G. Palanivel

Datuk Seri Palanivel s/o K. Govindasamy (Tamil: பழனிவேல் கோவிந்தசாமி, romanized: Paḻaṉivēl Kōvintacāmi; born 1 March 1949), commonly known as G Palanivel is a Malaysian politician who served as Minister of Natural Resources and Environment from May 2013 to July 2015, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department from August 2011 to May 2013, Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Deputy Minister of Rural Development, Deputy Minister of Welfare and Family Development, Senator from May 2010 to May 2013, Member of Parliament (MP) for Cameron Highlands from May 2013 to May 2018 and Hulu Selangor from October 1990 to March 2008. He is a member and served as the 8th President of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), a component party of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, from December 2010 to June 2013.[1]

G Palanivel
பழனிவேல் கோவிந்தசாமி
8th President of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC)
In office
6 December 2010  23 June 2013
DeputySubramaniam Sathasivam
Preceded bySamy Vellu
Succeeded bySubramaniam Sathasivam
Ministerial roles
1995–1999Parliamentary Secretary of National Unity and Community Development
1999–2004Deputy Minister of Rural Development
2004–2009Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development
2009–2011Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities
2011–2013Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
2013–2015Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
Faction represented in Dewan Rakyat
1990–2008Barisan Nasional
2013–2018Barisan Nasional
Faction represented in Dewan Negara
2010–2013Barisan Nasional
Personal details
Palanivel s/o K. Govindasamy

(1949-03-01) 1 March 1949
Penang, Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
Political partyMIC (till 2014)
Independent (since 2014)
SpouseKanagam Palanivel
Children4 sons
ResidenceKuala Lumpur
Alma materUniversity of Malaya
Bachelor of Arts


Palanivel was born in Penang on 1 March 1949. He 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 career. 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 the 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-thirds 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 one of the member of the board of directors of Telekom Malaysia.

Palanivel married Kanagam Palanivel and the couple has four sons.[2]

Political future

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.[3] 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-thirds majority. In the same elections, serious gains including capturing of five states out the total of thirteen have been made by the alternative coalition, Pakatan Rakyat.

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 was appointed as the 8th MIC President succeeding Samy Vellu who had held the post for 31 years.

On 5 May 2013, G Palanivel won the Cameron Highlands Parliament seat in the 13th Malaysian General Election. The Malaysian Indian Congress won 4 (Cameron Highlands, Segamat, Hulu Selangor, Tapah) Parliament seats in total and 5 (Gambir, Kahang, Tenggaroh, Gadek, Jeram Padang) State seats, an extra seat compared to the previous election in Malaysia.[4] He was then appointed as Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.[5]

On 3 July 2013, G Palanivel said 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 was withdrawn by the Malaysian ruling government Barisan Nasional.

Election results

Parliament of Malaysia[6][7][8]
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%


  •  Selangor
    • Knight Companion of the Order of Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah (DSSA) — Dato’ (1996)[9]
  •  Federal Territory (Malaysia)
    • Grand Commander of the Order of the Territorial Crown (SMW) — Datuk Seri (2012)


  1. "Palanivel Ready To Face Challenges at New Ministry". MIC. 16 May 2013. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  2. "Palanivel, Datuk". Saiee Driss (in Malay). Biodata Tokoh. 2 March 2008. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  3. "MIC polls: Samy Vellu's men sweep deputy, VP, most CWC posts". The Star. Star Publications. 12 September 2009. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
  4. "MIC survives tough battle to win 4 federal seats". The Malaysian Insider. 6 May 2013.
  5. "Palanivel ready to face challenges". The Star (Malaysia). 16 May 2013.
  6. "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Archived from the original on 6 September 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  7. "Malaysia General Election". undiinfo Malaysian Election Data. Malaysiakini. Retrieved 4 February 2017. Results only available from the 2004 election.
  8. "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum 13 Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri 2013" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  9. "DSSA 1996". awards.selangor.gov.my. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
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