Born (1949-03-01) 1 March 1949 (age 66)
Penang, Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
Political party Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC)
part of Barisan Nasional
Spouse(s) Kanagam Palanivel
Children 4
Residence Kuala Lumpur
Alma mater University of Malaya
Bachelor of Arts
Occupation Politician
Religion Hindu
Website www.gpalanivel.com.my

Datuk Seri Palanivel s/o. Govindasamy (Tamil: பழனிவேல் கோவிந்தசாமி; born 1 March 1949), commonly known as Datuk Seri G. Palanivel, is the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment. He held his last positions in the Malaysian Government as the Minister in Prime Minister's Department and Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities. His previously held the position as the Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Deputy Minister of Welfare and Family Development of Malaysia. In 8 March 2008 general elections, he was defeated in his bid for another five-year term as a member of parliament. He was appointed as Senator in May 2010 and became the Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities. On 6 December 2010, he became the President of the Malaysian Indian Congress, which is a member of the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional. On 30 July 2011, the Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that Dato' G. Palanivel to be appointed as Minister in the PM's Department on the MIC General Assembly and on 9 August 2011 Dato' G. Palanivel took the oath of office to become the minister.

After his victory in 13th General Election, Palanivel was appointed as Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.[1]


Palanivel obtained a Bachelor of Arts from University of Malaya in 1972, majoring in History. Initially he became a teacher at the Goon Institute in Kuala Lumpur, and then at Maktab Adabi in Kuantan. In the same year as his graduation, he was elected Secretary of Petaling Branch of Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), a political party which is part of the ruling coalition. He has been with the party since 1968.

He moved on to become a Research Assistant at the Muzium Negara (National Museum). In 1974, he went back to Penang to join the Consumer Association of Penang. There he rose to the position of Executive Director. His next career move was to join Bernama as a journalist in 1977. There he was elevated to become the Economic News Editor. It was during this period he was invited to become a Press Secretary to the Minister of Works who was (and is) also the President of MIC. That set the stage for the crucial take-off in his political carrier. He was chosen as a candidate in the country's general elections in 1990 and had won every single election as a member of parliament ever since until his loss in 8 March 2008 elections when a tidal wave of voter sentiment against the ruling coalition came to the fore that resulted in the loss of four states out of thirteen to the opposition and in the loss of two-third majority in the Parliament.

Positions in the Government commenced with Palanivel being appointed as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of National Unity. He rose further to become the Deputy Minister of Rural Development of Malaysia from 1999 until 2004 when he was made the Deputy Minister of Welfare and Family Development. He continued as the Deputy Minister until his defeat in the March 2008 general elections.

Palanivel also had a stint in the corporate circle as a Business Adviser to Sports Toto and as Director of Telecoms Malaysia, Usha Martin and the Maharaja Network of Sri Lanka. 222

Political future[edit]

In June 2006, Palanivel, previously a Vice-President of MIC, entered a new era of top level MIC leadership by defeating a 27-year incumbent, Dato' S. Subramaniam, to become the new Deputy President of MIC. He retained his position in the MIC Elections concluded on 12 September 2009.[2] Palanivel, was appointed MIC president to replace S Samy Vellu on 6 December 2010.

Palanivel's position hitherto has been a Deputy Minister from 1999 until March 2008 when he failed to secure his parliamentary seat in the 2008 elections. Following the massive defeat of MIC representatives in the 2008 general elections, MIC's top leadership is conspicuously absent in the cabinet of the ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional that is made up of largely race based parties dominated by the Malay based UMNO. It is the more junior members of MIC leadership who won in the General Elections who hold one ministerial and two deputy ministerial posts allocated for the party. Moreover in the April 2009 new government line-up, MIC's representation had been reduced.

Although the Barisan Nasional coalition won the 2008 general elections, it lost its previous eminent of position of securing parliamentary seats exceeding two-third majority. In the same elections, serious gains including capturing of 5 states out the total of 13 have been made by the alternative coalition namely Pakatan Rakyat that comprises mainly multi-racial parties. Political analysts have commented that the electorate preference is shifting from mono-racial parties to multi-racial parties. However, in reality, the composition of the multi-racial parties are to a larger extent mono-racial. For example, DAP consists of mainly Chinese. 99% of PAS members are Malay Muslims. Keadilan is predominantly Malay as well.

On 3 May 2010, G. Palanivel was appointed as a Senator in the Parliament Upper House.

Palanivel returned to the federal cabinet portfolio and was appointed Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities after a minor Cabinet reshuffle on 4 June 2010.

On 6 December 2010, G. Palanivel appointed as 8th MIC President succeeding Samy Vellu who held the post for 31 years.

On 5 May 2013, G. Palanivel won the 13th General Election for Cameron Highlands Parliament seat. The Malaysian Indian Congress in total won 4 (Cameron Highlands, Segamat, Hulu Selangor, Tapah) Parliament seats and 5 (Gambir, Kahang, Tenggaroh, Gadek, Jeram Padang)State seats, an extra seat compared to the previous election in Malaysia.

On 15 May 2013, G. Palanivel was appointed as Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.

On 3 July 2013, G. Palanivel made a stand that MIC was against the controversial bill which allows unilateral conversion of child below 18 years old into Islam.

On 5 July 2013, G. Palanivel commented "It was a fair move taking into consideration the sensitivities of various stakeholders and groups. MIC still stands by its statement that the consent of both parents are needed for the conversion of children to Islam," after the controversial bill on conversion of minors withdrawn by Malaysian ruling government Barisan Nasional.

Election Results[edit]

Parliament of Malaysia
Year Constituency Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1990 P084 Hulu Selangor, Selangor G. Palanivel (MIC) 20,839 63.74 Nazar Yakin (S46) 11,857 36.26 34,306 8,982 73.10%
1995 P088 Hulu Selangor, Selangor G. Palanivel (MIC) 20,546 78.19 Adnan Din (S46) 4,594 17.48 27,505 15,952 53.66%
Peng Kim Sing (DAP) 1,137 4.33%
1999 G. Palanivel (MIC) 22,143 61.65 Halili Rahmat (PKR) 13,548 37.72 37,195 8,595 71.06%
2004 P094 Hulu Selangor, Selangor G. Palanivel (MIC) 27,807 67.52 Ismail Kamus (PAS) 13,324 32.35 42,592 14,483 72.77%
2008 G. Palanivel (MIC) 22,979 49.55 Zainal Abidin Ahmad (PKR) 23,177 49.97 47,845 198 75.24%
2013 P078 Cameron Highlands, Pahang G. Palanivel (MIC) 10,506 48.03 Manogaran Marimuthu (DAP) 10,044 45.92 22,752 462 81.32%
Mohd Shokri Mahmood (Berjasa) 912 4.17%
Alagu Thangarajoo (IND) 308 1.41%
Kisho Kumar Kathirveloo (IND) 101 0.46%


  1. ^ "Palanivel Ready To Face Challenges at New Ministry". MIC. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "MIC polls: Samy Vellu's men sweep deputy, VP, most CWC posts". The Star (Star Publications). 12 September 2009. Retrieved 12 September 2009. 

→ 3. MIC survives tough battle to win 4 federal seats [1] 4. Palanivel appointed as Minister of Natural Resource & Environment [2]

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